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Greenhorn Gear: A Newbie’s Thru-Hiking Gear List

I’m new to hiking but I know that you need gear to hike the Appalachian Trail. So I had to figure out what is and isn’t worth the weight for me.  It is my hope that sharing this information will be a helpful starting point for other aspiring or committed thru-hikers. I also want to commemorate my first gear list to see how drastically this all changes after ~2,200 miles!

(If you just want the gear list, head to the Gear List tab on my author profile.)


If you read my first post, you know that my NOBO AT hike in 2023 will be my first real foray into backpacking and camping. Subsequently, my knowledge of gear relies primarily on reviews from The Trek, YouTube videos and shakedown hikes. The Trek’s Best of 2022 article series was the starting point for most of my gear.

Reflecting on my choices, I know that I highly value the opinions of recent thru-hikers when compared to other sources. I cross-referenced the Best of 2022 articles with The Trek’s 2021 Hiker Survey. Seeing the same gear repeatedly across different posts and videos also played a heavy hand in what gear I tested first. (I’m talking about everyone and their extended family seeming to have a Sawyer Squeeze peeking out of their bag.)

David Firari gives a detailed report on his gear list, find it all here.


December 8, 2022

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David Firari

The Trek


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