Doing as much of the AT as I can!!

6:29 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Starting my AT adventure early June. Would like to sponge info from you all.

What to expect, typical size of first aid kits, do you need a bear canister etc..

Also if anyone has a good driving route from Florida to springer mountain I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

9:05 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi antio- Well the biggest and best advice I can give you is the BIG 3 Pack

Sleepingbag, Shoe's...Your pack should weigh a max of about 25 pounds without food and water...I would suggest asking about specific pack brands and what their weight is..Now sleepingbag your looking at tempature range you will be sleeping in around 50 degree's coldest that time of year to hottest about 90.Georgia and Tennesee had variable temps and still do presently..I went from Snow to hot within day's and lot's of rain...I have been wearing trailrunners as my shoe's..Now what you decide on is up to you. There are pro's and con's to footwear..My first aid kit was a Adventure medical kit for 2 people I broke that down to 2 oz. I took the items I only needed  for my such as 4x4 gauze, 4 band aids, 3 saftey pins, Mole skin, anti bac ointment, Duct tape..

cooking kit- I would suggest an alchy stove. denatured alcohole as well as heat is readily available and so is butane like for a MSR stove or jetboil.But they are heavy when you add all the weight..Alcohole stove and windscreen and Titanium pot will be a total of about 6oz..add a .oo4 spork also and 12oz of fuel in a soda bottle..

clothing I would suggest as follows:

Rain Jacket no more in weight than 16.8 oz

convertible Nylon hiking pants/ they can also be shorts

2 wicking tshirts

wicking draws/ or go commando

3 pairs wool socks

3 pairs wicking inner socks/ believe me they help

hat for shade

long sleeve shirt polypro

bottoms polypro for sleeping

one pair nylon hiking shorts

fleece top or down for night at camp

camp shoe's such as teva's or nylon lightweight swim slippers

You need to air your feet out after hiking that much..

Misc gear

headlamp/ or flashlight

Tent/ shelter  again their are alot of options but remember your the one carrying them..

Hand sanitizer/ you need to bring this to prevent from contamination

Knife small pocket knife.

platypus or evernew or natagene canteen's for water.Camel back etc

50/50 cord for bear bag

small less than 1oz carabiner for hanging a bear bag..You can use a granite gear or any waterproof drybag temp as a bear bag..

Also compactor bags or drybags for clothing and sleeping bag..

This is a start for you. When it comes to as far as you get that's up to you time frame wise if it's vacation or etc. But figure pace has alot to do with where and how far..But about every 5 days you will hit a town to resupply..

 

 

9:53 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for the reply, and your time.  Should have listed what I did have.

Gear is as follows:

Deuter ac lite 65+10 pack

Mountain hardware pinhole 20 sleep bag

Zlite sleep pad

Jetboil stove (does seem a bit heavy)

Headlamp

2 pairs of wool socks (no liners yet)

Oboz sawtooth hike boots. New balance tennis shoes.

Alps mountain Zephyr 2 tent.

Strike anywhere matches.

Have some trekking poles, water bladder 3L, and fleece on the way.

Not sure when the snow will cause closure of the trail. "as far as I can" is in reference to that. It will be a vacation from society, so time is no issue.

Big decisions left for me would be clothing, food storage, and easiest route to get there from Florida.  I see a lot of talk about bear canisters, but not sure if these are a need for the AT. Sounds like I can save $60 bucks if you just need a regular sack.

10:13 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Your actually giving me a diversion from the family..LOL

No you dont need a bear canister.You could use a dry bag..there's really only 2 parks and one other area to worry about black bears..GSMNP, SNP and New Jersey section..I would also suggest getting a kitchen scale from like wally world and weigh all your gear..Includeing your sleepiing bad zlite pad etc. Bring your trekking poles, save your knews and wrapp extra duct tape around it for repairs. Also a needle and some Dental floss in your kit also for repairs..You wont hit any snow at that time but you will want some fleece just incase of temp plunge's..I would suggest a BIC lighter and ditch the match's..Weighs 1oz and you can get a new one at a town or bum a light if need be..But your doing good keep asking question a few members have sectioned part or area's of the AT or thru hiked it such as The Rambler...

Oh I forgot to add this get maps from Appalachian trail conservacy and get a trail guide. I suggest Davis "awol" Millers thats the one I have and its the best in MYOP..I was going to bring my Jetboil but opted out for an alchy stove to save weight..

11:24 p.m. on May 13, 2011 (EDT)
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A way to purify water is gonna be a must on the trail. Even if ya have the latest and greatest filter or steri-pen have tabs as a backup. Things break. Also a firesteel may be a good backup for the Bic. I always carry one of those $4 led flashlights you can get at any autoparts store as a backup for my headlamp.

For what these little things cost the reassurance is well worth it. I should of titled this response "backups" :)

2:22 a.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Before you purchase more gear.Think of every piece needs to be multifunctioning except your sleeping bag and cook kit..So I appreciate Rick playing devils advocate and saying best to be safe.But extra items, your going to Dump at Neels gap and ship home..trust me on it..Saw it and people dropping gear they didn't need at shelters that maintaners had to pack out...Prime example him saying a firesteel? how about an extra Bic in your pack and the one I recomend in your pocket..Extra flashlight? how about an extra bulb for your headlamp and 1 set of extra batteries..Alot of things you resupply as you go..he recomends a water filter, most use aquamira droplets they weigh 2oz water filter weighs close to 18oz..Does the same thing.. you have 2 weights first is packweight negative food and water. Then skinout weight everything in your pack and on you.So you would subtract the clothing your wearing from pack items and things you carry in your pockets and add your food and water to your packweight gives you actual skin out weight.. Also a bandana and Dr Bonners is what you use for hygene as well as cleaning cook gear and it is biodegradable..I suggest taking only 2oz and replenish it.. But keep asking anything that you can think of be glad to help the best I can as well as anyone else on the forum..This is how The Rambler helped me and he also had me put a gear list up and everyone jumped in and gave me objective views and recommendations..I listened and learned and didn't have to ship any gear home and my pack weight is with food and water 25pds...But I had to purchase lighter gear from where I first started..some items they explained were to heavy when I first started a gear list..I know you  will have a great hike it has been awesome for me. Also hike your own hike..Wish you the best...

6:52 a.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Looks like everyone has put you on the right path so far. Just taking a quick look at your gear list I notice the following:

Jetboil works fine but is heavy, consider a supercat alchohol stove can make one yourself in about 10 minutes cost is about .30 cents or about 2 dollars if you have to buy a hole punch.

A 20 degree bag is way too much in the summer. You may want to pick up a more summer oriented bag, unless your a cold sleeper. Otherwise plan to have the 20F bag sent to you at some point before the NE stretch, recommend CT or MA.

I would bring 3 pairs socks, including the 1 you are wearing. I also second using liners.

Water bladdders are heavy, however they can also be convieniant. Is there any easy way for you to refill it without unpacking your pack and digging it out? If you answer no I recommend just bringing a few gatoraide bottles they weigh 1.5oz, or some of those platy collapsible bottles. Nalgenes are heavy also, try to avoid them 6.5oz.

For your clothing you need to have several items. This is what i use.

Torso

Baselayer-longsleeve columbia hiking shirt

Midlayer-Capaline 3 l/s, and Pantagonia nano puff or fleece vest depending on temps.

Shell-Stoic Vaporshell during warm weather, or a ECWCS Goretex parka during winter

Legs

Underwear-Exofficio boxer briefs--boxer briefs help alot to prevent chaffing.

baselayer-any leightweight poly/cotton blend pants. I HATE 100% nylon pants as are most hiking pants. I like to have a fire in camp often enough and one tiny little ember and you have a giant hole.

Midlayer- Capaline 2 and or military polypro thermals

Shell-None or colder weather ECWCS pants

Then I carry my tilley hat, and a beanie and balaclava in colder temps. I also carry a fair of fingerless fleece mittens. and for colder temps add in a pair of OR endeavor mitts as a shell.

Always have something dry to put on. I typically keep my capaline 3 l/s and the cap 2 pants in a drybag with my sleeping bag for sleep/camp wear. Always having an insulating layer is important also, no matter the season. Doesnt have to be a super thick parka, but just something light.

9:39 a.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Before you purchase more gear.Think of every piece needs to be multifunctioning except your sleeping bag and cook kit..So I appreciate Rick playing devils advocate and saying best to be safe.But extra items, your going to Dump at Neels gap and ship home..trust me on it..Saw it and people dropping gear they didn't need at shelters that maintaners had to pack out...Prime example him saying a firesteel? how about an extra Bic in your pack and the one I recomend in your pocket..Extra flashlight? how about an extra bulb for your headlamp and 1 set of extra batteries..Alot of things you resupply as you go..he recomends a water filter, most use aquamira droplets they weigh 2oz water filter weighs close to 18oz..Does the same thing.. you have 2 weights first is packweight negative food and water. Then skinout weight everything in your pack and on you.So you would subtract the clothing your wearing from pack items and things you carry in your pockets and add your food and water to your packweight gives you actual skin out weight.. Also a bandana and Dr Bonners is what you use for hygene as well as cleaning cook gear and it is biodegradable..I suggest taking only 2oz and replenish it.. But keep asking anything that you can think of be glad to help the best I can as well as anyone else on the forum..This is how The Rambler helped me and he also had me put a gear list up and everyone jumped in and gave me objective views and recommendations..I listened and learned and didn't have to ship any gear home and my pack weight is with food and water 25pds...But I had to purchase lighter gear from where I first started..some items they explained were to heavy when I first started a gear list..I know you  will have a great hike it has been awesome for me. Also hike your own hike..Wish you the best...

 

Hee hee, Devils advocate. That's not the 1st time I heard that. My wife calls me that all the time(among other things.). The longest trip I have done was about 150 miles give or take. So my method of madness may have to be evaluated and fine tuned. The reason I carry thing the way I do is actually quite simple. If the BIC craps out(spring pops and flint goes flying, or ya drop it in the drink(I know it can dry.... in time) or one that I have had happen, It goes ka-boom. Bics have moving parts and moving parts can break, I would definitely trust a firsteel when compared to a bic. A firesteel weighs next to nothing and can be a real lifesaver in a pinch. The only way it wont work is if you lose it.

As far as the backup flashlight(it is light as well.) I had a P-tec Aurora awhile back. Well I was swapping out for a fresh set of batteries. When I closed it there was a bit of dust/dirt in the area where the gasket seals it. Moisture got in the light and it died on me. Not much a spare set of l.e.d.s can do for that. To make a long story short things happen. I am not saying take backups for everything but sometimes little things can save your tail.... Don't be surprised if ya see me on the trail someday with a miners light, a kero lantern, and a packmule muttering jibberish I don't even understand. :p

1:56 p.m. on May 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for the tips guys. Going to look at clothing today, so the extra recommendations on that is nice to see. The jetboil does seem heavy, so will look at the other options for cooking devices.

9:14 p.m. on May 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Never ceases to amaze me that seldom is made mention of FITNESS.

If you are not in-shape, be honest about it to yourself.  Get with a personal-trainer, and explain your plan.   DO NOT just go to a gym and start doing miles on a treadmill.  If you DO use a treadmill ... try walking SIDEWAYS, with your hiking boots / shoes on ... and with an incline.  You'll be amazed how much your legs will be 'screaming', but, you'll get your hamstrings, gluts, quads, calves in condition.   Get some cardio-training work in, also.   Otherwise, you'll be huffin'-&-puffin' up those inclines on the trail.

The fanatical obsession with super-light everything is all well-and-good.  But, why parse ounces, when you should be pushing lbs. in the gym.  Some very clever gear-geeks know almost all there is to know about the latest / best'est  / lightest  gear ... but, they can be hideously out-of-shape.  Fools.

If you are a pencil-necked geek working long days in a cubicle ... or, a 'fatty' working an easy (physically) day in finance or real-estate (for example), behind a desk all day with a phone stuck in your ear, and a PC in front of you ...  WITHOUT general physical fitness, you're in trouble.

I can hike with 1/2 my body weight in my pack, all day long.   Of course, I don't do this as a regular practice, but the fact-of-the-matter is ...  I CAN do so.

Walking with upright posture, by virtue of using a very extremely lightweight external-pack, as opposed to the not-as-light internal-frame backpacks, which forces one to walk hunched-over, apelike ...  can make a HUGE difference in the 'fatigue factor', and 'miles-per-day', if you're into the distance thing. 

Trust me on that!   I have about 6 backpacks ... "high-endy" ($$) ones.   My 'go-to'  backpack is a 33-yr old Kelty external-frame job.

Also, catch-up on 1st-aid.   The Red Cross offers classes.   I am Red-Cross / CPR-certified, and I take all the refresher courses to keep my certification up-to-date.  Recent changes in CPR methods is useful.   Doesn't mean that something won't happen to ME.

Also, have some means of signaling for help, in the event of sprained-ankle, cracked-ribs, possible concussion, dehydration, acute poison-ivy (can ruin your whole hike).    If you stay right on-trail, you're apt to have someone come along in due time.  Cell-phones have limited utility (hard to get a signal, most times).

As for bears, here's a "tip" I learned from an anthropologist studying Native American culture.   The Native Americans ("Indians") would urinate around their resting or "camp" areas, like 'marking their territory' to warn-off predatory animals.   Seems as though bears  and other critters shy away from human urine odor.  Urine was used for poison-ivy, as well.

Not saying you shouldn't use a bear-proofing method to secure your food ... but ... 'just sayin' ... 'Ya know?   'Ya gotta pee, anyhow.   Why not make use of it?   "Multi-functional", even in the waste department.

Points-to-ponder ....

Yogi Robt

10:38 p.m. on May 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Antoni- Robert brings a great point all the gear wether most up to date or older. Does not increase your experiance positively without proper conditioning before hand...I would tend to disagree about weight training has nothing to do with the range of  motion and carrying a packYou might want to look at the thread for trip planning a section hike on the AT. Speecock's reply to another hiker is listed there as well as a formula I broke down for 100 mile trek in 7 days..That was a 1.5mph pace. There is no substitute for backpacking with a pack. Put and train with a pack doing stairs and hiking early in the morning and doing 2 a day's. You have a short amount of time from what you described and I would say make the time..This will work to your favor and be positive and enhance your experiance..That's my 2 cents..Have a great hike..I can hike a 3mph pace and better with a heavier pack but I choose not to..

3:47 p.m. on May 19, 2011 (EDT)
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I do have some manhandles and a bit soft, but have been doing some walks with a weighted backpack, and there is a place close to me that has the stairs for football games and whatnot. Also have the P90X program to get myself accustomed to physical activity again.

Hopefully the handles stay somewhere on the trail :)

12:02 p.m. on May 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I am glad your getting fitness in Antoni..But if your in shape or not..The fact is you want to do it is great..In 2 weeks on the trail you will get what we call.Hiker legs! your fitness increase's cardio and your stride opens, "pace" faster milage..Regardless if you have the most up to date gear..It can be done and has been..I would and The Rambler just like to save you some money and give you some alternatives to gear if possible..Either way have a Great hike and stay positive when it gets a little tough milage wise..Just think where you were when you first decided to do the trail when it gets rough and what you left behind that made you decide on your adventure..

5:05 p.m. on May 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Getting a bit antsy as my date gets closer. Looking forward to the experience, and am sure a lot of things are "learn by doing", just need to get out there lol. I have been making some adjustments already, just from doing some test walks.

In my view thinks will only improve, 30 years in florida is enough for my soul.

My first skydive was also my first plane ride, so I can work past some mental issues.

10:44 a.m. on May 23, 2011 (EDT)
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By the time you reach New Hampshire, you should be in-shape.   You're gonna need to be.

Yogi Robt

6:00 p.m. on June 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Ok all, thank you for the time in your responses. Selling the PC today, and going for the trail on friday. Like the idea of going to harpers ferry and flip flopping back southbound.  Figure it will be a good time for decision around then anyway, half way spot and all.

11:11 a.m. on June 8, 2011 (EDT)
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"To each his own ....".

Personally, being one that abhors the heat, I would head NORTH on the AT this time of year.

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~r2~

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