Starting to plan to do whole Appalachian Trail this summer!

1:58 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Well I have started my first phase of planning to do the whole Appalation trail this summer got the data book  and have to break it down logistically and economical for my journey, No time llike the winter to plan to a fun filled adventure this summer. Was looking for some advise on pack weights items of clothing and food items etc etc. First and formost I have a kelty 5000 cu pack will be taking my mountain hardwear sleeping bag. I need to weight to get back to you on it. MY jetboil stove and my camelback 100 liter hydration sytem with a filter from platypus with another reservoir to filter water. Some sections I will be meeting with friends.So where do we begin to plan this adventure. Thanks all And any advise and details please post and we can start a dialog and help me reach my goal. Thanks in advance to all. Cant what for your advise and helpful tidbits.please any and all gear you think should be brought or thought of.

2:39 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Best advice I can give to you is to post your entire gear list so that we can help critque it. Post a list of every single item that will be in your pack and on your person along with the weights.

Resupply on the AT is alot easier than many other trails, so unless you have some special medical/dietary needs then logistics are very easy to plan. Worst part is planning for a ride there and a ride back.

Plan to take a full 6 months, don't try and rush it, take it one day at a time and stop and take in the sights. Too many people are in a rush to get big miles and miss out alot of the nice vistas etc, and other things on side trails etc. Take lots of pics!

If you havn't already check out whiteblaze.net, it is a wealth of information about the AT.

3:10 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

My roommate has done the AT from end to end.

3:37 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

thanks Rambler. thats sounds like great advise to do it in 6 months and not missout. I have to put a tentative list of all my items and persons together tonight. I will include the weight and post tomm. Also I will checkout that site you listed. Chris i have always wanted to do this since reading NG when in school and they had a great article on it. Being so close to the trailhead in in Virginia I take long hikes and have done sections. I want to just do what I always wanted. I guess it's like a calling that always stuck.LOL  And always this is a great community to get great advise and direction.Thanks guys.

6:34 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

gortex jacket=2.0pds

gortex pants= 2.0pds

gortex repair kit= 0.2oz

thermarest repair kit=1.5oz

tall stuff sack for neoair= 1.5oz

mapcase=2.5

databook=6.oz

hikethru book= 10.oz

hot bag= 0.1oz

camp suds= 4.oz

kithchen sink= 4.4oz

solar rechargeing roll=6.4oz

Brunton compass=3.6oz

hot shot mirror= 1.8oz

Peppermint soap= 8oz

clothing

wicking shirts= 6.oz

socks= 2.lbs 5.oz

polyshirt= 0.2oz

piero pants= 5.oz

boxers= 15.oz

smartwool socks= 15.oz

This is what I have tenativly. Any items you think I should add or subject please include in your post. Was wondering about a bear vault? yes the weight adds up quick. food I figure 2.lbs per day at 15 days. then replenish.

6:38 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

fuel for stove 4 too start= 6.4 oz

camelback bladder 2x= 12.04 oz

gravity filter= 2.oz

thanks again for all observations and input.

6:51 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

I copied and pasted your gear list and will put my thought by each item for you.

pack 500cu kelty  = 6.lb

-Pack is probally overkill for the AT, but if your on a budget then stick with it, it will do the job but at the price at a little higher weight.

stove jetboil= 14.oz

-Good stove, some people can't let their hands be pried off their jet boils. Have you thought about using a alchohol setup? You can save a little weight, but it's really just a personal preference.

plastic cup=2.4oz

-Do you have a metal pot/mug that could double as a cup? Some people like to have a seperate cup, but remember ounces make lbs.

sea to summit spoon= 0.2oz

-I would say go metal for the .3oz increase. Nothing sucks worse than being 3 or 4 days from town with a jacked up spoon

wilderness lite first aid kit= 7.oz

-I am not familiar with this kit, but i would imagine you could strip it down a few oz. I would carry two doses of imodium ad, sanitary issues from a long distance hike can sometimes do a number on the bowels.

kelty pack cover= 5.3oz

gerber multitool=6.2oz

-A reason to carry this? not needed at all

shradeknife= 3.oz

-Carry this in place of the multitool

Duct tape= 2.oz

bic lighters 3= 6.oz

-leave one bic out. They practically never fail, and if one does thats why you have a 2nd. And you will always be able to bum one and pick one up at the next town come worst case.

bivy sack= 1.lb 2oz

sleepingbag=12oz

compression bag= 3.0z

surefire flashlight=7.oz

-Not needed, leave at home

headlamp=6.oz

-bring this instead of the surefire

batteries=7.oz

-only bring one set of extra batteries for your headlamp

stuff sacks 5lt=4.oz

thermarest neoair pad= 14.oz

backpacker towl=3.oz

-Not gonna say ditch it, but alot of people make do with just a bandanna.

Total weight saved at a minimum: 15.2oz, thats almost a pound.

That is a big weight savings right there. Every ounce in your pack should have a purpose. Avoid duplicate items where uneccesary.

If you leave springer with anything more than 35lbs on your back you will have a long hard trip. Even if you don't get down to below the 35 mark fully loaded with food and water, every oz/pound you save makes a big difference over the course of the trail.

Hope this helps some more, feel free to most more questions and more gear lists.

7:02 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

gortex jacket=2.0pds

gortex pants= 2.0pds

gortex repair kit= 0.2oz

-goretex REALLY isn't needed for a summer AT thru, you may need it early if you start early march or sooner. If you do bring it I would only bring the jacket, you can repair with duct tape and dental floss.

thermarest repair kit=1.5oz

tall stuff sack for neoair= 1.5oz

mapcase=2.5

-ditch this use a ziploc bag or two if you are really worried

databook=6.oz

hikethru book= 10.oz

-pick one, i forget which is which, but read one well before you go, then only carry the data book?

hot bag= 0.1oz

-what is this?

camp suds= 4.oz

kithchen sink= 4.4oz

-ditch this

solar rechargeing roll=6.4oz

-ditch this, they don't call it the long green tunnel for nothing. This item is dead weight, literally.

Brunton compass=3.6oz

hot shot mirror= 1.8oz

Peppermint soap= 8oz

-ditch this or the camp suds, if this is Dr. Bonners, then they are both biodegardeable. 8oz is a lot of soap. I did 3/4 of the trail with 3oz of dr. b

clothing

wicking shirts= 6.oz

socks= 2.lbs 5.oz

-2lbs of socks? You need 3 pairs, one to wear, one drying, and one backup in your pack.

polyshirt= 0.2oz

piero pants= 5.oz

boxers= 15.oz

smartwool socks= 15.oz

-is this in addittion to the 2lbs of socks?

This is what I have tenativly. Any items you think I should add or subject please include in your post. Was wondering about a bear vault? yes the weight adds up quick. food I figure 2.lbs per day at 15 days. then replenish.

-Bear vault not needed on the AT, some areas like the smokies and SNP you need to bear bag, use your 5l stuff sack for this when you get to camp. 15 days at a go? Carry 7 or 8 days of food, you will pass a town every 4-7 days except for a few exceptions. I wouldn't carry more than 10 days at a time.

fuel for stove 4 too start= 6.4 oz

-carry enough for your days of food +2

camelback bladder 2x= 12.04 oz

-What size bladders? you really only need 1 and a seperate hard water bottle like a nalgene or gatorade bottle. I carry a 3L camelbak and a 1l nalgene

gravity filter= 2.oz

As you can see, thats even more weight shaved. Really give each piece of gear a good hard thought, take some shake down hikes also. If it doesn't get used often, then consider ditching it or finding a multipurpose item. I am not sure how avid of a backpacker you are but make sure none of your clothing is cotton, especially your baselayers and underwear.

7:15 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

thanks for the initial shack down rambler. I get wieght and dead weight are just that. yes my spoon is metal. I was wondering the best time to start would it be april? Use my headlamp get that. Only 3 sets of socks ok, i will shack down what you said and reprint. yes my camel back is 3liter.soap is Dr Bs. what maxium weight am I shooting for ? i know theres no magic number.

7:58 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

sorry caught the weight I am shooting for.yes everything is polypro for layering. Socks i cant do straight wool.Allegeric found out the hardway. Breaking it down as you said and thinking it over.going to do a light shack down this weekend also. See what is generally multipurpose. Will repost new list later.Thanks rambler. awesome!

8:20 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

I would try to get as low as possible. That being said, it's not so much about the max weight "goal". It is however about not letting dead weight gear get a free ride. Every item should have a very clear purpose, and ideally have multiple functions, and be as light as your budget allows. And most importantly GET USED. If it doesn't get used every day or every couple days then ditch it, with the exception of the essentials.

Examples:

Don't cary camp suds and Dr. Bonners soap. Pick one, carry 2 or 3 oz and if you need to resupply buy a few oz in town or split a bottle with another hiker, or get it out of a hiker box.

Don'y cary a multitool and a knife, pick one. Be realistic about what gear you choose though, like are you really going to need a screwdriver, pliers, etc?

8:35 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Well I have started my first phase of planning to do the whole Appalation trail this summer...

First thing is to be sure you are on the right trail. Presumably, you are planning to to the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, or else runs from Maine to Georgia.{;=>D

Second is, ya gotta pronounce it right. On the southern half (south of the Mason-Dixon line), it is pronounced Ap-uh-latch-un. In the northern half, it is pronounced App-a-lay-chie-an. Or something close to those, with variations from one segment to another, sometimes within 10-20 miles.

Since I have never hiked the whole thing, I have no other advice. Other than almost everyone I know who has done it as a continuous through hike tells me that the ONLY way to do it is south to north, starting early in spring to allow for finishing before the winter sets in (just in case of delays). Every time I think about doing the AT, my professional scientist mind does the arithmetic (lessee, now, 20 miles a day is a good pace, for a couple thousand miles, is 100 days, or 3++ months - NO WAY for this Old GreyBeard to keep plugging away at it for that long - can't even concentrate for a full day as it is).

I must say, though, that the gear list above looks like it has more stuff than I am taking to Antarctica (or took to Denali), albeit less warmth (since you wouldn't need to prepare for -40 temperatures).

Well, good luck, young feller. Some things are for the young, strong, and foolish, and only for old geezers to look back on.

9:09 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

thanks Rambler former military communications geeks like myslef had to prepair for the worst in all senario's. which in terms means two is one at times. Hence seek quality advise and observation. Bill your still breathing and have been the world over. Hope I get that oppertunity as you! Thanks for the good wish's. Ps Bill my spelling has always been horrible thats why I have a personal assitant. To cover my 6!

10:03 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Revised tenative list.

Pack=6lbs

Stove jetboil=14.oz

Pack cover=5.3oz

Spoon titanium=0.2oz

knife=3.oz

duct tape=2.oz

bic lighters 2= 4.oz

bivy sack= 1lb 2oz

sleeping bag=12.oz

compression bag= 3.oz

Headlamp= 6.oz

batteries extra= 1.oz

bandana= 0.02oz

Gortex jacket= 2 lbs

therma rest repair kit= 1,5oz

tall stuff for neo= 1,5oz

neoair pad=14.oz

databook=6.oz

compass= 3.6oz

hot shot mirror= 1.8oz

DR B's soap=4.oz

10:09 p.m. on November 29, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

clothing

wicking shirts=6.oz

smartwool 3= 10.oz

polyshirt and briefs= 1.oz

piero pants=5.oz

boxers= 4.oz

Fuel=6.4

gravity filter= 2.oz

bladder= 6.4

nag bottle= 3.oz

Fleece jacket =4.oz

going to do a practicle test this weekend and see what could be shed even more. Any and all contributions would be appreciated. Thanks again.

6:17 a.m. on November 30, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Some more tid bits of advice for you. You may find that your goretex jacket is too hot for you in the warmer months, and may find it too hot at anytime while hiking. I would suggest looking into a lighter more breathable jacket maybe.

What are you cooking in? I don't see a pot on your list, or is the jet boil the one with it built in as part of the system?

Don't see your first aid kit on the list now, don't cut it completely, just only keep practical items that you will need on a semi regular basis.

Is the mirror there for a specific reason like your wearing contacts or something? I am assuming your compass has a mirror, would that one suffice for you?

Make sure you have a food bag in case you need to hang food. I use a sil dry bag think it's 20L and weighs like 2 or 3 oz.

I would carry 30-50ft of paracord or similar for bear bagging and otherwise general use, clothes line, repairs etc.

Thought about gaiters? If it's raining day after day you will get wet pretty much head to toe regardless of what rain gear you have, but a shorty or regular gaiter will keep mud and debris, and if done correctly water out of your boots.

For the colder weather you will probally want a little more insulation, don't forget gloves and a hat/beanie. A fleece jacket may not be enough this time of year for a shake down hike, and also may not be enough start out your first month or so of the AT. You can always mail back cold weather gear when you no longer need it.

8:15 a.m. on November 30, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

I am looking at it now like you said multi purpose/ Dumping the mirror cause yes my compass has one. Going through the first aid kit going to lay it out and reorg and weigh. Missed the hat and gloves! Thinking about alternate rain jacket. Also useing 2x5L for food. Always have paracord and missed putting it. I guess when you write it dowm makes you look at it objectively. thats what you were getting at. Also looked up the siite you said and they do the same thing. Rather have everyone here's advise before being fed to the wolves there.LOL Thanks rambler. I am going to test run this weekend then repost a new list for you to edit for me. Thanks again.

8:29 a.m. on November 30, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Read Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods and DON'T do what he did! (But enjoy the book anyway).

8:43 a.m. on November 30, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

thanks big red. I'll pick it up at lunch. also would like you to chime in after this weekends test run and take a look at my gear list as well. The more the merrier to see what I overlooked. Thanks

5:30 p.m. on November 30, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Thats why we're here Denis, here to help each other out and give some constructive crticism. It's always good to have multiple pairs of eyes take a look at your gear loadout. Just because your body might be able to handle a 50lbs pack(example) doesn't mean that you shouldn't strive to get as low as possible. Your body will thank you. The more comfortable you are the more you can enjoy your trip. You don't have to carry everything plus the kitchen sink to be safe, comfortable, and have a good time.

Have a good shake down hike, and be sure to check back in. I recommend a 3 day shake down hike. Sometimes overnight trips don't reveal as many gear quirks/issues.

8:57 p.m. on November 30, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

whiteblaze.net will have a wealth of information from people who have done the trail all the way down to the best place to resupply or places to stay.

11:10 p.m. on November 30, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Amen on that rambler. My jetboil is the one potter love it! Doing a three day like you reccomend. It does make sense to see what works and what doesn't. Learned along time ago more eye"s on a subject means more objectivity and a better outcome. JMCwatty- Rambler sent me there i also am reading some trail journals as well. Down loaded the thru hikers coompanion at the ALDHA pdf to work out a tenative resupply and shower itinerary.    the new one is published this month.Thanks  JC and rambler

11:31 p.m. on November 30, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Hiking the AT has been a sort of "fantasy" for me since I was a teenager - and more recently other trails like the PCT and JMT.  So it's interesting to at least read about others doing it.

I saw you listed your equipment but no details yet about food.  Have you given any thought yet to what you'll eat?

12:18 a.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

YES I have a bit NO.NOTTA> NIX> NIN> MRE"S. LOL I had 6 years eating those nasty things. The only countries who have good ones are Britian and Germany. It will be what I can  purchase from retailers in dehydration like Backpacker Gourmet and they will foward for me and what I put together and Vacum pack myself as well and ofset with purchase's from supermarkets. I have to have minimum of 5000 calories a day. I have a high metabolism and eat all the time. But any and all idea;s are much appreciated if you have some advise please contribute. I would greatly appreciate it Bheiser. If you are interested you could tag along anywhere you want to on the trail. I live 2 miles from the trail head here in Virginia. The most photographed point is the catawba Shelter which is 5 miles from my home. So when I hit here from GA I can dump and take 2 zero days to organize more for the eastern part.

1:27 a.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

I recommend that you read Long Distance Hiking - Lessons from the Appalachian Trail. It has statistical data that can help you plan your trip. You'll naturally shed weight - pack contents and body weight. When you're fed-up carrying the "load" you'll throw items away. Others do the same after they begin their journey. You'll see the litter along the way. You'll enjoy the Shenandoah's. It's considered the nicest part of the AT. Resupply of food and occasional gear including seasonal clothing and footwear need to be planned. Learn where food, water and gear sources are located. Distance between sources will define how much of what stuff you'll need to obtain. Determination to finish the trail and fighting boredom is needed. Six months is a long time. Bring some form of music and/or reading to help. Your occasionally present friends and fellow thru-hikers will help as well.

8:15 a.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Thats some great advise perfomance. been thinking about throwing my ipod nano in as well. have any idea's on a light nice digital camera that wont break the bank? Breaking down all my resupply points this up comeing week.

8:43 a.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Sony cybershots are had pretty cheap and are pretty decent little cameras. I just got a nicer camera recently and am looking to sell mine if your interested.

Lots of digital cameras that are two years old or so can be had for anywhere around 50-75$. The cybershot I have is 7.2mp DSC-700 , but there are tons of different models out on the market to choose from.

I liked the cybershot because it is quite small and could fit into a hip belt pocket etc easily, and can take short videos. One downside to it and alot of other point and shoot style cameras is the low light capability is somewhat limited. I just got a canon sx-210is which I am really liking.

11:28 a.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

The last time I was on the AT, I was, at times, eaten alive by bugs and at others distracted a bit.  Besides skeeters you have that tick problem in the East.  Head net? DEET? Permethrin? Smudge pots?

http://www.rei.com/category/4500001_Health+and+Safety/q/Sun+and+Bug+Protection

A small, lightweight book to while away tent time? A complete first aid guide is a good one to browse through for a refresher on your first legs of the trip.  I had a friend who downloaded 50 hours of 'books on tape' from the library.  It got him through many rainy days.

There are no shortage of books that give a general feel for what could be going on out there. Although you are not planning the extremes covered, the general information presented by the two below have points that are transferable to your epic.

   Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills (Mountaineers Books)

   The Mountaineering Hand Book (Craig Connally)

The last book has considerable new general information about equipment, clothing, fitness training, and other topics -- it is worth the read.  He describes, for example, a 3oz first aid kit that is probably more than you will want to carry.  The book is my companion to the Freedom of the Hills.  If you haven't read these its a good start on your personal library.

I'm sure you have found that there are countless recounts of the trail by successful and (as important) those who haven't finished (yet). A search for 'Appalachian Trail' or just AT TRAIL will give you more than you can read in a winter.  For example:

http://www.fred.net/kathy/at/atstate.html

Have fun out there.

For a digital camera, insure that the one you get will not eat batteries.  For example a high quality camera (e.g., Canon EOS) can get a thousand pictures from one of its batteries.  It is a bit expensive, cumbersome and heavy for your adventure. You probably don't need over 6 megapixel for the kinds of pictures you will be interested in.  Should fit in your shirt or jacket pocket.  Tri-pod would be nice, but not essential. 

You taking trek poles along?  If you can unload 20 pounds per stride onto them, you can redirect 40,000 pounds per mile away from the legs.  They can also double as tent poles or stakes on selected tents/tarps.  I wouldn't take a solo bivy along just to save weight.  You need some wiggle room for those times when you really could use a bit more comfort.  If you are handy, several tarp plans are available on the net.

Merino wool has fibers that are considerably longer than other wool products.  No more itch for most people.  Wool has exceptional properties other fabrics don't.  Might be worth a new look to see if merino wool still gives you problems with fewer pointy ends directed your way. As usual it is more expensive but it doesn't have a stink, stays warm when you need it.

11:40 a.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Speacock thanks for the links! I have read about the black flies and Mosqs. I was going to bring deet. Can"t repel all but can do my best and try and be comfortable. Thanks also for the book advise. Always great to hear some things I should add to my library and useful information all the way around! Rambler thanks for your advise on camera's keeping that in the back of my head!

12:37 p.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Don't forget a headnet for the bugs!

1:04 p.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Bring a Spelling book - A P P A L A C H I A N - Appalachian. You can pronounce it differently but there is only one correct spelling.

1:36 p.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!
1:53 p.m. on December 1, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Thanks for the links Speacock! I was reading about quilts yesterday.But thats not me . I am thinking about a ultralight tarp.Found one thats only 5.oz. Not a bad price either. Tentman ever hear the adage "There's an inner child in everyone". You could have made your point had you read all the post.Bill  S did it splendid and eloquently,  Read your from jersey what exit?

9:05 a.m. on December 2, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Starting to plan to do whole APPALATION TRAIL THIS SUMMER!

Rambler after going onto the sites and links everyone has given me. Realized what you and Bill were getting at. I guess their have been so many myths about what and how many items to take. Its about enjoying the whole experiance and not about how much new gizmo's or gadgets to do what can be accomplished with fewer items and some discipline. While being safe. I get the picture. But at your own pace of understanding. Glad you guys opened my eye's to a new approach and understanding.Thanks

12:38 p.m. on December 2, 2010 (EST)
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Denis, if you haven't already, you might want to read The Lure of a Long Trail: Planning a Thru-Hike, a four-part series we published last year. Barbara, our contributing writer who pulled it together did the PCT with her husband and 10-year-old daughter.

It won't give you specifics for your AT hike, but it may provide some food for thought about planning a thru-hike.

  • Part 1 (tips on choosing gear, training, resources)
  • Part 2 (what am I doing? and eating and drinking)
  • Part 3 (advice from Triple Crowners)
  • Part 4 (advice from trail angels)

 


6:32 p.m. on December 2, 2010 (EST)
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Alicia thank you for the article series they are a help. Excellent articles.! I have to tell you everyone here has been so helpful and teaching me to find new sources of information and new approach's. Its been a great learning experiance with the wealth of knowledge everyone has here on this forum . Its been great from the links ,  material to read and rambler giving me a gear shackdown. I looked up a forum from a well known publication thinking it may answer some more questions.But learned within 2 mins! It was a DUD! yeah. I  Like the publication! "But the forum" is more like facebook! Here is the forum from people who do what they love and enjoy and have knowledge and share it. It's awesome !

6:43 p.m. on December 2, 2010 (EST)
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Every once in a rare while somebody responds to information so that we know it got to them and was either appreciated or scratched off. 

Thanks for your involvement too Denis.

8:38 p.m. on December 2, 2010 (EST)
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Alicia thank you for the article series they are a help. Excellent articles.! I have to tell you everyone here has been so helpful and teaching me to find new sources of information and new approach's.

Glad you've found a lot of helpful advice, Denis. Good luck in your endeavors!

10:15 a.m. on December 3, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks Alicia. rambler starting out later today on my shackdown.Will repost new gear list when I get back. Everyone have a good weekend!

4:21 p.m. on December 3, 2010 (EST)
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Stay warm! Look forward to hearing back to see how things went.

12:58 a.m. on December 4, 2010 (EST)
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Dennis, You might consider going to www.cnet.com/ for digital camera reviews. Price is not the only issue to be concerned about.

5:15 p.m. on December 6, 2010 (EST)
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Hope your shake-down trip went well, snow and sleet all week here.

Speacock is right to suggest alternatives.  I've hiked 2000 miles of the PCT with a hammock and i loved it.  Light, fast set-up, never muddy or wet and really, really comfortable.  Good for 35F and above.  Sandals are a good choice too, except for snow.

 

Also good advice about having fun.  The people that had the most fun on the PCT where folks that just packed a bag and left at the last minute.  They didn't worry about gear one bit, just enjoyed the trip.  When you think about it, the AT is just a series of small 4-5 day trips, nothing more.  If i had to do it again, i would prepare a bit less (i spent a year and made most of my gear) and take as much time as possible to do the hike, not miss a single party on the way and live day to day.  It took me 3 months before i put my watch at the very bottom of my pack, wish i'd done it sooner.

Also, i wouldn't bother with food too much, you can buy everything you need at the grocery store and be on your way within an hour.  Hiker boxes are also good for food foraging.  Keep in mind that you can buy all you need along the way, send stuff home and change your gear as you go.  I shipped half my stuff home the second week and finished with a 10 lbs base weight.

 

In retrospect, i think that once you have the basic gear, an important part of trip preparation is reflecting on the reasons for the trip, what you want to accomplish and how you will deal with the many challenges on the way (general attitude).  By giving yourself a personnal goal you can accomplish much more and grow a lot from such an expedition, IMHO.

 

5:29 p.m. on December 6, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks franc! It did I enjoyed it. The weather changed on saturday and i got 2 inch's of snow on the trail. But it was great. It was nice to look at and relax and get away from work for awhile. franc ,Rambler and everyone have given me great links advise and sites to see. Read alot before the shakdown and putting the last notes I took while on the trail this weekend. To finish out my gear list. i look forward to the adventure and not really looking at a watch but how I feel each day. take it in stride. i will post my gear list in a little while so you guys can give me some more advise. Thanks

8:34 p.m. on December 6, 2010 (EST)
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gear list update

Pack 6 lbs

Stove 14oz

Spork o.2oz

packcover 2.oz

Knife 3.oz

Duct tape 2.oz

bic lighter x2 4.oz

Bivy sack 1 lb 2oz

Sleeping bag 12 oz

Compression bag 3.oz

Headlamp 6.oz

batteries  1.02 oz

Bandana  0.005 oz

Gortex jacket 1.5 lbs

Therma rest neoair 14.oz

therma rest repair 1.5oz

Stuff sack .7oz

data book 6.oz

compass 3.6 oz

Dr B's 3oz

Clothing

Wicking shirts 6.0z

Socks 10.oz

Poly shirt 0,02oz

Piro pants- 5.oz

boxers 9.oz

Fuel 6.4 oz

gravity filter 2.oz

bladder 6.4 oz

8:41 p.m. on December 6, 2010 (EST)
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nalgenne bottle 3.oz

gaiters 2.oz

Down inner liner 2.oz

All total  Net weight is about 15 pds. before food. With food should hit 23 pds. i realized i had to add the down liner do to the weather here how it changed on Saturday and it might be the same at the beginning of the trek. I can always mail gear home along the way. But this is what i came down to and its all being used. Also Rambler the gaiters were a great call I needed them. Thanks

9:36 p.m. on December 6, 2010 (EST)
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Now that is a much better gear list, and will be better on your back as well over the whole length of the AT.

I noticed you didn't post a first aid kit or repair kit. I carry a very simple like 4oz first aid kit, it has some gauze, a few bandaids, some antibiotic oitment, and an assorment of meds( ibuprofen, naproxen, benadryl, imodium ad).

Repair kit includes a small roll of duct tape, dental floss and a sewing needle. You can repair anything with dental floss and duct tape!

I would also highly recommend (as it is really essential) is to carry an emergency source of fire tinder. Cottons balls and vaseline, wetfire, storm matches, a sparkler etc. There are many options, but the point is to have one. In the winter this is super important. Take the following example; it's the middle of winter, it's 15F and your doing a water crossing. You slip and fall in, now you are completely soaked, all of your gear is wet, and you are on the verge of hyperthermia. Your hands are trembling so bad that you can't operate a simple bic lighter. And you need a fire NOW! You need a failproof way to make fire in any situation. You want something that is going to burn for at least 3+ minutes .

I personally carry several options due to using a woodgas stove. I have a few cottonballs and vaseline, a few tiny pieces of a fireplace starter log, and a sparkler cut into 3 3in pieces.

Food for thought anyways, I am sure others will chime in as well.

11:20 p.m. on December 6, 2010 (EST)
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I forgot to put the first aid kit when I posted and knew you would go right to it.LOL I rembered after and would pick it up here.3 oz and the dental floss and needle is a great idea. i will add that. I used hand sanitizer this weekend to start a fire satureday  A 2oz container should do for the trip. man thanks for all your effert and advise Rambler. It was alot easier to have someone see why I was lost in how to begin. Thanks !!! Dec 17 AT release's the new guides and maps for this season. I did order a 5 oz tarp on someone's suggestion. Which makes alot of sence and its lighter. It gets here in 6 wks. Also my tyvak ground cloth I forgot to add. I had that at work. 2 oz thats all I need.

10:20 p.m. on December 7, 2010 (EST)
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You might consider a balaclava for cool and cold weather. It's the most versatile headgear available. You can wear it around your neck, atop your head above or below your ears and all areas described as well. Your head looses the most heat. Polypropylene is my preference. It evaporates perspiration better than other materials because it's hydrophobic and drys quickly. You might consider chemical heaters for cold weather emergency heat. They're primarily available for hands and toes.

11:31 p.m. on December 7, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks performance. I have a polypro hat i can grab forgot to put on my list and my fleece gloves as well. Both weigh less than 3oz. Looked at the llink you left but i think for the trip I go real inexspensive digital camera. I have an exspensive one but I dont want to mess it up. Thanks for catching that.

6:52 p.m. on December 13, 2010 (EST)
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Good call on the first aid kit.  I forgot to bring medecine on a trip in the Rockies and had to walk 3 days with a bummed knees.  Not life-threatening but soooooo painful.  Now i always bring a full bottle of Ibuprofen.

PS : Duct tape is a good fire starter too.

9:13 p.m. on December 13, 2010 (EST)
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Yaeh ranbler gave me great advice and everyone else. I am hiking every other day for know to get my endurance up when I'll need it the most at the middle and end.LOL I also didn't know about the Duct tape being flamable. Thats great to know. The Ibuprofen is refered to infantry candy while I was in the military and yes I have a bottle as well.LOL I also have paracord to hang a bear bag using one of my stuff sacks that rambler recommended, Any other suggestions you may have?

11:20 p.m. on December 13, 2010 (EST)
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Maybe the most important thing beside Ibuprofen : Gold bound cream.  Gets rid of chaffing instantly.  It's way better than having to stick a bandana between your butt cheeks untill you get to town.

Happy trails!

11:25 p.m. on December 13, 2010 (EST)
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Maybe the most important thing beside Ibuprofen : Gold bound cream.  Gets rid of chaffing instantly.  It's way better than having to stick a bandana between your butt cheeks untill you get to town.

Happy trails!

 LOL thanks franc:-) thats good advice.

3:09 p.m. on December 15, 2010 (EST)
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Just wanted to let you know I moved this thread over to Trip Planning.

August 29, 2014
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