View Full Version : REI, Half-Moon or miscellaneous Outdoorshop in Atlanta

10-18-2012, 00:26
Hey Guys,

I'm thru-hiking in 2013 and had the following thought regarding buying the gear.

Why would I buy all the stuff here in Germany where it is (so I've been told) more expensive and then go to all the trouble lumbering it around to and from the airports and the various trains and busses, when I could buy it in Atlanta the day before I start my hike? Also, I'm 6' 7" and think there might be a bigger choice of oversized stuff (sleeping bag, sleeping pad) for not oversized cost. It seems to me that here they make an unjustified amount of extra cash out of people who need to buy larger stuff. Is 6'7" even regarded "oversize" in the U.S. ?
I would buy the boots here to break them in, but apart from that, I'm shure I can get everything else in Atlanta. It's a big City.

Am I being naive here?

10-18-2012, 00:38
You may find it useful to do some hikes with all your gear before you start a thru attempt. That way you can make adjustments before you hit Springer and getting new gear what to do with old gear becomes more complicated. Also you don't want to be trying pitch your tent, set up hammock, light your stove, whatever, for the first time in a cold rain at hawk mtn. So not trying to be harsh but yeah a bit on the naive side.

Feral Bill
10-18-2012, 01:09
6'7" is very tall here. Backpacking clothing is nearly unobtainable in even regular tall sizes, except at LL Bean. Extra long Sleeping bags and so forth will not likely be on the shelves anywhere you look. See REIs catalog, and if they sell what you need, you can arrange to have it shipped ahead to their Atlanta store. Good luck, it is a tough problem.

10-18-2012, 08:03
You'll do even better if you can arrange to have someone accept some packages for you. You might be able to get a mail box here through a company like Mailboxes Etc or Postal Annex.

I don't see much of a need to use your gear if you have backpacking experience and buy good gear.

Here would be a nice safe gear list to start with:
Lightheart Gear SoLong 6 (mail order)
Gossamer Gear LT4 trekking poles (mail order)
ULA Circuit (mail order)
EnLIGHTened Equipment Revelation custom quilt, wide and 30% overstuffed if you haven't used a quilt before (mail order)
Blackrock Gear down hat (mail order)
Neoair (REI, but you might want to mail order a specific model through them)
Jetboil Sol Titanium (REI, but you might have to mail order this through them)
Stuff sacks (REI)
MSR Groundhogs or Easton pegs (REI) or titanium hook stakes (mail order, mountainfitter.com)
Gossamer gear bear bag food hanging system (mail order)

Rain gear is tough. You could always settle for a Dri Duck suit or poncho from Walmart until you decide what you want, and then have that delivered to you later. Some mail order options include the Golite poncho and The Packa.

You might do better to bring most of your clothing with you, especially with your insulating layer. That will give you time to find lightweight suitable clothing that'll fit your large frame.

This gets you on the trail with a very light setup that's been proven by many other long distance hikers, and is fairly easy to use.

Feral Bill
10-18-2012, 14:26
I took a look around. Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends will make you (for a price) a sleeping bag that will be long enough. Otherwise, "long" bags got to 6'6".

10-18-2012, 15:25
I live in Atlanta and REI is about the only outdoor store. But since I have been long distance backpacking REI doesn't have what I need or should I saw what I want. All the light weight equipment you need to buy on line. But how about the size of your equipment/clothes. How will you know if it fits? Do you have any experience? What about your food? Do you have any equipment now? How long do you have in the States to hike? When are the dates you are planning on starting? How are are getting from the airport to Springer mountain?
I hiked a little with a lady from Germany this year. Union Jill was her trail nae. She was not prepared her bag was to light and she was cold every night. She had trouble with her stove. Someone gave her a wind shield. White Blazes is the place for you to ask questions. Glad to see you on here.

10-20-2012, 01:02
I don't see much of a need to use your gear if you have backpacking experience and buy good gear.

It stands to reason that one with backpacking experience would own most of their gear already.

Also deciding on a quilt for a thru blind, does not seem like a great idea IMO. That is just the kind of stuff to shakedown and find out what works best for the individual.

Kaptain Kangaroo
10-20-2012, 06:16
I think it would be false economy to try to buy all your gear when you land in the US. You will most likely end up having to make compromises based on what is available at the time & the odds are you will want to replace some items during your hike, blowing any possible savings that you had made. Reseach your gear carefully, (lots of information on here) & buy it & try it out at home before you go. You will probably save more money that way.

Lots of equipment can be shipped to Germany anyway, so you can still take advantage of the larger selection in the US and lower prices (even with international shipping)

10-20-2012, 06:37
I am leaving a couple of items until I get there but they are all non critical and the plan is to update some things like a new rain jacket, a torch for me, a headlight for my son etc.
All of these I have and will bring, but hope to get a better one and put the other as backup in a bounce box.
Water filtration/purification is the only important item I am leaving until Atlanta. This is because I don't need/use one here and options are better over there and they are common items in outdoor stores there it would appear.
You should get your big 4 - shelter, pack, bag/mattress and stove - before you leave or be 100% sure you have it ready for you and that it all fits/suits.
Personally I am a big fan of ULA packs and Henry Shires TarpTents. They and their closest competitors/alternatives are best bought online anyway. Yes you will pay extra for postage but you can then get used to them before you go.

10-20-2012, 11:04
If you wait until you get to Atlanta to buy the majority of your stuff, then you are stuck with whatever REI has. You could easily buy what you need for the hike but it might not be exactly what you want. I think the majority of thrus end up buying from a number of different places. So, my suggestion would be start looking at various websites and identify what you want. When you get your list together, talk to Josh and Leigh at the Hiker Hostel. See if they would be ok with you shipping your purchases to them. Book a spot with them and spend a couple of days getting over the jet lag and sorting your stuff out. If you have to go back into Atlanta for something, they could shuttle you down to the MARTA train or make arrangements to get you there.

Feral Bill
10-20-2012, 12:30
If you wait until you get to Atlanta to buy the majority of your stuff, then you are stuck with whatever REI has. You could easily buy what you need for the hike but it might not be exactly what you want. .

True enough for most people, but this person is 6'8". "Fit" items are not going to happen at REI, or any other single source.

turtle fast
10-21-2012, 01:59
What you can do also is buy your gear online like REI, Campmor, backcountry.com, LL Bean, from US based companies and have it shipped to where you are going to be staying like for example the AT hiker Hostel and have it shipped there. (Just contact to verify that it is ok to ship there for you) Just buy your boots in Deutchland and break them in and bring some personal items. Tents, stoves, sleeping bags, backpacks, water filters or purification systems are best bought here. Much cheaper and more selection.