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Is the Appalachian Trail on your bucket list? This homemade wanderlust gear list serves as an excellent reference and template for the essentials you need to facilitate the hike.

RELATED: Best Hiking Trails You Must Visit This Summer

A Surefire Homemade Wanderlust Gear List for Outdoorsy Preppers

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Cookware and Water Filtering Systems

1. Camping stove

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The Appalachian trail is not a one-day event, hence the need for a camping stove. Besides making hearty campsite meals, a camping stove also comes in handy in winter when you need to melt snow for water.

2. Cooking Pots

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Most camping stove brands come equipped with a cooking pot and frying pan so that you do not have to buy them separately.

However, if your stove doesn’t come with pots, you can also buy them separately. This way, you get to buy what you need, be it a pot or a frying pan or both.

3. Camping Crockery

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Spoons, forks, and cups may add weight to your bug-out bag but are necessary to enjoy your meals or a cup of coffee for breakfast. Luckily, there are many outdoor-appropriate cutlery that is convenient to use and carry.

For instance, a spork will simultaneously serve as a spoon and fork, while a collapsible plate and cup will make mealtime a breeze even when outdoors.


  • Packing a water filtration system will come in handy when you cannot melt snow, especially when hiking during warmer seasons. Luckily, numerous functional water filtration systems for you to choose from.
  • A lightweight water bottle will also come in handy when you need to stay hydrated when you are away from your camp.

Clothing and Rain Gear

4. Tank Top

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What better to swap your long-sleeved shirts with during hotter days than a tank top? It is light and packs small and, therefore, adds almost zero weight to your bug-out bag. You can have as many or as few as you need.

5. Long-Sleeved Shirt

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A long-sleeved shirt is essential camping clothing for several reasons. Firstly, it is a great way to prevent your hands from scratches, especially when your trail runs through vegetation.

Secondly, long-sleeved shirts are a great way to stay warm when hiking on a chilly day. Or a rainy night when paired with a synthetic jacket.

6. Rain Suit

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Chances are that you will end up wet if it rains long enough, but that does not mean that you should invest in a rain suit. Knowing this, you can choose to go with either the expensive brands in the market, but the cheaper ones will also get the job done.

7. Shorts

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Shorts are another quintessential for any bug-out bag. You can wear them plainly on warmer days or under your paints, especially when it is raining. Here, synthetic shorts will be the best choice as they dry fast and pack small.

8. Jacket

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A puffy jacket is a must-have whenever you are outdoors, regardless of the season. This is primarily because the weather can rapidly change to unforeseen conditions.

While you may consider fleece or cotton jackets for warmth, these are difficult to dry when they get wet, making synthetic ones a better choice. What’s more, consider getting yourself a hooded jacket to complement your headwear.

9. Undergarments

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Though you will rarely bathe when out hiking, it is advisable to pack several pairs of undergarments to change up. Luckily, there are brands in the market specifically designed for campers to reduce odor.

RELATED: List of Best Hikes in the U.S. for Your 2021

Bedding and Shelter

10. Sleeping Bag

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A sleeping bag is a must-have camping gear but owning one comes with weighing pros and cons as far as material and design go. However, once you decide on your desired specifications, you can bet on finding a sleeping bag that works for you.

Note: You may also have to decide on temperature and male or women-specific designs.

11. Sleeping Pad

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Besides offering insulation from the cold ground, a sleeping pad also offers comfort from uneven and rough ground. Here, you have the option of inflatable, foam, or combination sleeping pads depending on your budget and preference.

12. Sleeping Bag Liner

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A sleeping bag liner is an excellent alternative to sleeping bags during warmer seasons. However, it also comes in handy when your sleeping is not warm enough, especially during winter.

Tip: It is also a great way to keep your sleeping bag clean and is easy to wash.

13. Tent

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Being a home away from home, your tent is undoubtedly among the vital gear in your bug-out bag.

However, choosing one can be overwhelming but most thru-hikers go for durable and lightweight tents with enough living space and enough features for a comfortable weeks-or-months stay.

14. Hammock

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A hammock is the next best thing if sleeping on the ground strains your back. While it is optional, it is an excellent backup for when you cannot make it back to your tent site on time.

Though they are cheaper than most tents, they are much heavier, which is a vital factor to consider. What’s more, keep in mind that hammocks are great for side sleepers and somewhat uncomfortable for stomach sleepers.

Tip: You will still need a sleeping pad beneath you for insulation even when suspended off the ground.

Electric Gear

15. Headlamp

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Brightness levels are pretty much the only consideration that goes into choosing the best headlamp for your hike. However, having one with a red beam ensures that you don’t blind your fellow hikers.

16. Backup Charger

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A backup battery charger is always a great idea considering you don’t have access to electricity when out in the wild. Luckily, you stand to get several chargers for your phone with most of these backup chargers.


17. Socks

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With various socks brands available in the market, settling for one can be overwhelming. However, most quality pairs are woolen but will set you back several dollars. Also, the lifetime guarantee that most of these woolen pairs come with is unbeatable.

Tip: Toe socks can be helpful for people prone to having blisters.

18. Trail Runners and Boots

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Camping boots are the most popular way to hike due to their comfort and ankle support. However, you can also pack a pair of trail runners to swap with the boots and camp shoes for when you are not actively hiking.

Tip: Men’s and women’s pairs can be worn interchangeably depending on preference

19. Backpack

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Of course, you backpack to conveniently hold your camping gear. Here you only need to consider the size, durability, color and of course, the cost. What’s more, you get to choose between male and female versions to suit your needs.

Pro Tips 

  • Remember to bring along a footprint for your tent or you can opt for Tyvek instead
  • Though optional, insoles have proved handy for most hikers which could also apply to you. Keep in mind however the people have different feet which leads to different experiences with inserts.
  • Besides being easy to move around in, leggings are comfortable to wear and fuzzy ones will offer great protection from the cold.
  • Go for the z-line bear cord as it is lightweight and slick.
  • Pepper spray will offer you an extra layer of security especially when you need to hitchhike. Also, consider getting insects repellant and bear spray for stress-free hiking
  • A small and lightweight pocket knife will still get the job done
  • Cork handled trekking poles can absorb sweat better than foam-handled ones
  • While the Appalachian Trail is easy to follow, a GPS will boost your confidence

Watch this video by Survival Gear on the top 10 best hiking boots on amazon 2021:

There you go fellow thru-hikers. While you may deviate from some of the gear included herein, this homemade wanderlust gear list provides you with the basic but essential gear on which you can build up, remove, swap or alternate with other gear based factor like budget or personal preference. The goal is to ensure that represented to some degree to avoid getting stranded.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

What other gear do you think we should add to this homemade wanderlust gear list? Let us know in the comment section below!

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