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View Full Version : NY Section Hike...Necessary Gear or No?



nosuchthingaslost
01-27-2018, 13:45
So I am planning to hike the NY section of the trail in one trip this summer, and below is some of the gear I am still debating about to save cost vs. whatís necessary. Any thoughts?


Personal Beacon Locator / Emergency SOS button...Iíve heard most of the trail has cell service and this might be overkill.

Sleeping bag...if Iím sleeping in a tent in July or August, canít I get away with warmer sleeping clothes and a blanket? Do I really need an Uber-expensive lightweight, insulated sleeping bag?

Stove system...Iíve read a lot of accounts that there are tons of food options along the way and lots of trail food choices that donít require cooking. Is this realistic to skip a stove or just a huge pain in the ass?

Also, any advice on food storage in NY? I know bears are a big concern so Iím looking at a Ursack or other canister (Bearvault etc).


I donít have a problem spending money where itís needed, but I donít want to go crazy as someone whoís relatively new to this and buy hundreds of dollars in useless gear I wonít need on a two-week (tops) trip.


Any advice you have on what I definitely should bring/anything I could skip would be awesome!

excuses
01-27-2018, 14:15
You might need two weeks if you do alot of stopping in towns. The beacon personally I believe is overkill in this area. You are not far away if civilization and there are enough other hikers on the trail.
Lots of people take little food for this section and stop for food daily and carry out sandwiches and pizza, etc. I'm always on a tighter schedule so don't do it as often. That means I carry a stove, which an alcohol stove is light. Your idea on the blanket is doable. If you are counting on a shelter stay in the summer each night it may not happen. This section can get busy from thru, section and weekend hikers. I only hung my bag at night, I'm trying to remember if there were bear boxes or not.

Deacon
01-27-2018, 14:41
Will this be your first hike on the AT? The items you listed are mostly personal preference, so there is no right or wrong answer. Experience will tell you what you prefer to bring.

Specific to the personal locator beacon, it is just not needed on the AT. Unlike more remote wilderness areas where an EPLB is recommended, The trail is very well marked and visibility trampled, and usually very close to civilization.

Sleeping bag weights are determined by trial. Many on this site are fine with 40* bags in the summer. Personally, I always take my 20* quilt. Only you can decide.

Same with stoves. I always want a hot meal in the evening, yet many others love going stoveless.

If you were looking for specifically correct answers, there isnít any. Itís best to get out there for a series of short overnights to best determine what you like.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Turtle-2013
01-27-2018, 15:58
My two cents but I agree that much of it is personal preference.

As to the Beacon .. while there might be some sections remote enough to make use of it (I sometimes have carried a SPOT Communicator, to allow me to send text messages from my phone) ... NY is not a section that you are likely to have significant cell phone outages...

As to the sleeping bag, I never use a sleeping bag. I use a pad, with a sheet made for it, and a quilt of varying "degrees" depending on the expected weather ... it allows me to ventilate more effectively ... but this really is personal preference and sleeping style.

Stove I always carry a stove in the spring/fall and cook one hot meal a day ... in the summer I decide, sometimes I bring the stove and hot meals, sometimes, especially if it is going to be hot, I go stove-less. Make sure you have stove-less meals that you like, with enough calories, before you do this. My suggestion is that you go half and half and find out if stove-less will work for you.

Bears/critters, I use a OP sak for all my food, always put it in bear boxes if available (or hang when a shelter offers that alternative) ... and sleep with it the rest of the time ... knock on wood ... never had a problem ... but ... most of the people I hike with hang their food religiously.

I do go pretty light, but not UL, and rely more on my experience than extra equipment....

I hope some of that helps....

So I am planning to hike the NY section of the trail in one trip this summer, and below is some of the gear I am still debating about to save cost vs. whatís necessary. Any thoughts?
Personal Beacon Locator / Emergency SOS button...Iíve heard most of the trail has cell service and this might be overkill.
Sleeping bag...if Iím sleeping in a tent in July or August, canít I get away with warmer sleeping clothes and a blanket? Do I really need an Uber-expensive lightweight, insulated sleeping bag?
Stove system...Iíve read a lot of accounts that there are tons of food options along the way and lots of trail food choices that donít require cooking. Is this realistic to skip a stove or just a huge pain in the ass?
Also, any advice on food storage in NY? I know bears are a big concern so Iím looking at a Ursack or other canister (Bearvault etc).
I donít have a problem spending money where itís needed, but I donít want to go crazy as someone whoís relatively new to this and buy hundreds of dollars in useless gear I wonít need on a two-week (tops) trip.
Any advice you have on what I definitely should bring/anything I could skip would be awesome!

Feral Bill
01-27-2018, 16:00
A blanket might be as heavy as a suitable sleeping bag or quilt. An overly warm bag can be draped over your legs for just enough protection. Cold camping food works okay there. I have done so several times. Get a hot dinner in town. A cheap stove and minimal kettle would be nice, though. When I lived in NYC there were no bears, but raccoons were always on the prowl. Hanging your food should suffice, the trees there make it easy. This is a forgiving section, you'll have fun regardless.

Slo-go'en
01-27-2018, 16:01
Even when it's beastly hot, it can still get pretty chilly early in the morning so you need something, but it doesn't need to be much. The $40, 40 degree Walmart bag would be sufficient.

You don't need a fancy SPOT or PLB on the AT, especially not in NY. Cell phone is more then good enough.

Yes, there are a fair number of places you can stop and get lunch or an ice cream, but not every day. If you don't mind eating mostly PB+J sandwiches and power bars the rest of the time, you can do without a stove.


Legal campsites have bear proof containers to store your food at night.

devoidapop
01-27-2018, 16:10
I'm still undecided on doing this or MA section this summer (July or August) I was hoping I could get by with a down throw and a bag liner. unrealistic? My 20f bag is pretty light but if I don't need it, I want to save that space.

Turtle-2013
01-27-2018, 16:13
Works for me ... don't know if it will work for you or not.... in the summer my quilt isn't even down, and I only use a liner when it is colder to help wick the sweat from my skin....


I'm still undecided on doing this or MA section this summer (July or August) I was hoping I could get by with a down throw and a bag liner. unrealistic? My 20f bag is pretty light but if I don't need it, I want to save that space.

Slo-go'en
01-27-2018, 18:36
You can always decide when the time comes on how much you need. If a 10 day, 90 degree, 90% humidity heatwave starts when you do? Just need lots of water.

nsherry61
01-27-2018, 18:55
Lot's of good thoughts above.

As for going stoveless, I'd recommend you try it at home and see how you like it. Go one day a week without any cooking for any of your meals and experiment with the food you'd eat on the trail on those days. You may find you like it fine or can figure out how to make it work for you with a little experimentation. Or, you may find that it's really not for you.

LIhikers
01-28-2018, 07:55
My wife and I are section hikers who do a short section each summer.
We each carried a fleece blanket until we got up into Vermont, and were warm enough.
A fleece blanket is pretty cheap and light weight.
As others have said, you won't "need" a stove but we sure like to have a hot meal at the end of a day.

steve_zavocki
01-28-2018, 08:47
My $0.02, as I hiked about half of NY in 2.5 days last August. Prepare for heat, you might be fine without a bag, and just a liner. I stayed at Graymoor and RPH, no need to hang food at either. I went stoveless as I flew in and couldn't bring fuel even if I wanted. There are good food options in several places. RPH has delivery take out, pizza and Chinese. Water can be an issue as several places were dry that Guthooks listed as seasonal. Hope this helps

steve_zavocki
01-28-2018, 09:15
*listed as not seasonal*

nosuchthingaslost
01-28-2018, 10:02
My $0.02, as I hiked about half of NY in 2.5 days last August. Prepare for heat, you might be fine without a bag, and just a liner. I stayed at Graymoor and RPH, no need to hang food at either. I went stoveless as I flew in and couldn't bring fuel even if I wanted. There are good food options in several places. RPH has delivery take out, pizza and Chinese. Water can be an issue as several places were dry that Guthooks listed as seasonal. Hope this helps


Water scarcity is something I am concerned about. Iím planning to keep 2 liters on me until the next fill-up opportunity. Is that realistic, or am I going to run out of water? Would you say you found at least one decent water source each day, or less frequently?

Knee Jerk
01-28-2018, 10:40
Water, or lack thereof, can be an issue around here depending on your timing. Everybody complains about the water sources in New York however if you hike in June it's usually not a problem. But if you hike in August it may be.

As you know, the weather has been completely wacky of late and each year can be very different than the previous year. Hot? Cold? Rainy? Sunny? Who knows? You can't be sure what to expect any more.

in the past there have been a good amount of trail magic water jugs left at the AT/road intersections and there are LOTS of intersections. I've done this myself even though nowadays the NY/NJ TC officially frowns on trail magic.

Along this route, there are several wide streams that never run dry, but tannins can make some of them very brown. Drinkable with a filter, but still ugly. Most of the smaller brooks and springs do usually go dry later in the summer, hence the trail magic,

However there are some outdoor faucets just off-trail if you know about them.

Despite the lack of high hills, New York can be very challenging. (Lots of PUDS.) In the past, I've interviewed plenty of thru-hikers and section hikers who were surprised by how tough New York was. (See AWOL.)

I'm the AT Ambassador for the Town of Warwick, which constitutes the first 10 miles of the AT in New York state coming north from Joisey. That doesn't make me an expert in anything except going to meetings and giving presentations to local civic organizations.

However, if you want to talk offline, send me a PM.

steve_zavocki
01-28-2018, 14:52
Water scarcity is something I am concerned about. I’m planning to keep 2 liters on me until the next fill-up opportunity. Is that realistic, or am I going to run out of water? Would you say you found at least one decent water source each day, or less frequently?

I drink alot of water and used my 3 liter platypus but would probably have been fine with 2 liter. There are good sources despite several being dry.