Starting on March 21, 2001, I will be hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, from Springer Mountain, GA to Mount Katahdin, ME.

I'm a bit of a gear-head, so naturally I am obscessing about my gear. I want to have my pack as light as possible, but I would also like to stay alive and (relatively) comfortable.

On your average spring/summer/fall day, I will be wearing the following:

   -Columbia mesh hat
   -REI MTS midweight short sleeve shirt
   -Umbro soccer shorts
   -Wigwam C-T Tour cycling socks
   -Running shoes
   -Leki Super Makalu CorTec PA Hiking poles
   -OR low gaiters.  I often skip the gaiters.

Strapped to my back will be the following:

           Item                               Weight (ounces)

-Gregory Reality-X Pack, size medium              70.0
 (a few straps trimmed, lid probably removed
  when my cold weather gear goes home)
-Campmor Silicon-nylon pack cover                  4.0
-REI Nalgene Water bottle holder                   3.0
-Tiny compass/thermometer                          1.5

Shelter/Sleeping Gear:
-The North Face Thunderhead 20 deg sleeping bag   47.0
 (plus stuff sack and small garbage bag)           2.0
-Design Salt Silk Mummy Bag Liner                  5.0
-Campmor 12'x10' Silicon-nylon tarp               19.0
-Stuff sack, guy lines, stakes, Etc. for tarp      6.0
-Adventure 16 Bug Bivy                             5.0
 (probably won't pick this up until bug season)
-Probably some combination of two of the following:
 (heavy, but i have a hard time sleeping on less)
    -Cascade Deisgns Thermarest Backpacker        36.0
     self inflating sleeping bag
    -Cascade Designs Ridge Rest Deluxe            18.0 
     closed cell foam sleeping pad                     
    -Cascade Designs Thermarest Ultralight 3/4    16.0
     length self inflating sleeping pad.
-6mm poly ground cloth                             5.0
                                                 123.0 - 125.0 

Clothing (in pack):
-4 pair Wigman C-T touring socks                   4.0
-3 pair Umbro soccer shorts (drawstrings removed)  9.0
-REI midweight MTS short sleeve shirt              7.0
-Patagonia Levitator R2 pullover fleece jacket    13.0
 (also used as my pillow)
-Patagonia midweight Capiliene long sleeve shirt   8.0
-Patagonia midweight Capiliene bottoms             7.0
-Sierra Designs Rain Jacket                       15.0
 (also used as rain flap on tarp)
-Large plastic trash bag (stuff sack for clothes)  1.0
-REI lightweight skull cap                         2.0
-3 cotton bandannas (handy things, they are!!!)    3.0

Clothing (cold weather only):
-Thorlo Trekking socks (for camp/sleeping)         3.5
-REI midweight MTS long sleeve  shirt              9.0 
-The North Face Hydrenaline Rain Pants             8.0
-Masque neoprene/fleece face mack                  3.0
-REI gloves                                        4.0
-Ecospun wool cap                                  4.0

-Nalgene 1 Liter bottle                            5.0
-Cammelback bag/tube (luxury item, but nice!)      6.0
-Pur Voyager water filter                         14.0
-Everynew 1.3 Liter Titanium pot w/handles         6.0
-Generic aluminum windscreen                       1.5
-2 or 3 disposable lighters                        3.0
-Waterproof match case and matches                 1.5
-Pot scrubber and small towel                      1.0
-Two lexan spoons and one lexan knife              1.5
-Alchohol stove (tuna can) and potrest.            2.0
-OR #4 stuff sack and small garbage bag (food bag) 4.0

-Camp shoes (I haven't decided between my Teva     0.0 - 18.0
 sandals, Walmart Teva knockoffs, flip-flops, 
 another pair of running shoes, or nothing)
-50' rope for hanging food bag                     3.0
-Photon microlight                                 0.5
-Petzl micro headlamp & 2xAA batteries             4.0
 (nice item to have, but kind of heavy...
  might dump this for another Photon microlight)
-ATC Data book, ATC Thruhikers Companion, and maps 5.0
 (will bounce most of the content ahead.  Might 
 use Dan Bruce's Thruhikes Handbook instead of the
 ATC Companion, but I like the 2000 Companion more
 than the 2000 Handbook.)
-Paper/Pen                                         3.0
-Earplugs                                          0.1
-Sunglasses                                        2.0
-Lip Balm                                          0.5
-Toothbrush, Small tube of toothpaste, and floss   2.0
-TP                                                3.0
-Glasses                                           2.0
-Contact solution, contact case, and Purell hand   4.0
 sanitzing lotion.
-Packet of wetnaps (ounce for ounce, the best      3.0
 weight you can carry!!!)
-Small ziploc with credit cards, I.D., and $       2.0
-First-aid stuff (bandaids, neosporen, Vitamin I   4.0
 moleskin, small mirror, small scissors, etc.)
-Sony Digital AM/FM Walkman, headphones, and       6.0
 2 AAA batteries
                                                  44.0 - 62.0

Total Pack Weight:                         391.5 - 411.5 ounces
                                           (24.4 - 25.7 pounds)

Some of these weights are estimated.  But the total pack weights
shown are accurate to withing 0.5 pounds (according to my digital 
bathroom scale :-)).

Note that this pack weight does not include food, water, and
fuel (alchohol or Esbit fuel tablets).  Food, water, and fuel
will probably total ten pounds on average.


As I send home my cold weather gear, I'm sure I will lighten my load a bit. Experienced hikers will note that I could lose a few pounds from this list, but I have learned that not all weight is "bad" weight. For instance, I will carry as much weight as I need to in order to get a good night's sleep. Every time I try to skimp on my sleeping pad I end up having a miserable time.