Hello

1:22 p.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Will I like, Manny am also currently taking up residence in Afghanistan. I always thought that hiking would be a good hobby to have. I did some hiking/camping out in Joshua Tree National Park while I was stationed in California. I've gotten my wife interested in Hiking. Being from Virginia I would like to start on some part of the appalachian trail. I have alot of questions so I would appreciate any help i could get. I really enjoy the outdoors and I know I will enjoy it even more when it's not part of my work. So the advice I was seeking is that my wife being of petite nature I dont think will be able to carry all that much. I was estimating maybe 20 lbs and thats going to probably be clothes and some water. So I will be carrying the brunt of the load. This isnt me saying that she cant pull her own weight by any means so please no one think im being sexist here. But I would appreciate advice on what kind of gear I would need to sus tain 2 people for roughly 5 days. I don't really mean food I know how to pack that but more of what tents/ packs you would suggest. And also maybe any warming layers and what not for a hike around september in Virginia. Sorry I'm so scatter brained on this. Been a long day. Thank you all.

2:16 p.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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You have lots of great places to hike in and near Virginia, including well-maintained trails in addition to the AT. Starting with very basic advice, which you probably already know -

Get boots and pack that are properly fitted. It is worth the extra cost and effort to use experienced and trained boot fitters and pack fitters. And of course make sure the boots and pack are suited to the place you are hiking.

Basic rule on weight - at the start, limit your wife to 25% of her body weight (I figure if you are in the service, you are in pretty rugged shape and used to running with a pack in excess of your body weight, with a high threshold of pain - just kidding here - you will go farther and faster if you keep the pack weight down, too, and if you also use properly fitted boots appropriate to the trails you are on - with a light pack, trail shoes can work very well, but some people need the ankle support of a high-top full leather boot). No need to go ultralight when you are just starting out - that will come later as you both gain experience and develop your preferences.

2:35 p.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace, wwatson!

I will try to respond with some info when I have a couple minutes, right at the moment I can't. But there is a wealth of info to be gained here, with many very helpful and knowledgeable folks.  I am sure others will chime in and give you some pointers.  I also suggest you browse through and run some searches on past threads here, as there is a much on the topic to be found.

Thank you for serving, I for one am extremely grateful.

3:20 p.m. on April 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Welcome wwatson!!!

I live in Virginia wwatson right along the "AT" about 2 hrs from Shenandoah National park...If your looking at a September time frame.The weather this past year at that time was highs in the 60-70 range during the day and 50-60 night time...We had a draught season and it looks like it will be again...You could easily just layer with a lite baselayer and offset with a med fleece at night.Very pleasant..Like Bill S said you don't have to go ultra light to start...I do suggest you ask specific questions pertaining to female products....As for that time of year I would reccomend for you and your wife SNP because they have backcountry camping as well as fixed site's.Alot of great trails and oppertunity to grab a nice hot meal at the lodge's. That way your wife has some options...Your military, but you might want to make it comfertible as much for her as possible and not shell shocked. They also have shower facilities as well. But thats just an idea of a trip...

thank you for your service and keep safe..

12:26 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm sorry but I haven't a clue what SNP is or maybe I'm just missing something. Could you please elaborate, Thank you very much. Before this deployment I bought a Really big Kelty pack internal frame, I have Recon bag -20 i think, and a few other things that make my life comfortable over here.

2:46 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm sorry but I haven't a clue what SNP is or maybe I'm just missing something. Could you please elaborate, Thank you very much. Before this deployment I bought a Really big Kelty pack internal frame, I have Recon bag -20 i think, and a few other things that make my life comfortable over here.

 Sorry wwatcon I was useing an acronym for Shenandoah National Park..Most hikers around me refer to it that way..Great bag you have.. If your looking for one for your wife I just read an article and gear review of the kelty Cosmic It's a 20 degree down bag and the price is great and it really is only about 2 pds I believe..I know most female hikers  I know. Like the Osprey series of packs.. Again like Bill said fit is the big thing on  that..But you have many options of hiking and backpacking in Virginia...

11:01 a.m. on April 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey wwatson, welcome to Trailspace.

9:29 a.m. on April 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace, wwatson.

3:06 p.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Two really important components have already been mentioned.

 

- Boots

- Pack

With these items correctly fitted you will find that you may be able to carry more items than you had thought.

 A thought on Sleeping Bags is go Synthetic as it dries faster and use a liner.  This should keep the overall weight down and warmth up.

5:22 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey thank you all for the comments Keep 'em coming please. Sorry I havent been on much lately "work" over here as gotten a little busier than it was before. I have a set of Recon Bags I use for the field, would that be cool for my wife to have a set as well or is there a major diffrencec between male and female sleeping bags that Im completely clue less to as well?

11:38 a.m. on April 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Wwatson- Generally a womens sleeping bag is 5'6 as a regular and gets larger.

I gave you the Name of The kelty because it's a good bag and actually inexspensive to save you some of that hazzardous duty pay..but the Recon bag would work..What volume of pack are you looking at for her?

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