Life of the Wanderlust

Final gear list for the ECT

Check out this gear… in video form! Youtube

This is what I’m carrying on the Eastern Continental Trail.

  • I’m starting in Quebec in July, and will probably be done with the first leg of the trip, the International Appalachian Trail, by August. Here I will dance with the caribou, square off with moose, and speak broken French with the locals.
  • Then off to the very strange community that is the Appalachian Trail for 3 months, August through November. Hopefully meeting up with a friend who is yoyoing the AT, and we’ll walk south. We will eat vegan food, enjoy big miles, and witness fall in the Appalachians.
  • I’ll leave him at Springer to tackle a section of the Benton Mackaye Trail, continuing on to hike the Pinhoti Trail, and walk to Florida on roads. This will likely be how I spend early November. Getting lost in Alabama.
  • Finally reaching the Florida Trail, and my home state, celebrating my birthday on the trail, Thanksgiving, and likely Christmas too. What are holidays anyway? Finishing up with this grand adventure in the Florida Keys around new years.

Some 4,800 miles down the east coast.

ECTmap

This is the time line I’ve laid out to avoid harsh weather in the north, and hike through Florida when it’s not a sauna. Seriously, where else can you hike in January? I only mention this stuff because my gear is chosen wisely based on the conditions I will face on this specific trip, for these specific conditions.

I don’t recommend you follow in my footsteps, or make the same choices in your gear as I have. Get out, use what you own, and change things as you go with the experience you’re gaining. The stuff I use is very dial to how I like to do things. I suggest you find how you like to do things.

Backpack

  •      Backpack – Pa’lante Cuben Simple                                                         7.4 (ounces)
  •      Bag Liner – Mountain Laurel Designs pack liner                                 1.3

Sleep System

  •      Quilt – Mountain Laurel Designs FKT synthetic quilt L                      15
  •      Pad – GossamerGear Thinlight 1/8″ (torso length)                             1.1

Shelter System

  •      Tarp – Mountain Laurel Designs cuben ProPoncho 9×5                    6.4
  •      Guylines – 4 / 6ft, and 4 / 3ft lines w/ mini carabiners                      1.7
  •      Bivy – Mountain Laurel Designs silnylon Superlight                         6.7
  •      Stakes – 6 Titanium shepherds hooks, and 2 titanium V shape      1.9

Water / Kitchen

  •      Water Bottle – 2 SmartWater 34oz                                                         2.8
  •      Food Bowl – Ziploc 2cup 16oz screw top container                           1.4
  •      Food bag – 20 x 12.5 OPsak                                                                      1.2
  •      Spoon – Plastic                                                                                           0.4

Clothing(Carried)

  •      Neck Gaiter – Blaze orange                                                                      1.4
  •      Socks – Injinji Trail 2.0 midweight micro                                           2.2
  •      Hat – Zpacks synthetic micro-fleece beanie                                       1
  •      Rain Jacket – OR Hellium II                                                                     6
  •      Long Underwear – Montbell Zeo-line Tights                                      4.1
  •      Jacket – Montbell Thermawrap                                                               8.4
  •      Glove Liners                                                                                                1.3

Misc.

  •      Flashlight – Fenix LD02 + extra AAA battery                                      1.4
  •      Bug Repellant – 98% Deet, repackaged                                                 0.2
  •      ID, Money, & Credit Card – In a ziploc                                                  0.4
  •      Knife – Swiss Army Knife classic S                                                        0.8
  •      Lighter – Mini Bic                                                                                      0.4
  •      Cell Phone – Samsung Galaxy s5                                                            4.9
  •      Exra Phone Battery                                                                                    2
  •      USB Cord – Charging phone                                                                   0.3
  •      Wall Charger – Single port charger                                                       0.9
  •      Maps & Data – Cut up guidebooks and maps                                      ~0

First Aid Kit

  •      Soap & Toothpaste – Dr. Bronners, repackaged                                 0.2
  •      Toothbrush – Sans handle                                                                       0.1
  •      Advil & Tylenol – Mini ziploc                                                                  0.2
  •      Ziploc Bag – Holds FAK and Misc.                                                         0.2

Total base weight of pack (the weight without food, water, fuel or worn clothing)

  •      < 6 lbs~

Worn on my body: Altra Lone Peak 2.5s, ball cap, long sleeve button up shirt, running shorts, Injinji toe socks, LED flashlight necklace, and sunglasses.

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Even with such a small backpack, I am still learning how to, and wanting to lighten up further.

Jupiter

7 Comments

  1. kg33418

    JH,
    I know we havent met (yet) but I am SO beyond excited for you and this journey. I’m jealous and wish it was something I had the guts to do… maybe some day… but until then, I’ll continue to look to you as an amazing source of inspiration!!

    • jupiterhikes

      Hi, you’re awesome! Why haven’t we met? I hope with this post, I can finally stop talking about gear… not! But maybe more sparingly. I have a lot of food preperation, and planning in the months ahead. Although I am so hectic at times with certain things it’s hard to compile into one post just yet.

      You have the guts, it’s time to take the step and make a plan 🙂 how about something shorter? The Colorado trail for example, or the wonderland trail. Two trips, sure to ruin your life 😉

  2. John B. Abela

    Walked out to the mailbox about 20 minutes ago and a MLD FKT Quilt was hanging out in there waiting for me to unpackage!

    Hey, killer setup, obviously. One question for ya… is there really that much sun on the ECT that it warrants that heavy ChromeDome umbrella? The SnowPeak Ultralite Umbrella is half the weight (and way less pack volume)

    Nice to see you pick up the MB Thermawrap Jacket. Freaking love mine. It plus the MLD FKT quilt (with head slot) should make for a near perfect non-winter season combo!

    • jupiterhikes

      Ya know I’ve debated long and hard about the umbrella. I think mostly it’ll be used for the sheer amount of rain, because you’re right, sun won’t be an issue for a long time. Any thoughts? Not worth the weight? I’ll probably still keep it. I’m an umbrella type of guy. But then again…. half a pound is significant.

  3. John frnner

    Go, James, go!

  4. Pete

    I was wondering if you still use Bonnie Balm or if you found a like item that is reliable I’ve read a lot of negative coments about the shipping of Bonnie’s and from watching and following you, respect your advice can you email me back with your recommendation to another Florida boy

    • jupiterhikes

      I do not still use bonnies balm but I could see it being useful, and know of some folks that use shea butter or lanolin for a similar effect, applying it at night. I think at this point my feet are pretty hardened, and for the most part I’ve just moved on to small practices throughout the day to protect them. Balm, or oils, butter whatever could be cool but I think in the end it is those daily procedures that mean the most. Letting feet out of socks and shoes once or twice a day to air, washing feet daily, not letting socks get too dirty for too long, removing debris from within the shoe as soon as you notice it, adjusting laces depending on feel, walking at different paces strides or cadence throughout the day. It’s a lot, and easier to just put some butter on your feet for a lesser but similar effect, but those things will make much more of a difference in the long run.

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