Time for my preliminary list of gear I will be wearing and carrying on my three day trip on the Loyalsock Link Loop Trail. We are doing this over three days, two nights, for a distance of 18 miles, along with a potential few additional miles if we, meaning I, have more in the legs and want to see the rapids known as The Haystacks. Expedition leader is my friend Ian, and Baxter is the official dog.

I’m not listing weight of items below, and I’ve backed off my initial estimate of 9.5 pounds. That was unrealistic for a first time backpacker and for one my size – my clothes are bigger and I’ll carry more food, for starters, than the tiny people who are over-represented in the hobby.

That said, here is the preliminary list:


One par of Cabela’s Guidewear pants.

My typical hiking ensemble, minus the fisherman’s shirt. 

One Columbia fisherman’s shirt
Asolo hiking boots
Three pairs of athletic underwear
Two pairs of wool Columbia hiking socks
baseball cap
HIKE For Mental Health bandana
running shorts or swimsuit and athletic t shirt
Crocs for camp shoes

Its not the just the voice of my mother telling me to wear clean underwear; like many former super-obese people, I have a lot of loose skin, and I’m prone to rashes in certain places if I don’t keep clean. I’ve found I can safely reuse wool socks a day before the ick factor gets to me. All of this clothing is synthetic or wool aside from the bandana and baseball cap.


Hammock I am being loaned for the trip. Ian tells me the weight of the hammock is 2 pounds, which includes the top tarp. He’s suggested I use two additional coverings which will add 2 pounds to the shelter. In addition I’ll bring a microfiber travel pillow.


Ian is loaning me an alcohol stove and titanium mess kit. I’ll bring my spork.


Ian is carrying a water filter, and filling up in a stream should be easy. I’ll carry a couple of water bottles on my person and in the pack.


This will be my basic bike camping recipe of Knorr’s instant items, packaged tuna, and oatmeal. I’ll have fat person snacks with me, especially on the first day. Tea will be English Breakfast, as I need a strong brew in the mornings.


Paper, camp soap, toothpaste in a plastic bag, toothbrush. I’ll have to ask Ian if I should bring my own trowel. I think I should; I’d feel uncomfortable borrowing his knowing what he’d used it for. Since we live in Ticksylvania I’ll spray and carry repellent and use sunscreen.


Camera, cell phone, batteries for camera, lightweight headphones, MP3 player. These and the car keys go in my pockets, not the pack.


Osprey Atmos 50


Inexpensive aluminum poles from my friend Chris.

What am I overlooking? What am I doing wrong? I know you have an opinion, please share it in the comments.