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llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 02:59
Wife and I were loading everything up in my Excursion to head down to GA. and then an hour later... we weren't.

We were going over the last of the things before we left and started loading everything into my pack. Everything fit well, but then we noticed the food bag had never been put in. There was no room for it. My 65L pack was full and the food didn't fit.

That was when we stopped, we just sat there not knowing what we had done wrong. Eventually we just said to each other "We've messed something up somehow" and then admitted that we might not be ready to do this. Even if my food bag fit there was still the issue of there not being enough room for my little pup for when she can't walk (rain, snow, rocks).

So it is with that I have to quit. If I can't figure out how to pack my pack then I'm a failure and can't go. No idea where to go from here, this is really killing me :(

Maui Rhino
03-26-2017, 03:08
Sounds to me like you're making last minute excuses. Don't let the butterflies and doubts stop you. Pack your gear as best you can and go. If you gotta strap your food issue your pack for a bit, so be it. You're figure it out as you hike. You CAN do this...

Maui Rhino
03-26-2017, 03:10
....Strap your food outside your pack....

Pastor Bryon
03-26-2017, 03:17
Start doing some section hikes, figure out how to change your pack list...learn...adjust.

You aren't a failure unless you never set foot on the trail at all. Don't quit...adapt.

Can't imagine how you are feeling, to be honest, but (God willing!!!) there is a path forward.

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 03:23
Is that really an option? Right now all I have is my Fly Creek UL2, my sleeping bag, cookset (one pot micro rocket and fuel can), rain jacket, and puffy coat. For having a 65L (Osprey atmos 65 AG) pack and it being plum full amazes me. It doesn't seem like there is anything I can cut from my gear to make it any better either. We just sat in the living room and pondered for a good hour trying to make it work and nothing.

MuddyWaters
03-26-2017, 03:36
Put tent, sleeping pad outside
Leave pup
Youll figure things out as you go
Youre making excuses....
They will help at mountain crossings on day 3 if you havent figured it out...

rashamon12
03-26-2017, 03:40
In a 65L bag there is always something you can cut or ajust to make room. Repacking things and saving a tiny bit of space can add up as well. If you have to do without something because there are people out there who are only carrying like 10lbs base weight and so forth. Gear is not everything its knowing what you NEED vs what you want. Knowlage makes up for what you dont bring majority of the time besides luxories. Post your gear list and possibly someone can help.

kickatree
03-26-2017, 03:41
Wife and I were loading everything up in my Excursion to head down to GA. and then an hour later... we weren't.

We were going over the last of the things before we left and started loading everything into my pack. Everything fit well, but then we noticed the food bag had never been put in. There was no room for it. My 65L pack was full and the food didn't fit.

That was when we stopped, we just sat there not knowing what we had done wrong. Eventually we just said to each other "We've messed something up somehow" and then admitted that we might not be ready to do this. Even if my food bag fit there was still the issue of there not being enough room for my little pup for when she can't walk (rain, snow, rocks).

So it is with that I have to quit. If I can't figure out how to pack my pack then I'm a failure and can't go. No idea where to go from here, this is really killing me :(
Figure it out! Clearly uou can shakedown your contents. Pull the Sleeping Bag out of its stuffsack and the close too. One set of close for hiking and mother for sleeping and rotation. Pack all loosely in a compactor bag. You will get allot of extra space by just doing that. Give up my ass! Learn...you'll be doing allot of that all along the trail....you'll be fine.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

kickatree
03-26-2017, 03:43
Sorry for the typos

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Decibel
03-26-2017, 04:55
Sounds like a very bad case of Fletcheritis. Colin Fletcher, look him up. One of the worse I've ever seen. I had it on the start of the Long Trail but I got over it quick enough.

ScareBear
03-26-2017, 06:53
Leave the dog, dog food and dog gear. It is going to be difficult enough for you to make it, impossible for you and your pup. You just had an instance of unrealistic expectations meeting harsh reality. Deal with it.

A 65L pack is MORE than enough to do an AT thru. More than enough. Period. If you can't fit all your gear inside, then you are doing something very very wrong. Strap your tent to the outside of your pack, put your tent poles in a side pocket, carry your hydration outside, carry your rain gear in an outside pocket, strap your camp shoes on the outside, hang your mess kit outside, WHATEVER! Honestly, WTH are you carrying? Did you even bother to weigh that dang pack? How much does your food bag weigh?

For all the time you spent posting about your thru, you could have been shaking down your gear and doing some training hikes...

Epic. Fail. Before. Even. Starting.

Cue the violins....

scudder
03-26-2017, 06:58
maybe lower your expectations a bit. go to daleville and start walking, or harper's ferry and try to make it back home.see how it actually feels. you'll be amazed at how fast you figure out what you need once you get a little more practice. good luck

Traffic Jam
03-26-2017, 07:54
Most of us have had some epic fails and serious doubts. Keep working towards your goals and things will work out.
My first attempt at solo hiking...I ended up sleeping in my car. :)

Jeff
03-26-2017, 08:01
If you are driving, stop at Mountain Crossings before you start hiking. They can offer lots of good information regarding your backpack and contents.

Sandy of PA
03-26-2017, 08:02
Animal carried his food in a five gallon bucket, problem solved.

StealthHikerBoy
03-26-2017, 08:06
You are quitting way to easily. I had that exact problem when I first started out. I had a 60l pack and for the life of me couldn't get everything into it. And, I didn't think I was carrying all that much. I can now pack for about 8 days in the 55l pack I have including a bear can. So, this can be done. Basically, it is this website that helped me learn how to do it.

Post your gear list here. Post everything you have. People will chime in quickly. Odds are pretty good that you are carrying some things you don't need and other things that can be a quick fix. You really should be able to get everything inside a 65l pack, so you are doing something wrong, but rather that quit, look for advice.

TTT
03-26-2017, 08:26
Repack your food. Crush it and put it into ziplocks. 60% of it is dead air.
Not sure why you complicating life and taking a puppy with you
I have a 55L backpack and have room left over for goat. You gotta get macho jamming the stuff in

soilman
03-26-2017, 08:26
I finished my thru with an Atmos 65 and had plenty of empty space. I don't want to discourage you but maybe you really aren't ready to go and you know it deep inside. I suggest that you delay your thru and do some shakedown hikes. I believe the reason many are unsuccessful in completing a thru is because they weren't prepared. Many of the posts on this web site can be answered by just going out and doing some backpacking before one starts out on a 5-6 month epic hike.

ScareBear
03-26-2017, 08:34
Animal carried his food in a five gallon bucket, problem solved.

I bet the dog would fit too!

capehiker
03-26-2017, 08:42
Right now all I have is my Fly Creek UL2, my sleeping bag, cookset (one pot micro rocket and fuel can), rain jacket, and puffy coat. For having a 65L (Osprey atmos 65 AG) pack and it being plum full amazes me.

Well, apparently you have more than what you listed.

Why in the world would you take a puppy on a Thru hike? That's borderline animal abuse! Your puppy thanks you for quitting.

Cheyou
03-26-2017, 08:44
Hay you better be out on the trail. I was hoping to c you hiking . Just reload and don't b nervous. You can do it

Thom

TTT
03-26-2017, 08:55
Taking your pampered puppy for a 2000 mile walk is a bit extreme

4eyedbuzzard
03-26-2017, 09:04
What is taking up so much room in your 65 liter pack? Take out your warmest pair of socks and put them on those cold feet. Get rid of stuff sacks if they are preventing you from filling nooks and crannies in the pack. Stuff sacks are great for organizing but take up more room in your pack because they become big hard balls and leave big unfilled spaces in your pack. And get rid of "nice to have" (but not really needed) items. Like those 4 tee shirts you just bought. Reconsider taking the dog. You have enough on your plate without the dog.

And just for the record, you aren't allowed to quit a thru-hike before Neels Gap. It's in the hiker code manual.

egilbe
03-26-2017, 09:14
Gotta be a record, quitting a thru hike before leaving the driveway.

egilbe
03-26-2017, 09:16
My GF has an atmos 65 liter pack and she managed to cram 10 days worh of food in it, as well as a two person quilt and her water bottles. You'll figure it out. Her pack weighed 40 pounds. On a 125lb woman.

ScareBear
03-26-2017, 09:20
Gotta be a record, quitting a thru hike before leaving the driveway.

Ties the record of shortest time on a thru(0seconds). Sets new record for weakest reason ever to not start a thru(his backpack isn't big enough). Sets further record for accomplishing both in the same post. Three records. That's not failure....

LittleLlama....GET ON THE TRAIL. Go exchange your pack at REI for a bigger one. Right now. Use your dividend to make up the difference. No more excuses.

Oh, and leave the dog with your wife. Unless that's a deal breaker. Then you've got a tough call on your hands...because if she won't look after precious puppy when you are gone, chances are that she will be too. Just sayin...

Lyle
03-26-2017, 09:25
Yes, you need a shake-down and some better advice on how to pack. Stuff sacks, for the most part, make for very inefficient space utilization - learn to protect your gear without them. Food is the glaring exception - use one or two stuff sacks for food, so you can hang it properly. Good advice about stopping at Mountain Crossings unless you have an experienced backpacking friend who can help you out.

This is the exact reason why virtually everyone recommends doing several "shake down" hikes for newbies. Only way to really learn what you are doing is to get out an do it. Close to the car is easier for the initial phase of this. This is NOT a reason to quit, unless that is REALLY what you want to do.

I also agree with the others, leave the pup at home. Even an adult, experienced dog adds several degrees of difficulty to backpacking - you MUST put the dog's needs above your own many times. For a totally green hiker to add this to their own learning, is not going to work out well for either of you - but you generally have a choice, the pup does not. LEAVE THE PUP HOME until he/she grows up and until you grow into an experienced hiker who knows what he is doing.

Again, no need to give up, just have to re-group and re-think. This will be a repeating theme in any thru-hike (or any hike for that matter). Your most useful item that you could possibly carry on a hike is flexibility and ability to adapt.

Good luck.

BuckeyeBill
03-26-2017, 09:33
Was he building up to this 5 days ago when he asked if he was crazy.

Lyle
03-26-2017, 09:38
Just wanted to add. You live in Virginia - lots of great hiking opportunities there to do a shake-down. You also have plenty of time to postpone your thru hike a couple of weeks and do some short, local hikes.

Take all your gear into REI or, better yet, an experienced gear shop near the trail, ask them for packing advice/demonstration/shake-down. I'm sure most would help you out. Best would be, especially at REI, to ask for someone's advice who has long-distance backpacking experience.

Again, plenty of things you can do to re-group, unless you have decided that you do not REALLY want to do this. In that case, I would still try some short hikes, maybe you could relax and enjoy them better. You obviously are attracted to backpacking to some degree, or you wouldn't have gotten this far.

Again, good luck.

Christoph
03-26-2017, 09:38
I gotta admit, taking a dog on a thru attempt would be a logistical nightmare as you can't take them in some sections. Leave him/her at home. It's hard, I had to the last time and I'll have to tthis time around. You're not too late to start a thru so take a few days, re-pack and think it over. On the other hand, there's nothing that says you HAVE to do it this year. Get out there and do a few sections here and there. A 65L pack should be more than enough. Strap your tent to the outside of your pack (mine resides at the bottom on the outside of the pack). That'll save a lot of room for sure. Go over all other gear and rethink everything. Do you really need a full on cookset? Mine is Rocket with 1/2 a mess kit from walmart (pot, bowl, and the plastic cup). You don't need a ton of clothes and make sure you don't have anything cotton. Go over your food bag. You really don't need a whole lot of food (this was my mistake), you can resupply in the first 4 days at Neel Gap. And they can do a shakedown for you and send back what you don't need. So many options. But if you aren't ready, have doubts, things at home aren't 100% for the family you're leaving for 5-6 months.... re-plan and try again next year. Nothing wrong with that. Hope this helps. I'm starting on April 11th, hope to see ya out there!

johnspenn
03-26-2017, 09:40
Some of the above comments are snarky and sarcastic, but there is wisdom there. As an outsider who doesn't know you looking in, it simply seems like you aren't ready. You need a plan.

1. Figure out your packing situation. There's no reason your pack shouldn't carry what you need it to carry, since many who thru hike use a pack that size and smaller.

2. Very important- do some shakedown hikes. Figure out how to hike, how to set up and take down camp, how to filter water, how to take breaks for snacks and meals. All of this stuff sounds simple but out on the trail there is definitely a learning curve.

3. Postpone your hike. If you're dead set on doing it this year, push your starting date back and do a SOBO or flip-flop. Next year would probably be more optimal. That would also give your pup time to mature and give you plenty of time to learn what you need to learn about hiking, and about hiking with a dog.

Don't give up your dream that easily. Just make some plans to see it through. Best of luck.

imscotty
03-26-2017, 09:54
Gotta be a record, quitting a thru hike before leaving the driveway.

Actually, I think most journeys end this way. The hardest step is that first one. Anything after hat is gravy.

illabelle
03-26-2017, 09:55
Llama, I'm reading several negative comments. Maybe this is the point where somebody needs to remind the AT community that IT'S JUST WALKING! Aside from a few hiking gurus with a bazillion trail miles, most of us on WB are mid-grade mid-skilled mid-speed backpackers. All it takes is a couple of days on trail for you to learn 70-80% of what you need to know. The rest comes bit by bit. However much you choose to carry, or how you stuff it and strap it, it still boils down to the very simple process of taking the first step. And then another.
Take the first.

egilbe
03-26-2017, 10:05
Llama, I'm reading several negative comments. Maybe this is the point where somebody needs to remind the AT community that IT'S JUST WALKING! Aside from a few hiking gurus with a bazillion trail miles, most of us on WB are mid-grade mid-skilled mid-speed backpackers. All it takes is a couple of days on trail for you to learn 70-80% of what you need to know. The rest comes bit by bit. However much you choose to carry, or how you stuff it and strap it, it still boils down to the very simple process of taking the first step. And then another.
Take the first.

Yep, that first step is the hard one. Just. Do. It.

Storm
03-26-2017, 10:19
Every year a couple thousand people start their hike with more gear than they need. All you have to do is look at how many pounds of gear mountain crossings ships back for hikers every year.
You need to just go for it, you will learn so much in the first thirty miles you will be amazed.
I agree that the trail is no place for the pup. Hard on the pup, hard on you and could be a problem for some other hikers. I love dogs so that isn't the issue.
Sounds to me like you are having a conflict between the dream and the reality. You can't get to Maine without taking the first step.
I am also wondering if you have made any shake down hikes. That is always a very good idea. Spend a few days out in a local woods to see what you actually use. Other than your first aid kit if you don't use it in two or three days chances are it is just extra weight.
Wish you the best and hoping to see you zip past me when you get up north. I will be hiking Pa. this year if the old bones hold together awhile longer.

ranger2012
03-26-2017, 10:20
Just another opinion... I agree with the don't give up just postpone for a few days. Figure out your pack, I thru'd the AT and PCT with an Atmos 65 and it was too much pack (except when carrying 2 subway footlongs and a 6-pack out of town :)). If you haven't already (sorry if I missed it), post your list of everything you are trying to get into your pack. We'll help you out and get you on trail. No new hiker has their pack figured out until 2 weeks on trail, thats when it gets really easy to set-up and break camp and find things in your pack. Side note: what is the age and breed of your dog? That might be a problem, you are about to hike some rough trail where ladders, re-bar rungs and sketchy steps are used to ascend and descend. There are probably blue blazes around those sections but I'm not 100%.

Water Rat
03-26-2017, 10:22
Take a step back. Take a breath.

If you honestly want to do this hike, then remove your dog from the equation for the start of your hike. That will give you time to figure out your gear, your hiking strategy. When you get it dialed in and you still want your dog to join you, have your wife meet up to swap the pooch.

In the meantime, drive to Mountain Crossings and let them give you a hand with your pack. Head to Springer and start walking. When you get back to Mountain Crossings let them go through your pack again (if it is still unmanageable).

Hikingjim
03-26-2017, 10:27
Make sure you don't have 8 days worth of food. Lots of resupply options there

Strap light stuff on the back. not your food.

Get to walking and enjoy the scenery and the quiet without thinking or caring about how optimal your packing is. you'll be fine.

You did all this work getting ready. You owe it a TRY for some distance. Pack your sleeping bag with your tent/clothes, then fire your food in there and squish things down. Put it in the rest, keep some light things like your mat to strap on the outside. There's no way it won't fit

MuddyWaters
03-26-2017, 10:32
Actually, I think most journeys end this way. The hardest step is that first one. Anything after hat is gravy.


Yup
The hardest part of most things
Is just getting started
Getting past mental barriers

Confucious said, a journey of 1000 miles starts with single step
Well so does one of 2190 miles......
Its one step at a time , one mile at a time, one day at a time.

Bronk
03-26-2017, 10:39
You're a snowflake. And if you don't toughen up you're going to melt the first time you walk out into the sunshine.

A few problems here...

You have never packed your pack until the morning of the trip? Really...if it doesn't fit inside, tie it to the outside. I've almost always got something tied to the outside of my pack whether its my tent, sleeping bag or sleeping pad. Bulky items just take up space.

You were planning on putting your dog in your pack? If your dog can't walk the miles then you need to leave it at home.

But your main problem is that you give up way too easily. You think you can't do it. And your wife doesn't think you can either...either that or she never really wanted to go in the first place and is helping you decide you can't do it.

I'm really thinking this has got to be a joke. Are there really people like this out there that would plan a whole trip and then cancel it the morning of because they couldn't fit a food bag inside a pack?

capehiker
03-26-2017, 10:49
Was he building up to this 5 days ago when he asked if he was crazy.

I was thinking the same thing. Sometimes people are more in love with the idea of backpacking than actually doing it

Ethesis
03-26-2017, 10:53
Flip flop. Start in Virginia near to home and hike south. You can make it a close to home shakedown without being committed to the entire hike.

You are also close enough to home that you can leave everything but the bare bones.

Get the whiteblaze guide from this site and plan out hostel and hotel stops. You can get a very gentle start. Maybe even slack pack parts. Ease into it. Mostly with the puppy home at fist.

FreeGoldRush
03-26-2017, 11:08
Even if my food bag fit there was still the issue of there not being enough room for my little pup for when she can't walk (rain, snow, rocks).

So it is with that I have to quit. If I can't figure out how to pack my pack then I'm a failure and can't go. No idea where to go from here, this is really killing me :(

This clearly was not meant to be taken seriously. No one would start a thru hike with a little puppy that was intended to be carried in the pack at times. Something tells me he is on the trail today at Springer and having a good laugh.

rocketsocks
03-26-2017, 11:48
Wife and I were loading everything up in my Excursion to head down to GA. and then an hour later... we weren't.

We were going over the last of the things before we left and started loading everything into my pack. Everything fit well, but then we noticed the food bag had never been put in. There was no room for it. My 65L pack was full and the food didn't fit.

That was when we stopped, we just sat there not knowing what we had done wrong. Eventually we just said to each other "We've messed something up somehow" and then admitted that we might not be ready to do this. Even if my food bag fit there was still the issue of there not being enough room for my little pup for when she can't walk (rain, snow, rocks).

So it is with that I have to quit. If I can't figure out how to pack my pack then I'm a failure and can't go. No idea where to go from here, this is really killing me :(you don't need food, just go fast :D

MissAtomicBomb
03-26-2017, 11:59
Hi there! I'm the wife. Some notes:

1) The dog? Is a fully grown Miniature Pinscher. She's also a therapy animal. She is not a puppy; "pup" is just the word that we use to refer to our three dogs. She is also a necessary part of Llama's hike. Leaving her behind is out of the question.

2) Thank you to the sincere individuals who were able to offer advice, suggestions, and encouragement while leaving out the sarcasm.

Oh, and to the person who insinuated that maybe I just didn't want him to go, and that I wasn't encouraging him enough, or was using this as an opportunity to keep him home or whatever nonsense ... take that thought and kill it immediately. The *first* thing I said was "OK, we can try again in two weeks." You don't know me.

There is so much more going on here, and if Llama didn't want to air the entire issue, can you honestly blame him? Yes, pack space is a problem, and we already have plans to have an expert go over it to offer advice and suggestions.

Old Hiker
03-26-2017, 12:10
Llama, I'm reading several negative comments. Maybe this is the point where somebody needs to remind the AT community that IT'S JUST WALKING! Aside from a few hiking gurus with a bazillion trail miles, most of us on WB are mid-grade mid-skilled mid-speed backpackers. All it takes is a couple of days on trail for you to learn 70-80% of what you need to know. The rest comes bit by bit. However much you choose to carry, or how you stuff it and strap it, it still boils down to the very simple process of taking the first step. And then another.
Take the first.


Illabelle, thanks for the above in red. I was slightly less than mid-speed, though.

I also asked almost everyone I saw about what gear they had, what they liked/disliked about it, how they did things, etc. I learned several tips I had never thought of before. I bought a few things to upgrade as well.

500 miles before failing in 2012 helped quite a bit with expectations and finances.

Hope Llama gets his......... pack together and starts. What's the worst that can happen? Neels Gap and quit? Damascus and quit? Harper's Ferry and quit? Katahdin and........... finish?

Don H
03-26-2017, 12:21
llama, you have psyched yourself out of a thru-hike. Pre-hike jitters, second guessing and then finding an excuse not to hike. You seriously didn't think about leaving room in your pack for food?

I suggest reading "Appalachian Trials, The Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail".

If you don't at least try you will regret it.

ldsailor
03-26-2017, 12:41
I'm a little late to the party with this, but I hope it helps anyway. Last year, I saw "The Movie" and immediately started thinking about hiking the AT. It was February. I pulled the trigger and started buying equipment in March. I bought an Osprey Atmos 65L backpack. I crammed that sucker to full and then removed stuff to get my food in. Like the OP, food was the last thing to pack. I started hiking on April 3 from Springer. I had never hiked before - ever. My backpack was heavy, almost 40 pounds, but I persevered. In Hot Springs a bunch of stuff was sent home and I got the weight down. I kept going.

Now I never intended to do the whole trail. Eventually I finished at Marion, VA, which totaled 532 trail miles. By the way, I was 67 when I finished and weighed 140 at 5' 9". The point is, it can be done, and whether you section hike the trail or do the whole thing, here is how to do it. It has very little to do with physical conditioning or equipment. It has everything to do with your mindset. I watched much younger and stronger people drop out last year when they should have been able to keep going. If you are not mentally prepared, you won't get 100 miles.

I'm going back to Marion, VA in May and continuing north. My hope is to do another 500 miles - maybe more. I learned a lot last year. The Osprey backpack is gone along with my sleeping bag - both replaced with lighter equipment. I hope to have no more than 32 lbs in my pack when I leave in May and that's carrying 7 days worth of food.

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 12:54
Ok... to the people here that weren't complete tools, thank you VERY much. Reading the comments like "You're a snowflake" and "Fastest. fail. ever." gave me a great laugh. I needed something to cheer me up, and that bit of humor was exactly what I needed. The thought that people could read what I said and post things that negative thinking they were helping is laughable.

Now on to my pack. All I have packed are the things I need, there is no "snowflake gear", and everything is packed 95% as good as you can pack it Scarebear. I'll make a short video in a little while and SHOW you where I'm at right now. If after that I'm where I should be then I'll go this year.

About my pup. She is 11 and quite adept at hiking. She has hiked with me EVERY time I have gone out, I CANNOT hike without her. She has done 30 miles a week with me on day hikes with no problems. She loves being out there more than I do, and is small enough (11 pounds) that when I hit the ladders and rebar I just toss her in the pack and she's fine. I've hiked for hours with her in my pack when the trail was snowed over and I didn't want her plodding along in it.

Carrying her isn't an issue, leaving her isn't an option, and I would never put her in danger.

ScareBear
03-26-2017, 13:16
And, Llama, please do post a COMPLETE gear list and your video. Folks here are happy to help you out. For reference, and why many don't get your pack issue, is the fact that many thru's do with a 45L or less.

All of the following fits into or on my 35L pack:

BA FC UL THREE. Yup. The three person tent. With poles.
40 degree sleep system.
4.4R air mat
kettle, Zelph Starlyte3, stand, windscreen, lighter, two fuel bottles, Ti spoon
Sawyer Squeeze, 2L Evernew, 1.5L Evernew, 1L SmartWater, 750 ml squeeze bottle, adapter fitting, SteriPen
Long t, short t, tights, 1pr socks, 1pr underwear, hat, gloves, balaclava, glasses, rain mitts, MH GhostWhisperer
Rain jacket, rain pants
Camp shoes
10000mah battery, usb cables
FAK, journal, space pen, lighter, map, smartphone
bear bag, 3 days food, 50ft slickline

This is without any belt pouches or strap pouches at all. Two side pockets. 35L. Your pack is almost twice the capacity of mine. What's wrong with your picture that I am not seeing?

Traffic Jam
03-26-2017, 13:21
Ok... to the people here that weren't complete tools, thank you VERY much. Reading the comments like "You're a snowflake" and "Fastest. fail. ever." gave me a great laugh. I needed something to cheer me up, and that bit of humor was exactly what I needed. The thought that people could read what I said and post things that negative thinking they were helping is laughable.

Now on to my pack. All I have packed are the things I need, there is no "snowflake gear", and everything is packed 95% as good as you can pack it Scarebear. I'll make a short video in a little while and SHOW you where I'm at right now. If after that I'm where I should be then I'll go this year.

About my pup. She is 11 and quite adept at hiking. She has hiked with me EVERY time I have gone out, I CANNOT hike without her. She has done 30 miles a week with me on day hikes with no problems. She loves being out there more than I do, and is small enough (11 pounds) that when I hit the ladders and rebar I just toss her in the pack and she's fine. I've hiked for hours with her in my pack when the trail was snowed over and I didn't want her plodding along in it.

Carrying her isn't an issue, leaving her isn't an option, and I would never put her in danger.

Sometimes the naysayers are the biggest motivators. :)

Good luck! (Your wife is awesome, btw).

Feral Bill
03-26-2017, 13:21
I'm going to take a guess here. Pack is largely filled with a very warm synthetic fill sleeping bag, and plenty of extra clothes. Revisit these and I'll bet you'll be fine.
Or maybe I'm wrong.

egilbe
03-26-2017, 13:30
Hi there! I'm the wife. Some notes:

1) The dog? Is a fully grown Miniature Pinscher. She's also a therapy animal. She is not a puppy; "pup" is just the word that we use to refer to our three dogs. She is also a necessary part of Llama's hike. Leaving her behind is out of the question.

2) Thank you to the sincere individuals who were able to offer advice, suggestions, and encouragement while leaving out the sarcasm.

Oh, and to the person who insinuated that maybe I just didn't want him to go, and that I wasn't encouraging him enough, or was using this as an opportunity to keep him home or whatever nonsense ... take that thought and kill it immediately. The *first* thing I said was "OK, we can try again in two weeks." You don't know me.

There is so much more going on here, and if Llama didn't want to air the entire issue, can you honestly blame him? Yes, pack space is a problem, and we already have plans to have an expert go over it to offer advice and suggestions.

Boom!

Although the atomic blast could have been targeting me, too. :welcome

egilbe
03-26-2017, 13:44
38861

65 liter pack for a 3 day winter hike last month. She can do it, so can you.

TTT
03-26-2017, 13:56
Oh yeah!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnBtCKRUUV8

swjohnsey
03-26-2017, 13:59
Ok... to the people here that weren't complete tools, thank you VERY much. Reading the comments like "You're a snowflake" and "Fastest. fail. ever." gave me a great laugh. I needed something to cheer me up, and that bit of humor was exactly what I needed. The thought that people could read what I said and post things that negative thinking they were helping is laughable.

Now on to my pack. All I have packed are the things I need, there is no "snowflake gear", and everything is packed 95% as good as you can pack it Scarebear. I'll make a short video in a little while and SHOW you where I'm at right now. If after that I'm where I should be then I'll go this year.

About my pup. She is 11 and quite adept at hiking. She has hiked with me EVERY time I have gone out, I CANNOT hike without her. She has done 30 miles a week with me on day hikes with no problems. She loves being out there more than I do, and is small enough (11 pounds) that when I hit the ladders and rebar I just toss her in the pack and she's fine. I've hiked for hours with her in my pack when the trail was snowed over and I didn't want her plodding along in it.

Carrying her isn't an issue, leaving her isn't an option, and I would never put her in danger.

Be interesting to see a list of the gear you "need".

DavidNH
03-26-2017, 14:10
A 65 liter pack and no room for food? I'd sure love to see your equipment list. There is ALWAYS room for food!

Don H
03-26-2017, 14:16
OK, here's what I get out of this:

llama, wife and Fido want to thru but ran into a snag with the food. This whole thru-hiking thing becomes a bit overwhelming. I get the feeling llama hasn't backpacked much.

llama comes here for some encouragement/help. He gets some, but also some BS. llama needs to understand that probably most of the people weighing in haven't thrued, some may have never seen the AT before.

llama needs the dog, llama is military. I know guys who find ways to help themselves, a dog is good, other ways not so much. Take the dog but understand Fido will be a burden on you. Seems you've already accepted that fact.

llama, if you really want to do this than you can get some serious help here. You need to pick out who you're gonna listen too.

Post a gear list, we'll thin it out for you. You're either carrying too much junk or have made poor gear choices.

Any reason why you can't leave in a few days and not two weeks?

Suggestions:
You're probably taking too much food, for the first week or two you won't feel like eating much.
Stop planning and thinking and go hiking. You can work the kinks out along the way.

Hope this helps.

imscotty
03-26-2017, 14:36
The OP posted a gear list some time ago, but it was missing too much to honestly evaluate. No clothes were listed. Link is here...

https://lighterpack.com/r/909mo5

LL, waiting two weeks may be to your advantage. Weather will be warmer which should be better for both you and your pup. Why don't you take a weekend trip locally in the meantime and evaluate your gear, see what you can get rid of.

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 14:50
Having lunch right this second, we didn't get up until 2 hours ago or so (we stayed up until 4am talking about this last night). As SOON as we get back I'll post the gear list and video. Please help me guys, I really do want to hike this year :(


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Patriot76
03-26-2017, 15:24
I understand the OP's concern about the challenge he has set. 99% of the backpacking community would not even consider a through hike of the AT. According to this forum, I believe only 10% of those that take the first step finish their goal because of physical, financial, or mental challenges. 100 % of section hikers that take the first step accomplish their goal because they can quit whenever/where ever they are.

To set such a lofty goal is admirable. That provides motivation to acquire the skills needed to succeed. Therefore I will be a section hiker next year and if enough sections are pieced together it will be mean I am a thru hiker. If not I will return when I gather more skills.

Stone1984
03-26-2017, 15:28
I understand the OP's concern about the challenge he has set. 99% of the backpacking community would not even consider a through hike of the AT. According to this forum, I believe only 10% of those that take the first step finish their goal because of physical, financial, or mental challenges. 100 % of section hikers that take the first step accomplish their goal because they can quit whenever/where ever they are.

To set such a lofty goal is admirable. That provides motivation to acquire the skills needed to succeed. Therefore I will be a section hiker next year and if enough sections are pieced together it will be mean I am a thru hiker. If not I will return when I gather more skills.

This post has a lot of validity to it. I am but a section hiker for now with the hopes of setting the Thru goal in the next 6-8 years.

Malto
03-26-2017, 15:32
Some of the above comments are snarky and sarcastic, but there is wisdom there. As an outsider who doesn't know you looking in, it simply seems like you aren't ready. You need a plan.

1. Figure out your packing situation. There's no reason your pack shouldn't carry what you need it to carry, since many who thru hike use a pack that size and smaller.

2. Very important- do some shakedown hikes. Figure out how to hike, how to set up and take down camp, how to filter water, how to take breaks for snacks and meals. All of this stuff sounds simple but out on the trail there is definitely a learning curve.

3. Postpone your hike. If you're dead set on doing it this year, push your starting date back and do a SOBO or flip-flop. Next year would probably be more optimal. That would also give your pup time to mature and give you plenty of time to learn what you need to learn about hiking, and about hiking with a dog.

Don't give up your dream that easily. Just make some plans to see it through. Best of luck.

Agree with this. ^

Now back to the snarky comments.....

For anyone reading this please learn this lesson. There is ZERO reason for this occur. If you are stupid enough to NEVER have hiked with your gear before heading off on a months long hike then you deserve all the expense and changed plans that goes along with it.

Hikingjim
03-26-2017, 15:46
Agree with this. ^

Now back to the snarky comments.....

For anyone reading this please learn this lesson. There is ZERO reason for this occur. If you are stupid enough to NEVER have hiked with your gear before heading off on a months long hike then you deserve all the expense and changed plans that goes along with it.

This is true.
That being said, still time to get out there. Best of luck on your hike... adjust and head out!

capehiker
03-26-2017, 16:11
Llama- have you consulted with a veterinarian about the impacts of long distances day in and day out for 5-6 months and how it will affect its small skeletal frame? Just because it's done 30 miles in a week has little to do with a demanding 6 month hike.

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 16:17
38866

Loading the video now.

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 16:20
Llama- have you consulted with a veterinarian about the impacts of long distances day in and day out for 5-6 months and how it will affect its small skeletal frame? Just because it's done 30 miles in a week has little to do with a demanding 6 month hike.

Yes I have, by 2 different veterinarians. One 2 years ago before I shattered my heel and had to postpone, and the other last month. I did a full checkup on my pup and she has no issues physically that might hold her/me back. Vet said as long as I supplemented her diet with coconut oil and gave her glucosamine she would do just fine. Thank you for your actual concern/question and not just saying "leav tha pup you retrd!!!".

devoidapop
03-26-2017, 16:45
Have you thought about taking the two weeks to sort your pack and then starting an open ended hike? Maybe you'll section. Maybe you'll thru. But it will be on your own terms with no regrets.

Best of luck

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 16:46
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJWKNcu2UG8&feature=youtu.be

mmais68569
03-26-2017, 16:51
All I can say is PLEASE LEAVE THE DOG HOME. I have seen to many on the trail that have been hurt by the many rocks..
Mike

colorado_rob
03-26-2017, 16:54
Immediate reaction WAY too many clothes. You could climb freeking Denali with those clothes. Lose most of those clothes. And lose the Nalgene, replace with drink bottle, Gatorade, whatever. Doesn't save volume, but lots of weight.

Uncle Joe
03-26-2017, 17:01
I think others will likely want to know what's in your food bag.

First thing I noticed, besides maybe some miscellaneous stuff you could likely do without, is your sleeping bag. I would unpack it and put it in the bottom of your pack loose and packed down. You didn't say if it was a synthetic or down bag but it's still worth packing down in the backpack. As for the pack cover vs. compactor bag I would take both. Protect the things you absolutely want dry. That pack cover, you may find, does a poor job. A soaking rain coming down your straps behind you might find it's way in and on something you wish were dry.

I may have missed how big your dog is but if big enough what about a small pack on him/her?

Uncle Joe
03-26-2017, 17:03
I disagree about the clothes. Maybe less of those buffs but for me I want a pair to hike in, a pair to sleep in, and another clean pair to alternate. Granted, I'm not a thru but I no of at least one thru who said he wished he'd have packed 1 extra pair of clothes. There will be days when you just aren't going to want to put on wet clothes.

Christoph
03-26-2017, 17:11
Just watched your vid. Chear up buddy, you've got this! Haha
Seriously though, your gear looks pretty good. Only suggestions I can make are these...
1) Purchase a smaller sleeping bag to save a lot of room without killing the bank. I've got a mil issued 30* mummy bag and they run around $30 online. If this isn't an option, try compression straps to make it smaller.
2) Put your tent on the outside of your bag. It'll be wet probably 1/2 the time, so you want it to dry out during the day as much as possible, plus you won't have to pull it (and everything else) out of your bag in the pouring rain.
3) I know what you mean about the trash compactor bag and the dog. Here's a suggestion, get a compactor bag anyway and roll up the things you don't want wet (clothes, bag, etc...) Everything else (food, cook kit) can go on top. Put either your rain jacket or puffy on top for the pup to ride on when he's tired.

Hopefully this helps. Tip: pack your bag the same way every single time so if it's dark, you know right where everything is. Ziplok freezer bags are your friend for meds, food, etc.

Dogwood
03-26-2017, 17:12
Gotta be a record, quitting a thru hike before leaving the driveway.

ha ha ha lol :-? OMG

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 17:13
Immediate reaction WAY too many clothes. You could climb freeking Denali with those clothes. Lose most of those clothes.

SERIOUSLY??!? Two pairs of pants, two shirts, two pairs of knee socks, one pair of tiny socks for sleeping and it's too much? What do you expect me to cut from that list, the sleeping socks?







And lose the Nalgene, replace with drink bottle, Gatorade, whatever. Doesn't save volume, but lots of weight.

My issue isn't weight, it's space. I am carrying a large Smart water bottle in addition to the Nalgene and need the extra volume for my pup. Yes I could swap it out but I don't want to. If my only issues are a bottle and a pair of socks I should be in great shape!

Malto
03-26-2017, 17:13
Just about everything you have takes up a lot of volume. The cook set is huge, why do you need anything other than a small pot and a spoon? take a small bowl for the dog. Ditch you second pair of pants and replace with shorts. I would think twice before taking toe socks. They are a pain to take on and off especially when your feet are wet. All of those extracts adds up as does all the electronics. Do you really need a power brick and charger?

That is the largest 4 lbs of food I have every seen. Take all excess packaging off.

Bottom line, it's you weight and volume to carry so if all that is needed then that's your call. My biggest concern with what I saw was that everything was brand new.

imscotty
03-26-2017, 17:15
LL,

You have a lot of smaller items that I would do without, but I am not worried about those. My guess is that you will ditch some of them after a bit on the trail. Biggest thing in your pack seems to be that sleeping bag. Don't be afraid to compress it in the pack and push things around to take up the empty space. I know, I hate compressing down too, but you have a pretty warm bag there, if you loose a little bit of loft I think you will still be alright. Consider moving the tent to outside the bag if you need more room inside

Next thing to cut back on is that giant food bag. Even if you are planning on 4 days to Neels Gap, that looks a little large. My guess is that most of it is packaging. Get rid of all that excess packaging! Many hikers loose their appetite the first few days of a hike, so resist the temptation to bring too much food.

With a little work everything should fit in that pack.

imscotty
03-26-2017, 17:18
SERIOUSLY??!? Two pairs of pants, two shirts, two pairs of knee socks, one pair of tiny socks for sleeping and it's too much? What do you expect me to cut from that list, the sleeping socks?
!

I agree with others. Get rid of at least one pair of pants and replace with lightweight athletic shorts.

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 17:19
I may have missed how big your dog is but if big enough what about a small pack on him/her?

I wish she could, but I have yet to find a pack small enough for her. Even if I did find one, she can't really carry more than a pound if that. She's only 11 pounds so her food weight is very low.

AfterParty
03-26-2017, 17:21
Cram harder loose the sleeping bag sack. Maybe adjust your sleeping pad to the bottom. Or top. ? Might be taking up usable space. ? But just losing the sleeping bag cover and shape should net you a good 4-6 inches of usable space.

imscotty
03-26-2017, 17:25
I just realized that there must be some Dog Food in that food bag. I hope you are only bringing the Kibble and not any wet food????

Don H
03-26-2017, 17:25
The most important thing I see missing is a postal scale. Rule #1, weigh everything and create a spreadsheet? You'd be surprised how things add up.

Why 2 pairs of pants? 2 neck buffs?
You don't need insect repellant.
I didn't see a first aid kit.


I started March 13th and carried 2 pair of socks, 1 long sleeve mid weight Smartwool shirt, 1 wicking briefs, 1 puffy jacket, light gloves. I wore Northface convertible pants, underwear, socks, wicking T, ball cap, trail runners and layers with carried clothes as needed.
Raingear - UL Frogg Toggs. Also used as an outer layer.
You'll be plenty warm while hiking, then you'll be in your sleeping bag.

Food:
Did you reduce packaging? Did you keep meals simple? One pot or freezer bag cooked meal for dinner. For me it was jerky, granola bars, pop tarts, candy bars and other bad things for you. For dinner tuna, chicken, spam in foil packs along with a rice or pasta side.
Are you taking too much? I planned 3 days to Neel's Gap for a resupply.
My rule of thumb is 1/2 pound per day in food weight.

Hope this helps.

colorado_rob
03-26-2017, 17:29
SERIOUSLY??!? Two pairs of pants, two shirts, two pairs of knee socks, one pair of tiny socks for sleeping and it's too much? What do you expect me to cut from that list, the sleeping socks?








My issue isn't weight, it's space. I am carrying a large Smart water bottle in addition to the Nalgene and need the extra volume for my pup. Yes I could swap it out but I don't want to. If my only issues are a bottle and a pair of socks I should be in great shape! Yes, seriously. Why do you think you need TWO of everything like that for when you're hiking the trail? You don't. AND weight WILL be an issue, along with all the other issues you do, indeed have. You will not make it far, I'm afraid, with your complete lack of backpacking experience, your attitude, and your kit.

But, I do support your bringing of your pooch, and I understand why. Ignore the dog haters on WB. I'm sure they all love cats.

MuddyWaters
03-26-2017, 17:35
SERIOUSLY??!? Two pairs of pants, two shirts, two pairs of knee socks, one pair of tiny socks for sleeping and it's too much? What do you expect me to cut from that list, the sleeping socks?








My issue isn't weight, it's space. I am carrying a large Smart water bottle in addition to the Nalgene and need the extra volume for my pup. Yes I could swap it out but I don't want to. If my only issues are a bottle and a pair of socks I should be in great shape!

You NEED:

Clothes on your back
1 pr spare hiking socks
1 pr long johns
Insulation
Raingear

Most AT thru hikers like a second pr long johns to sleep in if first is wet hiking in cold rain. Ill give you that in April.

But thats all clothing needed. Towns have washing machines, you see them every couple days. You will be dirty, you will be smelly. Embrace it.

egilbe
03-26-2017, 17:38
Yeah, that sleeping bag is what is taking up all your space. Take it out of the stuff sack and line your pack with a trash compacter bag. Stick it in the bottom of the pack. Only take one pair of pants. Tent is going to have to go on the outside of the pack if you want to leave room for the pup. Make it a habit to keep your rain gear accessible, like at the top of your pack.

I hate to say it. but the dog is the other part of the equation that is causing your pack to be overloaded. You can try a Ribz front pack to keep all your odds and ends in, that way you have room for food and the dog.

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 17:41
All of those extracts adds up as does all the electronics. Do you really need a power brick and charger?

That is the largest 4 lbs of food I have every seen. Take all excess packaging off.

I plan on running my phone for music about 8-10 hours a day. It's something I can't skip, I'll go crazy if I don't.

The food is all combat loaded and only the packaging that is there is the final bit.

Don H
03-26-2017, 17:51
Buy three 13 Liter Sea to Summit Ultra-sil Dry Bags (1.4 oz. each) http://https://www.rei.com/product/777725/sea-to-summit-ultra-sil-dry-sack

Toss the sleeping bag sack. Stuff the sleeping bag in the dry sack, close top loosely, press down to compress, then roll close. This acts a compression bag reducing space (which you need) and keeps the bag dry (which your pack cover won't do).

Use one Dry Sack for clothes and the other for food. Yes you can get 3 days food in one (minus lunch which should be handy, not buried in your pack.

johnnybgood
03-26-2017, 17:52
This isn't rocket science we're talking about here. A thread earlier this week you hinted how cheap it was to gear up, may this be the issue. Cheap equates to bulky.
If you have items that take up space, ie a synthetic 3 season bag-- switch out to a down bag or quilt.
Anything that can be downsized to fit , make those changes and start again.
If it's the butterflies then push them aside and get going.

Patriot76
03-26-2017, 17:53
I plan on running my phone for music about 8-10 hours a day. It's something I can't skip, I'll go crazy if I don't.

The food is all combat loaded and only the packaging that is there is the final bit.

the longer you are on the trail, the less music you will need. Nature provides its own music.

Lyle
03-26-2017, 17:57
SERIOUSLY??!? Two pairs of pants, two shirts, two pairs of knee socks, one pair of tiny socks for sleeping and it's too much? What do you expect me to cut from that list, the sleeping socks?








My issue isn't weight, it's space.

Only because you haven't started hiking yet. Weight is equally, if not MORE important than space. All the little things add up to pounds.

Dogwood
03-26-2017, 18:03
Yup, change out one those pants for running shorts or take convertibles and running shorts. Strap the BA firmly shelter to the outside of the pack. CCF Zrest takes up much bulk. Have you considered an inflatable? Reduce the volume of the food bag. Way too big for 4 lbs. Accumulate all your drugs and hygiene products. You can reduce that by breaking up into smaller parcels floating some of it ahead.

Get out there. After 3 wks it'll warm up. You'll need less bulky and heavier gear. Don't despise your beginnings! You aren't going to get everything perfect. Maybe, never will. After a few wks you'll either learn to manage with the dog's stuff, reduce it, send the dog home, or you'll go home. In those wks you'll get your trail legs. You'll find what's working optimally. You'll change some stuff up which DOES NOT, repeat DOES NOT, necessarily apply to just gear! Think of this as a journey where you're evolving developing. You don't necessarily have to go in trying to have all the answers. THAT IS A MISTAKE!!! What answers you do currently have may change. You're a textbook candidate for having recommended to you, "you should allow yourself room to happily evolve.

johnnybgood
03-26-2017, 18:25
All good points DW makes. I like the word "evolve" also to understand successes are often bred out of adaptations due to minor setbacks ,(not a failure if you learn from it).
Start out knowing that a few tweaks will ultimately be made , evolving to use Dogwoods term, you will be better prepared to change on the fly without hesitation.
It's a journey, just let it flow LL and have a ton of fun.

egilbe
03-26-2017, 18:28
Its going to suck. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Embrace the suck.
It's just walking.

rafe
03-26-2017, 18:29
So it is with that I have to quit. If I can't figure out how to pack my pack then I'm a failure and can't go. No idea where to go from here, this is really killing me :(

Please excuse my saying so but that's just nuts. But then again, I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea that someone would set out on an AT thru hike without ever having packed a pack, or hauled that pack through the woods for a night or two beforehand.

egilbe
03-26-2017, 18:35
Please excuse my saying so but that's just nuts. But then again, I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea that someone would set out on an AT thru hike without ever having packed a pack, or hauled that pack through the woods for a night or two beforehand.

It happens :D

Talked to a guy in Caratunk last year who said it was his first backpacking trip. Started at Springer with an 80 pound pack full of camping gear. He learned on the fly and his pack was a comfortable 35 pounds when I met him. He laughed at his inexperience. He didnt know what he didnt know.

royalusa
03-26-2017, 18:40
OK, so I watched your video and compiled this list of your gear:

Pack:
Osprey 65L
Rain Pack Cover

Clothes:
2 pair Darn Tough Socks
2 pair Boxers
1 Long Sleeve Shirt
1 Short Sleeve Shirt
2 Pairs Hiking Pants
Puffy Jacket
Winter Hat
Smartwool Neck Buff
Lighter Wt Neck Buff
Smartwool Gloves
Sleeping Socks (Toe Socks)
Rain Jacket

Kitchen:
1 Nalgene Bottle
1 Smartwater Bottle (need enough capacity for dog)
Sawyer Filter
MSR Titanium Cooking Set
2 bowls (one for dog)
Spoon & Fork
Micro Rocket, Fuel Canister & Lighter

Sleep System:
Z Sleeping Pad
Fly Creek UL2 Tent
15 Degree Sleeping Bag

Misc:
Sitting Pad
Titanium Trowel
Headlamp
Knife
Rope (for hanging food or walking dog in town)

Dog:
Chewy Toy
Coat
Foot Cream
Glucosamine

Electronics:
iPhone Charger Cable
Power Pack & Charging Cable
Wireless Headphones
Wired Headphones

First Aid/Hygiene:
Ankle Brace (for at night)
Anti-Chafing Cream
Coconut Oil
Something stick – didn’t catch the name of it
Soap
Toothbrush
Extracts for headaches, insect repellent and sleep – Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus
Medicines
Lip Balm


Dude, you got this! You just need some tweaking. Many have set off with a lot less organization and “experience” and have successfully thru-hike the trail….yes, less “experience”….the guy we hiked with in 2008 read his parent's old 1970’s Nat Geo magazines for his “experience”….he showed up in the heaviest jeans and cotton gear that one could buy! He figured the heavier the better! He made it to Maine, though his jeans were replaced in the first month. His external frame pack had gear hanging all over it, even still in Maine. We could not even see his body in front of it.

The obvious thing I see is too many items, all loose, in who knows what pocket…and nothing ready for that surprise rain shower that no one expected. Bundle like things together in separate ziplock baggies and always, always put them in the same pocket each day, otherwise you’ll be driven crazy looking for some small little item.

Suggestion:
1. Put all your clothes (not needed during the day) in a trash compactor bag with your sleeping bag inside your main compartment (ditch the sleeping bag stuff sack, so all of this will fill all nooks and crannies in your pack). The rain pack cover is not going to provide anywhere near 100% rain protection for the gear in your pack!

2. Put the tent and the tent poles on the outside. The tent poles should be able to slip into the side loops on the pack’s side. Before you close up the lid to your pack, stick the tent or the sleeping pad there and then latch it. Continue to use the straps on the bottom of your pack for either your sleeping pad or tent.

3. Put all your First Aid/Hygiene items in one ziplock baggie in a side pocket

4. Put all your dog items in another ziplock baggie in a side pocket

5. Put all your electronics in another ziplock baggie. If they aren’t going to be used during the day, consider putting them in your trash compactor bag along with your clothes and sleeping bag for extra water protection.

6. Put your rain jacket and pack cover in the lid pocket. You want them to be quick and easy to get to!

7. Put your day’s worth of food in the pack’s back pocket (where you had the sitting pad in your video) or belt pockets on your pack for easy grabbing (if you have those pockets) or even in the lid pocket of your pack.

8. And of course, you know, put your sawyer filter on your water bottle now…not in your packs’ side pocket and put your lip balm in your pants pocket, not in your First Aid kit, so you have easy, quick access to it.

9. Things to consider leaving behind:
a. One of the eating bowls. You eat out of the pot. The dog eats out of one bowl.
b. Trowel
c. Sitting pad
d. Fork (Just use the spoon)
e. Are all of the First Aid items necessary? Coconut oil, some sort of stick and 4 different extracts?

You can do it!

Feral Bill
03-26-2017, 18:45
Watching the video suggests that the OP is
1. Stressed, which is okay
2. Willing to learn, which is what he needs

So, cut back bulky items where you can, repack until everything more or less fits in and on the pack, take good care of the pup, and start out. If you don't get far, learn and try again, if you still want to. And be thankful for your supportive wife.

llittle_llama
03-26-2017, 18:49
Things to consider leaving behind:
a. One of the eating bowls. You eat out of the pot. The dog eats out of one bowl.
b. Trowel
c. Sitting pad
d. Fork (Just use the spoon)
e. Are all of the First Aid items necessary? Coconut oil, some sort of stick and 4 different extracts?

One eating bowl: No problem :D

Trowel: I would rather carry the .5 ounces or so.

Sitting pad: I always read that it is sorely missed, but I don't care to keep it.

Fork: I totally want to leave the spoon, but wife complained.

Cocoanut oil is for adding to food for extra calories. I don't have to take it though.

egilbe
03-26-2017, 18:51
Put the cocunut oil in the food bag. Its food, right?

B.j. Clark
03-26-2017, 18:54
Buy three 13 Liter Sea to Summit Ultra-sil Dry Bags (1.4 oz. each) http://https://www.rei.com/product/777725/sea-to-summit-ultra-sil-dry-sack

Toss the sleeping bag sack. Stuff the sleeping bag in the dry sack, close top loosely, press down to compress, then roll close. This acts a compression bag reducing space (which you need) and keeps the bag dry (which your pack cover won't do).

Use one Dry Sack for clothes and the other for food. Yes you can get 3 days food in one (minus lunch which should be handy, not buried in your pack.

LL,
Take Don H's advice. His 3 bag (13L) solution is the easiest way to get around a lack of packing experience. It will shrink the volume of your sleeping bag and food in particular. You also have a lot of stuff floating around in pockets with lots of unused space in each pocket. Small ziplock or other for electronics. Not everyone is happy with your clothing choices, but because you are not carrying a fleece mid layer or long johns, to me that is much less of an issue than packing your bag. At the very least, if not the whole tent, the poles and stakes can be on the outside of the pack. You do not have too much stuff for that size pack bag. I would use the packliner to protect sleeping bag and clothes. It doesn't have to be used for the top half of you backpack. The dog can ride on top of the liner.

TTT
03-26-2017, 19:08
From your other video I saw you had cornered the market on shrimp Ramen. If you crush the contents and repackage it into one ziplock bag you will be surprised how small you can get it. You can also jack up the calorie count by adding dehydrated products, even instant soups, that will fill any air pockets and reduce the amount of noodles you take while still keeping it compact. I realize you're a big guy but you really only need food for 5 days. Has your dog eaten the shrimp variety before because dogs and seafood don't mix? Can your zseat not be attached to your sleeping mat to free up space? You can hang your dog's toys around your neck for the same reason. Your electronics and other gear need a trash compactor bag or ziplocks to protect them from rain. All glass and plastic containers can also be shifted to ziplock bags. Your sleeping bag size is the problem area

b-square
03-26-2017, 19:55
LL - cheers! There is a lot of good information being thrown at you here. Also some not so helpful, those guys are the ones who don't have a thought they can't spew out of their mouth before thinking.
I think the best advice I saw on here is take your set up - hit a trail near your home for three days - preferably in the rain. You will learn a lot in those three days about what works.
Get out and enjoy life and the woods - YOU CAN DO IT.

ScareBear
03-26-2017, 20:15
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJWKNcu2UG8&feature=youtu.be

Ok...that is one big sleeping bag. I hate to say it...but if you are going to go with that sleep system then you are going to need a compression sack dry bag. $30 and that issue is mitigated, somewhat...

The tent needs to go outside the pack. I'd put it in the stretch/clam pocket on the back, put the poles in a side pocket. Otherwise, strap it vertically on the back. Don't put it on the bottom of the pack, unless you really upgrade your tent's stuff sack.

The Zpad is a cheap way to sleep, but at your size/weight, it's a loser. Have you slept on it, ever? Get something that is at least R4 and at least 25 inches wide and 2.5 inches high. Plenty of options at around 16-20oz.

Your "puffy" jacket is the least compressible I have seen. Please get a down one that will stuff down smaller than a Nalgene.

Get rain pants and roll them up with your rain jacket and put in a side pocket or the clam.

Since you aren't using a filter that requires a wide mouth Nalgene, lose it. Get an extra SmartWater, if you must. What is your dirty water bag/bottle?

Your organization is....well.....disorganized...a very cheap solution is go to WallyWorld and get the OP 3 dry bag set for 10 bucks. Put your meds in the small blue bag, your campcraft/toiletries in the medium red bag and your spare clothes in the large yellow bag.

Speaking of clothes...lose the toe socks. Replace with polypro/Thermax socks....I like Thorlo. Lose the extra pair of pants. You can keep the extra socks, if you must....

Your cook kit should only be a .850-1.1L pot, a 110g canister, a windscreen and a long handled spoon. I didn't look at your food, but I saw somebody say ramen. Ramen is junk on the trail. Useless space without much caloric input and almost no protein. Lose it. Get some quality dehy for brekkie and dinner. Eat some trail bars for lunch. It aint gourmet dining, it is sustenance. Only carry high protein dry kibble for pup and supplement with oil. I would use olive oil....

I didn't see a knife or multi tool. Get one. Put it on a loop outside the pack.

Also, Put your compressor dry sack in the bottom of your pack, get a EVent dry bag and put the other three dry bags in it, roll it up nice and slowly so all the air gets out. Put it on top of your compressed bag. Get your bear bag and put all your food in it. Put it on top of the EVent dry bag. There should be space for pup. Everything must be in dry bags because if it is raining you will expose your pack to the rain with pup inside. Therefore, lose the rain cover. I mean...when would it be useful?

If worse comes to worst, then prepare to strap your bear bag onto the bottom of the pack....

If this doesn't get it done, get your butt to REI, return that Osprey and get a friggin mega pack...like THIS Osprey....

https://www.rei.com/product/846438/osprey-xenith-105-pack

Sorry, but that's all I've got for ya....except to just get it done. Go smaller and lighter or just go get a bigger pack. Your Osprey is brand spanking new, right? Go return it. Get out on the trail. Find out if you can do it. If you can't, you can't. But if you never try...........feh.

Dogwood
03-26-2017, 20:58
Yes, seriously. Why do you think you need TWO of everything like that for when you're hiking the trail? You don't. AND weight WILL be an issue, along with all the other issues you do, indeed have. You will not make it far, I'm afraid, with your complete lack of backpacking experience, your attitude, and your kit.

But, I do support your bringing of your pooch, and I understand why. Ignore the dog haters on WB. I'm sure they all love cats.

Reminds me of those trying to build Tiny Homes under 250 sq ft explaining to the infatuated and romanticizing clients NO you can't bring 10 tee shirts, 6 pr of denim pants, 4 pr of Khakis, 30 pr shoes, 12 jackets, your six cats, that bread maker(used once in the last two yrs), angel curio 300 piece collection, you're entire 70's LP vinyl collection, full size cast iron clawed foot tub, all the books you ever read since 15 yrs old books, and you might be crapping in a composting toilet.

Don't arouse anymore dog debates. Does add to the list of commitments though to an already full plate thru-hiking anticipated agenda. ie; dog food, dog needs, dog stuff wt, boarding, managing a dog while managing a wife and yourself already and new gear and getting into hiking shape and further getting into thru-hiker shape mentally, physically, and emotionally ALREADY

dwcoyote
03-26-2017, 21:06
38866

Loading the video now.

Take the sleeping bag out of the stuff stack and just stuff it in the bottom. I thought my food back was going to be a problem also but when I took the sleeping bag out of stuff sack and compressed it in bottom of back, I was able to get my food back and sleeping bag in the same about of space that only the sleeping bag in the stuff sack occupied.

TTT
03-26-2017, 21:09
Where is all this shrimp Ramen going?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFM-rlnH7YY

scrabbler
03-26-2017, 21:36
Where is all this shrimp Ramen going?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFM-rlnH7YY

Now I understand. Case closed. Thanks.

MissAtomicBomb
03-26-2017, 21:37
Thank you all for the advice and suggestions. The information helped tremendously (I especially like the one about combat loading the ramen, great idea.) We have figured out the space issue due to a lot of the feedback we have received here. Thank you again.

Unfortunately, after talking it over for a very long time last night and today, other circumstances still suggest that postponing until next year seems to be the best course of action at this time. There are family, professional, and health issues that I do not wish to bring into the public conversation.

Again, thank you for all of your support and assistance!

capehiker
03-26-2017, 21:46
Well at least get out for a week. You planned this far, get out for a Section hike.

Hikingjim
03-26-2017, 21:47
You're fine man. Just compress or swap out the bag, and/or strap a couple things to the back and hit the trail.
You must be close to fitting all in

When I first started hiking, my gear was quite inferior to yours. I would have a lot of crap strapped to the outside
Once it warms up a bit (a month or so), you could swap out that heavy sleeping bag for something that takes half the space and send a couple other things home, and you'll be all set.

Slo-go'en
03-26-2017, 21:49
Okay I watched your video. The sleeping bag is big, but so are you. If you delay the hike for a couple of weeks you can get a 30 degree bag (preferably down) and reduce a lot of volume. You can't take your dog through the Smokies anyway (comfort dogs are not considered legal service dogs) so you don't have to worry about any possible cold nights up there. It will be warming up in a hurry in a couple of weeks anyway.

Then you just need better organization. The trick is to efficiently utilize the available volume by careful placement of the contents. Build up from the bottom in layers. Jam your rain jacket or puffy around odd shaped items to fill in the void.

Unless it's too long, the tent should go in the pack horizontally, not vertically. The poles would have to stay vertical, but those can be put in a corner where they don't take up too much space. You have to pack around them, not try to jam them in after everything else is in there.

I have a "ditty bag" to keep all my little odds and ends in one place so they don't get lost. I'm currently using a 6x8" zippered pouch which lets the contents spread out and makes a low profile. In the pouch is charger and cable, spare lighter, sew kit, band aids, patch kit, scissors, blister med (New Skin) some spare headlamp batteries, and the like. This sits above the tent.

Then comes my food bag, which I like to put more or less into the center of the pack to keep the center of gravity mid pack.

Above the food bag is my clothes and cook pot

Please get a dry bag to put your spare clothes in and put them in the main compartment. The way had them packed in the video, they will get wet for sure. My clothes fit into an 11" x 8" x 8" stuff sack and I use it to keep my cook pot from rattling in the pack by using it to jam the cook pot into the side of the pack. So my clothes and cook pot fill one layer in the pack. My stove is used to fill up some space lower in the pack.

Finally, there is enough room to jam my outer shell on top to keep it handy. Depending on conditions, this would be my work shirt, rain jacket, or warm layer.

I have a top pocket "brain" so stuff which need to be at hand goes up there. Guide book, lotions, beanie hat, snacks, gloves (in season) and the like.
My front pocket has the water and toilet stuff. Camp towel, filter, water bag, TP, wipes, tent stakes, bear line, pack cover.

In your case, these would be the two front pockets.

But really, I am surprised you haven't been figuring out ways to make it all fit for weeks now...

egilbe
03-26-2017, 21:57
Well at least get out for a week. You planned this far, get out for a Section hike.

Sectionhikers have more fun! I agree. Just go hike somewhere. Doesnt have to be far. Four or five miles, camp out and then come home. Or stay out for three days. Its up to you. Get some trail maps of an area close to home and go for a walk in the woods. Its how I got back into hiking. I couldn't walk up the 52 steps leading up to the Visitor center at Hull's cove in Acadia National Park. A year later, I climbed Katahdin. Now I have multiple goals of hiking New Englands hundred highest, hiking the AT and just being outside in all four seasons. I'm a member of the ATC, MATC, AMC and volunteer at MHT...and it all started with a failed hike.

TTT
03-26-2017, 22:42
It would be prudent to familiarize the dog with the food it will be eating. The coconut oil as recommended by the vet has a strong laxative effect. Overdoing it and you might have a problem. If the dog is to eat the Ramen noodles, I'm unfamiliar with the shrimp content which can cause skin allergies in animals.

left52side
03-26-2017, 23:08
Hi LL ,I would certainly help you out as much as I can .
Feel free to pm me and we can go from there,I would first suggest the taking A couple weeks off and reevaluating A few things.
I think we can get your gear into that big ol monster of A pack of yours no problem :).
I will watch the videos in the meantime can you send me A detailed gear list of yours and etc.
Lets get you on the trail buddy :)

MuddyWaters
03-26-2017, 23:32
Well at least get out for a week. You planned this far, get out for a Section hike.



Yup.

If youve had it scheduled... No reason not to get out for a couple days to a week at least . You will learn tons about you, your gear, and choices. Do this. Dont make excuse not to...just do it. Set minimal goal, a shelter a day for a couple days. Youll have a blast, and all anxiety will be gone.

Remember, a 70+ yr old grandmother walked the trail multiple times with a blanket and shower curtain, in a laundry bag carried over her shoulder, wearing keds tennis shoes Its not as complicated as 99% make it.

I met a 71 yr old woman last year, she only hiked 5 mpd.
5 miles per day.
But she hiked 700 miles last yr, and had a blast. She will hike 700 more this year.

rashamon12
03-26-2017, 23:34
From watching the video there are only a few things you could cut out. the rest of it is how you packed things in your bag. Repackaging, the tent on the outside and filling in the gaps seem to be a key to making more room. I am sure others have said this as well but I personally have spent several days packing and repacking and stuffing and shifting things in my bag to maximize room. I am not an ultra light freak by any means because i value durability as well without breaking the bank. I have serveral more bulky items and with time i got everything to fit with even a little room to spare. GOOD LUCK AND CHIN UP!

b12r
03-27-2017, 01:09
I think everyone has hit the nail on the head with packing suggestions. It really is a matter of "want to" at this point. I have the same pack... I feel like I can pack my bedroom in the dag on thing. Stuffing all of that "stuff" in the front zipper compartments kills your space in the main sack. Furthermore, your food NEEDS to go in the sack part.

Anyway, with all that said, I feel like the preparation is MUCH more fun than actually doing it. I have always loved preparing for hikes/trips I have taken. Once I get to doing my hike/trip, it is fun but I feel like the anticipation leading up to it is more fun. Don't get me wrong, I love the hikes/trips I have taken but I feel like OP may have a case of the "I have talked the talk, not I don't want to walk the walk" (no pun intended lol). Anyone can say they are going to hike the entire AT... not many actually do it. Hell man, you sleeping bag is way to big. Plus it is nearly April... We are both from Va... its not that cold out. Plus it will not get that cold out at night any more. 15 degree sleeping bag is WAY to much IMO. Get a 30 degree one and if you get cold put that puffy jacket on.

Dex
03-27-2017, 01:23
Hey, I have not done a Thru Hike yet. Doing the planning now. I have the same pack. I no longer have the brain on it. Did you remember to undo the two straps inside the pack that separates the lower part of the pack and main body? Once I did that, the way a pack total changed. I have zero problems with my full gear list with room to spare.

llittle_llama
03-27-2017, 03:50
Just a quick update:

I unpacked and stuffed the sleeping bag and everything changed. I was even able to fit the entire bag of food inside! So other than getting a few dry bags and stuff sacks (we we're planning on buying a few along with a camp towel in Atlanta) I think I have it all figured out. As my wife said I'm going to postpone until next year. There is a lot going here and I was really rushing to get out there this year. I hiked on the AT 3-4 times a week before I shattered my heel and hiked hundreds if not thousands of miles when I was in the Army. I will obviously be hiking at least 3 days a week this year, and part of me not going this year my wife said we would go out together once a week and hike. I'm not stopping, and I'm not giving up, I'm just adjusting my timeline ;)

rashamon12
03-27-2017, 04:46
well glad to hear you at least have it all figured out. Lets all hope your ajusted timeline works for you in the future! GL

H I T C H
03-27-2017, 05:32
Will your employer be able to give you the time off work next year if you delay your trip until 2018?

illabelle
03-27-2017, 06:20
Couple of people have said to ditch the toe socks... That's up to you, LL, but if I can't bring toe socks, I might as well stay home. Do what works for you.

rashamon12
03-27-2017, 06:55
only thing i would say about toe socks is that if your prone to blisters between your smaller toes they are a huge difference. if you get them in the spots where your foot rubs the boot they do help but not revolutionary.

Engine
03-27-2017, 07:06
Nerves... You'll be fine... Just do it. It's only walking...

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Don H
03-27-2017, 07:46
This thread should be required reading for those preparing for a thru. Lots of great information, very helpful.

Too bad the OP isn't going this year, maybe next year.

Again I'll suggest reading Appalachian Trials https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trials-book/

StealthHikerBoy
03-27-2017, 08:28
Llama:

You have received a lot of great advice here. Probably the best thing is if you do go this year, you will now be starting later, which bodes much better for your success. But, more than anything, redefine what "success" is for you. You are not a failure if you don't get to Maine. Or, even if you don't get out of Georgia. As long as you go on a nice, long walk and enjoy your time in the woods, you win. Just get out there, keep going when it gets mentally tough, and resolve to only quit on a good day.

I really think you should get out there this year. At the least, you will learn for next year.

Good luck.

cmoulder
03-27-2017, 09:18
In the meantime, get out and do some actual backpacking, starting off with something realistic like 8 miles with 1500 feet of vertical. For someone not in shape and with a heavy pack, that's actually quite a lot.

Someone who truly enjoys backpacking will get out and do it every chance they get, whether quick overnighters, 3-5 day trips, sections or thrus. Become a backpacker 'in your head'.

The hike will be a lot more fun if you're in shape, have confidence gained from experience and get your pack weight way down. Consider adopting UL philosophy and techniques.... backpacking doesn't have to be a sufferfest.

b12r
03-27-2017, 09:54
I am just at a loss for words now...

Ethesis
03-27-2017, 10:12
You should have quite the successful shakedown then if you are going for three day hikes once a week. Wish you the best.

ldsailor
03-27-2017, 10:17
I plan on running my phone for music about 8-10 hours a day. It's something I can't skip, I'll go crazy if I don't.

If I were you, I wouldn't do that. It's better to listen to the trail. Especially when you get into areas where there might be snakes. And bears are always a concern. Listen to the trail. It's important.

4eyedbuzzard
03-27-2017, 10:31
...I think I have it all figured out...

But, of course.


I am just at a loss for words now...

You're not alone in that thought.

rashamon12
03-27-2017, 10:40
better to be at a loss for words than spouting something stupid in my opinion. ^_^

rocketsocks
03-27-2017, 12:09
better to be at a loss for words than spouting something stupid in my opinion. ^_^dont under estimate the power of stupid thought, it's a process.

llittle_llama
03-27-2017, 12:37
I'll be hiking all year, and mostly on the AT, but not doing a thru. I'll be hiking down to Trail Days in May and those of you that want to keep berating me can do so in person ;)

CalebJ
03-27-2017, 12:40
Let me know if you want to get out for a hike one of these days. Always up for a day on the trail (schedule permitting, of course) and we can talk about gear and packing options.

cmoulder
03-27-2017, 12:58
Let me know if you want to get out for a hike one of these days. Always up for a day on the trail (schedule permitting, of course) and we can talk about gear and packing options.

LL, Please, take Caleb up on his offer!!!! :sun

I have a friend who is a relative newbie and had much the same problems and said something similar about the "I've done 95% as well as anyone could." We inventoried his stuff and I gave or sold very cheaply to him some of my older 'lightweight" (but not UL, such as REI Flash 62 pack) gear and he bought new a few key pieces (such as a TarpTent Protrail), and before our most recent snowshoe trip we did a total pack dump and re-pack in the back of my Dodge Caravan. Previously his pack was a bit over the limit of my 44 lb hanging scale. After getting rid of a bunch of pointless stuff sacks and excess gear and clothing and his heavy pack and tent, his pack weighed 18.5 lbs, including food and water, as we snowshoed into the woods. He was practically crying for joy.:D

cmoulder
03-27-2017, 13:06
dont under estimate the power of stupid thought, it's a process.

After all, an expert is someone who has made all the mistakes. :o

And didn't get killed in the process.... :)

AfterParty
03-27-2017, 13:24
hiked hundreds if not thousands of miles when I was in the Army. ;)
Glad you got it all to fit. I gotta say you must a had some terrible squad leaders though.

Dogwood
03-27-2017, 14:02
Haven't read through all 7 pages so don't know if anyone has said this. That Ramen brand you're boxing can be bought just about anywhere. You can crush it up some to make each package 1/2-2/3 the volume. Think volume density for food to reduce bulk. Reduce packaging wt and packaged food wt by repackaging into Ziplocs with a rubber band.

Trial size tubes, smaller at least than you've shown, personal care products can reduce the wt and volume of that category.

Deadeye
03-27-2017, 14:12
This site helped me a bunch:

http://www.backpacking.net/27-pound.html

My kit winds up a little different, and a little lighter, but most of the basics are very similar. I do carry either a hammock or a Henry Shires Tarptent - I don't skimp on comfort one bit.

Venchka
03-27-2017, 14:22
Two thoughts:
May 1. Statistically the start date with the best chance of success.
Lighten yourself for free. Lighten your pack for free by removing unneeded things.
All the best to you.
MissAtomicBomb is a Keeper!
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

kestral
03-27-2017, 16:30
Hey llittle llama, I hike with my dog too. Like the Nike ad. JUST DO IT!

I also have some ptsd issues and would never go without my dog. She allows me to hike, I'm not just bringing her along. She is not "packable" though- 65 pounds of wiggle and wag. LOL.

Some things I've found helpful with her, not all applicable to you perhaps, but others may benefit
1) flexi leash. (Retractable, I loop it through my hip belt and keep hands free for poles, or around camp I use a loop to attach around waist. She stole someone's cheeseburger once and I had to give up my dinner. Who leaves a cheeseburger unguarded around thru hikers? Just sayin...)
2) small collapsible dish for water during rest stops (8oz sea to summet collapsible cup- can now find similar cheaper in pet stores)
3) small egg crate type sleeping pad for her- she'll try to push me off mine otherwise.
4) ruff ware brand raincoat. This is great for cold wet windy rain on the trail. I check under her coat frequently for too cold or too hot and layer her appropriately.
5) ruffware brand fleece jacket , at times used with rain coat. For when temps are below 40.
6) kibble is blue buffalo- she likes it and it's nutrient dense. May need to do some "stir ins" first few days - I just dump in some of my food- to crank up appetite for first few days. Agree with previous post-try new foods at home first if possible. Some one gave my pooch a power bar and she farted all night.
7) bring vet info, hard copy or at least photo on phone, hope you never need it. Hard copy rabies certificate.
8) my vet gave me antibiotics in case needed.
9) read up on tick removal, porcupine quill removal, skunk spray best solutions,etc. screen shot info onto phone.
10) appropriate heart worm, flea and tick preventative.
11). My dog is known to roll in poop- wheeee! - be aware some soap may be required before bedtime snuggles.
12) I don't bring her "lovey" toy anymore -she has enough to sniff at being outdoors and just ignored it
13) 2 person tent. She is protective of her space and me, my stuff. Tent just works best. Have slept in shelter during storm with other hikers ok. I had her on leash around my waist while sleeping, just in case a coyote or bear wandered by.
14) small back pack for dog. Vet recommends not more than 15% ideal body weight.
15) I sleep with sleeping bag open over me, like a quilt with a foot box. My dog will snuggle under if it gets cold- we were comfy when everyone else was freezing. Great hot pack.
16) almost forgot- do not have dog hard clipped, attached to you when going down steep stuff- dog can easily pull you off balance and crash!

In summary, wow hiking with a dog is a pain in the ass! But I wouldn't go without her :)

My Dori is a 10 yr old cattahula leopard cur mix from the pound. We've been besties for 10 years.

Hiking with a dog is a privilege, not a right. Respect others, take care of your dog and she will take care of you.

Happy hiking with your pup.

kestral
03-27-2017, 17:03
Just saw the shrimp ramen video. Bless you wife.

bfox
03-27-2017, 18:25
I have been wanting to do a thru-hike for the last 10 years, but things have never quite worked out logistically... Either I didnt have the money or the time to do, but looking could have totally made it work. I used to kick myself for not trying... Then this year, the stars aligned and my wife and I have finally made the time to make this happen. We will start our thru hike in just over 3 weeks, and have had to make some pretty big sacrifices to make this happen. But we realize as we get older life get older, carving out time for a thru hike is going to be more complicated and likely require even greater sacrifices. My point is... if you are in a place to do it now, then you may find that you might not have any better opportunities as you get older and it is only going to get harder. You were in the car on your way.... I say go for it!

And for a practical tip... Everyone is mentioning the size of your synthetic sleeping bag. If you an REI member, then you can buy a decent down bag right now for 20% off. Search their down bags... but this one would probably work well and is pretty light.
https://www.rei.com/product/111165/rei-co-op-igneo-25-sleeping-bag

isthmus annie
03-27-2017, 21:46
Good luck! You will figure it out. I hesitate to have an opinion because I have not done anything as long as the AT but... my first thru-hike was the John Muir Trail. I know it is SO much shorter, but arguably you need the same things to walk 200 miles as to walk 2,000. I thought I was down to the minimum, but no. I had a resupply on day 6 or so and mailed half the food resupply and probably 5 lbs of gear home and was good to go. I decided to view this as a natural part of the learning process rather than an embarrassing failure. Right?

eggymane
03-28-2017, 05:49
Two thoughts:
May 1. Statistically the start date with the best chance of success.

Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I've never heard that, so now I'm curious why that is so? My first thoughts lead toward overall better weather

Don H
03-28-2017, 06:54
I've never heard that, so now I'm curious why that is so? My first thoughts lead toward overall better weather

Most people start a hike in March (60%)

You can find the statistics here: https://whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php/44-AT-Hiking-Rates-Section-by-Section

Most people start a hike in March (60%)

I haven't seen success number by start date. I just find it hard to believe that a May 1 date would be the most successful date considering it takes the average person 6 months to complete the AT.

egilbe
03-28-2017, 07:09
Most people start a hike in March (60%)

You can find the statistics here: https://whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php/44-AT-Hiking-Rates-Section-by-Section

Most people start a hike in March (60%)

I haven't seen success number by start date. I just find it hard to believe that a May 1 date would be the most successful date considering it takes the average person 6 months to complete the AT.

One possible theory is that its warmer, so you take less clothing and gear so your pack is lighter weight. You can walk farther per day with more energy. Since you are carrying less weight, you can walk faster without injuring yourself. Since you are walking faster, further, without injury, you finish way quicker than 6 months, more like in four months.

Makes sense, doesnt it? People who start early, who have no experience hiking in cold weather, rapidly get sick of being cold and wet for days on end and decide hiking isnt for them.

Venchka
03-28-2017, 07:32
Ask map man he knows.
Wayne

TTT
03-28-2017, 10:27
What are the statistics for foreigners completing the distance?

rafe
03-28-2017, 12:41
What are the statistics for foreigners completing the distance?

Ha, good question. I'd speculate that it's better than the norm. A bit harder to pull off than the norm, but for that very reason, there may be more motivation to finish.

Don H
03-28-2017, 13:15
What are the statistics for foreigners completing the distance?

Depends on if you can get through Customs with your hiking poles and meat products and don't run into Ted Kaczynski on the trail :)

Arius
03-28-2017, 15:01
Just quit. Simple as that. No problem, no frustrations and no cry over the shoulder.

TTT
03-28-2017, 15:59
Depends on if you can get through Customs with your hiking poles and meat products and don't run into Ted Kaczynski on the trail

LOL

Don H
03-28-2017, 16:20
Just quit. Simple as that. No problem, no frustrations and no cry over the shoulder.


And we never failed to fail it was the easiest thing to do

jupiterkn
03-28-2017, 17:06
Hiked it all in 2015 with a HMG 2400 Windrider 40L. You have plenty of room. That's your ego jumping in there and injecting fear into an otherwise amazing time. Feel the feeling and get back out there. You got this!


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TRaBlzerSushi
03-28-2017, 18:01
Just get out there man. Take your time. The men who fought at the front lines and won this country for us slept in canvas tents and were in very uncomfortable situations. The first time I head out I was nothing close to prepared but made it almost 200 miles and my friend is an accomplishment, its better than the guy who never tried. The most important thing is to try. Goodluck!

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evyck da fleet
03-28-2017, 18:30
I've never heard that, so now I'm curious why that is so? My first thoughts lead toward overall better weather

May 1st eliminates anyone winging it since they have less than six months to finish. It also means those who start that late have probably prepared for their hike knowing how much time they have. The weather will also be better so you won't be forced off trail by snow ice for a few days or huddled in your bag half the day because you don't have your trail legs and it 20 degrees outside.

There are many reasons why those who have completed a thru would pick May 1 as a start date for their second thru. I assume experienced hikers who haven't completed a thru would know that too. Plus half the bubble will have quit before you start��

ScareBear
03-28-2017, 19:52
May 1st eliminates anyone winging it since they have less than six months to finish. It also means those who start that late have probably prepared for their hike knowing how much time they have. The weather will also be better so you won't be forced off trail by snow ice for a few days or huddled in your bag half the day because you don't have your trail legs and it 20 degrees outside.

There are many reasons why those who have completed a thru would pick May 1 as a start date for their second thru. I assume experienced hikers who haven't completed a thru would know that too. Plus half the bubble will have quit before you start��

If you can AVERAGE 14MPD, then a May 1 start is certainly do-able. It will certainly be warmer and likely drier when you start.

BuckeyeBill
03-28-2017, 20:22
14 MPD may not sound like much, but unless you are in shape both mentally and physically, have hiked before enough to have your equipment dialed in and as light as you can make it, you will be doing good if you can get a 8-10 MPD average to begin with. Most people it takes two to three weeks to get their trail legs and properly break in their boots, which the should have done before leaving. Granted it's just walking, but it is just walking with another 20-40 pounds strapped to your back. The OP has already made up his mind about not going this year, but he is going to get out and do a few sections this summer. He will learn from his mistakes and who knows, some seasoned hiker may take him under his/her wing and show him a few tricks he can use to do a thru hike in 2018. This was a decision he made with his wife and she is the only person he has to make happy through all of this. I believe they said that she may even join him next year. Now we have all heard from people about being gone from their significant other and/or kids for 6 months is hard, think about being around them for 24 hours a day for six months. That will really test a relationship. So LL you do what you have to and best of luck.

Greenlight
03-28-2017, 20:34
Don't beat yourself up, llama.

I haven't taken the time yet to read ALL of this thread, but enough to get the gist...get out there soon section hiking and get that gear dialed in.

Best of luck to you!

dudeijuststarted
03-28-2017, 20:39
hiking requires some level of ingenuity and responsiveness to the unexpected. thru hiking requires an insane amount of it.

if you really want to do this, go to GA and get started. everyone and their mother in the AT community is down there for the explicit purpose of helping new people out, this includes shaking down packs for excess junk. so you can, ya know, fit food and stuff.

if you really don't want to do it, that's okay, but no room in the pack for food is not a legitimate excuse. in fact, its probably the worst homie.

AllDownhillFromHere
03-28-2017, 21:01
14 MPD may not sound like much, but unless you are in shape both mentally and physically, have hiked before enough to have your equipment dialed in and as light as you can make it, you will be doing good if you can get a 8-10 MPD average to begin with. Most people it takes two to three weeks to get their trail legs and properly break in their boots, which the should have done before leaving. Granted it's just walking, but it is just walking with another 20-40 pounds strapped to your back. The OP has already made up his mind about not going this year, but he is going to get out and do a few sections this summer. He will learn from his mistakes and who knows, some seasoned hiker may take him under his/her wing and show him a few tricks he can use to do a thru hike in 2018. This was a decision he made with his wife and she is the only person he has to make happy through all of this. I believe they said that she may even join him next year. Now we have all heard from people about being gone from their significant other and/or kids for 6 months is hard, think about being around them for 24 hours a day for six months. That will really test a relationship. So LL you do what you have to and best of luck.

I averaged just under 14 mpd. That's 100 mile weeks - a good speed. There were plenty of 20s and 1 30, but the overall average was <14. https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/1999-at-hike-mileage/ Starting early in the year with short days, and sticking to, or being forced to stick to, the shelter system, puts strange constraints on your days, and the mountains of NH are no joke.

egilbe
03-28-2017, 21:06
I averaged just under 14 mpd. That's 100 mile weeks - a good speed. There were plenty of 20s and 1 30, but the overall average was <14. https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/1999-at-hike-mileage/ Starting early in the year with short days, and sticking to, or being forced to stick to, the shelter system, puts strange constraints on your days, and the mountains of NH are no joke.
About half the time, I may stay at a shelter. Sometimes its a goal, and other times, its inconvenient and Id rather keep hiking and stay in the woods.

BuckeyeBill
03-28-2017, 21:07
I averaged just under 14 mpd. That's 100 mile weeks - a good speed. There were plenty of 20s and 1 30, but the overall average was <14. https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/1999-at-hike-mileage/ Starting early in the year with short days, and sticking to, or being forced to stick to, the shelter system, puts strange constraints on your days, and the mountains of NH are no joke.

I agree that is a great feat. But it is the exception and not the norm.

Venchka
03-28-2017, 21:13
Real Thru Hike. May 1 start.

Hmm I would actually do the opposite and start later vice earlier. I started on May 1st and finished on Sept 17 with plenty of zeros
By starting later you avoid the inevitable down days you will experience due to inclement weather in the Smokies which just bunch you up with those starting later than you. A 1 March start is not functionally 30 days ahead of 30 March as there will be a number of down days in that month due to weather issues. By May 1 you should never have that happen.

By starting that late that big percentage who are going to drop out in the early miles are already long gone and you will never meet them. Since there are not many starting as late as you your starting 'bulge' will be small. This effect will last the entire hike for you.

The best way to avoid crowds is to not stay at shelters and instead camp at the in between (stealth) sites. This also works better in May than early in the year when many of the in between sites are covered in snow or just mud.

A later start also guarantees you will have much nicer weather also as you will eliminate a high chance of snow storms and lots of icy cold rain.
With 13+ months to get ready, 5 months to finish should not be a problem.
Go for it!
Wayne



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Venchka
03-28-2017, 21:55
I quit. My brain is pudding.
map man's range of start dates and probability of finishing.

A few months ago Laurie Potteiger of the ATC posted a bar graph showing how many NOBOs completing thru-hikes in the 2010-2014 seasons started from Springer on each date. She did this to illustrate the times of the year that NOBOs might want to stay away from to avoid overcrowding. From this bar graph I was able, by blowing it up to fill my screen and doing a lot of squinting, to figure out the numbers for each date -- 2549 thru-hikers in total. Here is a link to that bar graph:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=29669&d=1421990260

In addition, mountain squid (Tim) here at WB has been maintaining a database for years showing the intended start dates for WB thru-hiker hopefuls who have chosen to register their intentions here at WB. I looked at the years 2010-2014 in these databases, and subtracted any SOBOs, sections hikers or hikers doing FLIPS so that I could tabulate just NOBO thru-hiker start dates (there ended up being 2275 hikers in all), so I could directly compare them to the ATC calculation of start dates for those same years. Here is a link to the page for mountain squid's databases:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php/28-whiteblaze-thru-hikers

Comparing these two databases should give an idea of what start dates have a higher or lower percentage of completers. So here is a list showing the percentage of hikers who have started in a certain date range compared to the total in all date ranges . I used the same date range groupings that mountain squid uses. The first number is intended start date range percentages for WBers and the second number (in parentheses) is start date percentages for completers:

1.2% (.4%) January or earlier
10.1% (7.6%) February
15.1% (11.5%) March 1-7
14.3% (13.6%) March 8-14
17.5% (16.8%) March 15-21
13.4% (16.4%) March 22-31
12.8% (15.8%) April 1-7
10.8% (12.6%) April 8-30
4.8% (5.3%) May or June

By dividing the second number by the first number we get a "factor" showing relative likelihood of completing a thru-hike, with 1.00 being the number representing the overall average:

.33 -- January or earlier
.75 -- February
.76 -- March 1-7
.95 -- March 8-14
.96 -- March 15-21
1.23 -- March 22-31
1.23 -- April 1-7
1.17 -- April 8-30
1.10 -- May or June

Or to put it another way, if we assume that around 25% of NOBO thru-hiker hopefuls end up completing the trail, which is a ball park figure for what the ATC estimates is the general completion rate for NOBOs, then completion percentages for the start date ranges can be estimated:

8% -- January or earlier
19% -- February
19% -- March 1-7
24% -- March 8-14
24% -- March 15-21
31% -- March 22-31
31% -- April 1-7
29% -- April 8-30
28% -- May or June

Am I saying that it is "easier" to complete a thru-hike with a start date after March 21 than it is before then? No, I am not. For instance, if hikers with more experience, or hikers who know themselves to be fitter than average (groups with a better chance of completing, perhaps) also choose in greater numbers to start later then that would have an effect on completion rates by start dates. But for those who start at really busy times in early and mid-March in the belief that the earlier they start the better their completion chances, these numbers should give them pause. And perhaps that might encourage more people to start a little later and disperse some of the big numbers of people starting at traditionally popular times the first three weeks of March.

Now for the disclaimers: Yes, there is potential for sample bias any time you have a partial population stand in for an entire population. There isn't a whole lot of potentail for that in the ATC's numbers based on 2000 miler applications because if you compare their numbers with the physical count of NOBO thru-hikers that Baxter State Park does, it sure looks like the ATC numbers represent at least 75 to 80 percent of thru-hikers.

In comparison, our WB databases for 2010 to 2014 of hikers intending to thru-hike probably only represent around 20%-25% of all NOBO thru-hike starters. That is still a pretty darn large sample. And even if you make the case that WB thru-hike registrants skew older and perhaps more male than the overall population of thru-hikers, that doesn't automatically mean that older hikers or male hikers make significantly different choices about when to start. The only exception that seems likely to me is that perhaps college-age hikers are more likely to start in May, after the school year ends, and that could potentially mean that May starters could be under-represented in the WB databases, though I doubt if the distortion is dramatic.

Finally, thank you Lorrie Potteiger and mountain squid for all the time and effort you put into tabulating or maintaining these charts or databases. They shouldn't be held responsible for the way I chose to use the numbers produced by their labor.
Start whenever you like.
As Bill Murray said, "It just doesn't matter."
Wayne


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AllDownhillFromHere
03-28-2017, 22:58
About half the time, I may stay at a shelter. Sometimes its a goal, and other times, its inconvenient and Id rather keep hiking and stay in the woods.

Agreed. It was really the Smokies, the Shenandoah, and the Whites where you had to strategically plan, or bootleg (which I will also admit to doing).

llittle_llama
03-29-2017, 03:45
That Ramen brand you're boxing can be bought just about anywhere.

Ahhhh, but not this flavor my good sir ;)

Venchka
03-29-2017, 07:46
Ahhhh, but not this flavor my good sir ;)

You might also investigate and audition Korean Ramen. Google The Ramen Rater for the Top 10 list. Find a well stocked Asian market. Think outside the box.
Wayne


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becfoot
03-29-2017, 07:47
I'm but a lowly n00b section hiker but I found this thread and all the advice in it super helpful. I'm sorry that you're not doing a thru this year, little_llama, but better that it's on your own terms. Also, loved the Ramen unboxing. Watched it while drinking coffee and almost spat coffee all over my laptop. Thanks for the early morning laughs and best of luck in all of your endeavors. As long as you hyoh, you're good.

JumpMaster Blaster
03-29-2017, 20:08
You're a former Soldier as well so I consider you a bro. My first time on the AT (when I was still active duty) I took a 75L pack with almost 40 pounds of crap in it. For an overnight hike with my dog. You live and you learn. A couple years later I was down to 24 going throuh the Smokies, and I'm a Z-Packs Duplex away from a very comfortable 16lbs baseweight.

Use what you've learned in the military. Go on a few hikes, some overnighters. Asess what you used, what you didn't use, and what you wish you would have brought. Do this 3-4 times. Make it like an actual training mission and AAR when you get back. Take a small notepad & pen with you. I did that on 5-6 trips and whittled my kit down to where it is now.

Of course, you can trade stuff in or buy lighter gear, but at least try what you have. Learn from your mistakes. Get out on the trail. I can't attempt a thru right now so I'm going to section it to death, and there's nothing wrong with that.

egilbe
03-29-2017, 20:39
Learn from your mistakes. Get out on the trail. I can't attempt a thru right now so I'm going to section it to death, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Amen brother! Preach it! Hallelujah!

My training for my AT hike is Maine and NH. I know I dont want to lug another 40+ pound pack up to Mt Madison again.

AllDownhillFromHere
03-30-2017, 07:44
I started Springer at 44lbs, and did not change any gear for the trip, except sending my fleece home, and for 2 weeks, my tent (huge mistake). Weight is not the problem. People hike with 40+ packs all the time. What did people do before the ultralight craze began? Useless weight is definitely useless (like carrying more than 2L of water pretty much anywhere on the AT), but letting the weight of your toothbrush be a thing is counterproductive. Look at Cheryl Strayed. Not that she finished, but I think we can agree she wasn't really trying to thru.

"if you can pick up a pack, you can carry it all day if you have the right attitude" --Guy Waterman

cmoulder
03-30-2017, 08:40
I've carried heavy packs in the past... something like 70 lbs for multi-day winter trips in the Adirondacks and Whites, and even 35-40 lbs for summer in the Catskills and southern Appalachians.

I remember all too well that technique for picking up a heavy pack—the half squat, heave it up and set it on my thigh, insert arm thru one shoulder strap, another good heave bending forward while tossing the monster onto my back, insert other arm, etc—and doing mountaineering-style rest steps on every freaking hill, taking 10-minute breaks every hour, and dropping the pack with a thud of relief after a long day covering 10 miles. I wouldn't still be backpacking if that were the case today.

I truly have no idea why people choose to carry 44 lbs when 22 lbs is totally within reach these days. :sun

AllDownhillFromHere
03-30-2017, 10:29
de gustibus non disputandum est

cmoulder
03-30-2017, 10:48
44 lbs 44 lbs est, 22 lbs 22lbs est

TX Aggie
03-30-2017, 11:06
You're a former Soldier as well so I consider you a bro. My first time on the AT (when I was still active duty) I took a 75L pack with almost 40 pounds of crap in it. For an overnight hike with my dog. You live and you learn. A couple years later I was down to 24 going throuh the Smokies, and I'm a Z-Packs Duplex away from a very comfortable 16lbs baseweight.

Use what you've learned in the military. Go on a few hikes, some overnighters. Asess what you used, what you didn't use, and what you wish you would have brought. Do this 3-4 times. Make it like an actual training mission and AAR when you get back. Take a small notepad & pen with you. I did that on 5-6 trips and whittled my kit down to where it is now.

Of course, you can trade stuff in or buy lighter gear, but at least try what you have. Learn from your mistakes. Get out on the trail. I can't attempt a thru right now so I'm going to section it to death, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Probably the clearest, most methodical, and most helpful post on the entire thread.

I too am a Vet, and the struggle to give up what was once considered "essentials" (not including a rifle. Still getting used to not having one laying next to me) is an ongoing battle. I'm slowly getting there, replacing heavier equipment with lighter gear, but being strong enough to leave things behind is a nightmare. I've found I have to basically split between a bare bones survival kit that I could throw in a day pack, and just add a few comfort items like a sleeping bag and tent.

Thanks for tapping my Forward Assist.


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foodbag
03-30-2017, 11:50
I had the same problem when I attempted a thru-hike in 1999. When I cinched the top down on an overstuffed load one of the buckles broke - that's how much there was in it! Bounced the problem off of some veterans and learned that I was carrying waaay too many clothes, and you should have seen the size of my foodbag.

After adjustments everything fit into a different pack, with room to spare, that I used while the replacement pack was being shipped ahead to Mountain Crossings. After that everything was fine and I didn't even have to send anything home.

By the way, the foodbag was still huge, but not quite so overstuffed, and that was where some folks came up with my trail name :)

lonehiker
03-30-2017, 12:39
I didn't read all of the advice that you received (or clarification posts you made), but I have to assume that you probably have a synthetic sleeping bag and it is taking up the majority of the space (if I'm wrong ignore my post). Fork over a few bucks and buy a good down sleeping bag. If you still don't have room in your pack for food then throw out the kitchen sink...

I would agree with all those that told you to leave the puppy home. If you are willing to quit before leaving your driveway, you don't need the added headache of taking care of a dog along the way.

4eyedbuzzard
03-30-2017, 12:57
My biggest concern, after following this entire thread, is for the dog. Llama will either hike or not. And if he does, he'll likely not complete a thru attempt. That's just the normal odds. But a small 11 lb, 12 year old dog is not going to do well on the AT. Younger and larger dogs have enough problems. Carrying the dog in the top of the pack as Llama intends isn't a good idea either. Encounter difficult terrain, increase weight, raise center of gravity, add a live and potentially moving load, while descending steep slippery terrain, is asking for a bad fall, raising the potential of injury to both hiker - and the dog. Just isn't a good choice for the dog.

SoboWuss
03-30-2017, 14:31
This is an important moment in your life. Don't give up thinking you are a failure before you've even started. Keep going. Figure it out.


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Venchka
03-30-2017, 14:44
My biggest concern, after following this entire thread, is for the dog. Llama will either hike or not. And if he does, he'll likely not complete a thru attempt. That's just the normal odds. But a small 11 lb, 12 year old dog is not going to do well on the AT. Younger and larger dogs have enough problems. Carrying the dog in the top of the pack as Llama intends isn't a good idea either. Encounter difficult terrain, increase weight, raise center of gravity, add a live and potentially moving load, while descending steep slippery terrain, is asking for a bad fall, raising the potential of injury to both hiker - and the dog. Just isn't a good choice for the dog.
There it is.
Little_Llama-
If you hurry you can buy a very nice REI down bag with your REI dividend and probably have some change leftover. A bag that will take up about half of the space that your current bag takes up. Think about it.
I wish i knew what you bought to get a $300+ dividend. Never mind. Enjoy!
Wayne

TX Aggie
03-30-2017, 17:12
There it is.
Little_Llama-
If you hurry you can buy a very nice REI down bag with your REI dividend and probably have some change leftover. A bag that will take up about half of the space that your current bag takes up. Think about it.
I wish i knew what you bought to get a $300+ dividend. Never mind. Enjoy!
Wayne

REI Credit Card.

I didn't get mine until late last year and used it sparingly. Now that I know the potential, I won't make that mistake again. :)

TTT
03-30-2017, 18:20
Unfortunately being a large person has its own unique set of difficulties compared to someone with a medium build. Weight increases with size, from boots, clothing to appetite. Even taking a lofty tumble has dire consequences ... just ask Goliath.

Malto
03-30-2017, 20:15
Unfortunately being a large person has its own unique set of difficulties compared to someone with a medium build. Weight increases with size, from boots, clothing to appetite. Even taking a lofty tumble has dire consequences ... just ask Goliath.

I asked Goliath but he didn't answer.
38899

Soggybottom
03-30-2017, 20:55
65L is huge!!! If you have a bladder inside get rid of it. Something is taking up way too much space


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Soggybottom
03-30-2017, 20:57
You don't want to take a puppy on the trail either. Ticks are a major problem for you and your dog. You need nexguard or the like for your pup and Lyme boosters. It is bad.


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DapperD
03-30-2017, 21:11
My biggest concern, after following this entire thread, is for the dog. Llama will either hike or not. And if he does, he'll likely not complete a thru attempt. That's just the normal odds. But a small 11 lb, 12 year old dog is not going to do well on the AT. Younger and larger dogs have enough problems. Carrying the dog in the top of the pack as Llama intends isn't a good idea either. Encounter difficult terrain, increase weight, raise center of gravity, add a live and potentially moving load, while descending steep slippery terrain, is asking for a bad fall, raising the potential of injury to both hiker - and the dog. Just isn't a good choice for the dog. I agree with this. From what I have been told, excessive exercise for real small dogs is not a good thing. I knew someone who had a Chiwawa, and they were taking it for long walks everyday thinking this was good for them.

All of a sudden, the dog's heart gave out and wound up passing away. Granted the dog was older, but here they thought this was a good thing, and when they talked to the vet about what had happened, the vet told them that it actually wasn't good to exercise a small dog much, as they can't handle it.

JPritch
03-30-2017, 23:10
Lol, our MinPin stops about a 1/2 mile into his walks. He'll sit down and won't budge. His way of letting us know it's turnaround time.

Time Zone
03-31-2017, 08:57
Unfortunately being a large person has its own unique set of difficulties compared to someone with a medium build. Weight increases with size, from boots, clothing to appetite. Even taking a lofty tumble has dire consequences ... just ask Goliath.

Way too many boastful UL-ers fail to take this into account. It is much easier to be UL if you are under 6' tall and thin. You can avoid long sleeping bags, long sleeping pads, a few more smaller tents/shelters are within reach that, for the taller, have you hitting the ends), clothes are smaller, amt of food and water carried can be less - so much proportions downward - much just from avoiding the tall/long sizes. That doesn't account for all, of course, but it's a substantial portion. Too often the differences are entirely ascribed to one's willingness to pay for 900 fill down TQs, cuben fiber this or that, or sleep on a mix of torso pad and backpack under feet.

For me, the objective function is not to minimize weight, but maximize FUN, If lightening my load will (on balance) increase my enjoyment, I'll do that.If carrying some extra ounces will increase my enjoyment overall, I'll do that. By maximizing fun, you'll dial in an optimal weight, one that is just right for you. Perhaps too heavy or too bare-bones for others, but right for you.

AllDownhillFromHere
03-31-2017, 09:44
Way too many boastful UL-ers fail to take this into account. It is much easier to be UL if you are under 6' tall and thin. You can avoid long sleeping bags, long sleeping pads, a few more smaller tents/shelters are within reach that, for the taller, have you hitting the ends), clothes are smaller, amt of food and water carried can be less - so much proportions downward - much just from avoiding the tall/long sizes. That doesn't account for all, of course, but it's a substantial portion. Too often the differences are entirely ascribed to one's willingness to pay for 900 fill down TQs, cuben fiber this or that, or sleep on a mix of torso pad and backpack under feet.

For me, the objective function is not to minimize weight, but maximize FUN, If lightening my load will (on balance) increase my enjoyment, I'll do that.If carrying some extra ounces will increase my enjoyment overall, I'll do that. By maximizing fun, you'll dial in an optimal weight, one that is just right for you. Perhaps too heavy or too bare-bones for others, but right for you.

Amen. Thread over.

MuddyWaters
03-31-2017, 10:06
Way too many boastful UL-ers fail to take this into account. It is much easier to be UL if you are under 6' tall and thin.

Disagree

Your talking a few oz

Its way more affected by what people dont bring, than what they do.

Your fixated on thinking criteria was based in normal sized persons gear. Boohoo what weighs 10 for them weighs 11 for larger.

If normal sized people can hike with 6, whats the excuse then? None.

I couldnt envision how to carry as much as 10 lbs base outside of winter, without carrying seversl lbs of stuff I know I dont need. You dont need that much to walk and sleep.

Then theres the guy that takes 3 lb gear....and is a big guy...and has hiked 23000 miles.

llittle_llama
03-31-2017, 11:27
You might also investigate and audition Korean Ramen. Google The Ramen Rater for the Top 10 list. Find a well stocked Asian market. Think outside the box.
Wayne


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I have eaten K-ramen for at least 10 years, if not more. I have favorites, and some I will never eat again and the thing that is the same with them all is the price. I know the K-ramen is much better for me, but I can't justify the price that often.

llittle_llama
03-31-2017, 11:46
One last post for me:

1. I can't not bring my dog. I don't know why I have to keep saying this... I have severe depression/PTSD issues and cannot get through them if I don't have her there with me. She is an actual service dog, not a "therapy animal". I have hiked with her in my pack for years when needed and she just sits, no movement or sound. That's not to say I can't fall with her in there as falling can happen at any time but she isn't going to make it much worse (except for the COG changing). I know all about the stigma of dogs on the trail, you don't have to keep using this thread to show you don't like it.


2. There were a lot of things that kept me off the trail this year, the pack was just the straw on the camels back. Pack was straightened out a few hours after making this thread. I crammed the sleeping bag in and all my issues were fixed. The pack isn't an issue.


3. I'm not giving up, just postponing. Those that served like me have been through things you will never imagine or endure. Don't call me a snowflake unless you can do it to my face. Keyboard badasses are a joke to me, I've been called worse while taking PT test to get me to push harder.


4. When you can carry a 70+ pound pack for 8-10 hours with only breaks for lunch and water in the open sun on blacktop up and down hills with no idea when it will stop you can call me out on "quitting" or not finishing. I'm used to finishing things or having hell to pay, this is cake.

Praha4
03-31-2017, 12:35
I'm just a simple unfrozen caveman
your world frightens and confuses me

llittle_llama
03-31-2017, 18:10
I'm just a simple unfrozen caveman
your world frightens and confuses me

And now I'm sad. I miss Phil Hartman...

MuddyWaters
03-31-2017, 18:22
This is cake.

:eek:

It is, but it isnt
Many have approached it thinking that, and quickly get mentally defeated
Its hard
Its all day, every day hard
Akin to climbing stairs up and down half the day with a pack

I believe, and say, you have to enjoy the hard work to thrive, becsuse theres no one there making you do it, or keeping you from quitting.

If you love it...its truly a piece of cake. If you handle it physically
If you dont....its not so much

Best of luck

cmoulder
03-31-2017, 19:37
this is cake

See post #1.

BuckyMcBuckerson
04-01-2017, 12:21
Highlights the importance of shakedown hikes. Packing for a thru-hike should be be the first time you're packing your gear.

BuckyMcBuckerson
04-01-2017, 12:22
Should NOT*. Fat fingers.

b12r
04-01-2017, 13:19
11 pages of this madness. Beautiful.

TTT
04-01-2017, 13:38
It's gonna go down in history as a hiking classic

Dogwood
04-01-2017, 13:45
Highlights the importance of shakedown hikes. Packing for a thru-hike should NOT be be the first time you're packing your gear.


nuff said.....

Last Call
04-01-2017, 14:03
And, after all that the OP is NOT going to even try hiking? Stupendous!

johnnybgood
04-01-2017, 18:25
The Akrasia Effect.

FreeGoldRush
04-01-2017, 18:26
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that little llama is capable of far more than he realizes. Only one way to find out.

Lone Wolf
04-01-2017, 19:08
One last post for me:

1. I can't not bring my dog. I don't know why I have to keep saying this... I have severe depression/PTSD issues and cannot get through them if I don't have her there with me. She is an actual service dog, not a "therapy animal". I have hiked with her in my pack for years when needed and she just sits, no movement or sound. That's not to say I can't fall with her in there as falling can happen at any time but she isn't going to make it much worse (except for the COG changing). I know all about the stigma of dogs on the trail, you don't have to keep using this thread to show you don't like it.


2. There were a lot of things that kept me off the trail this year, the pack was just the straw on the camels back. Pack was straightened out a few hours after making this thread. I crammed the sleeping bag in and all my issues were fixed. The pack isn't an issue.


3. I'm not giving up, just postponing. Those that served like me have been through things you will never imagine or endure. Don't call me a snowflake unless you can do it to my face. Keyboard badasses are a joke to me, I've been called worse while taking PT test to get me to push harder.


4. When you can carry a 70+ pound pack for 8-10 hours with only breaks for lunch and water in the open sun on blacktop up and down hills with no idea when it will stop you can call me out on "quitting" or not finishing. I'm used to finishing things or having hell to pay, this is cake.

your biggest problem was posting in here in the first place. too many cyber hikin' packsniffers that know-it-all. they think. thank you for your service to our country

AllDownhillFromHere
04-01-2017, 19:58
These threads are great inputs to my Ignore List.

Traffic Jam
04-01-2017, 20:05
Ironic that a woman who was sexually abused and struggles emotionally needs to "get over it", but a veteran who also struggles emotionally gets a pat on the back and a thank you.

BuckeyeBill
04-01-2017, 20:09
What Lone Wolf said.

BuckeyeBill
04-01-2017, 20:22
Ironic that a woman who was sexually abused and struggles emotionally needs to "get over it", but a veteran who also struggles emotionally gets a pat on the back and a thank you.

You would never hear those words out of my mouth.

Elaikases
04-01-2017, 20:39
The Akrasia Effect.

I learned something new: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akrasia

Elaikases
04-01-2017, 20:40
That said, I'm glad you are doing three day test runs and hikes and getting ready to try again. Wish you the best in overcoming your PTSD.

Traffic Jam
04-01-2017, 21:10
You would never hear those words out of my mouth.

Those words were said to the lady who wants to hike but is afraid of men. It's shameful that she didn't receive the same amount of encouragement and support.

BuckeyeBill
04-01-2017, 21:13
Those words were said to the lady who wants to hike but is afraid of men. It's shameful that she didn't receive the same amount of encouragement and support.

I remember that, what a shame.

fiddlehead
04-01-2017, 21:36
I must say, I read the 1st page of this thread when it first came out.
AFter reading the OP, I said to myself: Obvious Troll, don't waste your time.
But, now I see it's 11 pages long, so, had to see what was going on.
I still think the same:
Obvious Troll.
C'mon folks the dude couldn't make it to his ride to the trail.

imscotty
04-01-2017, 22:29
Sad that anyone would come to WB looking for help, only to get dumped on. LL - I hope you can filter out the jerkiness to get to some of the useful advice in this thread.

Nothing like a walk in the woods to refresh the soul and leave the negativity behind. Hope you start out with some day hikes, then weekend hikes, and then longer hikes soon. I look forward to hearing next year that you are on Springer Mountain. Whatever happens, the only failure is in never trying and never taking the chance.

Good luck to you.

Don H
04-02-2017, 12:28
Sad that anyone would come to WB looking for help, only to get dumped on. LL - I hope you can filter out the jerkiness to get to some of the useful advice in this thread.


What i noticed in this thread was that initially there was some negative comments when llama announced he was quitting because his food wouldn't fit in his pack. But then when he asked for help and seemed sincere many people took a significant amount of their own time to offer some very good advice and help. Then when it seemed he had decided not to hike despite the help offered the tone turned negative. I think that was just some frustration on the part of the members who wanted to help him succeed.

Venchka
04-02-2017, 14:38
I have eaten K-ramen for at least 10 years, if not more. I have favorites, and some I will never eat again and the thing that is the same with them all is the price. I know the K-ramen is much better for me, but I can't justify the price that often.
I'm sorry. I have a problem with this whole line thought.
The last package of Korean branded, USA made Chapagetti Ramyun cost $0.65 per serving. I suppose $26/pound artisan Jerky is out of the question.
The Chapagetti was quite tasty for those of you who find it affordable.
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170402/adba0721e6f77ef81f4f8e1a10b41300.jpg
Cheers,
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

eggymane
04-02-2017, 14:43
What i noticed in this thread was that initially there was some negative comments when llama announced he was quitting because his food wouldn't fit in his pack. But then when he asked for help and seemed sincere many people took a significant amount of their own time to offer some very good advice and help. Then when it seemed he had decided not to hike despite the help offered the tone turned negative. I think that was just some frustration on the part of the members who wanted to help him succeed.

Agreed. Llama, or anyone else, would be hard pressed to find another site that would take the time to offer such sincere help and insight to aid in getting someone on the trail. Not that other mediums wouldn't take the time to offer up, but WB is one of the best ones. With the guidance he received, he was able to correct his packing. Now it's up to him on a personal level as opposed to a logistical one.

blw2
04-02-2017, 15:53
all this talk of ramen
ate so much way back in college, 6 meals for a dollar I think it was, or if you were really hungry you'd do a double which would make it 3 for a dollar....
to this day I can't hardly stand the thought of it....

and yeah, I know the Korean stuff is supposed to be better. Still, 27 years later....no thanks

Venchka
04-02-2017, 17:25
all this talk of ramen
ate so much way back in college, 6 meals for a dollar I think it was, or if you were really hungry you'd do a double which would make it 3 for a dollar....
to this day I can't hardly stand the thought of it....

and yeah, I know the Korean stuff is supposed to be better. Still, 27 years later....no thanks

Fair enough. 4 for a $1.00 when I checked recently.
I missed the whole Ramen thing back in the day. I'm not convinced that I will carry much Ramen on the trail. I might have some while car camping on the way to the trail.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

scrabbler
04-02-2017, 18:07
I know a lot about all kinds of Ramen, and there's one thing that rings true for all of them with me, I dont stay full for long. I ate a ramen on the trail once. And I was starving in the middle of the night. That's the purpose of weekend shakedown trips. Every year there are these folks who spend countless hours posting gear lists and asking for advice, about to quit their jobs and embark on 6 month journeys, and quit within the first week. Damn, people, that's why they invented shakedown hikes, etc. You'd realize that your food wont fit, Ramen sucks as a "fuel", and whether or not your purse dog can hack the trail.

Venchka
04-02-2017, 21:06
Way way way off topic, but
I said that I wasn't sold on ramen for the trail.
If I do carry it on the trail it will be my replacement for Knorr Sides which I don't get along well with. I will treat Ramen as a background for more substantial ingredients. Sausage, salami, chicken, tuna, beans, whatever.
Back to your regularly scheduled wandering thread.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Odd Man Out
04-02-2017, 22:58
all this talk of ramen
ate so much way back in college, 6 meals for a dollar I think it was, or if you were really hungry you'd do a double which would make it 3 for a dollar....
to this day I can't hardly stand the thought of it....

and yeah, I know the Korean stuff is supposed to be better. Still, 27 years later....no thanks

All this talk of Ramen has ME thinking of the seven months I lived in Sapporo in 1971-72. I was just 12 years old, but still made good use of living in the Ramen capital of the world. It was so much fun to watch the chefs make hand pulled noodles in the windows. Raman shops on every block. Could get a bowl of real Ramen for about $0.35 as I recall.

SkeeterPee
04-03-2017, 00:47
I actually thought you did a fairly good job with your gear. I always put tent on the outside. Lots of times it is damp anyways. I have the AG65 and put the tent where you put your zlite pad. I actually use a much smaller inflatable and keep it in the pack, but in the wither I also take a zlite and strap it to the tent with a couple extra straps. So you could put both on the outside if you like your zlite.

Not sure, someone said they take 1/2 lb per day. I usually take about 2lbs/day. 10 lbs fits in a lot smaller space than your food bag. you may want to reconsider what food you take.

Spencer828
04-03-2017, 11:00
Don't quit. Hike the trail.

-Rush-
04-04-2017, 17:46
12 pages? I can only imagine the horror that lies within. Good luck!

TTT
04-04-2017, 17:50
It might be revived in 2018

llittle_llama
04-06-2017, 15:43
It might be revived in 2018

How about you keep these comments to yourself?

38964

llittle_llama
04-06-2017, 15:45
And, after all that the OP is NOT going to even try hiking? Stupendous!

Not try? You mean not hiking NOBO or not hiking at all? I've been out on the trail several times since this thread started and have done a few overnights. My pack being corrected has made this possible and I appreciate all the help I received.

Slo-go'en
04-06-2017, 16:18
Not try? You mean not hiking NOBO or not hiking at all? I've been out on the trail several times since this thread started and have done a few overnights. My pack being corrected has made this possible and I appreciate all the help I received.

Good for you. Keep it up, take some longer trips as the weather improves and you'll be in fine shape for next year.

centerfieldr162
04-06-2017, 17:27
Just saw the shrimp ramen video. Bless you wife.

This.

Can't believe I've read up to 8 pages of this thread

egilbe
04-06-2017, 17:39
Not try? You mean not hiking NOBO or not hiking at all? I've been out on the trail several times since this thread started and have done a few overnights. My pack being corrected has made this possible and I appreciate all the help I received.

This is the start. Still time to hike the trail this year

PennyPincher
04-06-2017, 20:10
This is the start. Still time to hike the trail this year

I think from reading the entire thread that Little Llama's hurdle to thru hiking this year has more to do with emotional (his or family) issues. Some people just don't understand or won't attempt to understand emotional issues and how debilitating they can be. I would say congrats on figuring out your pack issues and good luck overcoming whatever other issues are keeping you from thru hiking the trail this year. I hope you make an attempt in the future and are successful at it.

Christoph
04-06-2017, 20:22
... I've been out on the trail several times since this thread started and have done a few overnights. My pack being corrected has made this possible and I appreciate all the help I received.
This is why you'll succeed, whether it's a thru or a section - only you can decide that. Postponing isn't a failure, getting out there and finding out what works for you is what will make your hike a success. Skip past the negative nancy types on this site, they probably haven't seen one mile on the AT. There's a ton of great info here and a lot of support. I wish you the best, it's a hard journey mentally and physically. Prepare and do a lot of research. My 1st thru attempt, I didn't make it. Headed out in 5 days for number 2. Good luck, keep it up, and you got this.

meghanc
04-25-2017, 16:45
DM me and I'll give you my skype! I'll pack my pack alongside you and show you how to really get everything in there. I am NOT a UL hiker, I love my luxury items, (Dude, I bring a CHAIR) and I can fit it all in my exos 57. However, when I first started backpacking, I couldn't get anything to fit. There's a bit of an art to it. I'm happy to help!

Chasebrooklyn
04-26-2017, 10:53
What's the cliche about thru-hiking being 20% physical and 80% mental?

Clearly the OP's failure has nothing to do with his pack size. You don't need a PhD in Psychology to understand that.

RangerZ
04-26-2017, 12:05
What's the cliche about thru-hiking being 20% physical and 80% mental?

Clearly the OP's failure has nothing to do with his pack size. You don't need a PhD in Psychology to understand that.


Thinking of which - has anybody heard or seen Ben lately?

RockDoc
04-26-2017, 15:23
There are more reasons not to hike than to hike. It's a between-the-ears problem, not packing issue.

4eyedbuzzard
04-26-2017, 20:21
Thinking of which - has anybody heard or seen Ben lately?He posted here on 4/20 https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/124081-NEW-deluxe-sawyer-squeeze-complete-kit?p=2144585&highlight=#post2144585

illabelle
04-26-2017, 22:07
He posted here on 4/20 https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/124081-NEW-deluxe-sawyer-squeeze-complete-kit?p=2144585&highlight=#post2144585

Little Llama's profile says he is "Jonathan". Not sure who Ben is...

4eyedbuzzard
04-26-2017, 22:14
Little Llama's profile says he is "Jonathan". Not sure who Ben is...
Oh, maybe Benonadventures Ben. Yeah, he's sorely missed by fellow adventurers.

RangerZ
04-27-2017, 00:19
Oh, maybe Benonadventures Ben. Yeah, he's sorely missed by fellow adventurers.

Sorry for being obscure with my reference - of course, everybody remembers Ben. :banana

dcdennis
05-10-2017, 08:20
I dont understand how you can be planning a thru hike but literally never attempted to pack your backpack until the night before you leave? Smells fishy.

Francis Sawyer
05-10-2017, 08:40
He said once before that he's a veteran and has ptsd I would assume that the ptsd is what ended the thru- hike not the pack issues. I hope that he gets help and is able to thru some day. God bless our service members . We own them more than we can repay!

hokieav8r
05-10-2017, 11:13
I had the same problem when I attempted a thru-hike in 1999. When I cinched the top down on an overstuffed load one of the buckles broke - that's how much there was in it! Bounced the problem off of some veterans and learned that I was carrying waaay too many clothes, and you should have seen the size of my foodbag.

After adjustments everything fit into a different pack, with room to spare, that I used while the replacement pack was being shipped ahead to Mountain Crossings. After that everything was fine and I didn't even have to send anything home.

By the way, the foodbag was still huge, but not quite so overstuffed, and that was where some folks came up with my trail name :)

As a vet, one of my favorite movies, Platoon. "You're humping too much stuff, troop. You don't need half this ****. I'll haul it for you, but next time you check with me first, all right?

"OK. Thanks, Sarge."

blind & lost
05-10-2017, 16:31
LL, Thank you for your service. Enjoy your hike.