I will begin my Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) thru-hike in precisely seven days. As of June 1, the SHT Association recommends that SHT users #RecreateResponsibly.
The intention of this hike is to raise money and awareness for PGM ONE, People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature, and Environment. I don’t work for PGM One.
By hiking the SHT, I am choosing to speak out against racial injustice in the United States—brought to light by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Gear is a necessity for a thru-hike (historically, my ancestors traveled the trails with less, but nowadays equipment is vital).
For this hike, I want to use reliable, lightweight products from trusted brands. In the past, I purchased solely off reputation. I read hundreds of my fellow Trek bloggers’ posts and devoured review after review and bought gear accordingly.
As I began hiking, over time, I started to share my likes and dislikes. It makes sense. When you spend a great deal of time backpacking, your knowledge about gear, quality, and product attributes becomes somewhat second nature.
Pack: Keeping it real, I didn’t know that L.L. Bean made hiking packs. I was a skeptic accepting this pack as there aren’t a lot of reviews. Much to my surprise, the AT 38 weighing in at 2 pounds, 12 ounces is comfortable, providing excellent back support. The waist straps are designed to fit between my natural waist and my hips, allowing for an even distribution down my back, which I like. I haven’t put many miles on this pack yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up on the trail. I received this item for free.
Granite Gear donated their Crown2 60, which is extremely lightweight, yet extremely rugged. Unfortunately, I don’t need two packs for the hike. However, Granite Gear donated this pack as part of a fundraiser to make summer camps more accessible to youth of color. I received this item for free.
Shoes: Footwear is essential, particularly for hikers who spend a vast amount of time in shoes. The more trips I journey around the Sun, the more the likelihood of an ankle sprain or twist on unsteady surfaces. Who am I kidding. On steady surfaces too!
For this hike, I wanted a shoe that provided the boots’ support with the comfort of sneakers. L.L Bean’s Alpine waterproof hiking boots (1.93 pounds) was my choice. I’ve found these boots easy to break in—like most of my gear; these boots haven’t seen much use. I’ve got high hopes for these!I received this item for free.
Navigation: I am an advocate of maps. Please give me a paper map over a GPS any day. I’ll be taking the SHTA pocket map (the approximate map for each segment). I received these items for free.
For my safety, and so that the people I love won’t worry, I’ll be carrying a SPOT Gen 3!
Headlamp: The Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp.
Sun protection: On the PCT, I opted for bug spray over sunscreen. I was sunburned, leaving the trail. I will be using sunscreen, a bug net hat, and permethrin-treated clothing. I’d like to share–I hate ticks!
First aid: I had to get stitches around mile 66 of my PCT hike. I have since gone through WEMT school, I am prepared, and will be bringing a first aid kit (a modified version of items I wouldn’t be able to replicate using materials found in the natural world).
Knife: I spent the summer of 2019 traveling the Northwest. I became a fan of wilding. I’m bringing a knife I used to make utensils in the wilderness.
Fire: Gas station lighter or I will start a fire using a rock and a stick. Knowledge is power!
Cookset: MSR Pocket Rocket 2 2.6 GSI Halulite Minimalist 0.39 pounds
Shelter: I have come to understand that a tent is like a home. I’ve gone through so much in my Marmot EOS 1P (39 ounces)—sections of the AT, PCT, CDT, Yellowstone, the Tetons, and various places in between.
I’d love a new home. A more diverse, inclusive home. However, with thin pockets, I’m stuck in the home I own.
In a sense, wanting to upgrade but being unable to do so is the daily reality for many people.
I am lucky that I can choose to be homeless (a hiker) for a while and return to my apartment’s comforts upon completion of this hike.
And yes, I would love a $600 tent; however, I’d also like to pay rent when this thru-hike is over.
My sleeping system: Big Agnes Sleeping Bag Hazel SL 15° 41 ounces Klymit Sleeping Pad 19.6 ounces
Food: On the PCT, I brought a variety of meals, all with varying weights. For this hike, I’m packing the same meals each day for better weight distribution.
Water: I will be using my Sawyer Mini along with Katahdin purification tablets as a back-up. Three 1-litter bladders, with one marked “dirty.”
Clothes: Diversity and visibility are essential. That also goes for the companies I will be representing on the trail: L.L. Bean, Patagonia, Arc’teryx, which donated gear to me.
Miscellaneous: L.L. Bean Hikelite 4 Season Carbon Hiking Poles 13.6 ounces. I received this item for free.
With recent protests denouncing police brutality against the Black community—and systemic racism in general— individuals, companies, and organizations across various industries have declared support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
While social media posts and various hashtags are a wonderful opportunity to increase the visibility of Black Lives, I want to recognize the focused efforts of L.L. Bean, The Superior Hiking Trail Association, Patagonia, Arc’teryx, and Granite Gear, who through tangible support and donations are contributing to diversity and inclusion in the outdoors.
Each has not only pledged to make the outdoors more inclusive for all but have actively taken steps toward making change.
Photos Cred dk09 with the exception of the bug hat selfie 🙂