need some equipment advice

2:48 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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me and my friend omatty have gone on an overnight hike in the cades cove for the last 3 years. we usually go late jan early feb. this year, we have a trip planned for jan 28th. I have always borrowed some stuff from a friend (pack,sleeping bag), but now i want my own stuff. what i need help with is this... i am extremely broke. i have read alot on here about gear, but alot of it seems to be out of my price range. i don't need a tent right now, as we use backcountry sites (russell field or spence field). however, i need some advice on pack, bag, clothes (especially base layers), etc. Since i use it only once a year (maybe twice) it doesn't have to be the best quality, but price is a key. 

found a deuter act lite 40 +10 on craiglist gently used for $50. any good?

any advice would be greatly appreciated

2:50 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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also, need some advice on essentials. from reading around here, i have a pretty good idea, just can always use the help.

3:56 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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This is a tough question, not about the pack, but in general. I'm not familiar with the area, so no idea what you would need specific to the territory and weather. As far as the "essentials," there are lists of the "ten essentials" or "fourteen essentials" such as a map, etc. posted online and in many books on camping and hiking. Reading a few books such as The Complete Walker or even Camping for Dummies will help you understand what you might need.

It sounds like for this trip you do that you could get along with simple, inexpensive gear and a minimum of clothes.

The first thing you probably should do is figure out a budget-the most you have to spend and compare that with what you have already and what you would like to buy. Given that your trip is coming up soon, that limits your time for looking for used gear. Knowing whether something is a good deal or not takes research. That pack may be fine, but it isn't terribly big from what I see online about it. REI has it listed for $169, so the price is right, but cheaper gear tends to be bulkier-especially true of sleeping bags-so a smaller pack may not be your best choice. On the other hand, for a weekend trip, it may work. Again, without knowing what all else you will be carrying, it is hard to make a recommendation.

4:28 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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I have a Deuter and love it. (40 liter). Mine is used for day hikes and there is plenty of room for what I need for a day or two. If all you do is one overnight trip a year, I don't think you can do bad with it. It may not be the perfect one, but if money is the first consideration, 50 bux for the 40 + 10 would sit well with me!

4:29 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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i can understand that. i don't have to get all the gear for this trip, as i can borrow again if needs be. just kinda asking for some cost cutting tips. i can tell you that the pack i have used has been a 60 or 65 L pack, so i know this one is considerably smaller, but i also always overpacked and had extra space. 

4:57 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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I shop at thrift stores (salvation army and the like) from time to time for clothes to hike with. It's time consuming to pour over a bunch of old musty clothes but if price is key it may well be worth your effort. You may find some wool and polyester garments that will be of use for just a few dollars. I found a wool shirt in great condition for $2 a couple of months ago. Since you've been there before you know it gets pretty cold at Spence and Russell this time of year.


I've never bought a used pack and would hesitate to do so on-line since fit is key. You should definitely measure your torso and such before trying that. You might take a look at Kelty external frames also...they are usually pretty cheap and good quality.

I've never owned a Dueter pack but from playing with them at stores they seem well made and well regarded.

4:59 p.m. on January 12, 2012 (EST)
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In mine I carry: Pocket Rocket and pan w/fuel, Sleeping bag, layers, food, maps, first aid kit, light, helemt and harness (if climbing), trekking poles, water, camera, extra sox, blister kit, my hiking las vegas book is ALWAYS in there somewhere, rain gear, gaiters.

And mine does not have the plus 10.

7:17 a.m. on January 13, 2012 (EST)
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Probably the best and least expensive base layers you can buy are Duofold's long sleeve polypropylene pullover at roughly $12.00 and long bottoms, price of which I don't recall. Consider purchasing chemical heaters for a potential emergency. A balaclava in polypropylene should be considered as well. I suggest wind and water resistant (wwr), outerwear including synthetic or wool mittens with a wwr over layer as a backup to gloves. If you can't find the products described locally, than I'm confident that you could mail order to Campmor, a reasonably priced and trustworthy supplier. There are equivalent suppliers, but Campmor, carries the polypropylene products described and I can't vouch for others.  I trust that you've had sufficient experience to know what general and survival gear is recommended.

Hope you enjoy your trip - Performance

9:15 a.m. on January 13, 2012 (EST)
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About half of my gear came from and  On gear trade if the seller is backcountry it is selling returns and open box stuff.  Steep and cheap is where gets rid of overstock and last years models.  Other companies clear out inventory there also. There return policy is EXCELLENT.

The catch is that steepandcheap only puts one item up at a time for 20-30 minutes or until it's sold out. Check out They have the history of all the deals and provide email and text alerts based on keywords or specific items.  The text alerts are not reliable but the email are. My phone has an email address that will send it as a text message.  I use gmail and have a filter that forwards the emails to the phones text address. Very reliable.

11:26 a.m. on January 13, 2012 (EST)
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On my iPhone appp, I get the steap and cheap push notification in real time. That has literally saved me HUNDREDS of dollars on gear for my upcoming trip.

11:41 a.m. on January 13, 2012 (EST)
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Hey jptrain, welcome to Trailspace.

Check out as well. They run some killer deals on great gear at times dependent on what your needs are.

Will definitely save ya a few $$$$s.

Happy hiking-Rick

3:55 p.m. on January 13, 2012 (EST)
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I forgot Very similar to Left Lane except they only have "events" on their page.

5:48 p.m. on January 13, 2012 (EST)
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I second the Thrift shops. Craigslist also in your area will save you big bucks if someone is selling name brand equiptment. You will save if it's been used little and you wont be paying retail prices.

6:16 p.m. on January 13, 2012 (EST)
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My advice on used gear-be sure you know what you are looking at-brand and model; get pictures; know the retail price; don't buy anything just because it is a bargain-you will wind up with a lot of stuff that may not work together.

11:54 a.m. on January 14, 2012 (EST)
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Shopping on Craigslist or other sites is a good way to buy some used gear at reasonable prices. As well, Campmor is good for new discounted gear, as is Sierra Trading Post. There are other sites as well. Surplus stores can also be a good source, but it is important to shop wisely at these. Officer's Model Korean War Wool Shirts are often found for as little as $15 bucks and they are very high quality, nearly as good as a Filson wool shirt.

9:31 a.m. on January 16, 2012 (EST)
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i got that deuter bag the other day, and it was like new condition! i obviously haven't taken it out on the trail yet, but it seems like an excellent bag. now my goal is a sleeping bag! thanks everyone.

1:11 p.m. on January 16, 2012 (EST)
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look up and go to any REI used gear sale.  some very cheap stuff.

5:36 p.m. on January 17, 2012 (EST)
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My friend is also broke and hikes all the time. He has a surplus store sleeping bag. A tarp. A frame for a backpack that he straps a plastic barrel on to, this works really well, waterproof and is a great camp seat. He stuffs all kinds of things into the barrel and away we go.

I want to get him a bivy sack but I am gearing up a wife and three kids so he is on his own for gear. You can backpack on the cheep if your resourceful.

10:55 p.m. on January 17, 2012 (EST)
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I think you scored with the Deuter....LOVE mine!

11:40 a.m. on January 18, 2012 (EST)
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We've decided to extend our trip to a 3 day not 2. Thanks for all the input. I didn't start the thread but have been using it :). Gear that i've added this year consist of:

msr Pocket rocket

gerber axe

a new 100 ounce water bladder

self inflating pillow

therma rest prolite

and a few other odd and ends. Since we always hike together we try to share the cost of buying items(i buy stove, jp buys the pots etc)

our only thing now is trying to figure out what food to bring lol

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