A Glimpse into the Backpack of a Section Hiker

Before I post my pictures, experiences and thoughts about our section hike, I know many of you had expressed interest in what I packed and ate and how I prepared.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Gear

Evolution Equipment 0 Degree Down Quilt

Thermarest Z Lite sleeping pad

Sierra Designs Dridown pillow

Osprey Ariel 65L pack

It took me awhile to get used to the thinness of this sleeping pad compared to inflatable ones, but nothing beats the quick setup, quick pack up, and super light weight of the Z Lite.

Water system

Sawyer water filter

3 Smartwater bottles

This system works great and is pretty fast. I used one bottle as my dirty and two as my clean. To be honest, both of my hiking partners had the Katadyn BeFree collapsible bottle and filter, and watching them filter 1 liter of water in about 5-10 seconds made me very jealous. May be switching over to that system once I research a bit more.

Clothing

REI hiking pants with zip off shorts

REI quick dry t shirt

Smart wool leggings for sleep

Wool shirt for sleep

Patagonia down puffy

Marmot rain jacket

Beanie

3 pairs hiking socks

3 pairs underwear

Hat

Shitty Nike’s

My feet and knees are still recovering from not hiking in the proper footwear. Always thought I could power through the pain until this trip. Thanks to my amazing chiropractor, knowledgeable girlfriend, and generous mom, I have a pair of Altras coming my way very soon and I couldn’t be more stoked!

Food

2 Carnation Instant Breakfasts

1 Starbucks instant coffee

3 Snickers bars

3 large burrito size tortillas

1 cup dehydrated rice

1 cup dehydrates black beans

1/2 cup dehydrated veggies

Seasoning powder

Trail mix

Dried mangos

2-3 Nuun tablets

Now here is the question I got the most: what did you eat?! I ate that list. Times 11. Yes, every day I ate the same thing and yes, I am tired of snickers bars.

Since this part of the trail is so remote, we decided to carry all of our food instead of handling difficult resupply options. I tried to go as light and easy as possible, while also forgoing a stove, but I became dissatisfied with this diet pretty quickly. I’m excited to experiment in the upcoming weeks with more of a varied yet light diet that will keep me interested in consuming calories, even after exhausting days on the Wonderland Trail.

Prep

To be honest, I packed up all my food and gear the day before the trip, which left me zero wiggle room in terms of weight. I left with my pack at about 40 pounds, which was WAY over the goal I set for myself.

In terms of physical prep, I have been training for a half marathon this summer as well as backpacking and hiking almost every single weekend. Cardio was excellent on the trail; I never felt gassed and that was a great feeling. However, overuse injuries such as IT band pain near my knee and pain in my toe and arch are what made the experience more painful for me. Better shoes will hopefully alleviate these issues.

I hope that gives you a glimpse into my backpack for our journey on Section K! I will be posting the first few days of our trek very soon!

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