2017 CDT Ultralight Gear List (With Camera)

2017 CDT Gear List

Last year on my AT thru hike, I became aware of quite a few tweaks that I wanted to make to my gear set up. After walking 2189.1 miles, most people realize what they need and don’t need during a thru hike. I found out that I don’t need much, especially compared to other thru hikers. After a few hours of research into the UL community, I made the decision that I wanted to go as light as possible for my next thru hike while still being able to carry my camera. Originally, the PCT seemed like the best idea for me, but after consideration, I chose to thru hike the CDT this year instead. I began planning immediately.

With my decision made, I began making huge adjustments to my pack. From lightening and replacing some of the gear I had, to completely ditching multiple items, I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t be carrying anything without a purpose, but simultaneously carrying everything I would absolutely need. The thing about UL gear is that it truthfully doesn’t cost much (if any) more than the heavier ‘mainstream’ gear that you can buy at REI/other outdoor retailers. Not only is UL gear not as expensive as one might think, but you also directly contribute to smaller companies of your choice. Being able to lighten my load while also supporting companies that I believe in is pretty rad.

Coming from about a 15lb base weight last year on the AT, I knew that I needed to make some serious changes. Below is a video showcasing the gear I will be using along the Continental Divide Trail this year. I tested all of this gear on a section hike from Fontana to Hot Springs last month, and I am thoroughly pleased with the outcome. Some of the gear in the video is new, some is carried over from my thru hike last year.

List of new gear/changes:

With everything, including my Sony a6000, my base weight is 9.1lbs. As mentioned above, if you do your research, you’ll come to learn that most UL gear is right around the same price as the bigger name brands that you can purchase at an outdoor retailer. For me, having an ultralight set up isn’t about having the ‘lightest pack’. For me, it’s about pushing myself to rid of everything that I’ve been conditioned to ‘think’ I need. It’s about doing more with less. To me, it is a minimalist mindset applied to backpacking. For me, simplicity is everything.

If you’ve got any questions or just want general advice, feel free to comment or message me. Thanks for reading and hopefully this gives some of you an insight into UL backpacking and how to pick out your gear.




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Comments 5

  • Riley : May 17th

    Hi Puma,
    I also hiked the AT last year, and plan to sobo the CDT. I was wondering how you plan to set up your zpacks tent without trekking poles? I have a homemade tarp and similarly dislike trekking poles but am reluctant to leave them at home because Im concerned i might run into a situation where i cant set up my shelter.

  • Starfox : May 19th

    The hexamid is a $400 tent without the bathtub floor. How is that the same price as most mainstream/heavier gear? The idea that UL gear is just as cheap if not cheaper is just not true. If you want performance UL gear, you will be paying.

  • Tom : May 21st

    I’m curious about how you’ll do without a cook stove. Did you try that out on your Fontana/Hot Springs hike? How’d it go? Thanks

    • Carrie : May 23rd

      I was wondering the same thing about not having a stove.

      • Jules : May 27th

        Personally, going no stove would be a deal breaker. Having fire is mans greatest invention. Nothing perks up you up more than warm food and beverage before you tuck in from a long day.


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