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:
- Palante Packs – Simple Pack (replacing the Exos 48)
- Zpacks Hexamid (replacing the Nemo Hornet 1P)
- Marmot Mica (replacing the OR Helium II)
- Montbell Thermawrap (replacing the Ghost Whisperer)
- No Stove (carried a Snow Peak titanium stove last year)
- No Trekking poles (realized in Maine that they get in my way more than they help me)
- No Camp shoes (waste of space and weight to me)
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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