The goal? Transform the formerly sedentary man rediscovering the outdoors into a backpacker.

When? This year.

Where? An overnight short distance trip in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, or New York.

The subject? Male, age 48, 6 feet 2 inches tall, approximately 300 pounds and dropping. Medical concerns are bilateral knee replacements, occasional back trouble, and poor coordination/balance. Limited hiking experience.

Now that the conditions of the project are out there, its time to discuss equipment – what I have and what I need.

Clothing: I should be set here, but here’s what I plan on wearing on the trail:
– Cabela’s “Guidewear” pants
– synthetic underwear
– Columbia fisherman’s shirt
– baseball cap
– Merino wool socks
– Asolo hiking boots
– Crocs as camp shoes

Hiking poles – I have a set of aluminum poles.

Backpack – I have an Outdoor Products internal framed backpack, but its clearly too small for me and too small for what I plan to do. I don’t want to have to load my gear onto the backs of people I hike with – that defeats the purpose of this project.

Sleeping bag – its a six pound Columbia bag, far too heavy. Its fine for bike touring and car camping but I need something lighter.

Sleeping pad – I have a piece of foam.

Tent – I have a Columbia “Lost Lake” two man freestanding tent. It weighs seven pounds, again too heavy. If I am unable to secure a lighter weight tent I may need to restrict my backpacking to locations with shelters. A hammock is a poor idea in light of my weight.

Stove – MSR Pocket Rocket, which uses fuel in canisters.

Cookwear and utensils – Coleman, but lightweight.

Suggestions on improvements to any or all of the above are welcome.