PHGT: Meet Virginia “SUL” Gear List

On June 23rd & 24th of 2017, I hiked the 50 miles between Dennis Cove Rd to Damascus, VA. This marked my 3rd state along the Appalachian Trail that I have now completed, and landed me on the first big landmark for AT hikers, some 469 miles from the southern terminus, Springer Mountain. However, that wasn’t the only milestone that I achieved on this hike… Along with my son and his friend Micah, and my buddy Craig Smith, we also put in a whopping 29 miles on day 2 of our hike, our biggest daily mileage yet! That’s not so bad after a 21.5 mile day either… When it was all said and done, I was/am very excited to finally make my way into Virginia. This state alone is about 1/4 the length of the Appalachian Trail all in itself, so at my rate, I figure I will be here for a while to come… but that’s ok! I look forward to it all!

Before I began this hike, I posted a few photo’s, as well as a few videos of the gear I planned to carry with me on my blogs Facebook page and my Instagram page. They encouraged some fun discussions! Since this hike was at the end of June, I expected warm, or even hot weather, which allowed me to easily get my BPW (base pack weight) down below 5 lbs, better know as “SUL”: (Super UltraLight). However, on this hike, I wanted to do things a little different. Since I was expecting hot weather, I decided that I didn’t want to lay on a hot, sticky pad at night, so I opted to go with a hammock set-up. For a complete, and very detailed look at my full gear list, click HERE.

When planing for this hike, every time that I looked at the weather forecast, it showed either rain, or thunder storms. I expected to get wet. So much that I actually carried my Zpacks Vertice rain jacket and my old trusty Zpacks rain kilt with me, knowing that even at the last minute I could leave these items behind. Had I carried these items, it would have bumped my BPW up to 5.5 lbs, however, on the morning of our hike, the forecast changed! I opted to leave the rain gear in my car. That morning, when I started hiking, my TPW (total pack weight) was 10.3 lbs! Not bad!

For those that prefer, below are 2 videos. The first is a detailed look at everything in my backpack that I took for the hike (much like the video at the top of the page) and the second is of my hammock set-up. (I got a lot of questions about that!)

In the past I would typically type up most everything I said in the PHGT video, however, I feel like I covered everything quite well in the video above (the first one). So, this time, I will leave it with the video. However, if anyone would like to discuss anything, feel free to comment either below, or on the video itself… I do enjoy talking about gear and how it worked, or how it didn’t work.

Thanks for stopping by!


About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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4 Responses to PHGT: Meet Virginia “SUL” Gear List

  1. Stick – I enjoyed your videos and your comments and suggestions. The first thing I do, and I see that you do the same, is check the weather! And not only once, check often. You never know when an unexpected storm/rain/snow could occur. Being Prepared! Sounds like you have good plans!
    I don’t hike as far as you have in a day, but I do enjoy the outdoors and seeing the wonders of our wonderful country! Happy Hiking!


    • Stick says:

      Hiking Grandma,

      Yes, checking the weather is something that I do as soon as possible… in fact, for my JMT hike NEXT summer, I have already been looking at general weather conditions and patterns for the time of year that I plan to be out there… I think this is great to do in order to best prepare for what is coming, but as we all know, the weather can change at a moments notice, and the weather forecasts are generally wrong! What is always the same is that it is always a guessing game though, so as you say, being prepared is the best we can do!

      Thanks for stopping by, and for the kind words. I am glad to hear that you have enjoyed my content! 🙂

      Happy Hiking!



  2. Mark says:

    Stick did you not carry a Pad or Underquilt?


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