My loosely-held gear philosophy combines my desires to be light, to be relatively non-consumptive, and to be comfortable.

Over the years the strength of the last one in particular has increased as I’ve aged (gracefully of course but also with zest). On the PCT I carried a 1/4-inch closed cell foam pad smaller than my torso and slept in the dirt every night. I carried a frameless rucksack with no hip belt. Now my hips ache and wake me when I sleep on a hard surface and I have a rib that pops out of place in my chest when I have sustained weight on my shoulders. I have a herniated disc in my lower back from a dance injury a scant few months ago which I am steadfastly rehabbing. Nothing like a back injury to fully interrupt the ways and rhythms of your life, not to mention your stride (mine is too long! hard on the back!) and backpacking style. To avoid aggravating the injury, I’m working to shed ounces from my pack base weight.

Gear: (Total Weight: ~15 lbs, including worn clothing, and ~12 lbs not including worn clothing, shoes, and poles)
Backpack (Total Weight: 16.2 oz (1 lb))
ZPacks ArcBlast              15.9 oz
Shoulder strap pouch      0.3 oz

Tent and sleeping (Total Weight: 59.75 oz (3.73 lbs))
ZPacks Hexamid Solo Tent            16 oz
(inlcuding beak, groundsheet,
guylines, and stakes)
GoLite Adrenaline 3-Season down mummy bag       35 oz
Sil nylon stuff sack 8L  0.75 oz
ThermaRest Neo Air short inflatable sleeping pad    8 oz

Cooking and hydration (Total Weight: 18 oz (1.13 lbs))
Pop can stove (homemade, from PCT and GDMBR!)  0.4 oz
Pot stand made from bent coat hanger  0.8 oz
Wind screen  0.8 oz
Plastic water bottle for fuel (Heet, purchased in gas stations)
Pot scraper  0.7 oz
Lighter  0.8 oz
SnowPeak Trek 900 Titanium cookpot          5.5 oz
SnowPeak Titanium Spork                                0.6 oz
(I’m starting with it but will almost
certainly lose it along the way and
end up eat with a stick)
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter         3.5 oz
Platypus Water Bottle 2L                1.3 oz
Cuben Fiber Food Bag (12L capacity)  1.4 oz
Bear bagging kit: cord and carabiner   1.2 oz
Tiny Swiss Army knife   0.75 oz
Can opener  0.25 oz

Clothing (Total Weight: 54.15 oz (3.38 lbs) including worn clothing, 43.15 oz (2.7 lbs) not including base worn clothing layer)
Running shorts (old Patagonia)    2.1 oz
Sun shirt (men’s button down shirt)  5.6 oz
Sports Bra by Patagonia  1.75 oz
Underwear (3 pairs: 1.2 oz, .75 oz, .55 oz resp)   2.6 oz
Socks (3 pairs of Smartwool PhD low top running socks, 1 oz each pair)  3 oz
Warm socks for camp
Long underwear bottoms by Smartwool  6.7 oz
Long underwear top  7 0z
Wind shirt (homemade)  2.4 oz
Ghost Whisperer down jacket by Mountain Hardware    6 oz
Rain jacket by OR  7.3 oz
Rain pants by GoLite    7oz
Warm hat  1.5 oz
8 L sil nylon stuff sack by Sea To Summit  1.2 oz

Cleaning (Total Weight: 7.5 oz (0.47 lbs))
Toothbrush, floss, small bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid soap,
toothpaste, Diva Cup, Lightload Towel, small loofah pad, all in
small stuff sack                                    7.5 oz

Electronics (Total Weight: 28.7 oz (1.8 lbs))
iPhone 5 with LifeProof Case  5.1 oz
Garmin eTrex 20 GPS  5.4 oz
Sansadisk Clip Zip mp3 player plus headphones  1.4 oz
Panasonic Lumix Camera (DMC-FS15)  5 oz
Two-port wall plug for charging iPhone and Sansadisk, plus two usb cables (1.4 oz for the cables)
Camera battery wall charger   1.9 oz
Suntactics S5 Solar Charger  8.5 oz

Odds and Ends (Total Weight: 21.35 oz (1.3 lbs))
Small bottle of sunblock  0.8 oz
Chapstick  0.3 oz
Earplugs  0.05 oz
Hand sanitizer   0.9 oz
Flashlight: Mammut S-Lite   1.7 oz
Sunglasses   1 oz
Lacrosse ball for rehab rolling    5.1 oz
Paper and pen   3 oz
Reading book (measured from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, both apropo and not at all)   8 oz
Paper maps, including LBs maps (divvied by section), DeLorme high-level view maps, guidebook, notes to myself, and other sectionally appropriate guidance, all in a ziploc
Small ziploc with cash, cards, ID  0.5 oz

Repair and First Aid (Total Weight: 4.3 oz (0.26 lbs))
Ibuprofen, small elastic bandage, some Spenco and Moleskin,
a couple bandaids, tweezers, cuben repair tape, three large
safety pins, a couple rubber bands, small stuff sack                 4.3 oz

Mobilization (Total Weight: 37.2 oz (2.32 lbs))
Brooks Cascadia Running Shoes   24 oz
Softshell low gaiters by REI  3.2 oz
Blackdiamond Ultralight Trekking Poles   10 oz

Occasional Use
Kahtoola Microspikes (like little crampons, for snowy passes in Glacier)    12 oz
GoLite Chrome Dome Umbrella (Possibly to be used in hot, arid sections)    8 oz

4 thoughts on “Gear

  1. Appreciate the comment about book weight. Tim O’Brien had some good work. Hopefully, you won’t leave things behind.

    Hope the second half of your journey goes well. I’ve enjoyed your trip reports.

  2. i would love some info on how the suntactics s5 worked for you? my fiancee and i will be out there this summer, and we are planning to use gaia gps on our phones. the issue i forsee is the gps draining phone battery relatively fast. Thoughts?

    • It worked only okay. I think you would have a hard time charging as much as you will need to if you are regularly using Gaia GPS on your phones. It’s a very powerful and useful app, but it (and the gps tech in your phone) drains the battery very quickly. The solar charger really needs optimal conditions to charge well: lots of sun, no clouds, good aspect. If it’s partly cloudy, the charger turning on and off as the clouds pass overhead can actually drain your battery if your phone is hooked up to it. For my next hike after the PNT, I ended up switching to an Anker external battery and found that worked much better for me.

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