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Great Gear for the Great Loop

One of the most talked about topics in the backpacking world is gear. From old external frame backpacks to lightweight, frameless dynema packs, gear has come a long way. Now, I am by no means a UL (ultralight) hiker, but I did have to upgrade some of my equipment for this next adventure of consistent 30+ mile days over the course of 8 months. Here’s what I am working with… at least to start.

Base Weight

This is the weight of my gear without food or water. For ultralight backpackers, this number should be under 10 lbs. I am more of a lightweight backpacker coming in at 12.19 lbs without winter gear and 16.3 lbs with winter gear and my bear canister. My “Big Three” total to 8.13 lbs.

Big Three

Backpack- Osprey Eja 48, Weight: 2.42 lb

  • Pack cover- Sea to Summit Ultra-sil Pack Cover Size Small, Weight: 3.7 oz
  • Liner- Compactor trash bag

Tent- Big Agnes Tigerwall UL 2 with painters plastic footprint, Weight: 2 lb 8 oz + 1.5 oz

Sleep System- Feathered Friends Petrel 10 UL Women’s Bag, Weight: 30.2 oz

  • Therm-a-rest Neoair Xlite Short/Small Pad, Weight: 8
  • Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol (8 sections), Weight: 8 oz

Explore the complete gear list written by Emma Rosenfield here.


May 6, 2022

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The Trek

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Fresh drinking water is essential. This water filtration system ensures you will never run out as long as there is a nearby natural water source. It can filter out bacteria, protozoa and microplastics.

Allen Foster


Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly.

Alan Dixon


But Sawyer was way ahead of me — 15 years ahead, to be precise. In 2008, the brand started its Clean Water for All initiative, which provides Sawyer filters to developing countries around the world. And the company spends 90% of its profits funding it.

Shauna Farnell