Thanks for submitting your findings for the environmental and route conditions assessment. Now that we know for what we must be prepared, we can move into assignment #3: Creating a gear list.

In Google Drive, I have created a gear list template for you. Look in your individual trip’s folder (e.g. WV FUN 1A, CO ADV 2B) for a file, “Gear Lists – AB CD” where AB and CD refers to the location and session. Inside this spreadsheet, you’ll find a tab with your name on it.

This template is based on my general 3-season template, but I’ve added a trip-specific ranking to help guide you. Please read the disclosure with respect to affiliate links. I considered eliminating or changing the links, but you’ll find them useful, and it saved me a lot of time.

Please start filling out the template with equipment that you:

  • Own already
  • Plan to purchase
  • Hope to borrow from me

We will be prepared to review gear lists starting the week of <<insert date>> — I will send instructions later to notify us that you are done.

The hard deadline for this assignment is <<insert date>>. All gear lists will be reviewed during the week of <<insert deadline>>.

If you have not completed a gear list before, expect it to be time-consuming but extremely useful. To help you complete your gear list, consult:

1. The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide, specifically Part 2 (except for the chapters on food and water) and Part 3. Unless you are a recent registrant, you should have received your copy by now.

2. Guide gear lists. All of the guides will share their gear list(s). The template was just sent to them, too, so give them some time to work on it.

3. Each other. If you need more insight than what your personal experience affords or what you can gather from external sources, send a question to your group. Tip: To get the most helpful answers, do a little bit of homework beforehand.

4. The internet. Oh, man, there is so much information online about backpacking nowadays. But be careful — the signal-to-noise ratio can be awful, and the sources may not be credible or trustworthy. I have shared my favorite online resources in this post.

Next week I will send vendor coupon codes and instructions to reserve demo gear.