Mags’ Gear List

My gear list as of July 2012. Over the years, my gear has changed. A trend towards lighter, but also mixing and matching based on different pursuits and goals of my trip.

What gear to bring on a trip is a question many people ask.

As I've said many, many, many times before there is no "best gear", just gear that fits your own needs, goals, safety and comfort levels.

While on all my trips I tend to go as light as possible, I do take different gear based on the type of trip I am taking.

More time in camp? Solo? A more technical trip?   With buddies? Guiding? And so on.

For example, If I am taking a past partner (as of Sept 2012!) on a trip,   I'll take the Lunar Duo, a canister stove and a thicker pad.  Different trips do require different tools.

I'd hate to take my minamalist solo pack on an overnight  climbing trip but don't see the reason to take something that can haul a rope out for a casual overnighter in the Indian Peaks either. 🙂

Having said all that, my personal baseline for backpacking is three-season solo trips.  Backpacking is my first love and I feel solo trips are the most intense for me and something I truly need in my life.

So, the following is my list of geaf for three season solo backpking. Aimed towards Colorado conditions in late-Spring/early-Summer to mid-Fall.

Mags' Equipment List

Pack and accessories: Six Moon Designs' Swift (modified)   14.00  oz  
  Trash Bag for pack liner   .625 oz  
    Total 14.625 oz  
  Six Moon Designs Wild Oasis   14.500 oz  
  6 Ti. Tent stakes 1.125 oz  
    Total 15.125 oz  
  CCF Pad (cut down)   5.500 oz  
  Jacks R' Better Sierra Sniveller Quilt w/900 fill    22.000oz  
  SilyNylon Stuff Sack w/Garbage bag 1.500 oz  
    Total 29.00 oz  
Kitchen Lexan Spoon   .375 oz  
  Lighter   .500 oz  
  Toothbrush   .250 oz  
  Ziplock Bag   .125 oz  
  SilNylon  Foodbag   1.000 oz  
    Total 2.250 oz  
Hydration   96 oz Nalgene Cantene   2.625 oz  
  (2) 1 qt. Gatorade bottles   2.250 oz  
  Iodine Tabs   1.000 oz  
    Total 5.875 oz  
Clothing in Pack  Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody                                                 14..50 oz  
  Target Running Socks




DriDucks Micropore Jacket


GoLite Wisp

Discount Dance Supply Ripstop Pants

  1.750 oz




5.5 oz


3.000 oz

4..000 oz

  Lt. Wt. Polypro bottom   5.125 oz  
  Lt. Wt. Polypro Long Sleeve Tops   4.500 oz  
  Fleece Socks   1.750 oz  
  Exp. Wt. Polypro Balaclava   1.750 oz  
  Military Surplus Wool Glove Liners   1.625 oz  
  OR Endeavor Shell Mitts   4.000 oz  
  Shopping Bag   .125 oz  
    Total 47.625 oz  
First Aid Kit Vitamin I                                                    1.000 oz  
  4 4×4 Gauze Pads   .375 oz  
  5 Band-aids   < .125 oz  
  Ziplock   < .125 oz  
  (Duct tape, bandannas, etc. work as first aid items as well)  
    Total 1.375 oz  
  Headnet   .625 oz  
  Deet   2.000 oz  
  Coast Head Lamp   1.5 oz  
  Ziplock Bag   .250 oz  
  Bandanna   .375 oz  
  T/P   2.000 oz  







  2.250 oz







  Ziplock Bag   .125 oz  
  Total 11.00 oz  
TOTAL BASE PACK WEIGHT: 126 oz / 7 lbs  15  oz  
Equipment "On Self" Poly/Rayon Blend (65/35) L. Sleeve Shirt 6.125 oz  
  Target Nylon Shorts   3.750 oz  
  Target Running Socks   1.750 oz  
  Bandanna   1.125 oz  
  Boonie Style Hat   3.625 oz  
  Swiss Army Knife Classic   .625 oz  
  P-38 Can Opener aka "John Wayne" <.125 oz  
  Ski Poles w/ Duct Tape around handle 18.750 oz  
  Trail Runners  (with inserts)   30.125 oz  
  Compass   1.125 oz  
  Sunglasses   1.000 oz  
  Chapstick   .250 oz  
  Timex Indiglo Watch   1.125 oz  
  Total 70.000 oz/ 4.375 lbs  


  • All weights were gauged with a digital scale accurate to 1/8 (.125) oz
  • When on my long-hikes, I carry a zip lock with my ID, cash, Debit and Credit cards
  • In my pack, on long hikes, I will carry a zip lock with maps, guide book sections, journal, etc. The overall weight will be ~9 lbs
  • For longer hikes, I now go stoveless. More than the weights savings, it is the KISS principle I love. The weight savings is probably negligible as I do have to buy more (not all) non-dried food, but resupply and eating now has a a very little futz factor. Yeah! Thanks to Garlic and Pickle (and using this method on an AZT section) for showing me the utility of this idea!
  • My biggest weight penalty and luxury is my camera setup when I take a DSLR.  This beast with a zoom lens and case weighs in at ~3 lbs. :O  I willingly take it as I am a serious amateur and love taking photos.  If I am going quick and dirty, I'll take a Canon Powershot A1200 for about 7 oz 'penalty' Great little camera esp for the price! 
  • On most of hikes, I do not take Deet or a bug net (Yeah for CO dryness!), but I still included it for comparison.
  • Finally, this gear list is for three-season hiking. I define three season-hiking as having lows of no less than 15F or so and snow that is not permanent. For most of my Colorado hiking, this range is normally seen in mid-late June up until late Sept/early  October. In shoulder season hiking, (such as when I did the Benton MacKaye Trail ) , I'll swap in an additional fleece hat, a  lined windshirt and my heavier shell. Call it a ~1.5 lb weight penalty total.
  • On more technical trips (climbing? more 'hard core bushwhacking'?), I'll take the heavier shell as well.
  • When on climbing trips, I definitely take the point and shoot camera. My buddies don't like it when I am taking them off belay so I can shoot some photos. 😉
  • So, depending on the trip, all my solo gear can weigh up to 15 lbs or as little 8 lbs.
  • Which is why there are different tools for different jobs! 😀

8 Replies to “Mags’ Gear List”

  1. I am a pretty new backpacker and am doing sections 20, 21, and 22 of the CT in late July-early August. It would be great if I could ask you a few questions? 1. What average temps can we expect at night? and day? (trying to figure out which bag to take and how many layers) 2. I hate long sleeve shirts and long pants….are they a must or can I get by with only shorts and maybe a long sleeve wicking shirt and a short sleeve for the warmer days? 3. Have you heard whether or not car vandalism is a problem out of the Eddiesville trailhead? and finally 4. Should we be expecting rain every afternoon? Thanks for the info if you get a chance to respond.

    • Hi Jeff! 1. A 20F bag is good for 3-season Colorado backpacking. It gets cool at night and 40F bag might not cut it. 2) I wear long sleeves for sun protection. If you don’t use clothing, you’ll need sun screen. Personally. I don’t like wearing sun screen for long term use. Too sticky feeling esp with the sweat and dirt. Plus it is extra weight I have to carry! YMMV 3) IT is an isolated trail head and should be safe from vandalism. Most thieves are lazy. 🙂 4) T-storms happen almost every afternoon at that time of the year

      Let me know if you have additional questions!

  2. Hey would just like to thank you for posting this checklist.. it has helped me to decide what i need to take with me on my travels. 🙂 I’d have to say that my biggest weight penalty is also a camera, wouldn’t go anywhere without it. I love taking action shots of the great outdoors. 🙂

  3. Hey Paul, just read your article in the CT guidebook and now this list. It’s given me a lot to think about for paring down weight. Thanks!

    One thing for you to consider: if you want a camera somewhere in between a DSLR and a point-and-shoot, consider a micro four-thirds (MFT) camera system. These cameras have matured quite a bit and you can get a kit that rivals or surpasses DSLR quality for at or under 1 lb.

  4. Thanks for posting this helpful list! My husband and I are planning to hike the CT this coming summer. Quick question regarding the ripstop pants. Are they water proof? How did they work out for you?


    • They are water resistant as opposed to water proof. I pump out a lot of heat, so these pants and thermal bottoms work well for three-season conditions. At least for me. If you get colder easier, you may want to wear “real” rain pants.

      Hope that helps!

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