Duuuude, I love gear. This love is universal among hikers and outdoors folks in general. If you want to hear my opinions about hiking gear, then you are in the right place. If not, then go do something that you actually want to do. Life’s too short to read gear reviews that you don’t care about! Go!
Alright, now that they’re gone, I will start by saying that Outdoor Gear Lab is a wonderful, free resource for finding gear information. I never buy outdoor gear without consulting that website first. You can also click on any links below for a gear review written by me. Heed the advice if you want, but keep in mind that what works for them or me might not be the best gear for you. Heck, a lot of the gear I use probably isn’t even the best gear for me! It changes all the time based on my experiences and expected conditions. If you have any questions for me about gear, please feel free to contact me.
Here’s my constantly evolving gear list. It is currently tailored to a winter hike from Georgia to Key West as Spice and I finish up the southern leg of the ECT. That means a few extra layers for warmth, but mostly it’s the same stuff that I used on the AT. That gear list can be found here. My CDT gear list can be found here, and my SHR gear list is here.
|Insulated Jacket||EE Torrid APEX jacket (Review)||7.25|
|Extra Socks||Darn Tough x 2||3.8|
|Warm Hat||Orange beanie||3.0|
|Rain Jacket||Sitka Vapor SD (Review)*||5.3|
|Wind Jacket||Houdini Come Along Jacket (Review)*||4|
|Mid-layer||Under Armour Fleece||8.1|
|Wind Pants||Dance Pants||3.5|
|Sleep Leggings||Nike Leggings||7.8|
The Big Three:
|Shelter||Zpacks Free Duo (Review)*||30|
|Stakes||Various x 6||3|
|Sleeping Quilt||EE 20° Enigma Quilt (Review)*||28.5|
|Sleeping Pad||Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol (Review)*||14.4|
|Backpack||Durston Kakwa 40 (Review)*||28|
|Battery||Anker 10,000mAh + 6,700mAh||11|
|Plug+Cord||Anker plug+USB cord||1.4|
|PLB||Garmin InReach Mini||5|
|Knife||Mini Swiss Army knife||0.7|
|Water Filter||Platypus Gravityworks 2L||9.1|
|Water Storage||Smartwater bottle||0.4|
|Water Storage||2L Platypus soft bottle||1.3|
|Wallet||Money and Stuff||0.3|
|Trowel||Old plastic one||1.3|
|Pack Liner||Compactor bag||2.3|
|Headnet||Sea to Summit||0.9|
|Spoon||Wooden Spoon from CDT||0.3|
|Food Bag||Reusable Plastic Grocery Bag||1|
|First Aid||Custom kit||1.8|
|Pills||Vitamin I + other||0.8|
|Insect Repellent||Insect Shield professional treatment||0|
|total||base weight||12lb 7oz|
Worn while hiking:
|Shoes||Altra Mont Blanc BOA (Review)*||22.4|
|Socks||Darn Tough lightcrew||2.1|
|Leggings||Under Armour 3/4||5|
|Shirt||Patagonia Tropic Comfort||6.3|
|Hat||Sunday Afternoons Vantage||3|
|Watch||Coros APEX – 46mm||2|
|Trekking Poles||GG LT5 Carbon Poles (Review)*||10.2 (pair)|
|Hiker Fuel||Beans||As much as you can handle|
|Hiker Fuel||Beans for the less hungry||3 pounds|
Affiliate Disclosure: In my on-going quest to avoid living comfortably and working in an office, I have incorporated affiliate links on this website where appropriate. If you make a purchase through these links, I might earn a few bucks at no additional cost to you. That's pretty cool, huh? You'll be like a modern-day Robin Hood, taking money from "The Man" and giving it to this hungry dirtbag. Burritos for all!
6 thoughts on “Gear”
Do you have a specific way of jamming everything into your pack? For example, sleeping bag and clothes on the bottom, food and stove in the middle, tent on the outside? Thanks!
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Yes, definitely. Your comment has inspired me to perhaps make a short video showing how I do it. Until then, here’s the short of it:
Quilt on the bottom, sleeping pad and ditty bag (electronics, first aid, etc.) jammed on top of that. Food bag stands on that platform with extra layers packed into the spaces around it, the least used at the bottom (sleep clothes, gloves). That leaves the top of the food bag easy to access during lunch, and my most used layers (wind jacket, rain jacket, extra socks) are easy to grab from around the sides. That’s pretty much the inside of my pack.
On the outside, I carry my tent and filter in the outer mesh pocket. Water bottles and cold-soak jar go in the side pockets. Phone, camera, and snacks go in my various shoulder strap and hip belt pockets.
Hope that helps!
That helps very much, thanks! I actually pack a similar way. My kids are starting to take an interest in hiking/camping but they cant carry a whole lot and the last trip left me thinking that it would be nice if the stove stayed home. I notice that you carry no stove. I would like to learn more about your cold soak methods if you don’t mind. I’ve done some soaking which involved hot water and a cozy but never cold water. Keep on hiking!
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Oh cool, starting them young. That’s great.
My rule of thumb when it comes to cold soaking is that if a food prep instructions only suggest cooking/simmering for 5 minutes or less, then it is viable for soaking. My go-tos are dehydrated refried beans, couscous, instant mashed potatoes, and ramen. The first is easiest to find online, probably the most nutritious, and my favorite. I add some seasoning and baggie up 1-1.5cup portions at home. The other three options are easy to find pretty much anywhere. All of them will rehydrate given enough time, but just how much depends on the temperature of the water you use. Ramen takes the longest, up to one hour, but the others are quick enough to start soaking once I get to camp. Oatmeal also cold-soaks really well.
I use a large plastic peanut butter jar with a screw lid, but others soak directly in ziplocks.
Alternatively, you can forget soaking entirely and just eat “assembly only” foods like peanut butter burritos, cookies, and trail mix. Before I went vegan, I used to eat a lot of salami, cheese, mustard, and mayo tortilla wraps. No cooking or soaking required. The way I see it, almost no one busts out the stove for lunch, so why not just eat lunch food for dinner too?
That’s the short of it, and I’m always finding new things in stores to try out, like lentil noodles and various dry soup mixes. Usually, these things, even if they work, are too rare to be counted on during a thru-hike, but for shorter trips they can be great options.
Hi there – how are you enjoying the Plex Solo? I just purchased, and am taking it out for the first time this weekend.
You’ve done a hell of a job blogging your Appalachians trip so far. I’ve enjoyed reading it.
What Bluetooth keyboard are you using? How did you choose it? Do you recommend it?