Lint Shakedown

No, not the accumulation of fluffy fibers.

Lint doesn’t sit still long enough for that.

Lint is a rock star in the thru-hiking world.  In the last 11 years, he has completed 11 thru-hikes, including twice earning Triple Crown status, which means that he has thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Appalachian Trail.  That’s enough of an achievement for most people.  He’s done that twice and is only one trail (Continental Divide Trail) away from earning his third Triple Crown.

The man lives to thru-hike.

Anyway, we found out that he lives right around the corner from us and was willing to get together to look at what we have and give us suggestions.

We were excited about his offer.

Although probably only half as excited as he was.

He and his girlfriend came over and walked into a living room with Jennifer’s gear spread out on the floor.  Lint got right to it, telling us tales of the trail, looking over what we had, giving suggestions and ideas on what equipment we do have and what we’re looking to purchase.

His girlfriend is a relatively newer hiker and she still had plenty of advice, including ideas for Jennifer that Lint couldn’t provide.

It was a fantastic two hours where we learned a lot.  And it reinforced many of the things that we had read about and planned for.

So what was the equipment layout like?  Here’s mine:

Other than a few small items, that’s it.  Well, except for what I was wearing, which, for the most part is what I’ll be wearing on the trail.  Although the red blanket will not be going.  That was just to lay out the gear.

Oh, and the tent.  We don’t have our tent from Yama Mountain Gear yet, but it won’t take up much space at all.  Gen is working very hard getting everything in line for our sponsorship, not to mention coming up with great new tent designs like the brand-new ultralight Swiftline 2-person tent.

From left to right:

  • Backpack – Gossamer Gear Mariposa
  • Electronics – Phone, Headlamp, SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger
  • Sleeping Bag – Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15° Mummy Bag
  • Sleeping Pad – Thermarest NeoAir Xlite
  • Bear Canister in the back (only carried for a few hundred miles in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where it’s required)
  • Kitchen – folding bowl, titanium long-handled spoon, flint lighter, ultra-light camp stove (thanks Mom!)
  • Hydration – Platypus 2L hydration pack (not shown, 2 2L collapsible water bottles)
  • Additional items to be worn – Sun Hat, reflective umbrella (great sun protection), gaiters to keep sand and rocks out of the shoes, extra socks, glasses
  • Extra clothes in the pack – rain jacket, down jacket, extra underwear, sleep socks (helps keep the sleeping bag clean), long underwear, extra hiking socks, neck gaiter and wool beanie.
  • Paper maps and guide book – the maps will be separated into sections and the book will be dismantled so that the appropriate information is filed with those sections.  We won’t carry them all, instead mailing them to different pickup locations along the trail.

Like I said, that’s it for six months (worst case), save the few small items that we need to pick up.

Currently that puts me at just under 14lbs (6.3kg) for my base weight.  Yes, I could go lower, but that also means shelling out a lot of money to replace items that we already have.  So we’re good with what we have right now.

For comparison, Lint’s hiking with a base weight of just over 6lbs (2.7kg).  But getting into that realm of ultra-light hiking requires some experience and self-trust.

Perhaps we’ll get there one day.

It’s Friday.  Do you have any adventures planned?

4 thoughts on “Lint Shakedown”

  1. That is quite an impressive set up, and it must have been great to get advice from a true expert. I thought I was a efficient packer, though for a different kind of trip. I relinquish all claims! Currently on adventures in Nepal.

    1. Thank you!  We're lucky to have had so many before us take the same trek.  And they are a talkative bunch, so we just had to do a bunch of research before buying items.  Keeping costs within reason, of course.


      A trek through Nepal would add another 25lbs for me.  I'd go back to my 90-liter expedition pack, keep all of the same gear, but have my camera kit and tripod.  See, it's all situational.  The kit listed above is very purpose-driven – to comfortably trek 2,665 miles.


      Thanks for stopping by!  And I'll have to do my best to keep Goddess from looking at your beautiful quilts.  😉


      Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 3:25 AM

  2. Holy crap! That is bare! I have to admit, I’m not that fond of ultralight packing, although I’m sure I could get used to carrying a much lighter weight pack. My base weight is usually around 22 lbs. (and I’m pretty comfortable with that, although it does slow me down). I realize that thru-hiking is a whole other animal, but I so love my creature comforts and it doesn’t help that I’m a contingency packer. There are a few things I would have a very hard time giving up: my freshette, clean underwear, and my pillow. I have given it a lot of thought and since my eventual thru hike is years away, I’ll have to be content to trim an item or two for each trip we take until I can really make a dent. Well done!

    1. Ann –


      It's at the bare minimum right now.  There will be a few additions, like camp sandals.  After a day of hiking, I'd rather be barefoot and let all of the muscles relax and get a lovely massage by the sand, rocks and twigs.  But goat heads will keep me from doing that. 


      We've talked a few contingencies, but that can be such a rabbit hole.  Our discussion on a first-aid kit is ongoing, because there are so many different avenues that can go.  We're trying to keep it lightweight.  But we will also have dehydrated Action Wipes ( in our packs, because a day is so much nicer with a quick wipe down before crawling into the bag.


      Lint had a great idea.  Pack something that you may or may not need.  Get a couple of weeks into it and send it home.  That takes a huge weight off the mental shoulders and often helps you pare down even more.  Interesting concept that I'm not sure we'll be able to follow, as we are pretty minimal.  But there will be different items for different sections.  I'll break those out in a different post as we get closer.


      Oh, and never give up those fresh undies.  We're in the ExOfficios right now and I've abused them while here at home (I won't tell you how many days in a row I've worn them) just to get an idea of how they perform.  So far, they are worth every penny.  But especially for the ladies, a few pair to rotate amongst is mandatory.  I'd look sideways at anyone who said otherwise.




      Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 4:45 AM

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