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Smoky Mtn. National Park-Aug 2013 Gearlis
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Brandon Sproul
Smoky Mtn. National Park-Aug 2013 Gearlis on 07/17/2013 01:19:28 MDT Print View

I am doing a 5 day backpacking trip with two friends at Smoky Mountain National Park. This will be my first real backpacking trip. Please give me any feedback for gear you may have. My list is currently incomplete as I am still looking to buy certain things.

Clothing Worn

Other items worn - Subtotal - 6.81oz
*Compass - Silva Starter - 0.50oz
*Knife - Swiss Army knife Spartan - 2.60oz
*First Aide & Survival - Personal Survival Kit - 3.70oz

Other Clothing - Subtotal - 24.40oz
*Clothing - Raingear - Jackets Koppen rain jacket - 14.00oz
*Clothing - Raingear - Pants Columbia Regen - 10.40oz

Sleeping Systems - Subtotal - 124oz
*Sleeping Pads - Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping Pad - 21.00oz
*Shelters - Tents - ALPS Mystique 1.5 - 67.00oz
*Sleeping Bags - Mountain Hardwear Lamina 35 Sleeping Bag (Synthetic) - 36.00oz


Cooking and Water - Subtotal - 20.6oz
*Stoves - Jetboil Sol Titanium Stove - 8.50oz
*Fuel - Jetboil Jetpower (2) - 7.06
*Cookware - Snow Peak Titanium Fork - 0.60
*Water Treatment - Aqua Mira Kit - 1.10
*Water Bottles - Platypus Water Bottle 1L (2) - 1.80
*First Aide & Survival - Bic lighter & matches - 1.00

Other Essentials - Subtotal - 10.21oz
*Lights - Princeton Tec Remix - 2.93oz
*Batteries - Energizer Lithium AAA Battery (4) - 1.08oz
*First Aide & Survival - Blastmatch - 2.70oz
*First Aide & Survival - Survival Blanket - 1.50oz
*First Aide & Survival - First Aid Kit - 2.00oz

Consumables - Subtotal - 33.81oz
*Water - Liter - 33.81oz

Hygiene - Subtotal - 11.42oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - Chapstick - 0.15oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - Reach Dentalfloss - 0.27oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - Toothbrush - 0.25oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - Toothpaste - 0.75oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - Goldbond Body Powder - 1.00oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - Vaseline - 1.75oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - GermX - 1.75oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - Biodegradable Soap - 1.50oz
*Toiletries & Personal Care - Toilet Paper - 4.00oz

Weight Summary
(1) Total Weight Worn or Carried 7 oz (0.19 kg)
(2) Total Base Pack Weight 11 lb 3 oz (5.07 kg)
(3) Total Weight of Consumables 2 lb 2 oz (0.96 kg)
(4) Total Initial Pack Weight (2) + (3) 13 lb 4 oz (6.02 kg)
(5) Full Skin Out Weight (1) + (2) + (3) 13 lb 11 oz (6.22 kg)

*Haven't added the food, but looking at dehydrated food as well as jerky, gorp, etc.
*I understand that I could dump more weight by going with a tarp shelter, but I will at a later point in time.
*I am really stuck on a pack at this moment. I want a lightweight pack, but don't want to buy one that will be too small. Not sure which to get, any recommendations? Unfortunately there really is no store around to try on packs as I live in South Florida. I am looking at the Osprey Atmos 65, Osprey Exos 58, and the GoLite Jam 70L. I am completely open to suggestions though.
*Supposedly there is a bear cable system at the campsites/shelters throughout the park. What would I need in addition for a bear bag system?

Edited by bcs379 on 07/17/2013 10:52:11 MDT.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Smoky Mtn. National Park-Aug 2013 Gearlis on 07/17/2013 07:35:35 MDT Print View

There are bear cables at every campsite or shelter (cs#47 has a bear pole instead) so all you need is a sack to store your food in.

I don't know what route you are doing but most of the park has frequent water so you can usually get by with carrying a liter of water. This has been a wet year so everything should be flowing strong. You can check the nps website for notices of dry springs at shelters, bear activity, etc.

As far as your gear here are my sugguestions:
Drop the 12oz knife! There is absolutely no reason to carry a bigger than a Spyderco Ladybug, Gerber Microlight LST, or the smallest Swiss Army Knife.

Ditch the GPS. The trails are clearly defined and maintained.

Why two lights? Drop one

Why 8!!! Spare batteries? Drop them.

Delete some items in the survival kit. Your first aide and survival kit could easily be under 2oz. The Smokies are the most visited National Park in the US, this is not backcounty Alaska.

Your raingear and sleep gear is heavy but you already know that. A driducks jacket(5oz) and rain wrap (3oz) would save you a bit of weight for minimal cash.

Is that the stove/fuel for the whole group? I think the jetboil is needlessly heavy for one person and you should be able to get ~15 boils of 12oz water from one of the small (net weight 3.88oz) canisters.

Repackage your toiletries, 2oz of hand sanitizer is a LOT. A mini dropper bottle full weighs 0.55oz is will be more than enough for 5 days. Same goes for the soap, etc.

You have dental floss listed twice

Drop the deoderent. You will be smelly and dirty and nothing wil cover it up.

You might add a small mini dropper bottle of deet.

Packs are such a personal thing, but I would add the ULA Ohm and Gossamer Gear packs to the list.

Most of all have a great time. The Smokies are a great place.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
August in the Smokies on 07/17/2013 07:45:25 MDT Print View

I agree with every point of Bradford's. I would add that August is a great time to be in the Smokies, especially in the higher elevations. Every campsite/shelter has a bear cable/pole so all you need is a food bag. And you are required to reserve and stay at these established sites.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Smoky Mtn. National Park-Aug 2013 Gearlis on 07/17/2013 10:03:28 MDT Print View

here are a few things to read and watch 1

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
re: smokies on 07/17/2013 10:43:51 MDT Print View

Just came through the Smokies on the AT earlier this month; really beautiful mountains!

I haven't had to carry more than a liter of water at a time anywhere on the east coast this summer. It's been very wet. (But I do carry two water platys, just in case one springs a leak or falls off a cliff, etc.)

It rains pretty much daily in the Smokies, usually not until the afternoon/evening, but sometimes you get an all-day soaker. Depending on your tolerance for wet/damp clothes, you may want an extra t-shirt and shorts to change into when you reach camp and for sleeping. August *should* be a little drier, but this is a record rain year.

As mentioned above, bring 1 spare battery, not 8. The days are long, so you'll hardly need your light anyway. No need for a back-up light, IMO.

Also--are you sure you need two fuel canisters? JetBoils are very fuel efficient and, in my experience, there's no way I'd burn through even one full canister on a five day solo trip, especially in the summer.

Definitely leave the deodorant behind--it does nothing but attract bugs. (I like to leave some Wet Wipes in the car so that I can get the worst of the grime off before heading back to civilization; that way I don't feel so bad stopping somewhere for lunch on the way home. ;)

Edited by lapedestrienne on 07/17/2013 10:44:26 MDT.

Brandon Sproul
re. Smokies on 07/17/2013 11:03:22 MDT Print View

Thanks for the advice everyone!

The list up top is updated with your suggestions as I went back and modified some things.

*Stove canister is for the group. There are three of us going out.
*Sleeping gear: The bag and pad are a great improvement from what I had before. The bag before was 5.5 lbs and the pad was 3 lbs 15 oz lol. Based on a friend's recommendation. I quickly returned them and bought the ones listed above.
*Any recommendations where I can find bottles for repackaging toiletries? I went to Walmart but couldn't find any. Some goes for the mini dropper.
*Based on what I have so far plus an extra pair of clothes and food, is there a certain size pack that I should be looking for (i.e. how many liters)? I don't want to go overboard on pack size, but I cannot really check any packs out where I live without ordering online first.

Link: I will read those links when I get home from work tonight.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: re. Smokies on 07/17/2013 11:11:12 MDT Print View

try one of these places for repackaging your dinky stuff

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Smoky Mtn. National Park-Aug 2013 Gearlis on 07/17/2013 16:34:57 MDT Print View

+1 on Fast Brad Comments

I would leave rain gear at home. Pack a light shirt for sleeping. You will not hike in pants and jacket in Aug in Smokies. Well not for long at least

Shelter and sleeping bag are heavy but they are more expensive to replace.

Always check weather prior to going because weather can be crazy but I doubt it will be cold.

Slow Brad