Monthly Archives: December 2010


I need to start thinking now about what I’m going to take with me on the hike. Or maybe a better way to think about it is what am I NOT going to take with me? The goal is to take what is needed and nothing else – reduce the weight on your shoulders to the minimum amount necessary. I’ve been doing some research. Some of the blogs I linked to previously have some good info. Here are some others for those who use this blog as “research”:

Backpacker magazine

Thru-hiker “Rainmaker”

2002 thru-hiker Brawny – before and after

2003 – Billy and Ben

So far, here is what I KNOW I’m taking with me (as of now, prior to any training/tune-up hikes):
MSR Hubba tent: Especially for the first few weeks when I anticipate I may not reach a shelter before it fills up. Not comfortable with the bivy or hammock routes.

Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15 degree sleeping bag: I tend to be a cold sleeper(meaning I don’t generate a lot of heat while I sleep), so I went with a 15 degree bag. This is a colder-weather bag than some people take, but I figure it will hit ~15 degrees at least once while I’m on the trail. I tested the bag in my tent in the backyard in ~15 degree weather and it worked fine with a base layer on. I won’t freeze, and it is comfortable. The big knock against in forums is that it is only a 3/4 zip bag. I’m short, so this shouldn’t matter.

MSR whisperlite stove: Fairly light, and I’m not comfortable with an alcohol stove.

Patagonia Base Layer: I have a good amount of base layer that I’ve accumulated over the past few years. I figure this should do good as a first layer. I’ll still need a fleece/down jacket or something similar to keep my core warm.

Galyan’s running tights: No link because Galyan’s has been swallowed up by Dick’s Sporting Goods. I’ve had these tights since I rowed in college. They’ve kept me warm in all sorts of weather. They’ve lasted for several years through all sorts of use, so there’s no reason to suspect they won’t withstand a hike. They should be good, though I may need an extra pair.

That’s a good start. I’ll put more in my Gear List page as I accumulate gear and decide what I will/won’t take with me.

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