What's in my pack?
The freedom to roam
with only what you carry
PACK: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest (28oz)
I didn’t get this pack until after finishing my AT hike, but I sure wish I’d had it earlier. I absolutely love that it’s made 20 minutes from Portland, so it’s almost like having a piece of home with me on the trail. The style and small frame allows for great fit and mobility, while the hybrid cuban fiber composition is breathable and more durable than other packs. The two hip belt pockets are perfect for my phone and snacks, and there’s plenty of space in the outside pockets. In wet weather, the cuban fiber holds up well, but in a downpour, I need an extra barrier inside to protect my goods. It’s made for lighter loads, so it will wear on the straps when carrying heavier amounts of water, but HMG has a stellar warranty policy. Since the material doesn’t have much give, the only challenge is the Tetris of fitting a bear canister inside.
TENT: Tarptent ProTrail (26oz)
This tent is hands-down the best value out there. I wouldn’t consider it high-end, but this Silnylon design does the job without paying a fortune. It's been updated in recent years to include a second back pole, allowing for more room, breathability and protection from flooding. Its a 1+ person tent, but comfortably fits two non-giant humans or is roomy for one plus a dog. It’s not a stand alone tent, so it does take some tinkering to get the setup right if you aren’t in an ideal flat spot or expect rain. The ProTrail keeps me fairly dry in the rain, but the silnylon produces an expected amount of condensation in humid air, so is best in warm, dry conditions.
SLEEPING BAGS: Mountain Hardwear Ratio 45F (26oz) & Paria Outdoor Products Thermodown 15F (46oz)
I’ve been really happy with the Ratio 45 as my summer bag. It’s a fair weight for the price, and has kept me cozy for numerous distances. It dries quickly when wet and packs down into a small 10L stuff sack.
Paria had a great pricetag for a 600-fill down bag. It's incredibly comfortable and warm, with a drawstring hood and double zipper. The catch? It's heavy- weighing in at nearly 3lbs! I'm in the process of modifying it shorter to better match my 5ft frame. I'm hoping to cut down the weight and space it takes up in my pack.
SLEEPING PAD: Thermarest NeoAir XLite Size S (8oz)
This was the first expensive piece of gear I ever bought myself, and it lasted 4000+ miles of hiking and car camping before popping it’s first hole. The small size only comes to my calves, but it’s 2 inches provides amazing comfort for an exceptional night’s sleep. Despite the air mattresses light design, it’s extremely durable - even to countless paws being walked on it. For the weight and size (it packs down smaller than a Nalgene), this Thermarest can’t be beat. Best rookie purchase I ever made.
WATER FILTER: Sawyer Squeeze Mini (2oz)
The Mini is my favorite filtration system. It’s minimal, light and lives happily on top of a Smartwater bottle (shares a thread). They can fitler gallons on gallons before slowing down, and then are easy to backflush with a forceful hose or spiket. Coming in at $20-25 bucks, it’s not a big expense to replace when the flow finally slows. The regular size is bigger and faster so is more efficient for terrain where you’d want to filter a number of liters at once.
SIT PAD: 2 links of a Thermarest Z-Lite (2oz)
I picked up two links of a z-lite sleeping pad in a hiker box and it is hands down one of my favorite pieces of gear- it doesn’t even get left behind for day hikes. For many miles this little sit pad has rested my tired ass. It also can double as a hitching sign with the help of a sharpie in desperate ride situations.
TYVEK: 3.5x7 ft sheet (3oz)
Light and waterproof, a sheet of Tyvek can go a long way. It’s a multi-purpose tarp that can act as a footprint for a tent, or simple groundsheet for cowboy camping. I also throw it down like a picnic blanket for longer breaks or naps. In warm, dry climates, I can forego a tent and get by with this tarp. I waited too long before bringing Tyvek along with me on hikes.
PEN & STAMPS
TOOTHBRUSH & TOOTHPASTE
NEEDLE & THREAD