When hiking long distances every ounce counts. With advances in technology, gear weight is at an all time low and will continue to drop. When choosing gear, the most important items are the big three. The big three consist of your shelter, sleeping bag / pad, and the pack itself.
For the pack I chose a 65L Osprey Atmos. At just over 4lbs the Atmos is as light as they come considering how much it can carry. When choosing the right pack for yourself make sure it’s comfortable, light, and the weight falls on your hips. My sleeping bag is the Marmot cloud-break 30, which is on the cold side for a thru hike but again I want to go as light as possible. My feet will thank me. The sleeping pad has become a must for most hikers and I chose the ever-popular Thermarest Prolite. It's self-inflating to a point, followed by three or four good puffs of air, and it gives you great protection from the cold winter ground.
For the shelter, Andy, Zoey, and I will be sharing the Triplex from ZPacks. It's an ultra-light 3-person (fits two 6 ft+ guys and a dog perfectly) tent weighing in at just 22.8 ounces. The Triplex is held up by two trekking poles and stabilized with eight guide wires.
Zoey is decked out from head to paw in new gear just for the AT. She has a new Ruffwear backpack so she can carry her food as well as her Ruffwear coat that fits nicely into its own pocket. Zoey is also sleeping in a Ruffwear sleeping bag, which is just a small pad with a zipper flag for extra warmth. (Damn, Ruffwear should have sponsored us!)
Under Zoey's sleeping bag we are giving her a little extra padding with two Thermarest Z-Seats. Z-Seats are just like a folding sleeping pad except shorter and used as seats. Seems unnecessary but they are like magic when you're sitting on logs and the damp ground for six months.
Let's let the good times roll and hit the trail! I will be writing every two weeks or so to keep y'all up to date. Be sure to stay in touch by liking HighlandFrog’s Facebook page or following on Twitter to get all the updates on posts as soon as they're published since I won't be able to share them as frequently while on the trail! So also please share these articles to help me spread the word about my cause! Thanks Friends!
I'm thru hiking the AT north bound to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. If you're interested in finding out more, and contributing to my cause, please visit my HikeFor account. Remember to follow my journey here at HighlandFrog.com and to "like" the HighlandFrog Facebook page to be notified about future articles and updates! Thanks for your support!
One step at a time.
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