Gear List

Updated Gear Description / List 2022:

Allright y’all… After all these years it’s time for an updated gear list and description. While I was very busy the past couple years living and taking care of our baby (now toddler) (indeed) with no time for blogging or social media, we have continued hiking and going on adventures as a family and I did make some changes in the gear I use… Mainly because hiking with a baby or a toddler is a whole other thing (if you’re a parent yourself you know what I’m talking about), but there were also one or two items that started to fail and I had to buy new.

There are a few things we have one, two or three of, from which we then can choose depending on the conditions or whether we are hiking alone (Dan that is, as I am still unable to go anywhere without my kiddo), with other people or as a family.

I’ll start with a description and will add pictures at the end. Below you’ll find a 1 P, 2P and a family gearlist and my old PCT 2015 gear list.

Also… please bear with me… my English isn’t what it used to be… Before Little Bird was born, for the past 15 years, my main languages have been German and English. Now that Little Bird is part of our family I started speaking my mother language Flemish with him again (so he can talk with my family in Belgium) and somehow my English isn’t as present anymore. Either way I’m sure y’all still understand what I’m writing or at least I hope so :cP


While I am still in love with my Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40, since having a kid I desperately needed a bigger pack, even when we are still going as lightweigt as possible. I decided to buy a ÜLA Circuit and I am super happy with it.

These are the backpacks we have in our gear room now:

  • Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40
  • Zpacks Arc Blast
  • 2 ÜLA Circuit (one size M for Dan, one size S for me)
  • 2 Gossamer Gear Day Packs
  • 2 Go Lite Pinnacle (we never really use these anymore)
  • 2 Ortlieb Atrack 45L (for packrafting and canooing)
  • Toddler carrier: Deuter Kid Comfort (We tried out different carriers and none of these carriers are as comfortable as a normal backpack. We ended up choosing this one because it has a zipper compartment underneath the seat, a roof to create some shadow and Little Bird can sit comfortably. Dan always carries Little Bird as the combo of the carrier and a growing toddler is just too much weight for my crappy hips.)

These days we almost always pick our ÜLA Circuit. The pack is kinda everything we need; well made, comfortable, spaceous but still pretty lightweight.


As we are three now, obviously we had to get a bigger tent. These are the tents we choose from depending on what we’re up to and what the conditions are:

  • MSR Mutha Hubba Nx 3 (which we use for spring, summer and fall hiking)
  • Hilleberg Kaitum 3 Gt (which is no lightweight tent at all, but we use it for cold weather camping and canooing trips where we don’t have to carry the tent on our back)
  • Yama Mountain Gear Swiftline 2 P (Still our go to shelter for 2 person backpacking trips. We asked Gen to sew in new zippers a few years ago as they were really worn down from hiking the PCT and the Hayduke Trail. We don’t get to use it at the moment though as we are now 3 in our hiking party.)
  • Tarptent Moment 1 P (for solo trips)
  • Jack Wolfskin Great Divide (family tent for car camping)
  • 3 Tarps: 1: Terranova Competition Tarp 2 (silnylon). 2: Rab Siltarp 3 (silnylon) 3: Zpacks Tarp (cuben). We bought the Rab Siltarp as the Terranova started to have some wear and tear and was too small for the 3 of us. But we’re nog very happy with it as it has a reinforcement going around the edges of the tarp that is made out of another material… which means that both materials react differently to rain. So basically you can get the edges taut, but not the tarp fabric… ugh… We never even thought about that when we bought it and honestly a company like Rab should’ve tested their product better before bringing it on the market. (At the moment we always take a tarp when we go on dayhikes in the mountain to create some shade for Little Birds afternoon nap.)

Sleeping pad

At the moment I share a sleeping pad with my toddler which means I need a duo sleeping pad. We chose to get the Exped Synmat HL in duo for me and Little Bird and a single for Dan. When Little Bird is older we’ll return to using our Thermarest Neo Airs.

  • Exped Synmat HL Duo M (for me and Little Bird)
  • Expet Synmat HL (for Dan)
  • Several Thermarest Neo Airs: Xtherm, XLite, XLite Women’s,… (Dan uses one of these when he’s on solo trips)
  • Exped Sim Comfort 7.5 Duo and LW for car camping.

We used to bring the Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight pillow as a luxury item. Things have changed… it’s not a luxury item anymore, it’s a bare necessity :cP

Sleeping bag

After several years of using our Zpacks sleeping bags they started failing on us, which we are really bummed about. First it was just mine… The inner baffles just seemed to fall apart from one day to the next. I mailed Zpacks about it and they gave me a discount on a next sleeping bag but seriously, I didn’t wanna get a new one. In my opinion down sleeping bags that are taken well care of should last longer than just a few years really. We owe it to the animals whose feathers keep us warm. Then a year later same thing happened to Dan’s sleeping bag… the inner baffles falling apart from one day to the next. Ugh!

So we decided to invest in some new Western Mountaineering bags, having made good experiences with their WM Antelope. For Little Bird it was hard to find a sleeping bag for lower temperatures. Yeti used to have a toddler down sleeping bag but stopped producing it, so I had to start looking overseas. Luckily I found Morrison Outdoors who makes sleeping bags for babies and toddlers. The bag has some flaws (like what toddler will accept closed sleeves?! Seriously, toddlers need their hands free to feel and hold,…. so I had to do some sewing and opened up the sleeves so his hands could fit through) but it’s still the best I could find to make sure Little Bird would also be warm at freezing temps.

So here are our bags we currently choose from:

  • Western Mountaineering Apache (for me… for spring, summer, fall)
  • Western Mountaineering Antelope (for me… for colder temperatures)
  • Western Mountaineering Summerlite (for Dan… for spring, summer, fall)
  • Western Mountaineering Versalite (for Dan… for colder temperatures)
  • Morrison Outdoors Big Mo 20° Down Kids Sleeping bag (for Little Bird)

Stove and Kitchen Stuff

When it was just the two of us, Dan and I would almost always just take the MSR Pocket Rocket, an Evernew titanium pot, a Trail Design windshield and that would be it. We ate out of the pot and done. Now with a little one coming along things are a bit different. We wanted a stove that would not screw on top of the gas can but would rather sit next to it. With a very alive toddler we didn’t wanna take the risk of him tipping over a pot of boiling water or hot soup. So we looked for something lightweight and found the EOE Palladium. So far we’re pretty happy with it. You might not be able to find it outside Europe but I’m sure you can find something alike.

Dan is a stove freak so we have a shit ton of stoves. One for every possible outdoor condition you can think of :cP

  • MSR Pocket Rocket
  • MSR Pocket Rocket 2 (Now Dan wants the Deluxe too but seriously we don’t need it aha)
  • EOE Palladium
  • MSR Reactor
  • MSR Whisperlite International
  • MSR Whisperlite Universal
  • Trail Design Caldera Keg-F Stove System
  • Trail Design Sidewinder Ti-Try
  • Titanium wood stove from Nomadic Stove Company
  • Jet Boil Zip

As for pots and pans most often we use an Evernew or Toaks titanium pot. We have several sizes and just pick the one we need. We use a windshield from Trail Design or EOE. We also bring 3 small lightweight plastic bowls to eat out of and – with a small child more important than ever – 2 coffee cups from Sea to Summit for the sometimes very tired mom and dad. For spoons we still use our Sea to Summit titanium spoons.

Water treatment

We have a few water filters at home but we almost always use our Platypus Gravity Filter. We like the fact that it’s quite fast and we can filter 4 L at once.

  • Platypus Gravityworks 4L (We take this one for any multi day hikes or for places where there aren’t many water sources and we have to filter a lot of water at once)
  • Kathadyn Befree (Dan took this one on a solo trip on Teneriffa and wasn’t very happy with it. It doesn’t do the job well of filtering a lot of water at once and it seems to get clogged up fast. Seems like this is rather a filter for when there are a lot of small streams where you can fill up regularly and you don’t have to filter 3 L at once, plus there shouldn’t be too much sediment in the water – well you could pre-filter it but really who has time for that right?!).
  • Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Squeeze mini (We use the sawyer squeeze as a gravity filter in our wilderness school and for shorter hikes where we just need a liter here or there.)


We basically wear the same hiking clothes as always (either synthetic or wool). I won’t name specific brands as there’s just so much to choose from these days but this is what we take:

  • 2 pair of undies
  • 1 pair of lightweight leggings or longjohns
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of windpants
  • 1 pair of rainpants (or rainskirt) (only for rainy areas)
  • 1 shortsleeve Tshirt
  • 1 longsleeve Tshirt (either thermo or with UV protection depending on the conditions)
  • 1 windjacket
  • 1 puffy jacket (depending on the conditions a lightweight down jacket or a lightweight synthetic jacket)
  • 1 lightweight rain jacket
  • 1 hat
  • 1 sunhat or visor
  • sunglasses
  • 1 pair of gloves
  • 2 pair of merino wool socks
  • 1 pair of trailrunners (no membrane) or 1 pair of sturdier shoes for the mountains
  • For Little Bird we bring an extra set of clothes and an extra fleece sweater.

This and that

Now that we have a toddler coming with us, who can be a whirlwind at times, we bring a first aid kit that is a bit more equipped than our previous tiny zip lock baggy with some bandaids,… and that focusses on meds that are allowed for small children. We take anti allergy cream and drops, wound desinfection, eye drops, some fever meds and then the usual stuff like band aids,… and things you need for a kiddo (when you’re a parent, you know what you need…)

As for bathroom stuff we bring our toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, a dropper bottle of soap, toilet paper, pee rag, deuce of spades (perfect toy for digging and playing in the sand too!) and… ugh… diapers for the little one.

And then of course we take our phone, sometimes a camera, a power bank or lightweight solar panel and a small repair kit.

Last but not least we bring some small toys like 2 or 3 matchbox cars. Though Little Bird loves to play outdoors and gets really creative when we’re out hiking, he also loves to play with his cars when he’s in the tent…

Gearlists for Spring/Summer/Fall:

1 Person Gearlist2 Person GearlistFamily Gearlist (3 P)
Big 3: Backpack, Shelter, SleepsystemBig 3: Backpack, Shelter, SleepsystemBig 3: Backpack, Shelter, Sleepsystem
– Backpack: Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40
or Zpacks Arc Blast
or ULÄ Circuit
– Backpack: Gossamer Gear
Gorilla 40
or Zpacks Arc Blast
or ULÄ Circuit
– Backpack: 1 ULÄ Circuit
– Carrier: 1 Deuter Kid Comfort
– Shelter: Tarptent Moment– Shelter: Yama Mountain Gear Swiftline 2 P– Shelter: MSR Mutha Hubba 3 Nx
– Sleeping bag: WM Summerlite– Sleeping bags: WM Summerlite and WM Apache– Sleeping bags: WM Summerlite WM Apache and Morrison Outdoors Big Mo 20°
– Sleeping mat: Thermarest Neo Air XLite– Sleeping mats: 2 Thermarest Neo Air XLite-Sleeping mats: 1 Exped Synmat HL Duo M, 1 Exped Synmat HL
– Pillow: Aeros ultralight pillow– Pillows: 2 Aeros ultralight pillow– Pillows: 2 Aeros ultralight pillow
Cook systemCook systemCook system
– MSR Pocket Rocket or EOE Palladium– MSR Pocket Rocket – EOE Palladium
– Evernew or Toaks Titanium pot– Evernew or Toaks Titanium pot– Evernew or Toaks Titanium pot
– Trail Designs Windshield– Trail Designs Windshield– EOE Windshield
– Sea to Summit Alpha light spoon– Sea to Summit Alpha light spoon– Sea to Summit Alpha light spoon, small spoon for Little Bird
– Coffee cup: Sea to Summit insul mug – Coffee cups: 2Sea to Summit insul mug – Coffee cup: Sea to Summit insul mug, 1 baby silicone cup for Little Bird
– 3 lightweight plastic bowls
Hydration systemHydration systemHydration system
– Sawyer squeeze or Platypus gravityworks filter– Platypus gravityworks filter– Platypus gravityworks filter
– 2 PET bottles – 4 PET bottles– 4 PET bottles
See description above or my PCT gearlist belowSee description above or my PCT gearlist belowSee description above or my PCT gearlist below
– extra set of clothing for Little Bird, extra fleece sweater, extra pair of lightweight shoes, bib
This and thatThis and thatThis and that
See description above or my PCT gearlist belowSee description above or my PCT gearlist belowSee description above or my PCT gearlist below
– diapers,… for Little Bird
– some toys for LB


My  old PCT 2015 gearlist : 

Some things -like a bearcan and some small items- are still missing. My Base Pack Weight currently is around 8 lbs / 3,8 kg.

Big 3: Backpack, Shelter, Sleepsystem 

  oz g
Backpack Gossamer Gear Gorilla 24,7 701
Therm-a-rest NeoAir Xlite S 8,21 230
Zpacks 10 degree sleeping bag 19,64 550
Pillowcase Thermarest Ultralight (aka clothes bag) 0,96 27
Shelter – Yama Mountain Gear  – Daniel (who is gonna hike with me) will carry our shelter as well as our cook system :cP Lucky meee :c)

Cook system/food (We’ll be going stoveless in the desert, maybe use the MSR Pocket Rocket in the Sierra.)

Sea to Summit Alpha light spoon 0,32 9
Cup for coffee,… 1,43 40

Rain gear                                                                

Rainjacket OR Helium II 5,82 163
Rainpants Montane mimimus pants (Washington only) 5,21 146
Umbrella Euroschirm 8,07 226

Hydration system                                     

Aquamira A+B (refilled in dropper bottles) 1,43 40
Platypus 2 x 2 L (desert only) 2,14 60
2 Gatorate or Smartwater bottles    

Clothes carried            

T Shirt LS Arc’teryx Motus Crew 3,57 100
Desert shirt Graghoppers (not sure, maybe I just use the LS) 8,07 226
Leggings Arc’teryx Phase SL 2,86 80
Windpants Patagonia Houdini 2,96 83
Windshirt Patagonia Houdini 3,64 102
Puffy: Quetchua Down jacket 8,21 230
Fleece hat Meru 1,43 40
Thin fleece gloves Quetchua 0,68 19
Montane prism mittens (Sierra and Washington only) 2,07 58
1 pair extra underwear Arc’teryx Phase SL Briefs 0,86 24
Darn Tough socks 2,29 64
Seal Skinz socks (Sierra and Washington only) 2,64 74
Injinji socks lightweight minicrew (desert only) 1,04 29
Sleep socks 0,68 19

Other stuff

Photon freedom finger light 0,29 8
Canon Power Shot G15 12,50 350
2 extra camera batteries 2,93 82
Battery charger, Stick pic    
Cell phone 4,61 129
sea to summit bag (foodbag) 0,93 26
Yama Mountain Gear  cuben stuff sacks    
Toiletries (toothbrush/paste, sunscreen, soap and handsanitizer in little dropper bottle)    
Repair kit (needle, thread, superglue, tape) 0,75 21
Victorinox tiny pocket knife 0,89 25
1 mini bic lighter    
Pack liner: Heavy duty trash bag    
Pee rag    
First Aid kit    
Journal 3,57 100
Water color kit (I love to paint in my journal) 1,07 30
Passport, money, credit card 2,32 65

Clothes worn                                                               

Tshirt SS North Face 3,21 90
Shorts Arc’teryx Womens Cita 3,96 111
darn tough socks 2,29 64
Arc’teryx Phase SL Briefs 0,86 24
Marmot Visor 1,79 50
Bandana 0,64 18
Mogul Bra 1,11 31
Trail Runners: Altra Lone Peak 2.0 17,00 476
Dirty Girl Gaiters 1,07 30
Trekking poles Komperdell Vibrastop Voila 14,29 400

4 thoughts on “Gear List

  1. Hi Cat!
    I am planning on hiking the PCT next spring, and I was wondering about your gear; most retailers such as Gossamer Gear, Zpacks are easy and cheap to order when living in the US, however not when living in Europe! I would love to make my gear as light and as cheap as possible, which entails me buying most of it in the US (I live in Europe as well!) Thus I am planning on buying a lot when I get to the US, which will probably be a week before I start the hike. What do you think about this? I too wish to buy stuff from Gossamer Gear and Zpacks, and they’re both online-only. How did you buy your gear? I am following your blogposts by the way, and I wish I could be there with you all! 🙂
    Safe hiking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Emilie, I had most of my gear (from American companies) sent to a friend in the US and I picked it up prior to my hike. The companies will send packages to Europe though but shipping can be expensive and you might have to pay extra taxes depending on what country you live in. I mostly don’t have problems when I have something sent to my address in Germany, but last time I got a package in Belgium it was stuck in customs for weeks… Have fun preparing for the PCT!!! Cat


    • Kristine, it was perfect for the JMT. Bur it really depends on what the temps are like the time you’re hiking. In 2015 I hiked the JMT in June and it was pretty warm compared to when I hiked the JMT in september 2013 (back then I used the western mountaineering antelope… A bit of an overkill but it was nice and warm during some freezing nights haha) Anyway, overall I’d say it’s perfect and next time I hike through I’m gonna bring that same Zpacks 10degrees bag 😉 Cheers, Cat


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