2013 Continental Divide Trail Gear List

Rockin's CDT Gear
Rockin’s CDT Gear
Continental Divide Trail Map
Continental Divide Trail Map

A gear list is like candy to a backpacker or in the case of lightweight backpackers, a vital document. A list can serve as a checklist, weight reference, or a dream shopping list. This summer my plan is to hike a large chunk of the Continental Divide Trail, starting the beginning of June at Pagosa Springs, Colorado. I am hoping to meet and possibly hike north with the Continental Divide Dream Team. The Continental Divide Trail is a route through rugged, wild, and challenging territory. It passes through some of the most diverse and beautiful scenery on the planet.

My plan is to continue posting a daily trail journal while on the trail, so that I can bring the true feeling and adventure of my journey. A couple of months ago, I created Lady on a Rock Facebook page. I often post real-time pics and info that are not on this site. Be sure to “LIKE” my Facebook page as I will be posting extra material from the Continental Divide. Also, be sure and share my page with others on your timeline.

Not a Facebook fan? Then be sure and not miss a single post by signing up to receive new updates by email. Just add your email address under “Get Post Updates” in the right hand sidebar.

If you are interested in following other CDT hikers, check out an awesome reference and resource The Trail Unites Us. This website was created by Liz with help from my good friend Wired. The goal of the site by Liz:

“The intention of this website is to provide those people following our thru-hiking journals a “one stop” website to see who has updated their blog; alternatively, it’s also to encourage hikers to easily follow fellow hiker’s journeys, and to encourage those of us on the ground to update the group with current trail conditions — closures, water sources, trail angels and the like.”

Because of the difficulty of the trail, I have tweaked my gear list over the last couple of months with the goal of lightening my base pack weight (weight without food, fuel, and water) to 12 pounds or under. I have come to embrace the idea of Cuben Fiber, a very lightweight, waterproof, and expensive material. Mainly, I have switched out my tent, sleeping bag, stuff sacks, sleeping pad, solar charger, and water filter.

Below are 2 ways to view my gear list. If you prefer a visual with prices and shopping references, I have added my gear to Pinterest or view the gear on a Google spreadsheet (thanks to Wired) below with weights and calculations.

After the Hike Update February 25, 2014:

Questions or suggestions? I love talking gear!

CDT Gear on Pinterest
CDT Gear on Pinterest


  1. Pingback: Happy 5th Birthday Lady on a Rock! | Lady on a Rock

  2. So now that you are back, when will the gear review come out.. I was particularly interested in the performance of your solar charger. The suntactic S charger 5. Did you ever have problems in low light? Problems with back draining of device? Did you direct connect devices only or did you ever use a portable battery?

    • Great questions. Soon, soon… the gear, food, and other stuff will be up soon. Thanks for the kick in the pants. I needed it. After writing every day for 2 months, I think I have gotten a bit lazy in that department.

      I loved the Suntactic. It charges incredibly fast in direct sunlight. Works perfectly during lunch or extended breaks. I also used it on top my pack on sunny days. As long as there was a few hours of bright sun during the day, this charger was all I needed to recharge my phone and camera. I did not use a portable battery on the CDT, just the Suntactic. BUT, if you know it is going to be a cloudy trip or the trail will be in total tree cover, I would suggest to use another option or turn your phone off and use it as little as possible hoping for a little bright sun. For me it did not charge in dim light. Hope this helps. Keep the questions coming.

      • Ahh, you need to have a break from it to process it all. And you being a teacher your head is on the beginning of the school year. i will be happy to impatiently wait for your review and throw questions at you to answer in your review..

        on a different note i just’ had my golite jam 50 break a side release buckle when i took stuff out f my sons pack to lighten him up a litttle. i tried to cinch it down and pulled a little to fast and hard. it was my fault and needed to get it fixed.. i emailed them about it and they had a new one for me in the mail the next day, no charge.. great customer service.

        question.. your ursack. have you had any problems with rodents? chewing, soiling etc. Or do you use it like a bear bag and hang it? I realize if no hang is available you would tie it to something. i have mixed feelings about it.

  3. Pingback: The Crunch…the Challenges | Lady on a Rock

  4. Nice list and great vacation plans (sigh).
    Do you like that sleeping pad? It is warm, but makes a lot of noise. One thing with inflatable pads is that they have to be handled carefully because they rip easily (bring the repair kit).
    How do you plan to carry the bear box?

    • I love the Neo Air and this will be my 4th summer using one. I did buy the new lighter and warmer women’s version to use this year. They do make noise. But I find that I am more comfortable so I turn less in the night. I have had a couple very slow leaks and have quickly fixed the leaks with the Neo Air patch kit. Ahhhh the bears. In the grizzly areas I plan on going stoveless (less cooking odors) and carry an UR Sack or Bearikade Bear canister. Thank you for your questions.

  5. Wow, this is so great! I love the Pintrest gear list!
    And Wired’s post is amazing. I can’t wait to read about everyone’s travels this summer.
    Thanks for compiling this all!

  6. Rockin’

    This was an awesome post. Who doesn’t love to read about gear? You’ve made some great grear choices. I’ll be very interested to hear about your tent selection. Pretty neat shelter for sure. And like many, I can’t wait to start reading about your adventure.

  7. Looking forward to your input on the cuben tent. Love seeing your choices. You obviously do your research!

  8. Thanks for the list. (When do you find time to do all you do?) While I was hiking this week, I thought of a couple of things I need–I mean, want. I thought, “I know, I’ll look on Rockin’s blog to see what she uses”, and then you sent this list. 🙂 Happy Easter

    • Happy Easter to you! So what are you thinking of “wanting”? Gotta admit that usually when I add a lighter item that serves multiple purposes, it is always a good thing. On the other hand, a new shirt, skirt, or Buff simply makes me feel beautiful. We need that…right?

      • Right. 🙂 I’d like a new hat, new skorts, and I’m always interested in what shoes people wear and what cameras they use. But for now, it’s just the hat since the one I have is sweat stained.

  9. My wife and I followed last years adventures of yours and look forward to this years. We’re thruing the pct next year, I thrued the AT in 1976. Thank you for sharing your gear list and hiking thoughts and good luck out there. BTW my wife worked in Atlantic City Wy. next to the CDT. All streets are of the dirt kind, no pavement. The mercantile there is a good place for a great hot meal and cool drinks.

    • So good to hear. The CDT is so different from the PCT in so many ways, especially for resupply. Thank you for the tip. Definitely visiting Atlantic City. Funny name for a town with dirt streets. I can’t wait. I think half the fun of taking a long hike is the planning and dreaming of it all. I’ll bet you both are having fun planning your upcoming thru! Thanks for sharing and following along.

  10. Great gear setup you have put together! It should serve you well on the CDT this year. Enjoy your time out there on the trail !! Lots of awesome hikers on the CDT this year – you should have a very fun time!!

    • I took your recommendation and ordered the SMD Skyscape X. Just this move saved 17 ounces! I have had the tent out on a couple of trips and still getting used to the set-up. So often I camp in areas that have hard dirt. I ordered guy line adjusters from Zpacks that will hopefully eliminate taking stakes out to adjust. What stakes work best for you?

      Thank you for your very informative website http://hikelighter.com/

      • Oh boy! New gear this year! I particularly want reviews on the new sleeping bag you and Wired chose, so light! That tent looks dreamy. I’ve been interested in the Suntactics charger, it was being developed while I was (suffering) on the PCT. And how about the Wakova camp shoes- so interesting. Thanks for posting your updated list!

  11. LOVE the pinterest List! LOVING the look of the blog too!

    • Well thanks for the positive words! It especially means a lot coming from a techy like yourself. Pinterest is pretty cool. Keep em’ coming.

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