My Summer '15 AT Packing List

I used to have a hand-crafted HTML table of my gear in this page. It looked great, but it was tedious to update with every little change.* I use, which offers a simple solution for maintaining a list of all one's gear, for building lists for specific hikes, and which provides a public link one can share. Like this one:

[Click here for my current gear list]

Been tweaking my pack weight for the last couple of years. Every time I come home from hiking a section, I evaluate what I used and what I didn't, and I look for opportunities to reduce weight without breaking the bank.

I haven't made any big changes to my kit this year. Over the last few years, I switched from using a sleeping bag, to a backpacking quilt, and from tent-based shelter and sleep systems, to those built around a hammock. Those changes reduced my pack volume enough that I was able to move into a smaller, lighter pack.  Currently that's the ULA Ohm2.

I'm of the belief that there is a fundamental difference between long-distance hiking, and shorter trips in how I pack.  On short trips, I'd be comfortable with a short-range weather forecast to choose clothing and sleeping systems.  Long-distance hiking does not afford that opportunity. So I prepare for the worst conditions I expect. I look to building a clothing system that is flexible with few redundancies, and that balances minimal weight with durability.  A merino t-shirt, a fleece, a down vest and a shell, along with a beanie, wool glove-liners, and a base-layer I can wear at night, provides that flexibility.  I am more apt to carry comfort items for a good night's sleep, and what I need to keep myself clean and healthy on long hikes.  I also carry more photographic gear than most would.

This load is designed for a late-spring/early summer southbound hike, starting in southern Vermont, where record overnight lows are 40 degrees.  My current base weight is 17.75 lbs.  Cold wx clothing (categorized as such on the list) weighs just over 2 lbs, and will be sent home as soon as I feel it's prudent.  Maybe before ...  If it gets hot enough, I may send my under quilt home.

I'll be stepping out with 10 lbs of food for five days to my first resupply, and a liter of water weighing 2.6 lbs.  So my total pack weight will be just over 30 lbs.  Well within the comfort rating of the ULA Ohm2 backpack.

There are already reports of dried up water sources further south. So I'm carrying a couple of 900ml Evernew water bags to supplement my two 600ml water bottles and my 473ml Sawyer water filter squeeze bag. That's just shy of a 3.5 liter capacity. I have an additional water bag in my bounce box.

If I was starting in Georgia in March, I'd have quilts designed for 20 degrees; my Patagonia Down Sweater instead of the down vest; and my Gortex Paclite shell instead of the Alpine Houdini Jacket.

I've experimented with several variations on camp shoes/sandals. All seem to be just shy of a half pound. I didn't carry camp shoes on a 640 mile section in 2012, but I like the idea of letting my shoes air out at the end of the day; having something to wear fording streams, and having something on my feet in those less than sterile, communal showers.  I'm back to my original choice of Vivobarefoot Ultras. At 7 ozs, they're lighter than anything else I've tried, and they work with regular socks.

Feel free to ask any questions!

* Blogger's editor hated my html table, and would arbitrarily change the code rendering it unreadable, and tedious to repair.