View Full Version : 2011 SOBO Gear List

06-07-2011, 11:28
Hi, my name is Scott. I'm a college student from Michigan, preparing to begin at Katahdin on Monday, June 13th. I plan to stay that night at Katahdin Stream Campground and at Abol Bridge or Hurd Brook Lean-to on Tuesday. I wanted to post my gear list while there's still time for feedback:

REI XT 85 Backpack -- 5 lbs, 0 oz.

Sleeping Group
Foam sleeping pad -- 15.2 oz.
Warbonnet Blackbird double layer hammock with biners -- 26.9 oz.
Big Mamajamba tarp with biners, ridgeline and tent stakes -- 20.9 oz.
North Face Cat's Meow sleeping bag -- 42 oz.

Tools and Miscellany
Rope -- 3.9 oz.
Headlamp -- 3.3 oz.
Camp towell -- 2.0 oz.
Camera -- 7.8 oz.
Leatherman -- 8.2 oz.
Ziplock bag with first aid kit, gear repair kit, hand sanitizer, sun block, extra batteries, ink pen and chapstick -- 16.0 oz.
Toothbrush -- 0.2 oz.
Tweezers and hair comb -- .5 oz.
Compass -- 0.6 oz.
Journal, AT Data Book and AT Thru Hiker's Companion -- 17.2 oz.

Cotton bucket hat -- 2.0 oz.
Mosquito hat/head net -- 2.6 oz.
Cotton bandana -- 1.5 oz.
Fleece hat -- 1.5 oz.
Liner gloves -- 1.2 oz.
Polyester gloves -- 1.6 oz.
Primaloft sweater -- 9.7 oz.
2 polypropylene pants -- 15.0 oz. total
Polyester long sleeve -- 5.0 oz.
Polypropylene long sleeve -- 7.6 oz.
Short sleeve hiking shirt -- 3.4 oz.
Cotton shirt -- 7.3 oz.
Nylon shorts -- 7.1 oz.
Nylon pants and belt -- 10.7 oz.
Camp sandals -- 11.4 oz.
Stuff sack -- 1.6 oz.
3 pairs Smartwool socks -- 5.9 oz. total
2 pairs liner socks -- 2.6 oz.

Food sack and biner -- 5.2 oz.
Titanium pot -- 7.5 oz.
Spork -- 0.3 oz.
MSR Pocket Rocket stove -- 4.0 oz.
3 full 8 oz. fuel cannisters -- 37.8 oz. total
Partially full fuel cannister -- 9.1 oz.
Empty 1-L water bladder -- 1.3 oz.
Empty 1-L Nalgene with duct tape wrapped around -- 5.3 oz.
MSR water pump -- 16.8 oz.
Food sack with biner -- 5.2 oz.

Food (so far)
Cous cous -- 65.5 oz.
Lentils -- 16 oz.
12 bags of ramen -- 38.5 oz total
2 plastic jars of banana chips -- 14.7 oz. total

Obviously this list includes things which will be carried on my person like boots, shorts, shirt, hat, camera and socks. But when I put the pack on the scale, filled with all the above gear (minus boots, plus 2 L of water) it weighed 38 lbs.

I only plan to carry one AT book. I will take both on the train with me and mail the other home, probably the heavier Thru Hiker's Companion. Also, I will bring one book for pleasure reading, buy a wrist watch and get a hold of two empty Gatorade bottles.

The only other items I need to pick up are food. Do I understand correctly that groceries are available at Abol Bridge and not again until Jo-Mary Road, 56 miles south of Katahdin? Then, not again until Monson, ME? I'm trying to decide how many days' food to take. Should I take enough to last me till Monson or should I plan to get off trail at Jo-Mary Road.

The other food I plan to grab are candy bars, oatmeal, peanut butter, summer sausage, cheese, and maybe a little mac n cheese, or something quick and tasty like that.

Other questions:

How many daily Calories (rough estimate) will a small to medium size man need to sustain himself on the trail?

Is 3.5 fuel cannisters to start overkill? Cous cous, ramen and oatmeal only need to be thrown in boiling water, then the heat can be turned off.

I would appreciate any more food ideas, such as high Calorie snack items or fast cooking, ready-to-eat meals.

I'm going to call and reserve a spot at Katahdin Stream Campground today. Do I need to make any other reservations at Baxter State Park or can I just sleep wherever after that?

At what point does a south bounder exit BSP?

I will be picked up by the AT Lodge and stay there Sunday night before they take me to KSC Monday morning. Has anyone dealt with the AT Lodge before. If so, what were your impressions?

Thank you for reading. Please leave any other comments/suggestions you can think of.

06-07-2011, 12:39
It may be a little late since you're leaving in just a couple days, but if you're looking to shave a couple pounds, you might want to consider switching to an alcohol stove and replacing the water filter with water purification tablets. Fuel canisters are heavy!

Also, if you're really looking to shave ounces you could forgo the titanium pot in favor of an aluminum one. Much lighter and I'm sure you could find one in your cabinet.

Other than that, looks good. Enjoy your trip! I wish I was joining you...

06-07-2011, 12:44
Stay at the campground (Katahdin Stream) . Get a reservation for the night after your hike up Katahdin.
You exit Baxter State Park at Abol Bridge. You are NOT allowed to camp within the state park except at designated campgrounds. If you want to hike the park the next day (10 miles) and stay at the campground there at Abol Bridge, they are hiker friendly and have specific sites for hikers. Store is right there too as are showers, etc. Or you could hike to Hurd for that night, but it's a longer second day
AT Lodge takes care of hikers.

Pack weight too heavy. Need to cut
A small jackknife has tweezers in it, I think Leatherman is too heavy
Don't need comb, gear repair kit (just take a small amt of duct tape)
You have way too much fuel. Bring one like a 8 oz. which lasts 2 weeks. You can mail yourself a fuel can NOW surface mail to Stratton PO (have to do it NOW though!!!! Takes at least 2 weeks). Next place to get fuel is Gorham. BTW - a pocket rocket is a good stove, BTW. I used mine for 2 hikes. But you have too much fuel.
Clothing - You have way too many clothes. don't need gloves now. NO cotton! One pair of convertible pants will work as nylon pant and shorts. One long sleeve shirt, one or 2 short sleeve shirts (NO cotton), sweater is fine
A headnet will fit over your hat and head. No need for another hat

Your food is gonna get old real real fast. Ramen has no nutritional value whatsoever. Check out my hiking blog for ideas on what I brought for other options.
Your main food resupply option is White House Landing in the 100 mile wilderness. I'd resupply there. Expensive but a good option
Bring Aqua Mira not a water pump or tablets

Lord Helment
06-07-2011, 13:11
i pretty much agree with blissful regarding reducing your pack weight.....abol store has ok supplies but they are a little pricey......i would not try to resupply at jo mary road unless you are paying for a food drop there, it's a long lonely dirt road....white house landing is pricey also....i am going sobo in july and am carrying enough food to get from baxter to monson....probably 8 days......i've been through the 100 mile wilderness 5 times...it's a great place....have a great hike

Lord Helment
06-07-2011, 13:14
ps katahdin stream is almost full on the 13th...if you haven't already, i'd give them a call

06-07-2011, 14:21
Ok, I will get rid of one polypropylene pants and one long sleeve shirt. Considering that I have a primaloft sweater, which shirt should I keep: the lighter polyester or the polypropylene?

Also, I'll leave at least one pair of gloves.

I'm including the cotton shirt so I can wear something in town that doesn't stink.

I don't think I'll do any mail drops, so I guess I'll have to wait till Gorham to refuel. That's almost 300 miles from Katahdin. As someone who's hiked the trail with a Pocket Rocket, are the cannisters generally that hard to find along the trail?

Three things I forgot to mention:
Neck gaiter -- 1.2 oz.
Protein supplement -- 11.0 oz.
Rain jacket -- 12.7 oz.

Blissful -- I read some of your blog articles and found some helpful advice, especially the food article. Where does one find foil packets of chicken and tuna?

06-07-2011, 14:30
@ Lord Helment -- Thanks, you too. I'm really excited. I just booked at KSC for June 13th. I think I decided to hold off on White House Landing and not resupply until Monson.

Lord Helment
06-07-2011, 14:55
you can get more fuel in monson also...glad you got in at katahdin stream....there is a campsite (a few actually) across from the store at abol bridge right on the penobscot river...beautiful spot...i've stayed there before...i think they're nicer than the campground behind the store....10 miles from katahdin stream...nice easy 2nd day as the trail rolls along.....hurd brook lean sucks in my opinion...it's dark and buggy....way better to stay at either spot by the river........katahdin is a hard climb....in shape or not.......hope you have a great hike

mountain squid
06-07-2011, 16:08
Looks very heavy. Some observations:

hydration tube for drinking on the go and extra water storage
needle for draining blisters
keep the Companion for town info - data book is superfluous (big word for the day) with the Companion - consider bouncing parts of the Comp ahead
leave the extra book until you have your hiking legs
food bag appears heavy - sil nylon stuff sack is sufficient
tp, of course
pencil instead of pen
ear plugs

lots of clothing - will you ever wear all at the same time? if not, consider leaving some behind
definitely leave cotton - wear rain jacket while washing hiking clothes, if nothing else
vary your food choices - tuna/chicken packets are avail in most food stores, probably right where the cans are

Shaw's Lodging in Monson has small campstore which might have fuel canisters. Canisters can be difficult to find on the trail.

Reconsider stopping at White House Landing.

You'll want your cold weather gear in the Whites.

Snickers bars, power bars, jerky, trail mix, lipton sides, and, of course, Snickers bars.

Never stayed at ATLodge but Ole Man and Navigator are very nice.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

See you on the trail,
mt squid

06-07-2011, 16:54
get rid of the shovel- use a stick, the comb, the cotton hat and shirt and last but not leaast the gloves with liners- use a pair of a socks.

06-07-2011, 17:27
Thanks for the replies. Just called Shaw's Lodge in Monson, they said they do sell the cannisters.

I'm not bringing a shovel. Might consider picking up a whistle. I think tomorrow I will swap my heavy food bag for a silnylon one. Also maybe look at aluminum pots. I wanna bring the comb and cotton shirt for going out when I'm in towns. Comb only weighs .1 oz.

Maybe I'll swap hats too. What type should I get if I'm looking for sun protection? Or maybe I could get by w/o one? I do have sun block.

Will a 5 oz. polyester long sleeve suffice in the Whites along with the Primaloft sweater or should I bring the 7.6 oz. polypropylene instead?

Also, maybe I'll leave a few extra batteries at home.

06-07-2011, 18:37
You can get chicken and tuna packets at places like wally world

Not many towns to "go out" in for a long time. Monson is very small and they have clothes you can wear while you shower. I'd at least bump that stuff to Hanover and see if you still want it then :)

Migrating Bird
06-07-2011, 18:54
If you only bring a pull over hat, you will be fine, no need for a sun hat IMHO. You will be in the woods/shade/rain most of the time. Only one pair of pants, I did not see a rain jacket/wind shirt? Thinks layers, if you are cold, add a layer - not just switching to a one heavier item. Gotta get the pack wgt down. +1 on aqua mira - bring powder drink mix like lemonaid - ocean spray has some packets cran-grape was one of my favorites.

I stayed at Katadin stream 2 nights - before and after hiking up Katahdin. Hurd Brook shelter is in an ugly spot.

Why biners with your hammock, I used tree straps, marlin spike hitch with stick from campsite and whoopies slings for hammock - small niteize biner & figure eight for tarp ridge line. check out hammock forums.

Only one polypro long sleeve shirt, use it at night for sleeping, I wore shorts and ss shirt all the time to hike in cold - warm - rain or sun once you are moving you will warm up fine. I used two pairs of socks for hiking, kept one clean for sleeping. Consider a pair of low gaiters, they keep all the mud and curd out of your shoes and your socks and feet cleaner.

Ben's 100% deet liquid bottle not spray.

Cut the Maine section out of the companion and carry it along with only the section maps you need until your next resupply. I only carried one or two maps at a time and bounced the rest to my next resupply. - mail drops and/bounce box to a business which is open 7 days not to Post Office which is only open certian hours. It sucks to arrive on Sat. afternoon and have to wait until Monday to get your drop from the PO.

Pine Ellis lodge in Andover is great, pick up, drop off at trailhead. It is a 9 mile hitch into Rangley, not hiker friendly town, but a great grocery store.

Resupplys I did last year were

Monson, Stratton, Northern Outdoors 2 miles north of Caratuck, Rangley, Andover, Gorham, NH

I did not stop at WHLanding and Pierce Pond Camps but wish I did. Only one fuel canister will get you to monson.

Have a great hike, it is amazing.

M. Bird

P.S. Dawn at Shaws is awesome as are the breakfasts. She has quite a good store of hiker supplies.

06-07-2011, 19:29
I'm starting a SOBO June 21st or 22nd so maybe we will run into each other! Anyways i've lived in the whites and in Maine my whole life and I would stick with the 7.6oz polypro. It might be a tiny bit of overkill but it's only a matter of 2.6 oz. and up here u just never know. better to air on the side of caution. also I would do without a hat if you have sunblock. Also im shaving my head before I leave so i wont need a comb..lol good luck!

06-07-2011, 23:22
Thanks for all the input. I will update the gear list when I get back from the store tomorrow.

Where does one find an aqua mira?

Migrating Bird
06-08-2011, 07:53
Aqua Mira can be found in most sporting goods stores even Dick's. Get the two part (A & B) in the small (tiny) bottles, weighs nothing, last forever. http://aquamira.com/consumer/aquamira-water-treatment-drops/choose-right