AZT Thru-Hike 2020: Gear List

Since I’m new to thru-hiking, I spent months browsing other blogs, books and experts to put together my gear list. I don’t have weights of each item, but my base weight is just over 10 pounds. Once I’m on the trail, I’ll let you know how these items worked out for me and what I’d do differently next time.

  • Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40 Pack: This pack was at the top of several gear rating lists and was just the size I was looking for–big enough for all my necessary gear, but not so big that I would be tempted to pile in more than I really needed. I’ve taken it out on several test hikes and so far, I’m loving it.
  • Enlightened Equipment Revelation 10-degree Quilt: This bag is super lightweight, and kept me toasty on my overnight test trip … here’s hoping it stands up to cold N Arizona spring nights!
  • Thermarest Z-Lite Sol: I debated about this one for a long time. It’s not the top-rated pad out there; the NeoAir Xlite is more compact and generally has better reviews. But I hate the thought of having to blow up my sleeping pad every. single. night. and I also don’t want yet another piece of equipment to worry about getting holes from the innumerable sharp objects to be found on Arizona trails.
  • Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 tent: Hands down the highest-rated tent I found. I went w/a 2-person tent for a couple of reasons: 1) Parker will be hiking with me for about 10 days, and it didn’t make sense to buy two tents. 2) I like the idea of being able to bring everything inside with me when I’m hiking solo. 3) I think having a bit more room will make sleeping a bit more comfortable, and getting quality sleep is high on my list. Here’s hoping I’m not cursing that extra half pound by day 18!
  • Kitchen:
    1. MSR PocketRocket 2 backpacking stove: So far I’m loving this little gem–weighs only 3.5 oz (w/out fuel), boils 2+ cups of water in about 2 minutes and the entire system–including the fuel canister & boiling pot–packs into a tidy little package to stow away until dinner time. Looking forward to morning coffee, and a hot dinner each day!
    2. Lighter
    3. Matches as back-up
    4. REI Titanium long-handled spork
    5. Titanium coffee cup … morning coffee is not a luxury I’m willing to forego!
  • Electronics:
    1. iPhone 11: will function as camera, navigation / guidebook (Guthook AZT app and Gaia app), entertainment (Kindle app), communication (paired w/Garmin inReach mini satellite tracker), compass, thermometer and back up flashlight … will be holding tightly to this piece of gear!!
    2. Garmin inReach mini satellite tracker — Parker was inflexible on this one!
    3. Solar charger / battery pack with associated charging cords and wall plug-in for town stop: frankly, I have not heard great things about any solar chargers of this size (about the size/weight of my phone); they are very slow to charge via sun, and work best when re-charged w/a wall plug. I have an Anker portable charger on standby if I need to swap … bottom line is that my phone MUST work on the trail, so I need to get it enough juice!
    4. Headlamp, Petzl Actik: This is what I use for ultra-races on the trail after dark–cheap, hands-free and relatively lightweight.
  • Clothes (asterisked items worn daily):
    1. *Sunglasses: Goodr “Runner’s Gangrene Toe” … my favorite pair ever!
    2. *Baseball cap: my current favorite from The Bear 100 miler last fall
    3. BUFF: I love these things–they can be used to keep my head, ears and/or neck warm.
    4. Beanie: lightweight wool cap I got at Coldwater 100 a couple years ago
    5. *WoolX short-sleeved merino shirt: here’s hoping wool’s inherent “no-stink” properties will minimize my hiker funk!
    6. LL Bean mid-weight merino long-sleeved quarter zip: my go-to for chilly-but-not-really-cold temps in the evenings and early morning.
    7. Patagonia Nano Puff jacket
    8. REI rain jacket: heavier than I wanted, but this sucker kept me completely dry through 12 hours of rain, sleet and hail at my last 100 miler–it’s a proven entity.
    9. Gloves–Outdoor Research wool/fleece-lined: probably warmer than I need, but they are another proven entity
    10. *Nike 5″ track shorts: I really wish these had more pockets, but they are comfortable, lightweight and quick-drying … plus I set my 100-mile PR in them, so they’re good luck!
    11. Wool men’s mid-weight merino long johns: for sleeping when it’s cold and pulling on over shorts if it gets cold on the trail
    12. *Socks–Balega Blister-Resist merino sport socks, 2 pairs
    13. *Hoka One One Speedgoat3: I love my Speedgoats on the trails!
    14. *Dirty Girl gaiters to keep the tiny rocks and sand out of my shoes.
    15. *Underwear, 2 pairs
    16. *Jogbra
  • Poles: Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking poles: these are the ones I use for really steep / technical ultras … I’m still on the fence about them; I’ll start w/them and see how it goes … not sure they’re worth the weight & hassle for 6 weeks
  • Med Bag:
    1. Ibuprofen
    2. Tylenol
    3. Immodium
    4. Benadryl
    5. Tums
    6. Neosporin anti-biotic spray
    7. Tweezers
    8. Squirrel’s Nut Butter Lube
    9. Lambswool, safety pins and duct tape for blisters
    10. Chlorine tabs for back-up water treatment
  • Hygiene Bag:
    1. Travel size toothbrush
    2. Travel size toothpaste
    3. Tiny (.25oz) container of vaseline
  • Sh** Kit
    1. Trowel (Deuce of Spades)
    2. Napkins for TP (10)
    3. Hand sanitizer (smallest bottle I could find)
    4. “Bark bags” to pack out TP
  • Sawyer Squeeze water filter and 3 x 1L Smart water bottles + a .5 L bottle for easy access while hiking
  • Pocket knife: I don’t know the brand; it’s lightweight and my dad gave it to me
  • Miscellaneous:
    1. Trash bag
    2. Mini repair kit for tent and/or sleeping bag
    3. “Wallet”: military ID/Health card, credit card & some cash
    4. Hyperlite waterproof stuff sacks x 3: clothes, sleeping bag, food
    5. UR Sack to rodent-proof my food
    6. Pringles can to carry crackers
    7. Small pair of foldable reading glasses (sigh)

Whew! That’s a lot of gear!! It’s amazing what all can be crammed into a 40L backpack (and a few pockets here an there). Parker will keep extra consumables (like hand sanitizer and toothpaste) along with food for re-supply in his RAV-4, or I’ll re-stock on essentials when I come through towns as necessary.


ALL that gear fits nicely into my Gorilla 40 pack!

71 thoughts on “AZT Thru-Hike 2020: Gear List”

  1. Desert Pete,
    Thanks … I’m really eager to get started! And–yeah … it’s amazing what all you can cram into a sack and carry on your back for a few hundred miles!

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