Tag Archives: gear list

Continental Divide Trail Gear List and Food

Just over a month to go! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. Here I have compiled a list of the gear I will be taking on this trip. I have my Base weight calculated (all of your gear minus the clothes you always wear on your body and consumables such as food, water and fuel). Some items will be variable such as how many water bottles I’ll carry, depending on where I am on the trail. I’m starting with 6 just in case in the desert but will only carry 2 in Colorado and probably other northern parts of the trail.

Backpack and Water Treatment and Storage:
Pa’lante Packs Simple Pack with hipbelts about 15 oz
Sawyer squeeze 2.7 oz
6 1 liter smart water bottles 12 oz
Subtotal 29.7 oz

Sleep system:
Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis tarp tent with insect netting 13 oz
6 Aluminum tent stakes 3 oz
Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20 degree down quilt 19.4 oz
Gossamer gear airbeam air mattress 10 oz
Polycryo ground sheet 1.6 oz
Subtotal 47 oz

Clothing in Backpack:
Patagonia Men’s Capilene Midweight Crew undershirt 6.7 oz
Patagonia Men’s Capilene Midweight Bottoms 6.8 oz
Go lite down jacket 7.5 oz
Spare socks 3 oz
Enlightened Equipment Sidekick booties 1.5 oz
Outdoor Research Helium II ultralight rain jacket 6.4 oz
Subtotal 31.9 oz

Miscellaneous Items:
Petzl e+LITE Headlamp 1 oz
Sunglasses .7 oz
Toothbrush and toothpaste 1 oz
Compass .8 oz
Tiny Swiss Army knife .5 oz
Sunscreen 2 oz
Tenacious tape, sewing needle and dental floss .2 oz
Mosquito head net .7 oz
Swing Liteflex Silver Trekking Umbrella 8 oz
Subtotal 14.9 oz

Chargers 2 oz
Anker battery 15000 mwh 11 oz
Olloclip macro lens for IPhone .8 oz
Sony Cyber‑Shot DSC‑RX100 II 20.2 MP 9 oz
SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger 4 oz
Subtotal 26.8 oz

Total Base Weight: 150.3 oz or 9.39 lbs
All my gear outside of the pack
All gear inside the pack!

The size of the gear I carry has shrunk considerably since my southbound 2012 Appalachian Trail hike with Buzz Lightyear. I think I was lugging about 45 lbs in my 85 liter external frame pack when I started that hike. I had a machete, fishing pole, slingshot and tons of other useless shit. We had no idea what we were doing or what we had gotten ourselves into! By the time we got to Dalton, Massachusetts my pack was a 30 liter day hiking backpack that weighed about 25 lbs fully loaded (thanks to Tom Levardi for taking us to an outfitter)!

atA happy fool

I am one of those manics that never cooks on trail, I’m way too lazy to want to lug around extra water for cooking, then have to set up a stove, boil things and then clean out pots covered in gunk. I’ll just get warm food when I get to town in a few days. It just makes it that much better! The plus sides of this is I don’t have to worry about refueling, carrying a stove, fuel, pots/cups, or even utensils. No chores or wait time in the morning or at night and I don’t send up a beacon of scent to all the animals in the forest. “If you don’t cook then what the hell do you eat?” I eat whatever sounds tasty at that moment. I have no meals planned out, just a big bag filled with all my food. When I wake up I might eat some carnation breakfast essentials, granola bars, fruit and nuts. In the afternoon maybe chocolate, nuts, fruit, jerky, granola bars, and then the same for the evening.

I bought food enough for 9 boxes to be sent to locations along the CDT where there is either no resupply at all or very meager choices (a gas station for example). That being said, I have stuck to a lot of my usual favorites again like various granola bars, pistachios, pecans, pine nuts, jerky, candy, dried fruit, as well as lots of freeze dried fruit this time around. I found a company that sells freeze dried fruit in bulk for very cheap by accident a few months back. Its called Emergency Essentials and it is really more geared towards filling up your nuclear bunker than for hiking, but the freeze dried products are useful just the same. I have tons of freeze dried strawberries, peaches, raspberries and cinnamon apples. They weigh almost nothing but do take up a good amount of space. And don’t worry about not using them for awhile because as the bottom of one of the cans read, “best if used before May 2039.”

One of the items that I’m super excited for this time around are a variety of Salazon chocolate bars. They were created by a thru hiker and all have salt in them. The idea was that tasty chocolate could also be salted to help keep a hiker’s electrolyte levels up while at the same time eating one of  a hungry hiker’s favorite foods. They taste so freaking good.

I’ve also got a new camera this time around. Its the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 ii which is the camera Twinkle Toes and Bigfoot use on their adventures. I’ve played around with it a little bit and am stoked to use it on trail.

Less than a month to go! I can’t wait to meet other hikers and get back to doing what feels so right. Walking slowly across the varied surface of a planet and observing the other organisms that we inhabit this rock with.

Colorado Trail Thru Hike Gear List

It’s almost time for my next thru hike and I’m getting so antsy and excited I have to post something, so I’ll do a rundown of my gear list for this trail. The Colorado Trail is a 485 mile long trail from Denver to Durango, CO and has an average elevation of over 10,000 feet. This makes the trail unique among the long trails in America in that it is almost always in high mountains where environmental conditions change quickly and thunderstorms roll in like clockwork in the afternoon. The temperatures on this trail will obviously be much colder than a lower elevation hike. Even though it will be July for most of my trip, freezing temps can still occur and chilling wind and rain are always a threat. The high elevations also means there is less oxygen to breathe and I’ll need to adapt in the first few days to this difference. I also only have 21 days to hike it so I need to have a light load and walk at a fast pace to get to Durango in time get back to Denver and fly home!

Much of the gear I’m using is the same as my Arizona Trail thru hike and some of the gear is the same as my Pacific Crest Trail thru, but I also like to try out new gear to see how I like it and if it can become part of my backpacking staples. Some of the new items I’m using include a down quilt, a new air mattress, and a chrome dome umbrella.
Here is my gear list. I’ll go into detail about some items below.

Backpack and Water Treatment and Storage:
Gossamer Gear Gorilla Ultralight Backpack 28 oz
Sawyer squeeze mini 1.7 oz
2 1 liter smart water bottles 4 oz
Subtotal 33.7 oz

Sleep system
Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis tarp tent with insect netting 13 oz
6 Aluminum tent stakes 3 oz
Gossamer gear airbeam air mattress 10 oz
Gossamer Gear 1/8 inch thin lite foam pad 2.5 oz
Polycryo ground sheet 1.6 oz
Enlightened Equipment Enigma 20 degree down quilt 19.4 oz

Subtotal 49.5 oz

Clothing in Backpack
Undershirt 7.2 oz
Long johns 6.9 oz
Go lite down jacket 7.5 oz
Spare socks 3 oz

Subtotal 24.6 oz

Miscellaneous Items
Head light with batteries 2.8 oz
Sunglasses .7 oz
Small bic lighter .4 oz
Mosquito head net .7 oz
Toothbrush and toothpaste 1 oz
Emergency Poncho .5 0z
Swing Liteflex Silver Trekking Umbrella 8 oz

Subtotal 14.1 oz 

Chargers 2 oz
Anker battery 15000 mwh 11 oz
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Camera, Raynox DCR 250 Macro lens, case, battery and charger 30 oz

Subtotal 43 oz

Total Base Weight
164.9 oz or 10.3 lbs

Pack with all the gear laid out!

It all comfortably fits in the pack with plenty of room to spare for food.

This time around I decided to switch to using a down quilt after I have seen many of my friends use them and be very happy with their performance. It weighs significantly less and is much more compressible than my 15 degree sleeping bag I used on the Arizona Trail.

I’ve also swapped out a rain jacket for an umbrella mostly to see if it will really work. I have back up poncho in case it turns out to be a miserable failure. Why an umbrella? Well it weighs in at just under 8 oz, so it weighs less than my current rain jacket and does the same job. It also has many other benefits such as protection from the sun, being able to use a smartphone or camera in the rain, and being dry while at the same time ventilated, meaning not sweating to death while hiking in the rain as you would in a rain jacket.

I’m also moving back to an inflatable air mattress after using a z lite foam pad on the Arizona Trail. I found it to be much less comfortable and it did eventually get smashed down and lose some insulating power. I also will be around a lot less cacti and other spiny plants which pose a threat to the air mattress. I plan on using a plastic groundsheet when the ground is moist in concert with the 1/8 inch foam pad and gossamer gear air beam to keep warm in any condition.

I’m also once again hiking in Brooks Cascadia trail runners. This time its the model 11. We will see if they can live up to their 8 predecessor after the 10s fell apart in days.