Desert Trail Gear List

CLICK HERE for the stories and photos at my Desert Trail thru-hike journal.

This is a list of gear I used on my thru-hike of the Desert Trail. Some figures might be slightly off. If you see any egregious errors please let me know. I changed some items along the way. This list reflects what I used the most or worked the best. If I were to do this hike again, I’d use a wide-brimmed sun hat with a chin cord for wind, at least to Burns or so. I was going to carry a lighter down jacket, and am very glad I didn’t. It can get very cold on the Desert Trail.Please see the links to the right for more information. Thank for visiting!

Big 4 Weight
Backpack ULA CDT
19.7 oz
Shelter Hexamid Solo Tent, stakes, guylines 10.5 oz
Sleeping Bag Marmot Hydrogen 23 oz
Sleeping Pad EvoPad 83x20x1/2″ (Cut in 3 pieces: 1/2, 1/4, 1/4. Stacked for sleeping in 2 layers. One small piece used for pack backpad, the other for a sit-pad.) 14.3 oz
Subtotal 4 lbs 3.5 ozs
Clothing Packed Weight
Hiking Socks Darn Tough 1/4 Sock Merino Cushion 2.4 oz
Thermal Bottom Patagonia Capilene Midweight
part of sleep system
7 oz
Jacket MontBell Alpine Light Down Jacket 16 oz
Underwear Under Armour Boxerjock 4.8 oz
Rain Shell Outdoor Research Zealot 7.7 oz
Sleeping Socks Possumdown “Leisure socks” 2 oz
Balaclava Turtlefur 1.4 oz
Subtotal 2 lbs 9ozs
Cooking Weight
Stove/Pot/Stand None until the Blue Mountains 0 oz
Fuel None until the Blue Mountains 0 oz
Utensils Lexan Spoon 0.2 oz
Ignition Mini Bics (2) 1 oz
Can Opener P-38 (2) Will be caching some canned food 0.3
Food Varies
Water Varies
Subtotal 0 lbs 1.5 ozs
Hydration Weight
Water Carriers Platypus Hoser 3 Liter 3.8 oz
Water Bottles Two 1 quart Gatorade bottles 3 oz
I often carried full gallon jugs out of caches in addition to my other water
Treatment Aqua Mira ‘A’ and ‘B’ bottles 3 oz
Subtotal 0 lbs 9.8 ozs

Some “Essentials”
Guidebook Desert Trail Guidebook (Tabor) 5.8 oz
Maps, Info Info sheets, Benchmark (DeLorme -style) maps 0.7
Compass Tiny button compass 0.2 oz
Pocket Knife Victorinox Classic 0.7 oz
Subtotal 0 lbs 7.4ozs
Sanitation & Hygiene Weight
Toilet paper Small amount 1 oz
Toothbrush Cut in half 1.5 oz
Toothpaste Small tube 1 oz
Floss Tiny one (sewing needle carried inside) 0.5 oz
First Aid/Medicine Immodium, Ibuprofin, Antacids, Antihist, Lip Balm 1 oz
Sunscreen Small tube 1 oz
  Subtotal 0 lbs 6 ozs
Miscellaneous Weight
Sleeping Bag Sack Cuben with turkey roasting bag liner (estimated weight) 0.4 oz
Pack Liner Hefty 18 gal? Trash compactor bag 2.2 oz
Spare Glasses With case and sunglass clip-ons 2.5 oz
Cordage Parachute Cord 10 feet 0.8 oz
Tripod Ultrapod 2 oz
Clamp iStabilizer Mount Smartphone Tripod Mount .6 oz
Duct Tape 5 feet 0.3 oz
Food Sack Zpacks Large “Blast” Food Bag 0.4 oz
Wallet Ziplock snack bag .1 oz
Monocular Brunton 7×18 1.8 oz
  Subtotal 0 lbs 11.1 ozs
iPhone GPS, Camera, Phone, Internet, more. 5 oz
iPhone cable iPhone to Solar Charger 0.6 oz
sCharger-5 Solar Charger 7.5 oz
SanDisk m250 MP3 Player w/case Radio, Audio Journal, MP3 w/battery 1.8 oz
Lights Photon II Microlight x 2 0.3 oz
Subtotal 15.2 ozs
Total Base Weight (before Blue Mtns) 9 lbs 8 oz.
Worn or Carried (excluded from base-weight)
Underwear Underarmor Boxerjock 4.8 oz
Gaiters Dirtygirl 1.2 oz
Long Sleeve Shirt Campmor (Nylon) 8.8 oz
Pants Mountain Hardwear Mesa 12.7 oz
Socks Darn Tough, 1/4 Sock, Cushion 2.4 oz
Shoes ASICS Men’s GEL-Kayano 16 28 oz
Sunglasses Prescription 1 oz
Sun Hat Ball cap 2.8 oz
Bandana Neck shade, multiuse 1.2 oz
Trekking Pole 1 Titanium Goat AGP (doubles as shelter pole) 3.4 oz
Subtotal 4 lbs 0.1 ozs
Items added in northern Oregon
Rain Mitts eVENT Rain Mitts 1.2 oz
Rain Pants Montbell Versalight 9.7 oz
Insect Repellant DEET 1 oz
Gloves Possumdown gloves 1.5 oz
Stove/Pot/Stand Caldera Keg 6.3 oz
Bottle and alcohol fuel Generic 6 oz
Total Base Weight (after Blue Mtns) 11 lbs 2 oz.


  1. You ate ambient temp meals from Mexico to Oregon (eg, no stove/fuel until Blue Mtns)?

    • Yup, stoveless until the Blues. It wasn’t as much of a hardship as you might think, though, because of all the caches. I had a variety of good food buried in those caches including some canned goods. I didn’t have any of the standard pasta or rice or freeze-dried foods for which to boil water. (I picked up all caches later.)

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