Unpacking the Pack: Gear Guide

Unloading the Load: Equipment Overview

“He that would certainly take a trip gladly have to take a trip light.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Going over backpacking equipment is its very own subculture within the subculture that is backpacking and also treking. A fast google look for “finest backpacking equipment” will certainly net you regarding 46.5 million (yes, million) results. Numerous individuals have whole equipment areas committed to the numerous and also practically countless opportunities of one of the most dreadful inquiry in preparing for anything… suppose? This domino effect frequently brings about what walkers and also others describe as “loading your concerns” where you try to load for every single feasible circumstance that you think up.

So exactly how do you stay clear of placing every little thing yet the kitchen area sink on your back?

My Gearing Approach

I assure not to wax thoughtful below regarding equipment yet I will certainly summarize my preparation for my upcoming AT thru-hike as merely as I can. For my NoBo effort, I am going ultralight, indicating that I am intending to maintain my base weight (every one of my equipment, minus the weight of water/food/fuel) under 10 pounds.  Beginning in February indicates that I need to additionally blend in several of my winter months outdoor camping equipment. That indicates that I didn’t strike the mark specifically at below 10 pounds yet I did obtain it called in – unofficially – at 11.63 pounds. For a package that is temp-rated to -20F, I am okay with the additional 1.63 pounds of weight which mainly includes my 10F patchwork, fleece, puffy, and also baselayers… you recognize… things to see to it I don’t become a Tucker popsicle while experiencing the Smokies.

I can steam my very own viewpoint on equipment to a solitary suggestion: Minimalism indicates discovering function. If it doesn’t have at the very least one usage on the route after that it’s going house.

The “Big 3” – Rest System, Sanctuary, Knapsack

My Large 3: Mountainsmith Zerk 40, 6 Moons Style Lunar Solo, Enlightened Tools 10F Enigma + 50F Discovery, Nemo Fillo Elite Cushion, and also Therm-a-rest NeoAir X-Lite

Rest System

With my configuration, I can rest conveniently well listed below cold and also given that I normally rest on my side or belly, a patchwork and also blow up resting pad job better for me as opposed to utilizing a conventional resting bag or shut cell foam pad. Increasing up on the Enlightened Tools patchworks as opposed to getting a lining was a two fold choice: to cut a little bit of weight to get a little bit a lot more heat and also to make the overall configuration a lot more modular. Currently, when the perspiring summer season of treking via the mid-Atlantic start to leave nighttime temperatures over the mid 40’s I can utilize my 50F Discovery and also send out house the much heavier 10F Enigma as opposed to attempting to find out the number of arm or legs I need to extend beyond the patchwork during the night to remain great sufficient to rest.


For my sanctuary, I selected a solitary wall surface travelling post outdoor tents, the 6 Moons Style Lunar Solo. I’ve utilized it on a handful of overnights and also I like it. Lots of flooring room, a large vestibule for equipment, footwear, and so on. and also exceptional air flow to stay clear of or at the very least minimize condensation in the outdoor tents. I selected the travelling post choice for convenience and also speed of setup/takedown (under 2 minutes) and also for weight cost savings. The 20D cover and also 40D flooring make it tough sufficient to utilize over the whole route with or without a ground sheet like the Tyvek sheet I’m bringing as a ground sheet.


The Mountainsmith Zerk40 is my preferred bag that I’ve utilized on any kind of backpacking or treking journey. It is 40L with a significant front mesh pocket, 4 pockets on the shoulder bands – assume route running vest – and also 4 extra pockets on the sides of the bag with 2 on each side. The bigger side pockets allow sufficient for 2 1L wise canteen to suit. The pack is a roll top and also integrated with my nyoflume pack lining, maintains my equipment completely dry inside also throughout hefty rainfall. The bag includes a shock cable for the front mesh pocket and also extra bands for safeguarding a bear vault/canister to the top of the bag also if you go this path.

Remaining cozy throughout a Winter season beginning… Layers, layers, layers!

The numerous layers that will with any luck maintain me cozy and also completely dry throughout my mid-February beginning


Layering is a mix of art and also scientific research, everybody’s configuration will certainly be various, so my objectives for a strong layering system were for every little thing that I put on to be light, cozy, and also resilient. I selected the 150-weight Smartwool merino woollen baselayers since I have a tendency to run cozy, and also a 250-weight Smartwool beanie. Unless it is actually chilly I choose to trek in my cap as opposed to my beanie to ensure that the woollen beanie remains completely dry for when I remain in camp. My various other objective was to establish to ensure that I constantly have completely dry clothing at camp. In a different completely dry bag, I have an added tee and also a set of thicker socks (Darn Hard Van Grizzle Boot Padding Socks) that I’ll put on as resting socks.


The Hoka Rate Goat 5’s are my selection of route jogger for the Appalachian Path. When I was planning my shoes I initially decided on utilizing the Altra Lone Peaks yet chose versus a zero-drop footwear for the route to offer my Achilles and also ankle joints a bit even more pillow to deal with. They additionally simply really feel actually active to me. I have actually utilized my existing set for treking and also route operating and also truthfully, it seems like I simply jump along the route.

I’ve utilized no declines for running footwear a lot of my life and also have actually had concerns with Achilles injuries in the past so it looked like the ideal phone call to begin with some pillow. I’m additionally bringing my bedrock shoes along for camp footwear in the warmer months in addition to while around or at the hostel. I have actually treked in my shoes in the past yet I don’t intend on treking in them while on route.

Whatever in the kitchen area other than the sink!

My camp kitchen area also has actually a cup committed to early morning coffee in my ultralight configuration. Some points deserve the additional little weight.

When running ultralight food weight issues and also can build up rapidly. My cooking configuration is created around dried dishes or no-cook dishes throughout the day. This is additionally where you locate among minority deluxe things I prepare to cause route with me. I am an early morning coffee individual and also also in my ultralight configuration, I have actually a cup committed to that pleasant nectar of the gods that I appreciate in the early morning at camp. It’s worth its weight and afterwards some.

To plan my food and also resupplies I am utilizing the walker food 2.5 spread sheet. I’ve concentrated on foods that load one of the most calories per ounce while preserving a great equilibrium of carbs/protein/fat. The brilliant behind this spread sheet, Equipment Doubter on YouTube, has a fantastic break down on exactly how to utilize the spread sheet and also the scientific research that entered into establishing it up (the web link will certainly take you to the video clip which has a web link to the spread sheet in the summary).

Not imagined is my 2L CNOC Vecto water container that couple with my sawyer filter and also some substitute pieces/parts for the sawyer press mini.

Remaining linked and also powered up…

10,000 mAH Nitecore battery to lug me via the time in between communities.

Component of the appeal of the route for me is detaching from phones, displays, and also electronic devices generally. That being stated, I’ll be utilizing the FarOut application for navigating, paying attention to music/podcasts on my phone, and also utilizing my satellite sign to interact with friends and family while on the route. So, it won’t be completely unplugged. I don’t intend on editing and enhancing any kind of video clip while on route or taking hrs and also hrs of video while treking, so I selected a 10,000 mAH battery from Nitecore. I’ve had the ability to bill my Pixel 6 Pro totally 3 pauses one fee of the battery. I could be including a 2nd battery simply to see to it that the extra electronic devices remain billed also on longer areas in between communities.

Some probabilities and also finishes to link all of it with each other

ZPacks Dry bag for additional clothing, ZPacks UL purse, miniature Pocket knife, UL Deuce 2 Trowel, ZPacks Bear Bag with rock bag and also paracord.

Not imagined over are points like my emergency treatment package which is primarily my “anti” tablets (anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrhea, antihistamine), Leukotape for sores which I’ll twist around my travelling posts together with some duck tape, tweezers, and also a few other probabilities and also ends. It additionally includes my additionals, like my additional mini BIC lighter, and also additional batteries for my headlamp. I’m additionally cramming in a little cork sphere from Rawlogy to present those aching feet and also legs at nights. It is a high-end thing that I make sure I’ll be glad for after those lengthy days on the route.

Don’t load your concerns

It is actually very easy to obtain brought away with equipment, deluxe things, and also the countless what-if situations that can be played out while preparing for a journey as huge as a thru-hike. I really hope the ideas behind my very own equipment choices can assist others in losing some unneeded things in their very own pack. Ultralight is not everybody’s point and also those number of deluxe things in your bag could be the distinction in maintaining your peace of mind versus being unpleasant while by yourself journey. Do what jobs best for you, maintain calling in your equipment, and also at some point you’ll more than happy… till your following journey to your preferred outfitter where, if you’re like me, you’ll begin to ask on your own, “suppose…”

LighterPack Winter/Spring Configuration – https://lighterpack.com/r/tjwnmy

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Author: ZeroToHero

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