Getting Ready for PA: Pack Weight & Water

Woohoo!!! Headed to Pennsylvania tomorrow for a section hike on the AT! We will be out 8 days, with a hotel stop in Lehigh Gap.  I have been working on my pack all week, you know, so it wasn’t completely overwhelming here on the day before I leave. I have a Dana Designs Mazama pack. Not the newest or the lightest, but it is my backpack and I love it.  It has a lot of pockets and helps me organize my stuff! image As you can see I actually have it fully packed this morning.  It’s a good idea to check the total weight before slinging the pack on for that first big climb out of Port Clinton, PA! Here is what is in the pack:

In the mushroom cap:
First Aid
Headlamp &Extra batteries
Pocket knife

In the Main Cavity: Sleeping Bag
Cooking Stuff including Esbit stove/fuel tabs
Food for 4 days
Extra Clothes-Exofficio lightweight bug pants, long sleeved lightweight pullover, extra socks, and a windbreaker pullover.
Water bladder & water bottle

In the Outside Middle Pockets
Bug spray
Water Filter
Toilet Paper/Hand sanitizer
Gatorade bottle

In the Bottom Pockets Poncho Pack
Cover Hat

In the Back Net
Camp shoes

Total weight = 31 lbs

I always come in at about 30. I am okay with this weight.


During the summer water sources start to dry up. This is the case with the section we are hiking. Most of the time we are on a ridge with little opportunity to access a water source. Since the temps are going to soar into the upper 80s and 90s each day we need to be sure we can stay hydrated. I have space to carry 4 liters plus 20 Oz of Gatorade…but that may not be enough over a full two day period. We have the advantage of having 3 cars with us. We are planning on buying a few jugs of water and placing a car with the jugs in the most critical areas. This should solve the problem…and, honestly, if nothing else, just make us feel better!


So now I am ready. At this point I need to stop thinking and start hiking! Up to the rocks we go! Hike on!