View Full Version : Flip Flop 2020 Gear List - Late April Start in Harpers Ferry.

12-14-2019, 23:04
I am planning a 2020 Flip Flop (HF>ME, HF>GA) starting April 26th after the Flip Flop Festival in Harpers Ferry. This itinerary was made necessary due to a family wedding. I see a lot of AT gear lists (Eric the Black, The Trek, etc) but they all assume a fairly early NOBO hike. Since I am starting in HF and will never be about 2000 feet for quite a long time, my gear needs are a bit different.

Below is a lint to my current best shot at a flip flop gear list. Yes, I do plan to carry a bear canister. They will soon be required (see article in the most recent AT Journeys or in the threads here on WhiteBlaze. net. My reasoning is twofold. First, I find hanging a bear bag when the sun is setting to be a highly annoying task with ideal trees to be few and far between. Second, bear canisters are as much as protecting bears as humans. Exposure to food habituates bears to seeking out food in shelter areas and, eventually, being labeled a nuisance bear and being moved or put down. It also has resulted tin highly aggressive bears with unfortunate human-bear contacts. So, I have come to accept, and admittedly with some struggle, that it is not all about me. So I have worked very hard to cut my weight to allow for the 2+ pound bear canister.

My list is at the link below. Note that I have a category of items I have swapped out or am considering swapping out depending on where I am on the trail and the likely weather conditions. For example. I will trade my 40 degree quilt for a 20 degree quilt when I reach Vermont.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


12-15-2019, 11:08
The 40 degree quilt might be a bit marginal early on, even with the silk liner. I've gone NOBO (and SOBO) from HF in late April a couple of times now and PA has always been on the cool and damp side. Typically lots of rain that time of year. 50 degrees can feel real cold when it's wet out. The moisture in the air sucks the heat right out of you.

I'd go with something rated a bit closer to 30 degrees and then you probably won't have to switch out in the North. By the time you get into Vermont in early June, it will be warming up nicely and by July it will be down right hot.

When I start a hike in late April, I've just gone through a NH winter and am acclimated to cold and wet, so I tend to skimp a bit on warmth, but your being from a hot climate, it will take a while to adjust to the cold and wet.

The real challenge is finding a pair of boots which will stand up to the rocks in MD and PA and not kill the bottoms of your feet and give you stress fractures. A lot of flip floppers don't make it out of PA for that reason.

12-15-2019, 15:52
1. My choices are a 40 degree quilt and a 20 degree quilt. I really can't justify another one, so I will start with the 20. You raise a good point about moisture and cool temps.
2. I am a native of PA and get the hiking conditions there concerning the rocks. It pretty much sucks.

12-15-2019, 19:21
It's worth carrying a light puffy--something like a Patagonia nanopuff. Doesn't weigh much and you can probably get away with the 40 degree quilt if you wear it at night.