What’s in my Pack? AT Gear List for a Late March Start

What do you take on an AT thru-hike?

My name is Linnea and I’ve been thinking through that question for the past several years. I’ve become one of those people who uses a kitchen scale to weigh everything that goes into my pack. I’m 4’10 and don’t want to get I don’t get hurt carrying my pack for months on end. As a result, I’ve spent months researching gear as I’ve tried to balance the weight of each item, how much money I was willing to spend, and what comfort items I’m not willing to go without.

The resulting gear list is the result of these compromises and my starting base weight (total pack weight minus food, water, and fuel) is 13.93 lbs.

Fair warning, the rest of this post is pretty dry since it contains my gear list as well as my logic for including various items.

Everything that’ll be in my pack to start minus my pack liner and 16oz container for protein shakes.

Big 4 and Associated Little Things (6.26 lbs)

  • Granite Gear Crown 2 60L (34.5 oz) + Compass (0.18oz) +Liner (1.2 oz)
    • I got this pack a few years ago because I wanted something lighter weight that could fit a bear can. I like that I have the option to remove the brain/frame to make it lighter and that it can handle loads of over 30lbs.
    • I’ve added a clip-on compass to the strap and use a nylofume liner to keep things dry.
  • X Mid Pro 1 (18.13 oz) + Stakes (3.17 oz) + Tyvek (4.13 oz)
    •  I chose the X-Mid Pro because I wanted a side entry tent that I could sit up in. I also like the idea of dual vestibules to help with airflow.
    • I’m taking 6 stakes (2 – Easton Nail, 4 – mini groundhogs, 2 – shepherd’s hooks) and I’m storing them in the stake bag that came with a previous tent.
    • My ground cloth is a piece of Tyvek that has been cut to size.
  • Gryphon Gear 20 Degree Quilt (21.97 oz ) + Straps (0.42 oz) + “Pillow” (0.88 oz)
    • My quilt is a custom length so there’s no extra space at the bottom and has a draft collar. I’ve only gotten to use it a few times and haven’t taken it down to 20 degrees yet, but it’s incredibly puffy and cozy.
    • I used a stuff sack with my extra layers as my pillow. I’ve tried using an inflatable pillow before but I prefer sleeping on my clothes.
  • Thermarest Neoair Speed Valve (15.84 oz)
    • I picked this up from an REI garage sale in high school. It’s comfortable and durable.

Hydration (0.47 lb)

  • Sawyer Filter (3.39 oz)
    • I’ve had this filter for several years now. The original lid broke so it has been replaced by a SmartWater bottle sports cap.
  • 750 ML SmartWater Bottle (0.99 oz)
  • 2.5L Platypus Bladder (1.27 oz)
  • 16 oz container (1.8 oz)

During the day, I just fill up my bottle from the source, screw on the filter, and start drinking. The platypus is also used for dirty water because I don’t like squeezing the SmartWater bottle and it gives me extra capacity if I camp away from a water source.

The 16 oz container is my only clean water container and is a new addition. I’ll be using it for tea/protein shakes/other flavored drinks and I can use it to soak food too.

Cooking (1lb)

  • Mountain Laurel Designs 950 ml pot (3.88 oz)
    • I enjoy cooking in the backcountry so I needed a pot with enough space to simmer/boil food. The pot is made of titanium though so cooking requires careful monitoring and frequent stirring to avoid burning things.
  • Reflectix Pot Cozy (0.25 oz)
    • I made a cozy out of a car sun shield to help keep my pot/food warm for longer.
  • MRS Pocket Rocket 2 (2.61 oz)
    • This stove is durable and has enough control it can be used to simmer food.
  • Mini Bic (0.46 oz)
    • Fun fact, if you hold this up to a light source you can see how much fuel is inside.
  • Fuel Canister (3.56 oz)
    • The weight is for the canister itself, not the fuel inside. I store this inside my pot.
  • Bandana(1.16 oz)
    • I use this as a pot holder to take my pot on/off my store and to keep my fuel canister from rattling around when I walk.
  • Crossband (0.28 oz)
    • Holds the lid on the pot and keeps everything listed above from falling out.
  • Long Handled Wooden Spoon (0.71 oz)
    • I’m going with a wooden spoon because the sound of titanium scraping titanium hurts my soul.
  • Opinel 07 Knife (1.23 oz)
    • I’m mainly taking this so I can try and learn to whittle while on the trail. It is also helpful for cutting cheese.
  • Bear Bag Kit (3.1)
    • Not in the picture directly above, but I’m using the Zpacks bear bag kit (food back, rock bag, carabiner, 50 ft of rope) to keep my food and hygiene items safe from bears.

Electronics + Wallet (1.3 lbs)

  • Wallet (0.81 oz)
    • It’s not pictured, but I have a small wallet from Litesmith for cash and cards.
  • Phone (6.64 oz)
  • 2L Sea to Summit Dry Bag (0.81 oz)
  • Nitecore Nu25 w/ shock chord headband (1.16 oz)
    • I have an older model that still uses micro-USB to charge.
  • Nitecore Portable Charger (5.36 oz)
  • Wired Headphones + Dongle (0.53 oz)
    • I’m taking wired headphones so I don’t have to worry about another device with a battery that has to stay charged.
  • Anker Wall Plug with 2 USB C Ports (3 oz)
    • This is a fast charging block to try and minimize charging time during resupplies.
  • 6′ USB C to Lightning Cable (1.62 oz)
    • I decided to go with a 6ft cord because I figured there might be a time when I want to use my phone while it’s charging.
  • USB B to Micro USB (0.25 oz)
    • This was the lightest cord I could find for charging my headlight. I figured a short cord would be okay since my headlight could easily charge from the portal charge while in my pack.
  • USB C to USB C (0.63 oz)
    • I went with a standard cord here to balance weight and usability.

Gear Repair and First Aid (0.49 lb)

  • Medicine (2.74 oz)
    • I’ve repackaged my medicine into smaller bags and copied over the instructions. I’m taking ibuprofen, Zyrtec, Pepto-Bismol, Benadryl, Tylenol, Imodium, and prescription meds.
    • I’m also bringing 1o water treatment tablets for emergencies aka I freeze my filter.
  • Medical Supplies (2.4 oz)
    • Gauze, medical glove, ace bandage, butterfly bandages, alcohol wipes, safety pin, antiseptic ointment, anti-itch cream, and tweezers
      • My medical supplies are limited because I’m only carrying supplies that I know how to use and my items are focused on the types of injuries I’m most likely to face (sprained ankles, small cuts etc.)

  • Foot Care: Mini scissors, Leukotape P, Leukotape K, Hypafix  (1.48 oz)
    • I’m packing several different types of tape because I haven’t found a perfect one for me yet.
    • Leukotape P: I know many hikers swear by Leukotape P, but it makes a sticky mess of my socks when I use it even if I cover it in the Badger foot balm. However, I still carry some since it’s the best thing if your skin is wet.
    • Hypafix: This tape is really thin and soft but it isn’t the stickiest and it’s fairly wide.
    • Leukotape K: This is a new addition but it’s skinner than the Hypafix tape so I think it will work better in between toes or other small spots.

  • 4 extra hair ties
    • I fully expect that I will need to buy more hair ties at some point but I wanted enough that a few could stretch out/get lost before I need to buy more.
  • Needle and thread
    • I wasn’t sure if I should bring this but it’s so light I figured it could be helpful. I’m storing the needle in a little bit of foam and the thread is a little bobbin from a travel sewing kit.
  • Duct tape
  • Tenacious tape (regular and silnylon)
  • Whistle
  • Extra O Ring
    • This isn’t pictured but I also bring an extra o ring for my filter since it’s easy to lose.

Hygiene (0.88 lb)

  • Deuce of Spaces (0.56 oz)
  • Lab Wash Bottle Bidet (1.06 oz)
    • I switched to this a few years ago and will never go back to TP.  I can get a pretty powerful stream with the lab wash bottle and it makes a nice portable sink too.
  • Menstrual Cup (0.46 oz)
  • Soap (0.56 oz)
    • Dr. Bronner’s in a 10ml dropper bottle. I’m taking soap so that I can wash my hands/face. My goal is to wash my hands several times a day because Norovirus is already spreading in Georgia.
  • Hand Sanitizer (0.81 oz)
    • 15 ml dropper bottle
    • I’m bringing hand sanitizer as an alternative when washing my hands isn’t an option/too much work.

  • Small Stuff sack for toiletries (0.36 oz)
  • Sunscreen stick (1.13 oz)
  • Shorty toothbrush from Litesmith (0.25 oz)
  • Toothpaste (1.62 oz)
  • Floss (0.18 0z)
  • Retainer (0.32 0z)
    • Not pictured above but I keep it in a ziplock bag with holes poked in it
  • Contact Case (0.25 oz)
  • Contact Solution (2.77 oz)
  • Extra Contacts (0.57 oz)
    • I’m starting with two months of extra contacts and will have future months sent to me as I go.
  • Glasses, cleaning cloth, and case (2.09 oz)
    • Not pictured, but I keep my glasses in an old crystal light lemonade package lined with an old Amazon bubble mailer.
  • Aquaphor (0.49 oz)
    • I’ll use this as chapstick and on dry skin.
  • Badger Foot Balm (0.56 oz)
    • This balm helps keep my feet in good shape if they are wet for extended periods of time.
  • Comb (0.21 oz)
    • I have very thick hair, so a way to detangle it is a requirement.
  • Earplugs + Case (0.21 oz)

Packed Clothes (3.02 lbs)

  • Baseball Hat (1.94 oz)
    • I’m bringing this to keep the sun and rain off my face. I had to sew up it smaller in the back to make it tight enough for my head.
  • Goodr Sunglasses (1.94 oz)
    • I’m not sure how much I’ll use these especially once the trees all have leaves on them.
  • Frog Toggs Rain Coat (3.74 oz)
    • This is a non-breathable, cheap, and light raincoat. I’m using a youth large and the sleeves are a little shorter than I’d like.
  • Rain Skirt (3 oz)
    • I ordered a cheap one off Amazon and then cut it 6″ shorter so I don’t trip over it. I’ll probably ditch this once it warms up and I’m less worried about being cold.

My plan is to send home the items in italics once it warms up.

  • 2 pairs of Darn Tough socks (3.38 oz)
    • I’ll keep one pair to sleep in and the other will be used for hiking.
  • 2 pairs of underwear (1.2 oz)
    • Synthetic from Aerie
  • Wool long-sleeve shirt (5.71 oz)
    • This is a boys large from REI.
  • Wool leggings (7.41 oz)
  • Wool hat (2.26 oz)
  • Buff (1.59 oz)
  • Fleece pullover (6.21 oz)
    • Kid’s large from REI
  • Decathalon Puffy (9.31 oz)
    • This is a women’s XS so it comes down to the top of my thighs.
  • Fleece Gloves (1.52 oz)
  • Stuff Sack that’s my pillow (weight listed in Big 4 section)
  • Bread Bags
    • These aren’t pictured, but I’m not taking camp shoes.  I’ll use bread bags to keep my feet dry at camp if my shoes are wet.

Luxuries (0.43 lb)

  • Pepper Spray (1.16 oz)
    • I’m taking a Pom brand pepper spray because it is lighter than the Saber Red brand.
  • Notebook + Pen (3.28 oz)
    • I’m bringing a physical journal because I enjoy writing things down by hand instead of always typing on my phone.
  • 1/8 CCF Pad (2.4 oz)
    • This will be a yoga mat/sit pad.

Hiking Outfit (1.66 lbs) + Poles (1.47 lbs)

  • Short Sleeve T-Shirt (3.25)
    • Patagonia Daily Cool, I love how lightweight this feels.
  • Nike shorts (3.03 oz)
  • Sports bra
    • Addis from ~10 years ago with a mesh back
  • Underwear (0.6 oz)
    • Aerie
  • Darn Tough Crew Socks (1.69 oz)
  • Hoka Speedgoats (14.96 oz)
    • I’m a fan of trail runners because my shoes will dry when they get wet and these feel like walking on clouds.
  • Timex Watch (0.92 oz)
    • Not pictured, but basic watch that doesn’t need to be charged and doesn’t leave a watch tan.
  • Trekking Poles (23.5 oz)
    • Not pictured, but I’m using Cascade Mountain Tech poles from Amazon. I don’t love these because they can be buzzy when you hit a rock, but I don’t hate them enough to replace them before I start my thru-hike.

In total, I’m taking over 100 unique items on the AT. This feels like a lot, so I’ll be curious to see what (if anything) gets dropped.


Edit: 4/20/24

I’m over 3 weeks in now and have made several swaps/updates to my gear.


  • Umbrella: I added an umbrella because I’d been considering one for a while. The initial one was a cheap one off Amazon to test the concept, but it has no wind resistance so I recently upgraded to a nicer one from Six Moon Designs. 


  • Leggings: I added a pair of thin leggings so I could have my legs covered when it’s below 50 and raining. I don’t want to use my wool ones because those are my sleep clothes. I also wanted an extra layer for my legs for nights in the low 30s
  • Rain Coat: My frog toggs leaked so I swapped for a Lightheart Gear jacket. 
  • Spoon: I hated the wooden spoon because it was too big for my mouth so I got a titanium one instead. 
  • Sleeping Pad: My neoair was on old model with an R value of ~3.2 and I could feel the cold from the ground when it was below 45. I swapped to an xtherm and have been sleeping a lot more comfortably on cold nights.


  • Bear Vault 450: I swapped to a bear can after the Smokies due to my dislike of bear hangs and because I could borrow one for free. We’ll see if this swap lasts though because of the weight. 

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