AT Thru-Hiker

AT Thru-Hiker is Dressed for Success

At American Outdoor Guide Boundless, we’re continuing to follow the progress of the AT thru-hiker dubbed Number 2 Pencil as he continues his quest to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail.

About 3,000 hikers attempt to complete the 2,193-mile trail each year from Georgia to Maine, but only about one in four succeed.

What Clothes Does an AT Thru-Hiker Pack?

Number 2 Pencil has posted 45 videos to date on his YouTube channel, The Heard Hiker. In Episode 25, he shows his viewers all the clothing selections he’s decided to pack along.

Through the years, clothing for such an outdoor adventure has become more technically advanced and more highly specialized. Clothing chosen must be light in weight because every ounce you carry takes serious consideration. It must be warm, especially in the spring months when late season storms can pile up the snow in the high mountains and temperatures can dip into the single digits. Wind chill must be taken into account as well.

But as you hike with a 30-pound or heavier pack, you will sweat, especially on the ever-present uphill climbs. So, clothing must also wick moisture from your body, dry quickly, and because your next shower and laundry might be a week away, it helps if your clothing is odor-resistant too. You may have to hike for several consecutive days in the rain as well.

Some Clothing is Difficult to Acquire

Some of the specialized clothing that’s very popular among those on the trail can also be very hard to get and you get instant trail cred if you can get it. The Melanzana hoodie and beanie Number 2 Pencil wears come from a small company in Leadville, Colorado. All Melanzan apparel is highly sought-after by hikers. They have a website, but you can’t order online. The only way to get it is to go to the company’s factory, which also houses its only store location. And you need an appointment to get in.

Into Specifics: What This AT Thru-Hiker Wears

Here’s a partial list of some of Number 2 Pencil’s clothing list:

Exofficio underwear

Injinji Toesocks

Darn Tough socks

Patagonia Capilene long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts

REI 2-in-1 lined shorts

Melanzana hoodie and beanie

Outdoor Research sun hoodie

Brooks Running ballcap

Altra Olympus hiking shoes with gaiters

Enlightened Equipment rain jacket

Buff neck gaiter

REI down puffy jacket with hood

Number 2 Pencil Shares His Journey

Do you want more details? Click on the video link below to see The Heard Hiker’s Episode 25 about his clothing picks. And be sure to check AmericanOutdoor.Guide for more great outdoor adventures and how-to resources.

(Lead photo: Jonathan Mauer /


Editor’s Note: If you’re an AT thru-hiker, what do you carry in your backpack when it comes to food?  Click here to know more.

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