Different trips require different gear. The weather and objective are just two of the factors that play a roll in what I choose to bring.

What I brought in 2017:

Arizona Trail (May) (5.3lb)

Great Divide Trail (July) (7.8lb)

Northern California (August) (5.1lb)

Overnights (fair-weather) (2.8lb)

How I chose what to bring in 2017:

My gear is always changing and I don’t have one locked in gear list, but rather I have different items to choose from and use depending on what I’m doing. Having experience means that I’m able to match what I have to what I’m doing pretty well.

When deciding the clothes to bring for the GDT, I was planning on the worst case scenario being a really cold morning being totally soaked from walking through wet brush. I knew wind pants wouldn’t help much in that situation so I went with running tights and was glad to have them. There were a couple times where I got a good amount of rain and it was pretty cold, but I felt well prepared with what I had, including an inflatable sleeping pad for the additional warmth. The major source of added pack weight for the GDT was camera gear. I expected the GDT to be the prettiest trail ever (it was) and I wanted to adequately capture it. I know I could have done the GDT a lot lighter, but due to my priorities for the trip I was happy with what I brought.

Switching gears to Northern California, I was hiking with a group and we were sort of challenging each other to see how light we would go, expecting the great conditions along the PCT in the summer. I ditched the sleeping pad, fleece, beanie, pants… Ended up getting some significant rain so I stopped early that day because I didn’t have enough warm clothes to feel comfortable continuing in those conditions. That’s a tradeoff I made and am fine with. I reaaaally wish I had my beanie, though. Using a quilt with no hood, my head was just not warm without it, and I will never go without one again.

My overnight gear is always very minimal since I know what the conditions are and generally only go when it is going to be pretty nice. I don’t really plan ahead for overnight trips, it’s usually just a nice day and I feel like getting out and leave soon thereafter.