Apr 12, 2007 at 9:25 am #1222779
In a couple of weeks I'm setting out for a NOBO thru hike of the AT. My goal for completing the trail is 4 months (123 days).
I uploaded my current gear list to my profile, so please just click on my name at the left and then click on "AT 2007 NOBO".
Any feedback you guys are willing to give is much appreciated as I am sure I will be tweaking the list until I leave!
Ah, also I will be carrying section maps but this is not listed…
(the Comet)Apr 12, 2007 at 11:05 am #1385732
will i be able to track your hike at all
trailjournels????……i have similar timeline aspirations for my 2008 thru-hike
gear list looks good IMO
jeffApr 12, 2007 at 11:21 am #1385738
Yes, my wife is putting together a website to follow the hike. Pictures, very basic journal, probably podcasts… It's under construction now – when it goes live I'll be sure to post the address.
Will you be keeping a journal of your hike? Be careful, the planning for your hike will consume you!
DaveApr 16, 2007 at 8:17 pm #1386229
What are your plans for food and replenishments along the way?Apr 16, 2007 at 8:34 pm #1386233
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
David- Your list looks good and your trip looks even better! I'm so excited for you!
I'd also love to hear about your details, goals, logistics, etc. I've always dreamed of a Thru hike of the AT…
The one thing I see on your list is your pound of trekking poles. For long distances like this, nothing will keep you fresher than a pair of lightweight carbon fiber fixed length poles. Super light, stiffer than your Lekis, and with better shock absorbtion. Check out the Gossamer Gear Lightrek to save 10 oz in your hands for just $101. Another good option- the stiffer Titanium Goat poles (new adjustable ones available).
Have a great trip!!!!
DougApr 17, 2007 at 8:03 am #1386268
Best of luck on your hike! I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't completely jealous. I'm looking forward to following your progress on your website.Apr 17, 2007 at 3:36 pm #1386315
Thank you for your comments and questions. I'm getting more excited every day as Springer approaches. Please bear with my rambling…
Evan wrote "What are your plans for food and replenishments along the way?"
Primarily I will get food from the nearby trail towns. The Thru-hikers handbook as well as Baltimore Jack's article on resupply on whiteblaze.net are excellent resources for letting hikers know what to expect from trail towns in terms of supplies.
Staples include dehydrated things like instant potatoes, Lipton meals, etc. as well as pepperoni (one of my trail favorites), pringles, trail mix, and whatever bars I can find (by which I mean balance, cliff, etc. not the booze bars!).
When I know I will need to resupply in a town that does not have a great variety of groceries, my wife will send me a mail drop with food to get me to the next town. She will also mail me things every few weeks that I like and can't count on getting, like emergen-c packets for drinks and other "heavy" treats I can eat before getting back on the trail.
Doug wrote "The one thing I see on your list is your pound of trekking poles. For long distances like this, nothing will keep you fresher than a pair of lightweight carbon fiber fixed length poles…"
I have toyed with the idea of picking up the GG poles (I like their hand grips better than the new Titanium Goat adjustables). I just read Doug's "Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview". Very good reading…
Pole question…I typically set my poles at 128cm. Am I better off buying a fixed length of 130cm or 125cm, or does it really matter? I am leaning towards the 130cm so I can pitch the Gatewood Cape a little higher…
Thanks again for your posts guys,
DaveApr 17, 2007 at 6:03 pm #1386346
How cold can your rayway go?Apr 17, 2007 at 7:41 pm #1386365
The Ray-Way quilt is said to be rated to 40 degrees. That stated, I have pushed it much lower than that by wearing all of my clothes and using a lightweight bivy.
The coldest I have gone with my quilt and wearing extra clothing, bivy, etc. is mid 20's, and I think right around 20 degrees is the coldest I would comfortably go.
Does anyone out there know if I should be expecting anything drastically colder than this on the AT?
Earlier this year some friends and I went snowshoeing for an overnight and it got down to 5 degrees in a shelter. I basically used everything I have for my AT trip PLUS a blue foam pad and second ray-way quilt over the bivy. It was cold, but I survived no worse for the wear.
DaveApr 17, 2007 at 9:46 pm #1386385
So this set up you, given a few mods here and there, would suffice as a 3 season AT gear list?
Btw dont mean to pester but im just getting down to UL packing and trying to put together a 3-season set up, similar to your list.Apr 17, 2007 at 10:30 pm #1386387
No problem! Once the decision was made to thru the AT it gave me a great excuse to spend more time researching gear and to spend some money tweaking my list (thus dropping weight and increasing efficiency). As a result my base weight is half of what it was a year ago.
The gear list I posted here is what I'll leave for Springer with, barring last second changes. I will post my website address here in the next couple of weeks once it goes live. Among the updates on the site will be any gear changes I make along the way, and what prompted the changes.
Comfort, especially warmth when sleeping, varies person to person. That said, if I find that I need additional warmth I might send home for my expedition weight capilene zip long sleeve. Wearing that over my lightweight zip, and under my windshirt, then micropuff, quilt and bivy should keep me toasty!
Also, on Doug's recommendation I am seriously considering the Gossamer Gear Lightrek poles. We'll see!Apr 18, 2007 at 12:58 am #1386403
>Pole question…I typically set my poles at 128cm. Am I better off buying a fixed length of 130cm or 125cm, or does it really matter? I am leaning towards the 130cm so I can pitch the Gatewood Cape a little higher…
I usually set my adjustable poles at 130cm, but after extensive testing decided that 126cm would work for my fixed poles. That happens to barely fit my Tarptent Squall 2, and it also works for my Gatewood Cape. If you're more comfortable using the 130cm length, then go for it. The Cape will work fine with longer poles, whether pitching it higher or down to the ground. You can just angle the shaft a bit, or prusik a mitten hook to the pole handle and use that to adjust the shelter height. Any excess pole sticking up above the Cape's harness will simply hold up the hood a bit (improving ventilation).Apr 18, 2007 at 9:01 am #1386457
Im using the Gatewood cape and Gossamer nightlight ,then Mountain Laural Designs Alpine bivy (9.5oz) and the REI kilo flash 40+ (19oz.). Thats my sleep/shelter system, any thoughts?Apr 18, 2007 at 10:15 am #1386475
Thanks Doug F.,
Good point about finding alternative ways to get more or less length out of the poles when pitching the Cape. I want the option to pitch it high like Will R. in his product review or lower and tighter for foul weather. I'll pick the best hiking height for the poles and make it work with the shelter.
The thought of 3 oz. poles is going to remain unbelievable until I hold them in my hands!
DaveApr 18, 2007 at 10:30 am #1386480
"Im using the Gatewood cape and Gossamer nightlight ,then Mountain Laural Designs Alpine bivy (9.5oz) and the REI kilo flash 40+ (19oz.). Thats my sleep/shelter system, any thoughts?"
I think the sleep system sounds great. That's a great looking bivy. How do you find the breathability?
From there it is a matter of testing different conditions. That's part of the fun! If you winter camp finding out at what point you need a second pad to sleep comfortably, how much clothing you'll need to wear etc. Be prepared to wear all the clothing in your pack in order to stay warm on the colder nights…
You have a good flexible core system to work with, and maintaining flexibility has been a huge part of lightening my load.
Are you putting together a gear list for a long distance trek of your own?
DaveApr 18, 2007 at 1:48 pm #1386517
I have yet to use the MLD bivy and i hope the condensation does not affect the down bag. I plan to switch in a sub kilo 20+ when needed. Arent you afraid that with a bivy thats not fully waterproof your bag may get wet? By the way is your Equinox bivy windproof?Apr 18, 2007 at 11:38 pm #1386582
I'm not afraid of the quilt getting wet under the Gatewood Cape. If the weather is bad, I'll stake the shelter tighter to the ground on the "wind side". The bottom of the bivy is waterproof and the top is water resistant, so there should be no issues there. Also, the quilt is made of Polarguard, so a little dampness won't ruin my night.
I thought the bivy might be overkill under the cape, but stuck with it for a couple of reasons. It will block any drafts that might have negatively affected the performance of my quilt (yes, I consider it to be windproof). Along the same line it will boost the sleep systems temperature rating. Also, it does double duty serving as my ground cloth since it has a waterproof bottom.
A couple of reasons for selecting the bivy that I did…it's very light and breathable, it's economical (relatively cheap). Of course there is a durability tradeoff, but I'm willing to accept that. I anticipate by the end of the hike there will be some duct tape patches to the bivy, especially the bottom portion.
DaveApr 19, 2007 at 8:52 am #1386610
I dont have any really long trips planned just yet, I have a few shorter ones planned in the whites and long the LT, but right now im just trying to refine my UL 3-season pack. The main concern being how the condensation of the cape and or bivy will affect the down bag. Who knows i may have to spend a little more and get a synthetic quilt.Apr 28, 2007 at 11:02 pm #1387573
Thank you all for your on and off list help in preparing for my hike.
My gear list has been tweaked and reposted for the last time. I broke and bought the GG lightrek poles, other than that the final changes were minor.
For those who would like to follow my progress – my wife built a website that will have photos, podcasts, etc. once I begin.
I'll be on the trail this Tuesday, so goodbye for now and see you on the other side.
(the Comet)Apr 29, 2007 at 4:07 pm #1387603
@vermontsilkieLocale: rural New England
Hi, David: Bookmarked your journal. I live just a few miles from the AT/LT in southern Vermont and have been wondering whether any UL geeks would be AT'ing this summer, so read your posts with interest. Have been thinking about being a "Trail Angel" if I can find any spare time and would be particularly likely to do that if I knew when a UL person would be crossing VT Rte 9.
Meanwhile, best of luck and more than that, much enjoyment to you.Apr 29, 2007 at 7:32 pm #1387628
Thanks for your interest in the hike! Keep checking out the map on the site as my wife will be updating my progress. Leaving for ATL in the morning!
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