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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


While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure


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


SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team