View Full Version : The pack contents: Current Line-Up

02-18-2003, 16:55
Here is my current proposed equipment for my thru-hike. Comments and critiques appreciated.

Pack: Gregory Reality (85 ounces): Heavy but easy to wear.

+20 Sleeping bag: (Brand undecided: Probably 48 ounces or so)

Tent: Six Moon Europa: (36 ounces)

Thermarest with chair: (42 ounces combined) - I know I'll end up dumping the chair, but I'll start with it.

3-liter camelback (3 ounces empty)

16 ounce Nalgene (2.5 ounces empty)

Aurora AUR-3 Headlamp (0.5 ounces)

Brasslite Duo stove (2 ounces) _ This is a pretty sweet stove.

Pot: 1 litre undetermined (6 ounces?)

Knife: Columbia River Mt. Shasta (2.5 ounces)

Titanium Spoon


Polar Pur (3 ounces)

Ex Officia Microblend T-shirt (4 ounces)

Lighweight coolmax longsleeve shirt (6 ounces)

Yukon Fleece Extreme pants (13 ounces)

Fleece jacket (16 ounces)

Walmart Rain Poncho (1 ounce)

Tahoe Rim Convertible Pants (11 ounces)

Oil Cloth big brim safari hat - waterproof. A vanity item.

Thermolite Balaclava (1.5 ounces)

Skull cap (I like a warm head)

Flip Flops

1 pr boxers

2 bandanas


Maps (sectional)

Trail guide (sectional)

Writing tablet


License and ATM card


Medical kit

With a few odds and ends I think I will come in around 21 or twenty two pounds before food, fuel and water.

02-18-2003, 17:38
A couple of things. Consider bringing two lighters (they are easy to lose). Put them in separate places. If you are leaving in March, consider bringing two pairs of gloves. One pair of thin liner types and a second pair of warmer gloves. You would wear the liners during the day and put the warm, dry gloves on at night. I don't use sunglasses, but that is a personal choice. Remember that you will be under forest cover most of the time and so direct sunlight, at least in the south, isn't a problem. You'll probably want some spare socks as well, particularly if you leave in March. You may want a pack cover, but it seems some people do without one. A mosquito headnet for later on might be appropriate. After all, you may not spend every single night in the tent. I would also bring earplugs. Toss a whistle into your medical kit (for raising a call for help). About 30-40 ft. of utility cord is good for bear bagging and other uses (extra guylines for your tent, shoelaces, etc).

02-18-2003, 17:45
Good points. I have 75 feet of parachute cord and 4 pair of socks. I'll take mole skin and bonds medicated powder as well. The sunglasses also serve as my back-up pair (I'm helpless without spectacles).

Didn't think about the ear plugs. Good idea. The whistle as well. I'll have to look at glove liners.

I'm going to bring a couple of heavy duty leaf bags and use one as rain protection for my pack. Hopefully it will work well.

02-18-2003, 18:06
Here's a question since we're on an equipment thread. I've got a radio with those little ear inserts. Has anyone ever gotten to a shelter with loud snorers, turned the radio to a soft music station and was then able to sleep just because you were tired enough. I guess the radio would keep waking you up as much as the snoring. Oh well, just an idea.

02-18-2003, 18:07
fuel for the stove?

02-18-2003, 19:54
Originally posted by Skeemer
Here's a question since we're on an equipment thread. I've got a radio with those little ear inserts. Has anyone ever gotten to a shelter with loud snorers, turned the radio to a soft music station and was then able to sleep just because you were tired enough. I guess the radio would keep waking you up as much as the snoring. Oh well, just an idea.

Bought a radio in Damascus for that very reason. Worked great becuase I usually fell asleep while my husband was reading, so he would turn it off for me after I feel asleep. If you leave it on all night, you'll sleep, but you'll wear out the batteries really fast :)

steve hiker
02-19-2003, 00:44
I'd ditch the heavy pack. With GoLite and G4 and other tough, lightweight packs that have come out in the past couple years, there' no reason to lug around all that weight. Especially if you've managed to minimize the rest of your pack weight.



02-19-2003, 09:42
I'm not so sure about how smart it would be to ditch that pack in favor of a lighter one.

Steve's suggestion might be brilliant, but he would really need to give us a bit more background for it to be usefull, IMHO. If he made the move from a traditional pack to a G4 or Golight, it would be very helpful to hear about it. If his suggestion stems from other people's reports, that's OK too. But that would be good to know. As would the weight he hikes with.

My personal feeling is that some weight is good. Weight from the muscles in your calfs is one example of weight that is good. Weight from a can of beer for your birthday is another. I have never hiked with a Golight or G4 though.

The weight of padded straps and a good hip belt and suspension provide some real utility. Is that weight worth it? Hard to say. I think the answer probably depends on one's age, size and physical condition, to some extent. At 6'-3" I probably have a greater range of good choices than a person who weighs (litterally) half as much as I do. I know that when replaced my pack's light-weight shoulder straps and hip belt for the then heavy padded version 1500 miles into my hike, the additional ounces were not noticed, but the additional comfort was heaven.

I have heard many good things about the Reality. seems like a fine choice to me. All choices entail trade-offs and it looks to me like you have made some good choices.

Have a great trip.

Oh yea, how about:

Moleskin, a food bag and parachute cord, and a compass (perhaps of the zipper pull variety), cup for coffee.

Rick B

02-19-2003, 10:01
Unless you are very familiar with what you might need on a long hike, I wouldn't go spending a lot of money to replace perfectly good gear. There are plenty of outfitters along the beginning of the trail. If you get to a spot and really want to change gear for some practical reason, then you will have the opportunity to do so. But, to lay out a lot of cash to replace a suite a gear (that works fine anyways) is premature. Besides, going for an ultralight pack is the last step one should make in the ultralight transition. Keep the pack, walk your walk, and enjoy your summer.

02-19-2003, 10:22
Wabbit.. I didn't see a start date listed so I'll ASSUME it's a March date. If so, I'd suggest ditching the fleece pants (that is unless you are a very cold sleeper). I'd also recommend NOT starting with a poncho and no rain gear. If you have any doubts about what the weather can be like in GA and NC, read some of the 2002 journals. Single digits and stiff winds. IMHO, a poncho just wouldn't cut it in that kind of weather. I'd also include a set of polypro. You'll need it on those cold nights. The chair is a luxury item. If you already think you're going to dump it, why not just leave it at home. Forget the boxers, they just make you sweat and chaff.

02-19-2003, 10:26
The Reality fits too well to ditch. It is a comfortable pack, and the weight that I would lose (maybe three pounds?) will be at least partially offset by comfort. So spending cash to buy a pack that may or may not make me feel better at the end of the day probably isn't going to happen.

Plus I am not accomplished at long hikes, and would rather have full faith in both my gear and my food supply.

More uncertain are the peripheral things: What kind of reading do I take (small books with small print), do I take a cd player (I really want to try and learn Spanish), do I take a voice recorder to record thoughts when I am not in a position to write them down (something I have found I have to do in almost any situation). Those small tape recorders weigh a ton for their size!

I am putting most of the maps and guidebook in a bouncepack, sectioned for each trail segment. I'll have vitamins, advil and pills in the bouncepack as well.

I have noticed that some folks carry more than a three litre water reservoir. Is this just for the evenings, or are you really lugging more than 3 litres of water with you during the day?

02-19-2003, 10:30
Moose - I have been going back and forth on the rain gear. I don't have any, so I was hoping to save on the expense. That may be foolish. Thanks.

Starting late March. The boxers are to sleep in. Another luxury.:)

02-19-2003, 10:47
If you don't want to spend a lot on raingear, but still want a full suit, there is a solution. The paper suit! I have one and LOVE it. Got it at rock fish gap. The top was a little minimumalistic, and have since switch to a newer model. I have the rainshield make. Another popular one is Frogg Toggs. I'm surprised that i don't see much about them on this site. But they are really light, breath better than any gortex that I have had, and I like the fit. Sure, paper sounds cheesy, but it really is the same thing as the tyvek, which is actually very durable.

Check them out... About $60 for a full suit...

Gravity Man

steve hiker
02-19-2003, 12:13
I beleive a lighter pack is better for any hiking, short or long distance. The myth about lightweight packs such as the GoLite or G4 not having a suspension system is just that -- a myth. They do have hip belts that take a lot of the weight off of your shoulders, although my GoLite Gust does not have a stenum strap. But if your load is light overall (roughly under 30 lbs), you don't need as much support.

Since Wabbit estimates his pack weight will be in the 20s, he's in the weight range that a lighter pack could handle.

It's all a matter of personal preference of course, but why carry the extra weight? I don't know of one hiker who honestly doesn't feel every pound on their back. I used to carry a heavy 5 lb. Jansport, and it made a big difference in comfort and enjoyment when I switched to a 19 oz. GoLite Gust.

I view the traditional 5+ pound packs as being like the old heavy canvas tents people used to lug around years ago. They were tough all right, and they did the job, but who carries them anymore? Same with heavy packs. Just my 2 cents.

02-19-2003, 12:22
Frogg Toggs work relatively well. The anorak that I have doesn't fit too well, though. I am 6'4", with a relatively short torso. The sleeves are way too long, the anorak is too short in length, and the hood is as well. However, the anorak is light and at least as waterproof and breathable as GoreTex XCR. Much less durable, although this shouldn't be much of an issue for an AT hike. If you look hard, you might be able to find someone that will sell you just a jacket or anorak. I am not too sure how helpful the pants are. I am taking my anorak on my PCT hike this summer. I don't have any experience with a poncho, so I can't comment on the utility of it in March. It does seem to be a popular option and I know of several strong hikers who go this route. If I was starting in mid March, I would probably bring the anorak and buy a pair of coated nylon rain pants for really ****e weather.

I would bring a book of some sort. There are quite a few times when you might want one: If you stop early and have a lot of time in camp, during zero days or half days off in town, during a long siesta under some nice tree, etc. If you are using a bounce box, you can buy a few small paperbacks from a used book store and break them down into 30 or 40 page sections. Put them in your bounce box and only carry one chunk at a time. I seemed to read about 10 pages per day (on average), although this was in the summer when I spent most of the day hiking and only had a few hours in camp before going to sleep.

About water. I carry a 6L Platypus waterbag that I use for hauling water in camp. I tend to drink or use most of the 6 liters. I carry a liter sized water bottle for carrying water while hiking. I found the water sources in the south to be close enough together that I never had to carry more. I did arrive at some sources a wee bit parched, though. I don't use a bladder system, but these seem to be fairly popular. I did see many people hauling around 3 or 4 liters of water, which seemed foolish to me at the time. Perhaps it makes more sense later in the summer, when water is more scarce.

02-19-2003, 12:23
Steve - The lightweight pack certainly seems like it has many advantages, and I appreciate your comments. The gregory does have two advantages: It's comfortable, and I already have it.

I am very interested in seeing the lightweight packs on the trail. I'm just not ready to invest in one sight unseen.

02-19-2003, 12:44
I like the pants a lot. I abuse my gear, and they have held up. Lighter than marmot's precip pants, and just as good IMHO

The frogg togg fit was pretty crappy. That's why I went with rainshield. Their pants and jacket fit me a lot better. Also the storm flaps and hood were more substantial.


style #1122 is what I went with.

here's a review of a slightly older style. They claim the weight is less than the frogg toggs, but I haven't weighted my suit.



Gravity man

02-19-2003, 15:45
EEEK! I have a Gregory Wind River ( 7 lbs empty ) that I love and was seriously thinking of going with the Reality to shave off 1.5 lbs... That will bring my total pack weight from 36 lbs to 34 1/2.. which includes food and water.

Sparky! Who loves his Gregory!