A Different Kind of Gear List

Approximately 20-25lbs of home:

  • One very special purple, scratched-up titanium spork that Wade gave me for my birthday on the AT (because what else do you give a thru-hiker?).
  • A tiny bottle of Doc Bronner’s we barely ever use, so God knows where or when we actually bought it.
  • One lighter of similarly mysterious origin.
  • One thin sheet metal windscreen.
  • The third iteration of homemade alcohol stove I have used, made from a thick beer can.
  • The pot scraper, once the subject of so much deliberation when we bought it, but which turned out to be an absolute game-changer when it came to scraping out dehydrated milk.

(All inside the pot we got for free from a stranger at an outfitter who didn’t have a use for it anymore.  Capped off with a metal bowl, the whole assembly looks like a tiny ten-inch cylindrical soldier.)


  • A sleeping bag I have very few feelings about stuffed in a scuffed-up compression sack.
  • Our tent in a cheap mesh bag, stuffed instead of folded after a few debates about the subject.  Setting up this tent is probably the most automatic thing I do at this point.
  • One rain jacket. It’s alright I guess.
  • One hiking pole, dinged up from being thrown off countless cliffs, with a “safety third” sticker from my dad. I am currently epoxy-ing this one because I broke it a little bit.
  • One camelbak and inline water filter.
  • A food bag, filled with food lovingly repackaged, or at least the safety seals torn off to avoid trash, and a dingy orange rope to hang it with.


In our stuff sacks, which are pink (for warm things, obviously) and blue (for other things), are our clothes.

  • My jacket, which used to be bright salmony pink but which is now a dull red. Nearly grey in the shoulder areas where my backpack sits, and covered in small patches. A big patch on the elbow, white down visible through it, from a nail on a 2×4 at work.
  • Some wool socks that probably someone I love gave me. Whichever seemed to have the least holes.
  • My sleeping bag liner, which me and Wade call a “blankie” because it’s so soft. Replaced the hell of a satin sheet on my calluses.
  • One pair of extra underwear, maybe more.
  • A long underwear shirt I’m borrowing from wade to avoid buying my own.
  • My cute rainbow bear face hat I bought in Damascus, which has a tiny singe mark from a campfire. It still brings infinite emotional support.

And some small things,

  • A tiny bag of ibuprofen, paper tape, and a Mylar blanket, all of which I swear have saved my life at some point.
  • A cathole shovel, my most frequently replaced article of gear.
  • A Ziploc of toilet paper.
  • One or two wet wipes.
  • And the little stuffed husky keychain I always hang in my tent at night.

    There are special guests sometimes too, usually for colder weather, including:

    • One of the pairs of leggings my housemate’s mom keeps sending me in the mail.
    • My ice axe, which we immediately had a sword fight with in the parking lot.
    • My thick vaguely puke colored wool sweater I inherited from my mom.
    • Our satellite phone, which is hilariously bright orange and heavy.
    • Hand warmers, the only thing that keeps my toes from freezing at night sometimes. 

      Written, of course, from memory.  (I couldn’t do that with items in even one drawer in my house.)

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