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First Solo Trip, forgetting anything?

First post here, been lurking for a while. I've been an avid day hiker for quite some time, but have only done backpacking for the past year or so. I am going to go on my first solo trip soon, and will be spending a week on the Sheltowee Trace. Is it considered acceptable to post a gear list and request feedback?

Welcome Lee, yes go for it, perfectly acceptable

what are your start and end points on the ST?

Thanks for the clarification Patrick. I'll be starting where the trail crosses KY 1956 around London and ending in Heidelberg in Lee County.

I don't have my gear in front of me, but this is what I've got to the best of my recollection, and can update when I get home from work.

Bag, Kelty Red Cloud
Straps for hammock
Bug net for hammock
Sleeping bag
One spare set clothes (pants, shirt, underwear, socks)
Wind breaker/rain jacket
Hat (worn)
3L Bladder
2 qt canteen for cooking use (old military issue style)
Bear bag
550 cord
JetBoil Flash
Spare fuel
Water filter
Purification tabs
Sven Saw
Fixed blade knife for preparing firewood
Wet wipes
Hand sanitizer
Tooth brush
North and South maps of ST
Tinder (cotton balls with Vaseline)
Waterproof matches
Fire steel
Whistle in case of emergency
Biodegradable soap
Head lamp
Spare batteries
Personal protection
Pocket juice
Couple of big zip locs for trash
First aid kit (minor and major)

That's all I can think of for now. I'll double check later.

well I would say you're not forgetting anything major from the list of ten essentials , but I don't see sun screen (but I do see a hat, hopefully it shades your neck and face well enough to count as sun protection)

Most of the advice you'll get will be to leave a lot of things behind.

there are some redundancies that stand out to me:

jetboil and a canteen, I would scrap the canteen

water filter and tabs, I would choose one or the other ( filter for me)

if going in summer not sure why you would need fire , but regardless, I've never personally needed a fixed blade knife on a recreational backpacking trip. same for the saw; I never bring one unless doing trail work

not sure about spare fuel container sizes, but an 8oz canister of isopropane for the jetboil would last me a full week with two water boils per day

firesteel and or the other for me

I'm not a big proponent of a lot of extra clothes, I usually only bring underwear, socks, and thin shirt to sleep in : dirty clothes are put back on each day. and a common notion is rain pants or long pants but not both

Kelty Red Cloud is a gigantic pack for a one week trip, but if that's what you have of course go with it




Thanks for the reply!

The canteen is collapsible and cannot be heated up to the best of my knowledge. Purpose is to have easily accessible water to use for cooking. 

Idea behind the filter and the tabs was just in case the filter broke, tabs are light weight and easily packed. I may end up leaving those behind and just taking the filter though.

I don't really need fire, I just enjoy a good camp fire. I don't intend on having one every night, maybe one or two tops.

I honestly didn't know how many boils I could expect from a canister of fuel, so I picked up an extra to take along since I have used part of the one I had already. The canisters are 100gm or 3.53 fl oz.

I agree about the matches or fire steel. I think I was taking the "two is one and one is none" mantra a little too far haha.

The Kelty is quite large, and it's certainly not full, but it's what I have. I also prefer to have a little too much space as opposed to not enough.

Hi Lee!

I second Patrick about the Sven saw, and the fixed blade for batoning, that might quickly drop a couple of pounds from your pack weight. It's easy this time of year to make a small fire and using smaller pieces of downed wood, following LNT guidelines. 

I'd consider adding a set of earplugs, things often go 'bump in the night' on people's early solo trips!

You should also be able to find plenty of info online on estimated boil times with iso-pro canisters, so you're not adding dead weight...

Pocket juice? If this is a power bank, you might not need it, unless  you're using your phone often. I've rarely needed extra electrons between shutting down the phone, or using airplane mode. 

I'm not familiar with the area; are you going to need water crossing shoes? 

Pack cover and/or pack liner?

Sit pad?

These are a few thoughts from the hip, welcome to Trailspace!!!

The backup on water purification won't cost you much weight, but I'd definitely drop the canteen. Your 3L bag should be enough to get you through dinner and breakfast even if you're camping dry. If you need more for a long carry I'd get another bag to save weight.


Patman said:

I've never personally needed a fixed blade knife on a recreational backpacking trip.



I used to only carry mine when I planned to clean trout but I discovered some really tasty, dried, Italian sausage recently that warrants a good knife for making thin slices. Extra weight, but great lunches :)

Thanks for the tips! Good call about the ear plugs, in my previous trips I have found that I am more on the "hyper" aware side, and squirrels have sounded pretty large lol. I was able to figure out that the smaller JetBoil fuel is good for 10-12 liters of water, dependent on conditions of course. As for pocket juice, my fiance is demanding that I check in once a day with a rough location (I think I'll drop a pin using google maps). So I figured it can't hurt to have some backup power. Other than that, I'll be on airplane mode. I may need some crossing shoes of some sort. There are several creeks/streams. I have a pack cover and put some things in bags as well.

Wearing ear plugs while going solo is a terrible idea.  Then you have no situational awareness.  Learning to overcome your fear and nervousness is part of the process. Take a nap during the day if you don't sleep well. I like to bring a dog for sentry duty.

December 1, 2020
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