Benton MacKaye Trail Gear Changes
Friday, April 12, 2019 6:29 pm

Although my gear worked well for my Appalachian Trail and Long Trail thru-hikes, by the end of my Pacific Crest Trail hike, some of it was quite worn down, and some clearly defective and in need of replacement for the Benton MacKaye Trail.

My tent on the PCT was a Zpacks Duplex Tent. However, that tent failed to make it halfway through the PCT before developing a leak, and all of its zippers had to be replaced because they failed to withstand the dusty environment in California. If I were going back out to a desert, I’d possibly take the Duplex again, but since I’m expecting it to rain on the BMT, I need a tent that will actually keep me dry.

As a result, I’m going to switch back to my tent from the AT, a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 Tent. Although its interior is a tiny bit smaller than the Zpacks, its vestibules are both larger, which will help out considerably since there’s going to be two people in the tent this time.

For my previous 5000+ miles of trails, I used a foam Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOLite Mattress. It’s long since worn out, so I’m replacing it with a Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad inflatable mattress. Although the Nemo is going to be significantly more comfortable, it’s slightly heavier, and can’t be used on bare ground like the Thermarest can. I may switch back to a Thermarest when I tackle the CDT; that’ll depend on how the Nemo works in practice.

Finally, I replaced my Snow Peak GigaPower Stove with a newer model that is slightly lighter. The main reason for replacing the stove is that after so much time on the trail, the auto-starter has become somewhat flaky, and doesn’t always work. (The stove can be started with a lighter, but I don’t like starting it that way.)

I also dropped a few small pieces of equipment that I decided weren’t necessary. I had a Tick Key, but it was hard to use, and a star-shaped hole on my Deuce of Spades worked just as well. I’ve had two different knives, most recently the Leatherman Skeletool KBx, but I never used them. Same with my SOL Emergency Blanket, which has never been opened.

Full Gear List

To see the full list of gear I’m taking on the Benton MacKaye Trail (or the gear from my earlier trails), follow these links:

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