View Full Version : Gear check

07-18-2011, 08:37
I'm doing a 4 week SOBO section starting late July at Katahdin. I would appreciate some input on my gear list. The only hiking I've done in Maine is dayhiking in July a couple of years, at Baxter State Park and Mount Desert Island. Based on my prior hiking experience I expect to get to Rangeley, or at the most Andover.

I've left out rain pants as they sure didn't keep me dry or warm in the Smokies last year. Wondering if I have enough warm clothing (basically a hat, gloves, and fleece top.)

About me: 41, solo female hiker, slow but steady, bad back. Got in 1400 miles of attempted NOBO thruhike last year (also got in my third bout of Lyme disease). With other section hikes, all I have left to do is Maine and New Hampshire, and 10 miles of Vermont.

Carrying stuff:
Gregory Jade 50 women's backpack or Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus
Lightheart safety orange pack cover
trash compactor bag pack liner
formerly-waterproof Sea to Summit food bag
50' cheap nylon rope
really beat up stuffsack/rock throwing bag
really beat up hiking poles of some kind with Hello Kitty duct tape wrapped on

Shelter and sleeping:
Lightheart Awning tent
trimmed down polycryo ground sheet
8 stakes over varying sizes and weights
awning pole
NeoAir Regular (medium is a better fit but they didn't have one)
Montbell U.L. SuperStretch Down Hugger #3 (30 degree, really 40)
stuff sacks for tent and sleeping bag
8 cuphooks in case of tent platform

Camp kitchen and water treatment:
MSR Titan Kettle plus cozy, stuff sack
AntiGravity Gear alcohol stove, primer cup, windscreen, heavy foil to put stove on
small bottle for denatured alcohol
two small lighters
tiny dropper bottle of soap
tiny piece of scrubber
long handled titanium spoon
cut down woolen mitten for pot grabber
2 liter Platypus hoser bag
1 liter Gatorade bottle
Steripen Adventurer Opti
two small towels - one to filter out junk, one to dry off steripen
spare set of batteries for steripen
plastic cup from the mid 80's
2 liter AntiGravity gear water bag
1 oz sit pad

Adidas trail runners - worn
Convertible pants - worn
Long sleeved shirt UV/bug repellent shirt - worn
Dirty Girl gaiters - worn
Wright CoolMesh double layer socks - 3 pair (2 pair didn't make it well enough between washings last year, they got loose)
Moving Comfort DayLight bra -worn
Lightweight hat -worn
Bandana - worn
Rockdancer hat
Capilene 1 long sleeved shirt
Dollar General men's pajama bottoms
Wool socks - 1 pair
Powerstretch fleece top
Powerstretch gloves
Wind shirt (maybe - 3 oz)
Patagonia something or other raincoat
ULA rain wrap (rain skirt)
Crocs for camp / town shoes - no holes on sides
sarong for in town - in Monson mail drop
Stuff sack for clothes

iphone 4 verizon + headphones
3 (count 'em 3) 3g juice external batteries (1 or 2 goes home at Monson)
2 wall warts to Monson mail drop
1 phone cable and 1 other charging gadget to Monson mail drop
Nada chair Slouch!Buster (maybe - 8 oz)

Medical/Personal Care:
eye drops
ear plugs
toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
two handwarmer packets
several wet ones packets
Picaridin-based bug spray
SPF 30 sunscreen
Sea to summit mesh headnet
tiny baggies of benadryl, flexeril, ibuprofen, acid reducer, charcoal capsules, d-ribose, bile, imodium, imitrex
small unbreakable mirror
lip balm
Prep H
Arnica cream
sports tape
gauze squares
Diva cup
two knee straps
antibiotic ointment
daily vitamins & supplements
nighttime bite guard
toilet paper
fixodent due to my crown that likes to pop out

Petzl Zipka headlamp
several spare ziplocks - pint, quart, and 4x6"
ID, money, credit card
guidebook pages
sewing/repair kit
backup iodine
cheap sunglasses
reading glasses
tiny compass
small knife with scissors
spare pinch light
spare string
fannypack to hold daily snacks, etc
weightlifting gloves to save my hands on rocks, I hope


Plus, you know, whatever I've forgotten.

That's about 25-28 lb with 5 days of food and a liter of water, depending on if I use my Gossamer Gear Mariposa or my Gregory Jade 50. Unfortunately that weight will go up as my appetite increases.

07-18-2011, 10:31
Some quick observations. Overall looks like a solid gear list.

-Sit pad and nada chair? I know sit pad is only 1oz, but oz's add up.
-Awning pole? is this something you could use a treking pole for?
-If you really want to count ozs you could ditch the pot holder and just use your gloves.
-You have a 5L water capacity. I would ditch one of the 2L bags and just take 1 2L bag and the gatoraide bottle.
-Do you really need both hats?
-I am assuming the cap 1 is sleep wear, otherwise you can probably make due with just the fleece top.
-3 pairs of coolmesh socks and a pair of wool socks? would think you could ditch one.
-Buff and 2 bandana and 2 towels for steripen? You can easily trim this down some, i would take 2 bandanas and call it good.
-A personal choice, but once again you can save a little weight by using your rain jacket as a wind shirt when needed.
-spare pinch light? ditch, would rather carry extra batteries for headlamp
-spare string? ditch use bear bag line if needed for a repair etc.
-trowel? personal preference again buy i would use stick, rock, or trek pole

07-18-2011, 11:00
You pretty much have my gear list---looks good to me

07-18-2011, 11:49
Thanks for taking a look!

The nada chair is basically a heavy duty strap that goes around your back and hooks onto your knees. It doesn't have anything to sit on, it only provides lumbar support.

Both of my hiking poles will be inside my tent, acting as a support structure. The awning pole is 4 oz and a bit of a luxury. If I feel my pack is too heavy for the 100 mile wilderness it'll go into the box for Monson.

Synthetic fleece gloves will melt in the heat, the mitten won't.

One of those water bags doesn't seal - it's literally just a an open bag with a handle for carrying water up from the spring.

I can't hike in the fleece hat - way too warm! But it's nice to have something to keep the sun out of the eyes..

The wool socks are for sleeping. The coolmesh socks, I took two pair on the trail last year and by the time I'd get to town they'd have gotten so big I could feel the individual threads. They stretch a lot. So I figured I'd bring three pair.

The cap 1 is sleepwear, yes.

I am thinking about ditching the windshirt. I did last year. It's just nice on those open mountain tops.

The pinch light is lighter than new batteries for the Zipka, since it uses those little quarter sized batteries for itself. Why would you rather carry batteries than a tiny backup light?

My bear bag line is great for bear bagging, but not so great for tying things. It's this unwieldy 3/8" nylon line from Walmart. It doesn't cut through tree branches or get knotted in my backpack, and it doesn't mildew. But I would never be able to use it for a shoelace, for instance. :) I used to use the super tiny bear lines and always hurt my hands or the trees, and spent time unknotting it every day.

I tried using a bandana to filter for the steripen, and it let particulates through so I switched to using a cut down square of microfiber towel. The old steripen I had was super picky about its sensor being bone dry before you start, which was a pain in between bottles, and the reason I have a towel I try to keep mostly dry just for that. The new model may not be as bad. But I do use the towel to dry myself off too, after swimming or a rainstorm.

On hot days I'll completely soak *both* bandanas just with wiping my face. I'm having second thoughts about the buff though.. it's useful as a neck gaiter, among other things, but it shouldn't be that cold in Maine in August.

Re: the trowel. I need a remedial hole digging class. Even with a sturdy trowel sometimes I have difficulty digging a sufficiently deep hole. I have no idea how you manage with a stick or a rock. Depending where you are, they request you dig a hole up to 8"! That's kind of a deep hole to dig with a stick.

Again, thanks for the feedback.

07-20-2011, 09:26
seabrook hiker - sounds like you have plenty of miles under your belt. Just curious as to why you would like feedback on your gear. were you unhappy with any of it or just wanting a feel for temps/weather? I hit Maine at end of August and was looking for pleasant fall weather. Ran into rain and cold so i would take some cooler weather gear which it looks like you have. I had a 40 degree bag and liner and that was fine although I am a warm sleeper generally.Katadin was a bad day - wind, sleet/rain/flurries combined. Never been so cold and miserable in my life - I would have rain pants for that day but it's a matter of personal preference.

07-20-2011, 13:43
Thanks, 4shot. Yes, I'm looking for feedback on the temps/weather. It's farther north and at points higher elevation than most of last year's hike. Last year I only got as far as northern VT by mid September. I was just fine in August last year with the hat and fleece top, I just wasn't sure about Maine. Average temps look reasonable, but experience is helpful in determining if they really ARE reasonable. :)

Like I said, last year in the Smokies the rain pants kept me neither dry nor warm during severe weather. I sent them home and hiked the whole rest of the way with the rain skirt and that was fine. I do wear long pants daily on the trail to keep the bugs off. If the weather sucks on Katahdin, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be cold and wet no matter what I'm wearing. Mostly I'm wondering - do I want my down jacket? And do I want my powerstretch tights? I didn't carry either past about Pearisburg going north, and I don't want to carry them now if they're unneeded. Unless it suddenly turns rainy and cool (from the hot spell we've all been having) and stays that way, it looks like they're not needed (this year.)

Of course, I'm not super macho, so if the conditions are that bad I'll turn around and go back down and get into my sleeping bag. :)

07-20-2011, 22:57
. Mostly I'm wondering - do I want my down jacket? And do I want my powerstretch tights? I didn't carry either past about Pearisburg going north, and I don't want to carry them now if they're unneeded. Unless it suddenly turns rainy and cool (from the hot spell we've all been having) and stays that way, it looks like they're not needed (this year.)


I always had my down coat, it makes a great pillowinside a cotton sack.However, you have capilene, LS shirt, fleece top, windshirt and raincoat. I imagine those will suffice. You also have long pants plus PJ bottoms to sleep in.I would imagine that tights would not be necessary. Base layer pant are almost always to warm for me unless it's winter camping and I never wear them hiking unless temperatures are well below freezing. Everyone's different though.

Sorry to hear about the Lymes. I was diagnosed about 2 months ago, doc said from my blood work I had it for a pretty good while and was probably a souvenir from my hike last year. Fun stuff huh? When did u get off? and ur trail name?

07-21-2011, 07:37
Oh yeah, Lyme is "fun". Not. Btw there is a book you should read called "Healing Lyme" by Dr. Stephen Harrod Buhner. It explains a lot about how the disease works and suggests a course of herbs to complement the antibiotics. The antibiotics never fully healed me.

My last day on the trail was September 11 and my trail name is Mrs Joy. I kept a journal: http://www.trailjournals.com/mrsjoy . What were your starting and ending dates? I thought I met almost everybody as they passed me on the trail. :)

07-21-2011, 19:29
looked at your trail journal, we probably met somewhere near the end of may near the Dragon's tooth. in fact one of your journal entries (5/25 I believe) mentions my niece Grasshopper who did a week on the trail with me. Will look at the reference material on Lyme's. thanks.

07-21-2011, 20:42
Well, that's pretty cool 4shot!

Sassafras Lass
08-11-2011, 13:48
Do you need the Gregory Jade you've mentioned? I've got one I'm looking to sell . . . .

Sassafras Lass
08-11-2011, 13:49
Whoops . . . you've already left, never mind! :)

09-03-2011, 22:49
Now that I'm back, I have commentary on my own gear.

At the last minute I threw in compression shorts and a silk top and bottom. In Monson I sent home the silk top and my gloves. Later wished I had the gloves. I wore the silk bottoms under the PJs in camp on a cold night. I wore the compression shorts for a week to hike in after Maine ate my pants.

I think the only thing I carried the whole way and didn't use, other than remaining medical or repair supplies, was my knee straps. And given how my knees feel right now, maybe I should have worn them.

I relied on the Nada Chair more than I thought I would. It's an ache saver. At half a pound it's pretty heavy, but I used it multiple times a day.