Seeing What Works for Me: AT 2023 Gear List - The Trek

2023-02-03 00:39:35 By : Ms. Doctor Tang

Gear. With the start of thru hiking season quickly approaching, gear is consistently one of the biggest topics on an aspiring thru hikers mind. “Is this going to be comfortable? Is there something more lightweight? Should I add this? What should I ditch?” are all questions circling our minds. Which makes sense; we’ll be relying on it to help get us to our final destination for six months. It’s impossible to log onto the AT Class of 2023 Facebook page and not rethink my own gear choices. (I think) I’ve nailed down my gear set up for my March start date, knowing that I’ll likely decide to swap things in my kit out once I get more miles under my (hip)belt. And you know what, that’s okay. I’m not going to stress about it. I’m going to start with what I have and adjust from there. For all my gear, I decided to wait for sales to spend more money on the larger pieces of my gear kit, while saving a few dollars on some smaller pieces.

Tent: REI Quarter Dome SL 2  Backpacking Packs

Seeing What Works for Me: AT 2023 Gear List - The Trek

I like this semi-freestanding tent because it’s easy to set up with a color-coded pole and grommet system. Is is the lightest tent on the market? No, but it doesn’t take a lot of technique to be successful and has a good weight/price/ease of setup ratio. For a footprint, I’m using a sheet of polycryo.

I chose this pack for one main reason: pockets. This pack has several pockets and zippers to help keep my things organized. I love that the hipbelt pockets are big enough to fit my phone. I’ve also added shock cord to the loops on the outside mesh so I can hang clothes to dry and my camp shoes, as well as a Bottle Rocket. The water bottle holder is honestly one of my favorite parts of my pack, making my water super accessible. A pack liner ensures everything in my pack stays dry.

While it wasn’t on my original packing list, I am going to bring a fanny pack, as it seems like it will be super convenient to have when I’m in town resupplying. This isn’t a special backpacking belt bag, it’s just one that I already had with a waterproof liner that I originally got for kayaking excursions.

The night before I left for my first section hike. I’ve learned a lot since then about about trimming down my gear list and how to better pack my backpack.

Sleep System: Thermarest Neoair Xlite and Enlightened Equipment Enigma Quilt

As a stomach and side sleeper, an inflatable sleeping pad was a must for me. I recently switched out my sleeping pad from a Sea to Summit pad to the Thermarest that everyone seems to carry. This one has a higher r-value and saves a few ounces. I bought it from REI, so if I decide I can’t stand the sound of sleeping on a bag of chips any longer, I can utilize their return policy, and have my family send me my trusty Sea to Summit. I also plan on bringing a 1/8 inch foam pad to help protect the Thermarest, make it less noisy, and add a tiny bit of warmth.

For a sleeping bag, I decided to go with an Enlightened Equipment Enigma 0 degree down quilt. As I mentioned that I am a stomach/side sleeper, the thought of being constricted in a mummy bag all night brought out a claustrophobia I didn’t know I had. I’m glad to have a polyester sleeping bag liner to keep my quilt cleaner as well as add some warmth. This isn’t the must luxurious bag liner on the market, but it’s what I have so I’m going to start with it, and can always pick up a warmer one if needed. My pilow also isn’t the fanciest brand on the market, but I think it’ll get by just fine. The final piece of gear in my sleep system is one of my “luxury” items- a cheap eye mask to cover my eyes when sleeping. While I don’t typically use this in “normal” life, I find that I fall asleep so much faster on trail when my eyes aren’t allowed to stare at the top of my tent.

Love this view in Roan

Down puffy, Carhartt, and my buff keeping me toasty at camp

Microspikes came in handy this day in Shenandoah with an ice covered trail

Microspikes came in handy this day in Shenandoah with an ice covered trail

So, that’s what’s going with me to Georgia. I’m excited to see what makes it all the way to Maine!

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Seeing What Works for Me: AT 2023 Gear List - The Trek

Water Bladder Bag Hey y'all! I am super pumped to be thru hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2023, going NOBO. I have worked in restaurant operations for most of my career, so I am looking forward to experiencing what the trail has to offer. I grew up in Delaware and currently live in Northern Virginia, so I am excited to see what's been in my backyard in a different way.