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 geargrams.com, 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.


Been tweaking my pack weight for the last couple of years. Everytime I come home from 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. Last year, 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.  So I look to building a clothing system that is flexible with few redundancies, and that balances minimal weight with durability.  I am also 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.

This load is designed for a late-spring/early summer in southern Vermont, where record overnight lows are 40 degrees.  The cold wx clothing I'm carrying will be sent home just as soon as I feel it's prudent.

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 shoe/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, 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 found, and work with regular socks.

The other thing that's not on this list is my Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Sleeping Pad. I don't use it for the hammock-based sleep system, but I would if I choose to sleep in a shelter or three along the way. It's another 8 oz ... In the end I'm guessing it'll be in my pack.



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