Shoulder Strap Water Bottle Holder

Shoulder Strap Water Bottle Holder

This post was initially a contest where we gave away a backpack strap water bottle holder. That giveaway has ended. Still, this is an incredible, useful product, please continue reading. 

All along our thru-hike we received oohs, ahhs, and questions about the water bottle holders we used that attached to the shoulder straps of our backpacks. Like all great products, this one solves a problem. Many hikers find it difficult, to near impossible, to reach their water bottles stored in the side pockets of the backpack. We heard this over and over on our long hike. Once, we even helped a hiker retrieve her water bottle because she couldn’t reach it; she had been reduced to taking her pack off every time she needed a sip.
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5 Backpacking Luxury Items That Can Save Your Sanity

5 Backpacking Luxury Items That Can Save Your Sanity

We all know about the Big 3 and everyone is aware of the necessary clothes to take on a thru-hike. But no one really talks about the small items that can make or break a person’s will. Sometimes identified as backpacking luxury items, those that rely on them know how much of a necessity they are. (more…)

Sunsets’ Post Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Gear List

Sunsets’ Post Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Gear List

Chica recently posted her finalized and post-hike gear list. As per usual, I am a couple of weeks behind. Hey, you’re lucky I got off my butt and posted anything. I can be quite lazy. Below you will find my Appalachian Trail thru-hike gear list.

The list includes everything I started with, items I sent home and got back, as well as gear I sent home never to return. I also provide mini reviews and commentary where I have something to say. At a minimum I will let you know what gear I Loved, Liked, found Meh, or Hated.  (more…)

Chica’s Post Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Gear List 

Chica’s Post Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Gear List 

Hi guys!  I’ve done a Youtube video on my post trail thru-hike gear list (I actually did it while we were on the trail, but towards the end of our journey).  Here is the written and itemized list – for any of you who want the specifics. Video is posted again at the end. My pack weight was 27 pounds (which included 4 days of food and 2 liters of water). (more…)

Devil’s Lake Gear Test Trip

Devil’s Lake Gear Test Trip

So, we have been researching gear for our AT trip for a long time, and gradually buying things when they’ve been on sale or we had discount coupons. Going as light-weight as possible with our gear is not cheap, so it was important to us to wait for the sales.

Since we are currently staying with my Mom in Wisconsin, we knew we wanted to get a camping/hiking trip in before the winter hit – mainly to test out our gear.

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October 16th we headed down to Devil’s Lake State Park for a 3-day trip. Devil’s Lake is about 3 miles south of Baraboo, Wisconsin, and is the biggest state park in Wisconsin.  Unbeknownst to me, it is known for its 500-foot-high quartzite bluffs, which may sound very nice and pretty, but believe me it was some serious boulder-climbing.  Which of course was excellent training for the AT. We even had to take our packs off at one point and scoot them on in front of us in order to squeeze through a tight boulder crevice. These bluffs were created by a glacier during the last ice age about 12,000 years ago;  in fact, some of the trails coincide and merge with the famous Wisconsin Ice Age Trail.

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We wanted to simulate the AT as much as possible, so we took EVERY single piece of gear that we would be taking on the AT with us. Another goal was to use as much gear as possible to make sure everything worked and we felt comfortable with it.

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I’m not going to do full gear reviews on anything yet, because frankly there’s too much gear to do all at once! But everything, for the most part, worked great. It was good to use everything, as it made us really think about things – and possibly think of a few tweaks we wanted to do before heading out on our real AT trip (blog post to follow on the tweaks).

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Here’s a video from our trip:


That’s all for now!  Happy Trails! — Jen & Greg
Click here for our new book Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail

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