I’ve posted a new gear list reflecting what actually went with me on my last trip (training hike #3). I added grams where I’ve been able to measure in grams so that I can be more precise about my weights. Since March I’ve traded out for a lighter pack, I’ve cut a bunch of miscellaneous items, and got a new stove and cook kit. My skin-out base weight (absolutely everything except food/water, including clothes) is somewhere around 20 pounds. That includes 2 pounds for my boots.
Two things about my boots:
1) I don’t plan to keep them long. I’ll probably drop them around the time I leave the Smokeys and switch to trailrunners. I want to start with them because of the colder weather and GA tends to be rainy in March. I took advantage of REI’s sale last week to buy a pair of Vasque Mindbender trailrunners (only 23 oz!) to wear around the house to try out. If I like them, they’ll be my second pair of shoes.
2) To get my legs used to the weight of boots I’m going to wear them a lot for a couple weeks before I start the trail so they feel normal instead of feeling heavy.
What could I still do? My water bladder is a little on the heavy side, so I could trade that out. I know my tent isn’t optimal either – I could always trade into a Tarptent, but I really like my tent. I was carrying an extra fuel canister because I don’t know yet how fast my stove uses fuel (The second one was unnecessary), I could potentially use a lighter knife, and I plan to drop the book in March. All of these besides the tent are pretty small changes, getting me at most a pound lighter. I feel pretty good about where I am now, and am pretty confident I could carry this gear the whole trail. I’m sure I’ll end up making some more changes, but they will likely be small.