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 not 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 2100
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


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 an 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
I started the AT with this bag but as I began to loose body fat it became sloppy and  as Osprey  offered me a great deal on a new bag I swapped it for an Atmos 65.
Again I just like how  the osprey bags feel on my back and when I broke   my hip belt buckle. I was so impressed on the speed osprey  were able to get me a replacement  to me

Tents and Shelters

Big agnus

My Tent – I  used the  Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 3 on the PCT and loved it and I have to  say there was a lot of tent envy as this is a 3 man tent but I love it.
I was even happier when Big Agnes  said that I could have  a Fly Creek HV UL3 at a heavily discounted price
It’s a great, lightweight tent and free standing which is fairly useful on the AT. Even though I am a solo Hiker this is a three-man tent. It’s very palatial which is important, especially in wet  like I encountered on  the Appalachian Trail. So, you can have all your gear inside and still have room to room and dry  stuff Trail weight 2lb 15oz

Sleeping Bags
Feathered Friends Hummingbird

My bag of choice is the  Feathered friends Hummingbird, its lightweight and down so packs small. I have never been cold  , several times on the AT  I was roasting so sleep on the top this is a 20-degree bag and weighs 20ozs

Sleeping Pads

I loved  my Exped Simlite on the PCT  but would have preferred  a mat which packed 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
On trial this matt was fantastic and loved the snozzel bag which helps you quickly inflate  your mat it has a rating of -32  and a R-Val 7  , Its 9cm thick and weighs 865g  and another 60 grams for the snozzel  bag

Hiking Shoes

Solomon_s XA Pro 3D

My shoes are 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 was wearing  trail runners, I tried several brands and settled on the Solomon’s which suit me
The Appalachian trail  destroys shoes and I got through 4 pairs (they are not cheap)



I have  an  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  as it was  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 also carry a spare battery  and of course memory cards

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 Monkey

I used the solar monkey adventure on the PCT and loved it and used it regularly
For the Appalachian trail I used the Solar Monkey Expedition
But due to the nature of the trail, ie  being in the forest  for  the majority of the trail it didn’t really work for me and so I sent it home

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


My headlamp is  – TIKKA PLUS2
Again personal choice, I used this on the Pct. and its still working fine and again completed the whole of the Appalachian trail with me
This one is from 2014 and am guessing the technology has  moved on but this  works for me

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



My Stove is  – MSR Micro Rocket II
I used the Pocket Rocket  on the PCT, and it never let me down. This is the newer updated version  and once again  it never let me down.
I used  it about a dozen times a day, breakfast tea breaks lunch and dinners. I cook and drink a lot of Tea
It seems to be a 50/50 split on trial between this and the Jet boil. To 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  fuel   consumptionWind 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


I tend to use  a combination of water treatments from bleach,  Chlorine dioxide  and my trusty  Sawyer Squeeze
I must admit it does depend on what the water source looks like and to be honest  I didn’t filter a lot of my water at all but  it’s your choice..


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.
But I was  jealous of   the OUTDOOR Research Helium II Jacket, and I have brought one  for my next hike  when ever that maybe. I must admit I didn’t wear my rain jacket as I found it easier to push on in the rain and change into dry gear at camp. Saying that I did use it as a wind break when I got cold


montane terra pantsI took  – montane terra  trousers but to be honest  I hiked about 95% of the trail in shorts.
I also took raintrousers but didnt wear

PLB Personal Location Beacon

mcmurdo-fastfind-220McMurdo 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 led to a few false  alarm.
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?