Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Backpacking Project - Pack List

Time for my preliminary list of gear I will be wearing and carrying on my three day trip on the Loyalsock Link Loop Trail. We are doing this over three days, two nights, for a distance of 18 miles, along with a potential few additional miles if we, meaning I, have more in the legs and want to see the rapids known as The Haystacks. Expedition leader is my friend Ian, and Baxter is the official dog.

I'm not listing weight of items below, and I've backed off my initial estimate of 9.5 pounds. That was unrealistic for a first time backpacker and for one my size - my clothes are bigger and I'll carry more food, for starters, than the tiny people who are over-represented in the hobby.

That said, here is the preliminary list:


One par of Cabela's Guidewear pants.
My typical hiking ensemble, minus the fisherman's shirt. 
One Columbia fisherman's shirt
Asolo hiking boots
Three pairs of athletic underwear
Two pairs of wool Columbia hiking socks
baseball cap
HIKE For Mental Health bandana
running shorts or swimsuit and athletic t shirt
Crocs for camp shoes

Its not the just the voice of my mother telling me to wear clean underwear; like many former super-obese people, I have a lot of loose skin, and I'm prone to rashes in certain places if I don't keep clean. I've found I can safely reuse wool socks a day before the ick factor gets to me. All of this clothing is synthetic or wool aside from the bandana and baseball cap.


Hammock I am being loaned for the trip. Ian tells me the weight of the hammock is 2 pounds, which includes the top tarp. He's suggested I use two additional coverings which will add 2 pounds to the shelter. In addition I'll bring a microfiber travel pillow.


Ian is loaning me an alcohol stove and titanium mess kit. I'll bring my spork.


Ian is carrying a water filter, and filling up in a stream should be easy. I'll carry a couple of water bottles on my person and in the pack.


This will be my basic bike camping recipe of Knorr's instant items, packaged tuna, and oatmeal. I'll have fat person snacks with me, especially on the first day. Tea will be English Breakfast, as I need a strong brew in the mornings.


Paper, camp soap, toothpaste in a plastic bag, toothbrush. I'll have to ask Ian if I should bring my own trowel. I think I should; I'd feel uncomfortable borrowing his knowing what he'd used it for. Since we live in Ticksylvania I'll spray and carry repellent and use sunscreen.


Camera, cell phone, batteries for camera, lightweight headphones, MP3 player. These and the car keys go in my pockets, not the pack.


Osprey Atmos 50


Inexpensive aluminum poles from my friend Chris.

What am I overlooking? What am I doing wrong? I know you have an opinion, please share it in the comments.



At May 20, 2014 at 3:56 AM , Blogger Cynthia Walthour said...

sounds good! are you sure you haven't done this before? i like to read before i fall asleep, so i always tuck in a book. first aid kit? map and compass? i assume someone else will carry. i am over 50 so advil is pretty much essential. btw, i Lady Grey is my tea of choice;it is where i get my trail name.

At May 20, 2014 at 4:04 AM , Blogger The Historian said...

I've done extensive bike touring, but no backpacking.

Do people take trail names in places other than the AT? My AT name is Mark Sanford, in a tribute to the most remarkable cover for adultery ever devised.

At May 20, 2014 at 4:10 AM , Blogger Mike said...

How long is your trip again?

At May 20, 2014 at 4:11 AM , Blogger Joseph Harold said...

At the risk of adding some weight, here is what I see missing. First Aid kit (doesn't have to be big or fancy. Just some band aids, neosporin, tweezers, duct tape, etc) Head lamp. It will get dark out at night. I'm guessing the two additional coverings Ian mentioned are over and under quilts. I guess that covers your sleeping bag and pad. I would also always carry a means to make fire if needed (or wanted). It all comes down to the ten essential systems. I carry them all whether it is a day hike or a two week jaunt.

For a three day trip this will be fine. After you finish your hike, go through your gear again and think about what you used and what you didn't. Make your adjustments and try again. My kit is never done. I'm always fiddling with it. Adding, subtracting and trading out different items.

Have a nice hike.


At May 20, 2014 at 4:15 AM , Blogger The Historian said...

Two nights, three days.

At May 20, 2014 at 4:18 AM , Blogger The Historian said...

I'm always trying to improve efficiency, so I will use the lessons learned this trip for the next one ten days later. Thank you for the advice EarthTone. One day, perhaps, when I have the skills, I will see you with half the AT completed and half ahead of me.

At May 20, 2014 at 4:22 AM , Blogger Mike said...

Disregard my previous comment I see the three days now. I would say a pocket tool Gerber or Schrade will have a knife and other tools you may need. Small first aid kit to include any medications you are on and OTC meds you might need. Some sort of waterproof storage for your electronic gizmos should it decide to rain. Matches or other fire starting tool. I am not sure if these things are already considered and just not mentioned or not.

At May 20, 2014 at 5:32 AM , Blogger hockeydon said...

Just because you mentioned it and I see you have your weight listed on the side ( nice work BTW, keep it up) Verify your hammock setup. No better way to sleep than on a Hammock as a recent convert. Some Hammocks are rated for different weight capacities and I would hate for you to have a problem on day 2. I'd recommend using straps around the trees and amsteel whoopie sling suspension.

At May 20, 2014 at 6:56 AM , Blogger Bill Garlinghouse said...

Take a peek at the weather. Make sure to subtract 3.5 degrees from forecasted temperatures for every 1000' in elevation above the reporting station.

You should carry some kind of rain jacket to protect yourself from cold, wet, windy, hypothermia conditions. Maybe a light insulation layer you can throw on during breaks, or in camp. If nights are going to be cold, a lightweight merino base layer is nice to change into if you're wet, and is nice to sleep in if it's cold.

Enjoy your hike,

At May 20, 2014 at 8:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My suggestion would be to practice pratice practice setting up that hammock system BEFORE you get out there. That way you are comfortable in what to do, in case it is pouring rain you will minimize how wet you and your sleep gear get. We got hammocks for christmas and love them. Happy Hiking!!!


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Backpacking Project - Pack List