Long Trail Gear List

Hiking the Long Trail in sections gave us plenty of opportunity to test gear and refine our backpacking needs and desires. If you’re looking for some simple gear recommendations or are just curious what other people choose to carry, you’ve come to the right place. For context, our aim with gear is to stay as light as possible without sacrificing needed comforts. So we strive for lightweight, not ultralight.

All our Long Trail gear to start section 1

Long Trail Gear List and Recommendations


  • Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 (Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – Such an amazing tent, it’s a perfect backcountry home! It’s plenty big for 2 people with 2 vestibules for gear storage and 2 exits for convenience. We have a mtnGLO model which has built in LED string lights in the tent ceiling. They’re great for finding your tent in the dark and having enough light to pack or change, but not quite bright enough to read.


  • Gregory Baltoro 65l (Buy from REI | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Backcountry) – This pack can comfortably haul serious loads and has lots of pockets for organization, which Kevin really likes. At around 5 pounds, it’s on the heavy side for a pack so he’s recently upgraded to something lighter.
  • Upgraded to Gossamer Gear Silverback 55 (Buy from Gossamer Gear) – Kevin upgraded to a Gossamer Gear pack that carries similarly and is about half the weight. He highly recommends any of their products! They are unisex and sized by torso length. 
  • Thule Versant Women’s 50l (Buy from Amazon) – Kathy used this on the Long Trail, and while it got the job done, it wasn’t a total winner, so she wouldn’t recommend it. Hence, the upgrade listed below.
  • Upgraded to Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Junction (Buy from Hyperlite Mountain Gear) – So much lighter, more comfortable, and waterproof! We would recommend Hyperlite Mountain Gear to anyone looking to go super light and minimal. Packs are unisex.

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Pad

  • Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite Sol (Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – At 14 oz for a regular or 10 oz for a small, Z-Lites are super light and pretty much indestructible. Sure, they’re not the most comfortable, but they provide enough cushioning and warmth to sleep without the setup and packing time required by inflatable pads. We sometimes use inflatable pads from Klymit (see below), which are more comfortable, but we keep coming back to the Z-Lite for its ease of use.
  • Klymit Static V (Buy Short Version from Klymit | Buy Regular Version from Klymit | Buy Insulated Lite Version from Klymit | Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – These are the most comfortable inflatable pads we’ve slept on. The V shaped air chambers help keep you on the pad if you toss and turn. They are really quick to inflate and deflate and pack down to the size of a 2l Nalgene bottle or smaller. Kevin preferred the Static V Short for the Long Trail because the weather was warm. In colder seasons, he uses the Insulated Static V Lite.


  • Saucony Peregrine 10 (Buy from Amazon) – The Saucony Peregrine line of trail shoes offers great traction and good foot protection for hiking rugged terrain. They do offer a GTX version if you need waterproof shoes, but Kevin recommends the regular version for warm weather hiking.
  • Altra Lone Peak (Buy from Amazon | Buy Women’s from Backcountry | Buy Men’s from Backcountry) – Altra’s wide toe box is a godsend for those with wide feet or who like to be able to splay their toes out. If your toes feel cramped in other shoes, give these a try. They also have zero drop, meaning the heel is the same level as the forefoot, unlike most other shoes which give at least a few mm of stack in the heel. This has taken Kathy some time to get used to, but now she won’t wear anything else. 
  • Camp Shoes – Xero Shoes Z-Trail Sandals (Buy Men’s from REI | Buy Women’s from REI | Buy from Amazon) – These hiking sandals are a perfect option for camp shoes and they are super light – about 11 oz for men’s and 9 oz for women’s. They let your feet breathe after a long day on trail while providing the traction needed to move around whatever terrain you’re camping on. You could even hike some miles in these comfortably if you choose.
  • Socks


  • Long Trail Map – We brought this on the trail
  • End to Ender’s Guide – We only used this for planning at home
  • Compass (Buy from REI | Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – We really like the simple and durable models from Suunto.
  • GaiaGPS App – This is our favorite way to navigate in the backcountry, but it doesn’t replace a paper map in case your tech dies on you.
  • Guthook Guides Long Trail App – Guthook Guides provide so much valuable info on the trail including shelters, water sources, and nearby towns. One great part of this app is that users can leave comments with local and timely intel. Some of those helped us confirm water availability and find stealth sites between shelters.



  • Sawyer Micro Squeeze (Buy from REI | Buy from Amazon) – This is the easiest and lightest way we’ve found to treat water in the backcountry. The tiny filter screws onto the top of water bottles with regular threads, water pouches that come with the system, and the Platypus Collapsible Water Bottle (see below).
  • Smartwater Bottles (Buy from Amazon) – These 1 liter bottles are perfect for use with Sawyer water filters.
  • Platypus Collapsible Water Bottle (Buy from REI | Buy from Amazon) – Kevin brought a 2 liter model that made for a perfect system along with a Sawyer Micro Squeeze and a Smartwater bottle.
  • Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets (Buy from REI | Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – It’s good practice to always bring a backup for water purification and these tablets are perfect for that.


  • MSR Pocket Rocket Stove (Buy from REI | Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – This stove is reliable, lightweight, and so easy to use.
  • Fuel – the Pocket Rocket runs on IsoPro fuel canisters.
  • Titanium Mug – Snow Peak Titanium Trek 700 (Buy from REI | Buy from Backcountry) – This mug is so lightweight and versatile. It weighs less than 5 oz and easily boils enough water for 2 people.
  • Plastic Mugs – We have a couple of these from our GSI Outdoor Backpacker Cookware Set (Buy from REI | Buy from Backcountry)
  • Lighters – Bring 2, you don’t want to be without if one gets lost or stops working.
  • Light My Fire Spork (Buy from REI | Buy from Amazon)
  • Knife or Multitool
    • Swiss Army Knife (Buy from Amazon) – These are great if you need a can opener or any tools other than just a knife.
    • Opinel No. 8 (Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – This is a great option if you prefer a knife that locks in the open position so it won’t accidentally close on you during use.


Bear Safety


  • Headlamp and Batteries (Buy from REI | Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – We have Black Diamond Spot headlamps and completely recommend them. Make sure whatever you purchase has a red light option as that is really useful for walking around in dark and keeping your night vision.
  • Phone
  • E-reader (Buy from Amazon) – This is a luxury item for Kevin. It’s nice to read for an hour or so before falling asleep in the backcountry, just like at home.
  • Power Bank (Buy from Amazon)


  • Trekking Poles (Buy from Amazon) – We always use these to save our knees on descents and get our upper bodies into ascents. They also help us keep a steady hiking rhythm. There are so many options, but we have some from Komperdell and would recommend their products. Kevin’s are still going strong after more than 5 years of heavy use.
  • Sun Protection
    • Sunscreen
    • Sunglasses
      • Knockaround Sunglasses (Buy from Amazon) – Knockaround makes affordable polarized sunglasses that come in all sorts of styles and colors and are designed to take some abuse. I have a few pairs and love them.
      • Electric Bengal Sunglasses (Buy from Backcountry)
  • Bug Spray – We recommend something with at least 30% DEET to be effective against ticks that might carry Lyme disease.
  • O’Keefe’s Working Hands (Buy from Amazon) – This is the only hand cream or lotion we’ve found that can restore battered hands on the trail. It’s great for daily use at home also.
  • Pillow (Buy from REI | Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – The Nemo Fillo Pillow is the best for Kevin. It is inflatable and also has a foam top and removable washable over. While many may say this is unnecessary, a nice pillow is a must for him! Sleeping well is so important to be rested for the next day. So he’s willing to carry a little extra weight and bulk.
  • Ear Plugs (Buy from Amazon) – So helpful if you are a light sleeper. We’ve used some from Flents and Mack’s that all work well.
  • ChapStick – The ones with a little SPF for added sun protection are nice to have.


  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc.
  • Dr. Bronner’s Soap (Buy from REI | Buy from Amazon) – You can use this for pretty much everything! Wash dishes, laundry, and yourself with just one product.
  • Wipes (Buy from REI | Buy from Backcountry | Buy from Amazon) – There are so many options and we chose Surviveware Biodegradable Wet Wipes. They are unscented and alcohol free. We recommend drying them at home before hitting the trail to save weight. To use them, just add some water to rehydrate and wipe away!
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Trowel Kit – Bury your poop!

First Aid Kit

  • Band Aids
  • Antibiotic Ointment – Neosporin
  • Gauze
  • Alcohol Pads
  • Pain Relief – Advil or Tylenol
  • Stomach Medicine – Tums, Pepto, Imodium
  • Allergy Medicine – Benadryl
  • Tweezers – Just in case you need to remove any ticks, insect stingers, thorns, or things like that. We unfortunately did, so we were glad to have them in our kit.

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