9 March 2022
I already have a dedicated gear page, but I’m very excited about my upcoming Arizona Trail thru-hike attempt, so I thought I would lay everything out that I am taking. Here it is!
I have not made a lot of changes since my PCT thru-hike attempt last year. During that hike, I ditched my umbrella due to wind and added my baselayer pants in SoCal (where I was not expecting to be so cold!). Both of those changes remain in my gear list.
I am also going to bring a stove for the AZT instead of going cookless. My friend Flower Power gifted me a Jetboil Stash, and this will be my maiden voyage with what seems to be a very efficient system!
Although the only component of a cookless system is an empty jar ( just 2 ounces!), I have also found that I need to carry an extra pint of water for cold soaking for an hour or two before lunch and dinner. That adds an extra 16 ounces! In that context, the 7 extra ounces that the stove weighs don’t seem like much. Of course, I will also need to carry a fuel canister, which is another 4 to 8 ounces depending on how full it is, and that is weight that I carry all of the time instead of for just a few hours.
But all in, we are talking about a difference of roughly 8 ounces on average to have warm food, a means to melt snow for water, a backup water treatment system, and all the entertainment value one gets from cooking, hot drinks, and sharing meals with others. It seems to make sense to me now, but ask me again in a few weeks!
I am also carrying a bigger power bank this time (20,000 mah vs. 10,000) and a new phone (Pixel 6 Pro). My goal on this trip is to spend more time blogging on breaks during the day so I don’t have to do everything at night in my tent when all I want to do is sleep! Maybe I will even watch some Netflix at night? And maybe this will help me reduce the number of zero days I take (days where I hike no miles at all).
I am hopeful that spending more time blogging and cooking during the day will also slow me down a bit, reducing my risk of injury (a physical challenge) and boredom (a mental challenge!).
Finally, I am really thankful that I do not need to carry microspikes or a bear canister on this trip! The snow in Arizona sounds like it will be manageable, and bears will be rare and not accustomed to humans as a source of food.
So exciting! This time next week I will be on trail. Yay!