Choosing hiking gear was much more difficult and expensive than I anticipated. On weekend trips, it’s ok to get the game face on and hulk that 50lb pack filled with luxury items, because the point is to set up camp in a secluded, pristine area of nature before returning home. However, gear for long distance hiking is focused on the walking (not camping), and the walking comfort depends directly on the pack weight. So, it only goes to say the people obsessed with long hikes are even more obsessed with lightweight gear. The extreme “ultralighters” reduce the pack weight including all gear/food/water/fuel to 15-20 lbs, a weight usually seen for day hiking! Go to or read the gear lists of forums.  In the past month and a half, I’ve found it’s a world of counting weight to the tenth of an ounce using a postal scale and posting data on spreadsheets and charts. It’s cutting off half of a toothbrush handle to save an ounce. It’s choosing a lighter weight down jacket with less warmth for twice the price, or making an alcohol stove out of a Dr Pepper can and a stove stand from an aluminum roasting pan because they weigh almost nothing. It’s even buying a sewing machine to invent ways to cut weight and stay warm when it’s cold and cussing at a malfunctioning bobbin at 2:30am. It’s obsession and madness…  …and I believe when my feet hit that trail and I enjoy nature rather than lean forward under an unbearable pack, every ounce shaved will be worth it.

Here’s my Gear List:
Clothing worn: (not part of “pack weight”)

  • Cascadia Brooks 5 Trail Running Shoes
  • Smartwool hiker socks
  • Smartwool t-shirt
  • BCG sport compression shorts (anti-chafing underwear)
  • SFA Lacrosse running shorts
  • Nike wind pants (ripped out liner)
  • baseball hat & bandana
  • **Smartwool (warm, wicking & very low odor)

Extra Clothing in Bag

  • Terramar lightweight thermal silk upper (3.1oz)
  • Terramar lightweight thermal silk bottom (3.4oz)
  • extra BCG compressions shorts (2.3oz)
  • 2pr Smartwool hiker socks (6.2oz)
  • Smartwool midweight NTS longsleeve Tee (9.7oz) *rain jacket will replace this for warmth
  • Montbell UL Inner Down Jacket (7.4oz) *switched to Marmot DriClime Jacket (down get’s wet/cold) (9.6oz)
  • O2 Rain Jacket (6.4oz) *wore down at shoulders from pack straps rubbing, will bring Marmot Aegis Jacket and leave Smartwool NTS at home
  • fleece balaclava (1.6oz)
  • fleece scarf (2.4oz)
  • ear bags (0.4oz) *didn’t use them
  • DIY Warm Panel (1.5oz)
  • Polypropylene glove liners (1.3oz)
  • Fleece Thinsulate convertible mittens (4.7oz)
  • DIY Wind Shirt (3.4oz)*didn’t use it
  • Granite Gear Dry Bag (2.1oz)


  • ULA Circuit Backpack (39.2oz)
  • WM Alpine Light 20 degree sleeping bag (35oz)
  • Trash compactor bag (keep sleeping bag dry) (2.2oz)
  • Thermarest Neoair sleeping pad (regular) (13.9oz)
  • 1/8″ GG thinlight pads x2 (one over, one under neoair) (5.7oz)
  • Silk sleeping bag liner (6.3oz)
  • Cacoon ultralight pillow (3.9oz)
  • Tyvek ground cloth (cut to fit bag & gear) (6.2oz)
  • DIY Ray Jardine Tarp (from Kit rdered online) (17.6oz)
  • 14 UL Titanium tent stakes + 1 Ti “V” stake (that is also a trowel) (6oz)
  • Backcountry 700ml Ti Pot/Mug (4.1oz)
    Ti Spork (0.6oz)
  • Alcohol stove (0.4oz)
  • Aluminum stand/windscreen (0.6oz)
  • Bic lighter (0.6oz)
  • 10 Freezer Bags (quart size) (2oz)
  • 16L Granite Gear Dry Bag (for food) (2.2oz)
  • 2 Walmart Bags (to hoist food bag up in tree) (0.1oz)
  • 50 ft cord (1oz)
  • “Esquire” Swiss Army knife (0.7oz)
  • Compass/thermometer (0.7oz)
  • 4-5 Days TP in ziplock (0.2oz)
  • Canon Proshot S95 Camera (6.9oz)
  • camera charger (3oz)
  • iPhone (5.4oz)
  • iPhone charger (1.5oz)
  • AT Thru hiker book (2oz)
  • Dr. Bonner soap (1oz)
  • Bleach (water treatment) (1oz)
  • Purell Hand Sanitizer (0.9oz)
  • Fuel bottle (will carry 8oz fuel) (0.7oz)
  • nail clippers (0.8oz)
  • ear plugs (0.1oz)
  • sun screen (0.2oz)
  • toothbrush (0.3oz)
  • toothpaste (1oz)
  • 1L Plastic water bottles x2 (3oz)
  • First aid ziplock:(1.5oz)–Sudafed, Tylenol, Tylenol PM, Immodium, Benadryl,New Skin, medical tape, needle, thread, dental floss

Base Pack Weight: 234.4oz or 14.7lbs

I expect food/feul/water will add a max of around 13lbs, so I expect my total pack weight will max at 28lbs and low end 18lbs, or average around 23lbs.