PDA

View Full Version : AT Thru Hike questions



desertnomad
01-13-2010, 21:35
Hi guys I am planning a thru hike and wanted to pick the brains of the people who have done it.

-How many pair of footwear should I plan on going through (budget for)?
-Is is easy to resupply those on the trail or better to have them shipped to myself?
-How cold should I plan for (I'd either be doing SOBO or a flip)?
-About how much $ will it cost to actually thru hike assuming I have all the gear I START out with already (though I may need replacement gear along the way as most of it is getting old)?
-I'd prefer to hike with the Therm-a-rest Neoair. Anyone make it thru all the way with this? Anyone have any feelings on if it would survive the trip?

Thanks in advance everyone!!!

wcgornto
01-13-2010, 21:44
I went through three Neoairs. Great pad if it didn't internally delaminate or leak, but definitely not suited for a long distance hike.

SOBO or flip depends on personal preference and start date. Most SOBOs start between mid-May and mid-July.

Stir Fry
01-13-2010, 21:49
Expect to get 400 to 500 miles out of a pair of boots. There are outfitters along the trail where you can get new boots. Your foot size will change as you hike, as much as two sizes, so its probably not a good idea to get any in advance.

BrianLe
01-13-2010, 22:11
Possible wcgornto went through a series of earlier model neo-airs? Delamination was a known problem earlier that's supposed to have been fixed. Any air mattress can delaminate, but not at the rate that the early model neo-airs were doing. I'm pretty sure that I've read comments from 2009 thru-hikers on this or perhaps the PCT that they made it all the way through with a neo-air. I plan to bring one on the AT this year, so will soon see for myself I guess!

Note that a lot of basic questions (how many pairs of footwear, is it easy to resupply ...) are answered in the various "prep articles" under the "thru hiking info" link near the top of this page.

Spokes
01-13-2010, 22:22
I went through 6 pairs of boots/shoes on the trail. It was a wet year causing the soles to delaminate. I didn't have any issues with my feet getting bigger, as some say, and attribute that to running marathons and ultra's over the past several years. Your feet may differ.

Be sure to check out all the great stuff under the "Thru Hiker Info-- Prep Articles" tab in the top banner.

Good luck!

wcgornto
01-13-2010, 22:28
Possible wcgornto went through a series of earlier model neo-airs? Delamination was a known problem earlier that's supposed to have been fixed.

The first one delaminated. The second and third ones leaked. It started out with the need to add one or two puffs of air once or twice a night. They gradually got worse, requiring three or four puffs three or four times a night. Without the leaking, I would consider it to be the perfect pad.

BrianLe
01-14-2010, 00:04
Not to cross-examine you here (!), just curious --- did you have anything below the pad? I'm planning on putting a 1/8" or 1/4" GG thinlight underneath to reduce the odds of abrasion or puncture.

BrianLe
01-14-2010, 00:11
Found the reference --- Nia Schmald reports using a neo air successfully on the PCT last year, in this BPL thread (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=25014). OTOH, she said in this thread (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=26950) that a person would likely need a patch kit, so perhaps she had at least one hole and just patched it and was okay.

My guess/hope is that with a little more than ordinary care, some sort of minimal underpadding protection, a dash of luck and a willingness to patch, that a neo air will be okay for a thru hike. TBD!

wcgornto
01-14-2010, 01:08
Not to cross-examine you here (!), just curious --- did you have anything below the pad? I'm planning on putting a 1/8" or 1/4" GG thinlight underneath to reduce the odds of abrasion or puncture.

I often had a tent footprint under the pad, not always. I did not have holes or punctures. The leaking was early and chronic and got worse with use.

Gator 65
01-14-2010, 13:52
Expect to go thru 3-4 pairs of boots. I wore Merril mids and they break in quickly. By the time you are ready for your 2nd pair you will be past the blister stage. I left Springer on Mar 9th, Hit Kath. Stream campgound Sept 24, (temp that night was 28 deg.)If you go Nobo (which I would recommend due to weather and social aspect of the hike). The Smokies will be cold and wet so prepare for snow, sleet ( Clingsman Dome April 6th we had 10 " snow fall). Thermarest mattress (thermaLite) will be a huge factor in staying warm.

garlic08
01-14-2010, 16:07
My wife hiked a few years ago with one pair of Vasque Sundowners ($130), a light leather boot. I used four pairs of trail runners on my hike ($70 each). I shipped mine up the trail in 600-700 mile stretches.

Cold depends on how late you're out. Will you finish by Thanksgiving? By New Years? You don't know this, so it's best to have some warm gear at a reliable friend's house so they can ship it to you when you do need it.

Most sensible budgets seem to be in the $3500 range, plus or minus $500.

desertnomad
01-15-2010, 00:40
Thanks to everyone who responded. Just to clarify and follow up on a few things.
For budgeting how would you break down your expenses while on the trail (guesstimate) on things like replacement gear, food/fuel for resupply, food in town, hostel/hotel in towns, etc?
Also what was your experience in regards to rain pants on the AT? Iíll be coming from the rocky mtns and I really only use rain pants for snowshoeing in the winter. I realize the east coast is different (as Iíve been to Maine two years ago and the Whites and Shenandoah last year). Will I need them? (I should be starting late April to late May)
Thanks again for all your advice :)