First time overnight backpacking help

9:55 p.m. on May 22, 2018 (EDT)
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Hello everyone!!! 

I am super excited to hike the AT at some point, but this summer I am going to get the chance to do an overnight hike from the Falls to Springer Mountain and back. My question is, what is recommended for a hike of this distance? I am not worried about food, but gear. It will be me and one other person, and I am planning on sleeping in a hammock. 

Any tips and pointers would be greatly appreciated! Oh, and I will be going at the end of June. 

Thank you so much in advance! 

Helen

9:48 a.m. on May 23, 2018 (EDT)
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We have a comoletc equipment list on our sire: backpackthesierra.com.  Note that you dont need the latest andamost expensive equipment to have fun.  And  a simple overnight you can leave a lot of stuff home-- most people over pack on their first trip.

But I strongly suggest that you do a dry run at home, in your backyard or apartment.  Set up your tent, use your stove to cook, and sleep in your bag.  Every seasoned hiker does this with a new piece of equipment, and to you, all of the gear will be new!

10:13 a.m. on May 23, 2018 (EDT)
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Lay out your stuff on the living room floor before you go and leave about 40 % of it at home.  You are going to have a great time. 

11:17 a.m. on May 23, 2018 (EDT)
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Don't overpack clothing, you won't need a change of clothes (you'll be dirty, so what) but you do want a rain layer just in case. Be sure you have a system for hanging your food and smellables if you don't plan on staying in a shelter (note that there is no shelter on Springer).

Keep in mind that gear needs don't vary that much based on the length of the trip -- you'll need pretty much the same gear for 1 night as you would for 5 nights, for example. The longer you go the more variation in conditions you may face, and that's where you need to have extra gear to be prepared for significant variations in temperature, precipitation, trail conditions, etc.

Definitely do a dry run at home, as suggested. Post a list of the gear you currently have so we can critique it and make suggestions.

December 6, 2019
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