The Appalachian Trail stretches a total of 2,189 miles. It typically takes people between five and seven months to complete. Scott Jurek however, completed it in just over 46 days and 8 hours. It is the fastest known time or FKT for that trail — a prestigious title among the running, hiking and outdoor community. Jurek documented all his thoughts about running in a new book, North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail.
To finish the trail that quickly, he crushed about 50 miles every single day. Naturally, we were curious what gear held up and allowed him to complete the trail. We caught up with Jurek to hear what gear he still reaches for, and works for challenges like the AT.
Scott Jurek’s Gear
Brooks Pure Grit
“I’m getting to run in the model that’s a bit ahead, but I’ve been really keen on those lately. When you really get into trail running, you have a few types of shoes, depending on the terrain and distance. I do a bit of running in the Cascadia and the Mazama, too.”
Ultimate Direction Signature SJ Vest
“The hydration vest has pockets and options to store everything you need for an outing for an hour or two or all day long. I have a vest specifically for someone who does a multi-day trip with a GPS beacon, a waterproof pocket for phone, a rain fly and other safety features.”
CLIF Bloks Energy Chews
“I do a mix of things, typical sports food, like CLIF bars, Shots and Blocs, but I also incorporate real food. A bean and rice burrito, hummus wraps, things that are portable like diced sweet potatoes, sprinkled with salt, or a rice ball onigiri — savory food is really important. I developed organic energy food with CLIF that includes pizza margherita.
“I listen to music from time to time, but it depends on the mood I’m in. On the AT, I would play music on a speaker and turn it down or off when others come along. I like to hear rattlesnakes or bears. For earbuds, I’ve been experimenting with a few different ones like the Apple AirPods, Jaybirds and Beats.”
Brooks Sherpa Short
“Simplicity is always best. I love the fact that you need a pair of shoes and then you can go. I’m keen on having some pockets in shorts, and am a big fan of the Sherpa short and Cascadia short by Brooks. Trail runners were actually the first to use pockets in shorts and it’s progressed into the road running scene.”
Brooks LSD Jacket
“I use a lot of editions of this jacket. It’s a really neat piece, designed as part of the Cascadia collection, where it’s part poncho, part shell and fully waterproof with ventilation on the sides.”
Light Liner Glove
“I don’t always use them, but I like having them to stay warm because if I don’t have control of my fingertips, I can’t get food open.”