My base pack weight (minus food, water and fuel) was 13 pounds. It included quite a few luxury items (book, pillow, shorts, stuffed plush marmot at 2.7 ounces, extra maps/trail beta/souvenirs). While I could have culled a few items to go lightweight, my pack weight wasn’t a barrier that hindered our hike. Gabriel’s pack weighed in around 14 pounds and didn’t cause him problems either. When our packs felt too heavy, it was due to our food or water carries.
The detailed list of all the items I carried in my pack at some point along the trail can be found in this Google spreadsheet.
Below is a list of the gear I loved and used most often:
For Sun Protection
- Mountain Hardware Canyon Long Sleeve Shirt – Picked up in Idyllwild, CA.
- Straw sun hat – Picked up at the clothing store in Quincy, CA. Worked great for 1,000 miles then it fell apart.
- Montbell UL Windshirt – At 2.4 oz this was the perfect layer for cool morning starts or extra warmth at an afternoon break. Oh so breathable and fit in my pocket for easy access.
- Montbell UL Thermawrap Jacket – When it got chilly in the desert or in the mountains this layer did the trick. I’ve had mine for 5 years and it’s still going strong. Thank you ProMountain Sports!
- Feathered Friends Hummingbird Bag – With 20F rating, I was comfortable in this bag every night, but one. Lightweight, compact and oh so warm. It’s now my three-season go to bag.
- Outdoor Research Helium Jacket – At 5.7 oz it didn’t bother me to carry this jacket for 2700 miles. Worked well in the rains of So. Cal and in WA.
- GoLite Chrome Dome Umbrella – I snickered at Gabriel’s umbrella, but the first really wet rain in the Mojave had me requesting one of these for WA. Kept me nice and dry and minimized the drenching of the rain jacket and the pack.
- Flipflops – Picked some up in Shasta City, CA. Made my feet happy in camp, in town and it was a lot easier to get out of the tent for those late night wanderings.
- Orange plastic spoon – Never lost it even when eating in the dark, sturdy, lightweight and picked it up at the Outdoor Research store in SODO for 30 cents.
- Lunar Duo by Six Moon Designs – Our tent weighs less than 2 pounds, is enough for two people to move around without crowding, a 6’4″ man can sit up in it without hitting his head, breezy mesh lining kept good air flow and kept the insects out(!), and it has doors on both sides. We loved our tent!
- Blender bottle – We sent home our stove in OR and used Blender Bottles to rehydrate our dinners. The bottles served as our breakfast bowls and as water containers. Made our packs less bulky and dinner prep time a lot easier.
- Bug net – This kept me sane while we hiked through parts of the Sierra and Oregon. Were it not for my bug net I would have been a VERY unhappy hiker. With the mosquitoes at bay, I didn’t have to use DEET or other pesticides.
- Platypus Hydration pack – Weigh about 1 oz and I always had easy access to water and never had to fumble with bottle caps or spilling a swig. Plus, using Aquamira to treat our water meant that I never had a grimy moldy Platypus. One Platypus would last about 300 miles.
Gabriel’s favorite gear
- Long Sleeve Sahara Tech Shirt by REI
- Lunar Duo by Six Moon Designs
- Poncho by Antigravity Designs