View Full Version : First Post!

10-16-2014, 21:39
Hey all,
First post (just got approved by the moderators) although I've been reading a ton of the posts on the forum over the last couple of weeks. This site is phenomenal and I really appreciate the friendliness of everyone on here. I'm a 6'0, 160lbs, 23 y/o M college student from Delaware with a huge passion for nature and the environment (Enviro studies major). My backpacking experience is fairly limited and probably only have about 80miles under my waist straps, all about 10 years ago with Scouts (although I've done a ton of day hikes throughout DE, NJ, and PA more recently), and I really want to get into thru and section hiking a bit more seriously (Considering the JMT and AT on no specific time scale) I'm posting in the gear section because I've become pretty much OBSESSED with all the different gear and I think I'm finally narrowing down what I'm looking for, and figuring out what types of things I might like for myself based on previous experience. I kinda wanted to list what gear I already have and the gear I'm looking at buying for myself, keeping in mind that I already have some knee issues which is a serious consideration for weight. I'd really appreciate any feedback you might have to prevent over purchasing as cost is a concern, and I apologize for the intro paragraph :)

Osprey Atmos 65L (already own)
Sawyer Mini, I already own because of the size and weight and I like the versatility of it (gravity feed/including into camelback line), but possibly considering the squeeze for the increased flow rate
I'll probably pick up a couple of platypus' (platypi?) so that I'll have about 2-3 liters of water on me as I drink a lot, and probably a larger one for camp uses (maybe 5L?), which I plan on figuring out a gravity feed system for the larger one
Considering the ALPS mystique 1.0 for shelter because of the weight, and I like the added vestibule for gear under the fly, and I'll probably get lightweight
Ledge Sports FeatherLite +20 F Degree Ultra Light Design, Ultra Compact Sleeping Bag
Looking at the thermarest prolite versus the prolite plus. I'd like to get the 47" one that would come just below my knees (Don't plan on a lot of winter hiking), I've even considered getting a child's size pad (EMS brand) that packs down great and is super light
For food stuffs: MSR superfly (I like the stability and size of it), and the GSI pinnacle soloist for my cookware
I'll probably getting some low-mid grade trekking poles (2) from Cabela's for my knees
And I've also started to consider stuff sacks as well, not sure if cuben fibre or ultra-sil is better and not sure what sizes to get and how many.

That's all I've figured out so far and I really appreciate any advice you have. Thanks!!!

Sarcasm the elf
10-16-2014, 22:31
I own a pro-lite and my wife has a thermarest neo-air. The neo-air is both lighter and more comfortable. If I was buying a 3 season inflatable pad the neo-air would win easily.

The Atmos 65 is awesome, but you probably already know that.

If you are looking for a UL tent, check out Tarptent.com I've been very happy with mine and they make several one person tents that weigh under two pounds. lightheartgear.com also makes good UL tents, but I don't have personal experience with them.

lemon b
10-16-2014, 23:21
Think Aqui Mire for water if going over 1000 miles. Personally I carry water in power aide bottles, For keeping equipment dry the least expensive are the largest (Gal I believe) Zip lock bags. Can also just keep some funds aside and buy as you go because personal preferences change. change.

Also, think about clothing. Smartwool is a nice midlayer. On the bag if your not 100 percent sure you can keep it dry. Look into syn. not just down.

Welcome aboard. You will get all types of opinions. Be careful of suggestions with the added message I just happen to have an extra for sale.

Also, the most important are boots and socks. Do not get boots or footware on-line.

You sound like a pretty smart young man. Mental attitude is very important.
Take your time remembering learning and education make a hike fun.

10-17-2014, 01:16
Sounds like you have a good start. If you can find some people local to you that have equipment and r willing to show it to you....that is the cheepest way to learn about what may work for you....

Hiking and camping equipment is a little like buying a car....there are catties and there are yugos....and everything between...

"$$$$" does not mean best and "$" does not mean good.

Walmart vs. REI ???? yes, No, maybe.... research, research, research.....yes you will buy and find that the items is not what you are looking for....that is ok.....put it in your R&D account and move on....
You can even buy and modify.....

What is your main goal??? light.... or super comfort.... You can have both.....remember you get what you pay for....:-?

10-17-2014, 21:36
I did look at both of those and saving $30 for 2 tenths of a pound, the prolite plus seemed like the better deal. As for the tents, the single person tents at tarptents look really awesome! But they also are a bit out of my budget. I'd definitely be into upgrading at some point though, and I 'll definitely look there again in the future. For the water treatment, I'm not convince that Aqua Mire doesn't come with a funny tasting water and would come with some sediment as well. And I've been testing out several base layers and figuring out what my different layers are going to be. I've been trying on a bunch of rain jackets, because some fit funny and some feel like plastic bags. Once I get a tent I'd probably be messing around to see if I could wear the tarp as a rain jacket. I'm wearing mid cut merrell hiking boots and I've been tesing out different sock techniques (such as liners vs no liners, different thicknesses that work for comfort and best fit in the boot) but wool socks get expensive quick! I'm putting a lot of things on the Christmas list this year..

10-18-2014, 13:08
Gear selection posts will get you a variety of responses based on the poster's preferences or biases. I can give you mine (for what it's worth).
- Osprey Atmos 65L pack = Good pack. A little big for a thru-hiker's pack. Saw a lot of Atmos 50L packs on the AT.
- Sawyer Mini = Recently bought one but have only used it once. Wasn't too impressed w/ the flow-rate. Looked a lot slower than what I observed w/ the Sawyer Squeeze. I used AquaMira drops. Really liked it. Been using them for over a decade. The only problem w/ them is that you need to be sure the caps are threaded properly & tightly closed.
- Platypus containers = Great water containers. I carried the 2L on my hike along w/ two 1L water bottles (Aquafina bottles). On a long thru-hike, you'll probably have to replace it (I did).
- Alps Shelter = unfamiliar w/ the brand/model. Tarptents makes some nice single-wall tents. So does Z-packs (but they're expensive).
- Ledge Sports Sleeping bag = never heard of it. I'm partial to Western Mountaineering sleeping bags. Very expensive but top of the line.
- Sleeping pads = I really like my NeoAir X-lite. From 15 deg to 80 deg, it worked great. Really comfy. Expensive, tho. If you want to cut costs & reduce potential leaks, go w/ a close-cell foam pad (Ridgerest or Z-rest). Your young bones would be able to tolerate it better than my old ones.
- Food stuff = Any lightweight canister stove would work. Don't worry so much about stability per se. The GSI Soloist is a nice rig. A little heavy, tho. I'm partial to the Evernew 0.9L pot (wide base) that isn't teflon-coated. I used it w/ an alcohol stove on my AT thru-hike.
- Hiking poles = Go w/ a brand name pair of hiking poles: Black Diamond, Leki, REI, etc. The el-cheapo brands won't last long.
- Stuff sacks = Sinylon is cheaper than cuben fiber. I'd concentrate on losing weight in my bigger items first & then see if I had enough money for cuben fiber stuff sacks.

Wish you luck in your pursuits. Do a thru-hike when your younger. It's easier when you're younger. Just be sure your finances are squared away before you start.

10-18-2014, 14:13
Thanks for the advice! I'm definitely going to start with 5-7 day section hikes on the AT, and other loops around MD, PA, DE, NJ to really fine tune my preferences and understand the capacity each piece of equipment has so I can continue to upgrade.