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Joe’s Appalachian Trail Gear List

This is my gear list for backpacking in the South East Appalachian Mountains during the hot months of May into September. The weather is hot and humid with rain a frequent all day occurrence. This makes staying dry a real challenge. Temperatures can vary with highs over 100 and lows at night into the upper 40's. The terrain is varied over mostly maintained trails like the Appalachian Trail. ultralight gear list  
CategoryGear SelectionWeight (oz)Details
PackingGossamer Gear Gorilla Ultralight Backpack20.4Used for trips up to 7 days in length. Aluminum stays and extrat straps removed. Use a Gossamer Gear Nightlight Sleep Pad for support (weight listed below).
Gossamer Gear Pack Liner1.2Waterproof Liner
Sea to Summit XL Stuff Sack1.1Use as a food bag
OPSak (large)1.5Smellproof liner for food bag
SleepingHomemade Quilt17.5Insulated with 2.5 oz. Climashield Apex inside a Pertex Quantum and M45 Liner material. Rating is about 50 degrees.
Gossamer Gear Nightlight Sleeping Pad4.7Also doubles for pack structure
ShelterSolo Tarp9.1No idea who made this I bought it used several years ago.
MLD Serinity Shelter9.3Bug netting and ground cloth in one.
Stakes3.1A combination of 4 titanium hook stakes and a couple MSR Ground Hog Stakes
Packed ClothingFrogg Toggs Rain Gear10.3This is a M/L size which is what I usually wear in other clothing. Way big so the next set will be a size smaller. More comfortable in humid conditions than traditional rain gear. Pants are also used over hiking shorts on cool evenings.
WrightSocks1.4Ankle high socks with a built-in liner.
Columbia Omni-Dry Shirt5.8Large. Primarily used for sleeping. Hate being wet at night.
Go-Lite Shorts4.8Mediums. Used for a dry night's sleep.
Gossamer Gear Beanie1.4Keeps my balding head warm at night.
HydrationEVO Bottle1.11 Liter Water Bottle
Platypus 1 Liter Bottle0.8Collaspible Bottle for long dry stretches.
3- mini bottles for Aquamira Water Treatment0.6Two bottles to hold parts A and B. The third bottle is for premixing the two solutions a day at a time.
CookingMSR Titian Kettle4.5.9 liter pot for cooking
Homemade Esbit Stove/Pot Stand1.6Stove is designed to simmer with Esbit fuel.
Foil Wind Screen0.2Cut from a disposable pan
Bic Lighter0.3Mini
2-Mini Caribieners0.2For hanging food bag
Stuff Sack w/ 50' Aborist Cord0.9Storage for Cooking Gear as well as a throw sack.
Spoon0.3Titanium
Small EssentialsRepair Kit1.3Small knife, tape, needle and thread
First Aid Kit2.7Bandaids, Gloves, Ointments, Medications
Blister Kit1.5Betadine Pads, Mole Skin, Leukotape, Body Glide Cream
Hygiene Kit2.1Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss, Chap Stick
Petzl E-Light0.7
Compass1.4
TP Bag1TP plus baggie to pack out used paper
Bandanna1.7Used for various task
iPhone4.9Used for pictures and blogging from the trail
SPOT Locator4.10
Mophie Charging Block5.1Backup battery and cable for phon. Provides 2+ full charges.
Total Base Weight8.04
  Article by Joe Jacarusos

11 Responses to Joe’s Appalachian Trail Gear List

  1. Daryn December 22, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    Nice list! I was always curious if anyone out there had used Frogtogs and what they thought about them. I bought mine for $15 and thought they were a pretty good deal for the price. Seems there are lots of options that are lighter especially if you MYOG with people making stuff out of cuben fiber and silnylon, but for someone like myself who isn’t there yet, I thought the Frogtogs fit the bill. Thoughts?

    • EZ Hiker December 26, 2014 at 6:43 am #

      Daryn, I started using Frogtogs last spring. After years of wearing jackets that seemed to wet out after just a year or two of wear, I decided to give them a try. I find the sizing to be off a little and mine are too large. However I find the jacket works well at keeping me dry while hiking. Heck, this one is almost lonf enough to be a skirt. As for pants, I rearly wear any rain pants while hiking unless I need one more layer from the cold. I just completed a Wilderness First Responder course and another thru-hiker and I were commenting we worn rain pants on the course more than we did the whole AT.

      As for durability, I really don’t expect to get more than a year or two out of them. I already have patched one or two spots with duct tape. But when you consider they are only about $20.00 a set, I think I can afford to trade them out as needed.

  2. Call Me Ishmael December 23, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Frogg Toggs’ DriDucks are a little lighter, although the outer coating is a little more fragile. If you just want a rain jacket (no pants, or will be using a rain kilt), the O2 Rainwear Hooded Jacket is another option. My medium is 5.9 ounces and less than $30.

  3. EZ Hiker December 26, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    I think I going to take a look at the O2 Rainwear. I’m always looking for better options. Thanks!

  4. Runbot December 26, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    What is your preferred knife? I like a Cold Steel skean dhu invert mount with Velcro on the left backpack strap.

    • EZ Hiker December 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

      That looks like a nice blade. I have not had much use for a knife of any size. I carry a small folding knife with a little pair of scissors for cutting mole skin. I’m actually looking for a new knife. I’ve about worn the one in my pack out.

  5. samh December 26, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    Now this is a real gear list here. An actual, on-the-ground, put-to-good-use gear list. Not some Internet forum troll, armchair-analyst b.s. Thanks for sharing, Joe. Keep on keepin’ that balding head warm and hiking twice as fast as backpackers half your age.

    • EZ Hiker December 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      Good to hear from you Sam. I still think about our Wind River Trip. Good Times!

      • samh December 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

        An absolute highlight of mine, Joe.

  6. Jeff Hersey, AKA "Raggs" December 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    I assume you are wearing all of your heaviest clothing so your pack base weight can come in so low. Like where is the puffy, base layers, ect.

    • EZ Hiker December 26, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

      Jeff, this is my pack list for the summer months. Layers are not needed that time of the year. Even the over night temperatures rarely drop into the low 50’s. Day time temps on a cool day may be as low as the mid to upper 60’s but are usually in the upper 80’s.. On those cooler days the rain gear provires enough protection until I can crawl in the sack.

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