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superflatz
10-27-2006, 21:17
This is my first post, but I have been reading this forum for a couple of months. So, I truly respect your opinions.

I am 51 years old and just started hiking 3 months ago. I tell ya, I've really caught the bug. I needed to lose weight and get into shape. And I'm loving it!!

Here is my question (sorry for blathering): I plan to hike the AT, starting NB next May in Harper's Ferry - reaching Maine in August. Then return to Harper's Ferry and continue south.

I don't have much in equipment yet, so I figure now is the best time to ask. I want to get very light, but not totally "ultra-light". For example, I don't want to make a stove, I plan to buy a canister-type stove (like JetBoil).

For this type/season of hiking the AT, what kind of tent, backpack, and sleeping bag would you recommend? I am 5'7" tall and should be down to about 160 lbs by the start of the hike. I figure I'd best keep my pack weight to 40 lbs - all inclusive. Also, how about clothing?

I will be hiking alone, as of right now. Also, any suggestions on learning to backpack? I've never overnighted before.

Thank for letting me pick your brains.

bob

neo
10-27-2006, 21:19
:) start out with a hammock,light and comfortable:cool: neo


http://www.hennessyhammock.com/

superflatz
10-27-2006, 21:21
I've tried sleeping in a hammock before - didn't work. I usually sleep on my stomach. When I slept in a hammock, I woke up with my back killing me. Maybe the wrong type of hammock?

hammock engineer
10-27-2006, 21:27
Welcome to WB.

Hammocks are great, but not for everyone (more trees to go around that way). A lot of people here like the www.tarptent.com (http://www.tarptent.com) tents. Really lite well made tents.

My next pack will probibly be a http://www.ula-equipment.com/ pack.

I have a Montbell super stretch bag and really like it. Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering also make really good down bags.

StarLyte
10-27-2006, 21:29
Hi Superflaz-

I've tried laying in several hammocks, and I just can't do it. I need to sprawl out, roll over, etc.

When you mentioned your flip-flop thru hike, I thought of a friend of mine who did this exact hike - Ponderer. (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=1403)

Good luck to you!

Mountain Maiden
10-27-2006, 21:29
Hi Superflatz and Welcome to the site!:welcome

The people here are the greatest even on the worst day! Go to the ARTICLES section and read from the voices of experience. The info there is the REAL thing.

You mentioned you had not done an overnight trip, yet. Don't let this discourage you. You will. But--don't stress over it. When I got on at Springer Mtn--I had never backpacked a day in my life. But, I made it all the way to Katahdin!!

Be sure to check out any Hiker get togethers and meet as many fellow hikers as possible, too. That is where you'll glean the best info available. (Some upcoming are posted on WB Home Page)

Happy Hiking!

Sunny aka Sunrise ga-me '02 :sun

neo
10-27-2006, 21:41
I've tried sleeping in a hammock before - didn't work. I usually sleep on my stomach. When I slept in a hammock, I woke up with my back killing me. Maybe the wrong type of hammock?


i had a sore back sleeping on the ground:cool: neo

generoll
10-27-2006, 21:42
hammocks aren't for everyone. there are true believers and then there's the rest. if a hammock doesn't work for you then there are several different types of pads to consider. the self inflating types like 'thermarest, the closed cell types like the z-rest, or the air mattresses like the Big Agnes pads. i'm considerably heavier then you are and what i finally found suited me best was the Big Agnes air mattress. i have to blow it up every night, but i get a much better rest on it so it's worth the trouble.

you might want to take a serious look at some of the alcohol stoves. i love my Svea, but if you are hiking by yourself and only cooking for one, it's hard to beat the weight savings of the alcohol stoves. the titanium pots will hold all the water that one hiker needs and will probably provide space for your stove and windscreen if you go that way.

i sleep cold so i went with a 20 degree down bag, but then i never hike in the summer. since you will be in more temperate climates you'll have to select your bag based upon what you consider the lowest temp that you are likely to encounter.

some hikers assume that they will always have a spot in a shelter. i suggest you find a lightweight tent that suits you and plan on spending time in it. life in general is uncertain and my limited experience on the trail has shown me that you need the flexibility of your own shelter.

how're your feet? i ended a section hike prematurely due to a heel spur and intractable arch pain. for me the solution was to invest in "Superfeet" foot beds. some swear by them, some swear at them. get as much time walking and hiking as you can. remember, walking on a sidewalk is NOTHING like hiking on the AT. you will be walking on roots, rocks, and uneven surfaces and it makes a tremendous difference.

a few weekend or even overnight trips would be a very wise choice. time spent on preparation will not be wasted. no one can tell you just what is right for you. remember, you'll get lots of advice, but in the end you'll be the one that has to carry everything. one important thing to remember about 'advisers' here and other places is that while they are frequently wrong, they are never in doubt.

enjoy your hike. i envy those who have had the foresight and good planning to do a thru hike whike they still have the knees and relative youth to do so.

skeeterfeeder
10-28-2006, 02:51
Welcome. This is a great place to start your journey.
I can relate to your situation. I too was very inexperienced when I geared up for my thru in '05. I am 5'6" and weigh around 170. I was 55. I found I really liked the Hennessey ultra-light Hammock, if you hang it properly. It is enclosed with a bug net over the top which comes in Very handy when in New Jersey and New York in the summer time.
Also, I made an alcohol stove out of a pepsi can which only takes a few minutes but saves on weight, and I was always having trouble keeping my pack weight down.
You will get lots and lots of advice both here and on the trail, but remember, and I talk from experience, Hike Your Own Hike. I was told several hundred times, 'your pack is too big'. Well, I carried it from Amacalola Falls to Katahdin without slacking once. And I made it.
But I would say the first thing I would do is get a good pack fitted to you, and boots that fit properly. I tried the super feet, but they just blistered me. I had better luck with gel pads.
But what ever gear you carry, have fun. You are in for a life changing experience. Take lots of pictures. Happy trails.....

fiddlehead
10-28-2006, 07:40
If you shoot for 40 lbs, you'll carry at least that.
shoot for half of that and you'll be comfortable.
My suggestions to your questions:
Sleeping bag: Feathered Friends "Hummingbird" l lb 12 0z
Pack: Go-Lite Breeze 14 oz.
Tent: Integral Designs "Sil Shelter" (tyvek for ground sheet) 14 oz. (with stakes) ground sheet is more
These big 3 total less than 4 lbs. The only other thing you need is clothes, food and a lightweight stove with fuel and few lightweight essentials like lighter, spoon, duct tape and ibpropen.
Oh yeah, frogg toggs for rain gear.
Have fun out there. It's paradise.

neo
10-28-2006, 08:14
Welcome. This is a great place to start your journey.
I can relate to your situation. I too was very inexperienced when I geared up for my thru in '05. I am 5'6" and weigh around 170. I was 55. I found I really liked the Hennessey ultra-light Hammock, if you hang it properly. It is enclosed with a bug net over the top which comes in Very handy when in New Jersey and New York in the summer time.
Also, I made an alcohol stove out of a pepsi can which only takes a few minutes but saves on weight, and I was always having trouble keeping my pack weight down.
You will get lots and lots of advice both here and on the trail, but remember, and I talk from experience, Hike Your Own Hike. I was told several hundred times, 'your pack is too big'. Well, I carried it from Amacalola Falls to Katahdin without slacking once. And I made it.
But I would say the first thing I would do is get a good pack fitted to you, and boots that fit properly. I tried the super feet, but they just blistered me. I had better luck with gel pads.
But what ever gear you carry, have fun. You are in for a life changing experience. Take lots of pictures. Happy trails.....

:) excellent advice skeetfeeder:cool: neo

Skidsteer
10-28-2006, 08:24
...one important thing to remember about 'advisers' here and other places is that while they are frequently wrong, they are never in doubt.


Nothing like a good laugh to start the day. :D Thanks for the snicker, Gene.

highway
10-28-2006, 08:51
...
I don't have much in equipment yet, so I figure now is the best time to ask. I want to get very light, but not totally "ultra-light". For example, I don't want to make a stove, I plan to buy a canister-type stove (like JetBoil).

I figure I'd best keep my pack weight to 40 lbs - all inclusive. Also, how about clothing?

bob

You dont need to carry 40 pounds, leaving April or May. Pare that figure down and shoot for 30 pounds instead, saving every ounce you can.

hopefulhiker
10-28-2006, 09:39
Welcome to White Blaze, I hiked in 2005, and lost the weight on the way, but it is better to lose it before you hike like you are doing. I used the Henry Shires Tarptent with an insulated airmattress for comfort. I found that older hikers like me need the extra padding for their bones. Look at the weight of your big four, tent, sleeping bag, pack, and stove.. Try to get that down as low as you can.. Every ounce makes the difference. I started out with a Jet boil but shipped it back in favor of an alcohol.. You are going to have a great time! Good luck!

neo
10-28-2006, 09:47
:) think jetboil:cool: neo

http://jetboil.com/

longshank
10-28-2006, 10:54
Alot of people like jetboils, but I find the MSR Pocket rocket to be lighter, just as good, more space efficient, simpler. Right now, I'm still using the Granite Gear Vapor Trail backpack, which I find to be unparalleled in comfort and very spacious to boot. Froggs toggs are great lightweight and cost efficient raingear, though once it gets warm, I never use it. There is a combo rain slicker/pack cover that I've never tried but looks good called "the Packa". Clothes are easy, less is more, I like 1 primary all-purpose set, with a dry short sleeve/leg set for the end of the day, +1 good warm fleece. I don't bother with undies at all. Remeber, with clothing, less is more. If you over-pack clothing you will likely be leaving it behind at a shelter or in town at some point.
As far as pack weight goes, try shooting for 25-30 starting weight. You'll leave with more, of course, but you'll end up trimming the fat out of necessity eventually. Don't be surprised if you end up toting around 20 lbs by the time you've done the majority of your streamlining. I will again highly reccomend the Vapor Trail for your pack, as it is the most comfortable of the liteweights and comfort is absolutely critical. Good Luck!

Newb
10-28-2006, 11:05
Tent: Integral Designs "Sil Shelter" (tyvek for ground sheet) 14 oz. (with stakes) ground sheet is more
.

Think hard about open shelters or tarps. Some folks like the feeling of security that comes with being able to completely enclose themselves. Also, a complete tent is preferable (to me) in rough weather. My next purchase will be a Tarptent

SGT Rock
10-28-2006, 11:15
Some good and some OK advice above (and some bad) but you need to figure out what you need. Since you don't have a lot of gear, I suggest you start cheap and then replace gear as you decide what you really do need, like, and want. So as a starting point on equipment, I suggest you read this:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/article.php?p=206678&postcount=1

Then put together something you can work with. After a few trips then you can decide if you really want to blow money on a tarp-tent, hammock, jetboil, or whatever.

Rain Man
10-28-2006, 11:39
As soon as you can, start doing some practice hikes (over-nighters). That will do at least two things-- (1) you'll quickly learn what you need and don't need, and (2) you'll be able to decide what works for YOU!!!

Neo pushes hammocks, and rightly so for HIM. Others push tarps. Others, tents. Others, shelters. That's all irrelevant to YOU. Shake-down practice hikes will let you decide what's right for you.

Since you are a new hiker, you might consider joining a local hiking club or signing up at an outfitters for their hikes. That way, you'll be with folks who can advise and help you and you can see a variety of equipment and practices, then pick and choose what looks good to you.

Most of all, enjoy yourself!

Rain:sunMan

.

mdionne
10-28-2006, 11:58
tents have probably improved over my 5 year old coleman peak 1, but i still love it. weighs about 3.8 lbs and it's big enough for you and your pack. two people is kinda tight but it has been done many times before.

the pack is a whole other issue. i like my gregory forester but everyone else loves their kelty, dana, golite, etc. my best advise is to make sure you are measured correctly, if the pack fits the way it's supposed to it makes all the difference in the world.

good luck and welcome to whiteblaze.:sun

superflatz
10-28-2006, 17:15
Thanks for all the super replies so far. A couple of questions more:

1. I know the fuel for an alcohol stove is alcohol, but do you buy it; and, if so, where?

2. How do you keep the bugs and other "crawlers" when you sleep in a hammock or tarp? I would think they would really mess up a good night's sleep.

3. How do you find a good outfitter? I've been to Dick's and other superstores like them, but I think the week before the salesmen were in women's underwear (selling not wearing - LOL). They really didn't know much. I live in Houston area which is not a really prime hiking town.

4. As far as air mattresses go; aren't they real heavy and bulky?

bob

SGT Rock
10-28-2006, 17:24
Thanks for all the super replies so far. A couple of questions more:

1. I know the fuel for an alcohol stove is alcohol, but do you buy it; and, if so, where?
Denatured alcohol. Wal-Mart, Lowes, other hardware stores. You can also use some fuel-line de-icers that are sold in many gas stations. These days most hiker resupply places sell it by the ounce.



2. How do you keep the bugs and other "crawlers" when you sleep in a hammock or tarp? I would think they would really mess up a good night's sleep.
Some hammocks have nets built in. Some tarpers use different methods that they only carry when the bugs are actually out.


3. How do you find a good outfitter? I've been to Dick's and other superstores like them, but I think the week before the salesmen were in women's underwear (selling not wearing - LOL). They really didn't know much. I live in Houston area which is not a really prime hiking town.
You need to look in your area. Then when you go there ask them general questions. Many of the people that work in them are only out to sell you stuff though, so buyer beware.


4. As far as air mattresses go; aren't they real heavy and bulky?

bob
Yes, basically.

SteveJ
10-28-2006, 19:10
agree w/ Sgt Rock's replies - my thoughts:


Thanks for all the super replies so far. A couple of questions more:

1. I know the fuel for an alcohol stove is alcohol, but do you buy it; and, if so, where?

I use Heet gas-line anti-freeze - you want the methyl alcohol version in the yellow bottle:
http://www.sta-bil.com/heet/products.htm


2. How do you keep the bugs and other "crawlers" when you sleep in a hammock or tarp? I would think they would really mess up a good night's sleep.

a stock hennessey hammock ultralite backpacker asym weighs 31 ozs - includes shelter, tarp, and bug-netting. between 40 and 65 degrees, I'll only carry a 11 oz 27" wide 3/8" closed cell foam pad (only ~$10, also). Completely bug-free, w/ shelter and pad at only 42 ozs - above 65, don't need a pad! On the ground, I have to carry ~32 ozs in thermarest pad!


3. How do you find a good outfitter? I've been to Dick's and other superstores like them, but I think the week before the salesmen were in women's underwear (selling not wearing - LOL). They really didn't know much. I live in Houston area which is not a really prime hiking town.

Dick's recently bought Galyon's, that a presence in Atlanta. When looking for gear, I used to shop both REI and Dick's. I don't waste my time even going in Dick's anymore...try REI - sometime you'll actually find someone there who knows what they're talking about, and they carry a wide range of gear. ..... one advantage of rei is their no questions asked return policy - get it and try it after you've done your research - if you don't like it, return it..... anotheris that if you find something on sale at their online site, you can have it shipped free to their houston store.


4. As far as air mattresses go; aren't they real heavy and bulky?
see above - but on the ground, my bones need more than closed cell foam. several of my non-hanging friends swear by the insulmat.....others love the exped..... i've always carried thermarests - but haven't bought any of the new products that have come on the market since leaving the ground-pounding camping life!

Steve

skeeterfeeder
10-29-2006, 00:34
[quote=superflatz;262595]Thanks for all the super replies so far. A couple of questions more:

1. I know the fuel for an alcohol stove is alcohol, but do you buy it; and, if so, where?

2. How do you keep the bugs and other "crawlers" when you sleep in a hammock or tarp? I would think they would really mess up a good night's sleep.

I usually use the heet in the yellow bottle and was able to find it in most towns along the trail. Napa auto stores carry it.

My hammock is completely enclosed and I would even hang it in a shelter if I was alone and the bugs were out of control. But as others have said, hammocks aren't for everyone. I just tried it and it worked for me. I loved it for stealth camping. You can hang it anywhere there are two trees, regardless of the the terrain.

STEVEM
10-29-2006, 02:12
Thanks for all the super replies so far. A couple of questions more:

3. How do you find a good outfitter? I've been to Dick's and other superstores like them, but I think the week before the salesmen were in women's underwear (selling not wearing - LOL). They really didn't know much. I live in Houston area which is not a really prime hiking town
bob

When I was a kid, Outdoor clothing was blue jeans and a flannel shirt. By the way, thats what I'm wearing now, how far I haven't come.

When I again became interested if hiking I went to several large stores to shop for clothing. I found it very confusing for a variety of reasons. These stores seem to have (2) types of sales people: College kids, and former Everest expedition leaders. Neither are all that helpful. Combine this with a selection that may be too large and you can end up very frustrated.

I finally picked up the phonebook and called several small outfitters, places where the owner and his family are the salespeople. I now buy my equipment from places like this, and likely pay too much. At least however, thanks to the nice people in these places I understand the features of my new equipment and know why it was the right item for me.

Another piece of advise I would offer about buying equipment is to ask what discounts are available. I belong to the NYNJTC, and get a 10% discount by showing my current membership card. You quickly recover the $25.00 annual membership dues. I am sure stores in your area offer similar discounts for membership in local hiking organizations

Good Luck!

River Runner
10-29-2006, 03:39
My recommendations on gear:

Buy the best quality, lightest sleeping bag you can possibly afford. Do not waste money on a 'bargain bag'. You'll only end up want to replace it. My Western Mountaineering Ultralite is the best investment I have made so far.

Consider light weight trail shoes instead of heavy hiking boots. Allow yourself enough time to thoroughly test several pairs of shoes under real trail conditions - it could take several tries before you find the right ones for you.

Clothing needs will vary, but in general, most people will want separate hiking clothes and sleeping clothes. Rain gear choice depends on you. How much wetness can you tolerate in the cold? Some like jackets, some like ponchos, some like rain pants, some never use them. I used to like Frogg Toggs, but now I like a set of Epic jacket and pants that are more comfortable to wear and nearly as light, but more expensive. I found the pants very presentable to wear in town as needed when I was doing laundry on my section hike last spring. Epic dries very quickly and doesn't hold a lot of water like Frogg Toggs will. I found wet Frogg Toggs took forever to dry, making them harder to store inside my hammock at night, but the Epic dries quickly in a few minutes under the tarp.

Get your pack after you have the rest of the gear, so you have a better idea what size pack you need and how much weight it will need to be capable of carrying.

Peaks
10-29-2006, 06:59
If you are looking for backpacking gear, and don't want to shop the big box store for the obvious reason, then one way to find the local outfitters is to go to the website for various gear manufacturers like MSR and find out who their local dealers are.

hopefulhiker
10-29-2006, 08:09
The Henry Shires Tarp Tent has bug netting and a floor, it is bug proof, other people make tarp tents too like six moons design...
The Big Agnes insulated air core and the Pacific outdoor insulmat are around 18 oz.. But I say they are worth it. You can make up the weight by using a slightly lighter weight sleeping bag or even a blanket... Also look into getting a silk liner too, you can wash it instead of the bag and also it adds warmth to the bag..

superflatz
10-29-2006, 09:21
Wow, so many ideas. Thank you all so much. Where were you when I needed advice for business? LOL (retired now).

bob

Cuffs
10-29-2006, 10:10
I too didnt want to make an alcohol stove, but I also knew they were the lightest option... I did some searching and found http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&satitle=alcohol+stove

This is where I got my first stove. Soooo much easier than making one (for me anyway!)

Doing overniter and weekends are great for gleaning info from other hikers. Just last month, I got introduced to freezerbag cooking. http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/ also just do a search here on WB for freezer bag, you'll get lots of info.

As a "ground dweller" I have and love my Sierra Designs Lightning, albeit, a tad to heavy for the ultralighters here. I have a ThermaRest ProLite 4 short at 1#1oz. For me, this is a must have, Im a flip-flop sleeper...

I orginally started out at OVER 40# (scary!!) and have pared down to 35# with food. Still working on getting it lighter (new pack and sleeping bag coming soon!) I hope to be right at the 30# mark.

One last note on getting hikers together... Just make a post here (or other local to you, website for hikers) name a date, place and time and see who shows up. If you let everyone put in their preferred dates/times, you'll never meet up. Im planning a second hike here on WB and several showed up the first time, and looking at 5-7 hikers this time. Just do it!! (hmmmm maybe we need to meet up in Arkansas for a weekender, great trails over there!)

Learn from others, shop every thing, every where (local stores, internet, ebay...) And find what works for YOU!

Egads
10-29-2006, 10:38
Superflatz,

Welcome to WB, the best backpacking site on the web. You will fine the WBíers will freely offer advice from their own experiences. However, many will try to convince you their gear is the only gear that works, but each person has their own preferences. Some prefer hammocks (Hennessy BP UL), others tarps (MacCat), or single wall tents (Shires Tarptent), or double wall tents (MSR HubbaHubba or Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2). It does not matter which you buy, itís all good. Gearing up is the art of compromise. You just need to read the many review sites available and try it out to see how it works for YOU. One thing is certain; your preferences will change as you learn.

I am a 47 yo family man and ventured into backpacking this past February and love it. My 23 yo son has been doing it for 10 years. I was just too busy with work (avg. 12-14 hr days x 6-7 days/wk) until I stopped & questioned my priorities.

I started with 38 lbs w/ food & water for an overnighter, but am down to 16 lbs 3 season base weight for a multi-nighter. Base = gear w/o food & water.

What I have learned so far. (Although not entirely executed yet)

1. Try something, if it works keep it; if not, try something else.

2. Put your $ into your bag. Do not compromise here. You can probably get buy with a 20 deg bag on a NOBO thru with a March Ė April. Just plan on sleeping in some clothes on the cold nights.

3. Try to make each item multipurpose

4. Ditch all of your cotton. You are much better off with wool, silk, &/or synthetics. Layer, & do not underdress or overdress; both bring their own problems.

5. I ditched my heavy boots for trail runners. Weight on the feet counts too. Gore-Tex keeps water out & Gore-Tex keeps water in. It keeps dew & puddles out, but holds rainwater & sweat in.

6. I started using Leki poles. My endurance & speed picked up & my knees do not hurt anymore.

7. I carry dehydrated foods & rehydrate using water. Used to buy pre-mades from REI, but just bought a dehydrator. I am looking forwards to using it to save $ & for the better taste. You also do not need to clean any dishes as you use the pot to boil water & throw away the food bag. Search Freezer bag cooking on WB.

8. I like Cliffbars. I keep eating them all day long as I hike to keep from bonking out. (Running out of gas)

9. I carry 2-3 liters of water. I use a 2-liter Platypus & have a 4-liter Platy canteen. Both are light & shrink /roll up when empty.

10. I have a filter, but donít use it anymore. I treat using Chlorine-dioxide. My preference to save weight.

11. Bring a small 1st aid / repair kit w/ aspirin, Benadryl, alcohol (use as fuel, fire starter, & antiseptic), duct tape, extra waterproof matches / lighter, thread & needle.

12. I like the hammock since it is light & I do not need to worry about the hard ground. Plus, you can set up camp anywhere that you find 2 trees 10-12 feet apart. I once had to hike about 5 miles after being ready to set up camp before I found a level enough tent site. I sleep much better w/ an air mattress when on the ground, but decided to carry a ĺ Z-lite to eliminate the extra weight.

13. Alcohol stoves are very inexpensive, do a good job of boiling water & cutting weight. Make your own. There are many postings w/ how to directions. Buy denatured alcohol by the gallon from the hardware store or painting supply store.

14. Always put dry clothes on after you are done hiking for the day. I found that putting my damp shirt on over the top of a fresh dry shirt dries it out quickly.

15. Do not hike in wet socks since they cause blisters. Rotate 2-3 pair. I sometimes change them at lunch.

16. Keep your gear dry. I have 3 dry sacks for my food, clothes, & sleeping gear.

17. Bring along some duct tape. You will need it sooner or later. I wrap it around my fuel bottle.

18. What works for you on one trip may not work on the next (or even on the same trip), as the weather can change drastically. This can be a comfort issue for 3 seasons, but can be deadly in 3 as well. I was caught w/o enough bag on my last trip. (A 50 deg fleece when the temps hit the 30s in a hammock. You can use every thing you have for multi use if you are creative enough. I used the dry sacks & trash bags for vapor barriers, the pack w/ itís insulated padding to cover my feet

19. You can obtain gear from REI, Moosejaw, Campmor, Wal-Mart, Ebay, WB Gear for sale forums, Steep & Cheap, Campsaver, direct from the many cottage manufacturers, make your own from scratch or from kits, etcÖ

20. Practice safe food practices. I.E. do not sleep w/ any food or toiletries. Cook away from your bed. Hang all your food out of reach from varmints.

21. Shelters are not all they are cracked up to be.

22. I cannot overemphasize this, be prepared to be alone. This can bring great joy or panic.

23. If hiking alone, always prepare an itinerary & leave it with someone w/ instructions to contact rangers / police if you do not return.

24. Most wildlife will leave you alone. The ones that donít have been conditioned by the 2-legged animals to be opportunistic by their carelessness in leaving food & trash available.

25. Do not pollute the drinking water. Piss, crap, & clean away from the water supply.

26. Clean your own mess. Your MAMA is not hiking with you. Be considerate of others.

27. Enjoy Godís creation.

Egads

generoll
10-29-2006, 10:55
well put, Egads. I guess that pretty well says it all.

neo
10-29-2006, 11:45
As soon as you can, start doing some practice hikes (over-nighters). That will do at least two things-- (1) you'll quickly learn what you need and don't need, and (2) you'll be able to decide what works for YOU!!!

Neo pushes hammocks, and rightly so for HIM. Others push tarps. Others, tents. Others, shelters. That's all irrelevant to YOU. Shake-down practice hikes will let you decide what's right for you.

Since you are a new hiker, you might consider joining a local hiking club or signing up at an outfitters for their hikes. That way, you'll be with folks who can advise and help you and you can see a variety of equipment and practices, then pick and choose what looks good to you.

Most of all, enjoy yourself!

Rain:sunMan

.

:D rain man you forgot to mention hillary:cool: neo