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  1. #21
    Registered User The Old Chief's Avatar
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    Instead of a metal flask or thin-walled soda bottle, when you go purchase the libation just buy it in a pint sized plastic bottle. They are thin and fit easily in your pack and are thick-walled. If you buy the "fifth" size it can also be used for a water bottle when empty. It will be heavy at first but you can take care of that.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus8414 View Post
    Hi so I pretty sure i have most of my major gear set and ready to rock, but just as a curiosity what is some things that are not essential but essential to you personally? One thing I do not have that I'm open to suggestions is camp footwear?
    I think a cathole trowel is essential to digging an actual hole that meets LNT guidelines. Some disagree but they must be digging if different soil conditions than I have to deal with.
    Find the LIGHT STUFF at QiWiz.net

    The lightest cathole trowels, wood burning stoves, windscreens, spatulas,
    cooking options, titanium and aluminum pots, and buck saws on the planet



  3. #23
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QiWiz View Post
    I think a cathole trowel is essential to digging an actual hole that meets LNT guidelines. Some disagree but they must be digging if different soil conditions than I have to deal with.
    Several years ago I started carrying an aluminum "snow stake" tent stake for this purpose. It works very well in the rooty, rocky soil of the AT to dig catholes, and it can also be used as a tent stake if needed. It's light, too.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Chief View Post
    Instead of a metal flask or thin-walled soda bottle, when you go purchase the libation just buy it in a pint sized plastic bottle. They are thin and fit easily in your pack and are thick-walled. If you buy the "fifth" size it can also be used for a water bottle when empty. It will be heavy at first but you can take care of that.
    good booze tends to come only is glass containers. For instance, I have never found Bulliet in plastic.

    I second the trowel as essential. I favor "Deuce of spades", I have never tried QiWiz's trowel.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    Several years ago I started carrying an aluminum "snow stake" tent stake for this purpose. It works very well in the rooty, rocky soil of the AT to dig catholes, and it can also be used as a tent stake if needed. It's light, too.
    snow stakes are heavier than UL trowels.

  6. #26
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    I found that a poop trowel was essential, i cant imagine trying to dig a hole with a stake, usually i dont have all that time before i need to get to business. I brought a small (very small) multi-too; that had a pair of scissors which i used a lot to cut KT tape (or the sleeves off my shirt when it got too hot), also had a very small knife which was all i needed.I also need a pillow.
    Can openers are not needed.

  7. #27
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    I use a plastic pint Jim Beam bottle for ( appropriately ) my alcohol fuel. The flat shape fits my pack side pocket well.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  8. #28
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    snow stakes are heavier than UL trowels.
    Nope, not. At least not "customized" ones, mine is 0.6 ounces, about the same as the smallest Duece of Spades, and much cheaper (free). I lost my first Duece of Spades, vowed I'd never again pay 20 bucks for a tiny piece of aluminum, so I took 2 minutes and sawed one of my zillion snow stakes off, works perfectly for cat holes, easier on the hand too with the curled lip. Pic below shows an original, 1-ish ounce stake and my 0.6 ounce cat hole trowel.

    BTW, one of our essential pieces of gear is a 3 ounce monocular, great for scoping out wildlife. My wife carries it....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #29
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    Thought about buying a titanium flask from Vargo but canít get over the cost of a bottle of soda. Empty and pour in your poison.
    Start with a bottle of spring water and you won't affect the flavor of your preferred poison!

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Nope, not. At least not "customized" ones, mine is 0.6 ounces, about the same as the smallest Duece of Spades, and much cheaper (free). I lost my first Duece of Spades, vowed I'd never again pay 20 bucks for a tiny piece of aluminum, so I took 2 minutes and sawed one of my zillion snow stakes off, works perfectly for cat holes, easier on the hand too with the curled lip. Pic below shows an original, 1-ish ounce stake and my 0.6 ounce cat hole trowel.
    Nice mod. Looks like it would break up hard soil just fine, but maybe not scoop out the dirt in the cathole quite as well as something more trowel-shaped. I know I quibble and bottom line is what works for you to make a legit LNT cathole. BTW, not sure of the weight of smallest aluminum trowel, but my Original is 0.4 ounces. It digs AND scoops really well.
    Find the LIGHT STUFF at QiWiz.net

    The lightest cathole trowels, wood burning stoves, windscreens, spatulas,
    cooking options, titanium and aluminum pots, and buck saws on the planet



  11. #31
    Registered User GolfHiker's Avatar
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    Never do the AT without your Sea to Summit portable water bag, preferably a stand alone version. You will quickly appreciate this item when you can haul up to 9 litres of water to camp from the water source, often a long distance from the sight/shelter. Great for dinner, clean up, breakfast and the morning hike out. Plus, you will always be popular with all the hikers in your group who share your water!

    So, everything else youíve seen here, AND the water bag!
    "How can something this hard be so much fun".

  12. #32
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    ...one thing I actually added was a Sea to Summit pillow. Use to just use my clothes bag, but for 2 ounces and something smaller than your fist, I found it worth it.
    Not much is more essential than anything that will allow you to get a good nights sleep.
    Lonehiker

  13. #33
    Registered User PopcornFool's Avatar
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    My 'weird' essential "non-essential" is a string of LED lights. I use these I got off Amazon. A strand (with a pair of CR2032 button batteries) and an additional backup pair of batteries comes to a whopping 19g. I use them to add a little flair to my campsite. I also flip these on during my middle-of-the-night nature calls instead of fussing with my headlamp. They light the way back home when I'm done. Most importantly, since I don't carry a cell phone, they serve as a cheap lightweight backup for my headlamp if it fails on me for some reason. I had that happen on a rainy, moonless night in the deep woods one time and was literally fumbling in the dark like a blind person. Never again!
    ~ All I want is affordable, simple, ultralight luxury. Thatís not asking too much is it?

  14. #34

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    Very smart! Might have to try this out!

    Quote Originally Posted by PopcornFool View Post
    My 'weird' essential "non-essential" is a string of LED lights. I use these I got off Amazon. A strand (with a pair of CR2032 button batteries) and an additional backup pair of batteries comes to a whopping 19g. I use them to add a little flair to my campsite. I also flip these on during my middle-of-the-night nature calls instead of fussing with my headlamp. They light the way back home when I'm done. Most importantly, since I don't carry a cell phone, they serve as a cheap lightweight backup for my headlamp if it fails on me for some reason. I had that happen on a rainy, moonless night in the deep woods one time and was literally fumbling in the dark like a blind person. Never again!

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    Not much is more essential than anything that will allow you to get a good nights sleep.
    My S2S pillow greatly improved my sleep
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haus8414 View Post
    . . . what is some things that are not essential but essential to you personally? . . .
    Everything but shoes, depending on the weather. I can't walk long distances without shoes. But everything else is optional unless it's cold.

    Cloths are completely unnecessary unless it's cold. If it's cold, we can add warm body covering to the essentials list. Everything else is optional.

    My most important luxury items . . . a pack to carry my food and cloths and shelter all of which is unnecessary unless it's cold.

    I think I've fallen off the deep end. Sorry. I just have issues with any attempts listing essentials (including the infamous 10) since what is essential is, as you allude to in the OP, quite personal and situation dependent. With well developed skills and experience, there is really little of anything one needs to be reasonably safe and happy as long as the bugs aren't too bad, weather is fair and either the trip is short or the food/water is otherwise plentiful.

    As John Muir famously wrote: "Who has not felt the urge to throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence?"

    Of course, a pound of tea seems a bit excessive, and I'll bet he considered wearing cloths as a given even if not an essential.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Everything...

    there is really little of anything one needs to be reasonably safe and happy as long as the bugs aren't too bad, weather is fair and either the trip is short or the food/water is otherwise plentiful..
    So once a year in blueberry season, and there hasn’t been a drought and you don’t mind drinking wild. THEN you can hike in just shoes. Got it.

  18. #38
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    I used a Vitamin Water bottle to hold my libations. If I was buying booze I'd just pour it into the VW bottle and recycle the glass. Only used 2 VW bottles for the entire thru last year. You don't need a fancy flask!

  19. #39
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    When I hiked it in the 90s my only "non-essential" was probably a book. I always hiked with a book to read.

    If I did it today, in my advanced "soft" old age, I'd probably take an inflatable pillow.

  20. #40

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    Piece of Tyvek to 1). put under my hammock to remove my shoes,2). Put under my pack to keep it out of the dirt, 3). Stand on when doing a "forest shower", 4). Sit on if the ground or log is wet

    A CNOC Vecto 2L or 3L water bag screwed to a Sawyer Squeeze screwed to an adapter (or use a kiddie tornado tube cut short to engage the threads) which, in turn, is screwed to a Smart water bottle or other bottle with similar threads. Attach a loop string to the CNOC bag and hang from a branch for a great gravity water filter system.

    in winter, a PE Nalgene filled with near boiling water covered in a thick sock . . . it holds heat through the night and you have water for your breakfast. The PE Nalgene is lighter than the more rigid Nalgene and works great as a water scoop for shallow water sources. Well worth the extra 3 or 4 ounces.

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