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  1. #1
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    Default A.T. logistics for a hiker from Europe

    hello to you all

    i am from the netherlands and i want to tru hike the a.t. in 2018 so i am researching everything i can find read and on youtube and of course read the whiteblaze forum but one question i still have after looking evrywhere on the internets i am from europ and here is not so match info to find on tru hiking


    1.
    i see that the most of you come from the u.s and the most of you sending stuff home or getting stuff send back from home to the trial how should i do that its to expenseve to send stuff back to the netherlands and back ?


    2.
    are there here people that are planning for the 2018 season if so i want to get in contact whit you to talk about hinking the at and to bounce of ideas i have



    hope you all can help me whit these things Thanks




    Greats Roel

    p.s. sorry for my bad english

  2. #2
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    been through that too, leaving for the US on Sunday, and i got to the point, if i don't need it, i will just get rid of it

    bit more expensive in the long run, but hopefully i have done my homework good enough and don't end up with that

    only thing i can think off i maybe will throw away at some point is the stove, but that is only because i don't know if i even want to bring it in the first place

  3. #3
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    The mail drops are a time-proven method of getting some resupply while on the trail. It is not mandatory. You can hike the AT without a single mail drop. You will need to plan on going into towns for your resupply, which you would have to do with most mail drops anyway. You can resupply anywhere there is product for sale! Even petrol stations have peanut butter, SPAM, noodles, soup mixes, tinned tuna, dried meats, etc...

    All that said, if you have extra time you can even avoid bringing gear over, or worse, purchasing gear in NL for a trip in the USA. Just buy it here. You will save the VAT and likely get a lower purchase price. REI is almost a one-stop AT thru-hike shop and every major city(and many minor ones) has at least one REI store.

    The only resupply you will likely need is food, batteries, fuel, medicine and seasonal clothing changes. This is perhaps the only situation where a visitor to the US is at a disadvantage. Your hike will start in one season and end in another. The weather will change dramatically. Some folks get their summer sleeping bag shipped and they ship back their winter bag when they pick up the summer bag. Same with winter clothing v. summer clothing. Same with footwear, even. Possibly even shelters...for the wealthy gear freaks among us...

    Don't bother posting anything from NL to US unless you can't source it in the US...costs more to purchase and the post rate is outrageous. Plus, I've never had anything posted from NL that didn't arrive battered and bruised in the US.

    I would advise buying your clothing and footwear in NL, though. We Americans are a bit vertically challenged compared to the Dutch...just sayin....

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    If you haven't availed yourself of these resources...AWOL's AT guide is the time-proven book, whiteblazepages is brand new...



    http://www.theatguide.com/

    https://whiteblazepages.com/

  5. #5

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    If you know someone here, or can make a new friend, you could perhaps have them as a resource to help you with gear shipping. When you are ready to exchange your winter sleeping bag, say, have them send your summer bag to you (at the mail drop ahead on the trail), and you then send them your winter bag & clothing (but I wouldn't do it all at once, as you get surprised by the weather sometimes). Your friend could hold onto the gear till you're ready to take it (or ship it) home, or help you sell it when you are ready. Mail drops aren't that complicated if you use the guid books & time your town visits right, but you would need someone here. Or you could use the "bounce box" method - that's where you mail stuff to yourself to a post office ahead on the trail & mark the box so that the postmaster will hold the box till a certain date. (One of the guidebooks or this site can explain how that is done.)

  6. #6
    Registered User Glogg's Avatar
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    You can use the postal service to help with this. We call it a bounce box.

    Address a package to
    Your Name
    c/o General Delivery
    City, State, Zip Code

    When you get to that town, you have your extra gear. Or a chance to send gear ahead if you don't need it yet.
    We call it a bounce box because if you don't need it you can ask the clerk to forward it to another town and they will do so. Some people use plastic buckets. Others use the cardboard boxes at the post office.

    cheers,
    Glogg

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    r-boom If you decide to discard your rain gear in 2018 I'll be happy to take it from you I'm just gonna carry what I start with up to where I finish. Everything weighs less than 20 pounds so it will be a consistent weight, neither too heavy nor too light. If you want to contact me at my profile I'll give you my email. I can speak/read Dutch reasonably well so we should make ourselves understood
    JEgestad - you might want to check that your stove and the thread of your gas canister match, as Europe and the US have left/right twisting versions.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTT View Post
    JEgestad - you might want to check that your stove and the thread of your gas canister match, as Europe and the US have left/right twisting versions.
    ahh diddnt know that, was thinking that was a no brainer, thanks

  9. #9

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    You can discard items (hikers boxes, etc), sell them online (popular gear is easy to sell), mail them forward to a post office
    It won't be a big deal. If you start early and have a lot of cold gear that you sell off, you may need to add a layer or two at the end of your hike, but that can be easily done cheaply at an outfitter along the trail, a fleece or extra layer from walmart, thin gloves/beanie or an extra layer at the dollar store, etc

  10. #10
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    The only real challenge is your sleeping bag. At the beginning of your hike, you will want a bag that is good down to about -10 celsius, or if you are a cold sleeper, you might even want a warmer bag. After a couple of months, you'll be fine with a 0-degree celsius bag, and that's when American citizens have their family mail their summer bag to them, and then they mail their winter bag back home. In general, a sleeping bag bought from the "value segment" of the market will be about US$200-250 for the cold weather bag and US$100-150 for the warm weather bag. You can come to America with both bags, and then simply bounce your warm weather bag up the trail for a couple of months using the US postal service. However, with the amount invested, it might actually be worth mailing the cold weather bag back to Holland (ouch!). I wouldn't bother tryng to sell your used gear while hiking the trail, as it's a considerable nuisance to do so.

    Don't worry about the rest of your cold weather gear. You'll probably start out in Georgia with a micro fleece, a puffy jacket, a beanie, gloves, and some sort of synthetic underwear. Most of that gear is inexpensive and you can simply discard what you no longer need when the weather warms up (ie, a pair of gloves is only $5, a cheap micro fleece is about $25, and the underwear is probably less than $50...what is more, after using your gear for a couple of months, it will be somewhat depreciated anyway so just abandon them in a town if you no longer feel like carrying cold weather gear that you no longer need).

  11. #11
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    Discarding items is not as cheap as you might think. I do not have the time to shop in local stores in the USA before embarking on a hike, and as such buy off the internet. This naturally jacks up the price due to shipping costs. An example is a simple Zseat that costs $8-10, and would cost me more that $75. As strange as it sounds, I'm forced to source it from Saudi Arabia as US companies don't export this particular item in my direction. I live in a cotton fabric society where nobody within a thousand miles wears a puffy, so you can see where I'm coming from.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTT View Post
    Discarding items is not as cheap as you might think. I do not have the time to shop in local stores in the USA before embarking on a hike, and as such buy off the internet. This naturally jacks up the price due to shipping costs. An example is a simple Zseat that costs $8-10, and would cost me more that $75. As strange as it sounds, I'm forced to source it from Saudi Arabia as US companies don't export this particular item in my direction. I live in a cotton fabric society where nobody within a thousand miles wears a puffy, so you can see where I'm coming from.

    Yes, in your case, it sounds like you'd probably be best off to simply come to America a couple of days before your hike and buy the gear that you need. Afterall, if you're taking 150+ days to hike the trail, what's another couple of days for pre-hike gear acquisition and logistics? Just bring some extra US dollars with you and hit an REI store before beginning the hike.

  13. #13
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    I hiked part of Maine with a young man from Denmark. If you like, I'll put the two of you in touch. It was a short section hike on the AT.

    Actually, the thread is still here on WB, if you want to search for it. Or, let me know and I'll look up the link for you.

    Sent you a PM.
    Last edited by Rain Man; 03-21-2017 at 22:20.
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  14. #14
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    Default A.T. logistics for a hiker from Europe response

    hey hallo

    thanks for the many responses and help full tips

    thinks i have to look more in to

    1. bounce box
    2. summer / winter sleeping bag in 1 or one for winter and then buy one for the sumer
    3. try to buy thinks so i can carry all from start to finish ?
    4. look for people from the u.s. that can help me or where i can send stuff to and then can pick it up after the hike

    but i can not fly there and then buy all the stuff that i need i think i am doing some hiking here in europe to prep for the a.t. hike next year i am doing the west highland trail and one more that i not yet know

    more helpfull tips are always welcome
    Gr Roel

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTT View Post
    Discarding items is not as cheap as you might think. I do not have the time to shop in local stores in the USA before embarking on a hike, and as such buy off the internet. This naturally jacks up the price due to shipping costs. An example is a simple Zseat that costs $8-10, and would cost me more that $75. As strange as it sounds, I'm forced to source it from Saudi Arabia as US companies don't export this particular item in my direction. I live in a cotton fabric society where nobody within a thousand miles wears a puffy, so you can see where I'm coming from.
    Given those prices, an extra day in the US would save you more than a hotel room, just on a Zseat! You don't have cold weather gear in your country, but you can't be arsed to stop at Walmart on the way to the trail to buy some cheap cold weather gear?

    How is it that out of 150-180 days on the trail you cannot spare a single day for shopping prior to your start of your hike? Just take one less zero day....or am I missing something here? If your schedule for thru hiking is so tight that you can't spare a single day, I have some very very very bad news for you....

  16. #16
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    Default Order for pickup at REI

    If you plan a nobo hike, you can order online from REI and have it sent to the Atlanta store for pickup when you fly in.

    One possible strategy for the two sleeping bags issue is to have say a 30degree F (O degree C) or a 20 degree F (~-6 degree C) down bag which you supplement with a silk liner (to help keep clean and preserve loft) and a down puffy to add extra warmth. If it is going to be a cold night you can wear layers in the bag. If it is a particularly warm night, you can sleep in the silk liner with the open sleeping bag at your side to pull over you if you get cold overnight. Also, don't underestimate the importance of the insulation your sleeping pad provides. I love my Xtherm both for its comfort and warmth.
    Handlebar
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  17. #17
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    It's much easier to arrive prepared like a good boy scout... and just grab a gas canister, than go shopping for things that might fit or not fit into a backpack, or get bum rushed into buying clothing that I'm unfamiliar with. (Make haste slowly
    It makes more sense to me to spend extra time hanging about when/if I reach Maine. I'm in no hurry. I have American friends who live along the way that I will be visiting. My visa is for 10 years BUT I have a person looking after my fish tanks and keeping my car battery alive for 7 months. My utilities with be paid in advance.

  18. #18
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    Default Two Sleeping Bags?

    I thru-hiked last year with one sleeping bag, a Western Mountaineering Sycamore (25F rated). With an insulated pad it was fine even though I departed on March 17 from Springer. I was never cold, and I'm a cold sleeper. Of course, I wore some warm clothing on some of the colder nights. It fully unzips to become a quilt, so it worked fine in warmer weather also. I'd carry the same bag if I were to thru-hike again. There is no need for two bags.

  19. #19
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    yes i am going for one sleeping bag for the hole tru hike its going to be this one i think http://yetiworld.com/tension-mummy-5...al-blue/p/112/ its 37.4 Fahrenheit so whit iner liner it should be warm enough i hope

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by r-boom View Post
    yes i am going for one sleeping bag for the hole tru hike its going to be this one i think http://yetiworld.com/tension-mummy-5...al-blue/p/112/ its 37.4 Fahrenheit so whit iner liner it should be warm enough i hope
    A liner is only going to give you a +10F. At least, any breathable/comfortable liner. That will take you to 28F. I would guess that if you started March 15 you would encounter at least 10 and probably 20 nights with night temps well lower than 28F. That is essentially a 2.1 pound 40 degree bag. I would take something warmer by at least 10 degrees....

    I am all for the liner/bag system and use it myself. But, it has limitations that you must be prepared to deal with. If you have your bag and a liner(for a min. temp of about 30F) and the temps get below 20F(which, they do!) you are going to be putting on all your layers and likely your rain gear in an effort to stay warm. And, you aren't going to sleep well/at all. If you aren't going to get a warmer bag, then just be prepared to deal with temps below 30F....

    If it were me, I'd take a 30 degree bag(2pounds) and a good liner. I wouldn't give up the 10 degrees because it wouldn't save me any weight and I've been through all of the AT on Georgia and NC in March and April. I had about twelve nights well below 30F, and one night well below 20F. Even with a liner, I deployed my rain gear that night...

    This year has been brutal, weather-wise, and you likely would have had to bail the trail with that sleep system for a couple of nights...

    I suppose it does depend a bit on your start date, but unless you are leaving after April 15, I'd get a warmer bag.

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