Aug 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm #1278515
So I am new to this whole BPL craze and from what I originally had on my AT thru-hike list I have already shed 7 pounds off my original list, take a look at this list so far and see how I am doing. . .http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=4235
Edit: wasnt too sure on the sleeping bag, since price really isnt a factor and I dont have a budget any lighter and better suggestions would be greatAug 26, 2011 at 6:12 am #1773045
A couple of questions that I have and others may have as well: Are you going to be doing a north bound or south bound hike? When is your estimated start date? Is this hypothetical gear, or do you own it already? And by no budget, you mean no limit? (I'm jealous)
When and where you start could change what gear you need, especially for clothing and insulation.
As for the sleeping bag, you could go lighter by switching to a quilt, but it seems like what you have picked is pretty good.
As for the Kilo, are you absolutely set on a tent? Switching to a tarp of some sort, even something as spacious as a MLD Duomid or Zpacks' new Hexamid Solo Plus could save you some weight. If you are taking the Kilo, possibly leaving the footprint behind could save you half a pound.
Switch the nalgenes to two 1q powerade bottles or a couple of platypus bottles at about 1oz a piece.
If you don't already own the Zor full length, switching to the short Zor will cut a good deal off your weight. You can place your pack under your legs, or carry a small foam pad, like a GG thinlight, for the colder months that will only cost a couple of oz.
A last thing I notice is that you can ditch the water filter altogether and use drops or tablets. If you still want to carry a filter, I think the new sawyer squeeze filters may be able to drop weight, and you can just use the platypus bottle to carry and filter the water in.
I'd be interested in other parts of your list, like kitchen set, personal items and clothes as well. I hope this all helps.Aug 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm #1773144
Heading NOBO and plan on leaving for a First week of march date end of second week the latest. I plan on start shopping and ordering this gear the weekend so its a pretty set list, also should I bring along a sleeping bag liner for the first parts of the trip? I am pretty set on the tent and would like to have the luxury of the longer padAug 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm #1773152
THIS ALL DEPENDS ON WHEN AND WHERE YOU START, but for the summer this is what i would say.
With the ULA pack you will find that Nalgenes aren't the easiest to get in and out of the pockets. Plus they are heavy.
I suggest 2 SmartWater bottles. The shape works awesome.
I'm not sure what all is in your cooking set. But you might see if there is a way to not bring everything.
Also, do you have a spoon/spork
You may look at an alcohol stove
Ditch the Water filter, use bleach or aqua mira. That way you can fill up on the go, because the drops will fit in your hip belt pockets.
It would be nice to know what you have already bought, or are planning on getting.
Your pack seems to big. I suggest the ULA Circuit (its what i used)
I wouldn't use a pillow, i just stuff my fleece into its sleeve, and use that. works great
You still need: (with my suggestions in parenthicies)
Pack Liner=I suggest a trash compacter bag, and don't bring a pack cover
shoes: go with trail runners and don't bring camp shoes
Socks: Two pairs, I like wrightsock, built in liners. you need 2 pairs, second doubles as gloves.
Bear Bag System (Z packs Cuben food bag, small Rock bag, 50 ft. of ironware from lawson)
Fire Starter (big mini, only 1 no need to be redundant on the AT, you will meet tons of people to help out)
Hiking shirt (smartwool/icebreaker t shirt)
Hiking shorts/pants (patagonia ultra shorts)
long underwear pants (smartwool long underwear)
long underwear top (smart wool long underwear)
Fleece Jacket or Down Jacket (to many options. Go with Down or nano puff)
Rain Gear. (Rain pants double as wind/cold weather gear, if you only have shorts…I suggest marmot marmot precip (cheap, and you likely won't hike in them anyways. Rain Jacket–Keep it light, and breathable)
Guide Book (get the one with elevation profiles, its my favorite)
First aid kit: basically full of vitamin I and foot care stuff. keep it under 3 to 4 ounces if you can. Don't forget you can resupply on the AT every week if you need to.
stuff sacks: I like 1 small cuban/sil-nylon dry bag to keep my phone/Rx meds/notebook in, otherwise freely stuff everything into the pack.
smartphone. helps find food in towns or order emergency supplies to the next town with the internet.
Where to buy stuff:
Sierratradingpost.com subscribe to their emails. If you watch them smart wool can get quite cheap. Cheap rain gear options too.
hope this helped a bitAug 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm #1773154
few more comments
Your sleeping bag combined with the other clothes you have should be great. I wouldn't pick up a liner. I would hike the first 3 days and buy one in Niels gap if you are still cold at night.
I would go with a neoair regular or large for sleeping pad
Your tent looks cool, should work well. Keep in mind, after a while, you will probably only sleep in shelters, and the tent becomes kind of dead weight 6 out of 7 nights. Over the first 300 miles i only camped in my tent 3 times if i remember right.
get the smaller pack. i.e. ULA circuit, I think its still a little bigger than you need.Aug 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm #1773155
If it were me, I would consider a lighter pack. A lot of people like that pack but its 3 full pounds.
I would go with a tarp too. You have well over 3 pounds in your tent/footprint setup too. Some people just don't like the idea of no tent, but I find it more comfortable than a heavy tent and its a lot lighter. Zpacks can make you a light shelter that's a little more tent-like.
There is nothing in there for loads of small things like toothbrush, knife, light, bandana, hat, deet, sunscreen, etc., etc. There is no insulation, rain protection, etc in there either. These will add up quickly, so if you want to go near the weight you have posted, you'll need to carry lighter gear.Aug 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm #1773163
I just noticed you said budget is not an issue. If that's the case, you should be carrying cuben gear in my opinion. Zpacks and others make lots of great cuben gear that I and others highly recommend. Its very light but a bit more expensive. In my experience, its pretty durable. You can repair it with duct tape if you have a tear. For example, you can carry a 10 ounce fully enclosed shelter. You can get an 8 ounce pack that is really nice(I have it and really like it for loads up to 20 lbs). You can get rain gear at about 3 ounces. If budget is not an issue, check out the cuben options.Aug 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm #1773195
Thanks for all the info since I will be staying in all weekend due to major hurricane hitting us in CT, I will be researching really in depth more and begin to order some things. The last piece of the list I plan on buying will probably be clothes (due to better things might be out in 4-5 months and I am training so will probably lose weight) and the pack figuring I will see what gear I have then decide what will be the lightest/smallest/most comfortable option for the amount I will be carrying. The tent, stove, pad, pillow, kitchen set, footprint, and sleeping bag are pretty much set in stone items. Will look more into the water purifying/filtering end and etc.Aug 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm #1773466
Going with the 34oz capacity platypuses that come in at just 0.9 oz each.Aug 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm #1773489
Pilate de GuerreMember
@deguerreLocale: SE, USA
Water Treatment: You mentioned that you're doing an early NOBO hike leaving in March. If you stay ahead of the crowd and all their waste, you may not need water treatment if you pick good sources.
If you decide to treat, consider AquaMira or chlorine dioxide tablets. Either is much lighter weight than a filter or a Steripen and you can resupply them in a bounce box or your food resupply box if you're going the food mailing route.
You could even do a hybrid approach whereby you carry a small amount of tabs or drops and treat only if you think the water may be sketchy and otherwise don't treat.
Sleep insulation: Many cottage manufacturers can make you a 20F quilt suited to your sleep style for less than or equal to the cost in dollars of the WM bag and about 9oz. lighter. This is a good place to drop weight for the same amount of money. If money really isn't an obstacle, go crazy with it and get a quilt custom made with breathable .33 cuben fiber and eider down.
Shelter: I would ditch that tent and go for a poncho tarp. Shelter is a very personal choice just like water treatment, but there are some empirical advantages to a poncho tarp on the AT especially.
This will double as your rain gear and shelter. Keep in mind you will have the option to sleep in a hut every night. Even if you prefer to not sleep in the huts, if you just slept in them on heavy rain nights you'd do well with a poncho tarp. Tents tend to turn into dead weight or will be mailed home. Even if not used as shelter ever/often, the poncho will still be used often enough as rain gear.
As another poster mentioned already, if you really do want an enclosed shelter, go with a cuben fiber Hexamid from ZPacks.
At the very least ditch the ground clothe or go with a polycryo ground clothe.
Portage: If money really isn't an obstacle, pick up one of the new Exo backpacks. If you ditch the Kilo, go with a torso length inflatable, and switch to a quilt, volume shouldn't be a problem and the Exo offers many options for temporarily hanging stuff on the outside until you eat some of the volume after a resupply.
It wouldn't be needed if you go with the Exo, but consider using a fumigation bag as a pack liner. These have the advantage of being both lighter weight and odor proof by design versus a trash compactor bag or other pack liner/cover.
You don't have a first aid/personal kit listed. This is important and for an AT thru should include doxycycline in my opinion. If you're bit by a deer tick or you start coming down with lyme symptoms it can be important to start treatment immediately. You will need to get this prescribed to you by a physician before you head out.Aug 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm #1773503
I agree Pilate de Guerre on a lot of things
Diffinitly consider a tarp, especially since you will hardly ever use it.
However, i wouldn't ditch the ground cloth for either option, because it is really nice to have something that you can spread out inside of the shelters, to keep your gear from getting as dirty.
I also carried a full weeks worth of doxycycline when i hiked the AT. I carried it over other antibiotics because it works with Ehrlichiosis and Lyme Disease. Highly suggested.
I also carried 10 tablets of Lortab (10 mg hydrocodone)
Finally, I carried a dosage of metronidazole which can be used to treat Giardia. I recommend this, if you decide not to treat your water.Aug 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm #1773527
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
>"The tent, stove, pad, pillow, kitchen set, footprint, and sleeping bag are pretty much set in stone items."
First, it'll be years (if ever) before I get a chance at a big thru-hike. So congrats on being able to do this.
If that part of your kit is really set in stone, and given everything you haven't listed yet, I think you're going to wind up with a base weight significantly over 15#, which means a total pack weight that could hit 30# or more. Nothing wrong with that (I don't have to carry it), but it's pretty easy to go a lot lighter, as others here have said.
I assume you have a plan for some other sleeping bag once summer hits–the closest I've come to an AT thru-hike was hiking a section in the Blue Ridge a dozen years ago. About all I remember was my pack being way too heavy, my knees killing me, and the weather being ridiculously hot and humid. I have a WM Ultralite and love the bag, but wouldn't use it if I expected night temps 40* or higher.
My understanding is to complete a thru-hike, you pretty much have to do some days in the twenty-mile range. I've done 16-20 miles over pretty rugged terrain, and felt pretty good at the end of the day, but that was carrying total pack weight under 15#, and a base weight of 8-9#. Honestly don't know if I could do 20 mile days with a 30# pack. I *know* I don't ever want to.Aug 29, 2011 at 7:40 am #1773855
"The tent, stove, pad, pillow, kitchen set, footprint, and sleeping bag are pretty much set in stone items."
That statement makes it pretty hard for anyone to give you some helpful feedback.
Please know – The tent, pad and kitchen set you've listed are all TOO heavy, and you'll regret lugging that un-needed extra weight on such a long trip.
The foot print is absolutely unnecessary, and easily nixed.
The water filter is too heavy, and can easily be replaced by using aqua-mira in drops with a separate MIX bottle.
There is absolutely no reason to carry a 48 ounce backpack (Uhhg!) when you'll do fine with something 1/3 that weight will be plenty.
The sleeping bag is awesome – keep that!
Your 'list" is already OVER 11 pounds, and it isn't really a true "list" at all. There are lots essential items you haven't noted, like clothes.
I suggest creating a full and exacting list of EVERY item you'll need (and nixing items you might want). This list will make feedback on this forum much more helpful to you overall goal. Gear-Grams is a great tool.Aug 29, 2011 at 9:59 am #1773900
Sorry for not being so open minded for suggestions however this is my first thru-hike and I want comfort and ease of mind in selecting the gear I have so far. The pad I chose I went for weight and comfort if there are better suggestions I am open up to it (note I want a full length pad). The tent I will not replace as that's definite. I have already upgraded my stove and cookware. I plan on a end2end thru-hiker alcohol stove along with a IMUSA mug and my water bottles I have switched to platypus 34 oz bottles. The spot where I seem to be having trouble of cutting off weight is my filter, I am choosing that route because I honestly want the best filter I can because I DO NOT want to get sick while out hiking. I suppose if I read more up on the pros of chemical treatment I can go that route but also the idea of drinking discolored but treated water comes into play I can get over this I'm sure by prefiltering with a cloth or some sort I'm sure. After clarifying this I feel like I can get better responses.Aug 29, 2011 at 10:14 am #1773907
you really should get Mikes book and check out his videos,I gave you a bunch of links on your other thread including Mikes site,I don't know if you have had a chance to look at them?
http://www.amazon.com/Ultralight-Backpackin-Tips-Inexpensive-Lightweight/dp/0762763841/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314638326&sr=1-1Aug 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm #1773954
Here's my gear list on GEAR GRAMS. This would be a good template (or starting point) for you as a way to define all the items you might want. A complete list of every item is essential.
Also, don't feel that a filter is "required" – people have been kicking long before the invention of the camping filter. The water all along the AT is running completely clear and not "brown" at all. Aqua Mira has been used by westerners in India with excellent results. Very reliable and VERY light.
I have spent YEARS (literally) of my life in the mountains, and I've rarely only use a full length pad, and I have NEVER used a filter.Aug 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm #1773956
Thats where I am being misconceived I suppose that a fliter IS REQUIRED for a thru hike of the AT, I will opt for aquamira, as for the pad I guess I can go with the shorter zor and put my pack under my feet if need be.Aug 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm #1773963
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
It might help to let us know what your experiences have been while hiking that led you to choose a fully-enclosed tent plus footprint, full-length pad, pump filter, etc. I know in my case, things that seemed like a big deal when I was just thinking about them (using a shaped tarp for shelter rather than a tent, for example) turned out to be no big deal when I actually tried them.
For me, "comfort" is 90% about how I feel on the trail, not in camp. That means carrying the lightest pack possible, while still having all the essentials. As it happens, I'm still as comfortable in camp as ever, just far less exhausted and a lot further from the trailhead. "Ease of mind" is knowing that I have everything I need, nothing I don't, and that I have the knowledge to select and use the right gear for the right conditions, rather than carry a bunch of extra over-built "just-in-case" stuff.
There's a lot of extremely experienced, extremely knowledgable people on these forums (Mike C!, to name just one). Their advice has helped me a lot, even though I'd been backpacking for many years before I found this site.Aug 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm #1773969
Joseph – these may help…
Here are some video tutorial essays:
This is a promotional site for my book titled ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKIN' TIPS.Aug 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm #1774000
Ill try to answer each section best I can:
Tent: I have been an avid hunter my whole life and camped out in the woods many nights and I personally just prefer a fully enclosed (zippered tent) over a tarp and although I do not use one on the cheap tent I have now I wanted to take a footprint because I do not want to ruin the floor of a tent im investing some 370-400 dollars in I want it to last me.
Full length pad: I have never actually used a pad camping on my short trips but I came to the conclusion of a full length due to the fact that I am going to be sleeping outside a long while finishing the AT and would like the most comfort I can get at the lightest expense.
Pump filter: I have read horror stories of people getting sick on the trail from Giardia, Cryptosporidium, etc. and I do not really want to get sick on the trail.Aug 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm #1774087
Sorry to keep this post running on and on but I refined it a little more and shedded about 2 pounds and added a few more things.Aug 29, 2011 at 8:49 pm #1774148
I'm 6' and a full length pad isn't any more comfortable for me than a small pad. Reason why is that your hips and shoulders are where you want padding, not your feet.
Concerning the filter, many people drink straight from the streams on their entire thru hike and don't get sick. Take tablets if you are worried, there isn't anything in the water on the AT that aqua mira shouldn't get. You're in the North American wilderness, not in Nigeria.Aug 30, 2011 at 9:25 am #1774286
Nix the foot print. It's an un-needed gimmic. If you get a tiny hole in the bottom of your tent (highly unlikely) you can fix it with a tiny dot of tape.
I have camped in all sorts of tents all over north america and neither me, nor any of my students has EVER used a footprint. In 17 years of teaching, I've only seen a few tiny dings in the tent floor, and those took about 30 seconds to fix using the repair kit I would have with or without a footprint.
I am over six feet tall and in the summer i just use an inflatable torso pad. And a VERY thin foam pad under my legs. These are glued together (as noted in my book). This is ALL that I need, and I sleep beautifully.
And, as far as feeling the "need" for a full tent, you should re-think that. Pretty much NOBODY does the whole AT using a full tent. QUESTION: have you ever slept outside under the stars? I sleep so wonderfully out there. I feel confined in a tent, and I only use one when I mountaineer in Alaska or in northern Canada. I strongly encourage you to get out there and do some test trips with a tarp for rain, and NOTHING at all if the weather is nice!Sep 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm #1775192
Pad: if your really interested in a full pad, consider the Peak Elite Ac, a regular length pad is around 12 ounces i think. And they are well insulated.
Filter: use aqua mira. filters are heavy and a pain. MSR makes a filter that weighs 6 or 7 ounces, but it seems to break easily so i would avoid it.
Tent: have you considered a tarp tent… the contrail weighs 24 ounces. http://www.tarptent.com/contrail.html and will give you the feeling of an enclosed shelter without the weight. A tarp would still be lighter, but that would give you a good compromise.Sep 8, 2011 at 9:56 am #1777343
I agree that a fully enclosed tent is nice, but if you are going to haul one from Georgia to Maine you should try to at least get a light one. There are a few companies that make them in the 16oz range and are pretty affordable. I'm starting to use a tarp more and more and I really do like them better. If I was doing the AT I would be sleeping in shelters most of the time.
Have fun on your hike regardless of what gear you choose!
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