Pack: Ultralight Adventure Equipment – Circuit
The ULA Ohm 2.0 that my partner uses was the first backpacking pack I ever used – he
“accidentally” let me use it on my first trip to the ADZPCTKO – and it was more than adequate for my 7-day road trip needs. Originally, that pack was the one I wanted to get for my PCT trek, and I would have gotten it but for the legal requirement of a bear can through the Sierra Nevada. After my partner took the Ohm away and handed me a Circuit to use instead, I quickly fell in love, though it was (and still is) a little big for my needs.
I’ve tried to mitigate that extra space – and therefore, extra weight – by removing the hydration bladder sleeve, the handloops (I’m carrying trekking poles), a fair bit of extra strap length on the load lifters, shoulder straps, and hip belt (I’m like to get smaller, not bigger), as well as a number of the bungee straps I found myself never using during shakedown hikes.
Sleeping Bag: Mountain Hardwear Men’s Phantom 15 (California, Oregon), Phantom Torch 3 (Washington)
SO WARM. SO FLUFFY. I got a men’s because, at 5’11”, I’m juuust too tall for a women’s bag, but I’m not sleeping any colder for that slight change. The draft collar and draft tube down the zipper are super solid, which helps; the bag also features hydrophobic down to get the condensation from my breath away from my body. I loved the fact that there were pockets – a velcro pocket and a zip pocket that held my headlamp and earplugs respectively, so they’re not just wandering around in the bag. My favorite part? It’s stupid warm, in the best way possible. The 3F version is even fluffier and warmer. I lurve these bags.
Tent: Mountain Hardwear Ghost UL 2
This tent, when
you’re not an idiot and you pitch it correctly into the wind, come on, get it together, is bombproof. Even with all my gear in it, it’s still super roomy. It’s freestanding, but I definitely like it better staked out. For a freestanding shelter that is also bombproof, it’s also super lightweight, which helps. I was really happy with this shelter, and it held up to my abuses – including time on the outside of my pack without a bag – for all 2650 miles, and only suffered a teeny tiny hole in the door’s mesh. I wouldn’t necessarily sleep two in it for a long thruhike; it was fine for a couple of days with Spesh and I, but I probably wouldn’t go for more than a week like that. For one, though, it was lovely, and big enough that I didn’t go stir crazy when I was stuck in the rain.