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Backpacking Gear for the Appalachian Trail Food List for the Appalachian Trail

Note: Since this is my third thru-hike, a lot of the gear I have listed below have nothing in terms of cost (to me).

Gear I use
Where Purchased
Additional Info

General Appalachian Trail Gear

Tent Montbell Crescent 2 Back Country Gear
My choice of the Crescent 2 tent was based on three reasons: 1. I wanted extra space that a two person tent will provide. 2. I wanted something light and under 3lbs. And, 3. A two person tent gives me enough room to have a roommate if I need help paying the mortgage. This one should fit my needs well by providing me protection from the rain, snow, bugs, and Sasquatch. www.backcountrygear.com
Groundsheet Tyvek
I use a small piece of Tyvek cut to the size of my tent. Tyvek provides an almost water tight seal for the tent base as well as extra insulation from the ground. Tyvek is also lighter then traditional groundsheets or plastic. I will be using the same Tyvek that traveled with me from the start of the PCT. en.wikipedia.org
Sleeping Bag North Face Chrysalis 15* Goose Down Moosejaw
The main reason I bought this bag was because it was 27% off. A goose down bag is light and has a warmth of 15* I will be switching this bag out for a lighter bag during the summer months. Most likely using my REI 35* down bag (old, but still useable during warm weather). www.thenorthface.com
Pad Z-Rest REI
I’ll be using same z-rest from PCT. I find the z-rest to be very comfortable and unlike therm-a-rests, z-rests cannot pop. It also doubles as a sign, however it currently reads “Hiker to Town” and “Hiker to PCT” hmmmmmm www.rei.com
Trekking poles Trail TO2021 Wildware Back Country
Need new tips – current poles have 5,000+ miles and still going strong! I would recommend the cheaper version without the pointless anti-shock system. www.leki.com
Backpack Granite Gear Vapor Trail Moosejaw
I used this backpack for the whole PCT and found it to be very comfortable and lightweight. The one I bought in 2006 is discontinued, however there are several similar versions that I would highly recommend. www.granitegear.com
Shoes New Balance Trail Runners New Balance
I love New Balance shoes and find them very comfortable to hike in. I have several pairs that I rotate for running and will be using one of these instead of buying new shoes for the start. Trail runners are, in my opinion, the best hiking “boots”. They are comfortable, cheaper then boots, dry faster, and are lighter. In over 5,000 of hiking I have never had a blister. I’ll be buying new pairs along the way. www.nbwebexpress.com
Headlamp Petzl Tikka REI
Slightly heaver then I like, but has good battery life and is bright. I used a smaller lighter one for the AT 2003, but used this one for the entire PCT 2006. I would replace it for a lighter version, but the one I have works well enough so no need to spend the extra $30. www.rei.com

AT Guidebooks & Maps

Guide Book Appalachian Trail Companion ATC Trail Store
There are many choices, but this is all you need. You don’t need maps. You don’t need a GPS. Just this book. And, buy from the appalachiantrail.org. Support them! www.atctrailstore.org

Clothing for Hiking & Camping

Down Sweater/ Vest/ Jacket Micro-puff vest Patagonia
I love Patagonia and all their products! Always high quality and designed well for hardcore outdoor use. The Micro-Vest is lightweight down and will add extra warmth for the first couple months of the hike. This will be mailed home in late Spring. www.patagonia.com
Long Underwear Top Equilibrium LS Bryn Mawr Running Co
I bought something similar to this a couple years ago for running. These are lightweight and very warm. www.brooksrunning.com
Long Underwear Bottom Vapor Dry 2 Tight Bryn Mawr Running Co
I bought these a couple years ago for running. These are lightweight and very warm. They will be sent home once the weather warms up in early Spring www.brooksrunning.com
Shorts REV Pacer Bryn Mawr Running Co
OK, have you noticed that I LOVE Brooks? They make outstanding clothing for running, but I have found that their products are also great for backpacking. These are the shorts I use to run in, and will be using the same shorts for this hike www.brooksrunning.com
Jacket Windstopper Tech Jacket Mountain Hardware
Bought in 2007 through a prodeal (50% off) for work. I use this jacket as my main jacket during winter. Although it is heaver (1lb 5oz) then down, I found it to be very warm and water resistant. www.mountainhardwear.com
Tank Top Equilibrium sleeveless Bryn Mawr Running Co
I like to hike sleeveless and found this tanktop to work well for running. I will be using it as my main hiking shirt. I do love Brooks! Bought in 2008 for 20% off. www.brooksrunning.com
Gaiters unknown Wildware Back Country
Gaiters are great and help keep small rocks out of your shoes, protect your socks, ankles, and legs. I found a pair similar to the one in the link to your right back in 2001 in a sale box and still use the same ones after 5,000 miles www.rei.com
Handkerchiefs (2) unknown Walmart
I carry three. One for cleaning my cooking pot. One to tie around my head for sweat. And, one more attached to my backpack to wipe off sweat and filter mucky water …mmmmm tastes like sweat! en.wikipedia.org
Ballcap Phillies hat Dicks Sporting Goods
Hey, I have to represent the Phillies and my hometown! OK, this isn’t really needed, but it’s nice to keep the sun out of the eyes. LETS GO PHILLIES! www.dickssportinggoods.com
Gloves Fleece gloves Bryn Mawr Running Co
Bought something similar in the link last year for 20% off. I like fleece because they are lightweight and very warm. However, when they get wet, it does take a while to dry. Hint: if your gloves are wet, put them in your sleeping bag at night and they will be dry in the morning. Also I cut hole in gloves near the wrist so they can be carabinerd to the outside of the backpack. I also use these glovers for running. Finally, the ones I have a handy pocket to store your car keys — ha-ha…. www.footlocker.com
Fleece Hat Fleece hat Bryn Mawr Running Co
Bought something similar in the link to your right last year for 20% off. I like fleece because they are lightweight and very warm. However, when they get wet, it does take a while to dry. Hint: if your hat is wet, put in your sleeping bag at night and they will be dry in the morning. Also I cut hole in back of the hat so it can be carabinerd to the outside of the backpack. I also use this hat for running www.altrec.com
Socks (3) Trekking Heavy Crew REI
I used three pairs of Smartwool Trekking Heavy Crew socks which lasted me the entire AT. Pretty awesome, right! I like Smartwool because its warm, durable, and not itchy like ic wool. I rotate through two pairs to hike in and keep one pair for sleeping. www.smartwool.com
Rainjacket Marmot Precip Rain Jacket Dicks Sporting Goods
This jacket lasted the whole PCT and found it to be very comfortable. It is mostly water proof, lightweight (for what it is), and warm. Bought in 2006. www.dickssportinggoods.com
Pants windpants
I don’t really use pants often. I have shorts and tights that work well when it’s cold. The pants I use are basically lightweight wind pants with the liner removed. 2oz The only time I use them is to save my legs from blackflies and mosquitoes and when I do laundry (yes, I’ve sat at a laundry mat with only these pants on while I wait for my stank to be washed out of my clothing)

Electronics on the AT

Camera Powershot 10.0 Megapixel Dig Camera Best Buy
Gotta get some good pictures and video. www.bestbuy.com
Radio ? Best Buy
Not bought yet – Need a combo FM/MP3 player that uses AAA batteries
Earphones earphones Best Buy
Use earphones that comes with radio
Charger for Phone/ Camera/ Ipod-ish mp3 Player ???? ??????

Cooking on the AT

Stove Pepsi Can Stove
I made my own stove out of two cans. It’s lasted 5,000+ miles and I would never cook with anything else. en.wikipedia.org
Cooking Pot .9 liter pot and lid
When I was 13 I found at pot and lid in the woods on an AT camping trip. It was buried in the leaves and dirt, but I took it home and cleaned it up. The link to your right is similar….but mine was free and I’ve been using the same one since I was 13. 0.9 liter pot is the perfect size to cook in and pack your pepsi can stove and cooking stand inside. www.rei.com
Cooking Fuel Heet or Denatured Alcohol Walmart
Heet (in the yellow bottle, not red!) is the perfect fuel to cook with. It burns hotter then denatured alcohol, but not as hot as the heet in the red bottle. Heet can be found at any gas station in the auto fuel section. Heet can also be transfered in any plastic coke bottle….just make sure you mark the bottle so you don’t drink out of it! www.jcwhitney.com
Stove Stand Chickenwire
I’ve made my own stand out of a small piece of chickenwire. It has to be wide enough to balance the pot on top without tipping over, but short enough to get enough O2 to the flame that comes out of the pepsi can stove. commons.wikimedia.org
Wind Screen MSR stove windscreen
Wind screens are key to keep the heat focused on your cocking pot. You can make one out of heavy duty foil or, like me, use the windscreen from an old MSR stove. See link to your right commons.wikimedia.org
Spoon Plastic cooking spoon REI
All you need is a spoon to eat with. www.rei.com


H2O Purification Polar Pure REI
This is the only thing I use to clean my water. And no, it’s not going to kill your liver … I’ve talked to several doctors and they all agree that polar pure iodine is completely safe even for 6 months of use. Filters get clogged and other H2O purification are expensive and you have to always buy new bottles. One bottle of Polar pure will easily last 6 months. The taste is a little funky, but it doesn’t bother me www.polarequipment.com
Platypus (2) 1 liter bottles REI
Great for extra H20 Storage, but can be broken down and folded www.rei.com
H2O Bottles Aquafina 1 litter Any store that sells bottled drinks
Lightweight and replaceable. Aquafina has wide openings that makes it easier to mix powdered drink mix in and fill up. en.wikipedia.org

First Aid, Health & Beauty

Duck Tape Duck Tape Any store that sells duck tape
Wrap around trekking poles for easy use and storage. Duck tape can be used for repairs and Band-Aids … among other things…. en.wikipedia.org
Pain Killers! Ibuprofen Walmart
Pain and inflammation while hiking is a given. Ibuprofen is my drug of choice. Some refer to it as “Vitamin I” en.wikipedia.org
Eye Drops 2oz bottle of eye drops Walmart
I wear contacts and sleep with them. Shhhhh, don’t tell my eye doctor! Eye drops are good to keep your eyes moist in the morning. www.walmart.com
Extra Contacts N/A 1-800-contacts
I hate that my eyes don’t work with 20/20 vision, but what can you do? Someday I’ll do the laser vision correction thing, but until then I’ll carry 3 extra pairs and have more to be mailed if needed. en.wikipedia.org
Toothbrush Toothbrush Walmart
Having teeth is great for eating and looking sexy, so of course I bring a tooth brush. I cut it in half in order to save a very small amount of weight (hey, you don’t need that long of a handle) and it fits better when packed en.wikipedia.org
Toothpaste Colgate Toothpaste Walmart
Small bottle is all that is needed. I use Colgate because, unlike Crest (P&G) they don’t test on animals en.wikipedia.org
Nail Clippers nail clippers Walmart
gotta keep well groomed! en.wikipedia.org
MultiVitamin Multi Vitamins Walmart
Great way to get vitamins while hiking – hey, we don’t have the best diet of snickers bars and poptarts! One a day works well. www.walmart.com

Extra Gear for the Appalachian Trail

Rope Parachute Cord REI
REI will cut the cord to the size you want. I use 25 feet for repairs and to make a clothes line. It’s also handy for a bear bag, but I don’t often hang my food. I normally use my food as a pillow. www.rei.com
Sandals Adidas lightweight cheap sandal
I like these. Found a pair in a hiker box at the beginning of the PCT and will be using them again for the AT. Very lightweight and better then those waldies. www.jcpenney.com
Plastic Bags Zip-loc bags
Two sizes – gallon and liter size….helps keep things organized and dry. en.wikipedia.org
Bottle of Hand Sanitizer Soapopular Walmart
small 3oz bottle. No one likes to have the shits. Great way to keep your hands clean after using the privy. www.walmart.com
Toilet Paper Toilet Paper
Much better then using leaves, snow or your finger. Make sure you pack out used TP that didn’t go into the Privy en.wikipedia.org
Lighter Lighter Walmart
Need something to light your stove or start a fire. en.wikipedia.org
Batteries AAA Batteries Walmart
Use AAA batteries for headlamp, MP3 player and camera en.wikipedia.org
Wallet Hiker Wallet
Make my own using a Zip-Loc plastic bag — ID, cash, credit cards, etc. go inside www.promopeddler.com
Pack Cover Pack Cover Wildware Back Country
I use a cheap one that I found at Wildware in Harrisburg 10 yrs. ago. Still works. Great for keeping the pack somewhat drier during liquid sunshine www.rei.com
Stuff Sacks (3) Stuff Sacks REI
1 SilNylon for clothing, 2-old sleeping bag stuff sacks for food, 1 Drybag for sleeping bag and down vest —-Great for keeping gear organized and dry www.rei.com
Watch Watch Walmart
Cheap $10 watch from Walmart. I don’t like the idea of having a watch, but it comes in handy to know about how far you’ve hiked and when things open in town. Plus the alarm is handy when you need to wake up early for some reason. I’ll use the same cheap $10 one that I bought for the PCT. I don’t use a watch in the “real world” en.wikipedia.org
Knife Knife
Found small knife while thru hiking PCT. You don’t need much of a knife while hiking – maybe 2″ blade at most. en.wikipedia.org
Pen and Paper Pen and Paper
For writing love notes … among other things …see link to your right en.wikipedia.org
Sharpie Sharpie
For making mustaches … among other things…see link to your right www.flickr.com
Carabiner Carabiner
Currently attached to backpack – good for clipping things onto outside of backpack – back on the PCT my tent slipped off the back of my backpack and I hiked 6 miles without it. I was lucky that ZackAttack found it and carried it back to me. Thanks Zack! After that I started to clip it in with a carabiner. en.wikipedia.org
Needle and Thread Needle and Thread
Use of repairs and to pop blisters … although I’ve never had a blister … but still en.wikipedia.org
Earplugs Earplugs Walmart
Have you ever heard my friend Murph snore??? … when you’re in close quarters inside a shelter you’ll want earplugs! en.wikipedia.org
Total Cost for Supplies


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