Appalachian Kit

Appalachian gear list 2018

Appalachian Pack

Appalachian Pack

Don’t be a stubborn curmudgeon with broken knees!
Nobody ever taught me about backpacking. My parents weren’t outdoorsy, and my Hiking isnt that big  in the  uk
So, after taking the kitchen sink out with me on the PCT in 2014, I quickly learnt loads and very FAST

I  had managed to  acquire most of  my  gear  very cheap from suppliers , the problem is I hadn’t done my  home work well enough and so I ended up  with  great  kit  but the wrong kit for a through hike
This really sucked meaning I had to replace it  early on   using precious  hiking funds.

Do your homework

Get the best gear your money can buy but do not get silly!

I’m not much of a Gear Junkie

And you should try too. Smart gear junkies are lightweight hikers. Lightweight hikers don’t break their knees. You don’t want broken knees. But as I said do not go anal especially on your first hike   as   you want to be warm comfortable and not starving.
I would say  if  you’re a green  hiker a newbie  then  take a bloody stove !!!

My gear list could probably be better. Why? Because I’m not a gear junkie and…

  • I try to find things that I like and stick with them

If I were the kind of guy that likes to replace my stuff every year or two, then this list would be better. But I’m not, so it’s not. Like most of us, my budget has its limitations.

Feel free to Copy My Gear

If I see something better than what I’m using, guess what I’m going to get next?
It’s okay, we all do it… and if you don’t, you probably should.

Despite the caveats above (Namely being cheap and stubborn), I’d like to think this is a damn good gear list.  It’s been tried and tested but it works, but yes, some bits could be lighter but I like it. You could do much worse.

If you’re smart, then you’re going to copy other hikers. It’s how we learn what works for us, especially on places like the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. A week spent on one of these trails is the best backpacking education in the world – better than any amount of online research.

Contradition  to  above !!!

I recommend starting the trail with the cheapest shit you can scrounge up.  Meaning that you start the trail with an extra £1,000 in your pocket. That way you have the freedom and good conscience to completely re-outfit yourself as you go. See what works for other hikers – see what they have that you like – and simply buy new gear in towns along the way. It will save you a ton of money and frustration.

Simple Backpacking Gear List – What I’m Using in 2018

(Maybe a few changes but in whole this is my gear)

First, I present a simple list. My comments are further below.

BASIC (Most Always included)

Backpack – Osprey Aether 70 (has  integrated pack  cover )
Tent – Big Agnes Flycreek HV UL3
Sleeping Bag – Feather friends Hummingbird
Sleeping Pad – Expend  Downmat Ul W M
Camera – Olympus Tough T5
MP3 Player –  Sansa 8 GB MP3 Player
Shoes – Solomon’s XA Pro 3D
Trekking Pole –Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork
Headlamp – TIKKA PLUS2 headlamp
Solar Charger –  Solar Monkey Expedition
Back up Battery – Anker Powercore 20100
Dry Bags  –Exped Fold Dry 4 Pack Drybag
Stove – MSR Pocket Rocket II
Fuel –  Gas  Canister Fuel (4 or 8 ounce)
Pot – Optimus Terra Weekend HE Cook
Cup  – Klip It  Soup Mug
Spoon – Sea to summit Titanium spoon
Knife – Gerber Paraframe 2
Lighter – Bic!
Water Treatment – Bleach
Water Treatment – Sawyer Large
Water Bladder – Camelbak 3L
Water Bottle –  Smart Water
Trowel – Sea to Summit Pocket Trowel Alloy
Watch –  lad weather (cheap) but  bloody good
Parachute Cord –
Compass – Silva Polaris /Map
Lip Balm / Toilet Paper
Toothbrush/ Toothpaste
Duct Tape / Ziploc Bags
Pen & Paper


Sunglasses – Julbo Bivouak Chameleon
Bandanas – Bandanas!
Rain Jacket – Marmot Precip
Long sleeve Shirt –  Long Sleeved Shirt
Underwear –Super Natural Merino Boxers
Underwear long – Cheap From Decathlon
Tights –
Long Trousers – montane terra pants
Shorts – Tog 24
Socks – Smart wool

CLOTHING (Seasonal)

Beanie / Baseball cap
Fleece – Mountain House
Puffy Jacket – Rab
Synthetic T-shirt –
Gloves – Decathlon (cheap)
Long Underwear –
Thick Socks (Seasonal) – Smart wool
Waterproof Trousers

SPECIALTY (If required)

Smartphone – Samsung S5
Smartphone Protection –
Emergency Beacon –Mc Murdoc Fast Find 220 PLB
Bear Canister – TBA
Head Net –
First Aid Kit
My first aid kit consists of Ibuprofen, Benadryl, (tweezers), bandanas, duct tape, and (occasionally) Neosporin.


My Additional Comments, Choices, and Wishes


Osprey Aether 70

Osprey Aether 70

Backpack I Have – Osprey Aether 70 when I hiked the Pct. I started with this bag but I as i was carrying far too much after a Big shake down I  swapped it  for a Exos 48,  which was great.  But I preferred how  the aether sat on my back so I swapped it  back.
Saying that the Exos was a popular bag in 2014


Tents and Shelters

Big agnus

Big agnus

Shelter I Have: – Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 3
Shelter I Want: – Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL3
It’s a great, lightweight tent and I see no reason to seek out a replacement. I like old-fashioned tents (As opposed to tarps and tarp-tents), and this one is as good as they get. Even though I am a solo Hiker this is a three-man tent. It’s very palatial which is important, especially in wet climates like the Appalachian Trail where it’s handy to have all your gear inside with you.  Update  I  now  have a Big Agnes HV UL3

Sleeping Bags
Feathered Friends Hummingbird

Sleeping Bag, I Have – Feather friends Hummingbird
Sleeping Bag I Want – Feather friends Hummingbird
I’ve haven’t heard bad things about this bag

Sleeping Pads

Exped SIM Lite UL – 15oz

I like my Simlite, but would prefer a mat which packs smaller
I really like Exped as it’s well-made and has not let me down on previous trails. So  after testing  out various mats  I settled on the Exped Downmat UL, its  ticks  all my  boxes  , Smaller, lighter, easy  to  inflate  and  pack . The  Exped Symat UL7  is  lighter and packs smaller  but  is  “noisy  to  sleep on   and   so  the  Downmat UL winter has now been  purchased , IT also comes with the amazing snozzel bag  which  helps  you  quickly  to  inflate  your pad

Hiking Shoes

Solomon_s XA Pro 3DShoes I Have – Solomon’s XA Pro 3D
Shoes I Want – Solomon’s XA Pro 3D
Shoes are the most subjective of all things on my gear list. Comfort and fit are paramount, especially for beginners. Durability (Relative to cost) comes next, and everything else is just noise. When I first started hiking I used boots as I was from the uk and this is what we tend to wear, so I was surprised to see everyone else in trail runners, I tried several brands and settled on the Solomon’s which suit me. I have just purchased three pairs,  2   that I will bounce, and if I need a fourth then its REI



Camera I have – Olympus Tough TG-830
Camera Want – Olympus Tough T5
Again Camera are personal  choice , some hikers carry  them  other rely  on their smart phone , I  like  to use a camera  and  have my smart  phone as back up , On the PCT  I used a Olympus Tough TG-830, which I loved The 830 ,  its bullet proof we  rolled down mountains together , got roasted in the desert and buried in ice and snow  and  it never let me down .I have my eye on the T5  for my fourth coming hike
UPDATE !  the nice people at Olympus   said  i could  have one at a rather actractive price , need to now learn how to use it 


MP3 Player

Sansa 8 GB MP3 Player

Sansa 8 GB MP3 Player
Again personnel  choice, I really like  this  little chap , its small  ,has an external memory card  (I have a 8gb card in mine) It also has a built in radio, It clips to your pack .I like to use  this , thus keeping my phone safe  and saving precious  juice  in your phone !

Solar Charger

Solar MonkeyHeadlamp I Have – Solar Monkey adventure
Headlamp I Have –Solar Monkey Expedition
I love  this Solar panel  and whilst hiking in the PCt  it  tended to beat  most  of  the other panels  other hikers  carried . It has a built in batter  so  it  can charge itself  or another device.
The xpedition  is  bigger and  lighter, (has no internall battery)  and its water proof  which is why I would like one !
UPDATE !  the nice people at Power Traveller  said  i could  have one at a rather actractive price 

Back up Battery

Anker 2nd Gen Astro E4

Anker Poercore 20100
I  like this  battery  pack , there is a lot of choice out there  but this baby  is  trusted and reliable


Headlamp I Have – TIKKA PLUS2
Headlamp I Want – TIKKA PLUS2
Headlamps on the Radar – I like using disposable AAA batteries in my headlamp (above), but Black Diamond also makes one with a rechargeable battery via USB, the Revolt
I  am so happy with a Petzl Tikka  headlamp for a long time, but Black Diamond has outdone them in recent years. If you’re looking for a beefier and super-bright headlamp, check out the Black Diamond Icon.

Gerber Paraframe 2

Knives come in all shapes and sizes. Most are too heavy for a savvy backpacker, but the Gerber Paraframe 2 is worth its weight to me… (Small scissors are also useful)

  Food Bags

Exped Fold Dry Bags

Dry sacks are dry sacks  but  I  like  these and  use  them  for  many  things , my clothes my food  ,my sleeping bag when crossing water




Stove I Have – MSR Pocket Rocket
Stove I Want – MSR Micro Rocket II (Just to try it)
The Pocket Rocket is a venerable institution. I’ve had mine for almost 5 years and it’s still going strong. A lot of people seem to like their Jet Boil Systems too,
Too me  the jet  boil  is a large heavy stove , but it’s always personnel choice , When I hiked the PCT  I  did wish  I had some kind of wind break  so  I brought one ,  its cheap  and  it does  the job, making boiling water more efficient  and  reducing  gas  consumption

Wind Screen


Optimus Terra Weekend HE Cook

I’ve had this Optimus Terra Weekend HE Cook forever.  I normally store my stove inside, with teabags milk powder scraper oil and etc I like the heat exchanger and the thing just works


Spoons & Sporks (Seriously)

Sea to summit Titanium spoon

I use a simple Sea to summit Titanium spoon, which is essential if you splash out on a mountain house meal or similar. Life should not be this complicated.

Water Treatment


Water Treatment I Have – Bleach
Water Treatment I Want –!!!
The three most common methods today are the Sawyer Squeeze filter, gravity filters (with Platypus most popular among them) and Steripen ultraviolet treatment. I started  with the  sawyer mini  , but don’t!! Go  for the larger one, later on  I used used bleach .



Use  The  larger  Sawyer  Not  the  Mini !!!



Rain Jackets

Precip Jacket

The Marmot Precip rain jacket is an institution. If you’re interested in something beefier, check out the (poorly named) Marmot Minimalist.


montane terra pants

Trousers I Have – montane terra  trousers
Pants I Want – montane terra
The  montane terra  Trousers  pants work for me ,with their durability, loose fit, and ample pocket space.

PLB Personal Location Beacon

mcmurdo-fastfind-220PLB I Have – McMurdo Fast Find 220 PLB
GPS I Want – McMurdo Fast Find 220 PLB
this is the bit of kit that you hope that you never have to use
A lot of people use  the spot, as it has two way communication , but  from my experience they are all a bit  hit and  miss , and have let to a few false  alarms

There is a lot  of  discussion  about  PLB  verses spot    and  other  devices , while  trawling  through  future  hike s  that I would like to do I came across  this  Video. It explains in detail the options and preferences. But again it’s a personal choice  but the video is still worth a watch


What’s some of your favourite gear?