Gear for the Arizona Trail is not much different than what I use on other three-season hikes.
The Arizona Trail is a trail of extremes. The trail traverses diverse eco-systems, traveling between “Sky Islands.” Hikers can travel from the desert floor to high alpine altitudes in the same day – desert heat to knee-deep snow.
This means I carry cold-weather gear when I hike the Arizona Trail in the Spring and Fall.
Water can also be scarce on the Arizona Trail, and often you are sharing water with both domestic and wild animals. You may need to carry additional water and treatment methods.
Table of contents
Gear List – Big Three
Katabatic Sawatch – I don’t usually use quilts when temps drop below 30 degrees, but I’ve decided to take my Katabatic Sawatch Quilt. I added two ounces of Down to it and it worked well in cold temperatures on the Northville Placid Trail.
Zpacks Hexamid – I used my old Hexamid for years and decided to purchase a new floorless Hexamid @ 10 ounces. It does have fully enclosed netting since I hate sleeping with bugs (I’ve been a bit a few times by spiders). I’m using a piece of Polycro from Gossamer Gear for the floor. Once I cut it down to size it weighs about 2 ounces. It is amazingly durable. I also use a 1/8 Thinlight Pad that weighs about 1.5 ounces once I cut it in half. It mainly serves as my sit pad, and to stop my sleeping pad from sliding around on my footprint or tent floor. It also makes a good cozy for my pot.
ULA Ohm 2.0 – My 36 oz. Ohm can’t be beaten for quality, durability, and comfort. I’ve worn these backpacks for years and have a review of the most recent Ohm 2.0. I’ve tried many brands – Hyperlite, Gossamer Gear, Osprey, Zpacks, etc., but for comfort over long distances, I always come back to ULA.
- Katabatic Sawatch Quilt – see the mention above.
- Neoair XLite Pad – there is a lot of debate about whether or not to use this pad in the desert due to punctures. I’ve used mine in the desert and have been successful in my last couple of hikes. Carefully selecting a campsite is important – no pointy things! I also have a comparison review between the X-Lite and Nemo Tensor if you are still making a decision.
- Thermarest Aeros Premium – I switched to an actual inflatable pillow this year. This is hands down the most comfortable one I found, and it really improved my quality of sleep for
- Gossamer Gear Thin light Pad – I mentioned the Thinlight above and also have this review. I really can’t say enough good things about how useful it is for me.
- Pocket Rocket 2 – I have tried wood burning, canister, alcohol, etc., and the Pocket Rocket 2 is still part of my Cooking Kit. It is fast, easy to use, and safer in arid conditions when I’m in the backcountry.
- Vargo Titanium BOT – This is a new pot for me. I love that the lid screws onto the pot. It was expensive pot, but the last titanium pot lasted me 15 years, so hopefully this one does also.
- Trailrunners – I’m going to make a change this year. I love my HOKAs but I don’t have the balance I like in some of my other trailrunners. My heel also drops a little more than I like. I’ve narrowed it down to either my Salomon Sense Ride 4’s or Saucony Peregrines. I’m leaning towards the Salomons with a great balance between comfort, stability and traction. You can check out my Sense Ride Review. There are not big differences between teh 3’s and 4’s, but I’ll be updating the review.
- Dirty Girl Gaiters – These lightweight gaiters should work out well in the desert, and I have a review that provides more insight.
- Smart Wool Socks – In warmer climates I used Smart Wool. The weave is not as tight as Darn Tough and my feet stay cooler. They also dry faster. In colder hiking I use Darn Tough for mid and heavy weight socks. My feet generally stay warmer. I’ll be taking Smart Wool for Arizona. I usually look for a sale and at the time of this post Moosejaw had good price reductions on Smartwool.
- Precip Men’s Rain Jacket – I’ve used this jacket on many hikes and prefer the wider men’s jacket for layering over other clothes. It has a slightly boxier shape.
- Montbell Versalite Rain Pants – @ 3.7 ounces, can’t beat em!
- Voormi Women’s River Run Hoodie – My sleeping and town shirt. The more I wear it the more I like this hoodie. You can also see this Hoodie Review.
- Running Shorts – Lightweight pair of miscellaneous running shorts.
- Feathered Friends EOS Jacket – nothing warmer @ 16 ounces, and I HATE being cold in camp. You can see my review on this jacket.
- Columbia Buttondown Shirt – I always find the cheapest one on the sale rack for each hike and generally trash it by the end of the trail.
- Kora Beanie 230 Esker Hat – warm, snug YAK Wool beanie. See the review here.
- Generic hiking shorts with pockets – these are women’s shorts with pockets. I always keep my “finances” in my pockets.
- Old Sun Hat
- Iphone X – the smaller one. My brother calls it my “retro Phone,” but I just got it 2 years ago. The Old Fart takes great pictures.
- Anker 10,000 and 20,000 Battery Chargers – this charger is great! The larger one is heavy @ about 16 oz., but I can go 10 days without recharging if I’m careful. I also get tired of always looking for outlets. I charge it when I go into town to resupply since I typically stay overnight.
- InReach Mini – The Mini was new on the AZT and has since hiked the CT and NET with me. It has not always been dependable when texting, but having a consistent signal has not been an issue.
- Fenix HM50R Rechargeable Headlamp – This is one of my favorite new pieces of gear. I really do love this headlamp and have a review to show my love.
Arizona Trail Gear – Miscellaneous Items
- Sunglasses – Mine are prescription. I always carry them.
- First Aid Kit – Tinactin, Neosporin, Imodium, band-aids, mole skin, 3 larger bandages, needle, Ibuprofen. I can’t say enough good things about Tinactin. It is awesome for those “heat rashes” so common when hiking. Some call it “Monkey Butt,” and it can be crippling!
- Bandana – I always carry one to soak up rain, tie back hair, as a sling, hot pot holder. They have many uses.
- Kula Cloth – I reviewed what equates to a “Pee Cloth, ” and still rave about it. It is so much cleaner than a bandanna.
- Black Diamond Carbon Cork Hiking Poles – These are new for 2019, and you can check out that review also. They are tough as nails and will last for years to come.
- Silver Shadow Mini Umbrella – My Silver Shadow Mini Umbrella is described in this review. I have used umbrellas for years, and they are awesome for many reasons, which are included in the review.
Arizona Trail Gear List – Final Thoughts
Most of these items are on my other gear list, but I’m always trying out new items, especially in my Big Three.
Again, most of these items are found in “My Gear List” in the Average Hiker Store, so check them out if you see anything that grabs you.
You can also send any questions you have to email@example.com. I never tire of talking about hiking and backpacking!