Top Menu

Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Gear List

My Continental Divide Trail (CDT) gear list is from the trials and errors on my previous long-distance hikes. When I am not hiking, my lifestyle reflects a minimalist philosophy and I incorporate this lifestyle on trail by utilizing ultralight gear. I do not require a great deal of luxury items and am happier with a more simplistic life on trail. For the Continental Divide Trail is 7.91 pounds. I have outlined all items that I will carry in my pack below.

Also, there are items I have prepared to ship along the trail should I encounter high levels of snow and colder temps as I approach the southern San Juans of Colorado. I have friends that will keep me informed of the weather conditions in that area and will ship my gear to Cuba, New Mexico or Chama, New Mexico dependent upon the weather.


For the insects such as massive mosquitoes and such, I have prepared a package that contains gear and repellant that I will use in Wyoming and Montana, which is also listed below.

CategoryGear SelectionWeight (oz)Details     
PackingGossamer Gear Gorilla20.32
Yama Mountain Gear Cuben Fiber Stuff Sack0.6Includes 2: 1 for shelter and the other for packed clothing
Trash Compactor Bag1.5
ShelterYama Mountain Gear Custom Cirriform SW Cuben12
Gossamer Gear Tite-Lite Stakes1.5six total
Sleeping Therm-a-Rest Neo Air XLite7.7
Western Mountaineering Versalite29
Packed ClothingMountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer6
Ibex Glove Liners1
ZPacks Rain Mitts1.5
Mammut Rainspeed Rain Jacket5
ZPacks Rain Skirt1.5
CW-X Compression Tights
Injinji socks- (1) pair1
Alpaca socks (1) pair1for sleeping
Outdoor Research Transcendent Beanie1
HydrationSmartWater 2 - 1liter Bottles
Platypus 2 - Flexible Water Bottle
Sawyer Mini1.4
FoodYama Mountain Gear Cuben Fiber Stuff Sack
Plastic Spoon0.1from a convenient store
Ziploc 2-Cup Container
Small EssentialsCamp-USA sack
0.1First aid sack
First Aid Kit*2.9see below for full list
Dental Floss0.1
Deejo Naked Knife0.5
Deuce of Spades Trowel
Black Diamond Ion Headlamp1
Jonathen Ley's CDT Maps2.8Maps w/data pages in ziploc
Banana Boat Sunscreen0.4SPF30
Apple iPhone 6 + charger
4.5Loaded with CDT app. Used as my camera.
External Battery
Montbell UL Trekking Umbrella5.5
Total base weight (oz)Not Including worn items or consumables126.82
Total base weight (lbs)Not Including worn items or consumables7.91
Occasional Gear
Lint & Justa Bug Netting1.5Wear in Wyoming
Mosquito & Tick Repellant2N. Colorado/Wyoming & Montana
Kahtoola Micro Spikes13.7Depends on Snow & Ice in San Juans
Camp-USA Ice Axe7.2Depends on Snow & Ice in San Juans
Ice Breaker Long Base Layer5.8Depends on Snow & Ice in San Juans
The North Face Pants6.5Depends on Snow & Ice in San Juans
Soto Stove2.2Depends on Snow & Ice in San Juans
Evernew Cookpot1.9Depends on Snow & Ice in San Juans
Fuel Canister6Depends on Snow & Ice in San Juans

First Aid Kit

Ibuprofen, Mini Lighter, Safety Pin, Toilet Paper, Imodium, First Aid Ointment Packet, Leuko Tape, QTips, ChiroAide packet, Chapstick, Hand Sanitizer, Rubberbands for hair, Abbreva, Mini Comb, Vitamins, Hammer Seat Saver, CPR Mask, Surgical Gloves, Wilderness First Responder Card

Check out tips on how to seam seal a tent or tarp!

This gear list was contributed by former Trail Ambassador April “Bearclaw” Sylva

6 Responses to Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Gear List

  1. Chris Herrick April 28, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    are you bringing a stove?

  2. Tom Jennings April 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    Useful list, thanks. I recently thru-hiked the West Highland Way in Scotland, obviously a tiny trail compared with some of your US classics. I made a conscious effort to lighten my load as much as possible beforehand, purchasing a few new pieces of gear etc, but still found it a real challenge to keep total pack weight below 10kg once water and food were added to the mix. I think part of the problem might be that our notoriously fickle UK weather generally means carrying even in summer a wider range of clothing, on average warmer sleeping bag and more solid shelter than you guys can get away with in more settled and temperate parts of the US. Hence I carried a small one-person tent (MSR Hubba HP) on the WHW, for example, rather than risking a tarp set-up in Scottish ‘spring’ weather. I will definitely use this list and others like it as an aspirational target, though!

  3. Laura May 1, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    I would suffer the extra .6 oz and carry the sawyer as opposed to the sawyer mini. I used the mini on my thru-hike of the Colorado Trail last summer. Although it was sufficient, I found it exhausting trying to squeeze the water through the mini. I also have found it tends to clog up more quickly than the sawyer. Other thru-hikers I met (hiking either the Colorado Trail or the CDT) felt the same sentiments. Have fun!

  4. Doug McCowen May 1, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    I don’t see any food hanging or bear canister/bag items. How do you protect your food from marauding animals?

  5. Evan Ravitz May 1, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    Tom, the Continental Divide Trail goes as high as 14,278′ (over Grays Peak) and rarely gets below 9000′ in Colorado. I’ve hiked some 200 miles in Colorado and encountered 6″: hailstorms, etc. It’s hardly “temperate”!

  6. Michelle May 1, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    Do you wear the same underwear the whole trip? And the clothes you are wearing for sleeping as well? Don’t you get cold when they are all sweaty when you stop, or if it’s been raining? I note you don’t cook or heat water for this section, (are you just eating bars and dry goods?) nor have a cup included for when you do have stove items listed. Do you use your cookpot instead?
    Thumbs up for such minimalism, I couldn’t go this far!

Leave a Reply