Mis-Guided: Gear for the AT.

1:56 p.m. on July 22, 2006 (EDT)
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I went to Mooose Jaw and REI, and outfitted myself with some of the heaviest gear possible. Actually, hikers said, how in the heck are you guys carrying so much. I'm in the transition to Ultralight and looking for some suggestions for a new Backpack and 1 person tent as well as what to do for water purification.

Georgia and part of North Caralina was fantastic. The haardest thing I have ever done in my life. I'm addicted.
John

8:39 p.m. on July 22, 2006 (EDT)
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Ultralight, or at least lighter

GoLite makes probably the lightest packs, based on the RayWay, Ray Jardine's philosophy of ultralight backpacking. Get yourself a copy of Ray's book, Beyond Backpacking. Even if you do not go whole hog on RayWay, there is a lot you can learn about lightening your load.

Now, RayWay is a bit on the extreme side. And some of the GoLite packs (the RayWay ones) may go a bit far for what you will be comfortable with at first, until you get comfortable with really paring things down. But they have other packs that aren't so extreme.

Besides GoLite, Kelty (the Cloud series) and Osprey (the Aether series) make very light packs that have a pretty fair capacity, yet still carry quite comfortably. In these 2 cases, the packs are in the 3-4 pound category for 4500-6500 cu in capacity. I have carried up to 60 pounds in my Cloud 4500 and in my Aether 60 for 20 mile in a weekend treks. One problem I encountered with the Cloud, though - the one Jim S and I have (his is a somewhat larger version) is white kevlar (can't dye it, or couldn't when ours were made). We did a backpack into Crown Valley, above Tehipite, something like a 25 mile round trip. At one point we had stopped by a stream to pump water through our filters and set the packs by the stream. A horsepacker and his 2 clients on their 4 horses came from the opposite direction. The horses stopped cold, with rolling eyes in midstream. The packer asked, no, commanded, us to pick up our packs and hold them behind us, because the horses apparently thought they were some predator getting ready to attack (what do the horses do with late-spring snow banks??). Well, that's their problem, not a problem with the packs.

7:43 p.m. on July 24, 2006 (EDT)
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There are a number of websites for lightweight gear and long distance hiking that can provide info on everything from soda can alcohol stoves to tarps for long distance hikers and lightweight fanatics. Do a Yahoo or Google search for "lightweight backpacking" and I'm sure a lot of them will show up. There are some cottage (small) manufacturers who make ultralightweight packs-again, searching should find them for you. Much of the really lightweight gear is made by the smaller, specialty companies and only available through their websites.

10:51 a.m. on July 26, 2006 (EDT)
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Thank you good people for the help.

5:04 p.m. on September 1, 2006 (EDT)
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Are you serious?
I carry about 20-30lbs ever at the most and try to find stores in towns along the way the less the better!

Carry bare minimum or go see a thru hiker that will go through your gear and tell you what you need to bring, I love those guys!

July 22, 2014
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