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lwhikerchris
11-06-2015, 16:52
Hello,

I'm starting my hike near the last week of February or first week of March 2016. My gear list is almost complete and I'd love some thru hikers to offer feedback on it please.

Here is the link to the spreadsheet:
http://lighterpack.com/r/2zfr8j

Thanks for your time and feedback!
Chris

4eyedbuzzard
11-06-2015, 18:45
First thing that stands out as a very possible problem? A 20F bag with a late February/early March start.

Other little things that raise questions and perhaps could be trimmed to lower weight: amount/weight of cooking gear, 5.6 oz of soap, SOL bivy AND an emergency blanket, 2 iPhones, 2 knives, etc.

lwhikerchris
11-06-2015, 23:46
Hi and thank you for your reply and taking the time to look at my list. I know, I am concerned with the 20 bag as I am a cold sleeper and was uncomfortable in it even at around 30. I plan on using the SOL bivy on the outside of my bag, though I haven't tested it yet. It might be smarter to just get a 0 bag.

I meant to take the emergency blanket off the list (done now). The soap will be portioned in a small plastic container. The 2 iPhones is a typo lol; I don't think I need 2. Maybe I'll throw one of the 2 knives in the bounce box and use it if I need it.

Thanks again for your feedback,
Chris

bigcranky
11-06-2015, 23:54
Not sure I would put my sleeping bag inside the SOL bivy, it doesn't really look all that breathable and your perspiration will soak the bag very quickly.

You're in PA, right? You can test your sleeping gear in the back yard this winter to dial it in.

lwhikerchris
11-06-2015, 23:54
As for the cooking stuff, I have a couple cooking kits that I need to whittle down. I have a gas one and a caldera/esbit/alcohol one; I'm going to do more testing this fall/winter on them to see what works best for me. I'm mostly concerned with the performance of the gas kit and wet weather, in which case I will take the esbit/alcohol kit. It's lighter too.

lwhikerchris
11-07-2015, 00:04
Thanks for the reply, Ken. Apparently the SOL is breathable. Once it arrives, I will test it. Yes, I'm in PA and have been doing some testing both on and off the trail. What is your sleep kit like? I prefer not to freeze my arse off...

WazoAZ
11-07-2015, 01:12
A few thoughts. First, your pad has an R value of 3.2. For a winter start, you might want to consider something with an R value over 5. The NeoAir XTerm has an R value of 5.7. As already pointed out, your sleeping bag might not be adequate. If you don't upgrade to a zero degree bag, you might consider a Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite Mummy Bag Liner which adds about 15 degrees is 8 ounces. A silk liner is about 4 ounces but only adds a few degrees. You could then use the liner as your summer bag and ship the 20 degree bag north to New England in Northern VA or WV. You seem to have 2 knives and 3 water treatment systems (sawyer plus 2 chemical). YOu also have 3 types of tape in you ditty bag.

You mentioned that you have 2 stoves but you also seem to have a generous supply of pots and mugs. Are you really planning to take this much?

I am having a bit of trouble following you clothing list. Some items are marked all, summer, or winter, but other items are not marked at all. I am also not sure what your starting base weight is. Have you ever tried using www.lighterpack.com ? It really helped me organize and evaluate my gear list. Check it out.

Duramax22
11-07-2015, 08:59
Thanks for the reply, Ken. Apparently the SOL is breathable. Once it arrives, I will test it. Yes, I'm in PA and have been doing some testing both on and off the trail. What is your sleep kit like? I prefer not to freeze my arse off...

My winter kit which i use on the at in winter and on the big mountains the rest of the year: Western Mountaineering Versalite 10 which i have slept to -15 before pretty comfortably and a Thermarest neoair all season which has an r value of 5.9. I also always carry a nalgene in the winter, if its extra cold boil some water, fill the nalgene, and toss it in your bag with you.

bigcranky
11-07-2015, 09:46
Mine is a Western Mountaineering Antelope, a Thermarest Prolite 4 and a closed cell foam pad, down booties, midweight base layers, down parka, gloves. I gave my winter-ish tent to a friend, so I will need to replace it before heading out in winter again. Probably with a Moment or Notch with the solid inner.

4eyedbuzzard
11-07-2015, 10:44
Hi and thank you for your reply and taking the time to look at my list. I know, I am concerned with the 20 bag as I am a cold sleeper and was uncomfortable in it even at around 30. I plan on using the SOL bivy on the outside of my bag, though I haven't tested it yet. It might be smarter to just get a 0 bag.

I meant to take the emergency blanket off the list (done now). The soap will be portioned in a small plastic container. The 2 iPhones is a typo lol; I don't think I need 2. Maybe I'll throw one of the 2 knives in the bounce box and use it if I need it.

Thanks again for your feedback,
ChrisYeah, if you were cold in your bag at 30F, I would be skeptical if a liner or bivy will even get you warm enough once up in the mountains. What I saw of the reviews for SOL bivy bag is that most used it on the inside as a vapor barrier bag even though it does breathe some. They also commented on having to adjust and vent it so as not to accumulate too much moisture even though it's breathable. That would be a bad issue if you got condensing moisture inside the bivy while it covered your bag. A wet sleeping bag wouldn't be easy to dry in winter. Avg low temps in GSMNP in Feb/early March will be teens to low twenties. But it can get really cold (like zero and even below). It's not usual, but entirely possible. Of course, if you get a warmer bag, you won't need it . If you don't, there will be record cold. Life just isn't fair in that sense. But you have to plan for some extremes, not just averages, so it's probable you'll at least see some single digit overnights. To increase bottom insulation you could add an inexpensive ccf pad in addition to the neoair and then get rid of the ccf pad once it warms up enough. Most of the other stuff isn't as critical as you can adjust as you go if you bring too much. Send stuff home or bounce it a week or so in. Carrying a couple extra pounds won't kill you. Error on the warm side with clothing.

egilbe
11-08-2015, 20:19
You can sleep in all your clothes, too. I mean, you're carrying them, may as well use them. You have several different Capilene layers. I'm assuming you plan on wearing them at some point.

lwhikerchris
11-08-2015, 20:41
As per suggestion by Waoz, I've moved the list to lighterpack.com here: http://lighterpack.com/r/2zfr8j

It might make for easier viewing.

lwhikerchris
11-08-2015, 20:42
You can sleep in all your clothes, too. I mean, you're carrying them, may as well use them. You have several different Capilene layers. I'm assuming you plan on wearing them at some point.

Yes, I plan on sleeping in those layers and/or wearing them on the trail and peeling them off as needed.

lwhikerchris
11-08-2015, 20:45
My winter kit which i use on the at in winter and on the big mountains the rest of the year: Western Mountaineering Versalite 10 which i have slept to -15 before pretty comfortably and a Thermarest neoair all season which has an r value of 5.9. I also always carry a nalgene in the winter, if its extra cold boil some water, fill the nalgene, and toss it in your bag with you.

I'm planning on getting and using a Thermarest Xtherm (R value 5.7) for the first couple months until it warms up enough to use my Xlite.

lwhikerchris
11-08-2015, 20:54
A few thoughts. First, your pad has an R value of 3.2. For a winter start, you might want to consider something with an R value over 5. The NeoAir XTerm has an R value of 5.7. As already pointed out, your sleeping bag might not be adequate. If you don't upgrade to a zero degree bag, you might consider a Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite Mummy Bag Liner which adds about 15 degrees is 8 ounces. A silk liner is about 4 ounces but only adds a few degrees. You could then use the liner as your summer bag and ship the 20 degree bag north to New England in Northern VA or WV. You seem to have 2 knives and 3 water treatment systems (sawyer plus 2 chemical). YOu also have 3 types of tape in you ditty bag.

You mentioned that you have 2 stoves but you also seem to have a generous supply of pots and mugs. Are you really planning to take this much?

I am having a bit of trouble following you clothing list. Some items are marked all, summer, or winter, but other items are not marked at all. I am also not sure what your starting base weight is. Have you ever tried using www.lighterpack.com (http://www.lighterpack.com) ? It really helped me organize and evaluate my gear list. Check it out.


Thanks for the suggestion to use lighterpack.com; it's much easier on the eyes. I'm also going to take your suggestion of the Xtherm for the first couple months and then move to my Xlite once nighttime temperatures are more forgiving. I have an old, heavy Kelty -20 bag that I might just lug for those first couple months as well; I know it will be warm enough but the downside is that it's a 5.5 lb brick.

lwhikerchris
11-08-2015, 20:57
In general it's looking like I almost need to organize 2 kits, a winter and summer kit. One to start with and one to end with.

egilbe
11-08-2015, 21:57
more or less, yes. You don't need a zero degree bag for summer. You don't need heavy winter hiking boots and snowshoes, either. For shoulder seasons you can get away with adding additional warming layers or another quilt over your summer bag.

jred321
11-09-2015, 20:19
Generally, you have a lot of stuff. There is opportunity to simplify and reduce




You have two pairs of gloves - one for rain, one for winter. Just get waterproof winter gloves. When it's warm enough to send home your gloves you won't need a rain pair anyways.
Probably don't need pants in the summer. Or base layers until you hit NH
Generally it looks like you have a lot of clothing. Look for redundant items that you could use for multiple purposes. Remember during the day you'll be sweating from the work you're doing, and at night you have your sleeping bag.
Consider using a clothing stuff sack for a pillow rather than bringing a separate one. Use a clean piece of clothing as a pillowcase so you can wash it.
No need for redundant water treatment systems. If for some reason yours breaks, ask someone else to use their Sawyer until you get to town. Most people use Sawyers
DEET can be left home until MA
You have two knives listed.
Do you know you need an ankle brace or is it just in case? If just in case, you could use your ACE Bandage wrap (or duct tape) to get you to town to buy one rather than carrying it just in case
Use duct tape for everything, leave the electric tape and fix tape
2.3oz for matches/flint seems like a lot. Bring a mini Bic. It will last the entire trail and more.
Use SmartWater bottles instead of a platy bladder. They're basically indestructible and are way easier to fill in slow moving water
Photon II lights can be left at home
Deodorant is worthless. You're going to smell.
Why are you carrying a rain jacket and keeping one in your bounce box?
Nothing in your bounce box is really needed, even in a bounce box. I don't remember running into anyone last year who consistently had a bounce box. Some people sent things ahead to themselves from time to time but not really a bounce box.
Consider bringing camp shoes
I don't see a food bag listed

capehiker
11-09-2015, 22:08
My observation is that your gear list is of a weekend hiker and not a long distance hiker. I recommend watching recent post thru hike gear vids or at least half way thru gear videos (avoid pre-hike videos as the gear most likely changes).

lwhikerchris
11-09-2015, 22:43
Generally, you have a lot of stuff. There is opportunity to simplify and reduce




You have two pairs of gloves - one for rain, one for winter. Just get waterproof winter gloves. When it's warm enough to send home your gloves you won't need a rain pair anyways.
Probably don't need pants in the summer. Or base layers until you hit NH
Generally it looks like you have a lot of clothing. Look for redundant items that you could use for multiple purposes. Remember during the day you'll be sweating from the work you're doing, and at night you have your sleeping bag.
Consider using a clothing stuff sack for a pillow rather than bringing a separate one. Use a clean piece of clothing as a pillowcase so you can wash it.
No need for redundant water treatment systems. If for some reason yours breaks, ask someone else to use their Sawyer until you get to town. Most people use Sawyers
DEET can be left home until MA
You have two knives listed.
Do you know you need an ankle brace or is it just in case? If just in case, you could use your ACE Bandage wrap (or duct tape) to get you to town to buy one rather than carrying it just in case
Use duct tape for everything, leave the electric tape and fix tape
2.3oz for matches/flint seems like a lot. Bring a mini Bic. It will last the entire trail and more.
Use SmartWater bottles instead of a platy bladder. They're basically indestructible and are way easier to fill in slow moving water
Photon II lights can be left at home
Deodorant is worthless. You're going to smell.
Why are you carrying a rain jacket and keeping one in your bounce box?
Nothing in your bounce box is really needed, even in a bounce box. I don't remember running into anyone last year who consistently had a bounce box. Some people sent things ahead to themselves from time to time but not really a bounce box.
Consider bringing camp shoes
I don't see a food bag listed



Hi and thank you for your message as well as the clear to read bullet points; it's appreciated.


2-3) Yes, I know there is a lot of clothing on that list and I'm looking for ways to trim it down. I have a habit of being redundant when trying to prepare; that's one of the main reasons I put my list up here for feedback. I wear several base layers even now in the fall (2 tops and 1 bottom) so I think I will keep most of them on there for my Feb. start.


4) I actually had a zpacks dry bag/pillow that I was using for a while and sold it because I couldn't sleep using it, so I ended up moving to the STS pillow, which works better for me.


5) Fair enough about the water systems; I'll use the sawyer and plastic bottles.


8) Yes, my ankle gives me problems sometimes.


10) I am in the process of getting a bic mini lighter.


14) Probably should stick to the one rain jacket that works best.


15) I am considering the bounce box something that will be sent to me later on the trail from home.


16) Yes, I do have a food bag; I forgot to list it.


Thanks again for pointing out redundancies.

lwhikerchris
11-09-2015, 22:44
My observation is that your gear list is of a weekend hiker and not a long distance hiker.

Thanks for your reply; care to elaborate?

lwhikerchris
11-09-2015, 23:24
BTW, does anyone know how I can edit my first post to put in a new link?

Connie
11-10-2015, 00:04
Donate, even then I think the amount of time passes to edit.

Post your new link, here.

coyote9
11-10-2015, 02:34
Here is what Im taking. Feel free to give feedback. Thanks

http://lighterpack.com/r/d8pf3f

Connie
11-10-2015, 06:48
Have you tried the sleeping bag in the hammock?

The down is compressed so it doesn't give much insulation value.

This is why there are underquilts for hammocks for backpacking. In fact, hammock camping hikers usually have an underquilt and a top quilt, rather than have a sleeping bag.

They also have a tarp rigged over the hammock, usually of special design: asym is minimalist, hex tarp is average, hex tarp with doors is enclosed.

Wind is a factor in conductive heat loss: I would think the sleeping bag could work for mild conditions because the down insulation under you is compressed.

Connie
11-10-2015, 06:51
<double post>

lwhikerchris
11-10-2015, 12:06
Donate, even then I think the amount of time passes to edit.

Post your new link, here.

Thanks for the info Connie.

coyote9
11-10-2015, 12:56
I have an under quilt but its just more bulk I dont like hassling with. I went back to just using the car windshield shade.

coyote9
11-10-2015, 13:11
I havnt decided if I want a standalone camera. I love to take pictures. I may also bring a tiny iPod

capehiker
11-10-2015, 23:56
Thanks for your reply; care to elaborate?

Jred summed up what I was thinking, with regards to redundancy and overkill on some of your gear choices, which he pointed out. The reason I said your list was more weekend hiker is because as short weekend hikers, we tend to take things that we really don't need, but because we're only out for 2 days, we still bring it. Long distance hiking really helps you pair down what is crucial. For example, I used to take a first aid kit that weighed almost 10 ounces. Then I realized all I needed was enough to get me to a road crossing. My FAK now weighs 2oz.

P.S. hope you don't think I was being condescending or anything like that. I wasn't. :)

lwhikerchris
11-11-2015, 01:20
Jred summed up what I was thinking, with regards to redundancy and overkill on some of your gear choices, which he pointed out. The reason I said your list was more weekend hiker is because as short weekend hikers, we tend to take things that we really don't need, but because we're only out for 2 days, we still bring it. Long distance hiking really helps you pair down what is crucial. For example, I used to take a first aid kit that weighed almost 10 ounces. Then I realized all I needed was enough to get me to a road crossing. My FAK now weighs 2oz.

P.S. hope you don't think I was being condescending or anything like that. I wasn't. :)


Thanks, capehiker. Yes, good point about bringing stuff we don't need. Since it doesn't really matter for short hikes whether it gets used or not, there is much less repercussion for bringing it.

So, yes, I have a lot of paring down to do still especially in my non-clothing stuff. As for clothing, I just want to make sure I'm warm enough because it will make or break morale.

Connie
11-11-2015, 08:07
..about clothing, I find a down vest adds considerable warmth as does a hat and gloves.

Everyone I have met says their "puffy" vest is the best money they have spent on warm clothing. I don't know I would go that far.

Let me see, no, I can't think of something better except perhaps my warm air mask.

Others insist their longjohns. I find a merino half-zip top and "silkweights" bottems can be too warm, however, if cold they are just the right thing to add.

I like layering a "windshirt" for most conditions.

Not speaking of actual "winter" conditions, then, I prefer silk-wool longjohns and bibs.

lwhikerchris
11-13-2015, 13:30
..about clothing, I find a down vest adds considerable warmth as does a hat and gloves.

Everyone I have met says their "puffy" vest is the best money they have spent on warm clothing. I don't know I would go that far.

Let me see, no, I can't think of something better except perhaps my warm air mask.

Others insist their longjohns. I find a merino half-zip top and "silkweights" bottems can be too warm, however, if cold they are just the right thing to add.

I like layering a "windshirt" for most conditions.

Not speaking of actual "winter" conditions, then, I prefer silk-wool longjohns and bibs.

Thanks for your reply, Connie. I've got a "down sweater" (it's a patagonia coat) that I believe will suffice in lieu of the vest suggestion, though maybe not as versatile. As for your warm air mask, can you provide a link or more info to that?

lwhikerchris
11-13-2015, 13:34
First thing that stands out as a very possible problem? A 20F bag with a late February/early March start.

I think I found an appropriate solution to my 20 bag issue. I also have a 40 MYOG bottom zip quilt that I was planning to use later in the hike, during less cool nights. I'm going to use both the 20 and 40 bags together, synthetic myog on the inside, down on the top. The quilt doesn't add much weight. I'm going to test this system in the upcoming weeks to see what happens.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.

scatman
11-13-2015, 14:01
I started Feb. 28th in 2001. I carried too much clothes. Here is my take. Mind you everyone deals with temperatures differently.

Loose the pack cover, just use a trash compactor bag.

Clothes
-Why three bottoms plus rain pants and I don't see pants to hike in. Fleece pants are over kill. Take one pant to hike in, rain paints and one base layer for night time.
-You have 6 tops. Take a rain jacket, puffy, shirt to hike in and one for camp. (if you really want another layer bring a nylon wind breaker.)
-The Turtle Fur balaclava is probably overkill

Cooking
-just one pot
-mug can be left at home, drink coffee or whatever from pot
-I agree, too much soap. Bounce box it and carry less
-I see no water storage on this list. Platy Bottles? Smart water bottles work well in the Mariposa

Electronics
-Photons can go

How do you plan to charge your phone?

squeezebox
11-13-2015, 14:29
When you get home from work change clothes, take a walk, fix dinner in the backyard, sleep outside. In the morning eat outside. Then come inside change, go to work. Repeat as often as possible.

Also don't be afraid to pack for your fears, and when you're not afraid anymore send it home.


May the light-ness be with you !!

squeezebox
11-13-2015, 14:38
You are not going to leave next week. You have time for this , I did the same, gotta know now!! Be calm and keep working at it.
En-lightment will come upon you in time Grasshopper.

lwhikerchris
11-13-2015, 19:18
I started Feb. 28th in 2001. I carried too much clothes. Here is my take. Mind you everyone deals with temperatures differently.

Loose the pack cover, just use a trash compactor bag.

Clothes
-Why three bottoms plus rain pants and I don't see pants to hike in. Fleece pants are over kill. Take one pant to hike in, rain paints and one base layer for night time.
-You have 6 tops. Take a rain jacket, puffy, shirt to hike in and one for camp. (if you really want another layer bring a nylon wind breaker.)
-The Turtle Fur balaclava is probably overkill

Cooking
-just one pot
-mug can be left at home, drink coffee or whatever from pot
-I agree, too much soap. Bounce box it and carry less
-I see no water storage on this list. Platy Bottles? Smart water bottles work well in the Mariposa

Electronics
-Photons can go

How do you plan to charge your phone?

Hi and thank you for your feedback and good suggestions.

As for the tops, I can probably pare them down. But, I don't have much "natural insulation" and will most likely lose most of what I do have. The cap layers are very lightweight; my idea is to layer the tops in event of cold nights or snow.

I'm not bringing all the warm weather clothes at first; maybe 1 pair shorts and 1 top if that. I'm either going to have them sent to me or pick them up when I get to PA since my home is 3 miles from the AT.

The cooking stuff is definitely getting pared down, no doubt. I'm going to test my caldera cone/esbit stove asap.

Yes, I do have 1 smart bottle and will be getting another. Do you recommend the 1.5L or the .75L?

Thanks again,
Chris

lwhikerchris
11-13-2015, 19:25
You are not going to leave next week. You have time for this , I did the same, gotta know now!! Be calm and keep working at it.
En-lightment will come upon you in time Grasshopper.

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement!!