North County Trail "Gear List" with COMMENTS

Backpack Weight Calculator   "TOM Shaver"  (Dreamer)  
Category Item NCT 2012 Comments
    ULA Catalyst  4,600 cu in 47.0 I would not think of replacing my backpack.  Like a Rock Star!!
    Total Pack 47.0  
    Henry Shires "Tarptent" Rainshadow 2 34.0 Tent performed perfectly!  This tent is WAY over kill for just Charlie and I; however, when we move Terri into the mix, we all fit nicely in this 2 1/2 person tent.
    Sea to Summit "Tarp Poncho" 11.0 Used it every day for something.  Worth its weight.  Mostly just used for a ground cloth at the campsite.  I have also used it as a poncho & make shift cover from the rain.
    Total Shelter  45.0  
  Western Mountain (Down) 40 degree 28.0 I had everything from the low 40's to mid 60's.  Nice bag of this weather.
  Mont-Bell U.L. Comfort System (Pillow) 3.2 I experimented with various hardness levels and differing materials as the pillow case.  The 3.2 oz is what really sells this baby.
    Thermorest Ultra Air Pad 11.2 I am unsure if I carry anything I appreciate more than this 2 1/2 inches of comfort at night.  I have had this for 2 or 3 years and no leaks yet…
    Total Sleeping  42.4  
    Titanium Spoon 0.8 This spoon has a normal length handle.  This could be improved by a long handle which would help when eating out of ziplock bags.
    Wooden Matches (1 box) 0.3 Matches work best to light my stove.  Saves me from burning the hair off my knuckles.
    Small Bic Lighter 0.4 Never used it.
    Steel & Flint striker 0.5 Never use it.
    Handiwipes (1) & Scuby (1) 0.4  
    Snow Peak Titanium Cup (600ml) 5.2 Loved my new cup!  Nice size!
    Platypus Bag (1 Liter)  (x1) 1.2 I did use this every day.  Mostly because it was so dry and hot.  I had to drink A LOT.
    Water Bottles (x2) 1.6 I tend to use 1 liter water bottles that come right from the store.  They are light, tough and can be replaced anywhere.  I used the same two for nine days with no issues.
    Titanium (Evernew) 1 Liter with Bag 4.2  
    Fancy Feast Cat Can Alcohol Stove 0.2 Cook system works perfectly for the freezer bag cooking system.
    Windscreen  Aluminum Foil 0.5 Heavy duty aluminum foil.  I used the same one for a month while hiking in Virginia last year.  Unless you light it on fire, they last a long time.  And weight almost nothing.
    Total Cooking 15.3  
Clothing   Worn    
    Hat (Tilley) 3.7 It is a good thing it is warranted forever.  Because I will keep it long enough to see if it will wear out.  I love my hat!  It washes up and drys with no problem.
    Gossamer Gear Hiking Sticks 8.6 Never used better.
    Small Knife  (Swiss Army) 1.0 The only thing I used this for was to cut a fishing lure out of my underware while swimming in the Manistee
    Special Forces Compass around my neck 0.2 This indestructable compass is very nice.  I actually used it a few times before setting up my tent to ensure I was setting up for afternoon shade.
    Salomon XA3D Ultra 2 "Trail Runners" 29.2 Still not sure about these shoes.  This is the 2nd pair that the material in the heal is wearing out prematurely.
    Trail Runner Shoes (Montrail Hardrocks) w inserts    
    Shoe Orthodic's 5 Need a new pair.  These are worn out.
    Gators (Low cut) Integral Designs "eVent" 2.2 Nice, but must experiment with others.
    Liner Socks (1 Pair) Patagonia 1.5 Ended up not wearing liners at all.
    Wooleagtor Socks (1 Pair) 1.7 Would not trade them.  Perfect.
    Exofficio Zip Off Pants 13.4 Rock solid
    Shorts (Reebok) (1 Pair) 4.0 Yes, these work and help prevent chaffing
    Watch & Heart Monitor 3.5 Not sure if I need to monitor my heart rate any longer.
    Hankerchief  (Cotton) 1.2 101 uses for this piece of cotton
    Total Worn 75.2  
    Camp Shoes  (Crocks) 14.8 A bit heavy.  But are they ever nice!
    Liner Socks (1 Pair) Patagonia 1.5  
    Wooleagtor Socks (1 Pair) 1.7  
    Smartwool Socks (Night)  (1 Pair) 3.6 Left them in the car at the first stop.
    Night Shorts (Patagonia) 4.3 Love these shorts
    Shorts (Running Shorts) 5.1 Only wore once.
    Base Layer (Long Sleeve) Caprilene "Patagonia" 8.9 Only wore at night.  Need to try a Merino wool version.
    Shirt (Long Sleeve) Railriders (w-bug rep) 9.5 Not many bugs.  But they kept the horse flies off my shoulders when they were bad.  Wore this shirt every day and used the front pockets a lot.
    Base Layer (Short Sleeve)  Caprilene 5.9 OK.  But I need to try the Merino wool version.
    Fleece Sweater (Patagonia) 12.3 Charlie is the only one that wore this during a few cold nights early on in our journey.
    Gore Tex Pants 8.7 Did not wear them once.
    Windbreaker Houdini (Patagonia) 4.4 Too hot.  However, Charlie wore this at night a couple of times.  I would not leave home without it.
    Gloves (Polyester) 0.9 Did not need these.
    Fleece Cap (Patagonia) 2.2 Only wore once early in the trip.
    Total Carried 83.8  
    Total Worn 75.2  
    Total Clothes 159.0  
First Aid   Medical Bag   Used all of the band aids on my big toes…
    Medical Bag - Bandaids, Crazy glue, Leukotape, Grey Tape (Wound on hiking poles), Butterfly Closures, Alcohol Preps,  Moleskin  2.6 Used the grey tape to fix raccoon bite holes in my water tank.
    Bonnie's Balm Salve 2.5 Used it a couple times.  Still not sure about it.
    Total First Aid 5.1  
    Headlamp (Princeton Aurora) w 3 AAA Bat's 2.6 Nice, but may find something lighter.
    Towel "Sea to Summit" 1.7 Perfect.  Used it every day.  Even though this is very small, it was enough to dry my hair and body after bathing in the lake.
    Small notebook & mechanical pencil 2.1 Nice for journal writing.
    ID, Credit/Debit Card & Money 1.0  
    Eye glasses & case 1.9  
    Sea to Summit 2 Liter Bag 0.8 Love, love Sea to Summit bags!
    Sea to Summit "Head Net" 0.9  
    Mosquito Sray (100% DEET) 1.6 Only used on the first day.  Prematurely.
    Trekker (Stuffed Animal) 4.4 Charlie slept with it every night.
    Charlies Coat 3.9 Wore it every night except for once.
    Dog Leash  (Six foot) 3.3 Nice.  Worked well.
    Platypus Water Bag (6 liter) with Plastic Shower Tube 6.7 Did not hold up well to raccoon bites.  However, the holes plugged nicely with grey tape.
    Parachute Cord 30 foot) 1.3 Used every day.  Perfect length.  Used for clothes line and hanging my food bag at night.
    Aqua Mira  210 drops Parts A & B w Droppers 0.9 Should have packed more.  I drank a lot more water than I anticipated.  No need to skimp on this one.
    Platypus Bag (500cc)  Night Bag 0.8 For some reason, it did not make the trip.  Not sure what happened to it.  I usually use this bag for early morning pit stops when it is raining or when camped in busy areas.
    Sea to Summit Pack Liner 50 liter 2.6 All my clothes and tent lived in here when it was raining.
    Maps & Guide Book Pages 4.2  
    Thermorest Z-Lite for Charlie 5.1 This was a great find.  Charlie used it at night.  And I used it around camp to sit on, or use for a back rest.
    T Paper, Wet Wipes & Shovel 3.9 I always take too much TP.  Shovel worked great.  Wet Wipes are worth their weight in my opinion.
    Total Misc 54.2  
Med's & Toiletries        
    Med's & Vitamins  3.8  
    Dr. Bronners Soap 3.1 Lasted me the entire nine days.
    Toothpast (Colgate) (1-small tube) 1.0  
    Toothbursh (Oral B) 0.6  
    Clear Eyes 0.3  
    Floss 0.5  
    Sea to Summit Bag (1L) 0.6  
    Total Med's & Toiletries 9.9  
Luxury Items        
    Canon Vixia HF R300 (Video Camera) 8.8 Nice camera!  Except, when it is sunny, I can not see what I am taking a picture of because of the LCD view finder.
    Battery (Large) 2.1 Battery lasted for 3 days each of the 3 trips.
    Battery (Small) 0.8 Never used it.
    Tri-Pod 1.5 Jury is still out.  It worked ok.  But I will keep my eyes open for something a bit more user friendly.  Of course when Terri is with me, there will not be such a need for this.
    Microphone (Lapel) "Audio Technica ATR 3350" 2.5 Very nice.
    Iphone 4.8  
    Iphone Charger 1.5  
    External Battery & Cable 3.6 The extra juice from this external battery pack was just enough to get me throught the three days.  It is a 2000 milie amp battery.
    Earphones & bag 0.7  
    Sea to Summit Bag for Iphone 0.6  
    Small Bible 2.4  
    Book  (Mere Christianity) 3.7  
    Total Luxury Items 33.0  
    Snickers (3  Bars) 6.0 Never enough snickers bars!
    Almonds & M&M's (Gorp Bag) 5.3  
    Rice Krispy Treats  (3 - 4oz packets) 2.5  
    Fiber Plus Bars   (3) 4.0  
    Power Bars  (2) 5.3  
    G2 Gatorade (15 Packets) 9.5  
    Hot Chocolate  4.1  
    Double Choclate Cookies (6) 3.3  
    Chips, Cheese Crackers & Cheese Puffs 3.0  
    Freezer Bag Suppers (Tuna Noodle Caserole) 11.1 Try different noodles that may rehydrate better.
    Freezer Bag Suppers (Beef Stroganoff) 6.9 Perfect.  Don't change a thing.
    Freezer Bag Suppers (Hamburger Gravy) 4.4  
    Total Food 65.4  
  2 Liters MAX 42.0  
  Total Water 42.0  
  Denatured Alcohol (20oz) in Dasani Water Bottle 6.4 I had plenty every day.
    Total Fuel 6.4  
    Total Consumables 113.8  
    Back Pack  (Outward Hound) Medium 10.8 Definitely need something more substantial.  Charlie is really rough on his pack.  Ripped one of the sides off again.
    Dog Bowl 0.7 Works great for food and ok for water.
    12' of tie our cord 0.3 Never used it.
    Plastic Poop Bags 0.3 Never used them.  But I could have…
    Dog Food  (6-1 Cup Bags) "3 Days" 29.4 Ate almost all of them.
    Treats 3.8 Ate all of them.
    Total Charlie Weight 45.3  
    Total Base Weight/oz. 335.70  
    Total Base Weight/lbs. 20.80  
    Total Consumables/oz. 113.80  
    Total Consumables/lbs. 7.10  
    Total Pack Weight 27.90  


  1. Just something to consider, a Bible and many books can be downloaded onto your Iphone in order to save weight. It may take a pdf/reader application however, it does work. I will be taking my Bible and trail guide this way.

    Also, permethrin is a great addition and/or replacement for deet. It kills ticks (Lyme disease) and your clothes can be treated with this..

    I have not read your entire site (it doesn't seem to format well with IE, and I'm being lazy :), but a 40 degree bag is rather light for a spring start unless you sleep very warm

    I don't normally comment on peoples gear list however, it seems as if you given some thought to yours and are serious.

    btw, I have been considering purchasing the pack you have but my wife said something about me having to sleep in the gear closet with the other 4 I own if I did :)

    See you on the trail

  2. Robert,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment! I certainly appreciate it!! Yes, I do have the Bible and many other books loaded on my phone. (Both audio and reading) However, I discovered on an earlier trip this spring that if I am actually reading books on my phone, it seriously chews up the battery. Seriously!!

    I just learned about Permethrin on a North Country Trail hike I did last month. A guy I hiked with for a day told me about dipping most all of his clothes in a mixture of it that can be far stronger and more effective than clothes you can buy off the shelf pretreated. I will still take the Deet...

    ;-) Yes, I would freeze with a 40 degree bag in March (Terri & I plan on leaving Springer on March 1st), or April for that matter in the mountains. Two years ago, I hiked across most of Virginia from the middle of April to the middle of May using that 40 degree bag, and there were many nights I froze wearing all the clothes I had with me! I'll start with a 20 and Terri will have a 15.

    I have only had three packs in my whole life, so I am no expert. And I have only hiked about 500 - 600 miles with this pack, but I love it. I would not change a thing! It is bullet proof and it is light weight, plus it is very comfortable for me.

    Are you SOBO or NOBO? When are you planning to start? Heading out alone?

    Happy Trails


    1. FYI, PM'ed you on FB.

    2. Sorry Robert! I did not see anything on my Facebook page.