As one of the Trek’s gear nerds, it would be almost criminal to not make a post about the gear I’m taking on my upcoming thru-hike. I’ll be leaving very soon for Moab, Utah where I’ll be walking straight from the airport to start my hike on the Hayduke “Trail.” I say “Trail” because if you know anything about the Hayduke, you’d agree it is the farthest thing from a trail. The hike will include lots of off-trail navigation and scrambling up and down canyons. As such, it requires a lot of extra gear I would normally not be taking with me on your standard backpacking trip or thru-hike. Let’s get into it!
My Gear List at a Glance
For those of you that just want to read the gear list, here you go! The entire list with base weight and all just for you. Keep reading for more details on the gear I’m taking and why.
I’ll be taking the Gossamer Gear The One tent with me. I’ve only had the chance to set it up once, so wish me luck! However, I have been using non-freestanding trekking pole tents for a while and don’t anticipate many issues. This will be an upgrade from my last tent, which didn’t have a floor. I’m sure I’ll be cowboy camping a fair amount on this trip as well, so I wanted something light, but still comfortable and The One meets that bar. I like the ability to open it up and look out when the weather is nice as well.
The Hayduke has a lot of long water and food carries and I needed a pack that could carry all that comfortably and still be as light as possible. I decided to go with the LiteAF Ultra 40L Curve with Full Suspension. It’s big enough to carry everything I need, and has comfortable cushioning for shoulder straps and hip belt. I like the new Ultra fabric and the designs they print on it. It’s waterproof, strong, and abrasion resistant and should hold up well the the harsh desert conditions. Some additions I included on my pack are the bottom pocket, the ultra-stretch mesh, and shoulder strap pockets.
For my sleeping bag, I’ll be testing out the new Zpacks 20F Mummy Sleeping Bag for the Trek, so look out for that review! I’ve been a quilt user for a long time, but I’m excited to try out this sleeping bag for a few reasons. It’s ultralight and almost as light as my quilt. I sleep with my arm under my head and my hands are always getting cold, having the mummy hood to tuck them into will be nice. The bag can also be opened up like a quilt if I find it too confining. I might have temperatures down in the 20s, but I think they’ll start typically in the 30s overnight and slowly warm up in my time on trail as spring comes.
For my sleeping pad, I have the Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad in the regular rectangle shape. I’ve used this for a season already, and like this pad a lot. It’s comfortable, light, and warm. In addition, I’ll also be carrying a Gossamer Gear thinlight pad. I’ll use it mostly as a sit pad, but I can put it under my sleeping pad for extra warmth and protection as well.
I’m expecting temperatures from below freezing to over 100F on the Hayduke, making it tricky to pack clothing for the hike. For warmth, I’m bringing my Melanzana microgrid fleece hoodie and my new Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie. I’ll be reviewing the Ibex hoodie as well, and am excited about this piece of gear! The insulation is merino instead of down, which I found interesting. It’s breathable and water resistant while being extremely warm and light. Another plus is that you can throw it in the wash, unlike a down puffy. Look out for a full review on that as well!
For a rain jacket, I’m bringing my older Outdoor Research Helium II, which is light and breathable but not the most waterproof anymore. I think it’ll suffice, and will be used often as a windbreaker.
I’ll be bringing two pairs of pants, one fleece lined pair for sleeping and my previously reviewed REI Swiftland Hybrid Pants. I have a pair of biking style shorts as well for the hot days. I have two shirts, a light sun hoodie from mountain hardware and a jolly gear shirt for hiking. While it’s cold, I also have an REI base layer I may eventually send home.
I’ll be bringing my trusty Pocket Rocket 2 stove and a 750ml Toaks titanium pot. I mostly will just be boiling water for freeze dried meals and oatmeal. I have a long handled titanium spoon of course. I’m also taking a Cnoc Buc Bag to be able to use less plastic ziplock bags and reuse that for multiple meals.
Since this is desert hiking, I’ve decided to wear Chacos for my shoes. I like the Z1 style without the toe loop and I ordered a custom pair to have their vibram sole to keep traction on the rocks. I’ve done a lot of desert hiking and hate emptying sand in my shoes or getting them soaked hiking down a canyon. I haven’t hiked long term in Chacos before, but I’ve been wearing them everywhere before my hike and I’ve done shorter hikes in them before.
I’ll be carrying a 20,000 mAmp capacity with 10k of that being a Nitecore NB1000 and the other being an Anker. I’m taking an inreach with my on this trail for safety. My headlamp is the Nitecore NU25 I’ve had for a long time, and my Fitbit is also coming along with me.
I’ve been loving my Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear 2.5 Liter Fanny Pack and will be taking that with me. It’ll hold my headphones, phone, sunscreen, Goodr Sunglasses, and all the snacks my heart desires. It’s the perfect size for all of that and for taking around town during chores as well.
Hayduke Specific & Luxury Items
Solar panel: I found a $20 solar panel on Amazon that weighs 3 oz, and added shock cord to my pack to be able to keep in on the back and charge my battery packs. Normally I would never carry this, but in the desert I’m assuming I’ll have lots of sun exposure and it’s so light it can’t hurt. I think this could come in handy on my multiple 7-8 day stretches.
Extra water Capacity: I’m bringing 9 total liters of water capacity. 5 are smart water bottles of carrying size, 1 liter is a Cnoc Vessica that collapses and I have the Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear Shoulder Strap to match. My last 3 liters is my Cnoc Versa bladder, which I’m hoping not to use very often. It is a high water year so that will be a great benefit. I’ll be carrying a Sawyer Squeeze as my filter as well as some Aquatabs
Rawology Ball: This cork massage ball is great for rolling on your feet, back, hips, and anywhere else to relieve pain and weights less than an ounce. A friend carried one on a weekend trip I took last fall and it was amazing, highly recommend.
Joby Tripod Phone Stand: I’ll be hiking solo and might not be seeing many people on the trail, so I decided to invest in a small tripod to get pictures of myself I wouldn’t otherwise be able to. The memories are important! It’s lightweight and can be adjusted to sit on uneven surfaces, perfect for the trail!
I’ve left certain basic items out, like my general first aid kit and toiletries but feel free to comment if you have any more specific questions. Everything I’m taking is included in my gear list above and on my profile too. I’m finally prepared and excited to start the trail!
The Zpacks Mummy Bag, Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie, REI Swiftland Hybrid Pants, and Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear Fanny Pack were donated for purpose of review.
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