Gear: The love / hate relationship (by Snorlax)


Gear: you love to have it, you hate to carry it.

Hiking the Appalachian trail is an amazing experience.  The experience extracts every emotion imaginable from you.  I had the best time of my life, some of the worst individual days of my life, the hardest days, the most spiritual days, the party days, the feeling invincible days, the physically hurt, emotionally hurt, overworked, etc.    I also had the best time of my life!

At the beginning of such a long distance hike, I believe that everyone is what trail friend Merlin and I would refer to as a yuppie.  Yuppies know that to be a real hiker, you need the best gear available on the market.  The more gadgets, the better (but they have to be “ultralight”)

I started as a yuppie.  I had a good idea of what I was doing, sure; though I carried way too much junk, and I wasn’t attuned with nature.  After hiking for a while (a loooong time to most), you become so attuned that you can literally smell deodorants / laundry soap from possibly miles away.  You hear things that are out of place (like other humans) in the forest.  You drift further from consumerism and become more comfortable in the woods.  You can then really better determine what gear is important to you or not.

Basically, the point is: don’t stress about the gear.  Quality gear is great (light, durable, etc.), but you can get by with anything.  Mental focus and determination is, no doubt, what is really critical.  With that being said, lets geek out.


I picked the Osprey Atmos AG @ 65 liter capacity for my foundation.  While it’s not ultralight, it is basically a balance of all qualities.  It is still quite light, but extremely durable with good suspension for heavier loads.  I like to have this piece of mind when I want to carry out extras such as beer, hotdogs, or other heavy foods and treats.  The beauty of the pack is that the lid comes off which slims it right down.  I rocked it this way for the hot summer time months.


I carried the MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent, and while we went through 3, I’m still a huge fan.  Sleeping without the fly is fantastic when possible.


The Thermarest NeoAir Xlite is super expensive, super light, and super comfortable.  Aside from having a hole in it my first day on the trip, a quick repair and it is still like new (aside from some stank).  There really is a benefit to having a foam pad (using it near a fire, etc, but the air pad really is comfortable to sleep on every night.)

I started with the USGI green patrol sleeping bag.  My sleeping bag probably changed the most out of any of my gear.  The patrol bag is very light, but also not very warm.  I picked up a Thermarest liner as well.  The liner helped, but I was still pretty cold some nights.  Summer time was ditch the sleeping bag and go with light blankets.  Once I got back to Maine, I picked up my 4lb winter sleeping bag.  It was worth the weight to me at that point, and after all those miles thru hikers are machines (myself included).  We carried whatever we wanted at the end.  40lbs was nothing (not really, but quite manageable still).  If I were to do it again, I think that I would have sprung for an ultralight down bag rated around 20 degrees.  Musicbox did that and it was quite nice even in summer to sleep on top of the bag in a liner.

WIN_20170708_15_39_53_Pro (2)

I think that I invested about 15 bucks in my stove system and I’m still very happy with it.  I used a pocket rocket type clone from Amazon (Etekcity) the whole trip.  The piezo igniter broke, but I just pulled it off and started using a lighter (just like the MSR).  The stove and a can of gas fit just right in my Walmart aluminum grease pot.  This was my pot / pan / cup / you get the point.  I started with a sponge which makes me chuckle now because it turns out that moss (thanks Solace) or sand and water makes the perfect cleaner.  I also used a long handled (to reach down into the pot or food bags) titanium spork.


I carried a Mora robust knife as well as a Leatherman Squirt PS4 multi-tool.  The multi-tool had everything I needed for my vape, hygiene, first aid, etc.  The Mora is my go-to for food-prep, wood carving, fire prep (including batoning w/ no problem).  I think that the Leatherman was probably overkill and I could have used a Swiss Army Classic, but they are both very light.

Gear changes during the weather when you really want to go as light as you can.  Dropping my sleeping bag and heavy clothes when it was HOTTTT in PA saved POUNDS on my back for a few months.  This also allowed me to ditch the lid or “brain” of my pack because I had more space inside for the time being.  Early on, I also made other changes.  Stuff sacks were gone quickly.  Trash bags are actually waterproof, disposable, and work for tons of things.  Insulation layers definitely change throughout the seasons.  You can obviously opt to not switch anything at all throughout the trip (many thru hikers don’t), but for myself, I already carry quite a bit and being able to save a little bit of weight for hundreds of miles was very appealing.

My clothes didn’t change very much throughout the trip, but I send my wool long johns home for a while in the summer.  I also switched to a polyester tanktop from Walmart.  I ditched underwear pretty early on.  I hiked in a pair of LL Bean shorts and mostly carried a pair of REI convertible pants (didn’t use very often).  A Reebok t-shirt held up the whole trip.  Sleeping in a wool baselayer with thick wool socks felt oh so nice after a cold damp day hiking.  Darn tough socks are what I wore hiking on the the trail, and they are now the only ones that I’ll wear day to day.

I also acquired some other items along the way.  Fake Crocs from Walmart are the BOMB!  Not only fashionable (I’m obviously joking), they are super comfy and even lighter then Crocs.  I started without “camp shoes,” but now I love them.  I also picked up a battery pack for my electronics instead of my solar panel.  Solar panel technology does work these days, but the hassle and efficiency (lack of) made the decision for me.  My 10aH battery weighs quite a bit (half a pound I think), but got my mp3 player, vape, and camera through stretches throughout the mountains in between charging opportunities.

IMG_8906Kayfun Lite v2 and iStick 30w battery.  The 1.8ohm coil that I wrapped on 28 gauge wire lasted the entire trip.

Speaking of charging opportunities, I put a bit of research into this and went with a 3 port (2amp / port) charger made by Aukey from Amazon.  It is definitely a little more hefty then what most people brought, but I could charge 3 devices at full speed and then be on my way while others were charging foreeeeeeevvver.

Water filtration system: SAWYER SQUEEZE!  I changed my system up a few times.  Initially Music Box and I shared a Coghlan’s pump filter (2 microns) w/ a sawyer mini inline (.1 microns)  worked well for a little while, but soon got SLOOOOOWWWW.  We ended up getting another sawyer mini so that we each had one and ditched the Coghlans “pre filter” idea that I had been previously so proud of.  The minis were also painfully slow, so we both ended up with the original sawyer squeeze filters.  These are great, and I highly recommend them.

Final Tips:

Trekking pole tips protectors are useless and you always lose them, don’t bother.

Nalgene bottles make me laugh whereas they weigh about 8 ounces if my memory is correct.  I’m a Gatorade bottle fan, or a 1L Pepsi bottle for my Sawyer.

Hats are too hot for me.  When you are thru hiking, if you are not sweating, then you are not hiking (regardless of the temperature).  Tie a bandana on your pack somewhere for easy access to wipe sweat.

Baby wipes are the key to success. Soap, hand sanitizer, deodorant, what a joke.

Poop trowels are very handy.  Ultralight weenies like to use sticks or other makeshift implements, but I actually like to BURY my poop in accordance with LNT principles.  Rocky ground is tricky and when you gotta go, something to help out that only weighs a few ounces is well worth it.

Record video in 720p instead of 1080p to save space and battery.



The mile crushing outfit

While this post certainly didn’t include every little thing that I carried on my hike, it doesn’t need to (plus the fact that my wife is getting very impatient with my post taking over a year to complete, and if I were to specify everything it would be a novel).  Everyone carries different things.  My kit is constantly changing.  For example, I no longer carry rechargeable batteries w/ a charger for my headlamp as I’m only out for a few nights at a time these days.  Future long distance hikers: do the research, but don’t try to solve every problem.  You will learn along the way.  You will learn tricks from other hikers and from your personal experience.  If you ever have questions about gear or systems that I found to be useful on my trek then, by all means, please ask.  I enjoy talking about hiking and especially giving my opinion (the correct opinion).

Happy trails everyone!  Keep feeding that mile monster, he’s hungry.


I Mustache you A Question! Most FAQ and most Ridiculous Questions We Were Asked While Hiking the Appalachian Trail, and our ridiculous answers.

I Mustache you A Question! Most FAQ and most Ridiculous Questions We Were Asked While Hiking the Appalachian Trail, and our ridiculous answers.



Q: Where are you from?

A: Maine

Q: So you’re hiking home huh?

A:  Yeah… (insert awkward laughter as we are thinking we don’t really have a home now and Katahdin is 6 hours north of where our home was)

Q: What will you do with the dog in the Smokies?

A: Probably put her up for adoption.  (awkward stares and nodding all around)


Q: What did you do with the dog in the Smokies?

A: We actually gave her to a shelter and luckily she was still there when we finished.


Q: Why does the dog eat?

A:  (long pause- deep breath, I got to be nice on this one). Well, the same reason everyone eats. We need food to give us energy to do stuff.

Q: What kind of dog is she? 

A: part lab,  part mountain goat. 


Q:  How do you guys eat? Kill squirrels and stuff?

A: Yes. And then we dehydrate them and eat them. We try to find the fattest squirrel.

Q: What was the craziest thing you saw on the trail?

A: A fellow hiker threw their thermarest seat in the fire, while other hikers were sitting on soggy pieces of cardboard.

Q: Are you guys sisters? (To me and Game Warden)

A: (both of us look at each other confused)  no

Questioner then states, “Oh, you guys are both wearing blue so I thought you may be sisters.”

Q: Do you have a gun?

A: Not unless you’re talking about my arms, also known as guns in some cultures.


Q:  What about the bears?

A: it was a great skit done by SNL, and a well known football team.



Q: You’re doing the whole thing?!

A: That’s the plan. No one plans on picking me up. The ride to Georgia was pretty long. Probably just better to walk.  A lot more interesting this way too.

Q: Are you going to make it to Katahdin? (This was asked even in Maine, when Katahdin was less than 100 miles away)

A: That’s the goal, not just going to give up now. Ok, walked to Maine, let’s just call it good here, come back another time, even though we just spent about 6 months of hiking. I couldn’t bare another few weeks.

Q: Oh that’s a good idea,  do you the have the dog carrying your stuff too?

A: Yeah, she’s carrying all the kibble we eat.

Q: What is the Appalachian Trail?

A: (Long pause- bite tongue) Well, it’s a trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. Thousands attempt to hike it every year.


Q: Wow, 2189 miles do you think anyone has ever done it? (looking at a sign, where a bunch of thru hikers are sitting next to)

A: (hikers all look in astonishment and nod rapidly) Yes, lots. We are doing just that.


Q: What about showers?

A: What about them?


Q:When did you start?

A: End of March

Q: Whoa, so you’re behind huh?

A: Behind what?

Q: Did you tell your dog you were hiking the Appalachian Trail?

A: Yes, but I’m not sure if she understands English that well.

Q: Does sex attract bears?

A:  Only the ones who just finished reading 50 Shades of Grey.


Q:  Did you see a lot of snakes?

A: Yes. I tried using them for my Britney Spears “I’m a slave for you” impression but it failed.


Q: What made you want to hike the trail?

A: I lost a bet.

Q:  What did you have to do if you won?




Q: Any regrets, or anything you would change?

A: Maybe get a fitbit next time.










50 Liters to Freedom…Aaah What’s in the bag?! Musicbox edition

50 liters to Freedom…Aaah what’s in the bag?!

Considering we are approaching the one year anniversary of us starting our journey along the Appalachian Trail, I figured it was about time I talked a little about what I carried. Some of these pictures may be blurry because I literally took them as we were leaving the hotel rushing to the trail the day we started. 

When planning the contents of my pack, I wasn’t focusing so much on having the best, lightest, gear out there. Really, I was looking at price, weight, quality, and a little bit of aesthetics- in no particular order.  With that in mind, this blog isn’t going to tell you what’s best or worst out of everything out there. I didn’t test everything, I simply picked some items that worked best for everything I was looking for and gave them a try.


The pack.   The Osprey Aura 50 AG.  I heard good things about it, and L.L. Bean happened to carry it.  I was working a 2nd job at L.L. Bean seasonally to save extra cash and to also save on gear.

The pack itself (with a mini compass I had attached to it) weighed about 3.87 pounds .

It had what I like to call snack pockets on the lumbar/hip straps in the front. The pockets were kind of small and while I could kind of fit my hands in there, I really wanted them to be bigger to hold more food.

The brain (top of the pack) had two separate zipper pockets. It had a key ring attachment which I used to hold the “little squirt” multi tool set.  I also liked to keep my glasses, and items like a book, or journal in there.

The large opening in the pack has a flap on the top, so if you want to remove the brain, you can still cover your pack. This was an easy way to drop weight and made some people jealous because I guess not all Ospreys or even other brand name packs had this. It also had a removable divider at the bottom of the pack, and a bottom zipper. Initially I had my sleeping bag in the bottom of the pack like this. I eventually changed the system to not use the divider.  Instead, I used a big contractor bag inside the pack, then put everything in that, with no divider.

The pack has trekking pole holders. I used one of them to hold my phone. I put a laynyard on my phone case, and a carabiner on the laynyard –  and also put the phone through the top trekking pole holder loop. Worked great. 

The front mesh pocket would hold my sawyer bags, and pack cover, and often times Skye’s treats.

There are ice pick straps on the front which I didn’t use to the full potential. I did not see my pack on other hikers very frequently. I did see some using the ice pick straps, in combination of the cinch straps near the side bottle pockets holding things like their sleeping pads.

There are bottle holders on each side of the pack which my last pack did not have.  I really like the Aura for that reason, as well as the “snack” pockets.  I kept my toaks cup and often an older style Gatorade bottle on one side. I’d keep something like an Aquafina bottle and my Sawyer on the other side. The Gatorade bottle didn’t bump my arm and was easier to grab without adjusting my pack while hiking.  The smart water bottles with the sawyer on the other side were too awkward and would bump into me a lot. The Aquafina and smaller liter bottles were still somewhat uncomfortable but not as much as the smart water bottle.

The load lifters on the shoulder straps were awesome. The padding on the pack itself was great.  I didn’t get chaffing on my sides until my body weight really dropped but even then it wasn’t as bad as some other hikers.

I used a basic Walmart pack cover. 3.3 ounces. It didn’t rip until Maine and then I ended up getting the same one. Kept my pack dry when it wasn’t ripped.

Sleep system.

L.L. Bean 850 down 15 degree women’s sleeping bag.  2.02 lbs.  It ripped within the first 3 weeks of being out there. L.L. Bean did exchange it for me.  It has a pocket on the inside which I used to keep ear plugs in (I slept in a tent with Snorlax). The sleeping bag kept me warm when needed, and was so warm I sent it home eventually and didn’t get it back until the end of the trip.  It wasn’t too heavy and it was cozy.

I used a Thermarest neo air x lite women’s Sleeping pad. It weighed 12.3 ounces.  I upgraded from the thermarest foam pad to the inflatable pad the last minute.  I decided that I did not want to sleep on foam for 6 months and wanted something a little bit more comfortable.  It was sometimes annoying blowing it up after a day of hiking but not as bad as I imagined.  No issues with holes. Only downfall is that I had to blow it up, and it’s slightly noisy but not terrible.

Pillow case 1.1 ounces.  I kept my clothes in this. This was nothing fancy. Just a piece of fabric with some Velcro on the opening.

I sent home my sleeping bag in Pennsylvania. I kept my liner and also used the thermarest stellar blanket. 14 oz. It packs away into a nice pillow as well.  We tried to use the blanket together but it didn’t seem to be quite big enough for our liking so I kept it. Sean aka Snorlax got a different one he carried. 

I picked up in Erwin, TN a cocoon silk sleeping bag liner. I got this to use alone on top of my sleeping bag on warm nights. I used it in my sleeping bag on cold nights as well . Weight 1.1 ounce.

Jacket system.

Marmot precip rain jacket.  9.9 ounces.  Durable, comfortable and kept me dry. The hood could be tucked in if you didn’t want to use it. Two pockets on the sides.  It had pit zips so I could air out where it looked like I was putting two wookiees in a head lock.

L.L. Bean primaloft stowaway jacket. 9.9 ounces.  Didn’t get any holes until the end and it was from a fire ember.  Kept me warm when needed but still light.  Packed away nicely and was comfortable to use as a pillow. And as you can see above it packs away nicely in its pocket.

Columbia fleece vest. 8.8 ounces. I opted for a vest rather than a full sleeve fleece because I sweat a lot. This was great to wear at night at camp, especially if I wasn’t wearing a bra and didn’t want to show anyone my glass cutters.


Oboz waterproof sawtooth. 1 pound 11 ounces. I went through 4 pairs of these the whole trail but never switched up the style. They had great traction,  decent support, comfortable. I may go with a non-waterproof next time if I had to change anything.  My feet were having trouble staying dry in some sections and I ended up getting trench foot.  I didn’t realize until I was on the trail that Oboz actually replaces shoes for thru hikers. We bought two pairs ahead of time, Oboz replaced the last two.  It varied a lot on how many shoes everyone went through. Some people only used two pairs, where some used ten.  I loved my Oboz Sawtooth and still use them.  Plus side- they plant a tree every pair that is bought. More trees and less assholes please.

Camp shoes. I highly recommend having camp shoes. I love being able to take my shoes off at the end of the day and getting into something a little more comfortable, more breathable and sometimes smelled better.  I started with some L.L. bean Maryjane sport sneakers I got on sale. They were Quick-drying synthetic-leather upper with soft mesh for breathability. 12.1 ounces. They ended up being awkward to keep on my pack because the Maryjane straps would come unbuckled and fall off my pack. I ended up putting a hole through the back so I could hang them safely off my pack. They ended up developing a bad smell and they went fairly early on.
I ended up getting a nice pair of Astral Rosa strap sandals at trail days. About 12 ounces. They could convert from sandals to flip-flops, had good traction, dried quickly and were comfortable. I extended the wear of them through the colder months at the end by wearing my injinji toe sock liners. Astral was another awesome company which replaced my shoes when they broke.

I used a combination of low cut and mid cut darn tough socks. Each pair varied in weight from 1.3-2.4 ounces.  I carried about three pairs and still think I could have carried more and been ok with it some days.  I didn’t get any big holes in mine but they got stretched out big time. Darn tough did replace them while on the trail which is awesome. I now prefer to wear darn tough even when I’m not doing outdoor stuff. The socks aren’t tough enough to last the whole 2000 miles but  too tough to be able to make a proper sock puppet with.

I used the L.L. Bean crestas as a sleeping sock. Sooo comfortable and durable. 4.1 ounces.

I picked up some injinji toe sock liners in GA. I wore those in combination with my socks and it helped prevent blisters. As mentioned above, I ended up using them with my camp shoes and that helped keep my feet warm and comfortable at camp.


Dirty girl gaiters.  .8 ounces. Kept me from getting junk in my socks and shoes, especially on rainy days.  The fun designs made it fun to look at my feet. I didn’t get any rips in them but the hook that connects to the front of the shoe was starting to fall off so I had to stitch it up. The Velcro on one them didn’t stick on the back as well but it wasn’t a big deal.

Turtle fur head/neck wrap. 2.2 ounces.  This kept my face warm in the coldest areas. I also used it as a head band type ear warmer in the not so hot but not so cold months.  It was almost too hot to use as a headband in the warm months.  I also used it as bathing suit top or top when doing laundry.

L.L. Bean glove liners. .9 ounces. These ripped and I had to stitch them up. However, they did help keep my hands warm but weren’t too heavy.

I used them in combination with the smart wool flip mittens. Those started to rip as well but got me through the trip.

I used a smart wool merino wool blend hat. 1.9 ounces. The hat was comfortable, simple, and kept me warm but wasn’t too hot or itchy when hiking. It lasted the whole trip with no holes but it did get a little stretched out towards the end.

Trekking Poles. I used the Women’s Leki Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC Hiking Poles.  19.9 ounces. I had no issues with these until the end of the trip. They wouldn’t close and collapse down- then when they did, they would get stuck. The handles were my favorite part. I could hold them multiple ways and still be comfortable. Leki was awesome and replaced my poles for me when they did have issues. I also had no issues getting new tips on the poles once I hit the outfitter on the Pennsylvania/ New Jersey line.  I ditched the stuff sack for them early on. I highly recommend trekking poles.


L.L. Bean performance merino wool blend base layer.  4.6 ounces. These ended up being really big and not that warm.  I used them in the beginning and then the end.  I also used a cheap Walmart brand fleece pants which were warm, comfy, and durable.  They were a little heavier though, I think about 5.4 ounces.  The Walmart pants were a fun print where the L.L. Bean ones were boring.

L.L. Bean merino wool long sleeve shirt. 5.4 ounces.  I had this the whole time. It was a great sleeping shirt, camp shirt, laundry shirt. It was still breathable but kept you warm when needed. It did start ripping towards the end, and not very fun prints.

I started with a Cabela’s trail pant. 13.2 ounces.  Those ended up causing chaffing, being too big too quickly. I liked the pockets on them though. I eventually went through several different types of pants. I really enjoyed wearing a running tight/legging pant because it allowed you to be agile and even when you lost weight, they’d stay on you somewhat a little bit better.

I used a moving comfort sports bra I got from back country. 3 ounces. The straps were thick, and adjustable -so despite the constant wear and variation in my size, it fit comfortably the whole time and still supported me.  No issues and highly recommended.

I had some Exofficio bikini underwear with lace trim which lasted the whole trip..9 ounces.  I didn’t wear underwear much but this was nice to have to go swimming.

I used under armour running shorts with the built in underwear. 3.6 ounces. I did get chaffing initially so ended up picking up some spandex running/biking type shorts to wear underneath. As I got smaller, I didn’t need to wear both layers. I either wore the spandex shorts or the running shorts.  I switched to the loose running shorts when my tush started getting chaffing in the hottest months due to the spandex increasing sweat in those areas.

I wore an under armour quick dry t-shirt. I had this the whole way. It did get a hole in it but it was due to fire embers. This was comfortable, and not too hot on most days. Some days I would just hike in a bra.

In towns we would check out thirft stores for things like books or something to wear to town. I picked up a cute jumper and often wore that when I was doing laundry.  It wasn’t too heavy and it was nice to have something somewhat normal when going to dinner or something.  Pictured below you can see part of the jumper. These are my trail angel cousins in CT. 

I also later picked up a tank top by Prana. Worked great, no issues.


I used a toaks 16 ounce titanium cup for cooking and often eating out of. 1.9 ounces.  It came with a lid and cute little stuff sack which I didn’t use.  My Gatorade bottle can fit right in it as well.

I started with a collapsible sea to summit bowl. 2.9 ounces. Found it was not necessary to have a bowl and cup and sent it home.

I started with two 32 ounces Gatorade bottles for water which each weighed about 34.8 ounces full.   I ended up only using one most of the trip, and switched out the bottle my sawyer would go on.

Sean and I started the trip sharing a pump filter system, we both switched to mini sawyer water filters which weigh about 2 ounces. However, I didn’t like using the mini as it was practically like a drizzle either drinking from it or filtering to your bottle. I upgraded to the regular sawyer – which I called the big squeeze. It weighs 3 ounces oppose to 2 but totally worth the extra weight, and much faster! I didn’t get sick the whole trail either.

I also carried a platypus bladder.3.3 ounces which I used in areas where we needed to carry a lot of water, or in the summer time when I knew it was going to be super hot. I liked the convenience of just grabbing the straw while hiking and drinking.


I used a small sea to summit towel. 1.6 ounces. This was nice to clean/dry stuff and not too big. It has a nice little strap so you can hang it off your pack if wanted to let dry while hiking.

I carried Skye’s bed (our dog) which was 14 ounces. I also carried her treats, and some of her food and water which was usually around 6 lbs. Please see the blog about her gear for more details.

For a majority of the trip I had a 10 liter sea to summit foldable sink. 1.7 ounces. I used it for water (filter from that or carrying), dishes,  laundry, etc. I sent it home in Pennsylvania as it was dry and hot there.  I needed to lighten my pack and Make more room to carry Skye’s stuff and more water.

Headphones- less than an ounce. I found to be a must have. I used the ones that came with my Samsung phone the whole trip.

My eye glasses. I do not wear contacts. I did get transitional glasses so I didn’t need to carry a separate pair of sunglasses. 1.35 ounces.

Sean picked up my glass case at L.L. Bean. Just a plain plastic sunglass case. 1.5 ounces. They didn’t break or get damaged the whole trip.

Eye glass cleaning cloth 1.5 ounces.

L.L. Bean XR trail blazer headlamp,  3.1 ounces. This lasted me the whole way, was fairly bright. I really liked the adjustment on it- instead of the touch button, you could move a knob. I personally liked Sean’s headlamp better but they didn’t make that model anymore when I looked for it.  He used one of the Petzel Tikka models.

I went with one of the z pack stuff sacks for my food bag and consumables (toothpaste, toothbrush, etc). . It did rip towards the end but I repaired it with some tenacious tape. Those items weighed about 16 ounces.

Bear mace. 10.5 ounces. This went in a hiker box in NC. I ran into bears but non that were that threatening. If a bear was going to harm me, it probably would despite the mace.

Ampy move charger. 1.7 ounces. This was a kick starter purchase. It alledgadlly charged things by kinetic energy. It didn’t work. I contacted customer service about it several times with no response. I got rid of this quick. I do not recommend it.

USB chord. .4 ounces.

Lightweight Nalegne bottle with coconut oil. 17.6 ounces. The idea of having the coconut oil was for cooking, moisturizer, treatment for burns/chaffing, conditioner, extra calories. I just didn’t want to deal with the extra weight for how infrequent I used it so I sent it home. I still feel like coconut oil is a great thing to have on the trail because it’s so versatile. It just needs the right amount/packaging in a convenient way.

Small gatorade bottle with Dr. Bronners. 14.1 ounces. The idea that Dr. Bronners can safely be used for multiple things- laundry, dishes, body, brushing teeth, etc. Again, not used that frequently for the amount I was carrying. Therefore I picked up a small travel bottle  for this. Any maildrop we received with the 12 ounce bottles of Dr. Bronners, we would refill the small travel bottle and donate the rest to other hikers.

We also had a Spot gen3 GPS which was great to use for quick check ins for family when we had no cell service. 4 ounces.

Bandanas. I had one I used a “pee rag”. Instead of going through toilet paper all the time and dealing with burying that, I used the pee rag and washed it when I could.  The second bandana was tied to the strap of my pack and I used it as a sweat/snot rag.

First Aid Kit.  12 ounces.

  • The first aid kit consisted of asprin, anti diarrheal, antihistamine, ibuprofen, and tylenol  for medications.  Asprin helps thin blood, anti diarrheal for the obvious, antihistamine for allergic reactions, ibuprofen for general pain, and tylenol for fevers associated with heat stroke, concussions as less likely to increase bleeding (all were used at somepoint) .
  • Rehydration salts in an event there’s signs of dehydration (these were useful)
  • Quick clot. This was not used and sent home during the trip. This is used if you have a big wound and won’t stop bleeding.
  • Gauze and medical tape.  Useful, especially for the treatment and prevention of blisters.
  • Alcohol wipes to clean wounds and other items. These were used freqeuntly.
  • Band aids to cover cuts. These were used.
  • Anti bacterial ointment. This is helpful on a wound , as well as burn/rash/chaffing.
  • Body glide to help chaffing.
  • Cortizone cream for bug bites and rashes which is very helpful.
  • NOT PHYSICALLY CARRIED: temporary health insurance through Seven Countries. Didn’t use it but it was a great piece of mind. If we didn’t get health insurance, we probably would have needed it.

This was probably a little overkill because I have a background in the health field as well as slight case of OCD. Also, most of the time someone always had some of these things.

My average pack weight was between 24-30 pounds. Sometimes a little over or under after a resupply or heading to town.

I didn’t focus on being ultralight , I focused on being comfortable and having what I wanted/needed to make me happy. I’m not here to tell you what to get, or not to get. This was my pack.  My trip wasn’t about  what I carried,  but what I saw.