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Gear


 

One of the advantages of hiking the Appalachian Trail over several years in sections is that I have been able to evolve my gear choices over time as I try different things and learn what works best for me and what does not work well.  Every hiker has likes and dislikes, and what is perfect for one may not be well suited for someone else.  That said, I am very pleased with the gear that I now use.  Here are the items that work for me . . .


 

“The Big Three”

 

Folks refer to the backpack, shelter and sleep system as the “big three.”  This refers to the fact that these items are traditionally the largest and heaviest parts of the system that backpackers carry (excluding food and water).  I have had a lot of changes in my “big three” over the past 15 years.  As best I can recall, I have used seven different backpacks, two different tents, four different hammocks, two sleeping bags, three underquilts, three top quilts, and three different tarps.


Here are my current top choice “big three” items . . . 

Backpack, Gossamer Gear Mariposa

http://gossamergear.com/


Hammock, Warbonnet Outdoors Blackbird Double 1.0

http://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com/


Tarp, Hyperlite Mountain Gear Hammock Tarp

http://www.hyperlitemountaingear.com/


Quilts, Underquilt & Top Quilt (combination varies based on expected temperatures)

http://www.jacksrbetter.com/

JRB Nest

JRB No Sniveler

JRB Greylock Polar

* Also Speer Top Quilt http://www.tttrailgear.com/



Other gear items that I use . . .

Trail Guide, “The A.T. Guide” by David Miller
http://www.theatguide.com

Trekking Poles, Pacer Poles, carbon

http://www.pacerpole.com/


Water Purification

Because the weight penalty is minimal (under 3 oz) and water is vital, I carry two water purification systems.
Sawyer Squeeze or Sawyer Mini

http://sawyer.com/

and

AquaMira water treatment drops

http://www.aquamira.com/


 

Cooking System

Caldera Kitchen

http://www.antigravitygear.com/

I almost exclusively utilize the freezer bag cooking method.  For information see http://www.freezerbagcooking.com and the book, “Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple” by Sarah Kirkconnell

Light (Headlamp)

Black Diamond Spot headlamp

http://blackdiamondequipment.com/


Rain Protection

Golite Chrome Dome Umbrella

http://www.golite.com/


Dri Ducks Rainsuit

https://www.froggtoggsraingear.com/


Brawny Gear Ultralight Gaiters

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/brawny_ultralight_gaiters.html#.UwWEHfldWJg (presently unavailable)


DIY Rain Wrap

Homemade version similar to the rain wrap by Etowah Outfitters available at

http://www.etowahoutfittersultralightbackpackinggear.com/