Gear, Gear, Gear.

I’ve spent the last few months getting my gear together.  The forums on have been invaluable.  Also, a shout out to REI.  They’ve also been a good source of information and their reasonable return policy lowers the risk of buying the wrong gear. I’m not a “gear guy.” – I’ve picked what works for me within a reasonable budget. There will be opportunities along the trail to replace gear so I’m not too worried about something failing.

The picture shows everything I will carry for the next 5 months with the exception of food and water.  My total pack weight is 22.2 pounds.  Probably on the lighter side of most, but about 7 pounds heavier from the ultralight crowd (Those cats are crazy.  They will cut a toothbrush handle in half to save the weight). I will ship some of the clothing home when the weather turns warmer.Image


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2 Responses to Gear, Gear, Gear.

  1. I will look foreword to following your journey this year. Your praise of REI caught my attention, since I don’t believe in general the folks who work their are skilled in specialized gear for thru hikers. Yes, in general their return policies are good, however, last year while eavesdropping on a phone conversation from a young hiker in Damascus, some returns are not that straight foreword. This particular hiker was arguing with the manager that he was mislead by one of their floor people into purchasing heavy gear. He wanted to return all of it, but REI was suspicious of fraud. I prefer to purchase my gear directly from online companies once I’ve read reviews and done my research. Happy Trails!
    Rock Steady 2013


    • Tom says:

      Mike, I hear you. When I started purchasing my gear, I was talked into purchasing a few items I was not happy with (camp stove, tent, and waterproof trail runners). I returned them all without issue, did some more research, started shopping at a different REI, and repurchased some of my gear. The sales person you deal with makes a huge difference. I did buy my BA Copper Spur-1 tent from because REI could not match the price (I asked) and even the salesman said “go for the better deal.” Time will tell. Thanks for following my blog!


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