Lifetime Fitness

Best Thru-hiking Gear That'll Go the Distance

For a thru-hiking gear list that’ll go the distance, invest in these endurance-tested essentials.

While snow may still be piled high on the country’s most famous and arduous long-distance trails (think Continental Divide Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail), now’s the time to start planning for those summer backpacking trips and thru-hikes. Each year as winter turns toward spring, backpackers across the country pull out their packs, gear, and maps to chart their next monster trek across high-mountain trails, deep desert canyons, and often multiple U.S. states—or, at least, one really big one.

This year I’ve set my sights on thru-hiking—backpacking start to finish in one shot—the high-elevation Colorado Trail. Thru-hiking means I’ll need to go light and fast to complete the more than 500-mile trail in about a month. Every ounce counts (against you) when it comes to carrying your life on your back for days on end.

Related: The Beginners Guide to Preparing for a Thru-hike

If you have similar thru-hiking ambitions when the warmer weather hits, don’t wait until a week before your trek to start gathering functional, reliable gear. The time is now to assemble the best thru-hiking essentials that will hold up while letting you focus on logging miles without any gear headaches impeding the experience. From head to toe and tent to pole, here are some key items to bring this season when challenging yourself on the longest trails in the country. 

Best Thru-hiking Gear for the Longest Trails

1. Outdoor Vitals Shadowlight Backpack

Whatever’s transporting your resources for the days, weeks, and possibly months ahead needs to be strong, light, and sturdy to support the weight on your hips and shoulders. At under two pounds, Outdoor Vitals’ Shadowlight Backpack is an ultralight workhorse that supports a heavy load amazingly well. The secret (as with all solid packs) is in the frame, which transfers the load from shoulders to hips for ease of carry. Constructed from durable Spectra/Robic ripstop fabric, the pack abides by the Outdoor Vitals motto, “live ultralight,” a good mantra for hardcore hikers. Available in 45L and 60L.

[$200, 45L pack;]
get it

Courtesy Image

2. Nemo Tensor Sleeping Pad

A good night’s sleep is a must on the trail, and a comfy sleeping pad shielding you from the hard ground makes all the difference. The best thru-hiking pads are light, solid, and silent. You don’t want noisy friction between your pad and bag keeping you (or others) up at night. Nemo Tensor delivers on all those fronts. It boasts the brand’s proprietary Spaceframe baffle construction to create a supportive base that keeps volume and weight down; it weighs just over a pound when packed. An R-Value, or warmth rating, of 4.2 for the non-insulated version works well in the summer and is made from Bluesign certified recycled 20D polyester. The pad comes with a stuff sack and a vortex pump sack to help inflate the pad.

get it

3. Connect Carbon 5 Poles

You can hike without trekking poles, but having them in hand has proven to make a long trek a whole lot easier on your joints. Moreover, a solid trekking pole can double as a tent pole for some tents.

Related: 50 Best Hikes in the World Every Adventurer Should Do in Their Lifetime

Connect Carbon 5 trekking poles are super compact, very light, easy to adjust, and work great as a pole for your tent. They come with a TSL magnetic Strap Concept—letting you pop straps off without any hassle—and offer a cross grip option that’s great for steep terrain as well as a light grip to shed some ounces. The baskets proved a bit difficult to change out, but for summer treks you may not even need them.

[price varies, search local distributor;]
learn more

Courtesy Image

4. La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX Boots

Footwear is a crucial part of any long-distance hike—and also very personal. Some hikers prefer trail running shoes, while others go with big leather boots. A nice middle point is La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX boots. The technical footwear combines solid ankle and foot support with trail running flexibility. Made with a recycled Gore-Tex liner, the boots weigh 17 ounces—65 percent of that from eco-materials. Vibram Ecostep EVO with Impact Brake System and 5mm lugs provide comfort and durability for long hikes and backpacking trips.

get it

Courtesy Image

5. Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie

Having a warm jacket in your pack is a lifesaver during cold nights on the trail and when crossing high mountain passes. Layer Ibex’s Sun Hoodie under the Wool Aire to stay toasty and protected. The ultralight puffy clocks in at around 10 ounces, and is made from a proprietary blend of merino wool that provides warmth without getting smelly from sweat. The hood is invaluable in windy, wet conditions, but when you don’t need it, it packs down into its own chest pocket.

get it

Courtesy Image

6. Platypus Quickdraw Microfilter System

Without clean drinking water, you won’t get very far. And while many long-distance hikes like the Colorado Trail have plenty of water available in lakes and streams, you’ll need to filter it first. For thru-hiking, QuickDraw is a lightweight option. At 3.3 ounces, it attaches to a water bottle and will filter 3 liters of water per minute.

Related: Best Appalachian Trail Section Hikes

For general backpacking trips where weight may not be a concern, consider a gravity filter such as the MSR Guardian Gravity Purifier, which offers an easy way to let gravity do the work for you. Simply hang the bag of water in camp or on your pack: Water will flow through the filter and into your water bottle or jug. It removes 99.99 percent of bacteria, protozoa, sediment, and microplastics.

get it

Courtesy Image

7. Beyond Avid Ultralight L4 Pant

Beyond Avid Ultralight L4 pants are comfy, durable, and supremely light. While similar to joggers in design, they perform more like hiking pants. The fabric doesn’t inhibit any movement when you’re climbing steep terrain. The minimalist earth tone is also stylish enough to double as an around-town pant. It packs down nicely and includes plenty of pockets to stash snacks or gear.

get it

Courtesy Image

8. Tifosi Rail Sunglasses

It’s bright and exposed on those high-alpine trails, which is why it’s important to carry a good pair of sunglasses to ward off UV and eye strain. Tifosi Rail is a great oversized option for full-face protection. The shades’ Grilamid TR-90 frames are created with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses, which protect your eyes from the sun as well as branches and debris on the trail. They offer 100 percent UVA/UVB protection and include interchangeable lenses for different light conditions. At under $100 a pair, these sunnies also won’t break the bank.

get it

Courtesy Image

9. Fortius Trekking Pole Tent

Don’t skimp on your home away from home on your next big trek—or overlook the delicate balance between weight and functionality. Offering the best of both worlds for thru-hikers, the one-person Fortius Trekking Pole Tent weighs just 1.6 pounds and is worth more than its weight in strong nylon. This tent will keep the elements and bugs at bay without weighing you down.

get it

Courtesy Image

10. Chaco Ramble Puff Camp Slippers

If there’s one essential non-essential for thru-hikers to consider bringing along for the ride, it’s a cozy pair of slippers to soothe your soles after a long day on the trail. Your feet will thank you repeatedly for these lightweight puffy shoes made with water-resistant rip-stop nylon. They’re durable enough to hold up to the outdoors around camp yet super comfy. Ramble Puff is equipped with Chaco’s signature LUVSEAT footbed, which is the next best thing to a hot tub after a long hike.

get it

Courtesy Image

For more updates check below links and stay updated with News AKMI.
Life and Style || Lifetime Fitness || Automotive News || Tech News || Giant Bikes || Cool Cars || Food and Drinks


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

usa news wall today prime news newso time news post wall