How to Pack

We’ll be on the AT for two nights.  Here is what you’ll need.


  1. Tent:  YLI will provide 2 person tents.  Feel free to bring a hammock if you prefer.  Shelters are located every eight miles or so along the AT, but are not located close to where we will be camping.
  2. Pack:  A 34-45 liter internal frame pack is best.  We will be divy-ing up gear to carry.  Just make sure that the pack fits well at the middle of your hips.  Loaner and rental options are available.
  3. Sleeping bag:  A bag at three pounds or less is good, down or synthetic is fine, 15-30 degree range is best.  It may get chilly!
  4. Sleeping pad:  Whether you opt for a foam or inflatable pad, you’ll want something to cushion yourself against the wood floor of a shelter or the rocks and roots under your tent.  The ideal sleeping pad will be lightweight (around one pound or less for a regular-length pad) and insulated.
  5. Clothing:  I recommend 1 pair of convertible pants, 2 pairs of smart wool socks, and a synthetic t-shirt.  Bring a waterproof shell and a fleece to provide warmth at night.  Hikers need no more than two pairs of underwear.  Non-cotton items are best. Cotton both absorbs moisture and fails to wick it away from your skin. It’s a poor insulator and retains odor more than its synthetic and wool counterparts.  You can bring a change of clothes for the drive home and leave it in the car.
  6. Footwear:  Although the stereotype is for hikers to don a thick, heavy leather boot, in recent years more and more thru-hikers have been opting for trail runners.  Trail runners dry out faster, typically cause fewer blisters (due to their less-rigid material), and are much lighter, allowing hikers to cover more ground, faster.  Another option… Ash plans to hike in Keens trail runners and smart wool socks.  Don’t wear anything tight.  Your feet will probably swell a bit.
  7. Water:  If you have a filter, feel free to bring it but we will provide water purification for drinking and cooking.
  8. Stove / cookware:  We will have stoves, fuel and food for breakfast (oatmeal packets)  and easy to prepare dinners.
  9. Food:  Bring a bunch of raw nuts, dehydrated fruit, other light weight/high calorie snacks for lunch.  I find that snack sized zip locks are great for holding a half cup of nuts, dried fruit, etc.  Beware of high salt content.  Plan on eating more calories/day.  Here are some food Ideas…  ideas… iDe@s…!!!
  10. Eating:  Bring a plastic bowl and spork, and a small plastic cup for coffee or tea.
  11. Water bottle:  You will want 2L of water.  Nalgene or empty 1L water  bottles will do.  If your pack contains a that works too.
  12. Stuff Sacks:  Hikers will need a minimum of two waterproof stuff sacks: one for their sleeping bag and another for clothes and food. It is absolutely vital to keep both your sleeping bag and camp clothes dry at all times.
  13. Small bag for trash, etc.
  14. Guidebook:  We will have a guidebook with maps.
  15. Headlamp:  It gets dark in the woods. Look for something lightweight with at least 70 lumens.
  16. First aid / hygiene/etc.:  We will have a kit that includes antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, antibiotic cream, duct tape, ibuprofen, a sewing needle,fire starter and multipurpose soap.  You bring sunscreen, hand sanitizer,  mini toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, enough toilet paper for you.
  17. Bible:  Bring a small/light one if possible and a small pen.  We will have a light journal for you to use.

Almost essentials:

  1. Hiking poles:  They’re very handy.  They absorb much of the impact on the downhills and consequently save your knees.
  2. Knife / multi-tool:  We will have a knife, but feel free.
  3. Electronics:  We will have two iPhones for emergencies.  You can bring one for photos, but coverage is spotty at best.  Social media posts can wait until Sunday 🙂