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  1. #1

    Default Gear review shakedown request

    https://lighterpack.com/r/q7sxf8

    I am starting NOBO 4/22 with the intent of breaking the AT into 3 chunks. North pretty deep into Virginia and take a break. Midsummer Vermont to Katahdin and then completing the middle in the Fall North to South. Probably 6 months total but nowhere near that in terms of hiking days. I guess that would still be a thru hike sort of. Not really a flip flop. More a flip, flop, and drop or something. That is pretty much the extent of my plan. Step by step, day by day. Solve any challenges, do not entertain any negative thoughts in my brain.....that seems to work as a plan for me. If I write something now, it will become toilet paper within a week.

    My gear list is not well organized but it is complete as far as my plans starting from Georgia. I might be missing something. I am not concerned with categorization and understand I might not listed stuff in the right bucket, for instance are poles worn weight or carry weight. I have a really bad neck. Walking is better for me than sitting or laying around but I need to be light. I intend my max. carry weight on my back to be under 15 pounds all in. I am pretty close, I think. Trying for quite light but not stupid light. After some testing, I determined my existed bag and pad were not good enough. I bought a full 25x72 thermarest and much warmer bag and added a freakin pillow for the neck. I can now sleep down to 17F as tested in current setup but this is wearing my puffy. Without the puffy, I am only good to 26-27F (tested it). Unfortunately, this new stuff added 19-20 oz weight but it is necessary unfortunately. I considered a hammock but I know tents and sleeping bags, so, I felt comfortable not changing.

    I seem to have a lot of stuff. Too much. Any comments welcome. I listed some stuff that might be excessive.

    I intend to hike in rowing/cycling shorts and light tee shirt if temps are 50+ w/o much wind. 35-50F, I would add my 1/4 zipper baselayer. I would also sleep in this shirt if temps are below 35F. I'd hike additionally with wool leggings if under 40F. If raining hard and under 55F, both jacket and rain pants. I am on the fence whether I need waterproof covers over thin wool gloves. I will hike thru any rain but will stop for lightning. Cold wind? Rain jacket over. I have a puffy just in case it gets really, really cold but I cannot imagine my rain jacket over my base layers not to be sufficient down to the 20's hiking and that is very unlikely in early May during the day. I expect to enter GSMNP around May 1 and the record low for May is 17F but it seems 25-30F in early May at night is pretty common. I think keeping the puffy initially makes sense? Maybe ship it home after the Smokies? I usually like to have one layer of clothing more than I think is necessary, so, keeping the puffy fits with my way of thinking. I know if I posted on ultralight, they would right up tell me I had too much clothing.

    I have redundancy in water purification. Mostly will filter but repackaged aquamira to be added depending on source. I am also carrying soap and hand disinfectant. I doubt I am willing to lower weight there. I have the bigger Sawyer and bag to keep it in my sleeping bag from freezing.

    I have been bitten by dogs twice and based on reading, lots of loose dogs. I am on the fence for dog spray. I have sprayed one dog, it stopped the attack and the dog just started sneezing and then wiping its nose on the ground.

    The maps that I have looked at seem not terribly helpful aside from elevation profile (companion guide and Antigravity). I am thinking of trying guthook and maybe just find good USGS type makes for White Mountains and maybe Maine.

    Will I need a bug net in the southern part assuming I am off trail by Memorial day? No idea when the skeeters come out down there.

    I would like to chop 8-16 oz off.....some of these might be needed until they are. What should I get rid of?

    1. Drop Puffy 8 oz
    2. Drop neck warmer 2.4 oz
    3. Drop Bugnet 0.7 oz
    4. smaller hand sanitizer 0.7 0z
    5. Get rid of vasoline 0.5 oz
    6. smaller duck tape strip 0.5 oz
    7. eliminate side pouch 1 oz
    8. eliminate Evernew 2L 1.5 oz
    9. eliminate gold bond 1.5 oz
    10. Eliminate tea pot 1.7 oz
    11. No grubpack 3.7 oz

    I only intend to camp in shelter area in GSMNP. Otherwise away from shelters, somewhat less risk for small critters and 3.7 oz stainless steel mesh grub pack might be overkill. Food in smelly proof bags inside the stainless. Maybe just carry it all and make a decision in Erwin or somewhere up the trail? I have only ever slept with my food but I also camp wild away from others and rarely eat in camp. Thanks for any help/suggestions, Sorry long, messy post.

    https://lighterpack.com/r/q7sxf8

  2. #2

    Default

    Recommend dropping:
    Gold bond can create friction as it piles up.
    Mirror.
    Superglue.
    Plastic scooper-use your pot.
    Either skip the bidet or the wipes. I bring wipes.
    Sun rain brella
    Bug net would be a summer item if you want it. You won't need it early going north.
    I have seen many tiny cheap compasses that are crap. YMMV.
    Sun arms. I am pasty white in the winter, I wouldn't bring these. I would bring sunblock when needed and apply where necessary. No leaves on the trees you can get burnt. Less so with leaves but it's not a nonexistent risk. You'll find out shortly if you don't bring it and it applies to you.


    You have a quilt and summer bag listed. If these are independently carried, make sure you are not adding their weight in together to whatever your final weight is.

    Do you have a gram scale? I notice you have a lot of whole number items and then quarter ounce increments.

    Is the Evernew bag a water bag? Empty Dasani bottles take up space which is usually a premium. Also, I am not familiar with that pack but a water bladder pocket is common and it fits a water bladder well and bottles not.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    Recommend dropping:
    Gold bond can create friction as it piles up.
    Mirror.
    Superglue.
    Plastic scooper-use your pot.
    Either skip the bidet or the wipes. I bring wipes.
    Sun rain brella
    Bug net would be a summer item if you want it. You won't need it early going north.
    I have seen many tiny cheap compasses that are crap. YMMV.
    Sun arms. I am pasty white in the winter, I wouldn't bring these. I would bring sunblock when needed and apply where necessary. No leaves on the trees you can get burnt. Less so with leaves but it's not a nonexistent risk. You'll find out shortly if you don't bring it and it applies to you.


    You have a quilt and summer bag listed. If these are independently carried, make sure you are not adding their weight in together to whatever your final weight is.

    Do you have a gram scale? I notice you have a lot of whole number items and then quarter ounce increments.

    Is the Evernew bag a water bag? Empty Dasani bottles take up space which is usually a premium. Also, I am not familiar with that pack but a water bladder pocket is common and it fits a water bladder well and bottles not.
    I listed some items that I was unsure of and listed quantity as "0"......for instance the summer bag and umbrella. I probably should have two lists. One for just summer. Thanks for the input. Very helpful. I am going to delete the bug netting, TP, and gold bond. I have a kitchen gram scale. Grams would be more precise. I have weighed pretty much everything except needle and ear plugs, they did not register on my scale.

    The Evernew is like a playpus bag with threads that fit the Sawyer Squeeze. The 2 L capacity would be useful to bring a good volume of water to camp and it also makes filtering very easy. I do have a ton of bladders with hoses. My pack has side pockets that hold water bottles, it could fit two bottles per side. I generally need less water than others. If I drink at a source, I might need less than 0.5L to the next one at this time of year.

    I have to double check the compass. I had a lightweight one that broke during hiking recently and bought another, beefier one. I forget if I updated the weight. Frankly, without really good maps with reasonable scale and nice topo lines, I would not be able to triangulate a position and a compass would be to take a bearing on and off trail in dense areas (to camp or to go #2). I think it is just a Silva lightweight 2. Without lanyard, I thought I measured 0.8 oz but that might have been the old one. It is what it is, I am taking a compass and this one seems better. Thanks again

  4. #4
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    Default

    You mentioned redundancy in your water treatment by bringing "repackaged aqua mira" in addition to your filter.... If you are doing that as a backup in case you lose or freeze your filter, you can save the extra weight & space of the Aqua Mira by bringing just a few Aqua Tabs.

    They're smaller than a baby aspirin and sealed up individually; they don't even register on my scale. One tablet will treat a couple of liters. You do have to wait a little longer (30 mins?), but that's a decent trade off for a "just-in-case" item. I carry maybe 4 of these in my Repair/Emergency Kit -- just enough to get me to the next road crossing/town stop where I would bet on replacing my filter.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoSpirits View Post
    You mentioned redundancy in your water treatment by bringing "repackaged aqua mira" in addition to your filter.... If you are doing that as a backup in case you lose or freeze your filter, you can save the extra weight & space of the Aqua Mira by bringing just a few Aqua Tabs.

    They're smaller than a baby aspirin and sealed up individually; they don't even register on my scale. One tablet will treat a couple of liters. You do have to wait a little longer (30 mins?), but that's a decent trade off for a "just-in-case" item. I carry maybe 4 of these in my Repair/Emergency Kit -- just enough to get me to the next road crossing/town stop where I would bet on replacing my filter.
    Filters won't remove viruses. Acquiramira would kill viruses but is terrible slow or ineffective for cryptosporidium or other cysts. The filter can't handle virus like norovirus whereas aquamira would kill it rather quickly. A filter would have no problem with cysts because they are so large but chemically treating them would take around 4 hours or more depending on water temperature. If water is coming out of a rock and at elevations (spring), it is overkill and in fact, I might not do nothing but drink (maybe). If water is slower moving and near shelters, I would use both. Perhaps, redundancy was the wrong work. Certainly, either one could be used independently.

  6. #6

    Default

    Just shorts and a tee shirt? You might get lucky, but I did that section at the same time and had snow and a lot of cold weather. Was happy to have long pants, long shirts, down sweater and a bombproof parka. Sorry, sounds like the stupid side of light, if you've heard of that.

  7. #7

    Default

    Oh, and this
    National weather forecast: Freezing temperatures, snow to chill eastern US

    A low-pressure system will bring heavy precipitation to the Northeast


  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    Just shorts and a tee shirt? You might get lucky, but I did that section at the same time and had snow and a lot of cold weather. Was happy to have long pants, long shirts, down sweater and a bombproof parka. Sorry, sounds like the stupid side of light, if you've heard of that.
    Like most Doctors, you don't listen or read. Wow.

    In addition to shorts and tee shirt:

    1. 11 oz Alpaca 1/4 tip t neck (at least twice as warm as merino)
    2. 8 oz YAK down bottoms (at least 3 times as warm as merino)
    3. Goretex rain jacket and pants
    4. Montbell down anorak (I can't hike in this unless it is around 0F)
    5. Yak neck gaitor
    6. Yak woolen hat
    7. Wool gloves

    I am pretty certain this is a layer too much.

    I am pretty sure I used that expression in my post.

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    03-16-2015
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    Chaumont,Ny
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    Default

    I would have a way to carry more water for camp. A platypus 3l ?

    thom

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    Default

    I c you have one

    thom

  11. #11
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
    Join Date
    12-13-2004
    Location
    Essex, Vermont
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    Like most Doctors, you don't listen or read. Wow.
    Attitude will weigh you down. You might want to consider leaving that behind.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    Attitude will weigh you down. You might want to consider leaving that behind.
    His comment was idiotic and offensive. My response was appropriate.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    His comment was idiotic and offensive. My response was appropriate.
    No.
    He was out of line, but that doesn't make your response in any way appropriate.

  14. #14

    Default

    The average low temperature in May at Clingman's Dome is supposedly 43F and the average high is 57F.

    Reviewing the past five years of historical low nightly temperatures there, I found few incidences of nightly lows below even the 40's. The all time low for May was 17F once. It is quite possible for lows in early May to be in the 20's and reasonable to plan for those levels.

    http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/weather.htm

    https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/...th=5&year=2016

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    I listed some items that I was unsure of and listed quantity as "0"......for instance the summer bag and umbrella. I probably should have two lists. One for just summer. Thanks for the input. Very helpful. I am going to delete the bug netting, TP, and gold bond. I have a kitchen gram scale. Grams would be more precise. I have weighed pretty much everything except needle and ear plugs, they did not register on my scale.

    The Evernew is like a playpus bag with threads that fit the Sawyer Squeeze. The 2 L capacity would be useful to bring a good volume of water to camp and it also makes filtering very easy. I do have a ton of bladders with hoses. My pack has side pockets that hold water bottles, it could fit two bottles per side. I generally need less water than others. If I drink at a source, I might need less than 0.5L to the next one at this time of year.

    I have to double check the compass. I had a lightweight one that broke during hiking recently and bought another, beefier one. I forget if I updated the weight. Frankly, without really good maps with reasonable scale and nice topo lines, I would not be able to triangulate a position and a compass would be to take a bearing on and off trail in dense areas (to camp or to go #2). I think it is just a Silva lightweight 2. Without lanyard, I thought I measured 0.8 oz but that might have been the old one. It is what it is, I am taking a compass and this one seems better. Thanks again
    Your water requirements are very different than mine. I carry a 2 or 3 liter platypus, a one liter platypus and collapsible bucket. In my experience, I require more water than most post about for drinking and I think you are not cooking. A collapsible bladder can fold or flatten and a 3 liter is slightly more weight than the 2, so I usually bring the 3. I mix drinks in the 1 liter. The bucket is so most times I only need to fetch water once. My side pockets hold my med kit/ditty bag and my whiskey flask which is hard sided.

    As far as clothes, that is pretty much what I would bring for May. I hike warm so shorts and a t-shirt are very standard, a long sleeve in the later fall. You've got a hat, neck gaiter and gloves that you could put on to regulate, as well as raingear. Keep those handy and the anorak too when you stop. May-August, I have a 1/4 zip fleece, lighter weight fleece pants, and a vest but might bring like a Montbell Thermawrap jacket. A little uncertainty I might throw in silk top and bottom. I doubt I'd have the neck gaiter but you mentioned some neck/back issues I think. You had sleeping socks I carry fleece socks for that.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  16. #16
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    His comment was idiotic and offensive. My response was appropriate.
    You plan on active hiking in down pants?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
    You plan on active hiking in down pants?
    Yes.....but not like you think.

    I plan to hike in three different leg coverings depending on the temperature, wind, and rain.

    Shorts generally in 40+F w/o rain. If there was 30F during the day (almost impossible), I would wear these to hike in. More than likely, when tired crawling out of the bag, I will keep them on until the first stop.

    Colder temperatures would be leggings made from Yak fiber, let's call it wool but technically it is down because it is hollow and does not absorb water, wicks way better then merino, and is quite a lot warmer. I have hiking in just those in 45F pouring rain for 10 miles and legs were warm. I usually am in shorts to hike and in May, what temperatures should I expect? Are the numbers I posted wrong?

    I would likely use goretex rain pains over either just the shorts in addition to the leggings if temperatures/wind condition warrant.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    Colder temperatures would be leggings made from Yak fiber, let's call it wool but technically it is down because it is hollow and does not absorb water, wicks way better then merino, and is quite a lot warmer.
    'Technically it is down'? What??

  19. #19
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    His comment was idiotic and offensive. My response was appropriate.
    Actually, “stupid light” is a common term used in the hiking community. He wasn’t saying you were blatantly or directly stupid. He was trying to be helpful.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    Your water requirements are very different than mine. I carry a 2 or 3 liter platypus, a one liter platypus and collapsible bucket. In my experience, I require more water than most post about for drinking and I think you are not cooking. A collapsible bladder can fold or flatten and a 3 liter is slightly more weight than the 2, so I usually bring the 3. I mix drinks in the 1 liter. The bucket is so most times I only need to fetch water once. My side pockets hold my med kit/ditty bag and my whiskey flask which is hard sided.

    As far as clothes, that is pretty much what I would bring for May. I hike warm so shorts and a t-shirt are very standard, a long sleeve in the later fall. You've got a hat, neck gaiter and gloves that you could put on to regulate, as well as raingear. Keep those handy and the anorak too when you stop. May-August, I have a 1/4 zip fleece, lighter weight fleece pants, and a vest but might bring like a Montbell Thermawrap jacket. A little uncertainty I might throw in silk top and bottom. I doubt I'd have the neck gaiter but you mentioned some neck/back issues I think. You had sleeping socks I carry fleece socks for that.
    I hike warm too. I was hiking the other day in shorts and a long sleeve base layer and another hiker told me I was brave hiking like that (it was very windy and 45F).....I also had a backpack with 10 essentials.

    I did reconsider TwoSpirits (thank you) suggestion to use tabs for purification. After looking at his idea, makes total sense. Saves around 22 grams. My aquamira was also a little old but it still goes yellow when mixed.

    Water is complicated. The 2 L Evernew bag has two functions. Biggest is carrying water into camp. My 1 L and 0.7 L bottles would be enough and I would also then have to fetch water in the morning.

    I do not need to drink as much as others. For basically forever, I weigh myself before and after any long workout like a hike. So, I know what my needs are. What I have found to be very interesting while hiking is that when ascending in really hot conditions, I overheat and unlike on a bicycle where the downhill provides ample cooling due to evaporation, there is no such benefit when descending hiking and actually, it can be worse. I find steep downhills very hard in terms of producing heat. Drinking extra does not really help. I have found that I just have to take a rest to cool down even if not tired.

    I have been trying to establish an effective walking pace. I was doing it on trails but recently moved indoors on my treadmill. On flat setting at 3.5 mph, my heart rate is well under 100 bpm but if the incline is set to 15 degrees, my HR goes to 115 bpm and I start to sweat. If I keep the pace to 2.5 mph on a 15 degree incline, it is also very easy. On the flat setting (0 degrees), at 4 mph it seems that I get very inefficient whether I increase my stride cadence or stride length. If I increase stride length, my hips don't like it. Overall, my heart rate and therefore energy consumption shows a not very efficient pace at 4 mph. This seems rather obscure I am sure. However, I have found that getting pacing correctly means you use less glycogen and therefore few H+ ions and less soreness and fatigue but also you need less water because you are not getting as hot. The effect of going hard up hills may take two days to show up. The Banister equation models this training stress very well, and it is cumulative. I am trying to find the proper balance in terms of going up hills with my pack, all my hikes are with my AT pack. I think I am finding that I really have to take it easy up hills, but my inclination is to slow down just a little. Water consumption comes into play. I just am not experienced enough to know for sure but so far, if overheated I stop. It might make sense to climb/ascend much slower.

    The neck gaitor might seem overkill but it is partly for my neck. I have nerve damage from C2 down to C7. The main pain is neurological. I was in a lot of pain yesterday and probably more salty than usual. In any case, the muscles get tight and stiff as a secondary effect. The neck gaitor keeps the muscles warm and less uncomfortable. I expect this item to be sent home in mid May.

    Thanks for the advice. Appreciate it.

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