I'm getting organized for my next major trip over the Mahoosic Range, crossing from Maine to New Hampshire (SOBO – southbound) on the Appalachian Trail, and writing up my gear list is always one of the first steps in my trip preparation process after route planning. It's been a year since I posted a summer gear list, and there have been some significant changes in my kit since I was section hiking the Long Trail in Vermont last summer, so here's an update.
First off, I've made the full transition from a tarp tent to a tarp and bug bivy. While this doesn't sound like a big step – the only difference between a tarp tent and a tarp is a floor – it sure feels like a big change. I expect that the tarp will give me a lot more flexibility, particularly in site selection and pitch configuration.
I've also just upgraded to the new 2009 Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus which is otherwise identical to my older Mariposa Plus, except for a new aluminum curved stay which replaces the old carbon fiber ones. People say that new stay eliminates some of the pack shoulder separation found in the older model resulting in a more comfortable carry. This also gives me a chance to send my old Mariposa back to Grant Sible in Austin to have the external mesh repaired and have it retrofitted with the new stay.
The only other minor change is that I'll be carrying an alcohol stove again on this trip, while last year, I carried no stove for most of the summer to save weight. I'll be experimenting with some more preparation-intensive dehydrated meals on this upcoming trip, in preparation for a real 100+ mile long distance hike coming up later in the summer. I expect that dehydration will open up a lot more food choices and that carrying a stove again may be worth it.
As usual, please post any comments or questions below. I'm always interested in your feedback.