Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Gear List

We've got your Appalachian Trail packing list dialed. Here, take stock of what you'll need to thru-hike the trail. Just print it out and get packing.
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Synthetic short-sleeve t-shirt

  • Midweight synthetic or fleece long-sleeve top
  • Wind or rain shell (not both, under 12 ounces)
  • Rainpants (optional)
  • Lightweight synthetic trekking pants (zip-offs preferable)
  • Lightweight synthetic shorts (optional)
  • Down jacket (10 to 12 ounces)
  • Socks (two pair, one doubles as mittens)
  • Underwear (optional)
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Sun hat


  • Internal frame pack or frameless rucksack (3,000 cu. in. or less, 2 lbs. or less)
  • Down sleeping bag (preferably one for summer; one for colder months)
  • Short sleeping pad (60", closed foam or uninsulated air mattress)
  • Tarp or lightweight solo tent (optional)
  • Lightweight shoes with after-market insoles
  • Trekking poles (if needed for pitching tarp)
  • Headlamp (small LED)
  • Water bladder
  • Alcohol or canister stove, fuel, and lighter
  • Cookpot with lid (titanium or ultralight aluminum)
  • Spoon
  • Water treatment drops (chlorine dioxide or iodine) or inline filter
  • Single-blade knife
  • Small first aid kit (include Imodium, ibuprofen, and cold medicine)
  • Map and compass
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries (ear plugs too)
  • Stuff sacks (siliconized nylon)
  • Sunscreen
  • Small notebook and pen
  • Point-and-shoot digital camera


  • Sturdy box
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra gear (new socks, shoes, warmer clothes, etc.)
  • Bulk food (optional)
  • Packing tape, labels, and markers
  • List of mail drops and addresses