Ellie’s Gear Picks, Part 1

To start out, we have been blown away by the amount of support and encouragement that has flooded our way as we are just 1 week away from starting our family’s big adventure. Your kind words are going to keep us going on a rainy day- thank you!

Ellie hand picked each of these items, so no hating- it’s what the baby wanted! But seriously, if you have suggestions we definitely want to hear them!


Shared Family Gear 

Tent: ZPacks Triplex Tent Cuben Fiber. This tent is designed for 3 people, and it fits our 25 inch pads very comfortably with extra wiggle room for all of us to spread out. It is held up by our trekking poles.

Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir 25 inch pad. This sleeping pad is straight luxury! Both Derrick and I have boney hips, so keeping off the ground is important for a good night’s rest. The few minutes it takes each night to blow it up is worth it. Our pads are connected and covered by a Synergy Coupler Sheet(also Therm-a-Rest), which essentially turns 2 pads into 1, creating a double sized bed for the three of us to share. Ellie will sleep between us.

Sleeping Bag: Vela HD Down Quilt by Therm-a-Rest. While Therm-a-Rest isn’t commonly known for their sleeping bags, this quilt fits our needs to a T. It’s a 35 degree double quilt that attaches to the Synergy Coupler Sheet, creating more of a bed feel than sleeping bag feel. It also cuts down on volume significantly and is the same size as 1 standard down sleeping bag of the same warmth rating. Sleep is gold to us with a baby, and this sleep system (so far) has been superior!

Food Bag: Sea to Summit 20 liter E-vent dry bag. Keeps the rain out and is easily able to be hung away from bears at night.

Cook system: Evernew 2.6 liter titanium pot and a MSR Pocket Rocket stove. Our means mainly require just boiling water, and the Pocket Rocket does a great job at boiling water super fast. We plan to all eat out of the same pot at each meal, so the 2.6 liter pot fits our need and is lightweight at 13.6 oz.

Water filtration: Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Mini. The squeeze connects to water bottles and filters as you drink. The mini attached to my water bladder(Platypus brand) and filters as you drink. Ellie and I will primarily drink from the water bladder because it’s easy for her to hold and drink from.

Trowel: The Tent Lab. What can I say, it’s 0.6 oz!

Beacon Device: SPOT. A necessity as we hike with a little one! This is not only for emergency purposes, but also will notify family when we are doing great yet have no phone service. A peace of mind for those on and off the trail.

Repair Kit and First Aid Kit: homemade! We put together a basic repair kit specific to our gear. First Aid Kit includes baby Benadryl, band aids, thermometer, alcohol wipes, ointment, and gauze.

Trail Guide: AWOL’s The AT Guide. The most compact, yet packed with important information. Updated every year!

Trekking poles: Leki Jannu for Bekah and Leki Makalu for Derrick. These double as our tent poles- 2 for 1 deal!

Thanks for reading and happy trails! Check back later for Part 2- Ellie’s clothing picks!


18 thoughts on “Ellie’s Gear Picks, Part 1

  1. So excited to follow you guys! I hiked a 250mi stretch with my ten year old last summer. Wish it could have been more (alas, three more kids at home to get back to).
    Anyway, my only concern is the 35 degree bag. Have you tested that out? It snowed on a trip I was on this weekend and I very much appreciated my 15 degree down bag… kids in our scout group with 30+ degree bags were very cold.

    I would also love to hear more about your total gear weights and how you’re distributing it! Are you attaching anything (tent, Ellie’s gear) to the baby carrier or is dad carrying everything?

    Good luck!


    1. Alyssa, this is so cool that you hiked that far with your 10 year old! There are so many obstacles taking kids outdoors, but its ALWAYS worth it. Keep it up!
      We actually just decided to bring a second 35 degree sleeping bag that opens up as a blanket, so on cold nights we can use the second bag to stay warm!
      I will only be attaching the added sleeping bag to my pack with Ellie and Derrick will carry the rest of the group gear and food!


  2. You guys are AMAZING!! Keeping you in my prayers! Love you! Hugs!


  3. Hey!! I am curious, which baby carrier will you be using? As time goes on are you planning on having to replace? Thanks so much, and good luck!!


    1. We are using a Deuter Kid Comfort 3 and its awesome! Super duper comfortable! We hope we won’t have to replace it! Packs usually last an entire hike and this pack is a new one 🙂


  4. missstaceyyates March 14, 2017 — 1:21 pm

    Hey!! What baby carrier are you planning on using? Do you plan on having to switch it out along the way? Thanks so much!! and good luck!


  5. Can’t wait to follow your trip and live vicariously through your adventures. I have a 14 month old and a 4 year old. I’m excited to do a local tiny mountain with them this year.


    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Natalie! You’ll have a blast hiking with your 14 month old and 4 year old… I can’t imagine doing it with 2 kids! Kudos to you!


  6. Awesome! Good for you guys. You’re creating a future environment ambassador.


  7. Excited to follow your family on this journey! So awesome! There’s definitely a need for content like yours on YouTube. There are not a lot of videos for hiking with young kids/kids in diapers shared. Best wishes to your family on your AT journey.


  8. Best of luck! You may consider baby Tylenol and/or motrin in your first aid kit as well as adult ibuprofen.


    1. Thanks, Celeste! Thankfully we will be so close to family for the first couple of months that if we need Tylenol and Motrin we can have them bring it to us!


  9. What an amazing journey!
    Can’t wait to hear all about it!
    I’ve got a bungalow in the White
    Mtns of NH… when you reach there
    and need to take a break I’m happy
    to help you, get in touch with me.


  10. What a great adventure you all will have and the memories will be so awesome to share when the little one is older. Can’t wait to hear more. Safe trails.


  11. Hey there
    I hiked the AT last year Feb to Sept with no ticks. Used merino wool tights and long sleeved shirt when cold, then a thinner merino wool long sleeved shirt and polyester compression tights during hot months. (All from Amazon) I ordered 2XLXL compression tights even though I’m a large, as they run super small. Treated these items and my socks with permethrin which I think is ok for babies, but you’ll need to check. I met and heard of numerous people who ended their hike due to Lymes. Also heard of infected spider bites and tick bite issues. Any scrape or break in the skin can be an issue on the trail. Covering up as I did was a tiny bit hotter but way safer. If the ticks can’t find bare skin, they can’t bite you. Have fun, hope this helps. PS – goretex waterproof socks were a foot saver for me.


  12. Just catching up on the gear list – so excited for you all. I know you probably won’t get this quickly, but here’s my advise on shoes for Ellie and ticks –
    We love keens for toe protection but they are bulky for tiny feet – we much prefer these, so much so that we carry them at our shop now after watching our kids explore in them – https://www.biddleandbop.com/collections/socks-shoes/products/muck-shoes-minimalist-all-weather?variant=31060259398 – if you want to check out a pair let me know what size and we’ll hook you up!
    As to ticks, for the littles we spray a bandana, keep it in a plastic baggy, and tie that on near them – a thick ribbon would work too. We sell one called Skeeter Skidaddler at Biddle and Bop which I can highly recommend.
    we take astragalus during high tick season here in NJ as a preventative,
    and follow homeopathic protocols if anyone has a tick embedded. Ledum Palustre might be worth the the 2oz vial of tabs for 2weeks worth of treatment, just watch they dont get moisture.
    We take astragalus extract drops but powder is available too.
    Good luck!!!


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