- Oct 19, 2018 at 12:45 am #3560485
Hello! BPL has been a joy to read and saved me from going down the conventional backpacking path. It also turned me into an obsesive weight watcher. But I like that. This is my first post other than the gear swap.
Im planning my first extended trip for this summer. It wont technically be a thru hike as I will only have about 2 months to hike. Im still debating between the PCT and AT as both have pros and cons. I like the social aspect and easy logistics of the AT. The PCT would offer an easier hike and much more visually apealing terrain. Feel free to offer input as to which you feel would provide the most bang for the buck. I feel my current gear could handle either trail. I will be hiking for 2 months sometime between June and August.
My gear list is basically what I have been using for shorter trips but I have included some things that would be left behind depending on weather.
Gear I have but have not planned on bringing are…
Bug Bivy 9 oz.
Dancing light Tarp w bug netting. 15 oz.
Rain jacket 10 oz.
Open to all suggestions. Still have some gaps to fill such as pot and charger. And still working out The Misc. Let me know what you guys think!!!Oct 19, 2018 at 1:34 am #3560490
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Just bringing a wind shirt for rain gear might work in the middle section of the PCT, but given your trip is 2 months so you can’t get useful weather forecasts I would go for more rain protection unless your tarp can be turned into a poncho. On the AT or CDT I would want real rain gear.
No bug protection? It sucks when it’s 75F, there are thousands of mosquitos that want to eat you, and getting under a quilt is the only protection. After several years of using my quilt and an bug netting over my head head I switched to an ultralight shelter to have a bug free space.
What’s the SOL bivy for? It’s non-breathable and you are unlikely to be somewhere cold enough to need a vapor barrier. Wouldn’t want to use it over your quilt. I suppose as an emergency piece might be OK. but would likely drop it.
Quilt might be fine. Do you run hot? I have have encountered <20F in the sierras in July, I was fine with a 32F quilt and vest, but I was glad my kid has something warmer.
Pot… no specific suggestion but shorter & wider more energy efficient… less heat escapes up the pot sides. I use a caldera cone so this isn’t an issue for me, I really like my MLD 850ml mug.Oct 19, 2018 at 2:17 am #3560500
I’ll add that I don’t think your gear list would cover all parts of the AT/PCT from June to August. I think you should get more specific about where you want to hike before you refine your gear more. It seems like June vs. August and Sierra vs. Georgia vs. SoCal vs. Maine are very different conditions.
I’d want more tarp above treeline.Oct 19, 2018 at 4:24 am #3560512
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Skeeters were bad on parts of the PCT this year, so I’ll advise a semi-solid bivy with some sort of decent bug protection (and ear plugs) if on the PCT. It would help with the temp rating of that 40°F quilt too.Oct 19, 2018 at 8:49 pm #3560598
Thanks for the input. I usually use the SOL over my quilt for bug protection and added warmth. Ive used it by itself bundled up underneath into the mid 40s (was cold but lived). And its nice peice of mind with the tarp. Gets a bad rap alot but it has served me well was what i could afford at the time.
Im leaning towards the MLD pot, but last time I checked they were out of stock.
I guess I good ditch the wind jacket and go for a frog togg. I find myself loving the houdini and using it alot. In my shorter trips I usually just postpone if there is extended rain in the forcast.
I suppose bug protection could be an issue and I may add a floor to the dancing light which would make it truly bug proof and it offers enough cover to forgo the bivy… Now that I put it in writing that makes alot of sense. Trade the bivy weight and hassle for a floor…
Im planning on hopping on either trail to cooincide with the average thru hike crowd as ill be alone and looking forward to meeting other hikers.Oct 19, 2018 at 9:01 pm #3560605
A link to the tarp I picked up on gear swap then decided not to use because bugs get in… but now thinking about using again with a floor.
I didnt realize the hexamid was so light and well priced at that time. Slightly before my time. Ill have to keep a lookout on gearswap.
I think Ill be ok with the 40 deg quilt, I sleep Very Warm.
Of the sections you suggested do you recomend any? Im hoping to crank out miles to get the most out of my time. Thanks again!Oct 20, 2018 at 5:21 am #3560668
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Hello, Thomas D from D Thomas.
I’d add another smart water bottle. And an extra cap (minor weight, major benefit if you drop one in a river or off a mountain).
Not sure what you mean by “emergency poncho”? Some of them are a vinyl that is mostly crap in the best of times and complete crap when it gets cold (<50F). A customer once sarcastically taped up all 47 holes in what we called “suicide ponchos” after hail literally went through as she wore it in a Sierra afternoon thunderstorm.
I’m not seeing anything to keep your legs warm. Both for cold mornings and also for when you’re making/breaking camp at higher elevations / latitudes. I mostly am fine in shorts as long as I’m moving, but over 2 months, there’ll be times when you have to hunker down and stay warm.
I’ve been pleased with the SOL bivy and I think it’s a nice combination with the minimal tarp. And super-quick to deploy when you want a bit more than “cowboy camping”. However, it left my down bag a little moist. That’s fine if you can air it out the next day or at least within 2 days. That’s almost always doable in CA and OR during the summer. Less assured in WA and on the AT.Oct 20, 2018 at 5:11 pm #3560712
Thanks for the reasurance on the SOL. I havent had the condinsation issues that others warn of. The SOL zipperless only weighs 5 oz and is 40$. Also, Thanks for the tip on the plastic emerchancy poncho. Ill be swapping for a frog toggs jacket or frog togs emergency poncho.
I have zip pants/shorts so I never bring tights, but if I go with running shorts I will pick up a pair.Oct 26, 2018 at 9:00 pm #3561423
Thanks for all the advice. Made some big changes. Selling off alot of gear. Switched to the gatewood cape with S2s nano bug net. And cutting down my zlite to allow enough volume to take a Zpacks zero(mine is basically the Same design as the nero). Also desided to cold soak. Base should be around 5 1/2 pounds. If I decide on the AT, depending in the section I may drop the down jacket and get below 5.Oct 27, 2018 at 2:26 pm #3561494
@jimmyjamLocale: Mid Atlantic
If you are interested in hiking the AT with “The Bubble” then the bubble usually starts hitting the SNP in June and continues thru June. So you could start in Harper’s Ferry at the ATC headquarters and hike nobo with plenty of company in either June or July. Keep in mind these hikers will have about 900 miles behind them and will be cranking out the miles, That said if you start in early June you will probably see a couple of thrus a day and by July you will be able to keep up with most them without being over run, Harpers Ferry is also logistically easy to get to with a train running directly from DC. You would have pretty flat terrain for a few days, then two weeks of Pennsylvania, then you would hit some good views in NJ, NY, Conn, Mass.Oct 28, 2018 at 6:02 pm #3561582
Thanks! Ive been researching trying to work out excactly what you just explained! I think I will be ok doing the miles. I plan on some spring training and will have a very light pack. Do you think I could leave the down jacket behind at these locations during the summer. Only planning on bringing a EE 40 so im not sure if the jacket would be needed to supplement.
https://lighterpack.com/r/fqrqbcOct 28, 2018 at 6:58 pm #3561594
@jimmyjamLocale: Mid Atlantic
I would bring some form of insulation layer to wear in camp and town. Either a fleece or a light down or synthetic jacket. I’ve done Harper’s Ferry to Killington, VT starting in May and there were a few nights when I was glad I had my jacket. A fleece with a wind shirt over it is very warm, but generally a fleece is bulker than a down or synthetic jacket. The weight is about the same either way. Keep in mind that it will rain on the AT and you will get wet, so while I use a down bag, I always have either a fleece or synthetic insulation layer on the AT.Oct 28, 2018 at 7:13 pm #3561599
Thanks for the advice. I bring a cap 4 hoodie and a houdini, but will look for somthing a little beafier. The melanzana looks sweet but theres no way I could spend that money. Ill probably just buy a fleece thats light and can double as casual wear… And lets me wear it while hiking since its not down.Oct 28, 2018 at 9:06 pm #3561614
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