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Hi, I have been reading this forum for some time, but this is my first post. I have written a list of all things that go into my pack. Basically, it's my checklist that I use to make sure I'm not forgetting anything before a hike. I'll be hiking from Killington, Vermont to NY this summer with my boyfriend, so many of the things on the list will be split between our 2 packs. I would love suggestions and ideas about my list from those of you who are veterans to this world of backpacking.
Backpack- Gregory Diva
tent 4 lbs
*sleeping bag 2 lbs 6 oz
pad 13 oz
*hammock 16 oz
*therma rest repair kit
*chair 10 oz
fuel 12 oz bottle heat (yellow)
platypus water bag
*2 tank tops
small bic lighters
*first aid kit
*bug spray 3 oz
solar battery charger????
sweetnlow instead of sugar
If my wife and I tried eating out of a communal cooking pot, somone would get hurt. Bad. We are resigned to carrying plastic plates.
You've got to really want the GPS, and coffee stuff and clothes pins and battery charger, pocket mail, fishing gear, hammock, clogs, second stove and even that chair to justify that extra work of carrying them. Many people would elect to do without.
That said, some extra weight can keep you sane. My list of extra stuff would include a mosquito head net and a paperback and birding binoculars. For others it is often a camera and journal or camp shoes. There have been some good bare-bones gear lists posted on this site that might be worth looking at. Extras are fine, IMHO, but only after real careful thought.
But the real reason for this post is to suggest one thing beyond all others:
I know you listed a first aid kit, but Moleskin really does deserve its own catagory.
My husband and I eat out of the same pot without any problems other than I am a pickier eater than him, so we eat what I like most of the time. We LOVE coffee, but choose not to carry the extra weight and drink tea without sugar instead. A chair would be nice, but I wouldn't carry it. I'm trying to get as much weight out of my pack as possible!
chapstick - Probably won't need in the summer
chair - Just bring a small piece of blue foam pad if you really want something to sit on.
coffee stuff & pot - Much as I like coffee it's more trouble and weight than it's worth.
pepsi stove & a wood stove? One or the other
utensils - One spork each is all you really need
water filter & iodine?
thermal bottoms - Probably won't need in the summer.
thermal top - Ditto
2 tank tops & t shirt - Just need 1 tank top
first aid kit - Be careful you don't get carried away
fishing gear - Unless you have licenses you won't be able to use (legally)
GPS - Don't really need if you have maps and are on the AT
pocketmail - How long are you going out for?
clothespins - Ditch. Just hand clothes ove a line or branch if you need to dry something.
solar battery charger - for?
sweetnlow instead of sugar - Drink water
crystal light - Ditto
sunglasses - Probably won't need if you're hiking in the trees.
Sleeping Bag: If you're talking July/August, you should be able to get a 30F bag for under 2 pounds if you can afford it.
Therma-Rest Repair Kit: If you do happen to get a leak, then resort to your hammock for the rest of the trip.
Chair: Use a Z-Rest sit mat to sit on and use it for your feet at the end of your Prolite 3s when you sleep in a shelter.
Cook Pot: Don't go larger than 1.5 liters here, ideally for 5-6 ounces total.
Wood Stove: Why this and a Pepsi stove?
Utensils: Get a Lexan spork for each of you (less than an ounce each).
Water Filter/Iodine: Use a bandanna or coffee filter to sift out the big stuff and Aqua Mira to purify (4 ounces total).
Socks: I've found that two pair of SmartWools plus a bunch of 2-oz. liner socks work well for my sweaty feet.
Sweatshirt: Go with a microfleece top (9 to 12 ounces).
Clogs: In the summer you could probably get by with flip-flops at 4-5 ounces a pair.
Tank Tops/T-shirt: Why 3? After 3 days they'll all be sweaty and disgusting. Just wear the same one each day you hike. When in town, roll up the sleeves of your thermal top while you do laundry or wear your rain jacket...
Poncho/Rain Pants: I'd go with a Frogg Toggs or ProVent jacket (9 oz. and $60) and either ditch the rain pants or replace with highly breathable DWR-coated wind pants.
Cigarettes: Not the place to preach ;)
Duck Tape: It's duct tape, and a foot or two around the top of your hiking poles should be sufficient.
Knife: A 1.5" blade is more than sufficient.
GPS: No need, unless you're going to be doing some geocaching or bushwacking.
Pack Cover: Use a 4 oz. silnylon pack cover or get by with a garbage bag.
Battery Charger: Put a few extra batteries in a post office food cache.
Sunglasses: You'll be under the trees all day in the "green tunnel".
Once you split up the items from your list, pack them up and weigh your packs. Put them on and go somewhere for a short hike. Maybe you will change your mind as to what you really need and what you can live without. You might realize that there is something else you need or want to carry along instead.
What about food? I didn't see anything listed. You can divide that between the two of you. Make a menu if possible. Plan your meals and snacks. You don't want to carry too much or not enough. In my early days I made the mistake of taking to much food and then on the next backpack not taking enough. I like green tea. My wife too along with coffee. There are some good brands of coffee that are in the tea bag style. Boil water, pour in the cup .... that sort of thing instead of taking a coffee pot. Just an idea. If you rather carry the pot that's okay. Everyone does their own thing and should hike their own hike. :)
Best Wishes and Happy Trails,
[Duck Tape: It's duct tape,]
Yea, I thought that too, until recently. The stuff was used during WWII and called duck tape by the troops because of the way it stuck and would shed water in wet conditions. It was later used for ductwork. So I guess either name is correct.
Hi, Thanks for the immediete imput on my pack. I'd like to clear up a few things.
The chair I am bringing is the thermarest one that my 3/4 thermarest pad fits into. This, I would say, is a neccesity for me, because I can't sit upright at a shelter or in Indian Style at a campsite for any length of time without feeling back pain. The chair rolls up in the inside of the pad and is attached to the outside of my pack. Basically, it's a luxury I dont think I can go without.
Coffee and cigarettes. I will atleast start out with these items, being as I have been addicted to them for over 20 years. Maybe, the AT will be the place to finally be able to put them behind me.
The 2 stoves- My Dad made me the homemade wood stove for Christmas. We plan on trying it out on a week trip this february in Florida. I have both stove's listed incase we have trouble finding alcohol on the trail. I am bringing the wood stove for piece of mind. If it works good, then we may ditch the pepsi can stove.
Water Filter and Iodine. My boyfriend has issues with drinking bad water, so he will be carrying both those items.
The thermal top and bottoms are super lightweight. I bought them many years ago. They roll up to practically nothing. I am a very cold sleeper, so I wear them to bed even on summer days.
The 2 tank tops I will be bringing, one has the bra built into it, the other is the wisk away material. I suppose I dont need both.
The fishing gear, I wasn't too sure about. I do love to fish and thought it would be fun to pass the time.
We both have GPS's and we both get lost alot in the woods. Pretty much, every weekend hike we have been on in (Harriman State Park), we have always gotten lost. Walked like 2 to 3 miles onto another trail, even with maps and the GPS units, we still get lost. Plus we like to print out our hikes and tape them to the walls when we get home.
We will be gone for over a month, so the pocketmail is basically to put our parents, friends and family's minds at ease. We don't want to have to call them eveytime we get to a town.
The clothespins were to be used to keep the tarp above our hammocks from sliding in. We can't seem to get thet right.
Solar Battery Charger- We're not sure on that one. Just thought it would come in handy, instead of buying batteries in town.
sweetn low and crystal light. The sweet n low is for my coffee addiction and the crystal light will be used to mix with vodka, on those nights where we really need a drink. lol
sunglasses- I usually dont bring sunglasses, but read somewhere that they are a neccessity for the eyes if being outdoors for a month straight.
sleeping bags. We just bought our sleeping bags and at 2lbs 6oz,they do the job for us. Any lighter than that, the price goes up dramatically.
Thermarest repair kit- The last trip we went on, a cinder popped onto my pad and popped it. I was miserab;e all night in the hammock (Freezing) without any air in my pad. Ordered the repair kit as soon as I got home.
Sweatshirt- It is a micro fleece
Clogs- I just got these from Campmore. Can't think of the name of them, but they actually weigh less than my flipflops plus I can walk around camp in them to gather firewood without losing one or falling over.
Poncho- Still ip in the air about the poncho. I am 5 feet tall, so the poncho could be used as a rain jacket, pack cover and rain pants all in one. I haven't bought it yet. But will probably go that route.
"Duck" tape- we have it wrapped around a pencil. But the hiking pole wrap around is a great idea.
Food- We seem to have the food rations down pretty good for weekend hikes. We will be hiking the AT from vermont to NY or further, and according to the data books and maps, it seems that restocking food every 3 or 4 days is a possibility in the towns. We basically eat lipton noodle bags every night, sometimes we put tuna in with it. We have coffee for breakfast and for lunch, we usually eat granola bars, bagels, crackers etc.. Is hitting a town, every 3 or 4 days in that area of the AT a doable thing? or do we need to haul more than 4 days of food with us?
Again, thanks for all your input about my pack. I can't wait to go to Florida in February and try it out before the big trip this summer.
Resupply Most hikers do resupply every 3 to 4 days. Some more often, and some less often. All depends on how far off the trail you want to go, and how often you want to. To decide for yourself, get the AT Data Book and either the ALDHA Companion or Wingfoot's Handbook. Then, make a base line schedule. From this, you can then select resupply places.
Ponchos Ponchos are OK if it's just raining and there is no wind. However, much of the trail is on a ridge line where it does get windy. I'd advocate a rain jacket and rain pants. My Frogg Togg rain pants are the only long pants that I bring along while hiking in the summer. They double as regular pants if it gets cool enough.
Thermarest repair kit IF your thermarest got punctured by a cinder, then you were probably not using a ground sheet underneith it. I'd recommend that you bring along a ground sheet. It protects the bottom of your tent, Therma-rest, and keeps you sleeping bag cleaner.
Hammocks If you are using hammocks, then you don't need a sleeping pad. a hammock weights roughly the same as a tent. So, if you bring along a pad, there goes the weight advantage.
Other gear, like fishing gear, and such, doesn't really weight that much. Bring it along if you want to. And, if you find that you are not using it, then lighten your pack by sending it home.
Hammocks If you are using hammocks, then you don't need a sleeping pad.
well I have to disagree here - if you are using hammocks you need to do something to keep you warm on the side toward the bottom of the hammock. A pad is one way of doing this and it can be quite successful depending on the pad. The nice thing about a pad is that if you end up in a shelter on on the ground for any reason you still have some padding to sleep on.
Ibuprofin deserves mention here. I went through quite a few on my section hike. I had to stop and buy more. I used more duct tape that I thought I would for my feet, because the moleskin would not stay on too well. At first I would put on moleskin them duct tape on top, then I just started using moleskin. Duct tape will also come in handy to repair gear, so I wouldn't skimp. You won't need an entire roll, but I'd carry enough for first aid and gear repair.