Jenn’s Ongoing Gear Changes

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I can’t seem to get my gear right. Like my life, it’s an ongoing experiment.

My approach for this phase of the walk is to think of it as a thru-hike, like the long-distance hikers along the Pacific Coast and Appalachian trail do.

This mindset is much more based on the idea of total self-sufficiency and the notion that food and water may be a few days away. Until now, our walk has been along roads, and, generally speaking and with only a few exceptions, a good number of  towns with food and water options showed up several times within a day’s walk.

The switch also stems from the fact that Lluís and I will walk some parts of this phase together and some separate. This month, for instance, Lluis is in North Turkey walking from where we stopped last year, and I’m walking the pretty parts of the Lycian Way trail in South Turkey. This means, I am now carrying a hammock-bivy-tarp combination that gives me a lot of flexibility in how I set up camp and a stove that can burn biomass (sticks, leaves, pine cones) and fits a small alcohol burner (the fuel for which should be easy to find in places where people BBQ, which is all of Turkey!). It’s extra weight, but I think, necessary weight.

The plus side is, that because we are starting in spring and moving quickly into hotter weather, I was able to leave behind my favorite but too heavy sleeping bag and some extra layers of clothing. I may regret that in the mountains of Macedonia in the summer or in Croatia or Slovenia later in the fall but, c’est la vie.

 As of  March 28, 2018, this is what was in my backpack. ( A few small things were cut, but nothing worth mentioning… they didn’t really change the weight)

Airport weight (without water):

19 kilograms Gregory Deva 70-liter  backpack

3 kilograms PacSafe daypack

My weight is a whopping,  heaviest-I’ve-ever-been 65 kilograms (143 pounds). My normal weight is between 56-58 kilos (about 124-127 pounds). What can I say? I was in the U.S.  and Barcelona  for the  winter holidays and enjoyed every single morsel of everything I ate. I hope to lose at least part of this weight once I get into a regular walking rhythm … But Turkey and Greece have great food, too… I digress.



Walking clothes:

Prana Sidra pants gray medium  After a couple of rips and lots of paint from the Carian Trail volunteeer work, I replaced these with a pair of pants from Decathon that are lighter for the summer 

Ascend plaid technical shirt – This got a bit ripped up while clearing vines on the Carian Trail, and also the synthetic fibers hold the god-awful stench of cumulative daily sweat. Phew! Replaced with a cotton long sleeve shirt that should be more breathable against my sensitive, changing skins.

Smartwool socks

Warner front hook bra

Icebreaker sirena hipikini underwear

Vasque shoes  These turned out to be a big disappointment. I barely hiked these  trails, and a month in I was gluing the toe tips and a part of the heel. A few weeks later, the glue was gone and rather than risk bigger problems ahead in places where I may have a harder time finding shoes, I bought what I hope will be good shoes at Decathalon



Rest-day clothes:

Gap lightweight beige cargo style pants with pants roll-up buttons (good for hot days)

Columbia omni-shade long sleeve button down

Hiking socks (forget the brand)

Hanes cotton underwear

Front hooking bra



Super light roomy cotton leggings

Cotton long sleeve shirt (quechua?/decathlon?)

Hanes cotton briefs

Light socks


Layering clothes:

Lightweight ¾ sleeve mixed wool sweater

Wicking long sleeve running shirt   This turned out to be handy for a few days, but I have to trim weight, and for the summer, this material is not comfortable enough for me

Asic lightweight water resistant zip jacket with hood

knee length poncho (can also be base layer of I use bivy, instead of tarp)



Extra clothes:

2 icebreaker wool underwear (5 pairs underwear total)

2 walking socks (total of 4 pairs walking socks, 1 extra for sleeping)

Microfiber towel

Bikini bottom and jog bra for swimming in the Mediterranean :-) I switched out the bikini bottom for a pair of shorts I can also lounge around in

Small scarf (doubles as a head scarf and a pillow cover)


3 handkerchieves (2 for hand wrapping in hot sun, 1 for camp bathing)

Sun hat, baseball cap style with neck flap and short clip (so it doesn’t blow away when the wind grabs it)

Croc rubber sole shoes for rest day and post walking


Sleeping shelter:

McKinley extreme light 800 grams (not my favorite, but lighter than my Sierra Design and better suited for spring and summer)

Quechua A100 lightweight inflatable/self inflating  mattress 380 grams

Cotton sleep sheet (the silk sheets don’t feel good on my skin, especially when I have night sweats)

DD hammocks jungle hammock/bivy with built in mosquito net and removable rain fly (1520 grams) – As much I wanted to learn how to sleep in a hammock, the few times I camped in April and May, I wanted to be on he ground. The bivy setup made me feel like I was in a coffin, and kept proving to not be the right system for me. I donated it to one of the campgrounds I stayed in along the Lycian Way where I am sure it will be better used. I bought a cheap one-layer tent (bacially a rain fly with a mosquito net door — equal weight to what I left behind) from Brauhaus, which is the equivalent of Home Depot. It may or may not last, but  as I hope to walk with Lluis for longer portions of the  coming months and the weather should be better in the short-term, it will do for the few days I’m alone. And, the tarp will help protect it from sudden storms and wind.

DD ultralight 3×2.9 meter tarp (420 grams, without pegs and ridgeline cord)

Mosquito net, about 100-200 grams. Since I traded in the hammacok, I added  this as a alterative to use with the tarp, in case the cheap tent I bought is a fail. Also during hot summer nights, rigging this up may be good for dusk when we don’t want to get in the tent yet, or when we have a guesthouse  room that has no screens on the windows.

4 tree hugger anchoring straps with carabiners – this was reduced to 2 when i donated the hammock

10 meter cord for ridgeline

8 extra small carabiners (for tarp)

4 extra weight-bearing carabiners

8x1m guylines

6 + 4 camping stakes (different sizes and strengths)

Tree hugger cloths to protect bark (dry dish rags)

Gaim travel yoga mat for hammock insulation and yoga in the woods (arguably a luxury item, but I find myself really missing yoga very often)

½ meter square foam padding as foot mat/sitting cushion/pillow or extra hammock insulation for cold spots


Food and Water:

Life straw 1L bottle with filter (for trail walking and purifying water)

750 ml metal bottle (for hot water) ( I lost this in my first week walking, and now have a recycled 1 liter plastic soda bottle)

2L Camelback (more for road walking when I have my day pack on my chest, or when water sources are scarce)

Straw with filter for drinking directly from water source, like a river

100 water purifying tablets

Small bottle of iodine (water purifying and blister cleaning)

Fork-spoon combo

Sharp knife

About 25g grams of salt, pepper and herbs mixed

100ml olive oil

10 soup bouillon cubes

200g of oatmeal

10 energy bars

2 packets protein powder

Small bottle of mixed Nescafé, cinnamon, sugar

Basil seeds for summer hydration/energy drink (add with honey)

750 ml metal cup

185g empty tin recycled for food storage

200g peanut butter

Bag of nuts

Heating element for boiling water (super handy when we are inside and want hot water)

Solo stove lite biomass/stick burning stove

Solo stove cooking pot

Solo stove alcohol burner + 2 liters denatured alcohol (bought in Turkey)

Small frying pan and small plastic spatula

Tinder and spark fire starter, plus small bag of dried twigs

2 cigarette lighters, 2 boxes of extra long matches and small pack of waterproof matches

Small metal scrub sponge for cleaning pot

Plastic jug rigged to be a bucket (Turkish trail website and other Lycian hikers recommend bringing something to draw water from wells)

Foldable can opener


Other gear:

Various compression dry sacks (for sleeping bag, clothes and electronics)

Stuff sacks and containers for cooking gear and other equipment

Black Diamond walking poles

iPhone 5s (on its last legs with serious battery issues; need it for iOS-only Lycian Way app from Culture Routes Society)

Micromax Android phone (cheap phone bought in Bangladesh, holding up well enough)

Foldable travel Bluetooth keyboard

Two small battery power banks

Two plugs and 4 cables

USB pen drive

Needle and thread

4 clothespins plus one meter cord for laundry line

A couple of repair patches and  tenacious tape

A small bit of duct tape

Small lock (if I have a locker at a hostel)

Small scissors

Headlight with 3AAA batteries

Small clip-on light for night in-tent search

Small piece of bright yellow material, for road walking

Two clip-on red bicycle lights for backpack

Small baggie of detergent

2 cheap MP3 players plus pack AAA batteries (one loaded with music, the other with podcasts and audiobooks) (comfort items that get me through hard stretches of the walk)

A watch

Guide books and maps for Lycian and Carian trails in Turkey (plus map bag)

Bungee cord



Passport copies and a couple passport photos

Copy of travel insurance

ATM and credit card, very little cash

Small notebook and pen and pencil

½ meter of mosquito netting (for summer, hostels without screens)

Money belt


Hygiene and health:

Toilet paper and baggie for carrying out trash

Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss

Tongue scraper

Foldable brush/mirror


200ml shampoo and  body gel combo

Vitamins and magnesium pills


Mosquito repellent and anti itch cream

Tiger balm



A few single eye drops

Two small bandage wraps

A couple bandaids

Foot pumice

Nail clippers and nail file

Sunscreen and spf lip balm

Deodorant (a luxury item)


Anti-diarrhea pills

Iodine and needle for blisters (iodine also for water purifying)

Baby powder (dry sweating feet and part of the campsite shower)

Hand sanitizer

Small tweezers for splinters

Hair bands (for wrapping cables while my hair is short)

Small tube antibiotic cream

Packet hydration salts


Oh, how I wish I had a bicycle!


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7 thoughts on “Jenn’s Ongoing Gear Changes”

  1. Wow, that is an extensive list. I’m amazed at the attention to details necessary to accomplish your walk. I’m sure every single item is a necessity. I’m so happy to be reading your posts again now that you’re once again on the “trail.”

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      This stuff feels necessary, and except the medical kit stuff and water purifying tablets, I have used nearly everything in my pack already. We had a couple chilly camping nights where the sweater and jacket came in handy.

      But the truth is, if my backpack got stolen or fell into a mountain gorge, I wouldn’t miss anything in it. Well, maybe my walking sticks… they have proven to be very useful and have saved me more than once from sliding downhill in areas where landslides wiped out the trail and help pull up the steep uphills.

      I wish I could go monk style with my litte rice bowl, big even after all this time deliberately homeless, I still cling to stuff.

      1. Hi Jenn! You definitely seem to have everything you need at hand moving forward. Live life and enjoy the journey for tomorrow!

        1. Hi Jackie,
          Yes, I have more than I need. I wish I could cut the weight in half, but, with the thankful exception of my medical kit, I have already used nearly everything I am carrying more than once. It is what it is. Onwards to living life well.

    1. Thank you, Ahmad! We keep pushing onwards! Remembering you and your family helps us get through many kilometers!

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