Obligatory Gear List

I’m going backpacking for 3 months. Here’s the obligatory gear list and gear pic.

Sleeping Kit

  • Jacks ‘R’ Better Sierra Sniveller top quilt
  • Zpacks Duplex tent – The Trash Bag (it looks and sounds like a trash bag. A very expensive trash bag)
  • REI Flash Sleeping Pad
  • Sea to Summit Silk + Cloth sleeping bag liner with custom footbox modification.
  • Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Regular inflatable pillow.

Clothing

  • Giro cycling gloves
  • Outdoor Research wind and rain gloves
  • 2 pairs of Injinji toe socks. Plus 2 more pairs which will be going in my halfway box.
  • 2 pairs of Ex Officio Give-n-Go Sport Mesh boxer briefs. Plus 2 more pairs for halfway box.
  • Topo Terraventure trail running shoes, plus a pair for my halfway box.
  • Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat
  • REI Tech T-shirt, for wearing in camp
  • Some random polyester leggings I bought ages ago to serve as a base layer if need be for my legs.
  • Wilderness Technology Merino wool long sleeve base layer top
  • Columbia┬áSilver Ridge Stretch convertible pants
  • Smartwool Beanie
  • Mountain Hardwear down/synthetic puffy jacket
  • Mountain Hardwear rain shell jacket
  • Packtowl Nano

Cooking Kit

  • MSR Titan Tea Kettle
  • antigravitygear 4 cup screw lid container with cozy
  • Sawyer Squeeze water filter with bottle adapter ring
  • Snow Peak Gigapower stove with igniter
  • Water purification tablets as a backup in case my Sawyer fails.
  • Water bottles will be the ones you can get at a grocery store that come with free water. No sense spending good money on bottles that probably won’t survive anyways.

Electronics

Toiletry / First Aid

  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency blanket
  • Oral rehydration tablets
  • Ibuprofen
  • Sudafed
  • Antacid tablets
  • Floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant. I’ve been told I’ll end up throwing this out. I am going to try to find a travel size and try not to use it before I do that.
  • Condoms
  • Small nalgene with squirt bottle top for … sanitary purposes.
  • Small bar of soap

Stuff

  • length of paracord
  • compass
  • Earplugs
  • Bic ball point pen (for writing in hut logs, filling out postcards, keeping score in card games, etc)
  • Deck of Bicycle playing cards. Extremely versatile entertainment tool. I have a book of card games on my Kindle in case I get tired of Crazy Eights
  • Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
  • some duct tape wrapped around trekking poles
  • Cuben fiber patches and some gear tape
  • Needle and thread
  • Glasses, sunglasses and case for said (prescription)
  • Princeton Tec Byte headlamp
  • Passport, passport card. I probably don’t need the passport card, but it’s a backup.
  • Spare credit card
  • Wallet: credit card, debit card, insurance card, driver license, some cash
  • Hot pink mini bic lighter
  • Various stuff and dry sacks
  • Some extra ziploc bags
  • Small foam pad for sitting on

And last but not least:

The Pack

I used this pack in Japan in April last year and it was on my back for 8 trail days. The 9th trail day I had there was a day trip, so I left the main pack in my hotel room and took my day pack. To be honest, that day pack sucks for carrying any amount of load, like 3L of water, battery, kindle, and some snacks. Which is why I’m not taking it with me on this trip.

Notes

Typing this all up makes it seem like a lot, and the photo above makes it look like I have way more stuff than I can possibly fit in the bag, but the perspective on that photo is strange and makes my tent look way bigger than the pack, when in reality it’s actually rather small.

One of the things I’ve been worried about is the actual physical size of 10 days worth of food that I’ll have to carry on the Richmond section of the trail. That I wouldn’t be able to fit it all into my pack. I’m still a little worried about that, but the 2 bulkiest items in my pack, my tent and my sleeping bag, can be attached to the outside of my pack, so that frees up a whole lot of space inside the pack. The tent is a wet item to begin with, and my sleeping bag is in a dry sack, so it should be fine! If need be I can also do other shenanigans to tie stuff to the outside of my pack, but I think I’ll be fine.

The reason I have 2 pairs of headphones is because I am not sure if the EarPods will survive sweat and/or rain in the quantities I’ll be exposing it to, so I’m hedging with some “sports” headphones. The reason I don’t just use the sports headphones exclusively is because I don’t think they’re going to be very comfortable for long term usage. Headphones are going to be very important for me on the trail, as I learned in Japan. If I’m having a shitty day, I can turn on The Sprocket Podcast and it helps distract me from whatever is ailing me. Or some music. Or something else. Since I already had the Sennheisers and they weigh almost nothing, I figured I’d bring them along. The lightning to 3.5mm adapter was coming along regardless. If I need to get new headphones along the trail, I’m betting I’ll have a much easier time finding a pair that work with a 3.5mm jack than a pair that works with lightning. I’m not bringing my AirPods because it’s one more thing to keep charged, and using bluetooth on my phone for extended periods of time will consume a lot of power.

Speaking of power, I’m not really sure if that battery is going to be enough. I know the Kindle will easily be able to last the distances I’ll be covering without needing to be recharged, and the Garmin says on the 30 minute low power setting it gets 30 days of battery life, but I’m skeptical of that. The real question for me is how much power my phone is going to use. I intend to record the hike using Strava, and take a non-trivial amount of pictures. It’ll be in airplane mode most of the time, especially considering I probably won’t even have cell service most of the time. So I’m hoping I can get 2-4 days worth of usage out of a charge of my phone, and I can charge my phone 3-4 times with the battery. But we’ll see. I should be able to test most of this out with the first stretch of the trail. I may end up getting a second battery for longer stretches, or if I don’t want the extra weight, just not track with Strava. The highest priority for power is obviously the Garmin, as it’s my literal SOS button, and the second highest priority for power is the Kindle. Though I won’t have to do any field recharging of the Kindle, I’m confident of that.

The reason I have the larger, heavier USB power brick is because the smaller, lighter one I have will charge 2 devices, but only one at full speed. If a second device is plugged in, they both go down to half speed. Since I may only have passing access to electricity at times, I wanted to make sure I could charge things as quickly as possible. If I can get a bunch of power into my phone and the battery, that should hold me over. The weight difference between the adaptors I have is not that much, so I’m willing to make that sacrifice.

The deodorant situation. My friend who has done the AT, the PCT, and various other outdoor adventures, the one who is lending me her Garmin, tells me I need to get used to not being clean. And that I’m going to get stinky. And that I’ll end up throwing that deodorant out as dead weight. I am pretty self conscious about body odors and such, which actually was hard for me in Japan, the thought of not putting deodorant on in the morning after doing a bit of cleaning up, even if it is just splashing in a river or lake… I can’t fathom it. But I’m going to try to find a travel size deodorant and then try not using it. If I get comfortable not using deodorant, I’ll pitch it. If not, I’ll pack a travel deodorant in my food drops and swap it out as I go ­čÖé

I still need to pick up some cheap flip flops for use in camp. I’ve been keeping an eye out for some but haven’t gotten any yet.

Fortunately I don’t need to carry a bear canister or such in NZ as there are no bears in the wild there. Lots of rodents, though, so I will definitely be keeping my food in my tent or hanging it up inside the hut to try to stave off critters.

While I’ve done a lot of work to put together trail notes and maps, I wanted to bring a compass and maps to use as a backup in case my phone dies or whatever. Of course, I’ve never used a compass and map before, so I figured I should get some practice with it. Then I realized I should just make it my primary navigation tool, using my phone as the backup, and the gps as the backup backup. I am well versed in using phone maps for navigation purposes, so I don’t really need the practice there!