We’ve finalized our Appalachian Trail thru hike gear! It’s similar to our PCT gear but even lighter. Check out our full AT gear list at:


Here are some of the new items we’ll be carrying on the Appalachian Trail:

Northstar wearing Marmot Crystalline jacket and ULA Rain Kilt
Northstar twirls in her new rain jacket and kilt.

Rain gear:

Northstar will wear a Marmot Crystalline women’s rain jacket on the AT. This minimalist jacket weighs just 6.2 ounces. It’s durable and protective, yet small enough to pack into its own pocket.

She’ll trade rain pants for a well-ventilated ULA rain kilt (2.9 oz). In addition to providing rain protection, this will allow some modesty when washing all our clothing in town.

Shutterbug will be sporting a 7.1 oz Rab Pulse rain jacket. Rab has managed to keep this jacket light while integrating a very functional and adjustable hood.

Montbell’s Dynamo wind pants will provide Shutterbug with basic wind and rain protection. They’re very breathable, and at 2.6 oz, they’re lighter than his shorts!

Shutterbug in his Rab Pulse jacket and Montbell Dynamo wind pants

Backpack: Gossamer Gear’s Gorilla pack offers 46 liters of space and good support, but weighs less than 2 pounds. Its Dyneema fabric resists tears, and a variety of pockets allow easy access to important items.

Shoes: Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes were incredibly popular with fellow thru hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. We decided to test them out over the winter, and are now converts — they’re comfortable, durable, breathable, and light. The wild colors are a bonus.

Knife: Spyderco’s Ladybug 3 knife is extremely light at 0.6 ounces, but its blade is still long enough to cut cheese and avocados. No corkscrew or other gadgets on this knife. We like to keep things simple and lightweight.

Spyderco Ladybug 3 KnifeGloves: Smartwool Liner Gloves are a favorite of ours because they’re so light and comfortable. Now they have conductive thread knitted into the fingertips so we’ll be able to use our touch screen phones while wearing them!

Shelter: Gossamer Gear is creating a modified version of their much loved SpinnTwinn tarp. A tarp is lighter than a tent and allows greater airflow, perfect for the hot and humid Appalachian Trail.

A hiker’s base weight is the weight of all their gear, not counting consumables such as water, food, and fuel. Each item listed above replaces a heavier piece of gear from our PCT thru hike, reducing the base weight we’ll carry up and down the Appalachian Mountains. Shutterbug’s base weight for the AT (which includes a large, high quality camera) will be 14.7 pounds and Northstar’s base weight will be a mere 10.4 pounds. Woohoo for light packs!

Final Pre-Order Reminder! Sunday, February 24th is the last day to purchase a SIGNED copy of our Pacific Crest Trail photo book.  We will begin shipping books the week of February 25. Thank you for supporting our adventures!


  1. Gotta ask, North Star I have steered away from that kilt because of the sizes offered. It always looked huge on men. How is it fitting? You choose a skirt over pants. Why? I am looking for pants or skirt for the CDT and would love your thoughts.


    1. Haha! Looks like you’ll have to invent one yourself. You have the perfect skills to create a lightweight banana case. Chemical engineering for the carbon fiber design, law school for patenting your idea, and business school to make a fortune off us ultralight backpackers. I expect to see a prototype on our next hike.


  2. We’re hiking the PCT this summer, and your blog has been an invaluable resource — thank you both!
    Not knowing too much about the AT, I’ve always worried about the Lyme disease factor and have heard that one must always wear long pants and socks to cover your legs. What are your thoughts about it, especially with the kilt?


    1. Thanks Katherine and Paul, glad you found this blog to be helpful. You’re going to love the PCT!

      Yes, ticks and Lyme disease are an issue on the AT. My shorts are convertible into pants and I can switch into them if we enter an area known to be particularly bad for ticks. I did the same type of shorts to pants routine on the PCT whenever the trail went through lots of poison oak or poodle dog bush. The rain kilt will be worn on top of my shorts/pants so there’s no additional concern with the kilt. We’ll also carry insect repellent, but our main plan is to check one another for ticks each night. Every trail has its challenges.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: