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First hiking trip / first shot at gear list
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James Dieffenwierth
(shorembo) - F

Locale: SWFLA
First hiking trip / first shot at gear list on 06/29/2011 20:05:10 MDT Print View

I will be going on the AT in TN/NC for a week in August. Here is my first shot at a gear list.

4.9 - T-shirt
2.9 - Compression Underwear
9.3 - Zipper Leg Pants
1.2 - Socks
15.2 - Shoes (New Balance MT101)
5.9 - Tilley Hat
39.4 - TOTAL

13.3 - Backpack (Homemade G4)
10 - Bed Pad (Blue Foam Pad)
36 - Sleeping Bag (North Face Equinox Mummy Bag)
42.5 - Tent (Wenzel Starlight)
7.2 - Pillow
13.1 - Crocs
9.8 - T-shirts (2)
5.8 - Compression Underwear (2)
8.7 - Pants (Light Shorts)
9.8 - Wind Jacket
12.7 - Green Fleece Jacket
4.8 - Socks (4)
1.4 - Knit Cap
1.2 - Bandanas (2)
9.9 - Umbrella
1.4 - AT Map
5.3 - Pocket Knife
1 - Plate
0.2 - Utensils
1.9 - LED Flashlight
0.4 - LED Keychain
0.5 - Chlorine Tablets
0.6 - Toothbrush
0.6 - Toothpaste
0.4 - Floss
1.1 - Insect Repellant
1.8 - Nylon Cord
1.3 - Waterproof Food Bag
1.7 - Compass
5.4 - 64 oz Plastic Bottles (2)
3 - Phone
5.2 - Wallet
6.6 - Camera
2.7 - Keys
227.3 - TOTAL (14Lb 3oz)

I left off a medicine kit with sunscreen but everything else should be covered. The only thing I have purchased for the trip is the Wenzel Starlight, MT101 Shoes, and the G4 Backpack kit. The rest of the gear I pulled from my days as a scout leader.

Am I missing anything or bringing needless stuff?

The one thing I am worried about is I plan on starting with 5 days of food at 7.5 lbs. That takes me to 22lbs without water. If I add two quarts I am at 26 lbs. I am not sure how my homemade G4 would hold up.

Thanks for any thoughts...

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: First hiking trip / first shot at gear list on 06/29/2011 21:03:02 MDT Print View

I think that you can re-evaluate your spare clothing.

Extra underwear -- At most you need 1 dry pair for sleeping Cut 1 -2.9
Exta T-shirts -- At most you need 1 dry shirt for sleeping Cut 1 -4.9
Packed Pants -- Cut -9 (not really light for shorts plus you are wearing convertables)
Socks -- Maybe 1 extra pair for sleeping or to rotate so you always have 1 dry pair -- Cut 3 -3.6
Bandanas -- Cut 1 -.6
Flashlights Cut 1 -.4
Wallet -- Instead of wallet take an elastic band with a credit card, Id, and cash -4
Bottles -- Your Plastic Bottles seem heavy should be 1 oz per liter capacity or less -3.4 (Buy collapsable Platy Bottles $12 or free pop / gatorade bottles)

If you make those free changes I don't think you reduce your comfort level or Safety level and you save 28.8 ounces or 1.75 lbs.

Now you could also get more extreme and eliminate all of the extra underwear, Socks and shirts and save another 1/2 pound but personally I like to have a dry shirt, underwear, and socks for sleeping.

I would also look at your Water supplies for your first day of hiking if you are concerned about peak weight. If you have a known reliable water supply every 2 hours or so on your first day you could only carry a liter of water at a time and save another 2 lbs of your pack weight. Even if other days you need the two liter capacity by avoiding it on the first day you reduce the max weight you ever carry. You want to be sure though that the water sources are reliable and not just some mud puddle some added to a map and called it a water source.

Edited by GregF on 06/29/2011 21:04:35 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: First hiking trip / first shot at gear list on 06/29/2011 21:17:19 MDT Print View

Drop the pillow and use the stuff sack for your sleeping bag filled with any extra clothes, raingear, etc.

Leave the crocs at home, they are not needed with trail runners.

I might take an extra shirt to sleep in but otherwise leave the extra shirts at home.

Leave the extra underwear at home.

Why are you taking extra pants? You already have convertibles that can be used as shorts or pants. Leave the extras at home

That is pretty heavy for a wind jacket.

Take one extra pair of socks to sleep in and leave the other “extras” at home.

Leave one bandana at home.

Holy cow on the pocket knife, get something under an ounce like a Spyderco Ladybug, Gerber Micro LST, or Swiss Army Executive(?).

Leave the plate at home

You only need one light. Pick which one you like best and go with it.

Are you sure you need that much water? I have never needed more than two liters on the AT.

Don’t take your whole wallet. Your ID, CC, a little cash, and Insurance Card wrapped in a rubber band works for a lot less weight.

Don’t take your whole keyring, take your spare or the key you need off the ring and take it separately.

Sunscreen isn't needed on the AT. They don't call it the green tunnel for nothing. The only place I would consider it on the AT in TN/NC is Roan Highlands, but that is only a 8 mile section.

Edited by Mocs123 on 06/29/2011 21:19:18 MDT.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
I am not sure how my homemade G4 would hold up. on 06/29/2011 22:35:51 MDT Print View

I have an old, commercially-made G4 and I don't think it has enough structure to transfer much weight to the hips, so all the weight just hangs off your shoulders. Take a look at the BPL articles about packs currently running on this web site, and maybe get one of the ones with a bendable aluminum hoop frame?

James Dieffenwierth
(shorembo) - F

Locale: SWFLA
First hiking trip / first shot at gear list....make the mummy a quilt on 06/30/2011 19:13:33 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments...I was able to knock off almost two pounds with some easy stuff based on your comments (wallet, keys, pillow, lighter versions of equipment). I am still keeping around 1/2 lb of extra clothes that I can use as a makeshift pillow along with some teva sandals that are 1/2 the weight of crocs. I can always ditch them after my trial hike in two weeks if I am having problems.

The initial water concept was something I didn't think about. Once I get a days worth of food eaten, I can take the extra water.

I am thinking another way to lighten up at no cost is to make the mummy bag a quilt. Do people do this to old equipment? I've had the sleeping bag for awhile and it is in good shape but frankly, I hate mummy bags. At 36 oz, maybe I can save a pound.

Brian Hall
Water on 06/30/2011 21:50:44 MDT Print View

On the southern portion of the AT I have never found that I needed to carry anymore than a 32oz bottle of water. As hot as it is though, you may be better carrying two 32oz bottles this time of year. There is usually water every few miles or so. I just use a powerade bottle, then I carry a 2 liter platypus as part of my filter setup. I usually stop at the last water source I will see for the day, and fill up both containers for camp.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
feedback and insights on 07/02/2011 18:35:59 MDT Print View

Feedback & Insights

36 - Sleeping Bag (North Face Equinox Mummy Bag) - pretty heavy for summer.

42.5 - Tent (Wenzel Starlight) - NIX and replace with a solo tarp.

7.2 - Pillow - NIX and make your own, using 7 ziploc baggies and a LW stuff sack, at 1.8 ounces.

13.1 - Crocs - NIX, no need.

9.8 - T-shirts (2) - NIX, you listed a t-shirt in your hiking clothes. One is plenty.

5.8 - Compression Underwear (2) - NIX, you listed a compression shorts in your hiking clothes. One is plenty.

8.7 - Pants (Light Shorts) - NIX, you listed zipper leged pants in your hiking clothes. One pair is plenty.

9.8 - Wind Jacket

12.7 - Green Fleece Jacket

4.8 - Socks (4) - Too many. One for hiking, one for sleeping (and one for washing and drying) So three total.

1.2 - Bandanas (2) - One is plenty

9.9 - Umbrella - NIX

1.4 - AT Map

5.3 - Pocket Knife - NIX and replace with single edge razor blade.

1 - Plate - NIX

0.2 - Utensils - All you need is a spoon

0.4 - LED Keychain - NIX

1.8 - Nylon Cord - What is this for?

1.3 - Waterproof Food Bag

1.7 - Compass - Too heavy, find something lighter, less than an ounce.

5.4 - 64 oz Plastic Bottles (2) - one is plenty

3 - Phone - NIX

5.2 - Wallet - NIX

2.7 - Keys - NIX

Question ------- How do you cook your food?

James Dieffenwierth
(shorembo) - F

Locale: SWFLA
no cooking this time... on 07/02/2011 20:19:58 MDT Print View

Mike...tI appreciate the response.

This is my first hiking trip so I decided not to cook. I figured it would be one less thing I needed to worry about.

Also, the rope was for hanging my food bag. I haven't really figured out what the bear situation is. I don't know if I really need to hang the food or just keep it tightly wrapped in my tent or just to be carefree and not worry about bears.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: no cooking this time... on 07/02/2011 20:58:35 MDT Print View

If you keep the food in your tent, and if you wake up in the middle of the night with something nibbling on your toes, it may not be the GF.


Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
RE: Food in tent on 07/02/2011 21:31:31 MDT Print View

The eastern black bear is really no problem. They are afraid of humans. There are bear cables at most shelters in GA, TN and NC. I always sleep with my food. The only hikers that loose their food to bears are the ones that hang it. The eastern black bear will not enter a tent with a human in it but do not leave food in an unattended tent or pack for that matter. You just might loose food, tent and backpack. Oh and I am not the only one that sleeps with their food, quite a few experienced AT hikers sleep with their food including David Blair of Damascus who his hiked the AT five times and has never hung his food.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: no cooking this time... on 07/02/2011 22:58:06 MDT Print View

Please don't take bear safety and your food lightly. A fed bear is a dead bear.

If you are unsure at least use an Ursack!!

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
"problem" bears (i.e. human-acclimated) on 07/03/2011 07:51:43 MDT Print View

>> The eastern black bear is really no problem. They are afraid of humans.

Generally, yes. And also generally, if there is a problem bear in the vicinity, word travels fast. Nevertheless, this is a poor generalization to make. Black bears don't deliberately go after humans, but they can get used to humans and be aggressive in seeking out "people food."

Edited by spelt on 07/03/2011 07:52:41 MDT.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Generalizations on 07/03/2011 14:14:36 MDT Print View

Years ago in glacier they thought grizzlies to be harmless to humans. They were wrong. Two girls found this out in one night. There are times in bear country when I sleep with my food but I would never RECOMMEND it. Bears can seem pretty predictable and people are free to give their insites. But given varying conditions like habituation and food shortages and the idiots that may have camped in your spot the night B-4 they can turn quite unpredicable. And like people there are bears that "just aint right" If everyone listens to the advise to just sleep with your food I think we will find out in time how bad of advise that is. And ive meet an eastern black bear that didnt seem afraid of me at all. He seemed very used to people I had to spray him in the face with some really nasty S#!t to get him to leave. Alot of times on these forums when the topic of bears comes up I see people posting things and I think the person should just shut their pie hole. Funny but as I write this I know that I cant say a word like S#!t on here but when it comes to topics on bears people say stuff that if their advise is taken can get others killed Now what do you really think should be edited ? HMMM... NO SHIT?

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Generalizations on 07/03/2011 16:30:11 MDT Print View

I agree that 95% of all black bears run before you can even get a picture of them, but I have run into quite a few (at least 10) that show no fear of me at all, and have even been false charged before on the trail. I have never had one come into camp but I would hang your food, this protects both you and the bear. I know of at least one hiker that had a bear shred his tent to get his food (he was not inside) and know a few other hikers that have had bears that would circle their shelter wanting the food that was inside. They never made a move for the food, but they wouldn't leave, and in either case, the individual inside didn't get much sleep.

James Dieffenwierth
(shorembo) - F

Locale: SWFLA
consequences of taking advice... on 07/03/2011 17:19:59 MDT Print View

Thanks for the responses…Bob, Dale, Sarah, Spelt, Mark, & Bradford. They are always appreciated.

With a diversity of opinion, one should always consider which advice would cause the most trouble if it turned out to be wrong.

At 1.8 oz, I think I will take the nylon cord and hang my food until I figure out what the heck I am doing.