Shedding the Weight: Gear Changes for My 2nd AT Attempt

Originally posted on The Trek February 28, 2017

This will be my second attempt at thru-hiking the AT while also trying to go a little lighter than before. I got injured last year, and carrying extra weight while hiking such long distances probably had a bit to do with it, hence my determination to drop some ounces. Every ounce counts, and if it is something, it weighs something! So I decided to change some gear, and do my own little personal shakedown before I venture off for round two!


THE PACK:

img_9358LEFT: Osprey Atmos 50 L (2010-ish version) + Osprey Raincover (not shown)

Pack Weight = 51.0 oz.

(weight prior to removing un-needed straps and part of the aluminum frame which rusted off from sweat saturation)

Raincover Weight = 4.0 oz

Net Weight = 55.0 oz. (3.44 lb.)

RIGHT: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Windrider 40 L

Weight = 28.2 oz. (1.76 lbs.)

(waterproof, so no rain cover required)

A friend of mine stated that I looked like I was carrying an airstream on my back! In hindsight, the size of the pack was a little big for my frame. I also was annoyed with the straps that couldn’t tighten to my back any closer due to an unnecessary fold in the strap and the front pockets were too small. I also needed help reaching for my water bottle from the side pockets, or would have to take off my pack every time I wanted a sip of water.

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Me on the left.

Weight Lost = 26.8 oz. (1.68 lbs.)


THE SLEEPING BAG:

img_9364

LEFT: Marmot Teton 15 (Women’s) Sleeping Bag

Weight = 56 oz. (3.50 lbs.)

RIGHT: Western Mountaineering Caribou 35 (Unisex) Sleeping Bag

Bag Weight = 21 oz. (1.31 lbs.)

I quickly realized that a 15 degree bag was too warm for the AT, and often found myself waking up every morning drenched with sweat. When it gets cooler I plan to just layer up.

Weight Lost = 35 oz. (2.19 lbs.)


RAIN GEAR:

img_9513

LEFT: Patagonia (Women’s) Torrentshell Rain Jacket/Pants

Net Weight = 19.9 oz. (1.24 lbs.)

RIGHT: Frogg Toggs (Women’s) Ultra-Lite2 Suit

Net Weight = 10.4 oz. (0.65 lb.)

I was debating bringing rain gear at all since nothing is “breathable” (it’s all lies I tell ya)! You’ll be just as drenched underneath from all the sweat as you will be hiking out in the rain. However, if it’s raining at camp, they’re nice to have, it’s nice to have “laundry day clothes,” and I will wear this instead of my long sleeves and base layer pants when it snows.

Weight Lost = 9.5 oz (0.59 lb.)


CLOTHING STORAGE:

img_9733

LEFT: Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil 6 L Compression Dry Sack

Weight = 2.3 oz. (0.14 lbs.)

RIGHT: Tall Kitchen Trash Bag

Weight = 0.5 oz. (0.03 lb.)

A trash bag can compress my clothes enough. It’s not worth the extra weight.

Weight Lost = 1.8 oz (0.11 lb.)


CAMP TOOLS:

img_9735

LEFT: Plastic Camp Knife and Camp Scissors

Net Weight = 1.9 oz. (0.12 lbs.)

RIGHT: Swiss Army Knife Keychain

Weight – 0.75 oz. (0.05 lb.)

I like having scissors to trim tape when I get blisters, and a knife for cutting the cheese (in the very literal sense!), when I carry it out to the trail. The knife wasn’t heavy, but since the Swiss Army keychain had one attached, I figured I’d leave it.

Weight Lost = 1.15 oz (0.07 lb.) – very significant, I know.


OTHER CHANGES AND ADJUSTMENTS:

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Sea to Summit Pocket Trowel – I carried this way too long for not ever using it. I used sticks and rocks instead, and will do the same this year.

Weight Lost = 3.1 oz. (0.19 lb.)


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Olicamp Space Saver Mug with REI Stuff Sack – I bought this in Damascus because I was craving the occasional ramen noodles over a fire. I’m going back to eating stoveless.

Weight Lost = 4.5 oz. (0.28 lb.)


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AWOL AT Guide – Instead of carrying the whole thing (which I also like to journal in), I’m going to cut it in half, give or take, and I’m picking the second half up around Harpers Ferry.

Weight Lost =  ~4.07 oz. (0.25 lb.)


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Cocoon CoolMax Mummy Liner – It was an excellent laundry bag, but I didn’t use it enough to consider it worth lugging around.

Weight Lost = 9.0 oz. (0.56 lb.)


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Waldie’s Camp Shoes – Camp shoes kill, so I’ll just loosen my hiking shoes instead!

Weight Lost = 7.25 oz. (0.45 lb.)


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AT&T Flip Phone and Phone Charger – Laugh it up! I know I carry a fossil with me, but I’m frugal, what can I say. There’s usually no service anyway, so I’m ditching it. I can always FaceTime with my iPod Touch (keep laughing), when I get around wifi.

Net Weight Lost = 5.0 oz. (0.31 lb.)


Random Assortment of Stuff – I ditched a few smaller items that I had been hanging on to, but didn’t use enough or at all to justify bringing with me. These items include a spare nozzle and repair glue for my NEMO sleep pad, a miniature Body Glide, an extra First Aid tape, and Antibacterial Wet Wipes. I’m sure I’ve ditched a few other small things that I can’t think of, but these are all I can recall as of now.

Net Weight Lost = 5.3 oz. (0.33 lb.)


TOTAL WEIGHT LOST = 112.47 oz. (7.03 lb.)


Want to know more about my gear? You can check out my Gear List or if you want to know more details, scroll through my blog posts on My Big Three or What’s in My Bag?

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