Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
My 2012 AT Thru Hike List
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ryan Houser
(rjhouser) - F
My 2012 AT Thru Hike List on 01/04/2012 13:37:03 MST Print View

I'm leaving May 4th NOBO. Right now I'm at 11.56 lbs. It would be nice to get under 10. You can view my list here:

Looking for any type of advice or suggestions for cutting weight. My clothing worn has not been added yet but my clothing carried is, so the packed weight is accurate. I do already own all of this gear but I'm not necessarily set on it. Obviously as a college student I'm trying to find the intersection of low weight, durability / value, and price. I did buy most of my gear used. Thanks!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Gear list on 01/04/2012 13:51:56 MST Print View

Looks like a pretty good start on your list to me.

I would consider dropping the ground sheet and 2 dry bags.

That's a pretty heavy pack; you could lose a lot with a lighter pack. There are lots of options.

You could go a lot lighter on your shelter if you like a tarp.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: My 2012 AT Thru Hike List on 01/04/2012 14:17:07 MST Print View

I think common thinner wall 1L soda bottles would save an about 1oz or so vz the gatorade bottles. If you can find the wide mouth thin wall 1L ( Aquafina) then those are pretty great if you do not need the ridges in the side for your set-up.

Maybe only an 8 oz AL fuel bottle? Perhaps the 16.9oz bottle is more than you need between resupplies - maybe not.

The GG PolyCro or MLD UL Ground Cloth would save 2-3 oz over the Tyvek.

Anyway- There's about 5oz saved for less than $15.
BTW- Anyone plug in random end numbers to see other lists?

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
That's a very good list on 01/04/2012 15:19:00 MST Print View

After skimming through it I think your list is outstanding. Others have already posted some good suggestions.

Personally, I'd definitely leave the ground cloth and keep the Lunar Solo with it's built in floor. Keeping out of the skeeters is nice, and I remember tarping it one night on the AT and finding wood ticks crawling on me. Lyme disease is a significant risk on the AT. An enclosed shelter will give you a refuge.

One option that might be as good as any is keeping what you have now and making changes on the trail once you've gotten a better feel for it.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Adds on 01/04/2012 15:57:18 MST Print View

You might want small bottles of soap/sanitizer, DEET, sunscreen. A windshirt can be REALLY useful too. I bet money you would use it a lot.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Excellent List on 01/04/2012 15:59:57 MST Print View

You're pretty much carrying about what I carried this past year for my thru-hike (minus some thermawrap pants and MLD rain mitts(used the whole way with my synthetic liners) for the cool weather start at the end of March). All good suggestions from other members here - but I may have missed them but didn't see any hiking poles listed - I'd take some as odds are you'll end up buying them at some point. My winter weight ended up being around 12.5 lbs and yours is plenty close to breaking ten with the helpful suggestions of others here. You'll likely end up getting a cheap summer bag or fleece throw to use for the very hot weather (as I did) since even my WM Caribou 35* ended up being too warm and sent it home after only 6 weeks or so for a 50* which saw me the whole rest of the way. Happy trails and enjoy the walk !

Ryan Houser
(rjhouser) - F
Thanks for the responses! on 01/04/2012 18:49:00 MST Print View

Only issue I have with dropping the tarp is not having it to use in shelters. I plan to stay in shelters most of the time and use my tarptent minimally, so it's not really for the tent. Although the tent does have the UL floor in it. It's more for keeping my sleeping bag clean and splinter free on the shelter floor. My pad is short.

I didn't list DEET because I don't plan on carrying it in early May but it will definitely be something I pick up along the way.

My trecking poles were not included because I don't consider them something that will be in the pack, ever, but I probably should have included them anyway. The list is now updated with them but they are listed as "worn"

The other suggestions sound good and I will take them into consideration. Thanks guys!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
AT on 01/04/2012 21:21:51 MST Print View

Burn it up Ryan. I predict you'll do well.

Sam Ridge

Locale: North Carolina
!!!! on 01/04/2012 21:39:37 MST Print View

"Burn it up Ryan. I predict you'll do well." Here here!!! Raleigh young guns in the house!

Ben Wiles
(benjita) - MLife

Locale: Annandale, VA
Re: My 2012 AT Thru Hike List on 01/05/2012 08:28:19 MST Print View

I'd drop the thermal bottoms. You probalby won't hike in them. Your bag is plenty warm and probably won't sleep in them.

Jack G
(NomadJack) - F

Locale: Midwest
My 2012 AT Thru Hike List on 01/05/2012 08:43:57 MST Print View

Not sure how it fits in your budget but if you went with something like a Meteor bivy and tarp combination you could use the bivy in the shelters. With that late of a start you will be dealing with bugs quickly.

Pattern for meteor is available on SMD website. You could do a MYOG, same for tarp.

Edited by NomadJack on 01/05/2012 08:56:29 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Looks Good on 01/05/2012 08:57:34 MST Print View

The only idea I would have to drop significant weight would be to ditch the tarptent or swap out your pack. Personally though I don't think the 11 pounds baseweight will be all that bad in a a good pack. Unless you're really sure of what you want I might leave things as they are and change later.
Noticed you have thermarest prolite in short, I love that thing. I would NOT swithc to a foam pad just to save a few ounces.
Best of luck!

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
"My 2012 AT Thru Hike List" on 01/05/2012 09:40:06 MST Print View

ryan! best to you on your pilgrimage!
to cut weight, i too would most definitely shelf the capilene bottoms.
also, a few considerations (take or leave )...
* ground stakes-- sticks work equally as well and are readily found.
* matches and a bic lighter-- why both?
* extra batteries-- road crossings and towns are ridiculously accessible.
* repair kit and/or super glue-- duct it to tide you o'er (until town).
* h20 system-- have you considered a camelbak or the like?
* cap for rain-- would the bandana not double?
likley you'll find the convenience measure (of not having to stop and/or reach) pays for itself in more ways than one. the pack i used for my thru (doubled as my climbing pack) and lacked a bladder system. while it was sometimes/always/never a challenge (post resupply) to jerry rig, i'd never choose anything but.
once you get yer mojo, the last thing you'll want is to break stride for a swish.
go big.

Carl Zimmerman
(CarlZ993) - MLife
AT List on 01/13/2012 12:51:53 MST Print View

Pretty light. A couple of observations:
1. I'd go a lighter version of Long Underwear
2. I'd carry more water carrying options than two, 1-L bottles. Add a 2-L platypus for camp water storage (adds about an oz).
3. Didn't see extra underwear. I use lined running shorts as underwear and carry a spare.
4. Foam earplugs don't work very well. Consider the plastic ones that are corded. You're less likely to lose them (necessary in any group camping situation).
5. I saw no Immodium in your first aid kit. Something will upset your stomach somewhere.
6. I'd carry a lighter headlamp to make up for the extra platypus.


Locale: Piedmont of the Carolinas
tarp and bivy on 01/13/2012 13:53:24 MST Print View

I second the meteor bivy and a tarp combo. The bivy keeps you insect free and gives you a ground sheet in shelters, as well as when used with tarp and trekking pole stealth camping setup. All for very little weight.

Sam Ridge

Locale: North Carolina
Earplugs idea on 01/15/2012 19:18:24 MST Print View

Those little skull candy bud type of headphones could work well as a multi-use luxury item.

Allen Butts
(butts0989) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Backpack...? on 01/22/2012 00:53:20 MST Print View

I dont know if im the first to mention this but possibly a lighter pack? If you're still looking for the support try out a ULA Ohm, im sure you could carry your load in it fine.

Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
From the top on 01/23/2012 17:54:33 MST Print View

Weight Savings: 47-16.4=30.6g


Merino Wool Thermal Base/Underwear Top and Bottom - No more than 10oz
Weight Savings: 435-280=155g


Replace one pair of heavy smartwool with a "Thinny thin" dress socks. Use the smartwool for sleeping in.

Weight savings: 92-10=82g



I like the option of using different fuels and so I would go with this windscreen which can also be used to make a fire in. It is a 10gram weight addition, but if you are able to carry less fuel it will save overall. Also, while a simple piece of aluminium foil is ul, it has its problems.

Weight Savings: -10g

Fuel Bottle:

Could go with a lighter/thinner plastic bottle.
Weight Savings: ~5g


Why is the 2mm cord listed under this category and what is your planned use for it?

First Aid:

I like your wrapping the duct tape around the bottle.


Backup Fire starter: Not sure of the weight gain, but might consider dipping the match heads in melted wax before hand. Or maybe just one or two of the matches in the book for waterproofing. 1 or 2 wax dipped heads should not be more than a few grams extra.
Weight addition: ~2g


I would nix the dry bags. But if you have to have organization go with some cuben stuff sacks. Also, why dry bags? You have the trash compactor to waterproof everything.


Sell that beast and go with a Zpacks modded Zero (Med or large). If really worried about durability go with the heavier material. Ive spreadsheeted a 13.42oz Large Zero with the newly built external frame setup used on the Exo, 2.92 oz/sqyd Cuben-Hybrid material and various addons.
Weight savings: 45oz-13.42=31.58oz/895.28g


Zpacks Hexamid+ with Netting and beak: 10.8oz
Weight savings: 24-10.8=13.2oz/374.21g

8 GroundHog Stakes at 0.4oz/ea: 3.2oz
Weight addition: 0.2oz

Suluk 46 Padded Ground sheet. This will be your ground sheet and backpack frame rolled up. (2.23oz)
Weight savings: 130g-63.2183=66.7817g

Sleep System:

GG Nightlight Sleeping Pad (Torso). This fits folded up into a pocket on the backside of the pack. (3.43oz)
Weight Savings: 11oz-3.42oz=7.58oz/214.8854g

I have that sleeping bag and love it.


Could go with a tip from Mike Clelland's book and dehydrate your toothpaste before hand. However, on a thru hike it is not as feasible.


Ask what is your purpose with this item. Are you planning on night hiking a good bit? Is it just for those few minutes before bed? I think you could go with something much lighter like the petzl elite at 0.95oz. This would also drop your weight in extra AAA batteries to the weight of watch batteries. Yes, watch batteries are not found at every stop, but if your intent is just a few moments at night to settle down or use the restroom then the batteries will last you long enough til a stop that has replacements.
Weight savings: 92g-26.9315g=65.0685g

Total weight savings:1876.6g/66.1963oz/4.1373lbs

Given your current weight, 11.56lb, you would be at a base weight of: 11.56-4.1373=7.4227lbs. This number is not factoring nixing the dry bags and some other suggestions.


Edited by Micronorton on 01/23/2012 18:49:00 MST.

list on 01/24/2012 15:06:14 MST Print View

pretty minimal.

You are starting kind of late, about a month behind most so you must be planning high mileage, you only have 5 mos and 1 wk if start NOBO unless you flip flop.

The hexamid + inner net is about same wt as the one with attached net, and the inner could be used in shelters to keep mices and bugs off of you if you dont like them.

get rid of tyvek ground sheet.

Id carry a lot more ibuprofen/tylenol than 2g. Also some immodium. If you dont need it, someone you are walking with will.

Hand sanitizer and soap? without this triple the immodium.

Hydropel? Ever hiked a week straight in the rain? You will. You are sure you dont need rain pants? Even 40F on top of Mt Washington , 70 mph winds, in a storm, you can do without? What will you wear while doing laundry if you dont have rainpants?

Driducks are great for short hikes. Id consider something more durable for 5mos. Only ~2 ounces more for OR helium or such. You will likely destroy the driducks top quickly.

add a 2L platy.

Allow yourself some luxuries, it will be worth the small wt addition.

baking soda instead of toothpaste. Lighter and multi purpose and no smell. 101 uses from poison ivy, to monkey butt. Also cures cancer.

wind screen and lid wt seems low

lighter long johns

tincture of benzoin ampule and more blister supplies beside duct tape, at least for first several weeks if your feet arent already accustomed.

dont need dry sacks, just get some cuben stuff sacks from hmg, much lighter if you need the storage organization

cardboard sign for hitchhiking (thru-hiker to town)

pen to write in registers

you will need some money, not everyone takes VISA. Yes it has weight.

bug repellent. Lyme disease is not rampant,but its not exactly rare either. Its pretty common for thru hikers.

food bag/bear bag and rope and carabiner

you need a good head net you can hike in. Google "black flies" and new england

consider some spare clean clothes, at least a Tshirt/underwear. cant always do laundry before you go eat with people in town. will make life more enjoyable,esp when you are soaked at the end of a long day, you have something nice and dry to sleep in.

Sunglasses? They dont call it the green tunnel for nothing, but there are times when you will want them too.

A separate bandana for cooking from the one you wrap around your head will be probably be wanted.

very small pad of paper. You will want to write notes, exchange addresses and such, write down directions to places for yourself or for others, or phone #s.

You might even consider journal so you can remember the trip. It can be done on a smartphone, but its a PITA by comparison

Edited by livingontheroad on 01/24/2012 19:22:39 MST.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Re: list on 01/24/2012 19:28:08 MST Print View

Looks good to me and Pretty Lean list really

Lose 24 oz - I think you would need to change some of your Equipment out for less volume to lose 24 OZ, like a SUL down M55 quilt although your bag packs small, Zpacks hexamid etc or a tarp and SUL bug tent or a bivy. IE cut the volume down enough where you can use a smaller lighter pack.

Here are some ideas anyway...
Grain of salt...

Lighter pack to something like a Mariposa would save
21 oz but probably not big enough with your Eq, tent etc.

Cuben pack liner and skip all the others = 4-5 oz
Cuben pack Cover - did not see one.

I have XL silk johns that weigh 10 oz

I would Carry something other than paper matches for a backup.

Polycro ground sheet saves 2.5 oz.
Frost king sliding glass door kit makes 2.

Platy or an UL plastic bottle will save 2 oz or so.

Edited by tammons on 01/24/2012 19:31:59 MST.