AT: Gear

Here is run-down of gear from my last trip. This should help me next time I pack, to eliminate anything I don’t really need and get my weight down a little more.

  1. Pack – Osprey Atmos 65: This was my 2nd trip with this pack, and I still love it. On the last day, the 20 mile march, I noticed 2 cinches I had not seen on the shoulder strap. When Ethan adjusted them, I felt like my pack was 3 lbs lighter! I am not sure I could use this pack on a long solo hike — it may be a touch small. I was carrying everything I needed myself except a tent. Not sure where I could fit one. Overnight or two nights would be ok. Beyond that, I’m not so sure.
  2. Stove — Jet Boil: This was my 1st trip with this stove, and I loved it. Lightweight and compact… The burner and one fuel canister fit inside the “pot”, and the canister is good for up to 12 liters. We cooked 4-5 cups each day for 4 days, and there still seems to be a fair amount of fuel left.
  3. Lights — I can consolidate here, but I love my lights! My new head light (Christmas) is a Petz Tikka, and is much lighter and more compact than my old Petzl Duo. But I carried 2 little flashlights and a photo micro. I could easily get rid of the 2 flashlights and keep the micro for emergencies, to save a few ounces.
  4. Clothes — I went with 1 short sleeve Icebreaker BodyFit 200, 1 long sleeve bodyfit 200, a mid-weight fleece, one pair of shorts, one pair of hiking pants, one lightweight rain jacket, 3 wool socks, 1 pair of injinj toe socks used as a liner, and two boxer/briefs. The short sleeve icebreaker got some holes in one of the shoulders, maybe due to the pack straps I mentioned above, but I love this material and brand. One of the wool socks was also ice breaker and they did well too. I have yet to find a perfect solution to the boxer/briefs. I went without anything on a couple of long sections and that was sometimes ok, sometimes not. I have some shorts with liners and those have worked well for me in the past, but I did not use them this time. Oh, and one “coolie” that I used to wipe sweat off my face when it was hot, and has a head warmer when it was cold. All in all I was about right on with clothes. I could have used some very light weight fleece or liner gloves on the last morning, when my hands had gotten wet and it had cooled off a lot.
  5. Shoes — Soloman XA Pros… Still happy with trail shoes instead of boots, though I did get two very minor blisters this time. I think where the insole wraps the heel and meets the shoe may have caused them.  I normally never get blisters.  :-/
  6. Water Filter: My filter is about 10-12 years old and clogged on us on the 4th day. Since we’ve gotten home I’ve cleaned it and scraped the ceramic cartridge, and it is flowing fine. On the trail I saw thru hikers using steri-pens and chemicals. I’m not sure I’m ready for either — I still like the filters. I recently saw a new MSR pump filter that is about 1/2 the size and weight of mine, so now I have filter envy. 🙂
  7. Multi-tool — These are heavy, but it is nice to have some of the items. The knife is a must, though mine is not a locking blade. 😦 It is a leatherman, though I don’t know the exact model. About 1/2 the size of the wave I used to carry.
  8. First Aid kit — I could probably trim a little from this kit, but it is definitely nice to have. Though I don’t always use it, when I do need it, I am glad it is there.
  9. Compass — I was thinking of not taking it this time but there was one place I did need it. It is only a couple of grams, but if I could get more comfortable with my Suunto Watch, which has a compass built in, I should go that route.
  10. Suunto Watch — great for time, altitude, barometer. Need to learn to set the compass.
  11. Leki Trek polls — would never hike with a backpack without polls!
  12. Oregon Research pack bags — lots of little bags to keep things organized — clothes in one bag, food in another (or in the case of this trip, 2 food bags!). Water resistent.
  13. Sleeping bag (20 F) — This seemed warm in the beginning of the nights, but by the end of the nights each night, I needed it! It is a mummy bag, and perhaps my next bag, a 40 or 45F, will be a full zipper so I can use it as a quilt in the summer.
  14. Sleeping pad — I have the 3/4 length thermarest and love it. I think it is 13 oz.
  15. Bag Rain cover — a must.
  16. Cup — I swear I bought a titanium cup last trip, but I could not find it this trip, so I had additional weight. The Jet Boil has a fork and spoon so I no longer carry anything else.
  17. Map Case — I like to wear my map and guide book so I have quick access to it. I guess that is from my adventure racing days, as well as orienteering. I know it is additional weight, but it is worth it to me. I do have a couple of lightweight caribiners that I use on the stretch line that I could perhaps get rid of, but having quick access to move the bag is nice.
  18. Miscellaneous
    1. duct tape: a must, used to try to fix the tent, and used on my feet
    2. emergency poncho: I was going to say I would not take this again, but then on the last day, Ethan needed to cover his bag, so it came in handy.
    3. black plastic garbage bags: another must, useful in a variety of situations like grouping all of our food bags into one bag for hanging at night (to keep the bears away!), trying to fix the holes in the rain fly, etc.
    4. Coffee filter/steeper, fits right in my cup, can’t leave home without it. 🙂
    5. Body Glide — another item to never leave home without, though this trip I only used it once.
    6. Camp Towel — perfect for cleaning off with after a long day — when there is a spring! Or trying to get water out of the tent. :-/

2 thoughts on “AT: Gear

  1. Great list. Thanks. Our 19 yo son is venturing out May 3-6. Hiking 60 miles in Va. It’s his entry from boyhood to manhood! May 16th is his 20th birthday. I’ve taken lots of notes. Thanks again.

  2. I highly recommend if you are looking for more information. There are a ton of articles there from very experienced hikers, including ultra-light and light hikers, as well as a forum where you can ask questions about gear, food, the location your son will be hiking, etc.

    Tell him good luck!

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