The only strong recommendation I’ll make here is a drop-down deck, like a low-rider. It’s more susceptible to scrapes along the bottom, but it saves your knees from having to bend as much. For the entirety of the ECG trip, I rode a Globe Geminon 41”. And now I ride a customized Subsonic Century 36” that’s a little smaller and a little more purpose-built. I’ve only heard good things about the Longboard Larry Pusher, but never had the opportunity to try one. And if you prefer a drop-through deck, or something more suited to pushing, I’m not going to stop you.
As far as trucks and wheels, I’ve been happy with 180mm 50° Paris trucks and Orangatang Durian 75mm 86a wheels. I’ve only used Bones Reds bearings the entirety of my skateboarding life and never wanted anything else.
The caveat here is all my trips have happened during the summer, in especially hot (and often humid) areas. The MSR Hubba NX ultralight single-person tent is fantastic. It’s very light, quick to set up, and quick to pack away. I slept on an REI Stratus sleeping pad and in a Cocoon CoolMax Travel Sheet. The sleeping pad is fine; it’s certainly on the bulky side, but I don’t know if they get much smaller. The travel sheet ended up being too thin to function on its own and really should only serve as a bag liner. I’ll look into actual sheets or lightweight camping blankets next time. A tiny inflatable pillow is worth the pack space, in my opinion.
I’m keeping an eye on RhinoWolf as they work on the second revision of their all-in-one tent that includes a sleeping pad and blanket, in a package that rolls up into about the size of my tent on its own. They’re a crowdfunded company with questionable (as in the good ones might have been paid for) reviews of their first version. It would be hard to pass on the space and weight savings if the new one ends up being of good quality. I’d probably lash it to the outside of my backpack and use all the interior volume on clothes and supplies.
I can get obsessive about backpacks. I want something more like a casual daypack, and none of the additional hardware or baggage that comes with a proper framed backpacking pack. For my main trip, the Keen Newport DP II served admirably. I fit everything except the tent inside the pack itself, and wedged the tent into its outer webbing. Its zipper hardware corroded though, and some straps frayed away. For some day trips, I used a very small and simple Platypus Tokul 5L, which in no way would work for anything longer. Now I have an REI Trail Hydro which promises to be similar if not better than the Keen. The only drawback is the hydration bladder expands into the interior rather than a separate area behind it, so its capacity will be limited. Another reason to hold out hope for the RhinoWolf?
As far as basic outer clothing goes, a nice wicking t-shirt and shorts will do. I was fine with two of each and four pairs of underwear. Make sure the shorts have pockets! Mine did not and I had to use the pockets in my raincoat for all post-travel casual walking around.
Heavy-duty Keen Newport H2 sandals as effective skate shoes were a strange recommendation that paid off in spades. My feet were never hot or sweaty, and comfortable for almost the whole time. While the soles held out from North Carolina to Key West, they went straight into the garbage at the end. I did get a couple blisters from where the straps rubbed against my feet, but I would still choose these all over again.
Wear a helmet, any helmet. I swapped the Triple 8 Sweatsaver for the Bern Allston in an attempt for more ventilation, but the reality is you will always be sweaty. Now I’m eager to try out the Park & Diamond collapsible helmet which will be ideal for traveling.
Whatever iPhone is recent enough is pretty much my everything device: taking photos, listening to podcasts, tracking progress, writing and publishing daily recaps, even reading ebooks at night. I plan routes and link to them later via MapMyFitness, and I have been writing recaps in Day One and Medium, though I may switch to taking notes and publishing them on my personal website.
Shout out to Castro, one of my favorite overall apps, for keeping me entertained when it’s safe to listen. And to that point, I find the wired EarPods to be perfect: they don’t block out road noise, I certainly don’t worry about wrecking them, and the sound quality is more than adequate for podcasts.
Definitely pack a first aid kit with bandages, alcohol wipes, Neosporin and Cortisone, and plenty of Ibuprofen. Sector 9’s carabiner skate tool is amazingly light while still effective, if you can find it in stock anywhere.