As a female hiker, I am constantly asked what gear I used when I travel outdoors and hit the trail. I also get a lot of questions about safety and going solo. It’s not ever been too much of a concern going solo. In 2017 I hiked 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail and was fine. Never did I feel threatened. There are just so many hikers on the AT at any given time, you are never too alone.
When I hit any trail whether it’s a day hike or multiple nights, I always go as lightweight as I can. Packing lightweight offers me the opportunity to explore more and not get bogged down with gear. If you listen to our Podcast Trust the Trail, that’s how I pack light. I do trust the trail and love connecting with it.
My pack of choice for overnight trips is the Hyperlite Southwest 3400. It’s a 55 liter pack and weighs less than 2lbs and carries awesome on my back. Made with ultra-durable, 100% waterproof Dyneema® Composite Fabrics (formerly Cuben Fiber), I don’t need a rain cover if I get caught in a unexpected rain storm. Being that I have a smaller frame, the Hyperlite is a good choice for me since I don’t want a lot of heavy weight on my hips where most of the weight from your pack should be distributed. I also utilize compression sacks so I can pack as tight as I can keeping my pack close to my back.
Other gear that keeps my pack light is a goose down bag, a tarp tent, and some extra clothes. I really do not need much on the trail. Even in colder temps, my 15 degree bag with some extra dry clothes work fine. Along with my Sawyer water filter, my homemade alcohol stove, and my Toaks Cookware, and my Nemo Tensor sleeping pad, my base weight comes in around 18lbs with no food or water. No bad.
My complete gear list can be found HERE. When Scott and I go out on the trail, we really to trust the trail and that it will provide things we need.