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A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #21
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle-2013 View Post
    You are being given some good advise here ... listen to it ... BUT, in the end you have to make your own decisions based on your own experiences. Some of the "need to's" are a matter of style, and not the only safe way ... for instance no offence to Egilbe, but I wouldn't eat "ramen, peanut butter, salami, hot sauce and soup mix" unless my life depended on it ; ) ... and I have know people who have carried heavy packs (up to 90#) the entire length of the trail. SO, while I would cut out a lot of what you have, make other substitutions, and go as light as I can ... that is MY style based on 50 years of my hiking experiences, and it works for me. What will work for you is a different matter, and assuming you can survive the experience, experience will be the BEST teacher ... have a great hike!!!
    No, offense taken :-) I wouldn’t eat it either.

    oh yeah, the pack is too big. Shouldnt need anything larger than a 65liter pack, and probably 55liter would be better.

  2. #22
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    I've got a first aid kit I haul around in my daypack (when I might have 5-10 lbs, including water) and on vacations (beach, boats, etc.)

    It's 8 oz with everything people recommend here, plus some extra stuff, and all in a hard, waterproof case.

    For hiking the case becomes a ziplock and the weight drops to a couple of ounces.

  3. #23
    Registered User Sovi's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all the advice, I asked for it because I felt I needed it. As I said earlier my list is still incomplete and am still picking up a few things. I have some items ordered but not yet delivered.( didnt want to put anything on there, not already in my possession).
    As far as the hammock goes no I will not be using it in the snow, and I 'could' use the tarp I have as a footprint for the tent as a cover for hammock if needed. I can use the tents tie offs to tie off the tarp.
    You say leave the cotton at home? Sleep in synthetics then? I have heard advice both ways on that. cotton is more comfortable to sleep in, synthetics not so much. Maybe TMI but as a nude sleeper it's going to take some adjustment already to sleep with the constraints of clothing on. When I get my long underwear I'll try sleeping in it and see how it goes. I chose synthetic over down because of the washability of synthetics and the uselessness of down once it gets wet. I am a very hot sleeper so I anticipated sweat soaking my bag and possibly losing all warmth value because of it.
    As far as the sleeping pad goes...any recommends ( something I don't have yet but am planning on getting, just haven't decided) I don't need it for comfort just it's resistance value. I am used to sleeping on hard surfaces and prefer it to a bed. Something that wont get wet, (maybe closed foam) is compact and lightweight.
    Good point about mosquito/tick protection something I hadn't considered. Though I will be having my clothing and gaiters treated.
    I based my pack size on a couple of things. 1. I want everything inside my pack. 2. I have a teton 25L day pack I use for my local hikes. Having packed it with what I already have, unpacking and placing the rest in, and then adding in the space I will need for my food 60L was a tight fit. I want to be able to carry enough food to last me 7-10 days. I know I wont need to all of the time, but I want to be able to when I do. There are several places I have seen on the trail where towns are several miles away. I would like to avoid having to trek to those for resupply. I may not be able to.. we'll see.

    As for a February start, I know it's going to be really friggin cold, but I have a goal of summiting Katahdin by Aug 9th which is my 42 Bday. I know that I will likely not start off at a great pace especially plodding through the snow. I also want time to do the presidential summits in the whites without skipping any of the trail. For me the Appalachian trail is about being in and seeing the beauty of the wilderness(not to mention the lifelong goal). I've already been to most of the major cities on the way Boston, DC, New York so those places hold no interest to me as part of the experience. I have seen a few video blogs and read several, that talk about their side adventures, while that is great for them, it's not for me.(Don't get me wrong, If you've never been to those places and have the time and funds they are worth visiting) I want to limit my exposure to "civilization" to resupply, and phone calls to let my family know I'm still going strong. I have 4 kids and a wife, and this window of time will allow me to avoid missing any birthdays(except my wife's whose is 2 days before mine).
    My evolving gear list, some links provided
    https://www.geargrams.com/list?id=44571

    To each their own, get all the advice you can, then figure out your own path.

  4. #24
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Food is heavy. You are not going to want to carry more than three or four days after you've been on the trail for a few weeks. You will resent every step up a mountain with food you could have purchased at the next town. Think of the AT as a series of three or four day hikes. When you are wet, and cold, you are going to welcome that next town stop with the hot shower and triple cheese pizza. Not many people can suffer that much misery without some creature comforts, tipi Walter excepted.

  5. #25

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    I'll second the solar charger. I met one girl who had one, and it kind of sort of worked at times. I didn't catch your start date, but once the leaves come in, you won't see a lot of big clearings where you can orient the charger directly to the sun. Anker makes portable chargers of many sizes and weights. I got the tiniest one, which was sufficient for my style of stopping at a hostel once a week, and minimal phone use. Your needs might vary.

    I'm not a huge fan of paracord for a throw line. It's big, it's bulky, it's heavy and it saws through branches. If you can afford the upgrade to something like this, you'll be happier.

    Dirty Girl gaiters are probably enough of a gaiter, just lightweight and minimal to keep the dirt out of your shoes. You don't really need the protection of a larger gaiter on the AT.

    You'll need to carry more than 1.5 liters once in a while (but not always.) Depending how large your dirty water bag is, it might be enough to get you through the occasional dry stretch.

    Like other's have said, you need to decide on a sleep system that works as a whole where the pieces all complement each other.

    For an AT hike, from town to town, you don't really need a 5.5 pound heavy pack.

    All that said, you can make nearly anything work, it's just cheaper to get set up pre-hike, where you'll have a lot more choices. It is normal to get gear envy mid hike, and you'll also switch up a few things based on what's working for you, and if your hiking habits are a bit different than you anticipated.

    Keep at it, and have fun on your hike!
    Last edited by Puddlefish; 10-03-2017 at 18:52.

  6. #26

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    I saw a guy at Hawk Mountain shelter on his first day in a hammock. He did not get the tarp right and it started to rain in the middle of the night. He and his sleeping bag got soaked. It was about 40 degrees out. I never saw him again.

    I can attest that a synthetic bag will keep you warm when wet, but it's real clammy, it takes a lot of body energy to warm up that water in the bag and it only works when it's reasonably warm out to begin with. Plus the bag gets really, really heavy and takes a long time to dry. Getting a sleeping bag wet is to be avoided at all costs.

    I prefer long gaiters in the spring when it's wet and muddy out. Short gaiters like the Dirty Girls are more suited for the summer. You don't have to worry about ticks until you get into Virginia and that's when you treat your clothes. Otherwise the protection will have long since worn off.

    As an experiment I carried a solar garden lamp on the back of my pack between Springer and Damascus one spring. (April 1st start). Some days the light would stay on all night, others not at all. Most days it would stay on for a few hours. By the time I got to Damascus, it wasn't coming on at all due to the leaves on the trees. Of course, it doesn't take much to power a small LED.

    Knowing it will be friggen cold and living in it 24/7 for 3 months is something else. The mountains of North Carolina where your up at 6000 feet most of the time is a cold and unforgiving world in March and into April. The attrition rate for early starters is very high. Being wet, cold, tired and hungry all the time gets really old, really quick. Plus the trail is really bleak that time of year. Everything is dead and brown. And it's more expensive, with all the extra cold weather clothes you need and more down time in towns.

    I hope your ready for it, but at the moment I have my doubts. It's not like your coming from Minnesota and used to harsh winter weather and acclimated to it. Delaying until at least late March eliminates a good month of suffering and increases your odds of making it out of Georgia by a significant factor. Your gear still needs a significant upgrade though.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  7. #27

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    You do not need 50 feet of paracord to hang your bear bag. In fact there are much lighter alternatives such as lash-it. 25 feet of rope is optimal.

  8. #28
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    One more time:
    Leave the cotton at home.
    ALL of your clothes should be either:
    Synthetic fabrics. Dry.
    Or:
    Wool fabrics. Dry. Wool is warmer then most synthetics. Wool is warmer than synthetics when damp or wet. Look it up.
    Or a combination of the two.
    Got it?
    Anyone who says cotton works in the woods doesn't know Jack.
    "Maybe TMI but as a nude sleeper it's going to take some adjustment already to sleep with the constraints of clothing on." You are delusional.
    You may make it to Mountain Crossings.
    Wayne
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Anyone who says cotton works in the woods doesn't know Jack.

    A cotton t-shirt on a hot summer day is not a problem.

    But yes, in general, cotton is to be avoided, especially for socks and underwear.

    Wool, silk and synthetics are recommended.

  10. #30
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    A cotton t-shirt on a hot summer day is not a problem.

    But yes, in general, cotton is to be avoided, especially for socks and underwear.

    Wool, silk and synthetics are recommended.
    This is about February.
    I used to hike in a cotton t-shirt.
    Then I saw the light. A wicking synthetic skin weight long sleeve shirt under a 100% polyester long sleeve ventilated fishing shirt. At the end of the day I'm dry in 20-30 minutes after my pack comes off. Double protection from the UV Gremlins too.
    Wayne
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
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  11. #31

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    LOL, sleeping butt nekkid in north GA in February?...

    Courtesy google, a photo of Blood Mtn shelter in MARCH

    Blood Mtn in March.jpg
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  12. #32
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Delusional.
    Definitely delusional.
    Fabulous photo. I want to go! Dust off the WM Antelope. Pack my woolies.
    Wayne
    Eddie Valiant: "That lame-brain freeway idea could only be cooked up by a toon."
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  13. #33
    Registered User Sovi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    " You are delusional.
    [/COLOR]You may make it to Mountain Crossings.
    Wayne
    I will summit Katahdin, of that I have no doubts. You really are too negative Wayne. I've seen some great advice from you in these forums, but assuming you know anything about someone mental state or abilities is uncalled for and really has no place here. I asked for gear evaluations not your opinion on my mental health. I will keep the wool advice in mind when deciding on my clothing though. Thanks for that.

    As for the gear, I have taken some of the advice to heart and upgraded a few items. Added a thermal bivvy, and a fleece liner to my sleep system. couldn't find the thermarest sleep pad locally but I ordered it and put it on the list already.Concerned about whether or not that is going to fit inside my pack though. Not having a small scale to weigh the misc items on is leaving me with some holes in my overall weight. But the gear is evolving.. and will continue to..
    My evolving gear list, some links provided
    https://www.geargrams.com/list?id=44571

    To each their own, get all the advice you can, then figure out your own path.

  14. #34
    Registered User Sovi's Avatar
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    no i'm not sleeping on this trip naked if your read it says that it's going to take some getting used to sleeping in clothes( why i had previously considered cotton until the warnings against it).
    My evolving gear list, some links provided
    https://www.geargrams.com/list?id=44571

    To each their own, get all the advice you can, then figure out your own path.

  15. #35

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    OK maybe not clinically delusional but a serious reality check is in order.

    Consider the statement above about adding a thermal bivvy (whatever that is) and a fleece liner to your 3.4 lb synthetic bag. So let's say those weigh (conservatively!) 1.5 lbs combined. You'll also need a good winter air mat such as a Neoair Xtherm, which is about 1 lb. So already you're looking at 6 lbs and huge volume for the sleep system alone.

    Your misconceptions about the gear needed for succeeding at what you have in mind are massive. At the very least, try to find a complete gear list of someone who has done what you hope to do and replicate that list exactly, down to the last detail. Once you've acquired that kit, take it out on some short trips and learn to use all that stuff in nice weather, then in not-so-nice weather on some longer trips, and then in totally ****ty weather (34F and RAIN). If you're still alive after that, you have a shot.

    At this point your learning curve is incredibly steep, and if you're going to keep the schedule you mentioned earlier you simply must assemble a proven, solid kit and get out to use it as much as possible. Prep time is extremely short and you don't have the luxury of diddling around while figuring out what to take.
    Last edited by cmoulder; 10-03-2017 at 17:48.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  16. #36
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    I know winter. I know the connection between the North Carolina mountains and New England.
    I get the feeling that you are nibbling around the edges of putting together a solid gear list without actually attacking the problem.
    Mixed with a pinch of poking fun.
    The thermal bivvy and fleece liner are indicative of what Im talking about. Band-Aids instead of solutions.
    I wish you all the best. Be warm and be safe.
    Wayne


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  17. #37
    Registered User Sovi's Avatar
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    5.5 lbs and that's including the guessed weight( i guessed on the heavy side) of a hammock that I wont be using until warmer weather. I'm not a gram nazi, but I am trying to cut weight where i can and where I can afford it. If my gear is a little heavier, I'm the one who has to tote it. I train with a 40lb pack on my back and at times a 40 lb kid on my shoulders. Lighter is better I know and I am doing what I can. Yes, I will be testing all of this out before I actually hit the trail.
    My evolving gear list, some links provided
    https://www.geargrams.com/list?id=44571

    To each their own, get all the advice you can, then figure out your own path.

  18. #38
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    As pointed out by someone else, your gear and mindset might be better suited for April/May. You need to be pretty cocksure of yourself to sleep in the nude in a hammock in winter.


  19. #39

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    The gear you now have will probably get you by most of the time. The trouble is, not all the time. You can suffer through the occasional real cold night and live, but you don't want to have to do that very often. A popular way to avoid the worst of the cold snaps and snow is to bail to town and wait it out. This can become very expensive.

    A pair of wool socks, a good warm hat and a fleece buff pulled down over your neck goes a long way to help keep you warm in the bag.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  20. #40
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    You do realize that 75 to 80% of hikers never finish a through hike? ~30% never make it out of Geotgia? Odds are, you won’t summit. Nothing personal, thats the reality of a long distance hike.

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