Well, I never kept up very well what exactly what I had in my pack. It was a constant evolution as I discovered what I needed, what I didn't need, gear upgrades, etc. Anyhow, here is my gear review of what I had, what Kyle had, and my opinions on everything, as well as Kyle's (to the best of my knowledge).
I am 5'3, 125lbs
BACKPACK: ULA Circuit (S pack, S hipbelt)
WEIGHT: 39 oz (2lb, 7oz)
THE GOOD: I *LOVE* this pack. It is so versatile and spacious, and you have so many different options on how to pack things. This is especially important as your gear changes, and when you get a bear canister. Also, I love how you can get different sized hip belts and packs (good for people who are tall and skinny, etc). It is durable and has survived the entire hike with no damages. This is a great pack for someone like me who isn't going completely minimal, but still wants a UL pack. There is a reason why at lest 1 in 5 people on trail had this pack.
THE BAD: You shouldn't load it with more than 35 lbs. They state this on their website. This holds true for pretty much all ultra-light packs. If you overload it, not only does it feel like crap but you will damage your pack.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: I would choose this pack. LOVE IT.
OTHER POPULAR PACKS: the ULA Circuit is the singlemost popular pack i saw on trail. also, tons of hikers with the Osprey Exos, Osprey Atmos, and other various osprey packs
TENT: TARPTENT NOTCH (1-person)
WEIGHT: 26oz (1lb, 10oz)
THE BAD: As with any other ultralight tent, there is a learning curve to setting it up. It will be awkward and annoying at first but once you figure it out you can set it up in a little over a minute. In high wind or rain, you'll want to have extra stakes to stake down the struts. I've had the tent collapse on me a few times when I didn't properly secure it.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: I would choose this tent for a 1-person tent, or the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1.
OTHER POPULAR TENTS: i saw quite a few people with the Notch. Also i've seen many Tarptent Contrals, Tarptent Rainbows, but by far the most popular is the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1. Also, the Six Moon Designs poncho/tarp tent i've seen a few of too. Keep in mind the more minimalist you go, the less protection you'll have in bad weather.
TENT: STEPHENSON'S WARMLITE (2 PERSON 4-SEASON)
THE GOOD: This tent is pretty much bulletproof. It will stand up to extreme elements. It sets up incredibly quickly and efficiently, and the way it is designed, you don't necessarily need to stake it into the ground, you can secure it with rocks or a branch, whatever is availible. This is a GREAT tent for winter camping (not much else). VERY spacious inside (too much, actually)
THE BAD: The thing I've discovered about 4 season tents is that it sucks unless its snowing or you're in crappy weather. The ventilation is not good, so on the days it was 100*F+ we were dying inside. The bright obnoxious color is not condusive to stealth camping. The curved poles are a pain in the ass to pack, as a thru-hiker. It was way too spacious inside, and all that extra tent material = extra weight. All in all, this is NOT a practical tent for through hiking.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: I would get the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 PLATINUM.
MSRP: usually around $1/ft. I got mine for $12 that was already cut in the shape of my TarpTent
WEIGHT: very light
THE GOOD: lightweight, doubled as my hitchiking sign
THE BAD: after a lot of wear, water will seep through
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i'd still use tyvek still but replace it once every 800 or 900 miles
SLEEPING BAG: BIG AGNES PEGGY SL 15* DOWN (PETITE SIZE)
MSRP: $358 (I bought on clearance for $136)
*This item is discontinued.
THE BAD: Did not maintain loft as well as Kyle's bag did, but I guess thats what you get between a $350 bag and a $500 bag. The part of the bag by your back does not have any down it in. The reasoning is, when down is smashed, it does not insulate. So they just didn't fill that part of the bag, to save weight. Therefore, this is designed to be used with a sleeping pad.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: I would use this bag.
DRY BAG: STOIC WATERPROOF (S & M)
MSRP: $10 AND $14
WEIGHT: 3.2 oz and 4 oz
THE GOOD: its waterproof. i've swam in the ocean with these bags. the air release is nice
THE BAD: doesn't compress as well as an actual compression sack. plus the shape of the bag kinda weird when full so it doesn't pack efficiently
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i upgraded to the e-vent compression sack for my sleeping bag at Kennedy Meadows (mile 700), and made a tyvek stuff sack for my clothes (Ashland, OR mile 1800)
COMPRESSION SACK: SEA TO SUMMIT E-VENT COMPRESSION DRY SACK (M)
THE GOOD: I switched from the dry bag to this at kennedy meadows (mile 700), after seeing how awesome Kyle's was. we both learned the hard way that it DOES work. in the rain, this bag got soaked in the bottom of my pack, but the sleeping bag inside stayed dry yay!
THE BAD: i don't think theres anything bad about this. it is *amazing*
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: *HIGHLY* recommend this item
SLEEPING PAD: THERMAREST RIDGEREST (REGULAR)
THE GOOD: cheap, lightweight, WARM, comfortable
THE BAD: not very compact
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: it would be nice to have the neo-air lite but they're expensive and i don't think i'd want to inflate and deflate the mattress everynight. i am stoked on the ridgerest and would use it again.
OTHER POPULAR PADS: the z-rest is by far the most popular pad. also, the inflatable Thermarest Neo-air lite, but thats a $160 investment and everyone i know who owns one has popped it at least once.
SOLAR CHARGER: GOAL ZERO NOMAD 7 W/BATTERY PACK
MSRP: $159 (I originally bought it for $120)
THE BAD: It is HEAVY. Maybe I could have gone without the battery pack, or with the smaller panels (half the size). I am not careful with electronics so I scratched the hell out of the panels. It doesn't work as well when the panels are scratched.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: I upgraded to the ReVolve solar charger at El Cajon Pass (mile 350)
SOLAR CHARGER: REVOLVE xeMILO
THE BAD: Theres no loops or anything to clip it onto your pack. I put it in a clear ziplock bag and clipped that to my pack. When the ziplock became very scratched, it didn't work very well. It is still too heavy.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: I decided to go with a battery pack instead of a solar charger.
OTHER POPULAR SOLAR CHARGERS: I saw a lot of people with the Solio Bolt but I haven't heard any positive reviews on it from other hikers.
BATTERY PACK: REVOLVE RESCUE 7000
THE BAD: It works great, and I like it, but still too heavy.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: I would get the Brunton Inspire battery pack. That is the one you want. Many hikers have it, and they say its awesome.
WATER FILTRATION: BLEACH (A SMALL VIAL OF BLEACH)
MSRP: free (top of at motels/trail angel houses, a 2 oz vial will last about 1,000 miles)
WEIGHT: almost nothing
POPULAR WATER FILTER: 1/2 the people i met have a sawyer squeeze. I almost got one myself, but honestly bleach works just fine. I know people who filtered their water and still got giardia so who knows. Just save yourself the weight and use bleach. If the water is really gross, filter it through your bandana first. You'll probably only encounter at most 2 or 3 sources where its *that* bad.
KITCHEN: POT: MSR TITAN KETTLE .85L
THE GOOD: i LOVE this pot. you can boil over 4 cups of water at a time, which is enough for 2 dinners. Kyle and I were pretty much cooking exclusively out of my pot, because i could boil enough water for the both of us
THE BAD: no complaints
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i would use this pot again. It is a popular pot among hikers.
KITCHEN: STOVE: CALDERA CONE SYSTEM
THE GOOD: LOVE it! it is super efficient and awesome. it is also very stable so a clumsy person like myself will not knock it over. the flame is more or less enclosed so its less likely that i'll catch myself on fire.
THE BAD: the windscreen is kind of weird to pack. most people ditch that plastic caddy. i kept it in the caddy. that caddy comes in *very* handy for all kinds of purposes, so i recommend taking it with you. the fuel bottle that comes with the kit leaks. don't use it. use a tiny water bottle instead.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i would use this again
KITCHEN: STOVE: CALDERA CONE SYSTEM
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN:
CLOTHING: RAIN SHELL: MOUNTAIN HARDWARE GORETEX TYPHOON
MSRP: $200 (I got it for $70)
THE GOOD: it is AMAZING
THE BAD: n/a
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i would use this jacket again
CLOTHING: RAIN PANTS: GOLITE TUMALO PERTEX 2.5 LAYER PANTS
THE BAD: these pants were not very waterproof at all. i pretty much got soaked through them. so did Doe Eyes, who had the exact same pants I did. it really sucks to find out in the rain that your rain gear is not waterproof enough...
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i would get pants with a higher waterproof rating
CLOTHING: INSULATING JACKET: MONTBELL UL THERMAWRAP BC JACKET WOMENS
MSRP: $120 (I got it for $60)
THE BAD: sizes run small and it fits me kinda weird. I have a M, and its kinda tight around the chest. but hey, its functional so i don't really care. its also somewhat form-fitting, so as to fit under other layers.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: love this jacket
POPULAR INSULATING JACKETS: patagonia nano puff, mamrmot driclime windshirt (thats what Kyle had)
CLOTHING: LIGHT, MEDIUM, HEAVYWEIGHT SHIRT
MOUNTAIN HARDWARE WICKED LITE
|MSRP: $50 (I got it for $26), THE GOOD: great midweight baselayer! a little bit of warmth, THE BAD: not as durable as it shoudl be, IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i like this shirt, i would use it again|
CLOTHING: BRA: HONEY GIRL JULES REVERSIBLE TRIANGLE SPORT TOP
|MSRP: $42, THE GOOD: this is an amazing top, I love it! plus it is reversible, double win! good support for busty people, this is a durable top, it lasted me the whole trip!, THE BAD: nothing, IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i highly recommend this top!|
CLOTHING: UNDERWEAR: GENERIC SYNTHETIC UNDERWEAR FROM ROSS
CLOTHING: SKIRT (HOMEMADE)
|MSRP: free, THE GOOD: this lasted me 2,200 miles!! quick drying, breezy, ultra lightweight, THE BAD: i only made one, IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: make another one and mail it to myself towards the end of the trail|
CLOTHING: LEGGINGS: I/O BIO MERINO CONTACT 2 TIGHTS
FOOTWEAR: VIBRAM 5 FINGERS SPYRIDON
FOOTWEAR: MONTRAIL MOUNTAIN MASOCHIST
OTHER POPULAR SHOES: by far the most popular thru-hiker shoes are the Brooks Cascadias, followed by Montrails. Salomon shoes were also abundant, and everyone who had the La Sportiva Wildcats said it was amazing. that was the shoe Kyle finished in.
FOOTWEAR: CHACO FLIP FLOPS
|MSRP: $100, THE GOOD: they're durable, and i know of hikers who have done an entire thru hike in these, THE BAD:they are heavy and did not fit me well, not wide enough and too long, IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i would not use them again|
FOOTWEAR: GENERIC FLIP FLOPS
i hiked in these for a while, it worked, but i wouldn't do it over long distances. if you can find really lightweight ones, they make for great camp shoes. so do Crocs (a popular choice). i got some $2 super light flip flops at a thrift store that lasted me the whole trip.
FOOTWEAR: INJINJI TOE SOCKS
|MSRP: $10, THE GOOD: no blisters!!, THE BAD: they wear out *really* fast, IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i would use these again, or maybe try the Smart Wool toe socks|
FOOTWEAR: DIRTY GIRL GAITERS
|MSRP: $20, THE GOOD: keeps rocks, sand, and some particles out of my shoes, yay! comes in awesome patterns and designs, THE BAD: n/a, IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i'd buy these again|
FOOTWEAR: REI GAITERS
GOLITE CHROME DOME UMPRELLA
MSRP: $40 (usually on sale for $20)
|i tied my umbrella to my trekking pole to make it longer|
THE BAD: its kind of a pain in the butt to store because its long
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i would definitely use this again
TREKKING POLES: BLACK DIAMOND ULTRA DISTANCE Z-POLES 110cm
THE GOOD: i LOVE these poles. they are *so* lightweight (carbon fiber), and they really help with my stability
THE BAD: they are fixed length poles, they do not adjust, although most people see this as a negative thing, i like it better like that. less moving parts=less things that can fail
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: i would use these again
OTHER POPULAR POLES: many hikers had the Gossamer Gear poles, but every single hiker i knew who owns those has broken them.
Kyle is 6'3, 169lbs
BACKPACK: GOSSAMER GEAR MARIPOSA PLUS
WEIGHT: 27oz (1lb 11oz)
THE BAD: The website says max load 35lbs, but Kyle said it started to feel like crap after about 30 lbs. The pack is also skinnier than my Circuit, and it was very fickle in the way it distributed weight (but all UL packs are like this). He also had and older model of this pack, which did not have hipbelts. This new one looks much nicer, with more features.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle got a new pack halfway though, one that could hold more weight.
BACKPACK: OSPREY KESTREL 48
WEIGHT: 3lbs 8oz
THE BAD: As with *any* backpack, make sure you try it on. This pack comes in a S/M or M/L so its hard if you're a guy like Kyle and is tall and skinny. He had the M/L pack, and it fit his torso but the hipbelt was too big. The sternum strap broke on the 3rd day out. We called Osprey to have them send a replacement part. Its pretty heavy.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle says he will probably try a Circuit backpack.
TENT: TARPTENT SUBLITE (1-Person)
WEIGHT: 19.5oz (1lb 3.5oz)
THE BAD: Is kind of a pain in the ass to setup, he hardly ever used it. Not much of a breeze in there if its a hot day.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle says he would get a Notch (the tent i had)
GROUND SHEET: TYVEK
(same thing i had)
SLEEPING BAG: MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR PHANTOM 15* DOWN (LONG)
WEIGHT: 2lb 4oz
THE BAD: The zipper gets stuck. I know this seems like a very trite detail, but it is ridiculously annoying when you can't zip up or down without difficulty.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle loved this bag. It was a little too warm for him, up until the last week when we were in snow. He is naturally a very warm person though.
COMPRESSION SACK: SEA TO SUMMIT E-VENT COMPRESSION DRY SACK
same as mine, he used the (m) for his sleeping bag and (s, 4.5oz) for his clothing.
SLEEPING PAD: THERMAREST Z-REST
WEIGHT: 14 oz
THE GOOD: way more compact than the ridgerest! most people i know cut them to make it smaller. this is by far the most popular pad on the trail.
THE BAD: its a softer foam and not as comfortable as the ridgerest
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle swapped to the ridgerest (the pad i have) at Kennedy Meadows (mile 700)
BATTERY PACK: REVOLVE RESCUE 2200
THE BAD: won't charge an iphone more than once.
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle was happy with this
WATER FILTRATION: BLEACH
(a small vial of bleach)
KITCHEN: POT: SNOW PEAK 700
THE GOOD: its a nice pot
THE BAD: its taller than it is wide, so i don't think it is as efficient in boiling water than my pot, which is wider than it is tall
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle liked this pot
KITCHEN: STOVE: GENERIC ALCOHOL STOVE AND ALUMINUM WINDSCREEN
THE GOOD: Kyle's setup was very compact and he was able to stuff everything inside his pot
THE BAD: the pot sat right on top of the stove so if you have rocky/uneven ground, it can get weird. also, if it is windy, make sure the fire burns out before you lift up your pot because the stove can blow over, then you'll start a forest fire
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle wants to get a Caldera Cone windscreen. they come custom sized to fit your pot,
CLOTHING: RAIN SHELL: PATAGONIA TORRENTSHELL
WEIGHT: 12 oz
THE GOOD: Kyle liked this jacket
THE BAD: n/a
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: yup!
RAIN PANTS: REI ULTRALIGHT PANTS
THE BAD: n/a
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle liked these pants
CLOTHING: INSULATING JACKET: MARMOT DRICLIME WINDSHIRT
THE BAD: n/a
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: love this jacket!
CLOTHING: LIGHTWEIGHT, MIDWEIGHT SHIRT
MOUNTAIN HARDWARE WICKED LITE (same as mine)
SMARTWOOL FUNNEL ZIP
|MSRP: $100, THE GOOD: oh my gosh this shirt is so soft, i really like it, even though i wasn't the one who mainly wore it. lol! its quite warm too, for being so thin. Kyle really liked this shirt, THE BAD: n/a, IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: great shirt!|
CLOTHING: PANTS/SHORTS: KUHL LIBERATOR CONVERTIBLE PANTS
CLOTHING: SHORTS: ADIDAS SOCCER SHORTS
he switched to these in northern california from the Kuhl shorts, and wore them til the end. much more comfortable.
CLOTHING: PANTS: REI MIDWEIGHT LONG UNDERWEAR
Kyle pretty much didn't use these the entire trip until the last week. I actually used it a little too. I thought they were ok. It did the job but I would have gone with another material, like smartwool or capilene.
FOOTWEAR: NEW BALANCE
i can't find a picture of the ones he had, but he didn't like these very much, they weren't wide enough in the toe box.
I don't know which one he had but he didn't like these very much either. They just didn't fit him very well.
FOOTWEAR: LA SPORTIVA WILDCAT
FOOTWEAR: INJINJI TOE SOCKS
same as mine
TREKKING POLES: REI Traverse PowerLock Trekking Poles
WEIGHT: 1lb 4oz
THE GOOD: they are adjustable
THE BAD: the locking mechanism would get loose and the poles would randomly collapse, usually at the worst possible time Kyle stopped using poles after Mammoth and liked it better without poles
IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN: Kyle didn't like these, would not recommend it
STUFF SACKS: REI DITTY BAGS
|MSRP: $16.50, THE GOOD: stuff sacks are really important so that you don't end up with a pack full of unorganized crap, THE BAD: not waterproof|
This is TENTATIVE and INCOMPLETE. There will be a lot added and a lot dropped off as the days get closer.