Because of the very subjective nature of equipment decisions, we do not endorse any specific brands or types of equipment, but there is a wealth of information already available to hikers looking for more information.
- Talk to other hikers. Past thru-hikers can offer a wealth of “lessons learned” and prospective thru-hikers might spur fresh ideas.
- Look for an outdoor store with a recent thru-hiker on staff.
- Search for books and videos and magazines to help you initially research the many choices and prices of equipment.
- Peruse online hiker forums and blogs.
In selecting your gear, keep in mind that your A.T. hike of more than 2,000 miles will, in effect, consist of a long series of shorter hikes. Resupply is frequently available; most hikers will carry only three to six days of food at a time. Except for those hiking in winter, “expedition” size packs are overkill and will tempt you to carry more than you need. Depending on when and where you start your hike, you may need winter and summer gear at different times.
If there is any item you forgot or need to change, in most areas (especially along the southern half of the A.T.) you’ll reach an outfitter along the Trail every week or two.