What’s in my pack

Well, here is a classic hiker gear post. Almost everything I’ll be carrying on my upcoming hike on the Appalachian Trail. Total base weight for everything in my pack (including crocs that aren’t pictured) is 16.5 pounds. Not so bad!


What’s in my pack:

  1. Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2
  2. REI Raincoat
  3. Osprey Atmos 65, brain removed
  4. Sea to Summit Pack Cover, medium
  5. Thermarest RidgeRest
  6. Lafuma 600 45° synthetic sleeping bag
  7. Bear line and mini carabiner
  8. Petzl headlamp
  9. Wire pot stand, wind screen, lexan spoon
  10. Homemade pepsi-can alcohol stove
  11. Titanium pot
  12. Denatured alcohol in plastic soda bottle, wrapped in duct tape
  13. Silnylon stuff sack for food, bandana
  14. Platypus Big Zip 2 liter water bladder
  15. Platypus 4 liter water carrier
  16. Aquamira
  17. First aid kit, lemon eucalyptus bug spray
  18. Rain mitts from ULA (no longer available…)
  19. Mosquito net
  20. Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers)
  21. Umbrella
  22. Clothes and stuff sack: ultralight boxers for sleeping, patagonia long underwear bottoms, EMS long sleeve shirt, REI fleece camp socks, extra pair Darn Tough hiking socks
  23. Ultralight fleece hat
  24. L.L. Bean hiking poles
  25. Crocs shoes (not pictured)

What’s on my body:

  • A. REI running shorts with mesh liner
  • B. REI sleeveless shirt
  • C. Buff
  • D. Darn Tough socks
  • E. New Balance trail runners with Superfeet green insoles
  • F. Ipod mini
  • G. Hat from Monson, Maine General Store, picked up on my thru-hike in 2009!

Finally, a discussion of the only non-vegan gear that I use: Darn Tough merino wool hiking socks (As with most “technical” wool socks, these are actually a blend: 65% wool, 35% synthetic). These are the best hiking socks. They are ultra comfortable, extremely durable, and do an amazing job wicking sweat and preventing blisters. I replaced my socks once on the whole trail, some other hikers went through many more pairs of Smartwool socks. I’ve tried the synthetic version that Darn Tough makes and found them to be scratchy, moreso than I’d like. So for now, I use wool socks. Though I try to avoid all animal products, for now I’m ok with using them! One day hopefully there will be a non-animal sock available that works just as well… If you have a vegan sock recommendation that’s worked great for you, let me know!

Check back soon for updates from the trail!


18 thoughts on “What’s in my pack

  1. Your blog is so great! I was never a huge camping or hiking person when I was younger, but my fiance is very into these things, so I’m getting into them too. This led me to search for vegan ideas for camping and hiking and then I found your blog. It’s perfect! Thanks for all the great advice!

  2. I’m so happy you are still maintaining this blog. My husband and I have just started thinking about starting to train/plan for an AT trip – we want to start for a week locally and then try a short AT and then longer with the long term goal of a thru hike, he’s veg and I’m vegan so knowing other people are doing it vegan is very encoraging. Thank you.

  3. Yay for vegan backpackers! Have you tried Thorlos hiking socks? They are acrylic and made in the U.S. I hike a lot and have had the same four pairs for a couple of years. I have both the light ones for day hikes and the ones that are a step up from that for longer hikes. They maybe don’t wick as well as wool but I think they are excellent quality. They do make trekking socks too, that are a wool blend but I’ve just stuck with the other two. http://www.rei.com/search?cat=4501773&jxBrand=Thorlo&hist=cat%2C4501773%3AHiking+and+Backpacking+Socks%5EjxBrand%2CThorlo

    1. Very cool! I’ve never tried Thorlo socks. Maybe I aught to! Darn Tough also makes CoolMax synthetic socks. I tried them once years ago and didn’t like them very much and never gave synthetic socks another shot… Thanks for the tip!

    1. Hi John, I did not use the 45 degree bag for the whole hike. I started at Springer with a 10° synthetic bag from REI and I’m sooo glad I did. It was COLD in March and April in the mountains! We had one major snow storm as well. I picked up the 45° Lafuma at Trail Days in May of 2009. We were already about 100 miles or so north of Damascus, but we got a ride back for the festival.

      If you are starting in March or early April, I would definitely recommend starting out with a 10-20° bag, and then you can switch out to a warmer weather, lighter weight one, once it gets warm.

      Happy trails and thanks for reading!

  4. The Vivobarefoot Synth Hiker is a vegan, lightweight, minimalist shoe that seems to be getting good reviews. Vegan hiking boots are hard to come by so I am interested to try this one out.

  5. injinji are my favorite. Thorlos are good but bulky, if your shoes fit proper as is; these tend to make things a bit snug for me. Sanuk has a vegan hiking boot, I have not tried just seen.

  6. Thanks for this very helpful site!

    Have you tried Heat Holders? I ordered a pair for my upcoming Grand Canyon winter hike. The reviews look really good, but they are spendy socks.

    1. Good question! I didn’t make the lemon eucalyptus, it’s made by Repel. You should be able to find it in most gear stores or online. I’ve tried a lot of natural insect repellents and that one worked the best for me. I won’t use deet… As for ticks, I don’t have a specific strategy, I just checked myself regularly for them. I tried to check every night, too, especially on my legs. I got lucky and always caught them before they bit, but you never know…

      1. Thank you for replying. I don’t like deet either, I bought some natural stuff at REI reciently, but when I use that up I will likely buy the Repel. That would smell a lot nicer!

      2. Agreed! It certainly still has that bug repellent citronella tinge.. but it’s not that bad.

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