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  1. #1

    Default Gear List for married couple

    My husband and I want to hike the AT next year. I have been reading posts for a while and finally decided to post my question. What should our gear list look like as a couple?
    What kind of things should we share? We defiantly want to go as light as possible and by sharing items I feel we can eliminate some weight. What do you suggest?

  2. #2
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    Important first question: if one of you along the way finds that s/he either no longer wants to or just cannot continue, is there any chance that the other one will continue on alone?

    This isn't hypothetical; I saw it first hand on the PCT with the husband continuing on with a 2-person tent, 2-person sized cookpot, etc. If you think there's any reasonable chance that one might continue alone, or even perhaps just separate for a few days (it can be nice for even married people to hike alone for a few days ...), then you want to each gear up as if you're going solo.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

  3. #3
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    My wife and I have been section hiking the AT together for a number of years.
    BrianLe is right, you should talk about that situation.
    You'll each carry your own clothing, rain gear, sleeping bag and food bag. That doesn't leave a lot to share. You'll likely share one guide book and map, stove and kitchen kit, toilet paper, water filter or chemical drops, and first aid kit. A continuing solo hiker should be able to take all of that. The biggest single item that you share will be your tent. Maybe you could have a solo tent at home that could be mailed to the continuing hiker if one of you go on alone. My wife and I use a Tarptent Rainshadow II tent and at 42 ounces a single person could carry it but it's way more room than one person needs. When either of us hikes solo, or with our dog, we use a Tarptent Rainbow.

  4. #4
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    I hike with a very light backpack as a single. In over 20 years of hiking, I have never met or heard of anyone who share gear traveled with less weight. The lightest hikers have always carried their own gear.

    Wolf

  5. #5
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    My wife and I share a two-person tent (SMD Lunar Duo -- highly recommended), a stove and cooking kit, and water treatment. Everything else is individual gear and clothing -- the same stuff I would take on a solo hike. We each carry a food bag, both to share the load and to make sure that we both have food in case we get split up for some reason.

    BrianLe brings up a good question. I'd recommend looking at The Thru-Hiking Papers, especially the page about hiking as a couple, but all the other info is very useful as well.

    Good luck and happy trails.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  6. #6
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    How about ear plugs?

    Even if you don't plan on having to continue solo if you hike at different paces you may get separated and need shelter. If you have a tent where it makes sense perhaps one can carry the tent and the other the rain fly. If you're not together for whatever reason you still both have shelter. Of course if your tent is just a mesh shell that won't help much.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
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  7. #7
    Not committing until I graduate! Sassafras Lass's Avatar
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    Default +1 to BigCranky

    My husband and I are driving down to Georgia next Saturday to being our adventure.

    So far the only thing we've managed to share is our tent (him) and our water filter (me).

    We're unlike most people - we're doing the trail Daniel Boone-style (minus the hunting and fishing). We're taking everything we'll need for the entire trip; we're not cutting up our guidebook, sending home our "winter" bag, doing mail drops, etc. Is that dumb? Possibly. But are we removing ourselves from society as much as possible? Yes. So we'll hike, and send home postcards, and relish 5.5-6 months of just being together, and when we're about 2 weeks from Katahdin we'll email the family and say hey, we need a ride in 2 weeks.
    Formerly 'F-Stop'

    If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one.

    ~ Dolly Parton

  8. #8
    Registered User rpenczek's Avatar
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    I hike with groups (often) of Boy Scouts, and we have personal gear and crew gear. The same principal applied when I hike with just my son.

    Shelter
    Kitchen (stove, pot, soap, scrub pad)
    Spices
    Trowl and TP
    Frist Aid
    Lotions (bug, body glide, sun)
    Clean up (camp suds, tooth paste)
    Water system (filter or tablets)
    Repair kit (for packs and such - includes lighter and knife)
    Compass/map
    Wistle
    Fire starter

    Are all considered crew/group gear. Of course, this only works if you hike together and camp together.

    Of course, my/our gear is still as light as possible (we are not ultra-light). As you are aware, the tent is the big weight item. I use a Tarptent Rainbow II (even when solo). There is not much out there (even solo tents) that can beat the weight and when I am alone, I enjoy the extra space

  9. #9
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    My wife and I normally do overnighters and weekends together. We share:
    tent
    cook pot
    stove
    food bag
    steripen (but we each have a backup)

  10. #10
    Saw Man tuswm's Avatar
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    another thread like this with some good info

    http://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=70170
    "you cant grow old if you never grow up" ~TUswm

  11. #11
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    F-stop said:
    "We're taking everything we'll need for the entire trip; we're not cutting up our guidebook, sending home our "winter" bag, doing mail drops, etc. Is that dumb? Possibly. But are we removing ourselves from society as much as possible? Yes."
    Not to do any major thread-hijacking here, but at least to some degree you can change your mind along the way about this by using a bounce box, and even more so if you have someone at home with whom you can mail things back and forth.

    If you really want to remove yourself from society in any meaningful way, I suggest a different trail. The AT isn't anything like a Daniel Boone experience. I suspect that almost anyone who has thru-hiked the trail would be dubious of this plan, feeling that you're weighing yourself down substantially --- and thus reducing both odds of completion and pleasure in walking --- for a goal that won't make as much sense to you once you start hitting various trail towns along the way.

    Gads, the above sounds pretty patronizing, and I don't mean it that way just --- do leave yourself as much flexibility as possible to change your mind about this as you go along. "Trail culture" that we encounter along the way changes all of our minds about this kind of thing.

    Note that it definitely is possible to do long distance trails and have minimal contact with trail towns and so forth. It's just very very rare for people to actually do that. On two long trails I met just two people (a couple) that really did minimize town stays, but even they certainly went in and got supplies, a shower, washed clothes, etc and ate a town meal. In that context, infrequently picking up a box with new guidebook pages, etc, isn't much in the way of contact with society. I used just five resupply boxes on the AT; picking those up and dealing with them was a very very small part of all the contact I had to have with society along the way anyway in the form of just basic food resupply.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

  12. #12
    Registered User gravityman's Avatar
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    On our 2005 thru and 2001 1/2 way hike we shared:

    Tent (tarptent squall 2)
    Cookpot (2 qt titanium MSR pot)
    Stove (gigapower)
    Stove Fuel
    Water Treatment (MIOX - although we got sick of the taste and would probably use a gravity filter next time)
    1st Aid kit (bandaids, vitamin I, Imodium, etc)
    Toiletry kit (toilet paper, small bag of wet wipes, soap, nail clippers, toothbrush (yes, shared), toothpaste)
    Food (many meals are two person sized)

    come summer we also shared a Western Mountaineering MityLite sleeping bag that we made a coupler to hold our sleeping pads together and that zipped the sleeping bag down to. We also used the thermarest sleeping pad couplers during the winter, as it keeps the pads close together so one of you isn't always falling in the middle.

    I'm sure there were other small things we shared that I'm forgetting about now...

    Were we the lightest hikers out there? No. But we were lighter than if we were both traveling seperately.

    Don't feel you MUST plan to seperate at some point on the hike. My wife and I knew that either we both were going to make it, or we both were going home. We did not want to hike seperately. But other couples do.

    Gravity (and Danger)

  13. #13
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    we share:

    tent
    stove
    cookpot
    water filter
    food
    sleeping bag

    we definitely travel lighter when we both go compared to me solo
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    Garlic
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    My wife and I shared a lot of gear on our PCT thru--the tent, cook kit (until we stopped carrying it), water treatment--and we usually shared meals. But we had already been married 25 years and had some experience on similar six-week trips, so we were fairly sure of sticking together and we did. We got accidentally separated once and were a little nervous for an hour or two, so make absolutely sure you don't do that if you share gear. Have a good plan you both understand in case of separation--it does happen.

    Since then, I've hiked many more miles with a friend we met on the PCT. Though we've recently been sticking together 100% of the time and we share lodging, we do not have a commitment to each other and we carry our own gear at all times and even eat separate meals. We can split up at any time and we both understand and agree with that.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianLe View Post
    Important first question: if one of you along the way finds that s/he either no longer wants to or just cannot continue, is there any chance that the other one will continue on alone?

    This isn't hypothetical; I saw it first hand on the PCT with the husband continuing on with a 2-person tent, 2-person sized cookpot, etc. If you think there's any reasonable chance that one might continue alone, or even perhaps just separate for a few days (it can be nice for even married people to hike alone for a few days ...), then you want to each gear up as if you're going solo.

    @ BrianLe This is an all or nothing adventure. This will be our last big single adventure before the adventure of babies!!!

  16. #16

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    Thanks BigCranky for that link and tuswm I didn't know about that those.

    I also found this link http://www.backpackinglight.com/back...es/00151-0.pdf

    I thought it was VERY helpful.

  17. #17
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I shared this with my son =

    food (naturally)
    tent
    cooking pot and stove
    one water container for camp
    basic first aid kit (though I did carry a little of my own)

    we did each bring our own Aqua Mira to use







    Hiking Blog
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  18. #18
    Registered User Megapixel's Avatar
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    my wife and I are going this year. absolutely stoked, leaving in a few weeks. we are sharing a cookpot, 2L, water filter, and tent. I'm carrying the cookpot and tent, she has the water filter, tyvek groundsheet, and gossamer gear thinlight pad to keep our neo airs from playing ice hockey all night. We don't ever hike without sight of the other, so we should be safe sharing gear-- this is an important issue in my mind. separation for a night without shelter could be scary.

    we have talked extensively and have agreed that one of us can go on if the other fails to continue. the other thing we've done to prevent issues is to come to the agreement that zeroes are agreed upon by either necessity (i.e. injury) or by both party agreement. We also hold a wild card each, that is 1 zero that either of us can pull at any time during the hike as desired.

    http://www.postholer.com/ontrail
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    2012 Springer-Erwin



  19. #19
    So many trails... so little time. Many Walks's Avatar
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    PicklesandShakespeare, it sounds like you'll stay together so you do have an opportunity to cut some weight. My wife and I hiked the trail together and didn't duplicate gear. We kept track of each other along the way so we didn't get separated too far. If you hike that way I'd recommend you lay out all of your gear and split the load making sure you don't duplicate unnecessary weight. If your hiking style is to hike separately and link up in the evening, you have a much better chance of needing emergency food and shelter individually so you will need to duplicate some things.


    F-Stop, no one here will tell you what to carry, but it's just possible when your humping up an endless mountain in 110 degree heat you might wonder why your hauling a bunch of winter gear. At that point you'll review every ounce in your pack and there is no shame in at least sending some gear ahead in a bounce box or shipping extra stuff home. Keeping your options open and adjusting to conditions will help you get to Katahdin.


    There are few things as wonderful as hiking the AT, but remember this. A thru hike is never as easy or romantic as when you're planning it in the comfort of your own home.


    Enjoy your hikes!
    That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. Henry David Thoreau

  20. #20

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    The dude I hike with and I split up certain things to even out our weight... such as i will carry the stove, and him the pot, and i will carry extra batteries and he will carry the steripen and so on. I feel that any item that is not always used simultaneously (shelter, insulation, headlamp, clothes etc) can be split. Personal and "luxury" items are carried by the person who feels they need to bring them (if my buddy brings an ipad and i am way under his weight I will not carry it for him) If one of us gets hurt, then the other continues to the goal, but we have a different dynamic than I do with my wife. Also it works well for the hiking partner relationship to split up camp duties IMO. We roll in and both set up our hammocks, unless it's dark, then we get the fire going first. Then one gets water while the other tends fire... one cooks dinner and the other breakfast and so on. Basically either we both rest or neither of us do. Actually 2 years ago on a PA 272 mile attempt I did get hurt, and although it was a difficult farewell, my buddy (to his credit) continued on.

    Little by little, one travels far. - J.R.R. Tolkien

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