In 2001 it was hard for most backpackers to believe that our average pack weight (without food and water) was only 7 pounds, including a camcorder! That's still pretty light nearly a decade later!

Our secret was simple: our sponsors have equipped us with the lightest gear available! GoLite deserves special mention because they have supplied the majority of our gear.

After reviewing our gear list, you'll see that we're not compromising safety or comfort. We've double checked our weights on our digital scale and meticulously accounted for everything we carry.


Francis' Gear Brand Ounces
Pack GoLite 14.2
Umbrella GoLite 9.5
Tarp GoLite 13.5
Stakes stowbag GoLite 0.3
Stakes (6) GoLite 2.0
Ground Sheet Space Blanket 1.9
Sleeping Pad GoLite 6.0
Water Purifier Pristine 2.0
Cookpot bag 0.8
Stove + windscreen Esbit 3.6
Cookpot w/ lid Evernew Titanium 8.4
Soap (full) Dr. Bronners 1.5
Cord (50 ft) REI 2.5
Spoon x2 Lexan 0.6
Fuel (6 tablets) Esbit 3.0
Shell Jacket GoLite 7.7
Water Bag: 2L Platypus Cascade Designs 1.5
Flashlight Photon III 0.2
Swiss Army Knife Victorinox Classic 0.7
Ditty bag #1 GoLite 0.3
First aid 2.0
Toothbrush 0.2
Dental floss 0.1
Vitamins 0.5
Matches 0.3
Valuables 0.5
Pad, maps, pencil 1.0
Plastic Bag 0.1
Deodorant 0.5
Head Net Cabella 0.6
Repellent 2.0
Sunscreen 2.0
Ditty bag #2 GoLite 0.4
Camcorder w/ film & battery Canon - Elura MC 16.2
Trowel REI 2.0
PACK WEIGHT (oz) 108.6
PACK WEIGHT (lbs) 6.78
Lisa's Gear Brand Ounces
Pack GoLite 12.5
Umbrella GoLite 9.0
Stow sack GoLite 1.4
Sleeping Bag GoLite 34.2
Sleeping Pad GoLite 6.0
No-See-Um Net 2.6
Clothes Stow Sack GoLite 1.5
Hat: fleece (FT) GoLite 1.5
Shirt: White (FT) REI 5.6
Mittens: fleece (FT) REI 1.8
Boxers (FT) REI 3.0
Socks (FT) REI 1.5
Hat: Fleece (LG) GoLite 1.5
Shirt: Wicking (LG) REI 5.0
Mittens: fleece (LG) REI 2.4
Boxers (LG) REI 0.8
Socks (LG) REI 1.5
Towel Cascade Designs 1.5
Shell pants (LG) GoLite 5.8
Shell pants (FT) GoLite 5.8
Shell jacket GoLite 7.7
Head Net Cabella 0.6
Ditty Bag: Plastic 0.2
Toilet paper 0.6
Lip balm 0.3
Sunglasses bag 0.2
Sunglasses 0.6
Flashlight Photon II 0.2
Water Bag: 1L Platypus Cascade Designs 0.9
PACK WEIGHT (oz) 116.2
PACK WEIGHT (lbs) 7.26
Team Pack Weight (oz) 224.8
Team Pack Weight (lbs) 14.0
Avg. Team Weight (lbs) 7.0
Francis Clothing Worn Brand Ounces
Shirt: Black REI 9.0
Eyeglasses 0.6
Watch Suunto Vector 1.5
Shorts: Coolmax Lycra Dry-Fit 4.2
Socks REI 1.5
Shoes 27.8
WORN WEIGHT (oz) 44.6
WORN WEIGHT (lbs) 2.8
Lisa Clothing Worn Brand Ounces
Underwear 0.8
Shirt: White w/ Zipper REI 5.3
Shorts: Coolmax Lycra Dry-Fit 3.9
Bra 1.9
Sun hat GoLite 2.8
Knee Brace 1.0
Socks REI 2.4
Shoes 22.8
WORN WEIGHT (oz) 41.9
WORN WEIGHT (lbs) 2.6
Team Worn Weight (oz) 88.5
Team Worn Weight (lbs) 5.5
Avg. Team Worn Weight (lbs) 2.8

Pie Chart of Francis Tapon's Gear on the Appalachian Trail

Pie chart of Lisa Garrett's Gear on the AT


What about food and water?

This list does not include food and water, because they are not constants. Generally each person must carry two pounds of food and water per day. Usually we carry no more than four days of food, or 8 extra pounds per person; with two of us, that's 16 pounds of food! Mr. Magoo usually carries all the food and water, because he's always hungry! So when including food and water, his total pack weight ranges from 6.8 to 30 pounds (5 days of food). On average, he has about 2-3 days of food, which means that on average he carries about 15 pounds, including food, water, and gear. Meanwhile, Cartwheel always glides along with her 7.3 pound pack!


What about cold weather clothes?

Although we don't include any warm clothes in our list, Lisa will carry a one pound GoLite parka at the beginning of the thru-hike, which starts in Maine. However, by the time we hit New Hampshire, we will ship it home because it will be July 1st, and we will be heading south into the hot and humid East Coast. We expect to arrive in Georgia in late September, when the temperatures are still quite mild and don't require warm clothes, especially when hiking. If we start falling way behind schedule and it starts getting cold, we will simply ship back our parkas for the last leg of the journey. This strategy allows us to carry the least amount of weight for 95% of the journey.

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