View Full Version : Bought my 1st piece of gear today! What should I buy next?

02-28-2011, 00:05
As I stated in an earlier post, I have literaly no gear for my upcoming through hike (unless you count my toothbrush lol!). Well that changed today. I bought my first and probably most important piece of gear today; new shoes! I ordered a pair of North Face Hedgehog Gore-Tex XCR shoes online. I will let everyone know what I think of them when they arrive. (Yes I realize that many shun gortex on the trail, but from what I've read, these shoes dry pretty well even in spite of the fact that they have gortex and I don't usally have a problem with sweaty feet)

So what should I get next; a pack...tent...plane ticket from Maine to Georgia dated for sometime in October :D ?

02-28-2011, 00:08
Sorry, but I haven't even bought my boots yet. It's a goal this week. Best of luck.

02-28-2011, 00:27
Congrats on your first purchase! I hope they fit well. If you don't already have one, get your multitool. My first gear purchase to arrive was the Victorinox Swiss Army Climber II and I've already used it for so many things. A good pocket knife has so many uses, both on and off the trail. It was so fitting when I got the Climber because it was the first box I opened and I immediately used it to open the other packages I received that day!

02-28-2011, 00:55
Your pack is going to be your best friend. Go to your local retailer if you have one and try on as many as you can with 30lbs of weight. Walk around the store for 1/2 hour. I needs to fit and become part of you body...to get this and keep the weight down it may take a few $$$ but generally worth it. That said, I have seen thru hikers with army suplus canvas bags...

02-28-2011, 00:59
U have your shoes. You can get everything else you need at the Dollar General store...the Granny Gatewood hiking gear list:

Shower Curtain - Shelter/Tarp
Duffel Bag/Laundry Bag - Pack
Army Blanket - Sleeping

have fun

02-28-2011, 09:21
Good pair of socks next, really make sure those shoes get broken in and fit right! Then move on to the shelter, get the big things out of the way, then work in all the small stuff.

Big Dawg
02-28-2011, 16:58
Do you have a list yet? If not, look for packing lists on this site, or ask one of us for an excel spreadsheet of our list/kit. Then w/ list in hand, start knocking em out. You'll have many choices for each listed item. For example,, tent. Do you want a solo or 2 man, single wall or double wall, free standing or not, etc. You'll need to work through all of the choices for each item based on your personal preferences.

Since you're building your kit from the ground up, I would suggest going as light as possible for each item. No sense in carrying heavier gear when you don't have to.

I'd leave the pack til the end. Head to your local outfitter w/ sack of gear in hand, and start packing. Then you'll know what volume pack you need. Hint... don't feel like you need to buy a pack at the outfitter,,, you may decide on a pack from a cottage gear company online.

Good luck!

02-28-2011, 17:06
If you are kind of handy with tools ...try making a stove.

the judge
02-28-2011, 17:24
depends on how you want to approach things. I started with hiking boots, then poles, then a pack, then a sleeping bag, then a tent, etc etc... you could take the rout of getting the gear you want to take then a pack that fits or buying a pack and figuring out what gear you can fit in said pack. there's no one way to do this

02-28-2011, 17:36
If you're going to use AWOL's AT Guide, order it now. I've picked up my SOBO edition every day since it arrived. :banana

02-28-2011, 17:41
I recommend getting the pack last. That way you'll know all your stuff fits. Take your stuff in a box to an outfitter and load up several packs with it. Walk around for a while and make sure the pack fits. Nothing worse than an ill fitting pack. Makes your days of walking unbearable.

Freedom Walker
02-28-2011, 19:20
I don't know how soon you need to get gear, but you already know that you can spend a young man's fortune on it. Take your list and If you have time, hit the yard sales this spring, thrift stores and flea markets. The local Craigs list, and ebay.

02-28-2011, 19:53
Get the pack last. Are you leaving in Oct? If so you have some serious gear challenges.

02-28-2011, 20:46
Also ask your local gear shop if/when there are any gear swaps in the spring. Often the gear shop sponsors it with advertising/location.

03-01-2011, 02:11
Thanks for the replies everyone. This weekend I'll probably get the major purchases out of the way (pack, tent, & bag). I am on a pretty tight budget so I will be doing everything I can to get the best bang for my buck. For some items, if I can't find it at a thrift store then I'll probably buy online. I'm sort of stuck when it comes to trying on a pack b/c there arn't too many outfitters where I'm at and I know they're going to want more $ than what I really want to spend. (retail markups and all that) In spite of my low budget I need to stay as lightweight as possible because at 5'6" I'm freakishly thin at 105lbs. Since pack weight should be no more that 25% of body weight, then everything has to come in right around 25/30 pounds. That of course means a lightweight pack. Someone posted a coupon code for golite.com for 40% off. They look like great packs and with the coupon could be had for around 100 bucks; but of course I would have no way of trying them on. Ah decisions..decisions..

P.S. I guess I should correct my first post. My first piece of gear was actually the AT thru-hikers companion. I guess I just didn't consider it gear in the traditional sense, but of course its every bit as valuable as anything else I bring.

03-01-2011, 02:28
Whiteblaze has a forum for people selling gear as does Backpacking Light:

Sgt Rock's website (as does whiteblaze) has some cool gear lists that people have put together where all their gear costs less than $300. http://hikinghq.net/300_challenge.html Using a sample gear list is really helpful because you can check off things as you get them instead of buying willy-nilly and then ending up with a bunch of extra stuff you realize you don't really want to hike with (I've been there...)

Getting the backpack last is probably a good idea just so you know how much room all your stuff will take and how much it will weigh. Remember to leave some extra room for food (like a 100 Mile Wilderness's worth of food).

Good luck and have fun!

03-01-2011, 08:15
People buy all sorts of stuff just to walk and sleep in the woods. But the most important piece of "gear" you could ever buy in my eyes is an ATC membership. Without their support, we wouldn't have an AT.

And bear bells.

03-05-2011, 04:14
Just a quick update on the shoes I ordered (see top of thread). Looks like I'm going to have to return them:(. Thatís the risk you take when you order online. Overall they seem like a really great shoe. Lots of stability, the materials feel durable, and the sole is grippy. Unfortunately they didn't fit me right. The tongue is somewhat narrow and the part where the gusseting connects to it seems to create an uncomfortable spot on the top of my foot. Not sure if I should blame the shoe or my foot; but it does look like they could have made the tongue a bit wider so as to spread it out evenly over the top of the foot. I saw on the north face website that they are now on the 3rd generation of this shoe so maybe they have fixed this issue; who knows....Anyway, looks like I'll be shoe shopping tomorrow.

I did risk the online ordering again; though I think it'll work out better this time. I ordered my tent; the Kelty Teton 2 and bag, the Campmor 20 degree down bag. I think they are both the perfect combination of budget versus comfort versus weight. With only 42 days left till my feet hit the trail I'm hoping to get the rest of my gear together asap.

03-05-2011, 09:01
Rather than a specific order of item purchases, make a list of what you need/want and maybe a few alternatives and then watch for sales. (:

03-05-2011, 23:46
Hennesee Hammock.

Appalachian Tater
03-06-2011, 12:31
I agree with endubyu. You have until October, you are on a budget, make up a gear list, post it here, then look at a couple of alternatives for each item, then keep an eye out for sales and bargains.

03-06-2011, 12:45
. . . .then everything has to come in right around 25/30 pounds. That of course means a lightweight pack. . . . Not necessarily. It means lightweight gear to put in your pack. If you have a light pack full of heavy gear, you still have a heavy pack to carry. Be more cencerned with the weight of what's going into your pack, not so much as the weight of the actual empty pack.