View Full Version : Heading North early April first attempt all help wanted

03-10-2015, 10:37
Have pack down to 30 pounds filled with every thing I think I need, would like to eliminate 5lbs

John Rambo
03-10-2015, 10:47
That's pretty heavy! I'm not UL, but I my pack is surprisingly 15lb this time around. I just did the PCT, I've done a lot of the AT. I'm also thru-hiking starting in early April! If I see you out there, I'll shake you down. My name's Tee.

Rocket Jones
03-10-2015, 12:44
You'll find that 30lbs is pretty average. Post your gear list and you'll get plenty of opinions about what you've packed right and wrong. :)

03-10-2015, 15:03
Is everything you need including 4-5 days of food and some water? If so, your doing okay for early April.

If 30 pounds is gear only, you definitely need to shed some pounds.

Can't tell you what to eliminate or change out without knowing what you got now.

03-18-2015, 08:09
I'm about to start out as well and have my pack total down to about 24lbs including gopro, camera, and 6 days of food (which is more than I'll need starting out) 30lbs isnt bad... As long as you don't weigh 90 lbs.. :)

03-18-2015, 08:45
Agreed, 30 lbs is a good/avg weight. Head out & Have fun!!! Don't carry too much water & food, streams are plenty as well as resupply options in the south. If you need to adjust, adjust. ~Boots~

03-18-2015, 09:39
Agreed, 30 lbs is a good/avg weight. Head out & Have fun!!! Don't carry too much water & food, streams are plenty as well as resupply options in the south. If you need to adjust, adjust. ~Boots~

+1 Enjoy your hike!

03-18-2015, 20:28
Don't be afraid to start out heavy, by the time you get to Neil Gap you can make adjustments. I think my starting weight (with food and water) was 35, and believe it or not i stayed pretty close to that all the way to Katahdin. In hindsight there were things that could have been bounced ahead and even sent home, but I had everything I needed in case of extreme cold which being from San Diego was a major concern. Go out and have fun, one foot in front of the other and 6 months later you should be finished:-)
Remember, what's 6 months out of your life, if you live to be old it's just a blink the eye. 6 months of struggle for a lifetime of memories...never give an inch!

03-18-2015, 22:15
You could post a complete (really complete) list with weights for each item, and you'd get better feedback.

That said, a 30 pound total pack weight, for food, water, and gear, is on the light side of average.

03-18-2015, 23:04
I can't say much about weight since my complete winter rig will weigh in at about 30-32lbs. I was recently up at springier and with one exception, every single person I saw had a large pack on their back. I'm sure many will get rid of some stuff. Some of the packs were 50L but they had an awful lot of stuff strapped to the outside. For me I intend to go with a 50 once I am in the hot months but will start with a 65 and most everything inside the pack with the exception of my hammock.

03-19-2015, 07:36
as a "new" hiker, my pack (no food/water) sits around 21-23lb (depending on the extras I throw in there). throwing in the food & water takes me up to around the 30-35lb mark, depending on how many days I put in.

I haven't 'bought in' to the whole UL packing thing - probably because of the military background, and sleeping in sand or other uncomfortable places because there were few other options, when I choose to go out to the woods I want to be somewhat comfortable. I take a small stove that burns wood and has a place for a trangia fuel burner (instead of a cat-can stove), I take a 3.5oz insulated coffee cup with a sealable lid (I don't have blood in my veins, it turned to coffee long ago), etc.

As I look through my list though, I can tell you - the "big-3" (shelter/pack/sleep) are where my weight are, as most other people. I COULD eliminate probably 5lb or more adjusting just those items (hammock sleeping, WITH a WarBonnet SuperFly / Atmos 65L / good-old-army-black-MSS-sleeping-bag / older ThermaRest) and spending some money, but in the end, especially for the 'new' guy, I don't want to spend money replacing stuff that I'm very comfortable in.

Point is - I would bet if you sat down and looked through your 'Big-3' you could shave a few pounds, and if you moved to the 'Next-3' (cooking system, I forget the others) there would be a couple pounds more. Many hikers get down to 10-15lb or so relatively easily; if you choose that style of hiking, and it's for you, it's easily doable with a zillion 'expert' lists out there that will absolutely show you 10 options for each item (5 squares of toilet paper, cat-can stove/ beercan stove / beer can pot / one bandana / lightweight tarp / thin piece of foam / etc).

In the end, it's definitely a hike-your-own-hike. if you post a detailed list of your loadout (GearGrams makes this pretty easy to do, and you could put a link here) you'll definitely get recommendations on items to drop, items to replace, items to keep. But before spending a lot of money doing a bunch of replacing (or replacing gear that you really like and are comfortable with) I'd recommend trying it out and see what works. Even if you 'hike' 5 miles out from your house and back again, and camp overnight in the backyard, using only what's in your pack - you'll get an idea if your 30lb pack is too heavy for you (years and years, people have carried heavier packs than 30lb the entire way), if your gear works or you might want to take something a little more durable than a cat-can-stove (I hear JetBoils make everyone around them rage with envy), and give you confidence in the stuff you have. No, the flat road out from your house isn't a representation of the AT - but it will give you an idea of what it feels like to carry 30lb

plus, I always figure if my 3.5oz coffee cup winds up costing me too much trouble, I can always replace it with a recycled beer can down the road. I doubt there is any lack of empty beer cans following some of these kids down the trail ;)

03-19-2015, 07:44
and as some examples, if you "google" the following - ultralight backpacking gear list appalachian trail - you'll get more general gear recommendations than you could read. the first one to hit shows a 20lb loadout (with 3 days food and some water) and looks decently comfortable.

hike your own hike, and good luck!