View Full Version : Hot Springs SOBO to Springer

09-16-2016, 10:31
I'm getting out of the Army shortly and want to take 30 days on the AT. I've done short stints in VT before but nothing like this. I've done a lot of strenuous hiking in the past (army) so physically I can do it. I'm worried about water and equipment. I'm going to be hanging as shelter and still haven't decided on a size or brand backpack. Any advice would be helpful!

09-17-2016, 12:23
Take a day, scroll down to all the specific gear and advice forums, read a bunch of prior posts and advice.

Water does need to be addressed. David Miller's AT guide SOBO will give you information on where the watersources are. Guthook's phone app is also awesome. Both give you all sorts of useful trail information. I like the Sawyer Squeeze filter and a couple of Smartwater bottles myself. I also recommend the bluedesert smart tube, so I don't have to reach back and grab the bottles. Other people swear by Aquamira.

Can get measured for pack size at a local outfitters, or try to measure it yourself. It's good that you figured out there are pack sizes before ordering one. While it's tempting to look at packs first, you should probably buy it after you've decided on the other gear. That way you can decide on how large of a pack you'll need.

You'll get more specific advice if you tell us a bit more, such as what season you intend to hike. Your rough budget, what you anticipate your backpacking or camping style might be will determine if you're looking at expensive ultralight gear, or dirt bagging do it yourself gear. Like to cook, plan on eating cold food, somewhere between with pouring hot water into a bag to rehydrate?

There's a better way to search these forums accurately, I can't recall the method though. Someone will be sure to chime in.

Welcome, do some more research, fine tune some questions, people will be glad to help.

Edited: Correct Sawyer mini to Sawyer Squeeze. Oops.

09-17-2016, 16:49
Sounds like a great plan. If you're in good hiking shape, you won't need 30 days to get from Hot Springs to Springer. You might consider starting at Springer and heading north, staying out as long as you like with no fixed end point. Since it appears you live in Georgia, maybe you can have someone pick you up when you're done.

Most long distance hikers end up with similar types of gear. A 2-3 pound internal frame pack (e.g., the ULA Circuit), a 2-pound tent or a hammock setup, a sub-2 pound down sleeping bag, a lightweight pad, an alcohol stove or a Jetboil, and minimal clothing. Lots of Sawyer Squeeze filters on the trail - light and easy to use. I like using 1-liter Gatorade bottles to carry and drink water, others like the Camelback style bladders.

Overall, though, gear isn't a big deal. Even if you try hard to get the heaviest gear, you'll still have half the total pack weight of a typical infantry soldier :) If you can get to Neels Gap or Hot Springs, there are excellent outfitters there who specialize in long distance hiking, and they can set you up with everything you need.

Good luck, hope you enjoy it.

09-20-2016, 09:41
Thanks man that's exactly what I was looking for. I figured I didn't need 30 days to do it but I own a cabin in Elijah Georgia, pretty close to springer. So when I'm done, whatever time I have left will be spent relaxing/recovering within the privacy of my cabin. You've inspired me to purchase the equipment I had in mind. Thank you.

09-22-2016, 16:53
If you need a ride going north, let me know. I live OTP Atlanta, but am always up for helping out.
Give me a chance to go check out Hot Springs NC, too.