View Full Version : If you are hiking with a partener...

Angie J Romans
08-03-2014, 18:36
I am planning on hiking with my boyfriend, and am wondering if anyone splits up carrying supplies such as a tent and cookware? I'm trying to figure out if we should be two solo tents or one two person tent...

08-03-2014, 20:45
When I hike with my hiking partner, we are effectively two solo hikers - we bring individual tents, cook kits, food, etc. When I hike with my wife, we share as much as possible, including a 2 person tent, kitchen kit, water treatment, etc. I think the difference is that I am happy to sleep with my lovely wife, and not so much with my hiking partner... :)

In your case, it will depend on why you are hiking, why you are hiking together, and what sort of contract you have made with each other and with yourselves about your thru-hike. (This contract may be unspoken or even subconscious, but it exists and it's helpful to recognize that.) Wil you hike every day together and sleep every night in the same place? What happens if one of you is injured and needs to get off the trail? What happens if you decide you no longer want to hike together, but still want to thru-hike? What happens when one of you arrives at the shelter and waits for the other one, who for some reason never shows up? (And that person has the food, or the tent poles, or the water treatment, or some other necessary thing.) These are questions that should probably be considered ahead of time. (For more interesting ways of looking at this, see The Thru-Hiking Papers (http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/THP_top.html), written years ago by a couple of very experienced hikers and still very useful.)

Hiking with my wife (of almost thirty years) we're rarely more than a few meters apart, so none of this matters as much. With my regular hiking partner, we'll usually be nearby, but sometimes several hours apart. We always make specific plans about where we'll next meet and where we'll stay that night.

Good luck with all the planning and have a great hike.

Rocket Jones
08-04-2014, 06:38
Just for mental peace, I'd want to make sure that both partners had enough to camp solo for a night if needed. A small tarp for shelter, some food that could be eaten cold... that sort of thing. And like Ken says, a plan. Definitely have an idea ahead of time for how you might handle various situations, both alone and as a couple.

08-04-2014, 10:49
Go as two SOLO hikers don't split anything up, that way if you and your partner wants to hike without the other for a couple of days you will have the freedom to do so, i can't begin to tell you how many married couples i have met on the trail, they start off saying they love each other and a week later they are broke up hating each other.
How strong is your bond? The AT will either bring you guys closer together or tear you apart.

08-04-2014, 10:52
:welcomeTo WB.

08-04-2014, 12:53
My wife and I split up the tent, pole, fly, and groundcloth, as well as the kitchen.
Over a thousand foot miles later, all over the world, it's never been a problem.

but yes, how strong is your bond?

08-04-2014, 13:19
I would reco two complete setups. I was accidentally split from hiking partners overnight a couple of times on my thru.

08-04-2014, 13:38
I met and talked to a husband and wife at Speck Pond in Maine a few weeks back (young couple, SOBO). After some trial runs before their thru hike with 2 person tents, they finally decided on a Henry Squires 3 person tarptent which weighs virtually the same as a 2 person. They paid the extra money ($30) to get the tent seams totally sealed from the manufacturer. They seemed very pleased with their decision. One person carries the tent and the other carries the stove/cookware to split the load. They seemed fine with this arrangement. If you are close to your BF (as in living together), I'd split the load. Just don't split up or someone will be out in the cold lol.

Angie J Romans
08-05-2014, 08:54
Thanks for the replies. I am tryin to be cost and weight effecient...but I don't think I want to be with him 24/7 on the trail which brings me to another question. Is there a lightweight solo tent that could squeeze someone else in? (or a cheap 2 person?)

08-05-2014, 09:16
A Tarptent Rainbow is reasonably light and can squeeze in a second person on occasion. It's not too expensive, but not cheap. They are often available used. If you have a wealthy uncle who insists on buying you a tent, the Zpacks Hexamid Twin is pretty awesome - a palace for one and just fine for two. Crazy expensive but crazy light. Lots of hikers like the Hubba Hubba, not as light but easily fits two people and not too expensive and sometimes on sale, same with the REI Half Dome.

08-05-2014, 09:37
+1 on the zPacks Hexamid Twin Tarp (http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/hexamidtwin.shtml), ideally in Cuben Fiber if your crazy doting uncle has the bucks.

Gambit McCrae
08-05-2014, 10:02
I agree with all said above. To ensure no on eis left behind, I stop at all crossings of any sort fro everyone to catch up.Shelters, roads, trails, even atv crossovers. That way you can always evaluate how everyone is feeling.

08-05-2014, 18:07
I agree with Malto....
If you're not sure the two of you are going to stick together throughout the entire hike, I would be packing my own tent and cookware... camera also...
If it's just a tent issue, post tent allowance and members will chime in with recommendations.
I'm hiking the JMT this September, I have a Double Rainbow (1 yr old) I would consider selling you after I complete the hike
Pm if interested....