Things I Actually ADDED to my Pack Once I Started LASHing the AT
Beware! This is the opposite of a post about how to shed pack weight. Trust me, for every item I’m about to list, I have an item that I’ve gotten rid of or found a way to lighten my load, and I’m still working on it. When I put my gear together to head for the AT for the first time in April 2019, I was so focused on shedding pack weight, and there seemed to be an endless supply of information out there to read and watch on the importance of this. I thought I’d have a little fun writing about some of the things I actually tried not to bring so that my pack would be lighter, and then realized were valuable for me to have. Take these items with a grain of salt – this list is based solely on my personal experience and preferences, but might not be fitting for everyone.
A Larger Water Filter
I switched from carrying a sawyer mini to a sawyer micro squeeze. The sawyer mini works great for shorter backpacking trips, but I realized that with extended backpacking, it needed to be flushed constantly and the flow quickly became very slow to try to drink from. This is one case where smaller wasn’t better for me, even though that is usually the goal with most things in my pack. A bigger filter with better drinking ease is worth it for something that I’m going to be using constantly.
While I still have room for improvement in getting my pack weight down and tend to analyze every item, I’ve also started to learn not to skimp on things that actually make a positive difference for me to have vs leaving items behind and finding myself realizing I really could have used them. If I make this list again a year from now, it might be totally different! Ultimately, the best answers come from trial and error.
Head here to check out Sarah Lesiecki's complete list.
May 7, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.
As a veteran of the Iraq War, I found myself struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from which greatly impacted my mental health. In 2016, I came across the film “Wild,” an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about healing by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Sawyer Permethrin Premium Insect Repellent is used on clothing, not skin, and it provides long-lasting protection against ticks.