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Theoretical AT Gear List
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Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/20/2010 21:40:39 MST Print View

So its rainy in SoCal and well, we don't know what to do with ourselves.

I got bored and decided to make what I think would be the lightest gear list I could come up with for the AT. I will hopefully be hiking it in 2012 so its not all that theoretical, just some of the stuff is out of my price range. I will be most likely Hiking SoBo (Its downhill the whole way right?). I realize that some stuff will be sent home/ bounce boxed/ changed halfway.

Without Further Ado--My (Slightly Theoretical) Gear List:

*Item* *Primary Use* *Weight (oz.)*

Blast 26 Pack ~4.0
Pack Liner Dryness 1.0


6x9 Flat Tarp Shelter 24.0
TiGoat 6" stakes Holding shelter together 1.5
EnLIGHTened Epiphany quilt ~20* quilt 14.0
GG Torsolite sleeping pad 3.5
Cuben Ground Cloth Ground Cloth 3.4


Caldera Cone windscreen/reflector 0.95
CC Stove Stove 0.56
Firelight 550 SUL Pot 2.21
BPL spoon eating 0.39
Fuel Bottle holding fuel 0.5
Lighter w/ Tape Fire 1.0


REI Fleece Warmth 11.0
Cap 3 Bottoms Sleeping 6.0
Smartwool Top Sleeping 7.5

*Ditty Sack*

Sack Orginization 0.1
Field Notes Journal 1.0
Chapstick Chapped Lips 0.25
Pencil Writing 0.15
Zebra Light H51 Healamp 3.5


1L Platy Water 0.8
1L Platy Water 0.8
Smart Water Bottle(1L) Water 0.5
Smart Water Bottle(1L) Water 0.5

DriDucks top Rain jacket 5.0
ULA Rain Wrap Rain skirt 3.0

Total: 71.01 oz. OR 4Lbs, 7.01 oz.

I feel like I am missing things, so feel free to point them out . Also I am looking for suggestions for something to replace the REI Fleece, maybe the Patagucci R1 Hoody?

For around camp I will be using the quilt in conjunction with the driducks to make a puffy jacket.

I did not include worn clothing because I do not count that in the base layer but it will most likely be a pair of hiking/climbing pants made by Prana and a REI hiking T-shirt.

What an I missing, what could be lighter? I feel like some things will fer sure need to be lighter and some will need to be added.

What Say ye?

Edited by climberslacker on 12/20/2010 21:54:31 MST.

Josh Newkirk
(Newkirk) - MLife

Locale: Australia
cold on 12/20/2010 21:54:24 MST Print View

It seems that depending on what time of year you start you may need more warmth.

I have talked to people who have been fairly marginal with a similar bag and more insulation.

Some people i think use 0 degree bags in the beginning of their hike.

Maybe you want to shove in a mb ul inner and a pair of goosefeet or something, add 2/3s of a pound but add a lot of warmth?

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/20/2010 22:00:43 MST Print View

Good call. I havn't really thought about it, like I said I won't be hiking it for a few years and didn't think about what the rating should be. Lets pretend that this is for the warmer months :).

I will add those to the mental gear list, thanks!

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
sleep system on 12/21/2010 00:32:33 MST Print View

Unless you're starting mid-may NOBO, I would include a puffy jacket with a hood. Temps in the teens aren't uncommon in the higher elevations in the south thru April. After that, you'll need some bug protection; something like an MLD Serenity would be perfect. It could replace your groundsheet and be used in shelters as well as under the tarp, or alone on clear nights.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/21/2010 11:19:50 MST Print View

Yeah, im starting early/mid June SoBo so I will also keep that in mind. Is the bug net something that you eventually send back or do most people keep it the whole way?

As far as puffy Jacket--Would the WM Flash hooded jacket work? Or what would you recomend?

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Re: Theoretical AT gear list on 12/21/2010 11:33:54 MST Print View

Hi Jace, the Flash hoody would be perfect, it's really nice piece of gear. A synthetic hoody would be perfect, though the only light ones I knwo of are the BPL Cocoon and the Patagonia Nano Puff. If you can sew or have someone to help you, a ThruHiker kit like the Kinnsman or Kennebec aren't that difficult and can save you alot of money.

As far as the bugnet, if you are starting mid/late June SOBO, you probably need it the whole way, you may be able to send it home in Va. depending on when you arrive and what the temps are like. At the beginning, you'll be dealing with some pretty intense insect pressure. Not just mosquitoes; the black flies are far worse IMO. I would carry a bug bivy or enclosed shelter, headnet, clothing to cover arms and legs that is insect-resistant, and lots of repellent.

Jason McSpadden
(JBMcSr1) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Ray Jardine has some insight on 12/21/2010 11:47:56 MST Print View

I've never been on the AT. But I have done a lot of reading of Ray Jardine's stuff and he thinks the ticks can be a major challenge. He has some good stuff in his latest book and in his DVD on avoiding tick bites. He uses a tarp but also sleeps in a net tent that he designed called a Spitfire. His system is well thought out. However his system may or may not work for you.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Bugs. on 12/21/2010 11:58:18 MST Print View

Would the MLD Bug Bivy work?

I have never really had any experience with massive amounts of bugs (Im a SoCal baby). I will definitely have to do more research on the bug stuff. Thanks for the Heads-up.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Ticks on 12/21/2010 12:10:00 MST Print View

I'm a mid-Atlantic backpacker who was overwhelmed by ticks in May/June (literally whole colonies on our legs and gear) and subsequently grabbed an MLD Superlight bivy (full net hood) to use as my bug shelter under my tarp. I thought it worked perfectly, particularly since the material used for the top part makes a silky sheet for hot and sticky summer nights. It's only 6.5 oz. and keeps all the critters off you.

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
Shakedown Hikes on 12/21/2010 13:01:45 MST Print View

I'd plan some shake-down hikes. The more the better that way you can better evaluate what you need and what you don't. Plan around some marginal weather so you can evaluate your gear under those conditions.

I'd also not go to an extreme on ultra-light. I see people doing just about anything to scrub an ounce here and there and while it is good practice to manage weight, like anything it can be taken to an extreme. I used to give the opposite advice but times have changed and ultralight has become the "thing" so people need to be reminded in the opposite direction. ;-)

On long hikes people vastly miscalculate gear choices at the beginning of the trip. If you can minimize the big mistakes, you are 90% of the way there. Also be flexible enough to change. Once you get 500 miles under your belt you pretty much know what works and what doesn't for you. A pound or two isn't going to make the difference that most people think either. Most people lose 15-20lbs in the first month of hiking and that is about your pack weight. Keep in mind that people have carried anywhere from 5-35lbs (I'm sure it ranges more than that) for entire thru-hikes. An extra pound isn't going to make or break you. Just make sure it is the right pound.

Edited by kevperro on 12/21/2010 13:02:46 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Ticks on 12/21/2010 13:18:53 MST Print View


I am mostly a summertime hiker. I use a Meteor Bivy and a silnylon tarp. I have not had to use any bug spray or anything else.

Two years ago I had a small problem at Spring Mtn. Shelter north of Hot Springs, NC. I sat down on the picnic table's bench and took a 30 minute nap waiting for my Micropur tablets to do their thing. When I woke up both of my legs were infested with the little beggars. I no longer will tempt fate by sitting on those benches. I believe they lie in wait underneath waiting to pounce. ;-)

Last year after 10 days and 63 miles I was only able to count a total of 3 that managed to join me for a mile or two.

Be advised that on the AT or any trail for that matter you are quite likely to pick up a few uninvited hitchhikers. IMHO it is nothing to worry about just so long as you check regularly for uninvited guests and know how to remove said guest promptly and efficiently.

Party On,


Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
South Bound on 12/21/2010 13:42:03 MST Print View

I went south bound from Maine to Harpers Ferry and I never saw a tick. I started in late August and the black fly/tick/skeeter situation highly depends on the time of year and even the yearly bug harvest. I could have hiked the entire way without bug spray or any kind of bug protection that year. Start in the spring and you have an entirely different situation. I would imagine your biggest problem starting early in Maine will be the black flies which will drive you crazy while hiking...bug spray or not.

Brian Hall
pad on 12/21/2010 15:29:10 MST Print View

You may be able to pull off sleeping on the torsolite for 4 or 5 months, but I think I would want a more comfortable pad.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
AT gearlist on 12/24/2010 12:13:08 MST Print View

Off to a good start. Here are some suggestions.

Ditch the 24 oz flat tarp shelter and replace with a lighter silnylon tarp (or cuben if so interested).

+1 on the superlight bivy

Ditch the cuben ground sheet if using bivy. If needed, consider polycryo instead. Cheaper ($8) and lighter.

Consider the MB thermawrap (8.8 oz) or nanopuff (9.8 oz) instead of the fleece.

4 waterbottles seems like too much

Things omitted:
Camera (might be nice to record your adventure of a lifetime)
First aid kit
Toilet items (toothbrush, hand sanitizer, Dr B's)
Knife or razor
Spare socks
Map or guidebook
Bearbagging items (cuben dry bag, ursacord)
Guylines for tarp
Aquamira or water filter
Emergency firestriker or matches in waterproof case

It would be hard for me to do a thruhike SUL. 7-8 lb would be more reasonable.
Don't just plan it- make it happen.
Good luck

Kevin Haskins
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
First Aid on 12/24/2010 14:05:12 MST Print View

I didn't carry a first aid kit and most people I knew didn't either.

I also didn't hang food. About the only place I can think of along the AT where it is required is in the Smokies. Even there the shelters are fenced so you can keep food inside the shelter. The bears won't get you but you will find the mice pretty bold.

Water is easy to come by along the AT as are resupply points.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/24/2010 15:31:24 MST Print View

Re: the Tarp: Well that was stupid of me. I was changing things in my current gear list to what I wanted. The tarp I have in mind would be a Cuben tarp, most likley around 6 oz at most.

I did forget to add some things like water purification: Aqua Mira Drops.

You are also right about the water, I am used to desert hiking so I will drop one of those.

I also need to figure out what I am doing about bear protection.

As far as bug netting I am looking at the simblissity bug netting: does anyone have any experience using that with a quilt?

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
100 mile wilderness... on 12/25/2010 22:51:42 MST Print View

will that pack carry your gear + 8 days of food to get you through the 100 mile wilderness? you won't be doing 25 mile days that early into your hike, so that stretch will take some time...

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
re: on 12/26/2010 17:02:05 MST Print View

Most of the cages in the smokies have been removed bc people were sleeping with their food.

+1 on leaving first aid at home. Use common sense and leave that dead weight at home.

i think an epiphany quilt would be a little too hot. The vapor barrier might be a little much. 1.75 revelation is probably all you would need especially with the bivy. Actually about to order one myself before he closes for orders after the 31st.

Don't need a pack liner with a Blast. If your worried about the seams leaking toss a little sealer on them.

Oh and hike nobo.

Edited by mzion on 12/26/2010 17:05:12 MST.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/26/2010 20:01:37 MST Print View

Good call on the pack liner, I have that from my Mariposa.

I hike ~20 mile days usually, the longest I have ever done is ~26 miles. I will plan on about five days. I will not really know how much the pack will have untill I get it and then I will make the call between that and the mariposa.

Regarding the epiphany 2.5, it is what I have and will probably end up using. I can handle a pretty large variation in sleeping warmth so I will probably end up using it.

And I really have no choice but the hike SoBo on the AT. I would prefer to hike NoBo on the PCT but the way that my life works out, it is what I get to do. The reason for that is because I get out of school in the middle of May, and then take a gap year which I will start out with a trail. So SoBo it is on the AT. In my opinion: A trail is a Trail and hiking it will be fun no matter what the trail it.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
aware on 12/26/2010 20:13:03 MST Print View

you're doing 20 mile days consecutively? 5 20 mile days in a row is different than doing a 20 mile day and then not hiking the next day... i'm just concerned that you're going to have to have a good bit of food in your pack for that stretch. it'll be heavy

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: on 12/26/2010 21:15:27 MST Print View

At 5 lbs base weight he'll be fine doing 20s. Just start early. The 100 mile wilderness isn't tough at all terrain wise. The last 25 or so going into Monson are rough on the ankles but not intolerable.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
First Aid Kit on 12/26/2010 22:36:42 MST Print View

Mine is as simple as a partial roll of tape and a couple of band aids. (0.5 oz)
Does double duty for repairs. You guys never get blisters?

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: First Aid Kit on 12/26/2010 22:46:41 MST Print View

Yeah, I'd at least carry something for a first aid kit. Some pain killers, anti-bacterial cream and a few bandaids or tape and gauze. Some long distance hikers don't have anything, and I've often given them some of mine just to prevent infection and the like. Would you really want to have an open wound for a few days as you hike to town? Infection can be a real problem!

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/27/2010 00:48:29 MST Print View

As far as first aid:

I am thinking Leukotape for blisters, a few bandaids and one or two of the little singe use neosporin packets, I would have one if every few mail drops just so I always have at least one.

Also, I am planning on talking with the Doc (who has been my family doc for years) about getting a prescription for just one or two vicodin in case things get ugly.

And regarding how far I will hike, it is a valid point, and I appreciate it. I think when I did the 26 mile day I had a 10 mile day the next followed by an 18 miler. I will find out how far I realistically can go on the training hikes, they will also show my what I can do with the Blast 26.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/27/2010 01:32:41 MST Print View

Jace, You're a young, fit guy with a light pack and a lot of desire? Is that right?

I bet you could do 30s day in, day out if you wanted to...

Edited by Found on 12/27/2010 01:33:21 MST.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/27/2010 09:33:36 MST Print View

Yup, I'm 16 right now and depending on when I leave I will be turning 18 on the trail. I am planning on doing the JMT this summer to see how far I really can pull in a day, of course there will be LOTS of backpacking between now and the JMT, and more importantly tons before the AT. The plan is to have most of my stuff pretty dialed in before I even start the trail.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
TrailLite Designs CloudKilt by ZPacks on 12/28/2010 06:53:47 MST Print View

You can shave 2 easy ounces off your ULA Rain Wrap by replacing it with a TrailLite Designs CloudKilt from ZPacks. Joe mentioned to me yesterday that he is planning on offering them in CT2K.08 this coming year as well as the CT3.5K.18 he currently offers them in. A regular in CT2K.08 should weigh 1.01 oz the short should be 0.86 oz.

TrailLite Designs CloudKilt by ZPacks

Edited by ChemE on 12/28/2010 07:02:19 MST.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Theoretical AT Gear List on 12/28/2010 13:40:55 MST Print View

Sounds good,

When it comes out I may end up selling my rain wrap on gear swap, hopefully someone will want it.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Re: Theoretical PCT *was AT* Gear List on 01/02/2011 00:18:10 MST Print View

So I have just talked to someone who I know to be pretty experienced with thru-hiking (has done the PCT and CDT) and as I believe I have mentioned somewhere I would prefer to hike the PCT as it is one less plane ticket to buy (I live in SoCal and can easily get a ride to the southern terminus), and I will be starting out in familiar terrain.

I will hope to hit the trail running, with 25 mile days right off the bat. I also plan to leave June 1st and hopefully catch up to the herd by kennedy meadows(ish).

So you PCTers, how does this sound as far as timing?

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
Cloud Kilt on 01/02/2011 01:19:36 MST Print View

I've had my Trail Lite Designs Cloud Kilt for a little while now. I'll just say this: get one! The ventilation alone is sweet, the lightness in the pack is sweet, sturdy & excellent craftsmanship, and the black color gives you some modest privacy for the privates when trying to do laundry & don't have extras of things to wash in.

Some missings: (?)
- bug headnet for Sierras
- wind jacket
- Bowie knife (ok, kidding!)
- headwear (for sun protection or warmth) and also for sleeping
- insulation piece (like Nano Puff, etc. )

I highly recommend the Patagucci R1 Hoody. Highly highly. I love, nay, am in love with mine. (my PCT list is at ).

25 mile days straight off for the PCT is ambitious from what I have heard. Most start off 12-15 mile days for a week or so, then acclimate to higher daily miles. But hey, if you're 17-18, maybe you can slam it! :) I'm starting the PCT in late April '11, see you out there!

Edited by Pittsburgh on 01/02/2011 01:30:50 MST.

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Theoretical PCT Gear-list on 01/02/2011 01:42:55 MST Print View

Yeah, I am trying to get my local gear shop (I have accumulated like $150 worth of gift cards there over the years) to bring in an R1 so that I can use the cards.

It has been a bit of kit that I have wanted for quite a while.

I won't be going out till 2012 (I got bored on a rainy day and started scheming), so make sure you let me know what I missed out on when you get back!

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
REI? on 01/02/2011 04:32:42 MST Print View

For sure, I'll have a full review :). And if you'd like, follow along, my website address is in my profile as well. I'll be posting updates (videos when I can) from the trail.

Get the Hoody. If your shop carries Patagonia goods, it should be as easy as "Hey, this size, this color ." and it runs slim, not baggy. I wear XL in almost everything, and was true to form w/Hoody size. I can wear a baselayer under it, and a windshell or insulator over ( I'm using the Houdini for windshell, Nano Puff for insulator.

Enjoy the planning, it's been a blast on this end!

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Hiking the AT on 01/02/2011 08:44:53 MST Print View

Lisa, I thru-hiked the AT in 2010 and it was an amazing journey. I went NOBO but the hikes are not all that different. You will be starting in the heat. Yes Maine will be cool especially at night but you will hit NY in just over a month and it will be hot. My son and I hiked that section in July and had triple digit temps. That bring us to water. While I agree you probably do not need 4 liters but you will hit some dry sections if it does not rain. Springs in PA that were flowing in early June were dry in late July. In NJ and PA the rocks are unreal. That was the only pace on the trail I got a blister. My footbeds rubbed the sides of my heal and became painful. I trimmed them and continued to hike. I used only a couple of IB's and nothing else out of my first aid kit until I took a bad fall at Bemis Mountain in Maine. I used every band aid to tape up my shin that a rock shaved to the bone. I picked up additional band aids and hydrogen peroxide in the next town but ended up seeing a doctor when I got home to complete the healing process. Carry some pepto bismol just in case you pick up a water born bug.
By the time you get to NC and GA the weather will be getting cool again. I was in VA in October and talked with SOBO's I met in Maine and NH. Over night lows were in the 20'. The mid-Atlantic states will have ticks but the worst should be over when you get there. The trails will some what over grown so expect to walk in weeds especially from Duncannon PA into Northern VA.
As for the 100 mile wilderness I carried 3 1/2 days of food out of Monson. I stopped at the White House (pricey) and ate supper and breakfast. I also picked up a bag of potatoes for one additonal breakfast. The terrain for the first half of the wilderness will be easy but will get harder at White Cap. From there Maine will get progressively harder and unlike western trails the AT is constantly up and down. Many western hikers are surprised by all the elevation change. I averaged 18 plus miles a day and could of topped 20 but the days I hiked into town and spent the rest of the day eating killed my average. Most days were 23 to 28 miles. It makes for a long day but then thats what you are there to do. Hike!

Hope your hike turns ut as sucsessful as mine.

EZ Hiker
AT 2010