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Backpacking Gear List for New Hampshire and Maine (2017)

Backpacking Gear List (2017)
Backpacking Gear List (2017)  for June thru October in New Hampshire and Maine

Most of the backpacking trips I take are 1-3 nights in length in the mountainous terrain of New Hampshire and Maine. This includes sections of the Appalachian Trail and the 1440 mile trail system in the White Mountain National Forest. I still do longer trips when I’m section hiking the AT down south or backpacking in Scotland, but most of the time I stay local to New England because the backpacking is so fabulous and I can drive from my house to the backcountry in two hours. There aren’t any grizzly bears or rattlesnakes to worry about in New England and it’s easy to find solitude.

There are basically two seasons in New Hampshire and Maine: summer and winter. Summer lasts from June until the end of October, and winter lasts from November through May although snow can linger into July at higher elevations. What about spring and autumn? They go by so quickly up north, that they just merge into summer and winter.

This gear list of for the summer months (June-October), but I also a have winter gear list that’s up to date.

When nighttime temperatures get above 40 degrees at night, I usually switch from a tent to a hammock when I’m not testing and reviewing gear. I got hooked on hammocks for backpacking in New England about 2 years ago because I finally found a hammock (Warbonnet Blackbird) that I really enjoy using. But when it gets cold again at night, I head back to ground for the duration of the year.

If you look though this gear list, my base weight with a hammock is 12 pounds. I could easy chop a pound off that weight if I was willing to spend some money to do it, but I’m kind of frugal when it comes to buying new gear. I actually care more about gear volume than weight because I’d rather carry a lighter, smaller volume pack than a larger one. And with this gear list, I can still fit three days of food into my Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest backpack.

I have plenty of leftover space in my pack for 3 days of food
I have plenty of leftover space in my pack for 3 days of food

If you’re not familiar with New England terrain or weather, I’ve included an environmental conditions assessment below this gear list that explains the rationale behind many of the gear selections on this list. I always find it useful to write up a plan like this, if only to document my assumptions.

If you have any questions, about my gear or our New England weather, leave a comment and I’ll respond.

ItemOunces
Packing
packing28.3
packing1.9
packing3
packing2.4
packing0.8
packing0.1
Shelter
shelter14.5
shelter1
shelter14.75
shelter2.4
shelter0.5
Sleeping
sleeping19
sleeping14.3
Clothing, Not Worn
clothing, not worn0.8
clothing, not worn1
clothing, not worn2.4
clothing, not worn6.7
clothing, not worn5.8
clothing, not worn5.9
clothing, not worn6.7
clothing, not worn9.9
Cooking
cooking3.9
cooking1
cooking1.5
cooking0.3
cooking7.7
cooking1.2
Electronics/Navigation
electronics7.6
electronics1.7
navigation5.9
electronics6.7
electronics4.1
navigation0
navigation0
navigation1.5
First Aid
First aid kit (DIY)first aid3.4
Hydration
Plastic Water Bottles (2)hydration2
hydration2.4
hydration1.5
Total Carried12.2 lbs.194.55
Clothing Worn
clothing, worn2.4
RailRiders JourneyMan Shirt w/Insect Shieldclothing, worn7.4
clothing, worn28
clothing, worn2.5
RailRiders Ecomesh Pantsclothing, worn10
clothing, worn3.2
stability20.1
Total Worn5.08 lbs.81.35

Environmental Conditions Assessment

  • Locale: New Hampshire and Maine, mostly on the White Mountain Trail System or Appalachian Trail, some off-trail bushwhacking
  • Date: June – October, when nighttime temperates are over 40 degrees fahrenheit
  • Daily Mileage: Usually 15 miles per day with 3000-5000 feet of elevation gain
  • Terrain: Mountains and dense forest, some exposed above-timberline terrain
  • Duration: 1-3 nights
  • Climate/Weather forecast
    •  June – October
      • 40 degrees up to 70 degrees at night, 50-100 degrees during the day
      • High humidity from June-August, with frequent thunderstorms
      • Colder at higher elevations; snow possible year-round
    • Gear
      • 40 degree quilt
      • 40 degree underquilt
      • Hammock tarp with doors for increased weather protection
    • Source
      • Previous experience
      • : Seasonal averages
  • Water availability
    • Expected
      • Generally abundant, possibly some dry stretches
    • Gear
      • 2 x 1 liter water bottles
      • 2+L platypus for camp and dry stretches
    • Source:
      • Caltopo maps
      • Local waterproof maps
      • Guthook’s New England Hiker app
      • Gaia GPS App
  • Water purity
    • Expected
      • Purification/filter advised
      • Beavers are prolific, but there’s no livestock, urban or industrial pollution to worry about
    • Gear
      • Aqua Mira purification drops for bulk purification
      • Sawyer Point One filter
    • Source
      • Previous experience
  • Wildlife Issues
    • Expected
      • Bears
      • Moose, during September/October rutting season
    • Gear
      • Ursack Bear Proof Food Sack
      • Whistle
    • Source
      • Previous experience
  • Insects
    • Expected
      • Ticks: April through October is prime Deer Tick season.
      • Mosquitos and Black Flies, terrible from June – August
    • Gear
      • Insect Shield treated clothing, including socks, long sleeve shirt and long pants
      • Heat net
      • Picaridan Insect Repellent as needed.
    • Source
      • Previous experience
  • Daylight
    • June
      • Sunrise: 5:05 am
      • Sunset: 8:21 pm
    • July
      • Sunrise: 5:06 am
      • Sunset: 8:32 pm
    • August
      • Sunrise: 5:33 am
      • Sunset: 8:10 pm
    • September
      • Sunrise: 6:08 am
      • Sunset: 7:22 pm
    • October
      • Sunrise: 6:43 am
      • Sunset: 6:27 pm
    • Gear
      • Nitecore NU 20 headlamp
    • Source
  • Trail conditions
    • Expected
      • Muddy at times, but mostly rocky and full of roots
    • Gear
      • Trail runners w/ wool socks – they dry pretty fast
    • Source
      • Previous experience in region
  • Sun/Snow Glare protection
    • Expected
      • Not significant.
    • Gear
      • Insect Shield wide brim hat
      • Sunglasses, above treeline
    • Source
      • Previous experience
  • Navigation
    • Expected
      • Sporadic blazing
      • Remote and less maintained trails can be difficult to follow
    • Gear
      • Guthook’s New England Hiker App on iPhone
      • Delorme Gazetteers in car
      • Photographed pages from the White Mountain guide
      • Gaia GPS
    • Source:
      • Previous experience
      • Intel from friends
      • Trip reports
  • Remoteness
    • Expected
      • Some small towns
      • Cell phone access is very spotty
    • Gear
      • SPOT Gen 3 Satellite Communicator to msg home daily
      • Cell phone
    • Source
      • Previous experience in the area.

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21 comments

  1. Philip thanks for the post, I’m interested in the FF flicker 30 deg UL wide being a side sleeper and i’m wondering if the fabric choice and the width is over kill in your experience.

  2. A minifly? Neat! Should we be keeping out eye out for a review of it soon? It is an interesting offering from Warbonnet, though there aren’t a ton of reviews. I’m interested in what you have to say about it.

  3. Thanks for posting. It is helpful to see the gear list posted with the environment assessment for an Eastern mountain hiker.

  4. Do you have issues with the widebrim hat hitting your pack behind your head?

    I’d like the sun protection but can’t seem to use a wide brim without this problem

  5. Great timing for me as the last of my kit is on the way..a Sea to Summit insulated comfort plus mat. Based partly on your review I bought a FF Flicka 20. It’s so light it’s hard to believe how warm it’s supposed to be. How far into the fall can I expect it to do the job?

  6. Wow! Such a detailed and exceptional packing list! I am definitely saving your post!

  7. Phil

    There are plenty of rattlesnakes in New England especially MA and CT

  8. Phil; good list – we’re coming from Flordia for a section hike (4-5 days) of The Long Trail, ending up in Stowe area. Was wondering if your weather expectations, etc in New Hampshire are a good proxy for Vermont conditions?
    thnx

    • Absolutely. Vermont is just one ridgeline to the west. The only slight difference is the amount of precipitation – Vermont has somewhat more – although this year in New Hampshire has been very wet. For instance, I’d use the same exact gear list for a Vermont backpacking trip.

  9. I love your optimistic thought that summer lasts through October. Not in the New England mountains it doesn’t!

  10. Waiting for someone to come up with a simple little bungee chord doodad to hold those skinny bottles re-purposed for the trail in the pocket of my backpack without sacrificing being able to get them out without taking my pack off. It never fails I bump the pockets on my Osprey pack or bend over to tie a shoe and they go shooting down the trail, or worst of all, down the glacier when I’m on Mt. Rainier. Besides the possibility of catching a liter of water in the face if you happen to be walking up the mountain behind me, there goes your water and now I have to break out a stove and melt some snow. I’ve only made each of those mistakes once, but had to switch back to Nalgenes because I can loop a compression strap or carabineer through the lid. Do you know if anyone has put something like this out yet? If not I’m going to figure one out and retire a rich man to my cabin in the woods–or maybe not. ha-ha.

    • My packs have bungee cord doodads on the bottle holders but the elastic has worn out so they don’t work too well. I lost a bottle while accidentally bushwacking up Mt. Madison, but luckily my hiking partner had a filter so we could resupply at Osgood tentsite.

    • You might try duct taping a loop of paracord to your repurposed bottle and securing it to your pack with a microbiner.

  11. A comprehensive list but in order to encourage hiking among, shall we say, the less affluent, might you be able to develop a low budget list?

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