These are the gear items that thru-hikers couldn’t live without this year, along with top picks from our thru-hiker survey. We’ve included everything from classics that don’t need an update, to longtime favorites that keep getting better, to brand new goods.
Named for one of the most hiker-friendly towns anywhere along the Appalachian Trail, the Damascus is the go-to sock for serious section- and through-hikers. With our most advanced features and a fine-tuned blend of cushioning and ventilation, this lightweight crew offers superior comfort and moisture management thanks to super-fine 19.5-micron merino wool that naturally resists odor-causing bacterial buildup. Targeted full-density padding provides blister protection during big-mile trips, while US-only materials and construction guarantee hard-wearing durability.