This is is the gear I use to backpack.
The majority of it was with me on my first thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2016 and then again on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2017!
On the AT and PCT, my gear remained relatively similar with a few additions/substitutions for different weather and terrain from the east coast (humid, wet, canopy dense) to west coast (dry, exposed, deep snowpack in the Sierra). For items that were either eliminated or replaced, due to extra weight or gear changes, you’ll find them
I still use almost all of my original gear to hike and backpack and intend to keep it for a very long time. If and when I add/change gear, I will add it here.
On a personal and professional level, I am committed to taking care of the planet, conserving resources and (like most thru-hikers learn) living minimally. I like to use, reusing, repair and repurpose my gear whenever possible.
If we each do our part to lessen our impact, support companies that believe in the same and change our thinking, we can make a positive impact on the planet by slowing climate change, inspiring others and thinking about the planet and future generations always .
I use my gear…again and again. (Hence the similar look in soooo many photos). With each hole, rip, there is a stitch, a darning or a patch that can often repair what needs fixing.
I learned to hang onto gear longer by repairing things when they break or rip, staying (fairly) organized, taking care of what I buy, even buying pre-owned gear and donating/sharing/reselling what I no longer have a use for. And when I can’t, I send my gear to a company that can help with the repairs.
I have learned to give my gear a longer life than I once thought possible and to forgo the desire to buy new gear every season by taking a minute to ask, “Do I need this?” “Do I have something similar?”
Send me a note with your questions about my gear or your own. If I can help you, I will. If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will do my best to point you to a friend or resource that can help you! This is what the trail and outdoor community is all about–sharing knowledge, helping one another and getting more people outside.
*Includes both summer & winter sleeping bags in this list; however I only carry one sleeping bag at a time, depending on the season. On the AT I swapped from a winter to a summer bag; on the PCT I used my winter bag the entire trail, even when the extra warmth probably wasn’t necessary.
Not included: Food. I typically carried 3-5 days of food (~2 lbs per day) on the AT and 4-7 days of food on the PCT.
Like many plans for a thru-hike, getting my gear nailed down took a village to help—friends, blogs, REI staff, former hikers and lots of hikers online.