Spur of the moment AT Thru Hike Southbound question
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Shaun N
(shaunnnn) - F
Spur of the moment AT Thru Hike Southbound question on 07/25/2009 19:38:20 MDT Print View

Im having one of those FTW months and have decided to southbound it starting mid august, hopefully to be in atlanta for christmas. Im familiar only with the florida trail, my pack is at 30 pounds (im tweaking but dont really mind) with everything minus H2O and Food. Also im not planning on hanging out in town and spending money. so my question is , does anyone have any tips? how frequent are water spots up in the northeast section of the AT? im planning on just bringing alot of oatmeal, nuts, chocolate ALOT of vegan protien meal supplement and whatever treats i grab during brief town in and outs.
am i setting myself up for failure here?
THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Re: Spur of the moment AT Thru Hike Southbound question on 07/25/2009 19:52:42 MDT Print View

August = No water.

Lighten your pack! Post a gear list if you want some help because 30 pounds will no doubt feel like a 100 with food and water after a few miles.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Spur of the moment AT Thru Hike Southbound question on 07/25/2009 20:00:30 MDT Print View

30 pounds *without* food or water??!

Yes, you are setting yourself up for failure. Not saying it can't be done, but that sounds like pure misery. Carrying a heavy pack is fine for a multi-day trip, but you're going to be out there for months.

You still have about 3 weeks. Spend the next 2 weeks researching stuff on this site religiously. You should be able to cut your pack weight down to around 15 pounds before food or water without ridiculous expense. This will make a *huge* difference to your chances of success.

Start by posting a list of the gear that you have already and are planning to take. Then folks here will be offer up better suggestions. Give us an idea of how much money you have available to spend on gear so that we know what constraints we have to work with.

Robert Bryant
(KG4FAM) - F

Locale: Upstate
Re: Spur of the moment AT Thru Hike Southbound question on 07/25/2009 20:33:57 MDT Print View

I have seen plenty of folks start with that pack weight and did fine. They eventually drop the weight, but as long as you want to keep going gear is not going to stop you. There was a girl last year with a walmart pack, walmart bag and army poncho going into the 100 mile wilderness. She eventually swapped things out, but she made the 100 miles to Monson on that gear. Now its best to have your gear figured out before you leave because outfitters are scarce in Maine. The one just up the road from Monson has everything you need, but its not geared for the long distance hiker.

Water is easy to find in Maine and NH. Ponds galore in Maine and the huts have potable water in NH

Shaun N
(shaunnnn) - F
pack list on 07/25/2009 21:05:38 MDT Print View

thanks for the fast responses, heres the pack list, i may have forgotten something i rushed it.

In regards to the financial situation. after the cold weather clothes and the ticket up to maine im trying to go on 50 a week. but im planning on 100 just in case. i cant really figure out where the 2-4K estimates come from that i see on various websites. are these just motels and nice meals and alot of zero days?
ok here we go...

Pack: Osprey Crescent 70: 6 lb 14 oz
Tent: 2 lbs 6 oz
Foot Print: 6.5oz
Mountain hardware Phantom 45 Sleeping bag: 1 lbs
Thermarest trail pro Lg Sleeping Pad: 2 lbs. 11 oz
Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filtration: 11oz
Vegan Protien:1 lbs
Jet Boil Stove: 2 lbs
Fuel: 8oz
Headlamp w batteries: 6.6 oz
Plastic trowel : a few grams
Silva starter compass : 0.9gram

TOTAL : 20 lbs

in addition i take
2 common bic lighters,
a few pocket boxs of matchsticks
2 back AA batteries
Toilet paper
hand sanitizer
3 bandanas
toothbrush
toothpaste
some tylonal / benadryle
small med kit
neosporin
some sewing needles
sharpie marker
rope
bear bag
and then the large clothing catagory which im still researching bc my florida boy ass does not know about up yonder.
and thats where i get the 30lbs number from.
again, THANK YOU SO MUCH for any help. it truly is appreciated.

Shaun N
(shaunnnn) - F
pack list on 07/25/2009 21:09:17 MDT Print View

oh its a seedhouse sl1 w. footprint
and a black diamond icon headlamp

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: pack list on 07/25/2009 21:34:09 MDT Print View

Your tent and your sleeping bag are nice and light (I can't comment on the appropriateness of the bag though as I don't know the area).

Here are your main culprits which are killing you in terms of weight:

Pack: Osprey Crescent 70: 6 lb 14 oz
Foot Print: 6.5oz
Thermarest trail pro Lg Sleeping Pad: 2 lbs. 11 oz
Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filtration: 11oz
Jet Boil Stove: 2 lbs

To give you an idea, most folks here use a pack weighing under 3 lbs (often around 2lbs or even lighter), don't take a footprint, use a sleeping pad weighing 16oz or less, and stoves weighing 4oz or less.

Possible replacements which are lightweight but don't cost too much (and are also not too dramatically different from what you are used to):

* pack: granite gear vapor trail or nimbus ozone
* footprint: none, or use a gossammer gear polycro groundcloth
* pad: big agnes insulted air core or thermarest neo air (more expensive)
* stove: snowpeak gigapower
* filtration: not sure, I usually just use tablets

Anyway, that's a good place to start and would save you about 8-10 pounds straight up. That would make a massive difference to how enjoyable your hike will be.

The vapor trail you can get here on Gear Swap for around $100, the sleeping pad for under $50, likewise the stove.

As for warm clothing, take a close look at Montbell down jackets. They are light, well-made, warm, and not too pricey.

Edited by ashleyb on 07/25/2009 21:35:56 MDT.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Initial Thoughts on 07/25/2009 21:34:40 MDT Print View

The Trail pro is way too heavy to take on a thru-hike. There are several (affordable) options, but that would be an easy way to cut down on weight, w/o sacrificing comfort or a lot of dough. (Big Agnes pads, the Neo-Air, etc.)

Are you sure you can live off 50 a week? Do you know how many calories you will (want to) consume when hiking all week? It's not like lounging around the house....you'll want to eat and eat and eat and eat, and I doubt 50 a week will cut it. Not to mention, some of the resupply places are probably more expensive than you can find at home, where you have options and can afford the time to shop around for bargain prices. Just sayin'.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
moderator: please move this thread to Gear Lists! on 07/25/2009 21:46:53 MDT Print View

BTW this thread has been posted in a rather odd sub-forum. If there's a moderator around (Sam?) maybe you could move it to the Gear Lists sub-forum? It's likely to attract more attention and advice there...

Shaun N
(shaunnnn) - F
the original point on 07/25/2009 21:57:25 MDT Print View

ashley, great point and thanks. i had originally wanted advice on how to maintain around 6000 cal a day on the easy a cheap. as im not a fan of dehydrated pad thai and the like.

perhaps it was fate that i missed actually asking that question at all, and lead onto the gear issues.
i am still interested in any suggestions to maintain 6000Cal a day, the more simplistic or ideally raw, the better.

THANK YOU!

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Re: pack list on 07/25/2009 22:30:31 MDT Print View

do you not plan on using the shelters? Instead of packing a ground sheet and tent, you could pack a tarp in case shelters are an issue. Save a pound or so... Also your pack is insanely huge and insanely heavy. This is a big weight saving opportunity. How long are you planning on going in between resupply? As mentioned before your sleeping pad is way too heavy. Jetboil is too heavy you can shave a pound there. You need a lighter headlamp. No more than 3 ozs. There are other options for walter filtration as well that are a lot lighter.

Shaun N
(shaunnnn) - F
Re: Re: pack list on 07/25/2009 22:42:29 MDT Print View

GARY,

thanks for the help. im starting to see what you mean on the bag and the pad. the jet boil and headlamp also. what are the lighter water filtration options you mention? i really dislike the one i have now.

as far as distance inbetween resupply, my goal is as long as possible. as long as the water sources are good and i can stick to the 6000Cal ide like to keep it at 10 days. however i do not know what a typical amount of days are, whats weak whats extreme?

Shaun N
(shaunnnn) - F
Re: Initial Thoughts on 07/25/2009 22:47:46 MDT Print View

Nate,

im not really sure how realistic 50 a week is at all. the concpet i have in my head is that there has to be a way if i just stick to whole and raw foods or something along those lines. are the supply post prices boosted up pretty high?
this relates to my original question, do you have any tips for things that i should be looking into. im treating taste as a luxury for as long as i can.

thanks for the help!

Robert Bryant
(KG4FAM) - F

Locale: Upstate
Re: Re: Re: pack list on 07/26/2009 10:15:31 MDT Print View

you are not going to resupply every ten days. you will do it for the hundred mile wilderness, but after that no way. its going to be more like 3-5 days between towns and you don't want to carry all that food when a resupply is just a quick hitch up the road.

Robert Bryant
(KG4FAM) - F

Locale: Upstate
Re: Re: Initial Thoughts on 07/26/2009 10:23:18 MDT Print View

and don't let money stop you. If you have to go in debt a couple of grand to finish the trail then do it. Most normal people take out loans for way more so they can achieve the dream of home ownership. A couple of grand in debt to have one of the most amazing experiences in your lifetime is peanuts for what you are getting.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Locale: www.jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com
Re: Re: Re: pack list on 07/26/2009 11:37:27 MDT Print View

It's been said, and accurately so, that many have succeeded by carrying more weight than they needed to. Obviously, mental strength is more important than any gear and my hope for myself and any hiker is that they can summon this strength.

Unfortunately, many folks have also quit the AT because they were overwhelmed principally by the weight of their gear when they perhaps could have continued with better choices.

Knowing that, since you know the difference, why not lighten-up to give yourself the best odds? Basically, if you have the means ($$$), there are a lot of good suggestions here that would give you a good shot at being successful and hopefully make your time on the trail happier. Finishing the AT with a smile and standing upright is a lot better than with a grimmace and a broken back.

Like others have said, focus on the items that weigh the most. Although Granite Gear packs are very popular on the trail, so are those from ULA-Equipment, Six Moon Designs, and even Gossamer Gear or Mountain Laurel Designs to an extent. Consider swapping your bag to a lighter and warmer Western Mountaineering option such as the Highlite or even Caribou. Lose your pad and replace it with Closed Cell foam or a NeoAir. Lose your tent and replace it with a tarp (because you'll be able to stay in shelters much of the time, or if you need a tent, get something much lighter from Tarp Tent or Six Moon Designs. If you like hammocks, consider a Warbonnet Outdoors Blackbird or something from Hennessey Hammocks which are also popular on the AT. Consider a Ti-Tri Caldera stove from Titanium Goat as Esbit is far lighter and less of a fuss than alcohol or cannister stoves and the cone superheats your cup because it traps both the gases and flame to improve efficiency. It can also be used with alcohol or with natural sources which is something more stoves can't claim. For everything else, lose your redundancy. You don't need back-up after back up. Layer your clothing and use it with your sleeping system. Cut weight on things you'll rarely need - like rain gear. Get yourself a Dri-Ducks top and a ULA-Equipment rain skirt. Use trail runners and not boots (Inov-8's are popular on the forums, although you can find better support and cushioning from other mainstream shoe manufacturers).

Basically, all of this is pretty generic guidance you will find throughout the forums and in the book "Lightweight Backpacking and Camping" by Dr. Ryan Joran who runs this site/company. The reasons these things are stressed so frequently is because they work. Often it takes a lot of time to come to this realization, but fortunately you've stopped by because it is a topic in your mind and you're taking proactive steps earlier than reactive steps later. Basically, continue thinking about all your gear, look at all these suggestions, take a look at the book, and conquer the great AT!

Gary Boyd
(debiant) - F

Locale: Mid-west
Re: Re: Re: pack list on 07/26/2009 12:28:14 MDT Print View

In relation to the water purification, a great deal of people here use a steri-pen, I like the combination of aquamira frontier pro and tablets, either will be much lighter than the Katadyn.

I think your goal of 10 day resupplies as has been mentioned is not a good one. Resupplying more frequently means carrying a lot less weight. The less weight you carry, the easier and more enjoyable your hiking will be. carrying 60000 calories at even 1 lb per 3000 calories would be 20 lbs and trying a raw food vegan diet of any kind is certain to make it more than 1 lb.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
MODERATOR - please move thread. on 07/26/2009 12:41:35 MDT Print View

Can you please move this to Gear Lists?