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October in the Smokies - Gear list
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Jason H
(i2ambler) - F
October in the Smokies - Gear list on 07/13/2012 10:44:22 MDT Print View

Hi folks - I am planning a 72 mile 'thru-hike' of the smokies in early october, and would like some critique of my list. I dont own everything on this list - so any help is appreciated. Since you have to stay in shelters, Im not bringing a full tent - just emergency shelter.


Shortsleeve Nike Runner 5.00
Golite Siskiyou pant 9.00
ExOfficio Boxer Briefs 2.00
Darn Tough mini crew 2.20
Nike UL running hat 1.50

Other Items Carried/Worn:

Timex Watch 0.90
Komperdell Carbon 14.00
Generic Bandana x 1 1.05
Maps 0.75
Inov8 roclite 295 22.00

Clothing Carried:

REI Middleweight Underwear zip top + bottom 14.00
Stoic wraith wind/wet 4.00
Stoic down hadron 7.0
Fleece Gloves 1.40
Ex Officio Fleece Beanie 1.00
Sea to Summit head net 1.20
Shortsleeve golite runner 4.00
ExOfficio Boxer Briefs 2.00
Darn Tough mini crew 2.20


Ohm 2.0 28.0
schnozzle bag 2.00
Ziplock Bags 1

Sleeping and Shelter:

enLIGHTenment quilt – 30 OS/W 21.0
Synpad UL7 16.0
Sea to Summit silk bag liner 5.0
Golite Poncho + stakes 9.00

Cooking & Hydration:

Gatorade 1 lt. Bottle x 2 1.80
Sawyer Squeeze + 2 liter Bag 4.00
Opsac large 1.20
Zline 50'' + Blast Foodbag + carabiner 1.85
GSI minimalist 6.00
home made alcohol stove 0.50
Dr Bonner's Camp Soap in microbottle 1.00
Bic Mini Lighter x 2 0.80
5oz Fuel bottle 1.00


REI Keychain Compass 0.30
Fox 40 Safety Whistle 0.20
Micro-terry towel 1.00
Petzl Tikka Plus 3.00
5 feet of Duct Tape 0.30
Toothbrush 0.30
Mini Floss 0.20
Gauze Pads x2, Several Band Aids, Antibiotic Ointment, Needle 0.50
16 Ibuprofen, 4 Immodium AD 0.20
Match Book 0.15
Sunscreen - microbottle 1.00
TP 1.00
100% Deet - microbottle 1.00
Droid Razr 4.30
Swiss Army Classic Knife 0.75

This base weight adds up to around 9 1/2 lbs not including stuff worn/food and water

Some of the stuff is heavier than needed, but I love the gsi kit and love love love my exped. The Schnozzel is used as a bag liner to stuff quilt/down stuff and clothes are stuffed in head net. For serious downpours I can wear the poncho, for light stuff/ wind the wraith. I dont have the new quilt or silk liner yet.. Im thinking the 30 degree overstuff + if I need it, the silk liner.. ?

Thanks for any input!

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Smokies on 07/13/2012 11:03:48 MDT Print View

Looks a fair amount like my Smokies list. You shouldn't have bugs in October; nix the headnet if you want. The shelters have hanging cables so no bear line/caribiner needed. How many nights are you doing?

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: October in the Smokies - Gear list on 07/13/2012 11:26:31 MDT Print View

The Stoic Wrath is around 2oz, not 4oz.

The best way to drop weight from that list is in the extra clothing. Wearing a long sleeve with a deep chest zip will be more versatile than a short sleeve shirt.

Get rid of the following:

REI Middleweight Underwear zip top + bottom 14.00
Shortsleeve golite runner 4.00
ExOfficio Boxer Briefs 2.00
Sawyer Squeeze + 2 liter Bag 4.00 - use chlorine dioxide tabs
Sea to Summit silk bag liner 5.0 - cheaper/lighter to order a warmer bag
GSI minimalist 6.00 - get something lighter
Bic Mini Lighter x 2 0.80 - one should be plenty, you have your matchbook for backup

For hydration, check, but there should be plenty of water along the way, so use two thin-plastic .5L bottles (~1oz total) and bring your 2L platypus and boil water for evening/overnight treatment and cover you over longer distances. You'll be forced to carry less water this way, unless you truly need it, which means you'll lose more weight than the base-weight numbers show.

Before you object to leaving the extra clothing behind... TRY it. If it doesn't work for you, you'll still have a good time. If it does work for you, then you've shaved almost 1.5lbs!

FYI, hand sanitizer is more environment friendly, despite what the Dr Bonner's bottle says.

Edited by lindahlb on 07/13/2012 11:29:09 MDT.

Jason H
(i2ambler) - F
Thanks! on 07/13/2012 12:10:36 MDT Print View

I will be up there for probably 8 days, taking my time.. with one day in Gatlinburg.

Im trying to do things on a bit of a budget.. Ill only save an ounce and a half if I go with titanium - and the minimalist includes everything I need (koozy,spork,etc) and I like it a lot and it was only 20 bucks. Its a heck of a bargain.

October is supposed to be pretty chilly up there, and I dont want to freeze, Although, I kind of sleep warm. I live in florida and wanted a bag I could use here during winter as well.. I figured the 30 degree bag overstuffed would probably be enough and just bringing the silk bag liner as a precaution.. Ill drop the long underwear bottoms, and keep the long underwear zip-top for morning hikes. I was thinking of wearing the short sleeve runner + boxers at the hotel while doing laundry, and the short sleeve as a bottom layer if I need it.

I was actually concerned I wasn't bringing warm enough gear for the chilly Fall air - but the clothes I have look warm enough?

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
October in the Smokies on 07/13/2012 13:48:52 MDT Print View

I did Fontana to Newfound Gap last October (as part of a longer AT section hike). For the Smokies, we had 3 straight days of 40-50 degrees and rain. Only you can judge your clothing's adequacy, but you should be prepared for very wet weather. I was glad to have my rain mitts. I used a 30-degree bag and was fine.

You've got camping reservations, right? Then you can nix the stakes for the poncho tarp. Tenting is illegal unless you're at AT thru-hiker. And even if somehow someone takes your shelter space, there is a ridiculous amount of covered space in front of each shelter--you could easily sleep on the ground there.

I'd bring the line for bear bagging--a couple of nights all of the bear cables were taken (some people used more than one).

Edited by sschloss1 on 07/13/2012 13:49:23 MDT.

Jason H
(i2ambler) - F
Reservations on 07/13/2012 14:08:08 MDT Print View

You can only make reservations one month in advance.. So Im waiting on September. Im thinking the double layer of poncho and wind shell will help a lot. Did you bring rain pants as well? October is supposedly one of the drier months in the Smokies. I guess you got lucky. :)

I would prefer just to tent camp the whole way- since shelters are a haven for mice. But whatever. Ill save a pound and a half without a tent.

Edited by i2ambler on 07/13/2012 14:09:31 MDT.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Thanks! on 07/13/2012 15:39:11 MDT Print View

An overstuffed 30 degree quilt should be more than fine with your Hadron jacket. Those silk bag liners are a joke. They add maybe 1 or 2 degrees at most. Leave it behind.

Wear your windshirt for morning hikes and leave the long underwear top at home. Again, I'd really recommend a lightweight long sleeve baselayer instead of a short sleeve one. A short sleeve will be quite pointless at the time of year you plan on going.

For 8 days, I'm not sure why you'd bother doing laundry. A quick rinse in a stream should be good enough. But, just wear a hotel bath robe and do your laundry in that (or a hotel towel and your windshirt). If it ever gets dirty (very unlikely), your windshirt can easily be rinsed in a stream. If you take off your baselayer and wear your windshirt next to skin, it'll dry off in a few minutes.

Mike Feldman

Locale: SE USA
nice list on 07/14/2012 10:32:07 MDT Print View

Nice list, though agree skip the liner.You would be better w/a 1/2 quilt at even synthetic insulation, 8 ounces or less. I have one Tim Marshall made me for certain situations. I was on the AT in NC at Standing Indian Mountain in mid October and a front came in dropped 4-5 inches of snow w/20-25 mph winds, got a lille chilly. One year north at Roan Mountain on I recall 10/1 it was 20 degrees. I always plan that time of year the possibilirty of snow, and cool temps!Have a great trip.

Jason H
(i2ambler) - F
8 Days on 07/14/2012 17:49:10 MDT Print View

I guess, I figured that since I was going to be in Gatlinburg anyway, I might as well wash my pants and skivvies. Dang, I would hate to get caught in 20 degree weather trying to hike without enough insulation. I dont mind a little bit of extra weight in clothing to be sure I dont freeze my n*ts off.

I will leave the silk bag liner at home and just sleep in the hadron if I need to. I will get rid of the two shortsleeve shirts and just bring a single longsleeve zip top. Sorry for sounding clueless, I dont have much experience camping in cold or even cool weather. Some other folks I have talked to said that I didnt have enough clothes and needed to add a fleece jacket! Ill say no to that. If I can keep my weight to around 20lbs with food+water and enough warm clothes, Ill be a happy camper.


Edited by i2ambler on 07/14/2012 17:52:34 MDT.

list on 07/14/2012 18:54:47 MDT Print View

A derma safe knife will save .45 oz over the swiss army. BTW, the tweezers on swiss army or other knifes are not strong enough to pull out a tick, carry real tweezers for that.

Probably wont need bug dope save 1ounce
wont need sunscreen save 1 oz
Probably wont need that much tp
Use 8oz water bottle for fuel = .5 oz
bring one lighter, matches are your backup
1oz is too much soap, I bring .65oz in bottle and lasts weeks
You may not need bear line, BUT be sure to either tie or have carabiner to clip your bag or pack to the hook. Bears WILL bounce it off.
Use water bottles .75 oz ea instead of gatorade
Use aquamira instead of sawyer - save 3 oz.
Leave headnet, not needed
get rid of extra briefs and shirt

I think you need a fleece layer
bag liner is too heavy for what it does (nothing, its a sheet sack) . If you are goint to bring it,you shouldhave a heavier bag.

Edited by livingontheroad on 07/14/2012 18:57:59 MDT.

Jason H
(i2ambler) - F
Hmmm on 07/15/2012 12:46:32 MDT Print View

So you think I should bring a fleece too, just in case of extreme cold? hmmm Fleece jackets are sooo heavy, it seems though. I guess I would rather be comfortable than cold and without the right clothing.

fleece on 07/15/2012 14:01:04 MDT Print View

Typically, people have a a fleece mid layer for hiking. If you hike in your down you can get it soggy.

100 wt fleece will weigh about 11 oz. You might need to wear it at higher elevations in oct part of time

you may be using long underwear top instead, but thats harder to put on and take off.

You could have 50 F overnight temp in oct. Or 30 F and snow. Forecast the week before will tell you what you need better

Edited by livingontheroad on 07/15/2012 14:05:38 MDT.

Jason H
(i2ambler) - F
Sounds good on 07/17/2012 11:02:29 MDT Print View

I will wait on clothing until closer to my trip so I can estimate how the weather is going to be.. Im pretty happy with most of my choices so far - and just need to dial it in a little over the next two months. Im going to continue to contemplate my clothing choices - but at least my 'big items' have been decided, and seem to be be going in the right direction for a sub 20lb hike without spending myself out of house and home.

I guess its silly to have some arbitrary number to go after, but 20lbs with everything puts me in a good comfort zone for going up and down mountains without wrecking my 40 year old knees. I figure since I am practically re-buying everything - I might as go as light as I can and as affordable as possible for an enjoyable a hike as possible.

Jason Cravens

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
smokies on 07/28/2012 20:31:31 MDT Print View

I hike in the smokies often and the weather is very unpredictable in spring and fall. I would wait until a week or so before and get the local weather reports and check the forums. In the past October could have snow, but our warming trend it may be more like July/August weather. I think you can plan everything except the proper clothing until closer to your date.

As for me, I recommend the Marmot Dri-Clime instead of a fleece to wear while hiking. It is very light and it very warm considering. I usually take it for a layer if needed in colder temps. Save the Hadron for when you are stopped or camping. You don't want to get sweaty wearing down while hiking.