Trans Zion National Park Thru Hike–Part One: Gear Breakdown

What would you take if you were backpacking five days traversing the Zion National Park? We are lucky to have a complete gear breakdown by Kevin Anderson who is right now testing the Lucky Sheep Rewilder Sleeping Bag as part of his gear set, as he grabs one more adventure in before he becomes a dad and may not have another trip like this for a few years.

By Kevin Anderson

Overview It’s only a couple days until blast off, so here’s a run-down of the trip. We’re traveling to Utah and taking 5 days to do the Trans Zion trek among the canyons in Zion National Park. The trail will be about 50 miles long and we’ll be there in early April.

Gear Over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of backpacking gear and what I’ve realized is that you hardly need any of it. For this trip I’m focusing on a concept I coined as “Woolite” instead of Ultralight. For someone as obsessed with wool as me, it is well worth the weight tradeoff to include natural fibers whenever possible. I have a breakdown with weights below, but I wanted to highlight some of the things that might be unique to my pack.

The ReWilder Wool Sleeping Bag by Lucky Sheep

This puppy weighs in at 86.4 ounces. Why would I do that? Because it’s a WOOL sleeping bag and it’s wonderful, soft, warm, and lovely. I had a chance to test it prior to the trip and you can’t imagine how nice it is. Even in 20 degree weather, which is what they state the bag will go to, the cold was definitely manageable. And with Zion projected to be in the mid 30s, it should be perfect for this trip.


Nalgene Wide Mouth Foldable Bottles

I know it seems weird to mention such a small item like this, but I don’t often see these called out in people’s packs. They are incredibly versatile because they hold 1.5 liters of water, but they also fold down to almost nothing if you don’t need to carry that much. I will be taking 3 of them with me for a total weight of 5.5 ounces.

O2 Rainwear Original Hooded Jacket and 3F UL Rain Kilt

These are something I read about on a website that discussed what people have been bringing with them to through-hike the PCT. I am excited about these two pieces of gear because not only do they pack down to essentially nothing, but they are also extremely lightweight weighing in at 6.5 and 2.3 ounces respectively. Plus who wouldn’t want to wear a kilt! Apparently the material is quite breathable.

The Rest Of The Wool

For five days I’m going to be hiking and sleeping in only wool. I have a puffy jacket just in case, but I think i’ll be just fine with what I have. It’s hard to describe but there is something soothing about being out in nature and cocooning yourself in soft warm wool. The great thing is you can wear a full set of it on a hot summer day and be totally comfortable because of the temperature regulation of the natural fibers.

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