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Appalachian Trail SOBO Thru Hike
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Gabe D
Appalachian Trail SOBO Thru Hike on 03/10/2013 20:03:13 MDT Print View

I am a relative beginner at all of this stuff, so I would appreciate any help refining my gear list. It has taken me a long time of research, but here is (give or take) my planned gear list for this summer's hike:

I tried to have all the gear I pick fit into all three categories:
1) Lightweight
2) Durable
3) Reasonably priced

Maybe I am skipping something, or maybe there is some better gear out there. Please, criticism is WANTED. I feel that I could lose a pound or two without spending much more money, or maybe I am skimping out on something vital.

A few notes:
Might go to a hiking staff, like the LuxuryLite BigStick.
Could always go to a rain skirt, such as those from ULA.
Could cut my AT Guide into sections and ship them in intervals.
Frame-less packs are not out of the equation, I just need one that is somewhat durable.
I understand that I still need lines and spikes for my tarp, I am still looking into those as I am new to tarping.

Thanks for any help.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
List is "close to complete" ? on 03/11/2013 11:48:02 MDT Print View

I personally don't use rain pants much, but I tend to "run hot" (metabolism). But I'd prefer a rain skirt over rain pants, with the caveat that they're not so good when the wind is up.

But if you do ditch the rain pants, make sure you think through your "town clothes" strategy (a wind skirt might work for some, others wouldn't be so happy with that option).

I don't know what a "thermal jacket" is, but 11+ oz seems like a lot; I hope this is plenty warm. My Montbell EX Light down jacket weighs about 6 oz.

A leather hat?!? Why?

I presume you'll have a change of socks.

I wonder if you'll be happy finding sticks to build a little fire every night? Hiking styles really vary, maybe this will work fine for you.

I think you'll get more helpful feedback if at some point you can list what you assert is a really complete gear list (and with weights for everything, including clothing worn). So for example, I suspect that a single 32 oz gatorade bottle isn't your only water storage?

Yes, definitely make up a scant few boxes or use a bounce box and don't carry the entire guidebook at once. You'll want replacement shoes along the way, at least, there are a couple of places where it's nice to get a food drop, and you might want to swap some clothing/gear along the way based on expected average temperatures. Five resupply boxes worked really well on the AT for me (NOBO, but not sure that matters).

What's your strategy for dealing with bugs at night?

I'm not a fan of the hiking staff approach; I like them if I'm doing river walking (I mean walking for extensive periods right in the river) but otherwise I don't see the point --- a staff IMO doesn't at all do the same thing for you that a pair of trekking poles does. It's not 'useless', just I wonder exactly what the intended use is relative to the weight/hassle.

Gabe D
Reply to Brian Lewis on 03/11/2013 16:38:34 MDT Print View

Already had a nice leather cowboy hat, but it will probably be too hot... I will search around for a more breathable one.

About the jacket: Don't know why I called it a thermal jacket, it is a fleece jacket. I was not sure just what temperatures I would find on the trail and knew that fleece held up better in the rain. From what I hear, you are going to get really wet in the northern regions of the trail.

I will have at least two, if not more, 32 oz bottles on me at all times, the list does show a "2" in in the quantity section.

"What's your strategy for dealing with bugs at night?"
Premithrin soaked clothes and a bug net on my bivy, is there something else I should look for?

The list is complete besides for lines and spikes for the tarp.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Appalachian Trail SOBO Thru Hike on 03/11/2013 17:21:23 MDT Print View

I agree with the wood stove.. some areas are not allowed to have fires.. ie wilderness areas of NH, all of Connecticut.. also do you want to be outside of the shelter using a wood stove in the rain or in a shelter using a canister stove? (by shelter i mean the AT shelters.. not your tarp.. you will use the shelters plenty they make life easier and SOBO they won't be as busy)

hiking poles are personal preference.. if you need 2 poles for your tarp then normal hiking poles will probably be more useful. my tent needs 2 poles and i prefer 2 poles for hiking anyway.

If your pack fits you and holds all of your gear plus 6 days of food you should be ok with what you have.. i'm not sure if there are many places you need further than that. If you are in shape the 100mi wilderness shouldn't take that long while you are fresh.

Dirty Girl gaiters are nice to keep crap out of your shoes and your socks cleaner.

I agree 2 pairs of hiking socks and 1 pair of sleeping socks.

skip the pack cover.. you have a pack liner and multiple other dry sacks so it isn't necessary or usually effective anyway. quilt, extra clothes in the liner.. twist shut, pack everything else on top.

you could also start with the whole AT guide and send sections home or like you said pick some easy resupply spot to mail sections to. you will also need to figure out a system to send your camera SD card home. luckily they are damn cheap now so you could get a few and be good for the whole trip

craig johnston

Locale: New England
my two pennies on 03/11/2013 20:52:06 MDT Print View

Im a 2 1/2 time AT thru- hiker. IMO dirty girls are great on the PCT
on the AT SOBO the mud in ME, NH and VT will Eat them pretty quick
they are good for sticks and twigs and sand, but im skeptical about their effectiveness against mud

Shelters .. don't do it you'll be disappointed
use a tarp or a BG fly creek - tarp being you lightest option , with a bug net
skeeters are bad from ME to PA and beyond in spots NJ took the cake in 11' ( freaking evil ! )
try a giga power stove from snow peak 34-39$ canister you can simmer and and boil fast with a 6 oz stove and canisters are widely available here
or if you want to go UL alcohol stove is your best bet , longer boil times no simmer.
thats just a couple things i can think of ATM..

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: my two pennies on 03/11/2013 22:24:34 MDT Print View

re: dirty girls. I guess i've been lucky enough the past few years in NH, CT, VT to not have had any spots where full shoe immersion has been necessary. I got lucky doing the Long Trail last summer in super dry conditions so ver-mud wasn't an issue. I've done most of NH and can't recall any muddy sections. it's mostly rock.

i hate pine duff/needles so anything to keep that crap out of my shoes i'm all for it ;)