Jul 13, 2009 at 2:09 am #1237712
If you were doing a thru-hike in 2010 and planned to cover the whole trail, Im interested to hear what everyone would put on their gear list, how much each item would weigh, and what would be your total weight excluding food and water.Jul 13, 2009 at 10:23 am #1513591
What month will you start? Are you hiking north or south?
A thru hike generally starts or ends in a cold weather season with warm weather hiking in the middle. For the colder seasons you need a warmer bag, a layer of long underwear, and probably an insulated outer wear for use at the end of the day. So, for your warm weather (summer)start with two non-cotton t-shirts, and two pair of underpants, one pair to wear hiking, the other to wear in camp. One long sleeve shirt ( long underwaer collared front zip model for example). To be worn when a slight chill is in the air. One pair of hiking shorts (Options: one pair long pants, no shorts -or- Converta pants -or- shorts and lightweight rain pants to use whenever you might wear long pants). Lightweight wool sweater. Waterproof/breathable jacket, ie. your rain gear top.
Cap or bandana. Two pair low cut socks, one pair crew length socks to be worn only in camp and kept dry. Camp shoes (eg. Crocs, tevas, flip flops) Liner gloves and water proof outer mitten shell (hands can get cold in the wet)
tarp or hammock
single blade pocket knife
50' parachute cord (for clothes line, food bag hanging, emergency lashing)
first aid mostly for foot care, ie blisters
stove and fuel
one pot and spork
toilet kit assundries including TP
water bottle (I like a 3 liter platypus) and filter or water treatment of choice
maps and guides
personal items: Journal, camera, music, trekking poles
(trekking poles are a must if you use a tarp)
Average weight before food and water 12-14 lbs.
NOTE: This weight can vary by a pound or more depending on the weight of your empty pack. The other "heavy" items are pad, sleeping bag and shelter.
Two sites with forums devoted to the AT are whiteblaze.net, trailplace.com
Both sell excellent AT trail guides.Jul 13, 2009 at 3:57 pm #1513659
Its been a long time since I have done a long hike on the AT, but some of the questions that might determine a pack load would be..
Generally where are you with outdoor skill level wise ?
If at a high level you can go much lighter.
What season/s or do you intend to hike. Do it in one shot I assume ?? like from spring to fall. Its a long haul.
Summer can be very light. As above, If its spring, summer fall or cold-warm-cold, do you have a way to swap out some gear in the spring/summer/fall to lighten your load.
How do you prefer to cook ? Bag, pot, wood, gas stove, alcohol etc.
Do you prefer a tent ? I do anywhere where it can be wet for days at a time, but I dont want a coffin and thats heavier.
How will you deal with rain and damp weather days at a time, clothes, socks, shoes, raingear etc.
Can you deal with a down bag on the AT. I used a down bag for years and when polarguard came along I found that I prefered synthetic in that kind of environment. That said materials are different now, lighter, DWR etc, and at least synthetic is lighter than it used to be.
I think you will need a bear can up north, that you may not need in the south.
I plan to possibly do an AT hike also in 2010 sometime so I am interested in other peoples list. I can post mine but its sort of complicated with summer and fall/spring swapouts.Jul 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm #1513665
@jshorttLocale: North Carolina
if you want to see some examples of what AT hikers are currently using take a look at http://www.trailjournals.com. if you click "currently hiking" you will see a number of folks have included gear lists. Although not always light weight many of the gear lists do include a lot of light weight examples.
for light weight extreme example take a look at http://broble.wordpress.com/the-gear/
for general discussions on light weight gear and techniques for thru-hiking Ray Jardine's book Trail Life provides a lot of info.Jul 13, 2009 at 5:03 pm #1513671
In regards to Brian's gear list above, he's a special person. Unless you have a good bit of UL experience I would look at his list as something to aspire to and not something to duplicate.Jul 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm #1513710
Bear canisters are not necessary on the AT. Bears that bother campsites are mostly in the Smokies, but shelters all have cables and pulleys for getting your food hung high. The state along the AT with the most bears is New Jersey, but they have not been a problem at shelters. Mice are the most common pests, so getting food off the ground keeps them away. Shelters have systems for food hanging.
Shelters appear every 13 miles or so along the AT, so you will not need your own cover most nights unless you want to. A heay unused tent will soon be sent home. A journey along the AT is basically a series of 5 day hikes, ie. unless you want to, it is usually not necessary to carry more than a five day supply of food. Finding a place to dry out or wash clothes is not difficult, so no need to carry extra clothes. Do not worry too much about your "wilderness skills", you get pratice fast and soon develop your own pace and routine. Going light is not difficult. Just do not carry extra stuff. Keep it simple.
For example, when solo I use an esbit stove or a wood stove. I only eat food that requires boiling 2-3 cups of water to eat. Granola for breakfast, trailfood snacks during the day. If its raining consecutive days, put cold wet clothes back on in the morning. If you put dry clothes on to be comfortable, they will soon be wet and you will now have two sets of wet stuff and nothing dry to put on when you decide to camp. Keep track of how much fuel you use and snacks, too. Try not to carry extra fuel or food. I prefer down bags or quilt. They are lighter and pack smaller than other fills. I have gotten parts of my down bag wet, but never soaked. I do like synthetic winter jackets, however. Experiment with tarps. They are more spaciuos and lighter than tents. There are more options now for tents 3lbs or less if you must. But try using a tarp.Jul 13, 2009 at 8:28 pm #1513716
We actually use the term "chipmunk bagging" instead of "bear bagging"Jul 13, 2009 at 9:21 pm #1513724
I thought I read where upstate somewhere bear cans were either required or they were considering it ??Jul 14, 2009 at 6:15 am #1513745
Jolly Green GiantParticipant
Cans aren't required.Jul 14, 2009 at 8:10 am #1513765
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I have hiked a lot in the Smokies over the past few years and have done the AT through there 3 times. My last time was just two weeks ago and at Silers Bald and Mt. Collins Shelters we had chipmunks/squirrels get into our food while hung on the cables. I have never had that happen in the smokies before or on the ~700 miles of the AT I have done in the south, but apparently the chipmunks are getting smarter in the park.Jul 14, 2009 at 8:11 am #1513766
Troy, Bear canisters are required in the Adirondacks but that is way north of the AT. On the other hand, there have been serious bear problems fairly close to the AT in NY (30 miles away??), so careful bear hanging would be a good idea from PA north.Jul 14, 2009 at 8:19 am #1513768
You can rent these bear resistant canisters. They have a larger capacity and weigh slightly less than others.Jul 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm #1513882
well, im under 400 miles from completing it for 2009 at the moment, but on medical break (some things in my belly arent working right, grrr). I've seen a lot of light packs, light things in heavy packs and some interesting ideas. The lightest basepack ive seen was around 6 lbs, but lacked real shelter- emergency blanket and a dwr bivy. I've seen plenty of frameless packs, but the only person w/out a hipbelt wanted one apparently (rayway pack). The packs go through a lot, so I cant recommend anything made from silnylon, spinnaker, or have much 70D or less fabric on them unless you have a spare in your bounce box. Here is what I have mainly used so far, weights, and good UL alternatives ive seen in ()
Pack: ULA Conduit, 19oz (Jam2, GG Virga, Vapor Trail)
Shelter: 5×9 tarp, meteor bivy 16oz (tarptents, antigravity gear tarptents)
Sleeping Bag: 45* quilt 12oz, 25* topbag 24oz (rayway quilt, western mountaineering, marmot bags of various temps)
Pad- UL violation: BA ins aircore mummy 21oz (various CCF, neoair, prolite)
Cooking: alcohol stove 1L pot (Ti pots, alc stoves mostly)
Rain Gear: Marmot Mica 6.5oz, dri ducks pants- 4.5 oz (nothing works for anyone after it rains for a month straight)
Umbrella, 6 oz or so- most people that start with them ditch them, but its great for the summer when you dont want to wear your sauna, er, rain coat
Insulation clothes: montbell synth parka 14 oz (montbell 6oz down jacket)
shoes: near unanimous thumbs up for montrail hardrocks from '07, '08. 09's hated by all i saw in them. Vasque velocity had quality issues by several hikers.
DARN TOUGH SOCKS!
a few other recomendations:
merino wool to keep your smell down
camp shoes if it rains for over 2 weeks straight to avoid boot rot
pack cover + pack liner + roll top stuff sacks
chemical water treatment
tiny med kit
your gear will probably change throughout the hike
my current basepack is around 10 lbs. could easily be lighter, but luxuries keep you sane when you wander around for months.Jul 16, 2009 at 1:46 am #1514231
I forgot where I posted this question and have been looking for it for quite sometime now. I learned that there is a history of out post in the "My Account" section.
So here we go. I plan on leaving for Georgia around May 15th. Its not exactly when I would like to leave though. If it were my choice I would pick towards the begining of April. However, I will not graduate from college until the beginning of May. I aspire to do the trail in 100 days, but realistically think I will do it in 120 days. We shall see. That leaves me backpacking from May 15th until about September 15th, which may be a bummer because I am guessing it is going to be chilling once I get towards Maine at the end of my trip. I hope not, but I think there will be a couple of cold days. That is why I really wanted to leave in April because by leaving then I could make it back by the middle of August. Grrr…darn school. This leads me to wonder whether or not I should start in Maine. However, I really really really would like to start in Georgia because the GAME direction is the most common traveled and the way I had always imagined myself going.
Here is what I have so far in a nutshell, keep in mind that two people will be carry this stuff. So only half the load will actually be carried by me.
– MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent 3lbs 3ozs (Debating on the footprint, because I want my investment to last. On a side note, we will always sleep in the tent rather than in the shelters. I know the girlfriend won't be too keen about mice jumping all over her at night, Im not sure how I would feel about it either come to think of it lol.)
– 2 Large Therm-a-Rest Pillows 12oz each (Consider this my luxury item. It is definitely something I want for my neck at body after a long days hike.)
– 2 Therm-a-Rest Prolite 4 Medium Mattresses 1lb 8ozs each (These have not been purchased yet, so perhaps I can downgrade to the short/small ones and even the ones that are slightly thinner. I am still iffy on this one.)
– 1 MSR Miniworks Filter 15ozs (I feel most comfortable using this filter because it guarentees to eliminate all unwanted elements from you water. The last thing I want is wormy parasites coming out my rectum.)
– 1 Granite Gear Short Backpack 3lbs
– 1 Granite Gear Vapor Trail Short Backpack 1lb 15ozs
SnowPeak GigaPower Starter Kit 7.5oz (Comes with .7 liter Titanium Trek 700 Mug and Spork. I am debating on whether or not it would be a good idea to pick up an Mug and spork for my girlfriend at the cost of an additon 4.25oz. Otherwise we would have to share our food out of the single .7 liter mug. Any opinions.)
– 2 Pezel Tikka XP Headlamps 3.4ozs each when counting the weight of the batteries too.
– Seattle Sports Gear foldable washing bucket 4.5ozs (We thought we could maybe use this to wash our clothes in.
– Mini 7 Minute Pocket Shower 5.25oz (Ok so maybe I do not need this, but I thought it was pretty nifty.)
– Clothesline (Don't know how much that will weight yet.)
– Journal and Maps *Don't know weight off hand yet*
– Pocket Knife *Don't know weight off hand yet*
– Tolietries *Don't know weight off hand yet*
– First Aid Supplies *Don't know weight off hand yet*
– Compact Camera *Don't know weight off hand yet*
– 2 sets of Trekking Poles *Don't know weight off hand yet*
– SlumberJack Super Guide Sleeping Bag 2.9ozs (Rated at 30 degree tempatures and above.) *Would invest in a down bag, but girlfriend is allergic to it*
– SlumberJack Tour Lite 2.4ozs (Rated at 40 degree tempatures.) *Would invest in a down bag, but girlfriend is allergic to it*
(I already have these sleeping bags from a long time ago and they have only been used one. While I wish I had ones that were only 2lbs flat, I am unfortunately pretty much stuck with these unless you guys find it extremely necessary to change them out. i am sure you will understand where I am coming from though.
– Sleeping Bag Liners *Don't know weight off hand yet*
***I am clueless as to what clothes to bring and about how much they will weigh.
Ummmm yea and thats basically all i can think of at the moment. So lets calculate what I know the weight of so far and leave everything that I don't know the weight of out of the picture. So right now we have a total of 318ozs which equals roughly 19.88lbs. We'll just say 20lbs to make it easy. 20lbs divided by two people equals 10lbs for each of us without clothes, fuel, food, water, and miscellanous items. Darn thats not as good as I would have liked it to have been :/ I do not want either of out packs to go over 25lbs. However, 20lbs would have been even more prefered, although maybe I am being unrealistic. Any suggestions are more than welcomed. In fact, I look forward to them.
Troy if you are seriously planning on doing the trail in 2010, we could use an extra person to come along. Besides my girlfriend and I, there is another friend of mine that wants to go. He's a tough cookie and could keep up with any pace and would not mind if you scattered behind or zoomed forward. We'll discuss this one later though if you are interested. Obviously you would have to be introduced before hand or discuss matters over the phone.
And by the way, this offer is extended to anyone else that would like to hike the trail with us in 2010. The more the merrier. We can all start and the same time and go at our own pace. I think that would be pretty cool actually. well thats a day dream for another day.Jul 16, 2009 at 6:05 am #1514243
@johnnybgood4Locale: New Hampshire
FYI – mid Sept. in Maine is just about the most enjoyable time to be out hiking that part of the trail. The daytime temps will likely be in the mid 60's to low 70's and the nightime lows will be somewhere between 30 and the mid 40's. And all the bugs will be gone and the river crossings should be fairly tame.
I hiked the 100-mile (non)Wilderness last year in mid Sept and it was a great time to do it.Jul 16, 2009 at 6:43 am #1514248
@johnnybgood4Locale: New Hampshire
>>>- MSR Carbon Reflex 2 Tent 3lbs 3ozs (Debating on the footprint, because I want my investment to last. On a side note, we will always sleep in the tent rather than in the shelters. I know the girlfriend won't be too keen about mice jumping all over her at night, Im not sure how I would feel about it either come to think of it lol.)<<<
Soooo many thru hikers think they will never stay in a shelter then end up in them the majority of the time…! :-)
How much does the footprint weigh and cost? If it's more than 2.5 ounces go to Lowe's and purchase a large sheet of polycryo plastic for about $6 and cut yourself a footprint. (Polycryo is the plastic stuff they use to put over windows in the winter to stop drafts. It's very light and very puncture resistant. I've heard stories of a single groundsheet lasting for an entire PCT thru.)
>>>- 2 Large Therm-a-Rest Pillows 12oz each (Consider this my luxury item. It is definitely something I want for my neck at body after a long days hike.)<<<
You can find lighter options. If I bring a pillow, I use the BPL dual chamber things but those might be a pain on a long trip. Before I dropped to around a 6 pound base, I always had extra clothes and other things to use for a pillow so I never bothered bringing one.
>>>- 2 Therm-a-Rest Prolite 4 Medium Mattresses 1lb 8ozs each (These have not been purchased yet, so perhaps I can downgrade to the short/small ones and even the ones that are slightly thinner. I am still iffy on this one.)<<<
Unless you're sure you need this kind of mattress, try the lighter options first. A prolite 3 extra-short (9 ounces) or an extended-torso size CCF pad (6 ounces) is plenty for me (and a lot of other people).
>>>- 1 MSR Miniworks Filter 15ozs (I feel most comfortable using this filter because it guarentees to eliminate all unwanted elements from you water. The last thing I want is wormy parasites coming out my rectum.)<<<
I think on a long trip where you don't want to constantly be using chemicals a filter is fine and worth the weight. Some people will tell you to drop it though.
>>>SnowPeak GigaPower Starter Kit 7.5oz (Comes with .7 liter Titanium Trek 700 Mug and Spork. I am debating on whether or not it would be a good idea to pick up an Mug and spork for my girlfriend at the cost of an additon 4.25oz. Otherwise we would have to share our food out of the single .7 liter mug. Any opinions.)<<<
Bring the extra mug and spork. You have way better options for reducing weight than this.
>>>- Mini 7 Minute Pocket Shower 5.25oz (Ok so maybe I do not need this, but I thought it was pretty nifty.)<<<
Forget this – you're never going to use it on the AT. The only time you will be hanging around long enough to use it you will be on a zero day in town somewhere where you can grab a shower.
>>>- Seattle Sports Gear foldable washing bucket 4.5ozs (We thought we could maybe use this to wash our clothes in.<<<
Drop this too. You will be washing your clothes in town. Otherwise, use a plastic bag.
>>>- Journal and Maps *Don't know weight off hand yet*<<<
Journal is fine. Personally, I wouldn't bring maps for the AT. I would just bring copied pages from the trail guide that list all the interesctions, water, shelters, etc. with the milage. The maps that come with the AT guides suck anyway and are useless for navigating off the AT itself, and trying to purchase all the topo's would be very expensive and heavy. Just my opinion. Maybe get some more opinions regarding the maps over at whiteblaze.
>>>***I am clueless as to what clothes to bring and about how much they will weigh.<<<
Besides what you wear to hike in, I would suggest:
rain jacket (6 to 9 ounces)
rain skirt (1 to 3 ounces)
insulated pullover (6 to 14 ounces)
long johns (5 to 7 ounces)
liner gloves (1 ounce)
warm hat (1.5 ounce)
mosquito net (.5 ounce)
sleep socks (less than 2 ounces)
extra hiking socks (less than 2 ounces. you will wear one pair and hike in the other, then switch back and forth.)
Edit: maybe also bring a light set of dedicated clothes to throw on in town when your hiking clothes are in the wash. Probably consulst at Whiteblaze what other hikers are doing for this.Jul 16, 2009 at 6:57 am #1514253
Just my own personal experience, but weight seemed to trump comfort and convenience as I got further into my thru a few years ago. A few things on your list look familiar as items I sent home or exchanged during my hike.
– Pillow: sent home immediately and just used my insulation
– Miniworks filter: exchanged for aqua mira
– Journal: sent home, was too tired by days end to keep up with it
– Water bucket: sent home, never used it
– Pocket knife: sent home, used a simple blade
– Sleeping bag liner: sent home, unnecessary for me
Other opinions. Portable shower is not needed, just wipe off with a bandana. The clothesline could be ditched as well. You can hang clothes at shelters or use a tree/bush. Obviously YMMV with all of these suggestions but just providing some real world feedback. Enjoy your trip.Jul 16, 2009 at 11:14 am #1514309
I do want to do the hike, but will probably start much earlier. I like winter hiking anyway.
Its been a long time since I have done a long hike. Now I am in my 50s and have an iffy knee, so we will see how far I make it. I also plan to start in Georgia and I might end up breaking the hike into several legs.
All this depends on if I move, work (work is dead as I am a self employed architect)and a few other things.
As far as your list, its along haul, and I would trim it down as much as possible. Try to hit around 20-24# per person with food for 5 days and 2 qts of H20.
Its definately doable. Believe me after about a week of lugging a heavier pack you will be sending a bunch of stuff back home.
I will post a link to my list later.
Tent sounds okay, I am a tent sleeper too.
Skip the pillows
Get neoair regulars, lighter and more comfy at 14 oz
If you want to lose a few more oz get the smaller one, or a prorest 09 at 11 oz. You might need a 4 oz blue pad if you end up in late fall.
Get a lighter gravity feed filter and use MSR sweetwater.
With a dipper, filter, hose, and clorine you should be at about 4-5 oz. Clorine will kill everything but cysts. those you want to filter out.
Backpack 1 sounds okay but is a bit heavy for me. I have an old Kelty pack that I still like a lot. It was light at the time I bought it in the 70s, but now it stays in the closet.
I used to think I was doing good if I could keep my pack under 45#. Of course everything was heavier back then.
If you reduce the weight and size of your load you can use a smaller lighter pack around the 16-32 oz range.
Smaller pack #2 could be a ULA conduit at 17 oz if you reduce the stuff to a minimum.
Stove setup could be lighter too. Gigapower, alcohol stove etc.
Get a pot big enough to boil the H20 for 2 dinners, and cook in a freezer bag/IE food storage bag. My cook kit including an beer can alcohol/esbit or wood stove with a spork, pot, etc weighs about 4-5 oz depending on what I have in it. Lately I have been considering a giga power for faster cooking and less fiddling, but have not decided yet.
I also carry one of those plastic microwave soup containers for a cup. Weighs .5 oz.
Skip the bucket/shower or find one that is multiuse like this one.
You could actually make somethng similar out of cuben that would weigh almost nothing, IE combo water bucket, shower, filter bag. I found some PEX fittings and figured out how to get them to work with plastic sheet, so I am putting something together for myself. You could make it out of sheet plastic too.
Skip the clothesline and get a 50' of triptease. That should be in your bag anyway
Pocket knife, get a swiss army knife with a saw and sissors. 3.4 oz, but in the pocket. I have owned them for over 30 years. Use it for lots of things from cutting sewing thread, wine bottles, splinters, toothpick cutting wood for fires. Great tool.
First Aid, emer pack, etc I will list in my gear list. Its almost complete
Do your bags zip together ?? If not I would recommened buying ones that do.
30dF sounds okay if you can boost it with clothes, 40 is light in the late fall at altitude.
If they dont zip together, I would suggest a couple of montbell #3 30dF bags that zip together. A bit heavy at 2# 8oz (regular) but not that expensive from prolite, $130?.
Get 2 sets of BPL UL insul hoody and pants and zip the 30dF bags together. Should be good for 0-5dF. 2 MB #2 25dF bags would be warmer since they have a collar but weigh more. Montbell SS bags are great. Stretchy and all. I can cross my legs in mine and sit up.
I think the liner is up to you, if you want to carry the weight. I dont like them personally. I would rather sleep in silk or merino wool long johns and those you can wear under clothes. Cant do that with a liner.
Clothes, as always synthetic of some sort.
You will need a spare setup, extra socks etc etc.Jul 16, 2009 at 11:19 pm #1514476
Here is my gear list. This is fairly complete and pretty bare bones compared to what I used to haul around.
Feel free to copy it, use it or whatever.
With food, 2 qts of H20 and fuel for 5 days it works out to about 20# for summer, and 23# for winter.
For 2 days its roughly 15# and 18#.
Of course some of the things on the list would be worn in the colder season depending. The Fall Winter Spring part of the list is not an artic type of list by any means. More like 10-15dF. That said I am debating on a #1 Montbell bag, good for 15dF and that should take me down to 0dF with some layers, but its heavier too.
I could probably drop 2# off the list pretty easy by ditching the tent etc, but this works for me.Jul 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm #1514729
Drop me a line. I am also planning on a 2010 start. ursushorribilis1atlivedotcom.Jul 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm #1514736
Thanks for your spreadsheet Troy, I am going to look over it once I get a chance and get back to you with any questions I have.
ursushorribilis I send you a quick email, but have to run off to bed. Let me know if you got it. From what I got it was ursushorribilis1 at live dotcom. I hope you were correct when you put the "1" at the end of your name otherwise you probably will not be getting that email anytime soon =)
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