Thru-Hiking Gear List
Thru-Hiking Gear List
Figuring out what to take on a 6-month backcountry vacation is hard. Here is what I am taking on my thru-hike and why.
What I look for in gear
Backpacking gear is deeply personal. There is no right or wrong. The only thing that matters is what works for you. Here are the main criteria I look for in gear:
1. Lightweight. I’m pretty old and don’t want to die when backpacking, so weight matters for me. I will spend more money to save some weight.
2. Comfort. I need to be comfortable or I am not having fun. If I’m not comfortable and having fun, why bother? That’s why you will see many luxury items for me. Where do I draw the line between saving pack weight and comfort? I have a pretty good understanding of what matters to me and decide based on my preferences.
Your preferences may be different and that’s cool.
The Big Items
I backpacked for years with an Osprey pack and loved it. Then decided to get smarter about how much I’m carrying. Your backpack is a spot you can save considerable weight. In 2016, I bought the Zpacks Arc Haul Zip and LOVE IT. It weighs 30 oz (1.9 lbs, 855g) and is super comfortable.
One thing that seriously annoys me about backpacking packs is how everything you need is deep in the bottom. Or how you have to remove everything to get stuff out. This pack has a zip to access things from the front. This pack is perfect for me!
I’m a cold sleeper and I don’t have fun when I’m cold. I had a Big Agnes bag that I loved for it’s style (mummy for side sleepers). But I froze to death in it a lot.
My significant other and I decided to get quilts that we could zip together to create a burrito or use independently. We opted for Feather Friends Flickers. They have a lot of customization options which was perfect because my significant is a giant and he could get a custom length.
I cannot express how much I love this sleeping bag. It is like sleeping under really warm air. Several times I have said this is best purchase I’ve ever made.
After years of camping on really hard surfaces, I’m team free-standing tent. I just don’t want to deal with trying to stake or use rocks to get my tent pitched. Laziness is also a major factor. One thing I dislike is setting up camp, so I will do anything to make this as easy as possible.
For the PCT, I got the Zpacks Free Duo. I’ve taken her out on 2 shakedown hikes in the Superstitions, and I ADORE her. It is super easy to set up, light (for a free-standing tent), and kept me dry when it rained/snowed for 7 hours.
What I’m Wearing
This part of my gear needed a serious update. My clothing goals for the PCT was complete coverage for sun protection and warmth because I hate being cold. I tend to overpack and wanted to avoid this on this trip.
- Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie (Complete sun protection baby! Has a hole for ponytail in the hood)
- Eddie Bauer Women’s Guide Pro Pant – High Rise Hiking Pants (Talls available! Yay, no ankle pants!)
- Patagonia Barely Bra and Underwear
- My Old Grand Canyon Hat (It’s old and nasty and I love it)
- Dirty Girl Gaiters
- Montbell Sun Gloves (Sun protections!)
- Garmin Fenix 7 Watch (The best watch ever)
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