CDT 2014 CO Gear List

… You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

— Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Rolling Stones


. Category Item Notes Weight in grams Weight in oz
. worn/carried
. camp shirt Icebreaker merino long sleeve crew 171 6.0
. pants RailRiders Eco-Mesh Pant 310 10.9
. trailrunner shoes Merrell Moab Ventilator 992 35.0
. hiking gaiters Dirty Girl 34 1.2
. insole inserts green SuperFeet 106 3.7
. hiking socks REI mid-calf merino 91 3.2
. knee brace Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Strap
. bandana AT logo cotton/poly bandana 30 1.1
. trekking poles Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-pole with carbide tips minus straps 263 9.3
. sun glasses 20 0.7
. hat Sunday Afternoons Adventure flap hat 70 2.5
. Total worn/carried 2087 73.6
. pounds: 4.6
. pack pack ZPacks Arc Blast backpack 440 15.5
. pack liner trash compactor bag 60 2.1
. cell phone holder Zpacks cuben fiber shoulder pouch 8 0.3
. phone Android phone: MotoX (camera, GPS, etc) 136 4.8
. Cook/water water bottles 2 x 1.25 liter soda bottles 84 3.0
. even more water 1 liter Platypus 30 1.1
. cook stove Trail Designs Caldera Sidewinder TiTri with Gram Cracker for Esbit fuel 21 0.7
. butane lighter Scripto Tiny Lite 12 0.4
. cook pot 0.3Liter Evernew Titanium mug-pot with lid 74 2.6
. pot cozy homemade with Reflectix 25 0.9
. spoon lexan 9 0.3
. water purifier Sawyer Mini 81 2.9
. water purification backup 10 MSR Aquatabs 1 0.0
. food bag ZPacks Roll Top Blast 40 1.4
. rope ZPacks 1.5 mm Z-Line Cord 21 0.7
. Shelter tarp/tent ZPacks Hexamid solo tent w/screen 269 9.5
. tent stakes 6 Tite Lite titanium stakes 37 1.3
. tent stakes 1 titanium V Stake 9 0.3
. Sleeping sleeping bag ZPacks 20F 650 22.9
. sleeping pad Gossamer Gear NightLight_Torso 101 3.6
. ground cloth Polycryo medium size 42 1.5
. Clothes camp shirt Icebreaker merino short sleeve 139 4.9
. camp shorts GoLite men’s nylon shorts 132 4.7
. warm top Western Mountaineering down vest 125 4.4
. warm hat LLBean Trail Model fleece hat 36 1.3
. rain jacket GoLite Malpais Trinity 217 7.7
. wind shirt Montbell Tachyon anorak 63 2.2
. fleece gloves LLBean Polartec Liner Gloves (with AnyGlove on forefingers and thumbs) 38 1.3
. rain mitts ZPacks cuben fiber mitts 28
. compression socks Truform below knee stockings 20-30 mmHg 64 2.3
. spare socks SmartWool mid-calf merino 91 3.2
. Misc head net “Sea to Summit” mosquito net, doubles as clothes bag 23 0.8
. first aid kit band-aids, molefoam, aspirin, loperamide, sudafed, super glue, … 61 2.2
. sewing kit home assembled 20 0.7
. tooth care dehydrated dots of toothpaste, toothbrush with trimmed handle, gum brush, floss 17 0.6
. soap Dr Bonner liquid in 0.5oz dropper bottle 24 0.8
. wipes 8 dried wipes in zip bag 24 0.8
. toiletry bag no-see-um mesh bag 5″x6″ 4 0.1
. magnifying glass credit card size fresnel lens 2 0.1
. wallet with id all-Ett sport sailcloth wallet (5g) plus cards 36 1.3
. repair kit duct tape, foil tape, etc 25 0.9
. backup fire starter Bic mini lighter 14 0.5
. pen ballpoint refill cartridge + spare 1 0.0
. flashlight Petzl e+Lite 27 1.0
. backup compass Suunto Clipper compass 4 0.1
. maps Ley maps, double-sided 8.5×11, current trail section 55 1.9
. solar charger Harbor Freight 5W folding solar panel, trimmed 240 8.5
. usb charger for phone and battery pack, Apple travel charger 5W wall wart 23 0.8
. usb cable 9inch microUSB cable 13 0.5
. recharger pack Jackery Mini 3200mAh 82 2.9
. headphone Apple Earpod 11 0.4
. itinerary+guide only carry pages needed for that week 10 0.4
. insect repellent 100% DEET repackaged in 0.5oz dropper bottle 23 0.8
. sun screen liquid, repacked in 0.5oz dropper bottle 24 0.8
. toilet paper partial roll, remove cardboard tube, in zip bag 20 0.7
. knife Victoronix Swiss Army Classic 20 0.7
. accessory bag no-see-um mesh bag 7″x9″ 8 0.3
. Total base weight 3894 137.4
. pounds: 8.6
. Sometimes carried
. rain pants 233 8.2
. shoe traction Yak Trax Pro 144 5.1
. neck gaiter microfleece 46 1.6

Stove: No-cook sounds promising, but for frigid Colorado I was glad to bring a stove for hot dinners. Esbit fuel is easier to mail than alcohol, allowed in flat-rate Priority Mail boxes, though Heet is available in several Colorado trail town. Compared to alcohol, Esbit has an odor and leaves a residue on pots. I burned Esbit tabs exclusively on this trip as an experiment, and might continue solid fuel for future hikes.

Esbit blocks are harder to light than alcohol. Practice at home on windy days to find a method that works for you. I used a couple of squares of tissue paper, lit within the wind-screen, and used that flame to start the solid fuel. Shaving bits from the fuel to use as a starter, as demonstrated in several YouTube videos, did not work reliably for me. One “wind-proof” butane torch purchased during the trip did not work at high altitudes.

I had previously used Trail Designs Caldera alcohol stove system that required a plastic container for the aluminum conical wind screen (pictured on left), so their new titanium screen that rolls up and fits in the pot (on the right in photo) is a welcome improvement.


Earbuds: In-ear buds offer more isolation (blocking outside noise) and are popular in cities, but on the trail being able to hear all external environmental sounds (like, for instance, bears) is a good idea. In-ear buds also tend to enhance noise produced by rubbing of wires against clothing, with lots of low frequency components. Non-in-ear buds (we need a better terminology) are preferred when hiking.

It is easy to get earbuds with volume-up and volume-down buttons that work with iPhones, but Android phones follow a different standard for earbud remote buttons. Why are so few choices available for Android, which has huge volume world-wide? Is it a patent issue? (And we know about the earbud with volume slider, and apps that re-interpret patterns of clicks on the Pause remote button. Give us real volume buttons.)

Clothing: Rather than bringing extra warm clothing for Colorado, I brought a toasty warm sleeping bag and crawled inside soon after setting up camp.

Sleeping bag: Our 32F Summerlite sleeping bag was not warm enough for Colorado, so I enjoyed a 20F down blanket with zipper option from ZPacks, and used a fleece hat and fleece neck gaiter to keep head warm, since this is not a mummy bag.

Sleeping pad: We stayed with the tri-fold foam pad, with one modification: On one section we painted the sign “Hiker to Town” and on another section we painted “Hiker to Trail”.Latex paint was used, and a spray clear-coat added to protect the sign, but the letters were showing wear by the end. We might try fabric paint next time.


Holding these large visible signs over my head made hitch-hiking so much easier!


Solar panel: I purchased a Goal Zero Nomad 7M, which turned out to be much heavier than published specs, even after cutting off unneeded plugs and grommets. Too heavy to bring, at 399 grams. A Harbor Freight solar panel, no longer sold, was brought instead, but the electronics stopped working midway through the hike. Afterwards I carried an extra USB charger, and still had to limit listening to audiobooks and podcasts on the rest of the trip to conserve battery life. A better solution is needed next year.

Foot care: My shoes from the New Mexico hike still looked good, so they came along this trip. Toward the end of Colorado the shoes were being held together by dental floss stitching and layers of Shoe Goo.


Colorado has much wetter trail than New Mexico, and my soggy feet had more problems with blisters and raw rubbed skin. A specific foot care routine each evening seemed to help: wash feet, apply alcohol gel on blisters and skinned areas, then apply antibiotic ointment, and finally put on compression socks. Each morning bandages and mole foam were applied for blister protection. The trail was often wet, and socks would become soggy by noon. Bandages and mole foam would not stay stuck, but water-proof medical tape worked well. Remove the plastic shell and sides and just keep the tape.

My little toe kept rubbing into its neighbor, making a raw spot. Usually this is a sign of too-narrow shoes, but I use a wide size shoe that was fine on previous trips, so perhaps the damp environment was to blame. I found these little toe-sized foam tubes at Wal-Mart.


Just cut to size, slip over the toe, secure with a bit of tape, and problem is solved.

Hydration: Water is plentiful in Colorado, so the two two-liter soda bottles were replaced with 1.25 bottles, which still fit well in my pack side pockets. A Sawyer Filter was always screwed on one bottle, and as is my practice the soda bottle was squeezed to filter water instead of bringing along a squeeze bag that might develop a leak.

My filter froze the first night, which greatly reduced water flow. Do not let your filter freeze in the San Juans– keep it inside your sleeping bag at night! Sawyer Mini Filters are now carried by Walmart, for when you need to learn the hard way like I did.

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Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.