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Gear in My Backpack for Thru-Hiking

I always see hikers list their gear online but I felt it would be far more fun to show my backpack and overall gear progression over time and this would show how a typical backpack builds over time and is frequently not a single big purchase.

I have continued to buy, test, and pass or fail my gear each year while trying to optimize for comfort but also weight and cost. As a father and husband, I can’t just decide to bust the bank-wide open on a whim and have to be able to justify the purchase before I make it.

This makes me need to research a lot more than many others may, this leads me to skip some purchases and also to note expected upgrades I plan to make once I can free up the funds, with my upgrade focus on the big three for the most weight benefit.

Planned Upgrades

Sleeping QuiltUGQ Bandit or maybe Katabatic Alsek – This is a purchase to align more with a trip on a Georgia AT section I planned for this upcoming March 2022 where the temperatures are cold and having a 950 down quilt with a 0-degree rating can make a huge difference in comfort.

TentDan Durston X-Mid DCF (Ordered and Delivery Expected June 2022)

Rain GearVertice Rain Jacket – Need to move forward from the super cheap but very fallible Frogg Toggs.

2022 Unplanned Upgrade(s)

I broke my Cascade Mountain trekking poles on Eagle Rock Loop, for Fathers Day I was able to order a pair of Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles for $100 for Fathers Day (Thanks Wife and Daughter)

Current Gear

Pack

  • Zpacks NERO (10.9 oz, 308g) – Love the MILE and I needed to find something that would work in between the MILE and bigger packs.
  • Waymark THRU (31.35 oz, 889g) – Found a deal from someone that couldn’t be passed up getting this for nearly 1/2 the new cost and it pairs amazingly with my existing MILE.
  • Dan Durston DD40 (32.6 oz, 925 g) – Has uses and fits exceedingly comfortably but still adjusting to the no-mesh outer pocket which means re-organizing my gear into stuff sacks or re-organizing what I like to keep outside.
  • Daypack Trips

Shelters

Tents

  • Dan Durston X-Mid 1P features amazing interior space with gigantic vestibules on both sides to make it feel like a 2P.
  • Dan Durston X-Mid Pro – Dyneema 2P version of the tent hasn’t shipped but is expected to start arriving in July 2022.

Hammock Setup (1.92 lbs, 30.69oz, 870g)

Hammock Underquilt (1.35 lbs, 21.59oz, 612g)

Sleeping

Hydration

I carry either a Sawyer Squeeze system with a CNOC 2L dirty water bag Smartwater bottles, or I use my Katadyn BeFree system with a 2L Hydrapak bag for dirty water with 2 Smartwater bottles for long carries.

Cookware

I cold soak nearly all the time, so I upgraded to a Vargo Bottle Pot and a titanium spork. This allows me to bring along my titanium wing and a few Esbit tablets if I really need something warm.

Zpacks Bear Bagging Kit – Super strong, simple, and effective.

First Aid – Leukotape (perfect for so many odds and ends); ibuprofen; Gold Bond Powder (chafing is real); Pepto Bismol Tablets; Carmex; chewable melatonin.

Hygiene – Dr. Bronners, Picaridin, toothbrush, toothpaste, man wipes, toilet paper, and a Deuce of Spades trowel

Clothing/Storage

I always bring a minimum of 2 pairs of darn tough socks and 2 pairs of Injinji liner socks which allow me to adjust to blisters easily dual layering as needed to cut chafing-based blisters and hot spot build-up.

Appalachian Gear Company Hoodie

Tern Hoodie from Outdoor Vitals (5.4 oz)

Satu Adventure Shorts, Dragonwool Hoodie, Ventus Active Hoodie, Loftek Adventure Jacket, Altra Shoes, buff.

Rain Gear – Six Moon Designs Umbrella, Frogg Toggs. 

Tech – iPhone 12 Max in a boring plastic shockproof case, Anker Nano, and cord for charging in town. I also carry a 10,000mAh Anker battery on the trail for recharging.

Previous Gear

2021

PackOutdoor Vitals ShadowLight 60L – Still own and love but need fewer external pockets and hence the move to a 40L pack and streamlining of gear to drop weight and space needs. Have a continual issue with the frame dropping out from the end cups that are supposed to hold it.

2020

Pack – 3F UL Gear 60L Backpack

2P TentMeir (Lanshan 2P) Trekking Pole Tent

Sleeping QuiltOneTigris Featherlite Synthetic Quilt

Sleeping PadParia Recharge XL

2019