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PJ Heym
01-11-2011, 10:04
Im from Bonn/Germany and Im starting my through hike on March 16th.
Ive already get my visa, booked the flight, greyhound-bus and get a reservation at Hiker Hostel. So it becomes serious. :-)

Who else is going to start a long journey from Europe or other countries in the world just to walk the AT? :-)

There are just a few questions about equipment-prices in the USA:

What kind of equipment is cheaper in the USA than in Europe?(Food, cloth, knives...)
I thought about it, because if Ill buy things in the USA, I can save weight for the flight an maybe save some money, too.

Shall I send food-package from Germany or it is easier to prepare those things in the USA? How do you manage it?

Thanks for your help.
Maik

emerald
01-11-2011, 10:24
Investigate possible German source(s) of information, especially what I have provided to you by PM (private mail). There have been several German A.T. hikers in recent years. Their experience could prove invaluable to you.

I suggest all A.T. hikers begin their quest for information by visiting Appalachian Trail Conservancy's website.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org (http://www.appalachiantrail.org)

Three of the most useful planning tools are Step by Step: An Introduction to Walking the Appalachian Trail (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/atf/cf/{D25B4747-42A3-4302-8D48-EF35C0B0D9F1}/Step%20by%20Step%20Fall%2006.pdf) (PDF), Appalachian Trail Strip Map (http://www.nps.gov/appa/planyourvisit/brochures.htm) and ALDHA's Companion, the last item also linked at the bottom of each of my posts. Click on the appropriate white blaze for the desired information.

PJ Heym
01-11-2011, 10:30
Thats a good idea! Im going to contact them.
Thanks!

Turtle Feet
01-11-2011, 10:51
Im from Bonn/Germany and Im starting my through hike on March 16th.
Ive already get my visa, booked the flight, greyhound-bus and get a reservation at Hiker Hostel. So it becomes serious. :-)

Who else is going to start a long journey from Europe or other countries in the world just to walk the AT? :-)

There are just a few questions about equipment-prices in the USA:

What kind of equipment is cheaper in the USA than in Europe?(Food, cloth, knives...)
I thought about it, because if Ill buy things in the USA, I can save weight for the flight an maybe save some money, too.

Shall I send food-package from Germany or it is easier to prepare those things in the USA? How do you manage it?

Thanks for your help.
Maik

Maik - I'll probably see you on the trail. I'm starting on March 13th. Hikers from the USA don't know the prices in Europe, so we can't compare for you, but I suppose that also depends on your current exchange rates.

Your only 'bag' on your flight will be your backpack -right? I would think if you have your gear packed, and know what it weighs, you could call your airline and ask about cost for you bag to fly. Depending on the date of your flight, and your reservation at the Hikers Hostel, you may not have time to do alot of shopping for gear.

Also, you mentioned Greyhound? If you're staying at the Hikers Hostel, they're Thru-Hikers Special price includes transportation from the MARTA train to their home. If you're flying into Atlanta, you then take a MARTA line to the end and they pick you up there - no need to take a bus. I believe all that information is on their website.

I do think that sending food from Europe would be outragiously expensive. You can easily buy food in little towns all along the trail. No problem with that. You never need to carry more than 3 or 4 days worth of food with you at one time, with the possible exception of the 100 mile wilderness.

Look forward to meeting you on the trail - it's going to be a great year to hike the AT!!! :banana

turtle feet

emerald
01-11-2011, 10:52
http://www.booksforhikers.com/appalachian-trail/

bigcranky
01-11-2011, 11:09
Hi, PJ,

Welcome and good luck on your hike.

With food, there is a long-running debate among thru-hikers about shipping food versus buying it along the trail. In general, I think that the shipping costs make that option more expensive and less flexible -- and the shipping costs from Germany would make that even worse. Unless you require a special diet, most long distance hikers are able to find the food they need along the way.

One way to handle this would be to bring the first 3 or 4 days of food with you from Germany. That will get you to the store at Neels Gap, 30 miles up the trail, where you can resupply.

As for buying gear, I'm not sure the cost difference is going to be a big deal. Just think about how you will get your gear on the plane -- for example, the security people won't let you bring a knife in your carry-on bag, but you can check it. Also, you can sometimes bring a stove, but never any fuel. If you want to carry your backpack aboard, and not have any checked luggage, you'll need to consider buying some of these things in the U.S.

The people at the Hiker Hostel are very helpful -- you can ask all of these questions and they will help with getting food and gear.

Sassafras Lass
01-11-2011, 11:23
I agree with the previous posters. It will be nice hiking with you this year - I believe we have some folks from Australia joining us this year as well :)

Ogre
01-11-2011, 11:43
I'm also coming from what some would consider another country (California ;)) and starting just a couple of days ahead of you. I'm sure our paths will cross (as you leave me in the dust). Good luck, see you in a couple of months!

PJ Heym
01-11-2011, 12:59
Thanks for the hints!

I already bought some of the books you mentioned and visited the Website.

And some of your advices are really helpful.

@ Turtle feet: My bag on the flight is not the same as I carry on the trail, cause Im going to stay in Texas with my aunt before. And Im taking the greyhoundbus just to gainesville and then Im using, like you propose, the busshuttle of the hostel.

Cant wait to the you on the trail! :-)

hobbs
01-11-2011, 13:22
What city will you be staying in Texas? if it's Austin they have an http://rei.com Whole earth Provision co. these are gear retailers.... untrilight gearhttp://mountainlaureldesign.com alsohttp://zpacks.com these should help you to figure price here. Also the is a http://wholefoods.com whichi is in austin..... Also Sun harvest has bulk items as well... Hope this helps you for your hike...

PJ Heym
01-11-2011, 15:52
What city will you be staying in Texas? if it's Austin they have an http://rei.com Whole earth Provision co. these are gear retailers.... untrilight gearhttp://mountainlaureldesign.com alsohttp://zpacks.com these should help you to figure price here. Also the is a http://wholefoods.com whichi is in austin..... Also Sun harvest has bulk items as well... Hope this helps you for your hike...

Youre a mind reader, arent you? :D

Actual Im staying in Austin!
So Ill have a lots of shops where I can go to. Thank you.

Trailweaver
01-12-2011, 03:46
Welcome - in advance - to the U.S. and the AT. You will find a lot of help along the way as you hike. The AT is (I think) the friendliest trail in the U.S. Like others have mentioned, the owners of the Hiker Hostel are very reliable sources of information and help about the trail. They are thru hikers too.

Are you going to keep a trailjournal on line? Have you read some of the online trail journals? They are helpful also.

Go to trailjournals.com to find them. There are other websites as well, but this is the one I'm familiar with.

leaftye
01-12-2011, 04:14
Most of the really good gear I see on the trails here are made here, so of course they're cheaper here. I'm sure it's the same with gear made there for you. Unfortunately I cannot possibly answer your question without knowing what gear you are considering.

As far as food goes, you would be crazy to ship food from Germany. You're literally talking about hundreds of pounds of food. Even very specialized dietary requirements can surely be fulfilled on this side of the ocean at a lesser cost.

Will your aunt in Texas allow you to have gear and food shipped to her, and is she willing to ship you food while you're on the trail?

Anyway, you should post up your current gear list, the qualities you would like in whatever gear you still need to acquire, and any dietary needs that you have. If you want help with those things, I'm sure there are many of us here that would be happy to try to help.

Kaptain Kangaroo
01-12-2011, 05:46
I travelled from Australia to thru-hike. I brought 3 days of food with me to the US. Just enough to get me to Neels Gap. I then resupplied in towns along the trail. Food is very cheap in the US compared to Australia & Europe.

What I did find useful was a bounce box. This was for the gear that I wanted access to on a regular basis such as new maps, warm weather gear for later on the trail, medication etc. This gear went into a box that I would mail ahead on the trail in approximately 2 week sections. This way I caught up to it a couple of times a month & could then take some stuff out, put other stuff in & then post it another 2 weeks ahead.

Have a great hike.... the AT is a wonderful trail & you will be amazed by the friendliness & generosity of the people you meet !

PJ Heym
01-12-2011, 07:54
I cannot possibly answer your question without knowing what gear you are considering.

Anyway, you should post up your current gear list, the qualities you would like in whatever gear you still need to acquire, and any dietary needs that you have. If you want help with those things, I'm sure there are many of us here that would be happy to try to help.


I think there are just a few things left. My gear list is complete, but I think about to buy new stuff in the USA, because some of my equipment is old and used.
Heres my list of things Id buy in the USA: Sleeping Bag, cooking accessoires, a knife, sleeping pad.

Old Hiker
01-12-2011, 08:02
I think there are just a few things left. My gear list is complete, but I think about to buy new stuff in the USA, because some of my equipment is old and used.
Heres my list of things Id buy in the USA: Sleeping Bag, cooking accessoires, a knife, sleeping pad.

Welcome!!

Good idea - remember, not V.A.T. the US. 19% in Germany now? I remember it was lower for food, etc.

I was at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen 1997-2001! Thanks to you and all your compatriots who made my stay so enjoyable! I hope we can do the same for you.

leaftye
01-12-2011, 08:36
I think there are just a few things left. My gear list is complete, but I think about to buy new stuff in the USA, because some of my equipment is old and used.
Heres my list of things Id buy in the USA: Sleeping Bag, cooking accessoires, a knife, sleeping pad.

Would you consider a quilt instead of a sleeping bag? That can save you a lot of weight and bulk. We have a few small companies that make ultralight quilts with premium materials, including a couple that will do custom work. If you're not that picky about weight, but do not want a quilt, there are a few 20 F degree sleeping bags between $50 and $120. You might even consider making your own quilt while visiting your aunt. There are two companies that sell kits. Actually, I've heard the best down is from Europe, so you might want to buy that there if you're going to build a down quilt.

What kind of cooking do you do? Freezer bag cooking (FBC)? FBC may be the best way to have very light good cooked meals. There's a member here named Di Centra that can tell you call about it. She even has a book about it. FBC also allows you to use extremely light, compact and inexpensive alcohol stoves.

What type of pad do you want and how important is its weight? If you simply want a foam pad, that's easily resolved here by a quick visit to REI or Walmart. There are many choices of inflatable pads at a wide variety of prices. If you want a completely custom inflatable pad, there's a guy (www.kookabay.com) that does that too. Prices range from $8-$300, for pads ranging from a cheap foam Walmart pad to an incredibly warm and comfortable custom down air mattress.

Comet Omega
01-14-2011, 18:40
In addition to REI, Whole Earth Provisions there is the Patagonia shop on Congress Ave. All pretty close to each other. There are many Wal-Marts and Academy has some things. Also, Gossamer Gear is based in Austin! I like Sun Harvest and Whole Foods for bulk items and variety too. Have a great time!

hobbs
01-14-2011, 18:49
Youre a mind reader, arent you? :D

Actual Im staying in Austin!
So Ill have a lots of shops where I can go to. Thank you.
I went to college and lived there for 23 yrs and slot of my friends were from duestchland...So you will have a good time before your hike as well...Oh and they have a World market as well.... So you can pick u[ spautzel as well....I have it sent to me here in Virginia for the trail.. If you have any questions Pm me be glad to help...