First season Michigander going to Shenandoah...Preperation
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Ryan Litwiller
(ryanlitwiller) - F

Locale: Michigan
First season Michigander going to Shenandoah...Preperation on 08/15/2013 05:22:16 MDT Print View

Well this is my first year backpacking and I have faired very well in Michigan. I have done multiple trips along the North Country Trail.

I am heading to VA over Labor Day and I just wanted some live feedback to ensure I am on track. I do not personally know any backpackers so I have had to research and self teach my self what I know and I know it always helps to consult.

I am doing a 3 Night trip with my cousin who just moved to VA. He is ex-military but hasn't backpacked.

My (2) big Questions are weather and gear:

1st-
I check the almanac and for the closest area I could find to the trail it looked like the average low was 60F. VA is further south then the weather I know in MI but we will be at 3k elevation so I'm not sure how much of a difference it will be to what I know. So any input on what nights are like in VA on the AT, in late august would be great.

2nd-
So I have a pretty nice gear set. I got into bp on a budget but have managed to upgrade most of my gear. So my question is more about clothing and making sure I have what is necessary. So this is what I plan to bring:

-Wool top and bottom base layer
-Few pair of socks(is wool best?) and active wear boxer briefs
-wool hat
-I have a ton polyester shirts think maybe bring a couple?
-Rain gear
(I have a nice Columbia top but unfortunately only have cheaper frog toggs for bottoms)
-Convertible TNF pants
-Zip off sleeves sun shirt
-Jacket?
(I just got a down UL hooded sweater. I use to take a fleece jacket with me but should I just take the down sweater?)

So any help with my clothing line up would be great, or some things that maybe I wouldn't have hiking in MI that are prudent when coming to the AT? Commonly forgot things? Any input. I consider listing my whole gear line up but I didn't want to make this post too long and I think I am pretty set with stove/food/water/etc but any help in any area would be great. Thanks in advance.

Edited by ryanlitwiller on 08/15/2013 05:30:14 MDT.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
First season Michigander going to Shenandoah...Preperation on 08/15/2013 08:38:47 MDT Print View

Labor day in the Shenandoah, I would not take too many extra clothes. I wouldn't take more than one short sleeve wool/poly shirt, a rain jacket (Driducks will be fine there)and your UL hooded sweater on top; maybe a windshirt too if you have it. Extra shirts and more than one extra pair of socks is really not necessary. You'll be under the trees so don't worry about sun sleeves. Your UL sweater has a hood, so I wouldn't bring a wool hat.
On bottom, I would take, at most, undies, shorts, long john bottoms, one extra pair socks(wool or poly, but I prefer wool usually), and a rainskirt or dri ducks bottoms. I really can't imagine wanting more than that. I wouldn't even bring the convertable pants.
You can make a fine rainskirt from a trash bag. You may never need it but its a cheap and easy addition.
As to to night time temperature, its likely to be a bit cooler in the elevations than in the towns. I don't think I would need more than a good 40 degree bag.
There is a lodge on the AT there if you want to re-supply or get a nice meal while walking.
Have fun.

Ryan Litwiller
(ryanlitwiller) - F

Locale: Michigan
re on 08/16/2013 11:59:06 MDT Print View

thanks for your input Ben

Edited by ryanlitwiller on 08/16/2013 11:59:36 MDT.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Clothes on 08/16/2013 13:28:31 MDT Print View

Leave the windshirt.
Come prepared for swim holes
A 40 F bag or quilt will be more than adequate. You will be lucky if it drops below 50 IMO.