The Great Divide Trail, assuming you hike it at a sensible time of the year, isn’t particularly cold. There is moisture but a lot of the equipment you should bring is similar to what you’d take on the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail. For research sake, you might want to google a few Pacific Crest Trail 2019 gear lists as they’re easier to find due to the popularity of the hike compared to the Great Divide Trail.
Unfortunately, when I attempted this hike, there was a lot of trail closures and I also think I tried it too early in the year. I spent a while in Canada and had a lovely time, but if I try do this hike again, I think I would consider trousers (pants) over shorts; the mosquito bites were quite horrendous, haha.
As per my list, I recommend a warm sleeping bag and a synthetic jacket, as opposed to the Pacific Crest Trail. However, surveys have said people on the Pacific Crest Trail wish they had a warmer sleeping bag, so perhaps a -15c is suitable for both. I did not have problems with my shoes hiking on strange terrain but I did get some negative comments about them.
I added a lot of camera equipment to this list because I wanted a backup plan and this allowed me to take a lot of photographs in the event the hike wasn’t what I imagined it to be. This is a choice I’m glad I made, additionally, although I didn’t do this hike, I still hiked a LOT in Canada with all of this equipment. It was not too heavy to manage, but if you aren’t much of a photographer, save yourself some weight and obviously don’t bring all of this. If you remove a lot of the camera equipment from my list, you’ll see the base weight is really quite reasonable–much less than the average hiker. Additionally, if you haven’t done much long distance hiking before (I hadn’t), don’t panic over internet comments about weight. There are tons of successful hikers that bring large backpacks and a heavy weight. I’m not saying you should do this but rather, if you are 4 pounds over what’s recommended online, it’s probably not going to be as big of a deal as forums would have you believe.
The Great Divide Trail is particularly scenic so I chose to sacrifice a few items to bring camera equipment. My inflatable pillow popped, and I didn’t use as much battery power as I was expecting. However, I soon bought a gas stove.
The ZPacks Sleeping bag is incredible, and I’m glad I bought the Altaplex tent in a stronger material. I suggest that, I also suggest getting the Altaplex and not the Duplex or Solaplex. The Altaplex has room to fit your stuff, as it’s essentially a 1.5 man tent. It only requires one hiking pole though, and there is a GOOD CHANCE you will snap a hiking pole. The Duplex relies on two hiking poles, and if you are hiking alone, this is a massive potential risk, in my opinion.
I went through about 10+ pairs of shoes and I finally settled on a pair of Salomons only to discover they were painful. This cost me a bit of money because I didn’t get much on ebay, even though I hadn’t worn them much. I’d probably make the same mistake again if I was planning, because no matter how much you plan, sometimes you simply need to use the equipment.
Interestingly, the kestrel titanium knife was one of my favourite buys. With the carbon fibre I added, it’s around 15 grams. It’s expensive, but it’s incredibly sharp and useful. I suggest using another knife to open packages and keeping this one for eating. It’s got a reasonable sized handle, adn you can cut cheese with it fine.
The Montbell Storm Cruiser was arguably too thick for me. I’m glad of the durability, but I discovered I get incredibly hot when hiking. To the point that I could walk through a 1.5 deep, 5c, river for a while (I got lost and did something dumb) and not feel too cold. This wasn’t shock or something either, I just got really hot hiking. The Montbell Torrent Flier is only slightly lighter but you might want to consider it. If you get it, get the European/American model, as they have pit zips; don’t get the japanese model. The japanese model of pants/trousers are good though! I love mine.
I don’t like the feel of merino wool, although it’s highly rated…
There’s no real equivalent to ZPacks either and it’s a nightmare when the GBP is so low in value. I think us English people just have to suck it up :).