Let me be the first to tell you, I’m not a “gear head” nor a “gear junkie,” and I know one thing for sure, what works for one person won’t work for everybody! But after 1,100+ miles on the Appalachian Trail last year, I eventually learned what works for me (which is always subject to change)! Like most people, I started the trail with much too much, and my pack weighed way more than it needed to. There’s always the ability to minimalize more than I currently have, but this is as simple as I’m comfortable with at this time. However, after 2,200 more miles under my tread, this could change yet again!
In the first part of this segment, I’ll be covering just the clothes that I’ll be carrying and wearing with me on the trail this year. I’ll discuss all the other little bits next time.
I have two shirts that I’ll be wearing on the trail this year that I have no real attachment too, but they both serve their purpose and they’re both quick drying and moisture wicking which is key. One is an old UnderArmour fitted V-Neck that I got at their outlet years ago for cheap, and the other is a North Face shirt that I grabbed on discount at one of the outfitters in Damascus during Trail Days.
I have to admit I’m pretty biased towards Patagonia gear, so a lot of my items are from them as I’ve accumulated several of their garments over the years. One of my favorite buys from Patagonia would be their Capilene Thermal-Weight Zip-neck Hoody. This helps keep me warm on the go and at night!
Last year I wore two Patagonia Strider shorts which I absolutely love (super comfy, no chaffing, quick-drying). I’ll be wearing one of them again this year, but I was just gifted a Strider skirt over the holidays which I’m excited to try out.
There are certainly cheaper bras out there for that matter, but I love my Patagonia Barely Bra for my ta-tas. I started with a cheaper bra option last year, but if I’m getting down with the “uni-boob,” I would rather it be comfy. It just sucks when I actually get around to doing laundry and have to readjust the cups.
As far as the bottom half, any of Exofficio’s Give-N-Go bottoms for women (and men) are highly recommended for the trail. They’re breathable, odor-resistant, lightweight, and quick drying so you can clean them fast in or out of town.
INSULATING LAYER & RAIN GEAR:
When it’s especially chilly out, I’ll be sporting my Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody. It’s compressible, lightweight, and keeps you really, really warm when needed!
I’ll be using my Frogg Toggs rain suit for when it’s raining (duh), when I’m cold at camp, and occasionally as a windbreaker. I likely won’t be hiking often with rain gear, even when it does rain as I learned that there is no such thing as breathable rain gear (lies). You’ll be drenched with rain water or drenched with sweat, so I prefer to stick to nature’s showers. I had to track down their “youth large” since when I was hunting through the internet, they were all out of their women’s sizes.
I had an insanely, difficult time getting my feet in order last year, so I have a super specific formula for myself regarding my feet this time around (more on my nightmare another time). I started out with Darn Tough socks which are great for most people (a lot of people swear by them), but I found I needed sock liners under a pair of thinner, breathable socks in order to keep my feet from blistering up and my toenails from popping off. I swear by the Injinji liner crew socks and prefer the WrightSock double-layer Escape over top of them.
There are a few wearable accessories that I’ll be packing with me as well, but I’ll cover those bases another time! Click here to read about additional gear I’ll be bringing or here to read about my big three (tent, pack, and sleep system)! Thanks for reading!