Posted on: Tuesday March 14, 2017 Continental Divide Trail

This post was written in my sleeping bag at the end of a long day. Please excuse any errors.

before Getting ready for a thru hike seems easier the second time around. Mostly since I know how little any of my plans will matter when I hit the trail in April. I book plane and train tickets, buy gear and start my resupply boxes.

before I try not to lose too much of my PCT fitness, while struggling to gain weight. The PCT has changed my metabolism and it seems like no matter how much I eat, I struggle to maintain what was a low weight for me before the trail. I know I’ll need every pound of fat I can gain for the CDT. before Replacing my gear takes time. I buy new, lighter things, and try and sell my old stuff. I whittle my baseweight down as far as I can. before

What I changedbefore

Osprey Exos for Z Packs Arc Haul.

I loved my Exos, until I lost so much weight it no longer fit and gave me back pain. The waistbelt of the Arc Haul goes an inch or so tighter and it also saves me a few ounces while being waterproof. before

Feathered Friends 20 degree Egret for Z Packs 10 degree bag.

My Feathered Friends bag was getting old and no longer keeping me warm. Hopefully the 10 degrees of added warmth will help me out at the higher elevations on the CDT.

MLD Duomid for HMG flat tarp

I never really warmed up to the Duomid- it’s prone to condensation and to falling down in high winds. I really loved Shake’nBake’s Sea to Summit tarp on the PCT and I’m hoping this light, cuben alternative will be even better. ##Outdoor Research Helium rainjacket for Frogg Toggs I went through two Helium jackets on the PCT. The second one wetted through in three hours when brand new, and to add insult to injury, the zipper broke on me. I’ve given up hoping that lightweight rain gear will keep me dry. At least if I hate the Frogg Toggs, they were only $20

RAB Xenon X /Patagonia Nanopuff for Montbell Ultralight down anorak

I loved my two year old Xenon, but the zipper died a few hundred miles into the PCT and its replacement was never warm enough for me. The Montbell version is much lighter and has a hood.

What I kept

##Steripen I love my steripen. It lasts two plus weeks on a single charge and flashes me a smiley face so I know my water is safe to drink.

Petzl Tiki

I have the rechargeable version. It’s probably over five years old and still going strong. And it’s bright enough to easily night hike!

REI Traverse poles

I keep thinking these suckers, that I got for $50 years ago, will break, but they keep trucking and I had fewer problems than some people with fancy, expensive poles. The paint has worn off and there’s chew marks on the handle from a marmot, but I bet they have another 3,000 miles in them.


I hate hanging food and this keeps mice, bears and raccoons out of my stuff. before

Complete Gear List

*Z Packs Arc Haul (Girl Pack!) *Z packs ten degree bag *Hyperlite Mountain Gear flat tarp with mini groundhog stakes *Z-lite (small) *Frogg Toggs ultralight rain suit (jacket only) *Montbell Ultralight Down anorak *North Face better than naked shorts *Cheap leggings *$1 thrift store sunhat *Smart wool hat *Smartwool midweight wool sweater *Darn tough socks *Ex-Officio underwear *Moving comfort sports bra *Desert shirt *Pearl Izumi bike gloves *Sunglasses *Altra Lone Peak *Dirty Girl gaiters *Ursack *Peanut butter jar (for rehydrating) *Titanium spork *Swiss army knife *Rag *Steripen Ultra *Petzl Tikka Plus *Anker external battery *ZTE smartphone *Headphones *Wall charger *Compass *REI Traverse trekking poles *First aid (ibuprofen, paracetamol, band aids, leuko tape, lighter, needle, floss, neosporin, band aids, immodium and not much else) *Tooth brush and tooth paste *Hand sanitizer *Sunscreen *Deuce of spades trowel *Bug head net *Various cuben fiber stuff sacks

CDT Baseweight: Roughly 10 pounds (PCT baseweight: 13.5 pounds)

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Eloise Robbins (Fun Size)

About the Author

Eloise Robbins (Fun Size) is a writer, triple crown thru hiker, and adventurer. She is a lover of the outdoors, hiking, canoeing, and most of all mountains.

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