It’s the Final Countdown


This weekend we’ve boxed more books than I ever remember owning, given our couch to a lovely foster home, and have really begun feeling the weight of all the work that needs to be done to fully move out of our apartment. So of course I found time to lay out and photograph all my gear!

Our official gear lists, with weights, are linked up above, but here you can see, all at once, everything I’ll be wearing, living in, and sleeping on for the next five and a half months. Tim is carrying the food, so that’s not included here, and I haven’t included the clothes I’ll be wearing while hiking (you can see that iconic fashion here), but otherwise, this is it.


  1. Zpacks Dyneema Arc Haul 50L Pack
  2. Enlightened Equipment Enigma 10 Degree Down Quilt
  3. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad – Women’s (“Women’s” means Short, thanks to long-outdated ideas about gender dimorphism!)
  4. Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp – Large (this will be our shelter up until we get to the Sierras, when we’ll be swapping this out for our Big Agnes Copper Spur 2-person tent)
  5. Borah Gear Ultralight Bivvy (like a protective sleeve for my sleeping pad, quilt, and me, with a bug net over my face to keep away scorpions and other desert friends)
  6. Tent stakes
  7. Osprey Ultralight Pack Cover
  8. Mylar emergency blanket (this will double as a groundsheet for my bivvy)
  9. EuroSchirm Swing Trekking Umbrella
  10. Merrell Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoes
  11. Kahtoola Microspikes (we will be exchanging these for K10 crampons)
  12. Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody
  13. Marmot Essence Rain Jacket
  14. Sea to Summit Mosquito Head Net
  15. Patagonia Houdini Windshirt
  16. Helium Hiking Equipment Cuben Fiber Rain Kilt
  17. Toiletries bag (this includes wet wipes, moisturizer with SPF 25, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and earplugs)
  18. Clothes bag (thermals for sleeping, extra socks and underwear, a dress for town)
  19. REI Co-op Vented Sun Hat
  20. Buff (a kind of lightweight, stretchy tube scarf that can be worn in tons of ways, as sun or cold protection)
  21. Icebreaker Merino Pocket Hat
  22. REI Trail Running Gaiters
  23. Vivo Ultra II Shoes (super lightweight shoes for crossing streams and wearing around camp- these have been discontinued, which is a shame, because they’re amazing)
  24. First Aid kit
  25. Thrupack Daydreamer Hip Pouch (I had pockets for my hip belt but like the versatility of this fanny pack, since I can use it on its own as a purse in town. It also came with a sticker that said “Get your fanny out there!” which Tim found hilarious for reasons he refuses to tell me)
  26. Various bandanas for various purposes (including a gorgeous bandana printed with a map of the Desolation Wilderness, a gift from hiker extraordinaire Miranda)
  27. Desert reading

In the meantime, my parents (aka Mission Control) have been doing some organizing of their own. They visited last weekend to gather up all the food they’ll be shipping to our resupply points, which I’d been ordering over the past few weeks. I outlined our approach to meals here, and once I figured out our resupply strategy, I was able to get an idea of exactly how many ramen packets and Easy Macs and dehydrated shallots to get. I put together packets of condiments for each resupply box, and a system of meal bases, vegetable add-ins, jars of peanut butter, and tortillas-a-go-go that threatened to take over our entire living room. My parents brought all of this back home with them, and have organized it into a fantastic resupply station:


Bars, PastaSides, hummus tetrapaks, tons of dried fruit courtesy Trader Joe’s, and more instant coffee than you could shake a stick at (please don’t try to shake a stick at my food; it’s considered rude).

At work this past Friday, my coworkers gave me a wonderful send-off, including a make-your-own-S’mores bar, and crowned by this gorgeous, homemade hikin’ cake:

The cake itself was a rich, dark brownie with a peanut butter filling; it was AMAZING.

With one week to go, I’m more than a little overwhelmed, but I’m also overwhelmingly grateful for the support I’ve received so far- cakes and promises of trail snacks and just general shared excitement. This is the stuff that’ll keep me going for all 2,660 ridiculous miles.

4 thoughts on “It’s the Final Countdown

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