View Full Version : Gear List for Review: Late-October NC/TN Trip

09-10-2015, 20:53
Hi, all! This represents painstaking work and thought so be kind. I'd love any constructive thoughts and criticism of the attached gear list for a 7-day late-October trip in northern NC/TN. My biggest concern is the uncertainty of the weather that time of year. I've been told "it's winter hiking at that point." Is it? Do I have the right stuff? Keep in mind I'm a VERY cold sleeper... Also, I will be in shelters some and the hammock some, so I need a pad and pillow, but hammock stuff too. I have a 0 degree UQ, but for the nights I hang I figure the pad and bag liner will work well with the 40 degree UQ, no? Happy with my weight below 30 pounds but still seems like a lot of stuff. Thanks in advance!

09-10-2015, 21:28
no this is not "winter". You will be a few weeks past the peak leaf season, but leaves will still be on trees. For a 7 day trip you can check the weather before you leave for any unusual storms or weather conditions. But generally this is a great time. Temps during the day probably 60s to 70's (nice for hiking). Probably won't get down to freezing at night. It seems like the cold rainy/icy/weather does not start until December.

09-10-2015, 23:03
Where will you be hiking? Elevation? Tree cover or lack of it to block the wind? Things like that matter.
It may not be winter, but it surely won't be summer either. I do agree that October is a great month in the mountains.
Find Ray's Weather online. Very good mountain weather forecasts. Ray knows.


Sent from somewhere around here.

09-11-2015, 08:28
Thanks for the input. I'll be on the AT in northern NC/TN, like I mentioned ;) Can people see the PDF I attached? It'd be helpful to have comments on the actual gear list. Or, maybe I'm just that good that it's right on--but I doubt it! Haha!

09-11-2015, 09:44
The gear list looks right to me for that region in that time-frame.
temperatures are highly variable that time of year.

You should be warm enough. You could use the underquilt in addition to the rest of the stuff in a shelter, if you get a really cold snap, and still be fine.

Is that tarp large enough to be a wind-block? If not, select your hammock sites carefully, I recently slept cold in 60 degree weather in a hammock, my tarp is not big enough to be an effective wind block, and the persistent 15-mph (estimate) breeze over the ridge and under my hammock was enough to beat my summer-weight gear (no underquilt).

09-11-2015, 09:49
Hmm...I think you're looking pretty good. I'll be south of you at the same time. Our quilts are similar...even the same liner...was most concerned with your base layers. For me:

(cold sleeper here too...)

I practically always have:

- lt-wt bottoms
- lt-wt merino wool top
- mid-wt merino wool top

For (moderate) winter I add:

- hvy-wt merino wool top
- lt-wt puffy to wear over all the tops
- down beanie
- gloves/mittens
- down booties <- maybe
- arc'teryx lt atom hoody as a outermost layer <- this is a maybe weather depending, but highly likely

Will likely be walking in shorts and short sleeve shirt with the lt-wt merino wool top coming on and off.

Nice gear list!

Making the assumption that you're "Sleeping underwear" is a top and bottom combo, so it could be combined with your "Sleep Shirt--W" and your "Sleep Pants--W"...which seems like a decent layering system. Then all that could be combined with your "Light Fleece" if needed.

If that assumption is incorrect and "Sleeping underwear" isn't like a "union suit" I'd add a lt-wt or mid-wt top at least. But, that's just me. Can't wait to get out there in late Oct...have a great hike!

09-11-2015, 11:01
the AT in northern NC/TN
That covers a couple hundred miles.

From the Smokies to US-19E? Roan Highlands at 6,000+ feet near the end of October?
Halloween, 2014 it snowed in Boone, NC NE of Elk Park, NC on US-19E. Got the picture of the snowman that the grand kids built. The ridges along the AT south of 19E got more snow than Boone. Be prepared.


09-11-2015, 12:14
Thanks, all. Stubby, that's exactly what I was thinking for the UQ in the shelter--trying to make sure I"m modular on this trip and can adjust to changing situations. I have a WM sleeping bag I thought of taking, but not so great for the hammock. The tarp is slightly smaller than the WB Superfly but the same shape, so it has great coverage.

Chris, I'm drooling over your down beanie and booties. Been eyeing some booties, for sure, maybe I'll tell Santa... :) As for the undies, just a girl thing prolly to have a bra and panties under my long johns (sleep shirt/sleep pants). I, uh, went without one trip and hanging around camp with a bunch of handsome hikers felt a bit awkward.

09-11-2015, 16:00
I live in NC and backpack but not always in that area. It isn't winter by any stretch of the word. Leaves will be falling. it will get cold but it can also be rather warm as well.

I have seen light snow fall that time of the year.

Wear orange and carry bells.....it's hunting season (muzzle-loaders) around then

Your list looks perfectly fine with me.

09-11-2015, 22:17
Between NC and TN you have to check both states hunting seasons. Note that bear season start Oct 10 and goes to Nov 21 in NC.(using guns..)
Also last weekend in Oct,deer hunting in TN is allowed for kids < 16....so wear orange hat and vest

09-12-2015, 06:55
I assume you intend to re supply somewhere, otherwise your food rations seem awfully light.
Also, just one liter of water? Not enough in my opinion.
just one other point, take a backup 'bic' lighter, it's light and just makes sense.
Enjoy your hike, that's a beautiful time of year up there.

09-14-2015, 09:10
Booney, thanks on that, picked up an orange shirt this weekend!

Hoofit, I know my food is light but I don't eat much while hiking, especially in terms of a big meal like a big lunch or dinner. I try to make sure what I do carry is small, light and calorie dense. I dehydrate my own dinners and they are crazy light! I have 2 L of water on board, which I guess is more than the 2 pounds I listed. You're right, I should take a backup lighter or a few matches on this trip since it's several days and I'm not planning to get off trail. Thank you!

09-14-2015, 16:10

You didn't say what 7 day section you were hiking and there are some higher elev areas in those sections. This will affect weather experienced. Do heed up to date weather reports immediately preceding the hike noting at what elev the nearby weather report was taken and subtract 3.3* for every additional 1000 ft in elev gain for the weather you will experience. Cold rain reported @ 2000 ft elev @ 35* could be ice or snow at 5000 ft + elev. Weather in late Oct in that area is variable.

Don't know if you have any nearby or on trail resupply supplementing that could be done on your section but 6 lbs food total for a 7 dayer is light.

1 L of H20 is about 2.2 lbs. If deciding on carrying 2 L which MAY not be necessary is adding 4.5 lbs to your haul.

Seems your hammock warmth will be sufficient, perhaps overly so given you wearing all those extremities accessories and apparel to sleep although, again, weather, CS selection, how you employ ALL your kit, metabolism, etc can play roles in your sleep warmth. At that time of the yr though AT lean-to space, likely uncrowded, will be available for optional sheltering to the ground.

Sleep system looks good but I don't have a huge amt of cooler weather hammocking experience as it's not my shelter of choice when regularly possibly dipping into the low 30's-. You absolutely COULD get freezing nights depending on....weather, elev, etc. Again, if you wisely a vil yourself of your entire range of clothing you might condor dropping the S2S rather heavy 14 oz liner totally or dropping to a much light wt one.

It's a 7 day hike so unless you plan on using your electronics extemsively consider dropping the 8+ oz charger and possibly the 7+ oz satellite.

As stated the weather can be quite variable from day to day and from day time highs to night tome lows during that time of the yr on the AT, perhaps, more so at the highest elevations, so I would like to see greater layering variability. Consider the odds of you EVER wearing all those layers at once AND if you did for how long out of necessity? For example, could you EVER see yourself wearing all those torso layers AND those extremity accessories all at once remembering the Precip and possible rain pants are layers to be employed NOT just when it's rainy? i.e.; UA LS Heat Wear shirt, UA LS Cold Wear shirt, NB 1/4 zip LS fleece, MH Ghost Whisper, Marmot PreCip AND while having ALL those four, at least from my count, hoods/headware up, gloves/mittens, etc. Kinda hardcore UL but who says a liner can't be draped over your shudders wrapped around your torso under your last layer for warmth? Sometimes, 3 even 4 thinner layers that offer greater variety addressing a wider range of trail conditions world better and is employed more frequently all or in part that bulkier thicker layers. This is the type of seasonal hiking timeframe when it might be wise to consider that apparel approach. And, when thinking dry sleeping TORSO layers as part of your sleep system warmth consider layering that layer as a mid layer WORN WHEN HIKING which often can be kept dry AND USED BOTH FOR SLEEPING AND HIKING making it less of a need to carry BOTH hiking and sleeping apparel.

09-14-2015, 16:19
Since the weather could be quite variable you possibly could drop, say, the fleece, and add in a brightly colored tee for base layering, as stand alone torso piece, or layering as your last layer for hunter identification(opt for a one size larger tee), a merino tee being my choice in late Oct. Consider the apparel versatility addressing variable weather with the layering of a vest and/or convertible pants. You could experience some warmish sunny hiking days/times so if you are open to it, and if you don't already hike in the ExOfficio boxers(I've done that as a male), sometimes nice to hike in shorts or have that option in widely variable weather.

09-14-2015, 16:23
Dropping some of those gear or water wts entirely or reducing them opens up the opp for adding some more food wt. Under cooler conditions in the fall its' nice to have something warm to drink like soup, broth, hot chocolate, tea, etc as it provides a psychological boost as well as adding in some cals/nutrition.

09-15-2015, 08:34
Dogwood! Wow, thank you for the detail, great stuff! I'll have to digest it... But at a glance, I hadn't even thought maybe some Cup a Soup packets would be a nice addition! (I'm a really light eater when I'm out, plus, I dehydrate my own food so it's super light.)