View Full Version : Gear List

10-01-2003, 11:37
I am hiking the Appalachian Trail Northbound starting February 23, 2004 - October 17, 2004 The Following is my list of gear. I would appreciate any suggestions possible! Thanks y-all!

Rain Suit
Kelty External Frame
Eureka Storm Sheild 2 person Tent
Tent Repair Kit
Warm Weather Sleeping Bag (I will send my cold weather bag home when the weather gets warmer)
40 degree slepping bag
Sleeping pad
Compressor Bag for sleeping bag
Waterproof Matches
Nylon Cord-Rope
Emergency Blanket
Whistle-Compass-Thermometer Combo
Toilet Paper
Iodine Tablets and PA Plus
Waterproof Headlight
Sewing Kit
Nalgene Bottles
Mess Kit
-1 plate
-1 cup
-1 fork
-1 knife
-1 spoon
-1 pot
-1 bowl
Can Opener
Stove- Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight
Coleman Propane
Bug repellant lotion
Duct Tape
Latern (Battery Operated)
Snake kit (My husband insists)
Mini maglight and belt holster
ground cloth (tarp)
shade canopy (tarp)
ziplock baggies (will bring as many as needed and leave the rest at home and when I need more, I will get them in mail drops)
trash bags (will leave most of these at home too)
Wet naps
Dish Soap
Seam Sealer
Waterproof Spray
Camp Shovel
Fanny Pack
Swiss Army Knife
Hiking Poles
Plastic Funnel
Emergency Poncho
Camp Shoes
Wool Hat (will send home when warm enough)
Gloves (will send home when warm enough)
Wool Socks (will send home when warm enough)
3 shorts
3 tank tops
1 sweatshirt
1 sweatpants
Watch with alarm clock
1 thermal underware (will send home when warm enough)
1 thermal shirt (will send home when warm enough)
1 bathing suit
First aid kit

Lone Wolf
10-01-2003, 11:48
Way too much stuff. How much does it all weigh packed up?

10-01-2003, 11:54

2 sleeping bags at once? you could just as easily mail one and send one home at the same time. unless you're planning on getting reallll cold.

your kitchen. you only really need 1 pot and 1 spoon to do all your duty.

tarps. why so many tarps? if you're tenting, you need a groundcloth, but for sunshade just sit in tree's shadow or in a shelter.

battery powered lantern....a headlamp or mini mag would be lighter.

there's more you can do to drop weight...

10-01-2003, 11:58
no, not 2 sleeping bags at once, one i will carry and then when it gets warm i will mail it home and my husband will mail the other. No knife? no fork? ye gads! lol

10-01-2003, 11:59
i forgot to add aluminum foil...oops!

10-01-2003, 12:00
it all weighs, without food or water 49 lbs

Trail Yeti
10-01-2003, 12:19
49 POUNDS!!!! good lord that is a lot of weight. Ditch some of those clothes. You need a set of clothes to hike in, and a set of clothes to sleep in, and some warming layers....

Blue Jay
10-01-2003, 12:25
This has got to be a Troll. No one, not even me would carry this much junk.

10-01-2003, 12:52
It is a standard load for many people I see hiking in the Smokys. Shez1180 has posted a bunch of notices in the Hooking Up section about starting a thru hike in late February, so I don't think this is a troll.

If you already have the stuff, go ahead and haul it around with you. You are not missing anything really, except perhaps some warmer clothes. If you make it past Walasi-Yi, you'll figure out what you don't need and make the necessary adjustments. If you want to give yourself a better chance to make it to NOC, say, you might want to cut some weight. Here are a few suggestions. This is a little long, but I'm on a roll this morning with avoiding work.

I would not bring the tent for the following reason: If it is ****e weather, you'll want to sleep in a shelter anyways. If the weather is good, you can just sleep out. A good compromise would be to bring a bivy sack or a tarp. Since you are starting so early, you probably won't have to worry about shelters filling up. You can string a tarp up over part of a shelter door to provide some wind protection, or set it up if you get caught in rain at night. A bivy sack will work the same way, but will be less pleasant when the temps warm up. If I was starting in Feb, I'd take a bivy with me till things got warm with the plan to stay in shelters alot early on. I'd then switch to a tarp when it got warm.

You can leave the PA plus at home if you haven't already bought it. Iodized water isn't that bad. Better yet, get some Polar Pure: A lot, lot cheaper.

You can leave the towel at home. Replace the Nalgene bottles with liter sized gatorade bottles. Replace the Mess Kit with your cook pot and a spoon. Unless you are setting out to have 3 course meals each night, what you are bringing is overkill. If you are carrying a Swiss Army Knife, you don't really need a knife in your Mess Kit, do you? Or a can openner. Drink your hot liquids out of the pot.

I don't think you need any flares, unless you are planning to help flag a broken down truck while out hiking. Don't bring the bug dope until it starts to get buggy out. LIke in June. You won't be facing any bugs anytime close to your start date. It seems the most popular item to leave in shelters is a candle lantern. Leave the snake bite kit at home but tell your husband you have it. Or, thrown it in the trash at Springer and say that you lost it. Don't bring a lantern of any kind. You already have a headlamp, don't you? Same reasonning on the maglite.

You can leave the shade canopy at home. There are lots and lots and lots of trees on the AT. Finding shade isn't a problem. Leave the dish soap at home. Water to clean out your cook pot is fine. Geled alcohol works well for washing your hands after going to the bathroom. Put the seam sealer and waterproofing stuff in a bounce box (if you don't know what this is, just ask). You won't do too much seam sealing or waterproofing while you are hiking. You can leave the camp shovel at home. Find a nice, isolated spot to take a crap in and then cover with leaves and or rocks. You can leave the fanny pack at home also: You are carrying a backpack, right? Things like a camera and snacks can go in your pockets. T

he plastic funnel you can leave at home as well. I can't imagine using it for anything while hiking. You can leave the emergency poncho at home as well: You've got a rain suit, right? I'd leave the camp shoes at home also, but you are hiking in boots, which are probably going to hurt your feet and you will probably want to rest them in camp. You probably won't wear the shorts and tank tops too often until April or May. For hiking clothing, try one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, two t-shirts, a pair of underwear, the thermal underwear, a hat, a pair of gloves, and a warm fleece or insulated pull over. I'd make your thermals as heavy as possible. It is cold in southern Appalachia in the winter. Fleece pants (the sweatpants) might help. I would bring 3 pairs of socks.

You might consider bringing earplugs. There is always a person that snores in a shelter. Switching to an alcohol stove will save you a nice amount of weight.

10-01-2003, 12:54
Blue Jay as much as I enjoy your sqwaks...you must not have spent much time on the trail in Ga during early spring..cause a lot of folks bring even MORE than this....I think that this is a serious questions this young lady is asking..she deserves our help...

10-01-2003, 12:55
Well, I'll bite and make a few suggestions:

Make a bounce box and mail anything you won't need on a daily basis to yourself up the trail. In that, I'm including your tent repair kit and sewing kit and extra seam sealer.

Replace your nalgenes with gatorade bottles or soda bottles to shave off some weight.

You have a huge cookset -- I get by with just a spoon, pot and plastic cup (because I like to have hot chocolate.) Personally, I'd get rid of the can opener too and forgo getting anything in cans.

You have raingear and a poncho listed -- I'd keep the suit and get rid of the poncho, but that's personal perference... get rid of one at any rate.

If your husband insists on the snake bite kit, I'd "lose" it pretty fast, you really don't need it.

Consider switching to an alcohol stove, which will also save you some weight.

I don't think you need the tarps or the lantern. I'm curious about the funnel -- what is that for?

Clothes wise, you're carrying a lot. You can leave the bathing suit at home and just swim in your shorts & tank top... helps to get them clean. I usually bring a set of hiking clothes and a set of camp clothes, plus raingear and cold weather items.

- Ivy

10-01-2003, 13:05
You're already getting lots of feedback on your list. There are a lot of knowledgeable people on the site who can give you a great deal of helpful advice. Some people are "ultralighters" who will make extraordinary efforts to hike with the least possible weight, others are weight-conscious but like some comfort/luxury too.

How much backpacking have you done? My advice would be to go on several multi-day trips ("shakedowns") with your complete gear between now and March. If you don't use something EVERY DAY on your short trip, don't bring it -- 2100 miles is a long way to carry something you don't really need. Bring items that have multiple uses (a tarp/tent that sets up on trekking poles instead of trekking poles and tent poles). Don't bring more than one thing for the same use. Figure out what you actually need to be comfortable hiking/sleeping in rain, and what's overkill.

My first backpacking trip I brought five pairs of underwear. Now I just take two and switch off. (Some people would say don't bring any.) This is just an example of how experience has helped me to lighten my load. You don't need that big cook kit. You don't need a tarp _and_ a tent _and_ a groundsheet. You don't need more than one light source.

You might want to look at trail journals for this and prior years. Look at what people are carrying, but also look at their total packweight. You should be able to do under 20 pounds easy, just by cutting back. You'll save even more weight if you trade out for some ultralight gear.

10-01-2003, 13:08
I understand the idea behind the funnel but one tends to lose personal modesty when it comes to urination fairly quickly on the trail. Still and all it probably would be nice in cold weather not to have to bare all just to take a leak (ignorant man talking here btw).

10-01-2003, 13:29
Here are my suggestions. But like Bunchberry said in their post and I agree with the post. You should go on several multi-day trips ("shakedowns") with your complete gear between now and March and everything else Bunchberry said.

Tent Repair Kit – Duct tape will work in emergencies
Waterproof Matches – Use a lighter
Emergency Blanket – Won’t need it is you stay dry and have a good sleeping bag.
Sewing Kit – Duct tape will work in emergency’s
Towel – Use a bandana
-1 plate - Use the pot you cook in
-1 fork – Use spoon, what are you going to eat that you can not use a spoon for everything?
-1 knife – use the swiss or leatherman you bring along (overkill)
-1 pot – Use the pot one you cook in
-1 bowl – Use the pot one you cook in
Coleman Propane – Make sure you will have canisters available along the trail
Flares – What for you have a head lamp
Lantern (Battery Operated) – What for you have a head lamp (overkill)
Mini maglight and belt holster – What for you have a head lamp (overkill)
shade canopy (tarp) – You have a tent (overkill)
Wet naps – Use a bandana
Dish Soap – use water and a little onion pad scrubby
Seam Sealer – Put in mail drops
Waterproof Spray – Put in mail drops
Camp Shovel – why, maybe a plastic trowel for taking a dump
Swiss Army Knife – recommend a leatherman micro it weighs an once
Plastic Funnel – Why?
Emergency Poncho – Use your rain coat (overkill)
Camp Shoes – Make sure there are light
Watch with alarm clock – Get rid of the alarm clock get a watch with one in it
1 bathing suit – Use the shorts and shirt you hike, and then hang them on the outside of you pack to dry while hiking.

This is just my suggestion. You can carry what you want. But I have done many long extended trips and have some experience.

10-01-2003, 13:30
I ALWAYS take two light sources ....a headlight and a small single cell LED...you need a backup light source...a photon will do as a backup...

Dances with Mice
10-01-2003, 13:41
I'm 6'5", 230 pounds and I wouldn't consider carrying a 49 pound pack up Springer even if that weight included food & water.

Leave / Replace Suggestions, Round 1. Make these changes, then we can get serious.

Tent Repair Kit - you have duct tape.
Sewing Kit - you just mean a pre-threaded needle & a couple safety pins, right?
Towel - aka bandana
-1 plate - you have a bowl
-1 fork - planning on steak dinners, are we?
-1 knife - you have a Swiss Army knife
Flares - Flares?!!
Latern (Battery Operated) - you have a waterproof headlight
Snake kit (My husband insists) So pitch it when he's not looking.
Mini maglight and belt holster - you have a waterproof headlight. Hm, flares and 3 flashlights. Are you, by any chance scared of the dark?
shade canopy (tarp) - Or keep & leave the tent.
Dish Soap - A very, very little Dr B's will work for everything.
Seam Sealer - Should already be applied to tent and/or tarp.
Waterproof Spray - should already be applied
Camp Shovel - you mean a small plastic trowel?
Plastic Funnel - No, with practice you can hit the hole you dug with the trowel. ;)
Emergency Poncho - you have a rainsuit & a groundcloth.
Wool Hat (will send home when warm enough) Keep, don't send.
3 shorts - What are the other two for?
3 tank tops - What are the other two for?
1 sweatshirt - you have a thermal shirt
1 sweatpants - you have thermal underware
1 bathing suit - what are the shorts and tank top for?
First aid kit - will this fit in a sandwich size ziplock without stretching the bag?

Add long pants & longsleeve shirt. Add fleece vest or jacket for February start. Might throw in a toothbrush, too.

Rain Man
10-01-2003, 14:40

Like several others on here, I thought you were kidding at first blush. But on second thought, I think you are serious.

One thing you do not tell us is your height and weight and fitness. We'd need to know that first of all.

But regardless, 49 lbs is way, way too much. Based on whatever your size might be, you probably want your pack weight to be between 20 to 30 lbs, with food and water. Mine weighed 28 lbs when I section hike Springer to Neels Gap in August, and I was with 3 others, so we split the weight of tents and stoves.

Unless you are in extraordinary physical and mental condition, 49lbs will just "kill" you before you get good and started.

I certainly agree with those who say to take some "shakedown" hikes. Heck, go and do Springer to Neels Gap yourself and see what you think. But make your husband go and carry 50lbs also! LOL

Rain Man

10-01-2003, 15:15
45-50lbs..is a lot.. but it's not that much!!!LOL..and I'm an old man with a bald head...

10-01-2003, 15:20
I cannot decide if I want to do the thru before or after march. I plan on taking nothing more than 25 pounds(without food and water, that is...if i can keep it down to 20lbs, i'll be happy..but i am not counting on it...) if i do start before march..i.e. in winter..i expect my pack to be slightly heavier..the only deterrent to my early start is the horrible visions of me tottering about with a heavy winter pack...sinking in knee high snow in the smokies and rescued by three bears..dont ask...you dont want to peek into my nightmares...

anyways..i'll probably be putting up my gear list for the comments from the esteemed members....i am taking notes from this thread...

Sand Crab
10-01-2003, 17:09
Shez, I am also a low-land Floridian and just finished my first ever section hike from Amicalola SP to Neel's Gap last month. I know you are 32 years my junior and probably in better condition than me, but I found the altitude and steepness of GA to be a real challenge starting with a 47 lb pack (including water & food). I have sworn to shave every possible pound off my load before the next trip, not because I couldn't or didn't make it, but now simply believe that less weight will equal greater enjoyment. That said, I still found it to be a great experience. Carry what you feel you must, stay warm and have a great hike!

10-01-2003, 19:40
All the suggestions to cut weight given here are very good ones. You must get out there and decide what you feel comfortable with. You will PROBABLY get out and realized over time you can do without 2/3s of this stuff and can double many items to save weight. But its up to you. Its your hike.
I hiked with a fellow named Journeyman this year. He started out with a 65 lb pack and only shaved it down to 45-50 lbs. He was 65 years old! He listened and watched people talk and buy lightweight gear and show him "better" ways to do stuff.
Bottom line is he carried what made him comfortable and he finished, unlike many ultralighters who probably dropped out. Not only that, he did it in under 5 months

10-01-2003, 22:08
some of us like our pancakes in the morning..and for dessert after dinner...of course with hot tea and honey...so it's worth carrying...

knew a guy a couple years ago that had a HUGE fuel bottle and and french coffee press..guy just loved his brew..I know he made it past damascus....

cutting wieght is great...gives you space and weight for your luxuries..I would not dream of hiking without a good book...

Blue Jay
10-02-2003, 07:59
I'm a "Go Heavy" hiker. I once carried three books; a good one I had not finished, one I got in a mail drop, and one I had been looking for, for years, because it was out of print, was in a shelter. I also carry waaay to much food, because I do not like to be forced into towns. The original list without food and water (and books) seemed very heavy even to me. But as A-Train said, it is truly up to the individual.

10-02-2003, 10:18
Baltimore jack carries the New York times in his pack...dude carries a real heavy pack..and he hikes a lot more than most...

10-02-2003, 13:42
Colin Fletcher tells a story about meeting another very experienced hiker on the trail. They chatted and talked about pack weights. Both carried about 65 pounds.

In West Texas at Big Bend or the Guadalupe Mountains, you need to carry ALL your water on a number of the overnight hikes. That gets the pack weight up fast.

I carry a full length pad cause my feet get cold at night. I went on one trip without it and would have gladly carried twice its weight to have it!

10-02-2003, 15:17
I tend to carry heavier than most around here, and when I started my thru-hike, I was carrying about 73 pounds if the scales at Amicolola could be trusted. I climbed Blood Mountain not only with my pack, but with 13 liters of water for myself and a few other folks. I was passing people as I climbed with over 100 pounds on my back. Of course if I tried that now I would be lying trail sidea few switchbacks up from the stream.

As heavy as I hiked, I have learned the virtues of hiking lighter. Here are my recommended changes with rationale.

Emergency Blanket - combine this with groundcloth and tarp by using a sportsman's emergency blanket.

Sewing Kit (your tent repair kit probably contains needle and thread, that's good enough)
Towel (pack towel at most, do not carry a cotton terry bath towel it’ll end up weighing a ton and growing mildew)

Mess Kit - You need a pot, lid and a spoon, that’s it. Forget the plate and the bowl, the fork and the knife, you need none of that. If you really need a knife, your swiss army knife will do.

Can Opener - Can opener on swiss army knife

Flares - Leave em, you don’t need them.

Latern (Battery Operated) - Unless the lantern is an LED lit lantern using a couple AA’s for power, you don’t want it. Heck, if it’s an LED model you probably don’t want it. Your headlamp is all you need.

Mini maglight and belt holster - I count three light sources so far. The head lamp is all you need.

ground cloth (tarp) - If you use a “sportsman’s type emergency blanket, one with the shiny side and a colored side, your eliminate the weight and bulk of one or the other.

shade canopy (tarp) - I refer you to the statement above.

Dish Soap - Don’t need dish soap.

Seam Sealer - Do this at home. If you start leaking at a seam of your tent, you can fix it at the next town you hit with an outfitter. Or put it in a bounce box and keep sending it ahead every week or so.
Waterproof Spray - Same as above. You won’t spring enough leaks to warrant carrying the weight.
Camp Shovel - some people advocate using the heel of the boot, but as boots get lighter duty, this is less and less viable. Take it or leave it. I carried one.
Fanny Pack - You don’t really need this, but I can see why you would want one. My pack lid and hipbelt came off my main pack and could be mated into a great fanny pack.

Swiss Army Knife - make sure it’s got a can opener, bottle cap lifter, the usual screw drivers a Phillips and a flathead or two, a good knife and a pair of scissors. Make sure it is razor sharp when you leave. There are a few places on the way to get it sharpened.

Emergency Poncho - raingear or poncho, but not both.

Camp Shoes - With lightweight boots you can leave the camp shoes home. I liked having a pair of sandals to air my feet out in at the end of the day, but, I wore heavy boots and my feet sweated a lot.

3 shorts
3 tank tops
1 sweatshirt
1 sweatpants
1 thermal underware (will send home when warm enough)
1 thermal shirt (will send home when warm enough)
1 bathing suit
You’ve got way too much clothing here.
1 set of clothing to hike in, another to sleep in, and thermal wear for cold weather and raingear for rain, wind and snow. Sweatshirt and sweatpants should NOT be cotton. Polyester fleece works well, retains warmth when wet, doesn’t stay wet long and weighs a fraction of what cotton weighs. I kept some type of thermal underwear through the whole trip, I found it helpful at night for keeping the bugs at bay. The silkweight or lightweight stuff isn’t too heavy to wear even in the summer.

Don’t bother with the swimsuit, your hiking clothes will benefit greatly from a swim, just make certain your tank tops and shorts won’t go transparent when wet.

First aid kit - This can get pared down quite a ways as you gain physical confidence and overcome some of the blister problems that most hikers get in the first month. I also tend to try to find dual use items for this purpose as well including gauze by the roll and waterproof adhesive tape. These can be mated to create bandages of whatever size you need, allowing you to leave the band aids behind. The tape also makes a less bulky way to armor up hot spots. I keep a few medications in my kit including benedryl tablets for allergies or if I can’t sleep for some reason, Rolaids or tums, the usual pain killers and some Immodium AD. If diarrhea hits on the trail Immodium can keep you from dehydrating long enough to get to more comfortable surroundings to wait out the illness.

10-03-2003, 10:30
Shez- being a woman i understand the thought of wanting a funnel. I am going to be thru hiking next may and it was on my original list. however, since i live in an area where i can hike every day if i want i did some 3-5 day hike and trust me i live in upstate ny near the canadian border where the weather is already cold and we already have snow on the high peaks and cold or not the funnel was a pain. it is much easier to just take off the pack and go. plus is takes a minute relief on your back and shoulders with the pack off. Hope that helps. I have some other opinions to and being a woman i may be able to answer some questions better helping you (no offense to men they have great ideas too, womens bodies are just different)

12-26-2003, 01:41
You must be a lot younger and stronger than some of us to consider going into the mountains with 40+ pounds of gear. I'm 44 and I run 3 miles a day and back in September I did a 5 day outing around Clingmans Dome. My pack started out at 48 lbs. It liked to killed me the first two days. Once you realize that you've brought along stuff that you'll never use or wear, you'll be ready for a yard sale.
At 48 lbs. travel was very slow and every hour I had to stop for a 15 minute break to rest my aching shoulders and back. When I go back in 2k4 I will be under 40 lbs. If there is any doubt that an item may not get used on my trip, it stays at the house.
I look forward to your yard sale..............