Jeffrey H. Ryan Hiker Author Photographer Speaker Podcaster Director

The folks at TheTrek have just published their annual Thru-Hiker Survey of Sleeping Bags and Pads (a.k.a best gear to take on an Appalachian Trail thru-hike).

Whether you’re gearing up for a long-distance hike, a section hike or just want to upgrade your worn out gear, this is a great place to start. Like the majority of hikers that took the survey, I prefer carrying a down-filled sleeping bag over a synthetic-filled bag. I have also taken to carrying a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir pad. It’s a lot lighter than older iterations of pads. The only downside I can find is that they are significantly noisier — when I roll over, it sounds like I am sleeping on a bag of potato chips. That said, I usually don’t toss and turn too much after a long day on the trail.

I hope you find the survey results helpful in creating or updating your gear stash for your 2019 hiking adventures on the Appalachian Trail and beyond.

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