What's in my pack?
The freedom to roam
with only what you carry
Taking on a great outdoor adventure like the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trail means navigating a world of blog posts, YouTube channels, and gear lists that can make planning overwhelming. So when it is all too much? At what point does our preparation begin to infringe on the experiences we’ll have on the trail?
This season, I hiked from ‘C to Sound’: the Canadian Border in New Hampshire to the Connecticut Sound connecting thru-hikes on the Cohos and New England Trails. This was the gear I used.
It took logging nearly 3,000 miles on long-distance trails before I figured out a food routine that was somewhat cost effective, accessible and most importantly, dense in nutrients that helped build and sustain Luna’s endurance deep into a thru-hike.
What's it like to walk through the Rockies? In this bit, I'll share my experiences with resupply, weather, altitude and expectations during my hike on the CDT.
Winter is here. Plenty of snow, ice and cold temperatures to play in. When prepared, hiking in the winter (free of bugs and crowds) can be incredibly fun and rewarding. Given the nature of the challenge, winter hiking often leaves a hiker more confident and fit going into summer adventures. Here’s an extensive overview on clothing and other related gear for winter day hiking, including some examples.
The intangible benefits of having a bag like the Outback Dreamer are incredibly valuable to me. At the end of a long day of hiking, I’ll take this bag out and lay it down for Luna, helping her to establish that this would be camp for the night. It gives her routine and comfort during times when the scenery is changing each day.
For 3,000 miles I’ll be hiking through the Rockies, living with only the contents in my backpack. The Continental Divide Trail travels across diverse environments- alpine, forests, basins and deserts along the Great Divide that splits North America.
Expectations. We form them, even if we insist on trying not to. So what happens then, when winter comes? When the going gets cold, how can we readjust our expectations of what's ahead? Well, we do just that: readjust. We don't hide.
Most gear is pretty straightforward and non gender specific- tents, sleeping bags, filtration systems. But there are a few things we ladies need to think about. The things a Google search or guidebook will rarely tell us; only experience and sometimes tough learned lessons.
When we travel, by whatever means, our carried possessions become routines. They provide comfort; shared memories of the past places we’ve been. Some are out of necessity, while others we choose.