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AT thru list SoBo July start
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Charlie Byers
(Cbyers701) - F
AT thru list SoBo July start on 09/06/2011 10:02:43 MDT Print View

Hi everybody, im posting a tentative gear list (some items bought, some not) for a SoBo AT thru in 2013 (yeah i know a long ways off) and many many prep hikes in central va/shennendoah area. Please note I do not have a postage scale... yet, so many weights of the smaller items are estimated and may be wildly inaccurate (also I am a novice hiker with only 15 or so overnighters under my belt and dont know how much soap, deet, sunscreen, etc. to bring on a thru) any corrections on weights or advice about how much of a particular item to bring between resupply would be most welcome. As are any suggestions on the temp ratings of gear and clothing, and obviously the weight of my gear. I will be hiking with my girlfriend and much of our gear will be shared, making this list really difficult to format. Please forgive my disuse of a spreadsheet as I am technologically challenged. I look forward to all your sagely advice (especially mikes ruthless but always helpful critiques, though I wont budge on my use of t.p :)), thanks in advance.

Packing, shelter, sleep
golite jam 24oz
Jacks r Better Mt.Rogers (2person quilt) 30oz
thermorest zlite short 10oz
MLD duomid 16oz (havent bought any comments on this shelter would be appreciated)
Oware 2person bivy 11oz (receptive to getting MLD duomid innernet for summer)

Cooking, hydration
Caldera Ti-Tri w/ 900ml pot 12oz (too big? remember cooking for 2.)
Platy Hosier 3.0L 4oz
2 1liter gatorage bottles 3oz?
(i know, redundant, but my girlfriend drinks insane quantities of water and the platy is mostly for camp and will most likely remain empty while on the trail)

The little things (begin wild weight guesstimations)
dr bronners (repackaged) 2oz
100% deet (repackaged) 3oz
mb ultralite pillowx2 5.2oz for 2 (open to other suggestions)(currently using jacks r better inflatible with good results but questioning their durability and leakproofness)
spare contact lenses (for me)2oz
Black diamond spot headlamp (for elise) 3.5oz
Petzl elite (for me) 1oz
bug headnetx2 2oz for 2
aqua mira (repackaged) 2oz
50 ft cord 5oz
MSR ultralite packtowel 3oz
first aid kit (moleskin early on, ankle wrap?, tylenol, i dunno help me out) 4oz
t.p 1oz

Clothing carried (not even gonna bother with Elise's clothing because we havent bought any of it and I have no idea what she wants, though reccomendations are most welcome; even wilder more aggregious weight guesstimations) any advice on when to switch gear, or add/mail home cold weather gear?

Cap 1 longjohns bottom 4oz
cap 1 l/s baselayer 4.2oz
fleece hat 3oz
MB UL thermowrap parka 13.3 oz
MB UL thermowrap pants 10oz
smartwool balaclava 2oz (other suggestions? warm enough for the whites?)
NF venture rainpant 13oz (wishing i had gone lighter maybe replace with golite tumalos or something)
Marmot super Mica 9oz ( havent purchased, open to other ideas)
NOTE: in hotter weather I may use my JRB ponchotarp and a trashbag rainskirt as raingear saves around 9ish oz)

I am considering purchasing 2 MLD 38* spirit quilts for use in warmer weather and underneath the Mt. Rogers in the south should we still be on the trail in Nov-Dec. Not bothering to post a total (though I will gladly go back and do the math for my baseweight and elises separately if told its REALLY important) because the weight will be split (unevenly at first as i am the stronger of the 2) between the 2 of us. Again i apologise for ignoring the gearlist etiquitte, I will go back and repost (following proper protocol) as suggestions are implemented and the start date gets closer. Please let me know if ive forgotten anything. Alright guys tear it up.

EDITED for terrible spelling
EDITED again starting in 2013 not 2014

Edited by Cbyers701 on 09/06/2011 12:31:57 MDT.

Andy Schill
(Aschill) - F
my opinion on 09/06/2011 11:01:55 MDT Print View

Just my personal opinion.

I would go with a basic cuben tarp, as light as possible. You will probably be sleeping in shelters 90% of the time, a complex shelter (I feel) is not needed.

Charlie Byers
(Cbyers701) - F
very true on 09/06/2011 11:17:42 MDT Print View

Very true. My only objection is that I want my gear to be as versatile as possible and I am working on a budget. If I were to buy a duomid then I could do training hikes thru the winter without concern for moderate snow (I love cold weather hiking and would hate to spend the season sitting it out). That said I will definitely consider your suggestion as i am sure my back and shoulders will appreciate your advice. Now you have me coveting a grace duo cuben tarp, half the weight of the duomid thats CRAZY. Ill just have to see what I can spend when it comes time to leave.

Charlie Byers
(Cbyers701) - F
Grace duo vs. GG CubenTwinn Tarp on 09/06/2011 11:28:24 MDT Print View

Thoughts on mld grace duo vs. gg cubentwinn tarp? Approximately how much weight will seam sealing the cubentwinn add (grace duo is bonded and does not require seam sealing)? What kind of winds should these tarps handle?

tyler marlow

Locale: UTAH
youre gonna love it! on 09/06/2011 22:43:35 MDT Print View

SOBO is definately the way to go, a totally different experience in my opinion than northbounding.

I SOBOed with my dog a little over two years ago starting in mid June

This summer I hiked 3 weeks on the colorado trail with my girlfriend and our best friend and i feel really good about my couples gear list I came up with.

I used a Hexamid Twin with netting which i would HIGHLY recommend for the AT. With your girlfriend you are probably not going to want to stay in shelters even though it wont be crowded. Plus, having your own shelter gives you the flexability to just stop whenever you find a nice campsite with a view.

I dont recommend using a bivy for the two of you, youre going to want a place to stretch out and have room to hang out and relax at night before crashing. Bugs will also be a problem for most of your trip.

As for clothing i would recommend the following:

Lightweight short sleeve baselayer
quick dry shorts/pants whatever you preference, (your girlfriend may want to wear a skirt, mine raves about it)
light insulating layer- ex. Pata Nanopuff, Montbell exlight or Down inner, or even light fleece
rain jacket- driducks are cheap and light but not durable

add a pair of long underwear tops and bottoms if you want a change of clothes for bed

I use a grease pot from 40 oz capacity 3.7 oz $7 including shipping!
cat can alcohol stove

Single quilt or individual, your preference
shoot for a 25-30 rating depending on your insulation choice and metabolism

feel free to pm me with any questions, id love to help!

Charles Byers
(ColonelCrampon) - F
Thanks on 09/07/2011 09:45:51 MDT Print View

Thanks Tyler for your insights and experience. Ill definitely look into the hexamid.

I like the Ti-tri for its wood burning capabilites though i admit it is kind of heavy. I currently have a titanium wing stove that burns esbits, an aluminium windscreen, a fosters can, and a pot cozy i made out of one of those reflexive dashboard protecters. I dont know what that all weighs but I bet its less than 12oz, might just bring that along and save the dough.

A few questions on the hexamid. What is to prevent the netting from freezing to the ground when the temps drop below freezing? A ground cloth? Is the netting on the bottom durable enough for long term use? Or atleast easy to repair? Is the pitch variable at all? I am leery of the short beak (I know they offer an extended beak but im hesitant to shell out the extra 60 bucks if the problem, if there is one at all, can be fixed by pitching the back higher and the front peak lower or something along those lines.) Is a ground sheet necessary? Polycryo ok? or is tyvek better for puncture resistance.

Previously I had just assumed that anything cuben was way out of my price range but being as it will be a split expense, covers rain and bug protection (the duomid and innernet I was previously considering ran $360ish if i rememember correctly), and going to be home sweet home for up to 6 months. When put that way it almost sounds like a legit investment.

Also thanks for your willingness to help out a beginning backpacker. Ill be sure to make good use of your experience. Im going to think up a list of questions to pm you over the next few days so that way I wont be bugging you every time a question pops into my head.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Thanks on 09/07/2011 10:41:11 MDT Print View


Edited by annapurna on 09/07/2011 11:31:25 MDT.

Charles Byers
(ColonelCrampon) - F
Will do on 09/07/2011 11:09:12 MDT Print View

After talking to my girlfriend we reached the concensus that a tarp and bivy would probably suit our needs best as it would allow us to stay in shelters with bug protection. The oware bivy is surprisingly liveable (though it currently only has one tie out for the head portion instead of the promised 2, hopefully sending it back to fix that), with plenty of room to lie down and read a book. It is cavernous and actually allows us to sit up and play cards albeit with fabric draped over our heads.

That said I am still, as ever, open to suggestions and insights, and am prone to changing my mind. Not to mention lusting after fancy gear. Im just worried that the bivy might be hard to sell if I decide to go with an expensive cuben fiber shelter because it is kind of a specialty item (being for 2 people and all). Though the hex is downright reasonable when you consider what you get for the price and its weight versus a 7.7oz cuben tarp paired with an 11oz bivy. It seems pretty unbeatable, though I really like the versatility of the tarp and bivy setup.

Thanks for the tip I will be redirecting my hexamid questions through the proper channels, and on closer inspection of the zpacks site just noticed that many of them have been answered already... oops. Sorry guys.

Elias L
(ewok1) - F
headnet on 09/08/2011 11:44:55 MDT Print View

The headnet will probably not be necessary once you get outside on Maine. I SOBOed and slept in a hammock, and carried no bug protection at all. I only had one night, in Maine, where the bugs were a nuisance the entire time. I began in Maine in July so ymmv. But for a sobo thru, bugs are generally not much of an issue. I think that you can ditch the bivy net altogether and wear the headnet while sleeping if it is ever an issue.

For a pillow, consider just using some of your extra clothing as opposed to carrying anything. I used a fleece pullover as my pillow. If you must have a more sturdy pillow, they sell stuff sacks with fleece inner lining. Maybe get one of those for your quilt, and while you're sleeping pull it inside out and put the clothing in there.

My first aid kit consisted of just the following: ibuprofen and antibacterial ointment. I carried a roll of gauze for a short while when I had a wound that needed daily redressing. Otherwise, I relied on a bandana. Thats it! There are 2 types of injuries: those that require you to get help regardless of your first aid kit, and those that will likely take care of themselves. There is not much inbetween, in my experience. On the AT you are never more than a day or 2 hike in either direction from a road.

I think the dr bonners is unnecessary. I began my thru with some dr bonners but soon got rid of it. You will be bathing at hostels where soap is generally available. And not to mention: even though dr bonners is biodegradable and technically 'safe' for the environment, it still violates leave no trace ethics to use it in a stream. Just sayin...

Edited by ewok1 on 09/08/2011 11:53:38 MDT.

Charles Byers
(ColonelCrampon) - F
RE: headnet on 09/08/2011 12:28:51 MDT Print View

Excellent idea using a headnet for sleep, infact thats exactly what I do when I go on group trips or take a friend out and let them use my Superlight bivy under a 10 by 12 tarp as opposed to my poncho tarp that I take when i go solo, however that would be a really tough sell to my girlfriend who HATES bugs (hence the july start, hoping to avoid or atleast minimize exposure to blackflies). Ill definitely float the idea and work on it though, nixing 11oz is really appealing. I expect she'll warm up to hiking as light as possible when the miles add up. But from what Ive heard, and definitely correct me if im wrong, blackfly hatch times can vary from year to year and still be a persistent problem even late into July.

Also, I think the bivys added warmth and wind resistance might go missed if i nix it as our bag will only be rated to 30* (though I think with 2 sleepers generating warmth it might go a bit lower than that, especially since I took my JRB High sierra sniveller down to 20* comfortably with only a long john top and bottom and a light merino goodwill sweater and hat, but im a warm sleeper while my girlfriend is not)

As for the pillow, Ill look into the fleece lined stuffsack, or nix a pillow altogether (alteast for me). Before getting the JRB grahm flexair pillows I just used my shoes just as comfortably even though they were often wet from hiking in the snow and crossing streams and quite funky.

Thanks for the heads up on leave no trace practices. I had just anticipated filling then platy and hanging it from a tree as a makeshift shower.

Also whats up with the Ugg boots guy?

Charlie Byers
(Cbyers701) - F
Cuben Tarp on 09/12/2011 22:47:05 MDT Print View

Just an update and to prove im not as pigheaded or as closeminded to suggestions as I may appear, Im going with a cuben tarp instead of the duomid.

Also a word on Oware's customer service. I filled out a request contact form on their site, explaned the situation (only one tie out on the head portion instead of the advertised 2) and in less than 10 minutes got an email promising to fix it and cover the shipping expense. Must say Im very pleased with the service as well as the product itself.