Colorado Trail 2014

Beginning plans to hike the Colorado Trail (CT) in 2014. I’ll have my dog and a friend with me.

Pmags info:
Erik the Black’s guidebook:

Gear List:  (with Gear List caveats at the bottom)   Items with * denote new to me
Mostly I’m using my old PCT gear, which will be fine.  What that means is- most of my gear is old and tired and could cause problems.  Or I just look haggered.  Being on a tight budget, I’ll probably be wearing the tank I wore on the PCT which is kinda gross.

“The Big 5”
Backpack GoLite Women’s Jam 25
Shelter Tarptent Contrail 28
Sleep Bag Marmot W Helium in new z-packs stuff sack* 29
Sleep Pad Thermarest xlite Women’s Neo Air w/patch kit and sack 11
Ground sheet Polycryo Ground Cloth * 1.6
96.3 oz/ 6lbs TOT
Clothing Packed
pillow/clothes bag ZPacks Pillow Dry Bag * 1.7 oz
Hiking socks 1 pr Smartwool UL running micro 1 oz
Hiking socks 1 pr Injinji toesocks 2 oz?
Thermal top Ice breaker long sleeve V or Smartwool zip upper 4.5 or 5.6 oz
Thermal bottom smartwool 150 4 oz
jacket/vest insulating ? old Patagonia Nano Puff 9 oz
wind/rain shell Marmot Precip XS 10.3 oz
wind pant/rain old REI pants 10 oz?
sleeping socks (in sleep bag) ??? 3 oz?
hat/balaclava Loki 3in1 2 oz
gloves Manzella Tahoe Touch Tip 1.8 oz
rain gloves nitrile exam gloves or zpacks rain mitt* 0
camp shoes *? 4
bug net Sea to Summit 1
TOTAL 55 oz/ 3.45 lbs
stove homemade pop can
pot Wal-mart grease pot 1.2L alum
pot cozy homemade
wind screen alum flashing
mug styrofoam?
utensil spork- from walmart 4 pack
cleaning scrubbie sm. Green thing 7.3 oz
Ursack Minor with zpacks rock bag* and OP Sack 5 oz
12.3 oz TOT
Bladder Platy BigZip 2L w/hose 5?
filter Sawyer in-line 2
hose 0
Bottle/s Aquafina 0.5
Backup Treatment MSR Aquatabs 0
TOTAL 7.5 oz
“The 11 Essentials”
Map Erik the Black 3.5
Compass ? w temp 1
Light Black Diamond Spot or Princeton Tec Vizz 3
First Aid kit INC earplugs custom in LOKSAK 3
Pocket Knife mini swiss army 1
Fire Starter emerg. Matches/vaseline cotton balls, ignition 1.5
Whistle orange one 0.5
Sunscreen kids spf 45 1
Bug repellant coleman deet 3
Cordage Kelty Triptease reflective 50′ 1
Duct tape Duct tape on poles
TOTAL 1 lb, 2.5 oz
Toilet Paper Paper Towel quarters in ziplock 2
Poo shovel Orange one 2
Pee bottle Whiz 1
Hand Sanitizer mini 1.5
Tooth Brush travel 0.25
Tooth Paste mini 1
towel hockey puck thing- Lightload 0.5
baby wipes 2
lip balm w SPF Dermatone 0.25
razor pink 0.25
pee rag 1/2 microfiber thingy 0.5
11 oz TOT
cell phone & waterproof sack iphone 4S+ normal charger+ earbuds 6.8 oz
Rite in the Rain journal, pencil 1.6 oz
total TOTAL 8.4 oz
Worn or Carried (excluded from base-weight)
Underwear Vasarette bikini Walmart
bra Barely-there type Walmart
shirt GoLite tank
pant/skirt Isis skirt
socks Smartwool PHD ultralite running
shoes *?
gaiters Dirty Girl
glasses auto transition
hat Golite visor
trekking poles Black Diamond Traverse

OK-  Here’s my caveats, gripes, etc about my gear list

I’m not going to upgrade my pack yet- it’s fine.  Will try to be GG Ambassador-gear tester
I’d love to upgrade my sleeping back to the z-packs 10 deg to save weight, but $$$ (Nope)
Might buy new MH Ghost Whisperer jacket- save 3 oz but $$$
I did change from Tyvek to Polycro groundsheet!

I got a Zpacks pillow stuff sack- should be comfy and a lighter clothes bag! New sleeping bag sack thats lighter too!
I trust this heavy rain gear, tough luck, it’s coming.  Might splurge on a new light jacket
Gloves work with touch screen
Might buy Zpacks rain mitts!  (Nope- fun idea but too pricey, diposeable medical gloves shall do.
Want fancy titanium trowel, but won’t yet $$$
Plan to use old PCT kitchen but might try to “fix” my new smaller kit, save 2-3oz


About wanderingdot

Thru-hiking the PCT 2011, CT 2014, Ice Age Trail 2017 Artist/sculptor, professor, master fabricator
This entry was posted in CT, Gear, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Colorado Trail 2014

  1. SauntererPNW says:

    Any updates, WD? Looks like you streamlined your hydration method vs PCT: you’re just filtering down into the Aquafina bottle? Do you find that the iPhone gives you pretty good position data? I myself am quite taken with the Garmin GPS (namely the HCx Vista), but I can see the value of the iPhone: cell phone, position, email, camera, informative apps, books?, wifi, mp3s, internet – all for about the same weight. Right? In Hygiene, I see you’re going with the baby wipes method. I was thinking of using Dr B’s soap, but maybe the BWs method is simpler and faster. In my gear list so far, it seems like I’m going to take a “hit” in the sleeping pad weight. I want to use the small ZLite Sol (10 oz) for insulation and as a meditation cushion (important for Saunterers! 🙂 ) and an XLite small (8 oz) for comfort and a good sleep. So that’s 18 oz. Yikes! So I have to make up the difference in other areas. Best luck and good fortune and fair weather to you WD on all your travels!

    • wanderingdot says:

      Hi there,

      I am using the same water system as on the PCT. I bought and tried the Sawyer Squeeze but it’s not working for me. Now Sawyer makes the “mini” which just a slightly smaller version of the inline filter. With either you use a platy full of “dirty” water and interrupt the line with the filter and just suck it thru the mouth tube. It’s simple, purified water. You have the option to create a gravity-feed to filter into a bottle. I do this for making coffee and rehydrating meals, etc. The new “mini” has a screw-on adaptor for a bottle, which is cool but my old one is still fine and I’ve gotten good at propping the bottle with rocks to capture the filtered water!

      Re: GPS, it’s a matter of personal comfort. I’m comfortable with a map and compass. I try to download sections I’ll be in the iphone app “TopoMaps!” which often prove handy. In the massive snow of the Sierras my year on the PCT I was often with a companion carrying a GPS, which was nice for sure as there was no dirt trail and signs were often under the snow. I might consider one for a very remote/non-existent trail like the CDT but it seems superfluous for the CT. Honestly, I like honing my nav skills and if I get lost doing it, I’ll probably see something cool and have a laugh. I download some fav podcasts onto my iPhone which sometimes lightens me up, and I have “go-to” audio books to soothe me on windy or creepy nites. The google maps help me find what I need in town, and it’s my only camera. Works for me.

      I used Dr B’s on a 3-week trip of the AT and for a few weeks starting the PCT but it’s uncool to leave soap residue in the wilderness, I found wipes to be easier. I don’t always carry them, but they do, ahem, give you that oh-so-fresh feeling. I met some hikers that wiped down their feet nightly, a good thing to prevent infection.
      I wouldn’t sweat the sleeping pad weight. If that combo works for you, stick with it. I use the thermarest women’s neo air. I hate that it’s crinkly-sounding but I’m used to it now, and I’ve no one to bother except my dog. I have to carry her z-rest as well as it doesn’t fit in her pack. And I run the risk her claws may puncture my mat. We’ll see!

      so will you be on the CT this year, what’s your story?

  2. ornery woman walking says:

    I too will be doing the Colorado Trail this summer I hope I see you there.

  3. SauntererPNW says:

    No, not on the CT. I hope to get out on the trails in the North Cascades National Park this summer, and possibly the PCT in WA. I am 60 yr old, male, 5’9″, and in reasonably good shape, worried about an ankle problem, but otherwise ready to go. I’ve been slowly getting my gear towards UL weights. Many years ago when I first started backpacking, you wouldn’t believe the boots I was sold for hiking. Big heavy stiff leather rigid boots about as useful as bricks. This is an exciting time in backpacking with all this new and innovative equipment, and the search for the Holy Grail of Gear Lists is better than ever.
    Over the years I’ve gained some wait, and people keep saying, “Well, when you grow older you gain weight”. Not true. Remember this as you grow older. It has to do with diet. I’ve lost 24 pounds following the Paleo diet. This, BTW, helps to bring down my TOTAL backpacking weight. I find myself concerned about the quantities of junk food many UL backpackers are consuming to fuel themselves. Constant sugar and carbs can wreck one’s system – it’s called metabolic syndrome. The Paleo concept is that we turn our bodies into “fat-burning beasts” (instead of sugar-burners). So I’m trying to learn about making jerky and dehydrated paleo foods. Some carbs are necessary, but these can be obtained through vegies like yams. Fueling on coconut oil and good fats is better than lots of carbs and sugar. When people are young, their growth hormone keeps them going despite a lousy diet. I read about one guy who practically fueled his entire thru-hikes with Snickers bars. This is the opposite of what I’ve been learning and what I’m suggesting.
    On the subject of hygiene, I’ve been searching for the most effective, necessary and simplest methods. Walking around with athlete’s foot fungus, ringworm, monkey-butt, sore gums, and a sick stomach is not a good way to travel.
    Yes sleep is important, to rejuvenate tired muscles, and it is worth the weight to bring gear that guarantees better sleep than a lesser weight system.
    Thanks for your suggestions. A couple years ago I found your youtubes about your gear list for the PCT. I just wanted to say that I appreciated your presentations very much. I think you have a talent for being a good educator and you have the ability to focus and make decisions for yourself and the specific trail you’re travelling on. It is an act of generosity and kindness to share your knowledge, strategies, experiences and perspectives with others. Thanks! 🙂

    • wanderingdot says:


      Very kind note, thanks! I do try to make information easy to digest, and I am getting better at keeping gear reviews etc shorter and to the point.
      I decided to blog my PCT hike (and many subsequent adventures) because I didn’t find quite enough info relevant to me at the time. Especially women’s gear. But different approaches to food always catch my eye! I try to eat Paleo, it is what makes me feel the best in “regular” life, but things are very, very different after months on trail doing marathons daily.

      I’m thinking of trying some cans of these dehydrated meats and making some… concoctions:

  4. San Juan Ron says:

    Nice hiking with you, Annie, and (of course) Sammy Davis on the CT! Ron 🙂

    • wanderingdot says:

      hi Ron!
      Was good to meet you out there! We’re happy to be home but it was a great hike. You were right about that descent from the days 12K being totally spectacular, loved it.

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