When packing for a long trail hike, it’s important to strike the right balance between packing too much and packing too little.
You’ll need to bring basic items like food and water to sustain yourself, but you don’t want to be bogged down by a heavy pack.
Gear List for the Long Trail
My gear list for the Long trail includes a tent, sleeping bag, stove, fuel, water filter, first aid kit, bear spray, headlamp, GPS, compass, map, phone, camera, rain jacket, rain pants, socks, gloves, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug repellent, and snacks.
I would also recommend bringing extra clothes (including underwear) if you get wet or dirty during the hike.
The best way to prepare for a long trail hike is to research the area you plan to visit. It is best to join the hiking community and find a hiking partner The more information you know about the area before you go, the easier it will be to make good decisions about what to take.
Long Trail Trip Brief
Your biggest problem was your hydration system. You should have been drinking more water. I suggest you drink one gallon of water per day. If you’re going to be hiking for five days straight, you should drink three gallons of water per day.
You should also carry a small amount of salt to help replace sodium lost through sweat. Sodium helps regulate body temperature and blood pressure.
It would be best to consider carrying an electrolyte replacement powder like Gatorade Endurance Formula. This product contains carbohydrates, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
If you’re planning to hike the AT, you should also carry a lightweight tent. A two-person tent weighs around 20 pounds, while a four-person tent weighs over 30 pounds. Most shelters weigh around 40 pounds.
Long Trail Conditions
Conditions were expected to be between 50-70 degrees, with a rainy storm on day two. Vermont is affectionately known as “Ver-mud” to AT thru-hikers. Approximately 100 of the 273 miles follow the AT. The Northern 173 mile section is the most difficult terrain I’ve ever encountered over a prolonged period.
Your average walking speed is about 1mph slower than your average speed while hiking the AT. You walk very slowly because you’re constantly climbing hills and descending them.
Hiking the AT requires a lot of energy. Your muscles burn easily, especially if you’re carrying a heavy load. It would be best to try to eat at least every 2 hours.
Water sources are plentiful throughout the trail. There are many streams, ponds, and lakes along the trail.
Weather conditions vary greatly depending on where you are on the trail. Some sections may receive snowfall, while other sections may experience hot weather.
There are no bathrooms along the trail. It would be best if you used outhouses located along the side of the road. These restrooms are usually locked, so you’ll need to find another source of privacy.
There are no stores or restaurants along the trail. Hikers must rely on their supplies.
There are only a handful of towns along the trail. Many people choose to stay in campgrounds instead of hotels along the route. Camping is free along the trail.
Rain jackets are lightweight and perform well in the winds. Rain pants are convertible and feature a pair of zippable hand pockets.
A father-like fashion sense requires zip-off pants in some capacity. The puff daddy is the best down jacket you’ve ever used and going on 3,000 miles strong.
I would recommend bringing a rain poncho or raincoat. They are cheap and easy to throw into your backpack.
You should also bring a hat to wear under the raincoat. Hats are great for keeping the sun off your face and head.
Hiking wardrobe essentials include:
The shoes you wear on the trail are crucial. You’ll spend a lot of time walking and standing, so you’ll want comfortable footwear.
It’s important to remember that you’re wearing boots when hiking the AT. Boots provide traction, support, and protection.
The most common boots are Merrell Moab, Teva sandals, Keen sandals, and Timberland hiking boots.
Consider how they feel on your wet feet when choosing your boots before buying. If you like the way they fit, go ahead and buy them.
Don’t forget socks! Socks help prevent blisters and chaffing. Cotton dry socks are recommended, although synthetic ones work just fine.
If you plan on sleeping outside, you’ll need a lighter tent. Sleeping bags are essential, as are ground pads. A good sleeping pad helps reduce back pain and keeps you warm during cold nights.
If you plan on camping inside, you’ll need a sleeping bag rated to 40 degrees F.
Bring toilet paper and deodorant, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, mouthwash, and feminine hygiene products.
Bring a basic first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic cream, tweezers, gauze, scissors, tape, aspirin, ibuprofen, antihistamines, sunscreen, insect repellent, lip balm, and a small flashlight.
- A compass is useful for finding your way around the trail.
- An extra pair of gloves is helpful for those chilly mornings.
- A pocket knife is handy for cutting wood, opening packages, and making repairs.
- A whistle is great for signaling hikers behind you.
- A map is necessary if you plan on doing more than day hikes.
- A camera is an excellent tool for documenting your trip.
- A GPS device helps navigate unfamiliar areas.
- GPS devices are expensive but worth every penny.
- A cell phone is useful for contacting family members and friends while away.
- A lighter is needed for starting fires.
- A pen and pencil are useful for taking notes.
- A journal is a wonderful way to document your experiences.
Your backpack is one of the most important items you’ll take on the trail. Choose wisely.
Your backpack needs to be large enough to carry all your gear comfortably. However, it shouldn’t weigh more than 10 pounds.
Consider what type of terrain you’ll encounter. If you are crossing streams, rivers, or rocky trails, choose a backpack with plenty of storage space.
Choose a backpack that fits your body properly. The straps should rest comfortably against your shoulders without causing discomfort.
Consider the extra weight of the backpack. Heavy packs make carrying them difficult. Lightweight packs are easier to maneuver.
Pack Your Backpack
Start by placing everything you’ll need into your backpack. Then, add other items until your backpack feels full.
You may find it helpful to use a checklist when packing your backpack. This will ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to check off each item on your checklist once you’ve packed your backpack. Make sure to leave room for unexpected items such as rain gear, bug spray, snacks, and energy bars.
When packing your backpack, think about how you’ll access your supplies. For example, if you’ll be hiking through rugged terrain, you might consider using a hiking pole instead of a walking stick.
When choosing a backpack, look for features like hip belts, waist straps, and sternum straps. This helps distribute the load evenly across your back.
Don’t forget to pack your sleeping bag!
Cooking – Water – Food System
Food and water are essential for sustaining life. You’ll need to eat regularly during your hike to stay healthy and hydrated.
Water is the most important thing you’ll need to survive on the trail. Carry at least three liters (3 quarts) per person per day.
Water purification tablets are available at many outdoor stores. They remove bacteria, parasites, and chemicals from tap water.
If you’re planning on drinking untreated water, you’ll need to boil it before consuming it. Boiling kills harmful organisms.
If you’re unsure whether the water source is safe to drink, treat it with iodine tablets. Iodine prevents the growth of microorganisms in the water.
It would be best if you carried a lot of lightweight items because you’ll need them when you’re camping. A snow peak spoon, propane, lighter and all-purpose soap are useful tools for campfires. You’ll also want a water filter and a pocket rocket stove.
Remember that there’s no substitute for good planning. Take time to plan. Think about where you’ll go and what you’ll do.
Planning is an excellent way to avoid making mistakes. Don’t let yourself get caught unprepared.
Good luck out there!