View Full Version : Summer Thru Hike Gear/Clothes Suggestions

05-07-2013, 23:12
Hey I am planning a summer thru hike nobo starting in june till august. I plan on hammocking (hennessey exp.) any tips on gear or weather or what i can sub since its bound to be at least a little warmer. Most specifically looking for sleeping bag tips, i do sleep kinda warm.


05-08-2013, 08:51
Look at Enlightened Equipment quilts. I'm not a hanger, but I got a EE Rev X 30F quilt last year for a summer trip and it was fine. It even worked great for a week of wet snow and 30F temps at the start of the trip.

Your experience will be as important as your gear. You won't need much clothing in hot weather, but you'll want to keep it clean with frequent trail washings to avoid skin problems. Sweat and dirt are a tough combination on skin.

One advantage of a quilt is that it stayed cleaner than a bag since I never actually slept on it.

You might want to try going stoveless for at least part of your trip. There are a few threads here on that, if you can get the search function to work (doesn't always seem to).

You might consider some night hiking if the heat's a problem, so a good headlamp and extra batteries might be in order. The AT is not hard to follow at night.

Welcome to Whiteblaze. Have a good trip.

05-08-2013, 10:44
Thanks, yea I was considering a quilt and I have a pretty good headlamp already but do the temps really get that bad that its horrid to hike during the day? And im planning on just doing a fancy feast stove which weighs nothing because no matter how hot it is I still prefer a cooked meal at dinner.

Thanks :)

05-08-2013, 10:56
Indeed Welcome to Whiteblaze! :welcome

Yes it can get that hot. It's not unusual to get temps in the mid-atlantic, even up into New England, that are in the 80s or 90s during the day, even at elevation. I was quite surprised by this on a July hike last summer in Connecticut and Massachusetts. I was expecting tempts to be 10 degrees or so cooler north and higher but we roasted instead. The humidity was high and it was just generally unpleasant. Night hiking in those conditions can bring a good bit of relief.

With a nobo hike you're going to be following the heat instead of chasing the spring like earlier nobos do. Have you considered a SOBO attempt instead?

Your 3 month timetable sounds doable but aggressive (my unqualified opinion). If you hit the whites in August you may be ok with a 30 degree bag but if you slide into September or we have a cooler summer you may want something warmer or at least some warm clothes to sleep in as part of your sleep system. I plan to hit the Whites this summer in August and am planning to bring my 25 degree quilt and all my winter weight gear. I hope I don't need it but don't want to find out the hard way that I do. There's always work for stay at the huts but that's a busy time of year and it might be difficult to get it.

Your fancy feast stove is fine. There's lots of opinions on the best cook systems, cook kits, no cook, etc. Bottom line: do what you like. Having a few no-cook meals mixed in is a help though when you've just hiked your 2nd, 3rd, etc. 25 mile day in a row and you just want to eat and go to bed even though it's only 5 o'clock. I love hot suppers too but there've been a few times I've wished I had something more instant.

05-08-2013, 12:07
The no-cook system works well for a faster hike. It's not about the weight, just less fuss. Finding fuel in town is one more chore that's best avoided if you're hiking long days. It's also easier to resupply at convenience stores if you don't need to find stuff to cook and that sometimes saves a trip into town for a real grocery store. Mealtimes are faster. You can be more flexible in campsite selection--you don't need as much water so dry camps are easier.

In the Eastern humidity, it often doesn't cool down very quickly or very much at night, but just being out of the sun is nice. I don't like to hike all night, but I like to make the most of pre-dawn and post-sunset hours, and find a shady breezy spot with water to sit out the midday heat. Or maybe plan a "nearo" day in town and do your shopping, eating, laundry etc.

05-08-2013, 15:31
Thanks, yea I was considering a quilt and I have a pretty good headlamp already but do the temps really get that bad that its horrid to hike during the day? And im planning on just doing a fancy feast stove which weighs nothing because no matter how hot it is I still prefer a cooked meal at dinner.

Thanks :)

I just got a Jacks R Better 40-F quilt for my upcoming summer hike, to use instead of my WM Megalite in my hammock. The WM bag was just too warm. The JrB quilt seems very well made. Mine is a Shenandoah Quilt, and I got the hanging kit to use it as an underquilt in colder weather.

Clothes: I hike in nylon shorts and a 150-wt merino wool t-shirt (Smartwool Microweight), light wool socks, mesh trail runners, and a nylon ball cap. Considering wearing my Tilley hat instead, as it provides nice sun protection in open areas and on road walks, but I expect it will be too hot in the woods.

I carry a long sleeved wool shirt and a second pair of nylon hiking shorts for camp/town/sleeping. If I expect cool weather I'll bring a microfleece zip tee. I always have a fleece beanie or balaclava, and a second pair of wool socks. I do carry a rain shell and a homemade rain kilt, which work well in cold heavy rain. I've tried a light poncho and an umbrella, and have gone back to the rain shell/kilt combo. I might bring flip flops for camp.

I have a roll top cuben pack liner and a pack cover, given the usual afternoon thunderstorms. I bought a Maccat Deluxe tarp for my Hennessy hammock, which I hang separately from the hammock body so I have a place to cook, pack, etc., in the rain. Love the hammock, btw. I use a torso length closed cell foam pad inside the hammock for warmth, it's also great on breaks for a place to sit.

I gave up carrying a stove in the summer ten years ago, during a hot spell in Georgia when the last thing I wanted to eat at night was another hot pan of gloppy noodles. Cold food is tastier, easier to buy/carry/eat, and offers more variety. I fulfill my coffee addiction with Starbucks Iced Via packets, one or two per day. Love 'em. I'm not quite ready to go cold-food year 'round yet, like Garlic.

The old adage of "ten before 10 and five after 5" still works pretty well, and I'm generally up and on the trail by first light. I can eat my Pop Tarts and drink my iced coffee while I walk, or at my first break. I don't stop hiking completely during the day, but I do find that holing up for three hours at lunch, somewhere in the shade with lots of water available, helps a lot in making the miles without total heat exhaustion.

Expect the trail to be overgrown with poison ivy and stinging nettles, with clouds of noseeums and flies massed around your head, diving at the gallons of sweat dripping into your eyes as you hike. (No, it's not really that bad, but if you expect it, then you'll be pleasantly surprised :) )

Hope this helps. Have fun.