For the most part, I’m very satisfied with my gear choices. No major failures. However, I am a smallish woman so my gear is based around that fact. I got most of my gear the previous year and tested it on the AT for 3 weeks. Economy is also a big driving factor for my gear!
Pack: GoLite Jam. I got it cheap. It’s about the smallest pack anyone can hope to get away with. It was tight with the bear can in the Sierras, but I planned shortish stints between resupply and left Kennedy Meadows at 28 pounds.
Groundcloth: Tyvek, the only way to go. Virtually free, disposable, washable, effective.
Tarptent Contrail: a fine UL tent, uber roomy. Next time, I’d try the Tarptent Moment for smaller footprint and faster setup time.
Thermarest Neo Air Med. My height exactly. 5′ 4″ and 2.5″ of comfort for my bad back. I had leak problems twice though without finding the source. Exchanged at REI no problem.
Bag: Marmot Helium Women’s 15 degree. Pretty darn good choice.
Women’s Patagonia Drifter hiking shoes. The bomb!
Smartwool Ultra Light micro mini running socks. Thin is best.
Injini toe socks, it’s good to mix up your sock options.
Montbell Thermawrap vest. Awesome up till the sierras, then switched to Patagonia NanoPuff jacket.
GoLite tank top
old $2 Danskin thermal turtleneck. When I lost it I got a Smartwool LS shirt
old polartek long johns. Ugly but fine. Many repairs on these!
vest or jacket mentioned above
Marmot Essence UL rain/wind jacket- totally failed in Washington, dead lining!
REI rain/wind pants- great for glissading, and an extra layer. Totally effective.
3 pr socks plus 1 pr sleeping (warmer) wool socks.
Loki 3-in-1 hat. Freaking awesome.
GoLite visor, with bandana under to protect head/neck sometimes. UL, easy, effective, ugly!
gloves: Mountain Hardware power stretch. with disposable medical gloves in rain/sleet. Good.
Home made alcohol, see other posts. I like my choice.
Sea to Summit waterproof stuff sacks. You MUST put your sleeping bag in one. Get the slightly bigger size than the teeny one your bag came in. Another smaller bag for clothes. Maybe one for food.
Ursack Minor food storage. I love this in less-bear-y areas.
Dermatone Lip Balm. simple, great, non-tasting.
Home made sun sleeves. These really worked great. Wait till YOU sunburn the crap out of your hands!
Black Diamond traverse trekking poles. 3,000+ miles.