Equipment List for Colorado Rockies - Continental Divide Trail Trekking

This list assumes you are going to a similar area during a similar time frame. Check the weather and recommendations of the park for your particular trip to be safe.

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Camping Gear


Climbing Gear





Optional Field Gear


Camping Gear

Marmot Trestles 30 deg Long

The Trestles 30 is an all-purpose synthetic bag that insulates even in sustained cool and damp conditions.

Mount Olympus Notes: The Olympic Mountain Range is so wet, it is impeerative that you use a synthetic bag. This bag was wet in the feet the whole trip, but my feet were still ok.

Canadian Rockies Notes: I liked the warmth of this bag. It was comfortable even if there was not much foot and ankle room.

AT Notes: This is now my go to bag for AT hikes when it's not mid summer.

Sierra Designs Lightning 2 : 2 Person / 3 Season

The Sierra Designs Lightning 2 Tent was one of SD's first major successes in the ultralight category, winning a Backpacker "Editors' Choice" award in 2004.

Freestanding, simple to pitch, the Lightning weighs a scant three pounds, 15 ounces. Clip-Locs and Swift Clips pull up to the x-pole design, meaning you can pitch the whole gig in seconds. With a nine-square-foot vestibule and plenty of mesh, it's comfortable, organized, and you won't get annoying condensation in the morning.

Acadia Notes: The one thing I hate about this tent is how it performs in the rain. This is definately a warm weather tent. Cold wet weather doesn't really work well. The bottom of the tent seeps water, even if you are using the accompanying tarp. I ended up having to line the bottom of my tent with garbage bags on the second rainy day in Acadia. It wasn't a river...but when you are using the tarp that comes with the tent, you evpect the only ater in the tent to be the water you track in on your boots.

Grand Canyon Notes: I took this along with me to the Grand Canyon and I absolutely loved it. I usually just use the tent without the fly, unless theres a good chance of rain. It's just big enough for me and my pack so it's great for camping when I don't feel like rooming with somebody. It was perfect for the canyon. I bought 2 of them, so JP slept in the other one, which was good because he decided it was a good idea to roll over on his camelback and dowse his sleeping bag with water. I would not have been thrilled had we been sharing sleeping quarters.

Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad

Big dudes need cushion for sleepy time. After my Thermarest Neo Air got a slow leak at the worst possible moment, on a big expedition to Orizaba, I decided to try something else.

Mount Marcy Notes: This pad certainly is a little more hefty than my Neo Air, and definately took some heffing and puffing to inflate it. Once the pad was inflated, I really liked it. It also took some time and energy to deflate it is well, but the insulation was well worth it. To be fair, I used it in conjunction with a foam core sleeping pad. But it definately did the trick.

Climbing Gear

Black Diamond Trail Compact Trekking Poles

They say they're some of the best poles on the market. Cor-tec handles, anti shock tips and light as a pair of feathers, they seemed good enough for me. If I had one complaint it would be that they could fold in just a little bit smaller. But other than that, they perform and that's all you can ask.

Why I bought them: If you have bad knees like I do, or you are big boy like I am, you will definately want to bring along your sticks. There are some very steep descents on some of the trails and I can't imagine doing it without at least something in at least one hand. If you don't feel like lugging them on the trip, or they get broken in baggage, just pick up a good stick when you start on the hike. But my suggestion is these.

Pros: FlickLock adjusting is GREAT. I love it so much better than the twist style adjustments. Braek down to a very short size for easiy transport in your baggage. Still lightweigh even with the beefy grips.

Cons: Haven't really had any complaints yet. Although the FlickLock adjutments slook like they may need adjustment/tightening at some point and for that you need a tool. Inspect them prior to your trip if you don't carry a tool with you at all times.

Mt Rainier Notes: Love these poles. The FlickLock adjustments are so nice. I will NEVER go back to twist lock adjustment poles.


Arc'Tyrex Theta SV Shell Jacket

This hardshell has a Stow Hood and drop back hem for increased protection in bleak environments. The jacket is made from Goretex material and has five pockets, water tight zippers, and articulated patterning for mobility.

Rainier Notes: I absolutel LOVE the stow hood. I like self contained items and this is the epoitome of that functionality. This will be my new go to jacket.


North Face Venture Pant (Shell) :$100

The Venture Pant is a lightweight thin shell pant that you can use for light to medium rain situations. While it won't keep you totally dry in 6 hour thundershower, it will provide you with enough cover for most of your hiking needs.

Canadian Rockies Notes: This was the only shell pant I took along on the trip and though I never used it, I was glad to have it in my bag the shole time.

North Face Ascent Beanie

Nice little fleece hat to cover my newly shaved head! I like it because there's more fleece on the ears thatn the top which is exactly how I like it. My ears are sensitive like a little girls!! lol

Grand Canyon Notes: I brought one fleece hat and only used it in camp at night and in the morning. But I was glad I brought it. it's cold enough in camp during the spring that you will definately need one.

EMS Glove Liners
A nice set of liners are a great thing to have. light enough to wear during the cool night but just engouh to keep your fingers warm.



Saloman XA Pro 3D XCR

This is the third pair of Salomon Trail Runners I've bought and they sure won't be the last. The best part is the quick lace feature that keeps them tied tight and eliminates the need to tie your laces!

I absolutely love these things. I did all of my hikes in these. They are vented so your feet stay cool. They did well on the wet day (even better than some in boots).


Crocs are ugly, but they are the best thing ever thought of for anybody who needs easy to slip on footwear that doesn't get funky when wet. I love my crocs and I don't care how ugly they are.

The first time I saw a pair of Crocs was on the Deerfield river with the KCCNY. This dude was broncoing in a hole, and got out to portage over some rocks to do it again. He kept doing it over and over, and every time he would slide out of the yak, pull the crocs out of the hull, put them on, and pick up the yak. His crocks were and ugly orange, and all i could think was, they must be pretty functional, because they sure are ugly. And he confirmed. And from then on, I decided I needed a pair.

Madawaska Notes: I didn't own a pair of crocs when I did this trip. But I wished I did!

Canadian Rockies Notes: This trip I bought them and never will take a long trip without them again.

Grand Canyon Notes: I brought these as my camp shoes since they are light weight, and I want to get out of my shoes in camp. Well worth their weight. I need to air out my dogs at night and these help me do that.

El Potrero Notes: Do NOT leave home without them. The showers are clean enough, but I would not venture into that bathroom without my shower shoes!


Underarmor Boxer Brief

These are the best underwear I have ever used. Because i have a problem with my legs rubbing to together as i walk, which causes my pant to ride up on me, I decided to change to biker shorts (slick material) rather than a cloth material to see if that would alleviate my problem. They worked better than I ever would have expected. I will never go back to cloth boxer briefs.

Under Armour Cold Gear 2.0 Leggings

The Cold Gear system is just like the Moisture Transport system except this takes the moisture from your body and spreads the heat to all parts of your upper body using an intricate pattern of weaving. It helps you to keep from getting too cold or too hot, leveling out your body temperature.

Mount Washington Notes: These worked well for me as well. I just wore 2 pair and was fine the whole trip up and down the mountain.

North Face Paramount zip off pants

These zip off pants are quick drying, comfortable, and come in good colors. What else can you ask for. The bottom of the pants have the side zip to the calf so you can zip off the bottoms without having to take off your boots. Comfortable shorts by day, bug-thwarting pants by night! These travel-savvy convertible pants offer versatile comfort. Plus they are baggy with a deep enough crotch.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Definately bring at least one pair. I personally brought 2 pair. While I never unzipped tham on any of my hikes, others in my group did on the one hike I didn't do, because it got so hot.

Grand Canyon Notes: I brought 2 pair of pants, but only used these as my hiking pants all three days. I used the other pair as my camp clothing.

EMS Superwick T

This is a lightweight polyester shirt that is highly breathable and quick drying. It wicks moisture away from the body and comes in a fe different colors. I actually picked up a long sleeve and a short sleeve. They were great as a first layer in the jungle.

Iliniza Notes: Most of the climbs will have you at some point in your t-shirt. Let it be a comfortable one.

Canadian Rockies Notes: Most of the climbs will have you at some point in your t shirt. Let it be a comfortable one.

Grand Canyon Notes: It gets hot down there in the canyon, so bring a lightweight t shirt.

Patagonia Stretch Zip Long T

I love this shirt. It has thumb holes to keep your sleeves from riding up (or keep your wrists warm), it's comfortable and it has the half zip neck which I love because you can use it like a turtleneck or you can open up to breathe. Designed to be versatile enough to use as a high-mobility base layer for winter sports or a midweight outer layer in warmer climates.

Canadian Rockies: This was my staple shirt for the entire trip. I don't go anywhere without it.

Grand Canyon Notes: I will only bring one long sleeve shirt. And since I did, this was the only one I brought. My staple shirt on all my trips. So much so, that everybody says I need to buy some new shirts!

Mountain Hardwear Wicked T Shirt

I love this shirt. It has thumb holes to keep your sleeves from riding up (or keep your wrists warm), it's comfortable and it has the half zip neck which I love because you can use it like a turtleneck or you can open up to breathe. Designed to be versatile enough to use as a high-mobility base layer for winter sports or a midweight outer layer in warmer climates.

This was my staple shirt for the entire trip. I don't go anywhere without it.

North Face Momentum Shirt

I needed a microfleece and this one was cheap and felt softer than a baby's a$$. Plus I really wanted a fleece that was a pullover rather than a full zip for a mid layer so that I could tuck it in.

This synthetic fabric wicks moisture away from the skin, dries quickly, and resists wrinkling, tearing, and unraveling—a must for the adventure traveler. A lightweight, high performance microfiber fleece with a luxurious finish, TKA microfleece provides lightweight warmth next to the skin or in a layering system. This 100% polyester fabric is engineered to be both durable and resistant to pilling. It offers warmth when wet, launders well and packs easily.

This is now one of my more favorite shirts. First, the material is breathable. Second, the shirt is warm. Third, the shirt is quick drying. And last, the half zip is highly functional.

5 Boro Bike Tour Notes: This is usually all you'll need on the five boro because it's usually spring like conditions. I like this one because it looks good no matter what you do to it.

Snowboarding Notes: This is my number 1 favorite Shirt for boarding. I now longer go on a snowboarding trip without it. It's warm, but has a half sip for hot days in the sun. It doesn't need ironing and doesn't get wrinkled so you can go right from the slopes to the bar and be good to go. It has thumb holes that make it easy to layer and not get you're sleeves all bunched up. Perfect shirt.

Smartwool Smartwool PhD Running Ultr aLight Micro Socks

Smartwool's is my brand and I'm stickin' with 'em.

Canadian Rockies Notes: I pretty much use these as my go to socks now. They fit my feet like a glove and this trip was no different. They do have a little lip on them so if you're going to use these, then you might want to thro some low gaiters on just to keep the dirt and rocks out.

Wigwam Ultimax Cool Lite Hiker Sock

I don't wear cotton socks anymore. It's all about wool or synthetic blends.

Tour Notes: It doesn't much matter what kind of socks you wear on this ride. however, it is "On" whether the meteorologist calls for rain or shine, so I suggest wool or synthetic blends because they stay warm when wet.

Grand Canyon Notes: I brought 4 pair of socks. I loved these socks. They were really comforatble and didn't slide around on my foot.


Counter Assault Bear Canister

In some parts of the country, it is mandatory to carry a bear canister. This canister has the three slot locks on the lid. This type is necessary in certain places since some bears have learned how to unscrew the other type.

Colorado Rockies Notes: This thing is heavy and awkward to pack. But I would not like a bear in my tent so I deal.


The XGK is the stove my friend Brad took across Asia for his year abroad. According to him, it is the only stove to purchase if you're going to be "out there" for an extended period of time. It's light. It's simple to use. It has spare parts and is built so that you can repair it if necessary.

Colorado Rockies Notes: I was used to the Jetboil up until this, but I may now start carrying this stove instead. I really liked it.

Snowpeak Trek 1400 Titanium Cookset

Titanium is lightweight, resists corrosion and provides virtually no metallic smell or taste.

Colorado Rockies Notes: Oh. I really like this cup.

Nalgene Water Bottle

These bottles are indestructible and supposedly, they don’t promote bacteria growth or hold odor. In every picture I see of someone camping or on a mountain, I see them holding a Nalgene bottle. I’m not even sure they have any competition they’re so well entrenched. And what makes them even better is most water filtration systems are built specifically to fit Nalgene bottles!

I always wrap some clear and some gray duct tape around my bottles. First, it helps to tell whos they are and it also is an easy way to keep duct tape which is the most important item you can take on a mountain! It fixes everything from blisters to leaky tents. I always bring 3 liter bottles for summit day. I also sometimes bring an extra to pee in if im too lazy to get out of the tent! just be careful. Aim smart.

Petzl Tikka

Since I bought the Petzl Tikka to replace my Black Diamond Gemini head lamp, I have never looked back. The Tikka is the perfect size and wieght, and it has all the functionality you really need in a head lamp.

While there is no spotlight on it, I have found that I rarely use the spotlight, so this is perfect for my needs. And when you are trying to limit the weight in your backpack, every ounce counts. I actually have 3 of these to give to my non backpacking friends when we go out together.

Why I bought it: I had the Black Diamond Gemini before this, which was great, but big and bulky and just overkill. After actually using these things, you only need a small lamp with a few lighting settings.

Madawaska Notes: You don't really need this if you are staying in the bunk house. But if you are camping, you know the drill!

Grand Canyon Notes: You have to have a head lamp on any trips in the backcountry. And since we were in a primitive area, I brought an extra as a back up. And a good thing too, because Drill Sgt left his in the car at the trailhead!

Julbo Bivouak

I needed a second pair of glacier glasses because I gave my other back up pair to a guide/porter in Africa.

Dermatone Lip Balm with biner

I really like this balm. Its very much like "Unpetroleum" that i took on Alaska trip and loved.

Grand Canyon Notes: Do not forget to bring lip balm on this trip. You will regret it if you do.

Mt Rainier Notes: If you have never been on a glacier in the middle of the summer, you can't really understand how important it is to have lip balm. I buy these 6 at a time every time I go to the camping store. I avoid chapped lips at ALL costs.

Gear-REI Ti Ware Long Handle Spoon

When you are using the typical camp meals sold by Mountain House or Backpackers pantry, you typically have to stir the food when it is piping hot. This spoons, with it's length, helps you to not burn your hand up.

Colorado Rockies Notes: The first day on this trip I thought I forgot my spoon and it sucked. ONce I realized it was in my pack, my hands were a lot happier.

first need water filter

I went out and bought this filter because I was so impressed with it on my Ecuador trip. I had the MSR Waterworks II, which was the same micron size and filtered basically the same parasites, but the Waterworks was painfully slow. the flow rate on the first need was so much faster (it seemed to be at least 4 times as fast) that I just put my MSR in the bottom of my pack and borrowed the first need from someone else every time it was time to pump. Its a little heavier, but I think well worth it when you have to pump 12 liters of water ona 15 minute break in the trek.

Canadian Rockies Notes: At least one person in your group should definately bring a wateer filter if you are staying overnight at any of the huts. While at Stanley Mitchell, my First Need got a first rate workout, as it was the filter of choice for our entire group.

Grand Canyon Notes: We needed a filter for this trip because all of the water is from springs, and most had tadpoles in it, so there was definately a chance for parasites. I was glad to have it.

eVent Compression Dry sacks

After having my sleeping bag get wet on Mt Marcy, I decided I need to get a dry bag.

Mount Olympus Notes: In a wet area, you need to keep your clothes and sleeping bag dry, and these are awesome for this.

Wet Ones Travel

It really doesn't matter which moleskin you choose. Personally, I like the thin moleskin, especially since I start applying it as soon as i feel even a hotsot. I never wait until i develop a blister so i rarely ever develop one. But i use moleskin almost every day of a hiking trip and remove it at night to air out the hot spot.

Grand Canyon Notes: Since water will be so sparse on this trip, I'll bring a pack of these for my outback shower!

El Potrero Notes: Anytime you are in Mexico, bring wet ones. They rarely have toilet paper in any of the bathrooms, so having these hand is nice.

Packtowel Camp Towel

Bottom line, this is not ever an optional item. I have to have at least one on my trips. It's really water absorbant but rings out like a shammy and packs away dry right after you've used it on your whole body!

El Potrero Notes: Bring a camp towl because they don't have them readily available at the Posada.

Grand Canyon Notes: I'll bring my small towel just so I can wash my face, or if I want to go down to the river.

Optional Field Gear

Canon 50D SLR Digital Camera

I only bring my SLR when the trip isn't too difficult.

Acadia Notes: This is mmy big camera.

Colorado Rockies Notes: I was quite annoyed at the crop factor (1.6) on this camera during this trip. All I wanted was to have a full wide angle and adding that crop factor made it even worse. After this trip I've decided to go ahead and invest in a full frame camera.

Canon 24-70mm 2.8L Lens

I only bring my SLR when the trip isn't too difficult. And this lens is HEAVY. So I only bring this bad boy when I really want some good photos and don't mind suffering. Also, when it will be wet and dusty because it has gaskets that protect the insides.

Colorado Rockies Notes: Thislens was worth the weight. I got some really great shots.

Suunto Vector Altimeter Watch

My new toy. Still don't completely know how to work it so i will review it once I finish studying.

Thermarest Compressible Pillow

I'm a sissy when it comes to my sleep. I need my confort, and since this pillow is only about a half a pound if that, and rolls down to the size of a couple of bananas, I fnever leave home without it anymore.

Colorado Rockies Notes: The best feeling in the world was Joe glancing in my tent and saying, "Dude. You have a pillow?!?!?" Yes I do!


Larabar Fruit Bars

Fruit bars are my favorite food. But these are fruit bars to the next level. They are gluten free, soy free, vegan, etc, etc. I don't go anywhere without them.

Gatorade Packs

Gatorade is one of the best tasting electrolyte replacement drinks. I't probably not necessary when mountaineering because you are not sweating, but it can't hurt. But if you're out there in the heat, you need to replace those electrolytes.You can get them in 1 quart packages which are perfect for your nalgene liter bottles.

Mt Washington Notes: Adding gatorade to your water on a freezing cold mountain helps to keep it from freezing. It's high salt and sugar content will add at least a few degrees to your drinks max freezing temperature.

Grand Canyon Notes: You should definately bring at least one liter per day. It gets really hot in the canyon.

Sports Beans

Sports beans are candy. But they are good. Salty and sweet. Electrolytes.

Action speaks louder than words, but not as often!
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