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Empty Your Pack: 55+ Ultralight Thru-Hiker

Barney "Scout" Mann hiked the Triple Crown after turning 55. Here's his ultralight pack list for trips of any distance.

Triple Crowner, self-confessed gram-weenie, and Backpacker contributor, Barney “Scout” Mann has backpacked 16,000 miles–more than 10,000 of those since turning 55. “I use this packlist for a single-night or five-month trek,” he says. “The only thing that change is the water and food.” He is the author of Journeys North, which chronicles the reality of a northbound Pacific Crest Trail hike. Read the excerpt we published in our Nov/Dec 2020 issue.

Total Pack Base Weight: 9 pounds, 3 ounces

Gear that saved the day: Tent

I’m in a lightning and hail storm—20 strikes a minute—on the Continental Divide Trail above 11,000 feet in New Mexico. I’m the only human being for miles. It’s only 17 degrees and the booming and rat-a-tat-tat on my tent sounds like a war zone. But I’m whooping and hollering for joy, wishing I could kiss the feet of whoever sewed this beautiful shelter.

My luxury item: Sit pad

For 1 ounce I get to insert a veneer of civilization between my rump and snow, gravel, or rock. It enhances any break, lunch or dinner, almost as much as a pizza delivered trailside.

I’ll never part with: My umbrella

You won’t find me peering out through a tightly cinched hood with a frown on my face in driving rain. Instead, my cone of dryness extends to my waist. I am “Umbrella Man.”

Continue reading the full pack list from the 55+ ultralight thru-hiker here.

LAST UPDATED

September 21, 2022

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Barney Scout Mann

MEDIA MENTIONS

My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

MEDIA MENTIONS

Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere