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The Thru-Hiker’s Gear List – Vol.2

The post below is a follow up to last year’s hottest post, The Thru Hiker’s Gear List. In a nutshell, it is a compilation of gear recommendations from eleven of most accomplished as well as seasoned long distance hikers in the United States; with a token Aussie thrown in for good measure.

I would love to thank each of the contributing factors for their recommendations and pictures, and hope that the content offers a helpful aid for aspiring thru-hikers, searching for trail tested gear advice from people that have walked the walk for most a year.With a collective total of more than 300,000 hiking miles (482,803 km) between them, the team is composed of 7 males and 5 females ranging in age range from twenty eight to sixty five. Though the chronological spectrum might be sizeable, all twelve backpack in an ultra-lightweight or lightweight fashion, as well as discuss an unconditional love of going out there into the wilderness, regardless of the season or maybe environment.

The Usual Suspects

Amanda “Not a Chance” Timeoni – One of the most contagiously enthusiastic hikers you will ever meet. Over the previous ten years this particular Punky Brewster look alike has hiked the PCT 4 occasions, probably the Lowest to Highest twice, Canada’s Great Divide Trail, and also conducted several routes in America’s southwest like the Grand Enchantment Trail, Northern New Mexico Loop and also the Sky Islands Traverse. Whether it be desert or mountains, cross country or perhaps trail, the female just likes hiking.

Liz “Snorkel” Thomas: Snorkel could be the backcountry equivalent of James Brown –  the hardest working female in the sport business. Author, public speaker, trail ambassador, urban rambler extraordinaire, and serial hiker of America’s long distance trails. And also what makes the long list of her of achievements a lot more great is she’s successfully done it all with a wooden leg; as anybody who went out drinking with her will attest.
Heather “Anish” Anderson:  This speedy lady is associated with America’s Triple Crown Trails. Having earlier set records on the Pacific Appalachian and Crest Trails, at time of writing (April, 2018) she’s now trying to be the very first female to hike all 3 in a calendar year.

Nancy “Why Not” Huber: After competing in ironman triathlons for several years, the indefatigable Nancy considered thru hiking in her late 50’s and proceeded to finish the triple crown, in addition to a lot of different challenging routes across the US as well as abroad (e.g. Sierra High Route, Wind River High Route, Pyrenees High Route).

John “John Z” Zahorian:  Co owner of Pa’lante Packs, triple crowner, podcaster and vlogger. At the age of twenty eight, John is probably the youngest contributor to this post. I met him during his initial thru hike (the PCT) in 2012. If memory serves, it was mid morning plus he was napping under a tree by a water supply. Nowadays he will take a lot less siestas and hikes much greater the time hours.
Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva: The Desert King. Over the previous decade DM has arguably logged more backcountry miles in America’s arid regions than anybody (e.g. Vagabond Loop, Great Basin Traverse, Sky Islands Traverse, to name only a few). Very last season I’d the pleasure of the business of his while hiking the length of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real, and also at time of writing (April, 2018), he’s creating the way north of his from Mexico to Canada via the obscure 2500 mile Desert Trail.

Andrew Skurka: Since the mid-2000’s, Skurka has pioneered multiple long distance hiking routes in North America like the Sea-to-Sea Route, Great Western Loop and also the Alaska Yukon Expedition. He’s a sought after guidebook, public speaker, plus is the writer of “The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide”, among the insightful and comprehensive most books on backpacking abilities and gear ever written.

Paul “Mags” Magnanti – I haven’t met a lot of folks much more fervent or even knowledgable about the outdoor environment than Paul Magnanti. Regardless of the distance, environment or season, Mags simply loves checking out the wilds on foot or even by skis. He’s the co-author of the Dirty and quick Hiking Guide series, as well as runs one of the more recognized hiking sites on the net,
Justin “Trauma” Lichter: Trauma is among the most accomplished hikers in the historical past. Notable among his numerous achievements are winter thru hikes of the AT and PCT, along with long distance routes in Africa, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Mexico’s Copper Canyon region. He’s also the writer of mulitiple courses on long distance hiking, like Trail Tested and also Ultralight Survival Kit.
Cam “Swami” Honan: Look at About section of the site for details.

Ok. Enough with the intros. Listed here are the thru hiking gear suggestions of all eleven hikers, together with some recommendations and tips from yours truly:


Swami’s Tips: Heavy backpacks are created to haul heavy loads. Unless you’re in education for a post thru hike profession as a porter in Nepal, opt for a bunch which is under 3 pounds (1.36 kg) and contains a carrying capability of no additional than 65 liters. That should be adequate to obtain both you and the gear of yours from Mexico to Georgia or even Canada to Maine. Something much more than that’s overkill; regardless of how amazing it might be while walking all around the aisles of your neighborhood outfitter.


Swami’s Tip: 3 items to look for when selecting your thru hiking home: one. Very light (no more than three lbs / 1.36 kg); two. Storm worthy, and; three. Meets the specific needs of yours in respect to comfort. 4 to 6 weeks is a very long time going backpacking, and also about one third of that time will probably be invested in or even under your shelter.

Sleeping Bag or Quilt

Swami’s Tip: If you will splash out large bikkies for a single thing in your backpacking package, sleeping bags (or maybe quilts) are a sensible choice. Trust me on this particular one. When you’re are freezing your you-know-what’s off at 10,000 foot in High Sierra or the Rockies during a June ice storm, you are going to be really happy you spent the additional $100 $200 over a high quality bag. In respect to choices, in case you opt to choose feather down, search for something which has a minimum of 800 fill electrical power and does not weigh over 2.5 lbs (1.13 kg).

Asleep Mat

Swami’s Tip: With regards to selecting a sleeping mat, the answer is knowing what amount of the comfort you need to be able to attain best night’s sleep. Everybody is different; simply because hiker X is able to sleep like the old on a wafer thin foamie, does not always mean that you are going to be ready to do exactly the same. In a nutshell, in case you’re those types of people who may sleep wherever on anything, save some money (and ounces) and choose a closed cellular foam mat. Should you be nearer the opposite end of the “sleeping comfort” spectrum (which many people appear to be), then you’ll most likely need an inflatable product to be able to attain best night’s rest.


Swami’s Tips: Because of the inconsistency in specific situations (i.e. foot types, package and body weights, health records, etc.) giving certain thru hiking footwear recommendations is not a simple proposition. Below are 3 general tips:

One:  Buy the shoes of yours a size too big. The foot of yours WILL swell.

Two: Of all of the things in your backpacking package, brand new shoe will be the one that you should not purchase sight unseen online. Regardless of how many hikers suggest you a particular shoe, until you attempt it on in individual, you will not know if it fits you.

Three:  Avoid footwear with waterproof liners, that cut back on a shoe’s breathability. This could result in the foot of yours to sweat too much which may in turn lead to blisters.


Swami’s Tips: Personally speaking, when temps are frequently below freezing I have a stove. Otherwise I go sans cooking. In case you’re hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, make sure to check out unstoppable restrictions before departure (i.e. During high fire danger periods alcohol stoves might be banned). If you’re interested in working stoveless backpacking, here’s a brief introduction to the hows, wherefores and whys.

H2o Purification

Swami’s Tips: All ways of warm water treatment have cons and pros. Filters are able to clog, batteries are able to fail and harsh chemicals are able to get as many as four hours to work against cryptosporidium. Having said that, each year numerous thru hikers have their journey either derailed or perhaps at the very least adversely impacted by moisture borne ailments. While I actually think that the majority of the options within the triple crown trails are okay to drink as is, there are surely a few which are not. In a nutshell, have some kind of warm water treatment and in case in doubt, treat.

Note: Good hygiene practices are of equal, or perhaps even more value than water cleaning when it comes to staying away from intestinal disorders. More hikers receive the trotskies from sharing food or perhaps not washing their hands correctly, than they do from failing to cleanse their H2O.

Insulating material Layer

Swami’s Tips: Regular season hikes of the CDT and PCT are usually a very little drier and cooler compared to the AT. Therefore, I would recommend holding a light down jacket for the former 2 hikes, along with a man-made insulation layer/s for the latter.


John Z:  Melanzana Micro Grid Hoodie
Trauma:  Montbell Plasma thousand Jacket, Montbell Plasma thousand Alpine Parka, Montbell UL Thermawrap Parka
Skurka: Montbell Superior Down Parka,  REI Quarter Zip Fleece (no greater made)
Dirtmonger:  Montbell Superior Down Parka, Patagonia R1 Hoody
Blisterfree: Montbell UL Down Inner Half Sleeve Jacket
Mags: Montbell Superior Down Parka, Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody, Montbell Frostline (winter) Swami:  Montbell Superior Down Parka, Patagonia R1 Hoody, Monbell Chameece Inner Jacket, Montbell UL Therawrap Parka, Montbell Thermawrap Vest.

External Layer

Swami’s Tips: No garment is totally waterproof provided lengthy contact with inclement conditions. Focusing on the concept that damp is much better than soaked and being comfortable instead of dry is the top priority, I usually search for rain jackets with the next features:

a. An excellent DWR (durable water repellant) finish
b. Relatively light (below ten oz)
c. Quick drying
d. Pit zips for ventilation
e. Adjustable wrist cuffs
f. Adjustable hood having a firm brim.

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