Equipment List: Walk Across America

Making an equipment list for my walk across the US was a lot harder than making the one for walking the Erie Canal.  For one, I used a lot more gear (400+ miles vs 3000+ miles). And then what gear I had was always changing and adapting.  I’d enter different climates with different demands (winter gear for mountains) or I’d mail home gear I ended up not needing (extra clothes) or stuff that didn’t work out.

Here I’ve put together a basic list of all my gear. I’ve tried to put notes with gear that didn’t work out or stuff that I didn’t need until later. Hopefully this helps some people out while planning their own adventures. If you have any questions about gear, feel free to email or comment here.

Stroller (I had an older version of this stroller.)
Backpack
Clothes
– 1 pair of jeans (later thrown away)
– 1 pair of conversion pants
– 2 pair shorts (one for sleepwear, mailed other home in PA)
– 1 pair long cotton pants (sleepwear)
– 1 long sleeve shirt
– 2 t-shirts (1 cotton, 1 hiking)
– 2 tank tops
– 5 pairs of underwear
– 5 pairs of socks
– 2 bras (by Ohio I had only 1 for the rest of the trip)
Cold Weather Gear (gathered as I hit the Rockies)
Winter Jacket
Fleece Jacket
– Winter hat
– Winter gloves
– long underwear
– heavier winter socks (mostly to sleep in)
Shoes (New Balance trail runners)
Sun hat
Rain jacket + rain pants
Sleeping pad
Sleeping bag
Tent
Odor-proof bags
Bear Vault (added in Colorado)
Cooler (given away in Colorado)
2 Nalgene bottles
Knife
Flashlight/emergency radio
Rope
Clothes pins
Journal + pens
First Aid Kit
Stove & Cookware (both added later, and only used a handful of times)
Toiletries
– quick-dry adventure towel
– toothbrush
– toothpaste
Noxzema wipe thingies (once the first pack was gone I didn’t buy more)
– face cloth
– contacts + solution
– glasses
soap
Electronics
cell phone
netbook
– mp3 player
– digital camera
– Kindle
Solar Charger

Anna’s Gear
Anna’s Pack
-dog food
-treats
-travel dog bowl
-poop bags
-vet papers
shoes (added in Utah)
-spare collar
sleeping pad (cut in half)
-blanket to sleep on

And that’s it. I think. I had other bits and bobs – hair ties, spare batteries, lip balm, sunscreen, etc – that I didn’t include, but that’s all the major stuff. Unless I’ve forgotten something, which is completely possible.

Oh, and I also had a small ziplock bag always within reach, which carried a small notebook, pen, a bunch of my business cards, and (as time went by) business cards and notes that people I met would give me along the way.

Like I said above, if you have any questions or want a more in depth review of something, feel free to comment here or email me at Ameranth (at) gmail .com

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18 thoughts on “Equipment List: Walk Across America

    • A different stroller. Ha. I think the strollers that are more like bike trailers are better – they’re fully covered so more weather proof and easier to pack. The only problem with them is the front wheel – either it’s awkwardly attached or it’s a stable wheel. I definitely need a front wheel that can swivel/move.

      Other than that, nope. I actually had more gear than I needed, and so was pretty comfortable the whole way.

    • I think the final tally was four. Five if you count the one pair I wore for a week and then gave away – made the mistake of trying a new style/shoe. After that I’d always get the same style of New Balance sneakers when the current pair was wearing down.

    • It’s not as scary as people will make you think. Don’t be scared, just be sensible, and don’t give up. Feel free to email me if you’d like to chat more about it – Ameranth at gmail dotcom

  1. I just wanted to say this is the first list of gear someone has used and I find it really helpful. Two of my friends and myself are planning on taking on this adventure. How much did the over all trip end up costing (without gear)? How did you eat/drink? Water and food seem to be the biggest things stumping us because we plan to walk through every single state, some areas won’t be as populated if even at all, how much water/ food should you carry on hand?

    • I’m not exactly sure what the overall trip came to, but I think if you had $5,000 you could do it comfortably.

      Water and food depend on how you’re carrying your gear. You can carry a lot more, and different kinds, if you have a stroller as opposed to carrying a pack. With the stroller I could carry around two gallons of water, then I also had a camel pak and my dog’s pack had water bladders. There was only one stretch in Utah where we needed more than I could carry. Sometimes I’d just walk up to people’s houses and ask to use their hose to refill the water, and gas stations will let you fill up for free if you explain what you’re doing.

  2. Also it seems like a stroller vs a pack would be a lot easier on your back. Hmm, we will definitely take all this into consideration.
    Oh one more question,
    were there any trails you took or anything that wounds between states?
    (We are trying to go through all the states but with as little back tracking as possible)

  3. Challenge Accepted.
    Hearing your trip to walk across the country then up to Seattle, well, for one inspired me and is tempting to do it as well. But more or less, walk to my fiancee state which is in Georgia (since I’m in NJ). Considering I am a competitive- ambitious person. I would feel like if you can do it. Well, so can I. Just the plannin’ of how everything was set up would be my biggest concern. Not to mention financial. (Not to mention i got a rec magazine, very convenient, hah!) Considering I’m not traveling different changes of climate weather the most I would probably experience is rain turning my 11 or so day walk. So any tips you can give me..I would gladly appreciate and take.

  4. I’ve always wanted to do this but with working, I feel I have to do it in stages or when I retire in 15 years or so, to do the whole thing. I live in AK and figure if I start there and do a variety of states each one – maybe I’ll get to all 50. Any suggestions on that way? Do you know of any groups that walk across America? Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I hope I don’t seem inappropriate with this question being a guy asking a girl, but what tips do you have for hygiene on the trail? For example: bathing, laundry, etc. And during those times (with your small list of certain clothing) what did you use for seclusion?

    • hi there fellow traveler. creeks, streams, and rivers work well. if you dont have them then you my find bird bathing helpful {thats bathing in a bathroom sink} belive me, ive done a lot of traveling. may i also suggest carrying wetwipes they work great you will have to learn to sometimes go days with out bathing and what not but thats just part of the journey.

  6. want to walk the rail road maybe prospect want to build my own cart bc staying away from towns any suggestions on cart rough terrain supplies 60 to 80 pounds

  7. I planning on cross the country . mild of my life .and November here in mid west mn . I like go to fl and up east coast and back. I wish I could go cost to cost

  8. Pingback: Gearing up for the Camino de Santiago | Adventures Await

  9. this is an awesome post and i want to say congrats on your journey my life long friend and i walked from north east Arkansas to southern California back january of 2012 and it was an epic adventure we met a lot of awesome people and seen a lot of amazing sceneries along the way all i had was a 30 lb duffle bag with minimum food and water, a change of clothes and shoes a tent and some sharpies and he had about the same but we had to get a ride in a few places because it was against the law to walk down the interstate but it was epic would love to do it again sometime it would be awesome to get a group of people together and meet up in Florida and walk to California as a team

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