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help with thru hike gear.TOO MUCH STUFF
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Don (Biloxi) Carter
(donjuan70) - F

Locale: Red Neck Riviera
help with thru hike gear.TOO MUCH STUFF on 12/03/2007 20:21:05 MST Print View

hey everyone.I have acumulated so much clothing for my thru hike there is just no way I need it all.I am going to put up a list of the stuff that I have and hopefully ya'll can help me par it down to what is needed.1st off I am not the hiker that wears only 1 set of clothes for days on end ..just can' to be somewhat clean .this is gonna be a 5-6 month hike.I am in no will be on the AT.starting approximitly april 1 till september
please feel free to tell me what you think I need or dont.I will start with regular gear and then go to the clothes which is where I need help
GG nimbus latitude
BA lost ranger
home made down/wool quilt
exped 9 down mat
TNF solo 12
extra 6x6 tarp for porch on tent
nike wind pants
nike wind jacket(water resistant)
royal robbins zip off pants
army heat retentive l/s 3/4zip shirt
1 nylon shorts
1 carbon fiber s/s shrt
1sugoi s/s shirt
1 l/s nike dri-fit
1 t3k l/s shirt
1pearl izumi tights
1 patagonia lightweight bottoms

woolrich wool watch cap
asics liner gloves
insulated face mask
4 pr nylon/wool socks

marmot down jacket
marmot dri-climb jacket
woolrich down vest
jantzen full zip wool sweater

or seattle sombrero
rocky goretex socks
marmot rain mitts
manzella rain shells
pearl izumi arroyo rain pants
redledge thunderlite rain jacket

set ultratherm for sleep
fleece balaclava
fleece socks
fleece gloves
quilted over booties
well there it all is HELP PLEASE.
I am not looking to go super ultralight or anything like that ..but I dont want to carry things I dont need
thanks in advance...Don

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
full zip wool sweater on 12/03/2007 20:30:59 MST Print View

they tend to be heavy for their warmth. Also skip the down vest if you have a down jacket.

And skip one of your pairs of pants, the zip offs I think.

And one of the long sleeve shirts.

And one pair of the tights, keep the patagonias.

Keep the fleece balaclava if it fits, then skip the face mask and watch cap.

manzella rain shells
pearl izumi arroyo rain pants
down booties
spare tarp
goretex socks (maybe?)

Edited by Paul_Tree on 12/03/2007 20:46:46 MST.

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Too Much Stuff! on 12/04/2007 07:33:32 MST Print View

Don, I realize you want to change clothes, but instead of paring down the list for you, I decided to list what I would take from your list. You will probably want add a few things back for a little more comfort. Keep a couple of things in mind.

First the weather in Georgia and I'm assuming you are doing a south to north trip starting in April, varies from year to year and sometimes day to day. Last year I was on the AT at Standing Indian Mountain on April 1st. We hiked in shorts and were comfortable in 20-degree bags. A couple of weeks later there was a snowstorm and high winds with temps in the teens.

Second thing is that the Georgia and NC sections of the AT are some of the toughest until you get to NH. Carrying too much gear will cause injuries that will send you home prematurely. I've seen a lot of young people not make it to NC because the load on their backs was too much for their knees and ankles. So it is important to keep your load as light as possible. I would recommend no more than 25-30 pounds with food and water. Resupplies are frequent in Georgia with Neel’s Gap just two days from Springer and Hiawassee a couple of days farther.

But I’m sure you have already thought about these things. So here is what I would take from your list keeping in mind I dress in layers. That way when is the coldest I am wearing pretty much everything in the pack.

GG Nimbus
BA Lost Ranger
Exped Mat
Royal Robbins Zip-Offs
S/S Shirt
L/S Shirt
Watch Cap
Glove Liners
3- pr Socks
Down Jacket
Seattle Sombrero
Pearl Izumi Rain Pants
Redledge Thunderlite Rain Jacket
Ultratherm for sleeping

The AT in Georgia and NC has shelters spaced very close together. I usually pass one or two a day and then spend the night in the next one. Especially that time a year it is the center of activity for everyone on the trail. It also avoids having to dry a tent or tarp every morning. Even during this drought the humidity is still high and a tent like the TNF Solo will sweat a lot. I would go with a SMD Lunar Solo, at 23 ounces and the extra ventilation you’ll do better. It will still have condensation, just not as much.

Good luck to on your trip. I will be hiking a section from Hot Springs, NC to Damascus, VA in early May. Maybe our paths will cross. I'll be carring a ULA Circuit.

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
clothing!! on 12/04/2007 09:53:25 MST Print View

one of my rules for clothing is in the coldest expected conditions I should be wearing everything and be just warm enough. if you like being clean, you could bring a change of base layers, but I see some major redundancy in insulation and windproofing. for example, do you really need a nike windcoat and a Marmot driclime? or rain mitts, rain shells, fleece gloves and liner gloves. or a down jacket, a down vest and a wool sweater?
you also have a tent PLUS a 6x6 tarp for a porch. maybe get an 8x8 tarp or so to replace both, and still be quite roomy.

Remember, its the AT in the summer. I've brought MUCH less into the Wind Rivers in August to do alpine rock climbing and glaciated mountaineering: 2 pairs socks, plus neoprene socks (for glacier travel wearing trail runners), running shorts (worn 24x7), schoeller trail pants (worn all day every day), driducks rain pants, thin long sleeve synthetic shirt (worn 24x7) thick ls shirt, homemade 3 oz windcoat, homemade 7 oz primaloft vest, 12 oz golite rain coat, carhartt insulated hat, kavu brimmed hat, and powerstretch gloves. of course, I don't mind getting dirty and gross that much... however the trip wasn't ultralight since we had rock climbing gear for a 15 pitch 5.6 and glacier gear and 8 days of food... uggh.
happy packing and hiking.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
help with thru hike gear.TOO MUCH STUFF on 12/04/2007 12:00:14 MST Print View

Consider mailing clothing ahead to yourself in order to have the luxury of a change of clothes rather than carrying it all. My three season clothing list is as follows:

GlovesLowe AlpinePolypropelene
HatTilleyLighterweight LT5
HatHomemadePowerstretch beanie
JacketMontbellUL Thermawrap
PantsArc'TeryxPalisade pant
RaingearMarmotPreCip (modified)
RaingearMountain Laurel DesignseVent Rain Mitts
ShirtArc'TeryxEther Crew SS
ShirtArc'TeryxEther Crew LS
ShoesInov8Terroc 330
ShortsThe North FaceNylon
SocksDarn Tough(2) Vermont full cushion
SocksHomemadeInsulated toe caps

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
April Isn't Summer on the AT on 12/04/2007 13:54:41 MST Print View

April is a transistion month in Georgia and NC. It can be 90 degrees one day and in the 50s a couple of days later. Over night can range from pleasantly cool down to the upper teens. By May the heat has set in for the most part but when it rains it can still get cold with hypothermia a real potential. The list below is from a trip in November. In April I will remove one of the fleece pull-over and add a short sleeve shirt. By May I'll drop the gloves and toboggan.

Normally I work with a three day resupply but sometimes it is four. Here is my list:

Gear List for November 2007 Trip
Expected Weather Highs Upper 40’s to 60 degrees Lows Mid to Upper Teens
Number of Days 6 – Fuel Resupply on Day 4

ULA Circuit

SMD Gatewood Cape w/ 48" carbon fiber pole

Nunatak Back Country Blanket

Montbell ¾ pad

Camelback 2-Liter Bladder

Gravity Water Filter 7.5 ounces

Cook Kit w/ modified Pepsi can stove, MSR kettle, Zip-Lock cozy, cone type wind screen and pot holder, 16 ounce fuel bottle, single blade folding knife, spoon, salt & pepper shaker, Bic Lighter and 6x6 pack towel – 9 ounces plus fuel

Toiletries – hand sanitizer, Dr. B soap, toilet paper, lip balm, toothbrush and first aid kit – 7 ounces

Clothing – LL Bean Zip-Off Fishing Pants, L/S Duofold Tee-Shirt, Columbia L/S Micro Fleece Shirt, North Face ¼ Zip Fleece Pullover, 3 pairs of UltiMax Socks, North Face Denali Gloves, Marmot Precip Plus Jacket, REI Rain Pants, Merrell Mid Hikers, Mountain Hardware Fleece Toboggan, kneckerchief

Food – 9 pounds

Optio WP10 Camera and Cell Phone with extra batteries

Total Weight Packed 28 lbs.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
department of redundancy department on 12/04/2007 18:42:03 MST Print View

You've identified the problem -- too much clothing. I understand wanting to be clean, but the reality is that when you get on the trail, your idea of "clean" will change some.

I like the 4-layer system, using a light base layer, ultralight wind shirt, insulation layer, and waterproof/breathable shell. You already have all these things on your list -- just too many of them.

In March and April, you do need to be prepared for all kinds of weather. Here's my list:

Hiking clothes:
short sleeve base layer, wool or synthetic
Golite Terrain shorts
wool socks, trail runners

Add UL wind shirt and wind pants if necessary while hiking or on breaks. Add light gloves and microfleece hat if needed. Add Precip Jacket and Reed pants if needed.

Camp clothes:
long sleeve base layer, usually a microfleece zip tee
clean shorts
synthetic long john bottoms, lightweight
clean socks
insulated jacket -- down jacket in very cold weather, or a Micropuff pullover
I'll often carry a pair of windblock glove/mitt things and a warmer tube hat if the weather looks cold enough.

The dry clothes go back in the pack in the morning, and I put on my cold, wet shorts and shirt from the day before. This is only an issue for the first few minutes (and it wakes me up!)

I do try to clean myself up every night, no matter how cold it might be. I use a wipe or a damp bandana to wash up before putting on my camp clothes. This helps a lot.

Note that if I were to get the worst possible weather -- blizzards of epic proportions -- I could put on enough clothes to make it out to the next shelter or road crossing. (Been there, done that. Having lived through an epic blizzard with basically this gear, I'm much more comfortable with the limits both of my gear and my body. Your mileage may vary.)

Here's the final thing: you're going to walk through an outfitter 30 miles up the trail. You can change things when you get there, mail some stuff home, whatever. The most important thing you can bring on a thru-hike is flexibility -- be able and willing to change things when needed.

Have fun.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: help with thru hike gear.TOO MUCH STUFF on 12/04/2007 19:13:15 MST Print View

Dear Too Much,
This is what I used on the AT in March/April '07. Temperatures ranged from 80F to 7F with cold rain and snow. Trail conditions included ice, snow and slush as well as frozen and freezing mud. The coldest weather occurred on April 8-10 and April 15 - 17. This "Easter Suprise" is a regular feature of the AT in most years. It is smart to prepare for it. Most thru-hikers kept their cold weather gear until Erwin, TN.

Wind and rail:
Dry Ducks top and bottom - 11 oz.
Columbia ventillated booney hat with silnylin rain cover - 5 oz. Sized large to accept a fleece helmet cap.

Basic trail clothing:
trail runners
Smartwool socks (2 pr)- 3 oz.
Polypro liner socks (2pr)- 1 oz ea pr.
low gaiters - stretch Spandura, non-waterproof - 2.5 oz.
Nylon running shorts - 4 oz.
Smartwool boxer briefs - 1 pr.
Smartwool heavy T-shirt - 6-7 oz.

Cold weather clothing:
Glove liners
Smartwool socks (2 pr)- 3 oz.
polyester pull-over vest
Smartwool long-sleeve T - 9 oz.
Windblocker fleece helmet liner - 3oz.
Windblocker fleece Balaclava - 5 oz.
Smartwool long bottoms - 9 oz.

The following items from this list were kept dry and used only in camp during extreme cold:
2 pr. wool socks -one pr. used as mittens over glove liners when needed; one for sleeping.
pull-over vest.
long bottoms.

My quilt had a poncho neck hole so it could be used as a super vest. I didn't use it like that, but it was available.

The DryDucks are not obviously durable, but the set lasted 2,174 miles, and is still servicable. This is the most breathable water proof material available. You can use it for windbreaking in cold weather without worrying about sweating more than you would when hiking in uncoated nylon wind-wear. When the bugs were bad in hot weather, I put the Dry Ducks on during lunch breaks to block them. Even when I was hot and sweaty, I dried out even wearing the DryDucks.

This list might seem Spartan, but it worked just fine for this Southern boy who has rarely even seen snow, let alone lived in it.

As to cleanliness and town clothing: Good personal hygeine means washing frequently and thoroughly. Four or five small holes burned through a Platypus cap with a hor needle turns a liter Platy into a shower/backwoods bidet. Waterless hand cleaner works on arm pits and crotch and feet when washing is out of the question. That reduces/eliminates the need to change clothing. Smartwool is remarkably odor resistant; the synthetic products that claim odor resistance do not come close. In town, the first stop may be the laundry. Most gnarly wilderlings put on their rain gear and wash everything else before meeting the public. After the first 1,000 miles, few carry 'town clothing.' By then, many, if not most, dispense with underwear and simply go commando. I was OK with that into the 40s, but below that, the wool boxer briefs felt real good.

Edited by vickrhines on 12/05/2007 18:20:48 MST.

Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
re: help with thru hike gear.TOO MUCH STUFF on 12/04/2007 21:17:24 MST Print View

Vick- you thru-hiked the AT in 2003? That's rad.. what was your trail name? I was Brother Ron, going GA-ME April til August. I wonder if we ever met!

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: re: help with thru hike gear.TOO MUCH STUFF on 12/05/2007 18:20:00 MST Print View

Bro Ron,
I went by Spock in '03, '04 and '07. Problem is, I meant to say '07 in the post above. You may remember Frito.
In '03, I experimented with Frogg Toggs - with good results, just not as breathable as DriDucks.

Edited by vickrhines on 12/05/2007 18:22:50 MST.

Don (Biloxi) Carter
(donjuan70) - F

Locale: Red Neck Riviera
thanks for feedback,,here is a update... on 12/06/2007 02:48:16 MST Print View

well after waying you all's opinion I have decided to drop some stuff.I am gonna drop the quilt till summer and switch it with the BA
drop the nike wind suit and just use my rain gear as wind gear also
drop the nylon shorts and use the zipoffs
drop the fleece balaclava and over booties from sleep gear
drop the down vest
drop the full zip wool sweater
drop the manzella rain shells
so that leave's me with a list of:
GG nimbus latitude
BA lost ranger
exped 9 downmat
TNF 12 solo
14oz tarp
alpine micro stove
evernew 1.7 with AGG cozy
RR zipoff pants
3/4 zip army heat retentie L/s
(2)s/s carbon fiber shirts
l/s nike drifit
l/s t3k shirt
pearl izumi tights
patagonia lightweight tights
woolrich wool watch cap
asics glove liners
insulated velcro face mask
(4) nylon /wool socks
marmot down jacket
marmot dri-climb jacket
seattle sombrero
rocky gore tex socks
marmot rain shells
pearl izumi rain/wind pants
redledge thunderlite rain/wind jacket
of course I have a head lamp and my komperdale poles and other misc items I just wanted advice on all theses clothes as to what I need not whatI want/keep them advice coming I love it..thanks DON

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Re: thanks for feedback,,here is a update... on 12/12/2007 00:51:26 MST Print View

I think you still have too many clothes. I've hiked the AT in April the last two years. Here is a basic list that works for that time of year:

Zip-off pants (wearing)
1 short sleeve T-shirt (wearing in warm weather)
1 long sleeve light weight shirt (wear under T-shirt for hiking in cold weather, or for sleeping in moderate weather)
1 long sleeve mid-weight shirt (sleeping in cold weather), layering in camp.
1 insulated jacket (synthetic is probably a smarter choice than down, for wearing around camp in the rain)
1 waterproof breathable rain jacket (usable as a wind jacket also)
1 waterproof/windproof pants (some get by without, or with water resistant pants)
1 lightweight pair base layer pants (hiking in cold weather, also for sleeping)
1 pair insulated pants for sleeping if there is any question that your sleeping bag may not handle the coldest temps (or it allows you to go with a slightly lighter bag and still have something warm on when you get out of the bag in the morning.)
1 lightweight balaclava
1 midweight fleece hat
1 pair liner gloves
1 pair outer gloves to layer for colder weather
1 pair ULA overmitts (light!)
3 pairs socks (1 for sleeping, 1 for hiking, 1 spare (likely drying on your pack). (Personally I only take two pairs of socks; 1 for sleeping, 1 for hiking, and launder the hiking ones at town stops, but my feet don't sweat much.)

Don (Biloxi) Carter
(donjuan70) - F

Locale: Red Neck Riviera
too many clothes on 12/14/2007 22:29:47 MST Print View

thanks Pam and all others for your sugestions.yes I have way to much junk but after these fine responses I have cut way back .it's hard not to overdo the clothes I am scard of not having enough incase bad weather,and worrying about being semi-clean most of the time

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
I sympathize on 12/15/2007 22:53:39 MST Print View

I think extra clothing was the hardest thing for me to give up too. I just did it little by little as I got more comfortable. You'll probably do some of that too as you progress on your thru-hike, and can always mail extras home.

Enough layers to stay warm are definitely essential, but extras just to be clean seems to go way down on the list...


Seriously though, a clean outfit in the bounce box would be excellent.

Chris Lowe
(TNChris) - F

Locale: North Carolina
list on 12/24/2007 14:51:26 MST Print View

Most can sympathize with you wanting to bring along too much stuff...the thing is your definition of "clean" and "necessary" will change when you are carrying these things on your back for 2100 miles over mountains and such. I know you've probably heard that a million times; the glory of the AT is you can be flexible. You are free to mail things home as you realize you don't need them or add things at a shop along the way. My recommendation would be start a little sparse on the gear. Everytime I hike I meet someone who has something I wish I had...from your list I would drop:

14oz tarp
l/s t3k shirt
pearl izumi tights
insulated velcro face mask
1 or 2 pair of nylon /wool socks
marmot rain shells
pearl izumi rain/wind pants

Good luck and happy hiking. Check out if you haven't for AT specific info and discussion. The other approach would be to take along everything and see how much of it you've thrown by the wayside halfway up springer mtn. :)