A large part of the preparation for a thru hike is about gear. There are a ton of resources on the internet discussing what should be worn/carried along the trail. Everyone needs to decide for themselves what is important and what can be left behind.

It’s really all about weight. Since we are either wearing or carrying everything we will need for the next X days/months (notice how I’m not committing to a distance or time), weight is important. Tent, sleeping bag, and backpack are the three essentials. Technically, everything else is optional …. Well I guess with the exception of food and water.

Since Lee and I are starting relatively early in the year, the first segment of the hike will be done in potentially cold weather. We had to take that into consideration when purchasing sleeping bags and clothing. Everything seems to be a tradeoff between weight and cost. True lightweight gear and clothes are expensive.  I’m a bit embarrassed about the amount of money I’ve spent to try to “get light”.

Long distance hikers look at everything in terms of ounces. I have cataloged each piece of gear that will be on my back.   My current “base weight” is 26 lbs. 2.3 oz. I’d really like to get that down a bit as food and water will add around 12 pounds. I think that’s too much for a weakling like me to carry up and down the mountains. Below is a picture of nearly everything I’m carrying except for food.

Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.
Frank Herbert



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