Oct 27, 2007 at 9:21 pm #1225592
I'm looking at leaving Springer between 15FEB08 – 15MAR08. I'm figuring on low temps in the teens, and I'll be shipping the insulating stuff home when it warms up. The list is available under my profile, or you can download the MS Word list with working links
All weights listed are manufacturer suggested. The weights highlighted green are over estimated by me for size (I really need a scale). The items highlighted in yellow have yet to be purchased so there's still time for you to save me from making a mistake.
I'm thinking heavily about swapping the Go-Lite Cave for a MLD Grace Solo. The knife might be a little heavy, but I like the brand, and it's lighter than the small Western one I have now (ain't bought it yet though).
I've got mixed feelings on the cell, but it will come in handy keeping in touch, and is multi-use (GPS, Camera, Flashlight, mp3, uhh, phone). It'll remain a rock in the bottom of my pack unless I'm in town.
The mp3 player is still up in the air, I usually don't listen to music when I'm hiking, but I haven't hiked for months at a time before.
Not sure about the camera, Looking at either the Cannon PowerShot SX100 IS, or the A720 IS.
The only things I haven't listed on the list are a capaline base layer (might be able to ditch the bag liner with them), a guidebook, traditional style journaling materials, and something water resistant to wear over the glove liners (maybe stuff sacks?).
Any and all comments are appreciated.Oct 27, 2007 at 9:50 pm #1406888
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
If you are taking a mp3 player, consider bringing along some audiobooks to listen to. My favorite hiking mp3 player is the Iriver T10 2gb player — uses one AA battery (lithium). If you burn your audiobooks at 32kbs mono mp3 format, you can hold about 10 books in 1.8gb leaving 200mb for your best music to hear when you run out of audiobooks.Oct 27, 2007 at 10:46 pm #1406889
Thanks for the tip. The FM tuner could be handy for catching local weather updates too, and at 1.7 oz, I don't think it'll break the camel's (my) back.Oct 28, 2007 at 12:22 am #1406891
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Theo, I just got done posting my very detailed gear list, with links, etc. See my profile for the pdf.Oct 28, 2007 at 5:10 am #1406900
You're going to be very uncomfortable at the very least in the Arc Specialist. Generally a 20 degree bag/quilt/whatever is recommended but Mountain Crossings in Blairsville (Neel's Gap) recommended I get a 10 degree for that early. Get a 20 if you only want to carry one. I have a 35 I plan on swapping to in VA.Oct 28, 2007 at 6:28 am #1406902
You just might be right. The quilt is overstuffed, and I'd like to avoid having to swap bags. I'm waiting on temps to drop up here so I can do some short overnighters and safely test the limits of it. Plan B is to bring along the 2.4 lb slumberjack I've got and use it in conjunction with the quilt. That was a good catch, any other suggestions?Oct 28, 2007 at 6:54 am #1406904
Hi – My biggest concern would be with the warmth of your sleeping system. I was on the AT in GA over Thanksgiving a few years back and it was rain and sleet during the day and very low 20's during the night and windy. I had an much warmer Arc Alpinist and it was barely adequate combined with a warm synthetic parka. When you start using the quilt be sure and try out the different configurations since the way you set up the quilt can have a real impact on how warm it is. With a quilt in cold weather you also need really bomber headgear, you may even want to consider something like the Cocoon Balaclava. I would also go with something warmer than the Micro Puff vest during Feb and Mar. If you get hit with cold weather you want something better for around camp or you'll end up in your sleeping bag most of the time to stay warm. You might want to post your gearlist over on whiteblaze, the AT specific knowledge over there is incredible.Oct 28, 2007 at 8:57 am #1406923
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
How did you get your GG Vapor Trail to 24oz? Mine is 32oz.
I assume you are using the Prolite 3 short for comfort and are taking the blue pad for insulation during the colder sections of the trip? That would work. I use an insulated air mattress bcause I find it a simpler or more comfortable system for me (it's been down to 20F for me, lower when wearing warmer clothing).
If you run warm , then arc specialist would most likely work. Especially with the micro puff vest to give you a boast on especially cold night. I use the lighter Ghost and thermwrap vest in the temps you are likely to experience and have been fine… but I run warm. I would recommend the Arc Alpinist to most people. One thing you are missing though is a mega warm hat. If it's 10F a generic beanie + quilt will not be enough. You will want a down or high loft synthetic hat or balaclava.
On the shelter front… on the AT I would want some sort of bug protection. The DWR bivy would work. There are lots of people here who like the combination of a DWR bivy + flat tarp. I did a bivy + poncho/tarp for a couple of years but I didn't like it. I like more protected space than a small tarp provided and found the bivy more confining than I liked. My solution was to use the combination of a gg spinnshelter 11oz and an A16 bug bivy 6oz. The A16 is free standing so it's easy to use in AT shelters.
Cooking looks fine. I have made different choices, but yous are quite reasonable if you are comfortable with the performance of the Vargo stove. It's not as efficient as some of the other alcohol stoves on the market… but it is more durable.
If it was me, I would do aqua mira for water treatment because I have had bad luck with filters clogging at the wrong time and cause chemicals are smaller / lighter.
In misc I would add a watch.
OR sun hat is fine… I prefer Sunday Afternoon hats.
For camera, any of the Canon IXUS models are decent if you are optimizing for small and light. Decent quality pictures in a small and light package. The only downside is that it uses rechargable batteries. I would most likely choice the A720IS even though it's larger / heavier for a true hike cause you can swap the batteires. If you really care about quality images there is nothing in a light package. The best options would be a rangefinder that takes a Leica lens mount or one of the more compact DSLR with appropriate lens.
For hygiene I would add a comb if you hair goes wild
For first aid I would add a small single use superglue
I sometimes have problems with chaffing. On an extended trip I would want to address this as soon as there were any symptoms so I would bring a small contain with udder balm
Didn't see any lip balm
TP / wipes / whatever. Not the most environmentally friendly, but on extended trips without frequent showers I like using cutdown moist baby wipes.
clothing looks reasonable. If it was me I wouldn't take the polartec bids but I would bring a mid-weight base top and maybe tights during the coldest sections of the hike. I might also consider booties and insulation mittens for sleeping depends depending on how warm my quilt was an the low temps I was expecting.Oct 28, 2007 at 12:15 pm #1406936
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
The FM mp3 player is a cool idea. If you want to get even lighter, I have the Creative Zen Nano- no fm but really light, 1 AAA (I use lithium), has a usable screen and sound recorder, and 1GB of storage. It's pretty cool at 1.3 oz WITH battery:Oct 29, 2007 at 4:19 am #1407001
I'm also planning an AT thru in 08 as well but I'm still working on refining my gear list, mostly the shelter. I tried a GG SpinnTwinn tarp + Simblissity Bug Tent on my last trip and it didn't work for me. It took a little time to get the pitch just right, especially with the ground makeup where I was, and it experienced severe condensation on both the tarp and the bug tent. I just bought a Black Diamond Mega Light to try but I'll probably wind up going with a light double wall tent.
Here's my gear list with both options:Oct 29, 2007 at 6:38 am #1407007
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
The comments above did a good job of pointing out some things so I'll keep quiet in terms of that. I'll keep my suggestions simple.
Rain pants, gaiters or the bibs. Use the tarp/bivy combo (and shelters where available) instead of the tent. I carried a Canon Powershot on my thruhike and got many, many, many compliments on my photos. I opted to leave my mp3 player at home and was more than content without it.
– SamOct 30, 2007 at 12:36 am #1407128
Wow, thanks for all the responses.
Mark, it is 32 oz. Dunno what I was thinking. Re: the comb, I haven't used one since '95. Figured this trip would be the perfect opportunity to let my hair grow out, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to adjust to actually having hair long enough to require one. The only reason for the blue pad is extra insulation. Forgot about the watch, my Eco-Drive started acting funny a couple of months ago and have been using the cell phone since, good catch. I read about some "just add water" baby wipe thingies, most likely wouldn't hurt. Never been in the habit of using lip balm except after it's needed, not sure if that's a cycle I'll be able to break.
I can't wait for the temps to drop so I can fine tune some of this stuff. I'm usually an extremely hot sleeper. Domesticated animals curl up next to me for warmth (I kid you not). Part of my sleep system is depending upon the bag liner (meant to highlight that yellow, haven't bought it yet), the bivy (with reflectex bottom), and the polartec bib. The bib is hands down the greatest piece of cold weather gear I've ever owned, my only concern is that it might work too well during active conditions. I'm comfortable working in it the 20's wearing it, carhart's, a cotton polo, ball cap, and a slicker. 30 and above, I just use the slicker and the ball cap. If it doesn't work out after some test runs, I'll probably give the midweight top a shot.
I never wear rain pants unless it's in the low 30's and it's raining buckets, but I was thinking that a superlite pair would stand the limited use, and give me something to wear while washing my regular clothes. Would a ponchotarp provide enough coverage to keep me out of jail, and make a lightweight replacement for the regular tarp?
I've never used gaiters (even doing SAR in the snow), but I have yet to go hiking in trail runners either. I generally wear work boots (at work and not at work). I figured the gaiters would be necessary to keep out debris, are they a YMMV type thing?
Oh, when the ptarmigan bivy becomes available, I'm planning on getting the bug netting option. I just figure out about a month ago that the dreaded "black flies" are the same thing as horse flies. No bueno. I can tolerate mosquitos, but the idea of swarms of horseflies is testing my resolve regarding hiring a Terminex guy as a sherpa.
Thanks for all the tips, and if anything else comes to mind, please let me know.
-TedOct 31, 2007 at 4:05 pm #1407353
I too am planning a 2008 thru hike but probably wont start till mid March, and I am also trying to get my gear list finished and tweaked.
A fellow friend of mine who thru hiked in 2002 told me about this trick…any comments welcome on it.
He said bring rain pants and rain shirt but dont wear them in the rain…go ahead and walk in the rain…and just put them on when you stop at the shelter for the night or for lunch to keep you warm as your clothes dry. Anyone else try this? Plus the rain gear comes in handy when it is laundry day…for clothes to change into.
Well hope to see you on the trail. God bless.
Jeremiah from Indiana.Nov 3, 2007 at 11:11 am #1407678
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
If your cell phone has a built-in MP3 player, why bring a separate one? True, a dedicated MP3 might be a little easier to use, and might have DRM to allow use of commercial audiobooks, but if you're not certain you would want those things, try without first, have someone mail the mp3 player later if you really want it.
Rainpants — I agree with the last poster that suggested not wearing them when walking. If it's really cold and windy maybe, but I at least end up as wet with them on as I would with them off (from sweat).Dec 19, 2007 at 10:34 am #1413066
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
Before you head for Maine, I suggest you download this CD to your MP3:
The blackfly ain't no horse fly, their average length is 1/16 ", but if you are not in Maine in June, they will not be an issue. They will be done pollinating the blueberry bushes for you. Up here,in New England, udder balm is known as "bag balm".
Instead of long pants, use Golite Reed rain pants. One day in the Smokies something was stinging my ankle are unmercifully , similar to , but not the sting of nettles. I could not stop itching, until I put on my log pants, ie. rain pants. I use rain pants 4 seasons and usually as a layer for warmth.
Carry the lightest shelter you are comfortable with. AT shelters become a major convenience both for weather protection and comaraderie.
Condensation problems are way over-rated. Most nights will be condensation free. Does one really get soaked from condensation? When is it more than just a minor inconvenience in the woods along the AT?
Check the thread under MYOG at this site for some info on using quilts.Dec 24, 2007 at 1:03 pm #1413643
@tnchrisLocale: DC Metro
As for your hand pro in the rain: you can use stuff sacks, ziplocs, or make do without, but Mountain Laurel Designs makes an eVent mitt to keep your hands dry weighing in at less than 1 oz (they claim; I can't verify). Andrew Skurka thought they were worth dragging along his (almost) 7k mile Great Western Loop this year…
Might not be too shab to have around for the 2100 mi trek ;)
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