View Full Version : New to This

09-18-2012, 11:49
Alright everybody, I am going to need help. My wife and I are planning are doing some Appalachian hiking this May. The plan is to start in Georgia. We hope to hike all of Georgia. We have no experience in camping/hiking. We have done a few day hikes here and there but nothing noteworthy. We have started looking to buy equipment but really have no idea what to get (whats good, whats bad, what is expensive, where to buy ect) Any tips will help this process go easier. Also besides gear what are some things her and I can do to start getting ready for this trip. (She is in pretty good shape, I could be a little better in shape.) Thank you in advance.

09-18-2012, 12:08
First, welcome!

Second, stuff you'll need. Really, start with the basics and work up from there.
1. Shelter - Tent, tarp/bug-netting. Always carry some form of shelter, even if you're planning on staying at an AT lean-to.
2. Sleeping bag and sleeping pad - yes, you need both. 20* sleeping bags are good 3-season bags.
3. Backpack - generally, buy this last once you know how large of a pack you'll need to fit everything in.

A good place to look for gear online is Campmor.com.

09-18-2012, 12:21
I wrote this for beginners. On the more conservative side, but you want to walk before you run. :)


Once you get the equipment, you really should get out there and hike. Nothing is going to teach you what works for you more than getting out there and using the equipment. Plus it is fun!

max patch
09-18-2012, 12:23
I would suggest you consider renting gear for your first trip. REI rents backpacks, tents. Make your first trip a 2 day, 1 night hike; say Springer to Hawk. Get the ATC Georgia-NC Guidebook. If you decide to buy gear, one place to shop is Mountain Crossings at Neels Gap - you may even want to consider a day hike up to Blood Mtn and combine it with a stop at the store.

09-18-2012, 13:53
I would second the suggestion on Campmor.com as a source of camping gear (been using them myself for 20 years).

But I would also suggest you look at REI.com. Since you are at the start of buying camping gear, apply for an REI membership. It's a once-in-a-life-time fee of something like $20. But what that membership entitles you is a 10% rebate (a year later) on all your full-price gear purchased at REI. That does NOT mean that you'll get better deals with REI. What I frequently find is that gear at REI is often 10% more expensive than at Campmor... effectively cancelling the 10% rebate.

But the real key is going to be doing some comparison shopping. Some times a piece of gear will be the same price at REI and Campmor (so you're better off with the 10% discount at REI). Sometimes the REI gear is "on-sale" (when the 10% rebate won't apply) and the price between REI and Campmor will be the same. Sometimes, Campmor will have a "Hot Deal" that far exceeds the 10% rebate you can get at REI. And finally, there are somethings that Campmor sells that REI doesn't, and some things that REI sells that Campmor doesn't.

One other major difference between REI and Campmor. At Campmor, you currently get free standard shipping on orders of $100 or more. At REI, you get the free standard shipping on orders of $50 or more. The difference is meaningless when you're buying things like tents and backpacks. But when you find that you need just a few more small items for your next trip, the difference in the shipping rates can sometimes make REI more attractive even if they have a slightly higher price.

09-18-2012, 14:39
Yeah Campmor and other places on the WEB are cool places to check out, but my advice to you is to have lots of PATIENCE with your self's and each other and especially with your gear whatever that may be. RED-DOG ( Flip-Flop 96 & GA-ME 06 & GA-ME 2012 ).