A few people have asked for a "packing list" of sorts of the gear I have. Then, this past weekend, my cousin and aunt seemed amazed by how much I fit into my pack! I've said before that I'm no backpacking expert and the following isn't intended to endorse any particular product, but instead show you all that I have. All in all, I'm about 28 lbs. without food and water, for a total weight of ~37 lbs. when full. A little heavier than I wanted but not too bad considering. Sorry that this post is a list but it seemed the best way to do it. This list will also change as summer comes and will (thankfully) get lighter!
Backpack: I have the Osprey Exos 48. I love my pack! I chose it for a few reasons: the hip straps are heavily padded (and I've had bad chaffing in the past with other packs there) and the back has suspension that both cools you and eases the weight on your spine. It's one of the more popular packs I've seen out here, though many people opt for the 58 liter to have a little more space.
Tent: I carry the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2. It's a 2 person tent which makes it a little heavier, but it's nice because I'm hoping a few people will join me later on in the trail. When I'm hiking alone, it's spacious enough to let me have my pack in my tent which is nice on cold nights so nothing freezes.
Sleeping Pad: I'm actually borrowing a nicer sleeping pad than the one I own from my uncle Rich (thanks again!). It's a Thermarest which means it inflates for extra comfort, but his is lighter and just all around better than mine.
Sleeping Bag: Mountain Hardware Lamina 0 zero degree sleeping bag. It's a little heavy and, since it's been mild weather, has been on the warm side, but when it snowed 6 inches I was pretty happy I had this.
Poles: These are probably my favorite item and have saved me from falling countless times. They're also how I got my trail name! I have the Black Diamond Ergo Cork poles. I like cork because the handles mold to your hands over time and make them even more comfortable to use.
For the rest of my gear, I'm just going to list things out and may add a brief note here and there.
Clothing: (no cotton!) Hiking boots (though many people use trail running shoes), Camp shoes (Crocs), 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of underwear, Long johns, 1 zip off pants/shorts, 1 belt (key for when you lose weight), 1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve, 1 fleece, 1 micro puff jacket, UVA cap, Fleece hat, Light gloves and heavy gloves, Watch YakTraks (mini spikes for when in snow), Rain jacket, and Rain pants.
Cooking: Stove, Pot, Fuel, Lighter, Fork/Spoon, Swiss Army knife, Mug, Microfiber towel, Soap, Aquamira (chemical water purification with no taste!), 3 liter water bladder, and 1 Nalgene water bottle.
Toiletries: Glasses, Croakies, Extra contacts (just in case), Tooth brush, Tooth paste, Floss, Med kit (key items are Moleskin, Advil, and an ace bandage but I carry a lot more), and Sunscreen.
Miscellaneous: Headlamp, 2 bandanas, Trail guide, SPOT GPS, Whistle, Compass, ID, health insurance, & money, Phone charger, Camera, Journal & pen, Tons of caribiners (clip everything in!), Nylon rope (for hanging a bear bag), Waterproof compression sacks, and Ziplock bags.
Gear I've dumped: Book, Cards, Map, and a Fleece.
It sounds like a lot, but I promise that it's pretty manageable!