With two weeks to go before heading out on the trail here is our “final” gear list. My base is a pound higher than I like but most of that is due to the additional winter clothes and the fact that I am carrying a two-man tent. Roberta has a comfortable 14 lbs base.
Tent: The Saddle 2 is a new tent I got for Christmas. It is the two person version of the Notch which I used on the PCT and in Big Bend. I’m hoping we like it as much as I like the Notch. It weights bit more (the Notch was under 2 lbs) but it is big enough for two people. It has vestibules on both sides for gear.
Sleeping Bags: We are both using our old Marmot 20 degree bags.They weigh 2-3 lbs and should be good down to 10 degrees or so (the tent adds 10 degrees).
Packs: I’ll be using my old Exos 58 (which has over 800 trail miles on it now) and Roberta will be using a new pack – an REI Flash 45. My Exos stripped down (removed the top pocket) weighs less than 2.5 lbs. The Flash 45 weighs a little bit more but still under 3 lbs.
Cooking: The plan is to use the little BRS3000 canister stove I used on the PCT. This is a cool little stove that weighs just under an ounce. IMHO canister stoves are the only way to go. Alcohol stoves take forever to cook anything. The plan is for Roberta and I to each carry one small (110g) canister. In my experience you can can easily get 14-18 L of boiled water with a small fuel canister so two small canisters should see us through the whole trek.
Cook kit will consist of a mug, spork, lighter, emergency matches and the stove.
Hydration: We will use a 4L MSR Dromlite bladder (4.2 oz) for dirty water and have two 2-L Playpus collapsible bottles (1.3 oz each) for clean water. That gives me a total capacity of 8 L. Roberta will have her 2.5 L Osprey bladder and two 1L Playpus bottles. We will use a Sawyer Mini filter for water treatment and gravity to supply the filter pressure. I used this system the PCT and it worked well – hang the dirty water bag in a tree and filter water while setting up camp or eating lunch. I also carry a collapsable Nalgene bottle to use as a pee bottle at night (too cold to go out!).
First Aid: We’ll carry the usual assortment of meds (immodium, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc), antibiotic ointment, moleskin and small needles (for blisters). Bert will also have her contact stuff and her back meds.
Electronics: My iPhone 6S running Guthooks navigation app will be our primary navigation aid. I used Guthook on the PCT and never looked at my physical maps. My phone will also be my backup compass, flashlight, and E-reader. Which makes power important – so I have upgraded to an Anker Power Core 10000 (6.6 oz). It has great power density (over 1500 mAh/oz) and should give me 5 full additional charges. Roberta will have her 6S and an Echine 5200 (4.4 oz) external battery pack. We will also have a SPOT satellite tracker – it weighs close to 5 oz but with limited expected cell phone coverage it adds a little security. And a bluetooth keyboard for blogging. Of course.
Clothes: This will be a winter hike so we will be taking an extra layer. This is my pack plan. Head: Wool hat, buff. Hands: Heavy running gloves and waterproof shells. Top: Rain jacket (with hood), micro-puff, fleece, lightweight capilene base, running shirt. Bottom: Houdini wind pants, hiking pants, mid-weight capilene base.