Colorado Trail Gear Reconsiderations

Won’t get fooled again

February 11, 2018

Based on questions about my 2016 thru-hike gear list, here are my current thoughts about various gear items for this summer’s NOBO attempt.

Definitely Won’t Take Again

Take Less Of


In fact, I am having a bit of existential crisis about the whole subject of electronics. I took a honking big battery pack (13,000mAh, 8.5 oz) and even so it sometimes wasn’t enough to keep everything charged nightly, i.e., the DeLorme inReach and the iPhone. I used the phone for photos only - in airplane mode, no GPS, and I judiciously killed running apps - and even so a lot of times it was drained by the end of day. Maddening. The Garmin GPS watch needed charging every night, obviously, but it takes a LOT less juice to keep happy, and it was my #1 priority.

It got to where I really resented the electronics and their management, and made me feel much more “tied to civilization” than I wanted to be out on the trail, and also when in town, making sure everything was charged up. So I am thinking of keeping the iPhone turned completely off and only for use in towns, not taking the inReach (my wife and parents may just have to worry! :), and then taking a much smaller battery pack for just the watch, which should then recharge faster in towns, too. We’ll see. I will probably be guilted into taking the inReach.

Another issue with the inReach to be aware of (two, actually) - I could never get my GPX data to export correctly out of it or their web site, and once I stopped paying the subscription, I can’t even get to my historical maps on their site. Grrr.

I am thinking of adding a bit more weight and taking a USB charger with two or more outlets and higher amperage, so multiple devices can be recharging at once in town, and more quickly, to make the town stays shorter. I am planning on a lot less nights in town this time, so more just dips in to pick up supplies, do laundry and go.

Possible Replacements