Written by Burgeon Athlete, Lyla Harrod

As I head out on my 3,000 mile Divide to Crest Route from the southern terminus of the CDT to the northern terminus of the PCT, I've been honing in my gear so I have exactly what I need. The route will go through many variations of desert and forest and will require gear that will be suitable for both climates.

Here's a rundown of what I'm bringing:

Pack - Deuter Aircontact Ultra 35L

Tent - ZPacks Plex Solo

Quilt - Katabatic Gear Flex 22

Sleep Pad - Gossamer Gear ⅛ inch Thinlight and half of a Nemo Switchback

Rain jacket- Montbell

Midlayer - Burgeon Outdoor Highlander Hoodie 

Base layer - Burgeon Outdoor Sunseeker Hoodie

Shorts - Patagonia Baggies

Underwear - Smartwool merino wool

Socks - Smartwool

Trekking Pole - One Leki Lady Legacy 125

Sunglasses - Goodr “Amelia Earhart Ghosted Me”

GPS - Garmin inReach Mini

Headlamp - Black Diamond

Water filter- Sawyer Squeeze

Water bottles - 1L Smart Water Bottles

Battery Packs - Nitecore NB10000 

Black nail polish

Patchouli oil

Friendship bracelet string

The big changes to my kit for this hike are:

  • I'm using a 35L Deuter pack instead of a 45L like I used last year, lightening my load as I don't need colder weather clothing and gear like I did on the CDT.
  • I got a new Katabatic down quilt. The 22 degree temperature rating is good for me as a cold sleeper, but isn't so warm that I can't sleep comfortably on warm desert nights as well.
  • I'm using a sun hoodie this year. The Burgeon Outdoor Sunseeker is super lightweight and fast drying, provides SPF 30 sun protection and has a hood that's comfortable enough to wear all day while keeping your face from direct sun. 
  • I always have my Highlander Hoodie mid-layer when I thru-hike, but this year I'm rocking the limited edition Sugar Highlander! 🤘😎
  • I started carrying half of a Nemo Switchback when I found it in a hikerbox somewhere on the CDT and it's become important to my sleep system. Before that I was only using the Thinlite, which admittedly offers almost no cushioning, which sometimes impacted my quality of sleep when camping in rocky areas. having the Switchback for my upper body keep me from waking up with sore shoulders and hips.

My baseweight is around 12 pounds which isn't especially light compared to other thru-hikes I've done in the past, but I attribute the added weight to bring items that provide more bodily and personal comfort, like the sleeping pad, nail polish and patchouli oil and friendship bracelet string. Since the route I'm taking on is so challenging and remote, I find I can stay properly motivated and having fun when I'm taking care of myself, rather than scrapping every “unnecessary for survival” gram I can at every turn, since this journey will be a marathon, not a sprint.

If you have questions, or want to follow my Divide to Crest Route project, follow me on Instagram @seltzerskelter and on YouTube @SugarHikes726 for updates, and feel free to send me a message!

About the Author:

Lyla “Sugar” Harrod is a Burgeon Outdoor athlete and is the first transgender woman to complete the Triple Crown of long distance hiking. In the last three years she has racked up over 10,000 miles on trail and set Fastest Known Times including the women’s unsupported FKT of NH’s 48 4,000 footers, a route referred to as “The Direttissima”.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.