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Tentative List - Thru Hike Noob
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Katrina Redman
Tentative List - Thru Hike Noob on 03/18/2014 14:22:56 MDT Print View

Hi, all.

First, a little about me and where i'm going:

Westbound ADT around the beginning of June - a bit late in the year, but i'm sticking around for my brother's wedding. Both route and schedule are flexible to accomodate weather/financial emergencies, and i'm trying to avoid cities as much as possible (any wisdom here would be much appreciated). I plan on hanging out in Colorado for few months to prepare for desert hiking (of which i have zero experience), then hooking southwest and going north on the PCT, landing in Oregon. My list is (hopefully) relevant up to Colorado.

Fun fact: i hate clothes. Seriously, i hate shopping for them, i hate wearing them, i hate carrying them around. Unfortunately, they are required for protection/avoiding unwanted attention from the police and lascivious people. Finding UL clothing is stirring up more than a bit of consternation and sticker shock - that said, i'm willing to shell out for clothes if it means it will last indefinitely/comes with a boss warranty. The less flashy, the better.

As for weight, i'm aiming for 25-30lbs with a full pack. This seems to be considered pretty heavy here, but i figure i'll shed weight as i learn what works and what doesn't. Also, i'm not obsessive over weight (blasphemy!), but i am highly concious of it. The weight isn't listed as i have yet to aquire all the items, but be aware that i'm trying to find the lightest options available. Most of this stuff is new, since i've used borrowed/heavy-from-home gear up to now.

Okay, here we go:

- 1 pair underwear
- 1 convertible pant (considering ditching to use rain pants as sun pants, and get another pair of running shorts)
- 1 base layer (top & bottom)
- 2 socks (1 hiking/1 sleeping)
- 1 light jacket (doubles as sun shirt & wind/water proof/hooded[hood is a creature comfort]) **this seems to be my biggest clothing investment - leaning towards Patagonia (how easily to do those labels come off w/o damaging the fabric?)**
- 1 long merino sweater (second hand & doubles as extra blanket [also, considering ditching top base layer for this])
- 1 pair running shorts
- 1 tank top
- 1 swim suit (doubles [quadruples?] as backup underwear/tank top/laundry suit)
- 1 rain pant
- 1 bandana (quick-dry material to double as towel [bright color for signal])
- 1 pair light trail runners (currently wear barefoot sneakers, but i can tell i'll want more support - keeping an eye out for sales).

- Grand Trunk Nano 7
- MLD UL tarp
- TQ (possibly DIY [via a friend], possibly EE)
- whoopie slings
- DIY bug net (thanks to Fronkey for the instructions)
- bottom insulation/weatherproofing (still on the fence about this one - since most of my trip is based around warm-weather hiking, i'll see how far a trash bag and space blanket get me, or maybe an affordable pad - i'm oddly averse to UQs. Looking into polycryo is on my to-do list.)

- 2 Gatorade bottles
- Sawyer Mini filter
- backup tablets
- emergency collapsable water bottle/bladder? Bladders seem cool, but i've never used one and observed some flack regarding them. Also, i've lived my entire life in the Appalachians (water for everyone!) so overkill on the hydration is possible (like the rest of the world is some kind of barren wasteland [..]) I realize i have to do a bit more research here, but again, i'd be grateful for wisdom on the topic.

- Ohm 2.0
- trash bag liner

- DIY UL stove
- DIY fork/spoon
- alcohol-soaked cotton balls (doubles as firt-aid component)
- mini bic
- backup waterproof matches
- ~5-8 lbs of food...still working on this. A health nut friend of mine is filling me in on all sorts of UL superfoods. I'll be pre-packing the majority of my sustenance.

- prescription glasses w/ case
- clip-on UV lenses (aw yeah, stylin')
- basic FAK
- basic hygiene kit
- small headlamp light (to clip on hat)
- back up batteries
- ID/cash/card
- compass
- paper maps
- bear spray (also effective on those pesky humans!)
- bear canister
- knife...i know a lot of people here cringe at the idea of a heavy knife, but really, it makes me feel better.

Luxury: still working this out...
- smartphone for camera/emergency calls/journalling/reading
- binoculars...also a maybe. Considering finding a smaller pair on the cheap and seeing how much i still want to carry them after the first few hundred miles. I do like me some animal-staring, and possibly human-staring too if i want to deter social interaction.
- small watercolor set/pad/travel brush. I love this enough to lug it around, no hesitation.

Well, pretty sure that covers it. It's a doozy, i know. If you made it this far, let me know what you think.


Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Water system on 03/18/2014 15:25:53 MDT Print View

I'll leave the scrutinization to the highly-trained-professionals, but I'd like to comment on the mix match of the Sawyer mini to the Gatorade bottle threads. Seems like a breakdown of the threading system there.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Water system on 03/18/2014 16:13:46 MDT Print View

First of all...I'm a noob, too...what's the ADT??

Secondly, I really don't think any bear canister will fit well into the ohm. Just sayin'.....

Katrina Redman
Aha. on 03/18/2014 23:32:08 MDT Print View

@ Glenn:
Yep, oversight. At least it's a cheap fix. Thankya.

@ Jennifer:
The ADT (American Discovery Trail) is lesser known since it's more of a stringing-together of smaller existing trails via roads and towns. The website is

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Tentative List - Thru Hike Noob on 03/19/2014 12:26:35 MDT Print View

I wouldn't want to use the rain shell layer as a sun-blocking layer--too hot. I prefer to use breathable fabric to block sun rather than lotion. It's healthier and never runs out.

Rain jacket: consider Frogg Toggs Ultralite with duct tape for patches.

If you're using a squeeze bag, you can just aim the filter into the Gatorade bottle.

You'll need more than a space blanket underneath you. A cheap 3/8" CCF pad would work.

Katrina Redman
Yep. on 03/20/2014 09:19:51 MDT Print View

Cool, thanks for the feedback, Andy. I actually didn't want the squeeze bottle, just the filter...a co-worker was telling me about the Katadyn pump she has - gonna check it out.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Tentative List - Thru Hike Noob on 03/20/2014 10:04:41 MDT Print View

I'm not sure I would want to rely on a hammock for the entire length of that trail. You may find areas that don't have suitable trees for a hang. I would think Ks, Ne, and eastern Co might be tough for that.

As to clothing, my system got much better when I separated my clothing into 2 systems: walking clothing and resting clothing. There may be some overlap, but I think you need some of both. When walking,you generate heat and need little insulation in most weather. I think a thin base layer and windshirt is usually plenty. The windshirt can help with bugs and sun in warm weather as long as it is plenty breathable. You will find it difficult to use rain pants and jacket unless its raining or very cold; you will steam up in warm and moderate temperatures. You may find you never need rain pants at all; I use them only when walking in cold weather. I would take at least a light down jacket for resting; has a cheap Hadron jacket that suits well.

I would not carry bear spray anywhere along that trail; its not needed. You could take a small pepper spray if worried about humans. I would not carry a bear canister either; the only place it might be needed is a small section of California, and I can't tell for sure if you need it there. You might want a light hang system, but I think you can just keep your food with you until you reach the western mountains.

I would take a DIY windscreen for your stove.

That list is going to add up the pounds a bit. I hope your pack can carry that. If not, you can ditch things on the way It looks like you hit a lot of towns.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tentative List - Thru Hike Noob on 03/20/2014 11:43:27 MDT Print View

"Fun fact: i hate clothes. Seriously, i hate shopping for them, i hate wearing them, i hate carrying them around."

So the ADT is the American Discovery Trail (I was going to look that up, too!), that IS a doozy. That's a lot of walking and if you plan on avoiding cities much of the time, then critical thinking about your clothing is a good idea, not a bad one. I don't know anything about the ADT other than what I just scanned, but I'm guessing a good bit of it involves either road-walking, sun, and humidity. Here's my take for your CLOTHING:

seems like a lot of women here (or other hiker blogs) prefer 2 pair that can be rotated daily (one dries on the back of the pack while you wear the other). You know your own body and preferences for hygiene, but "an ounce of prevention" as they say. I know you have the swim suit, but lined lycra isn't going to breathe as well as something like Patagonia briefs. For socks, maybe have 2 really-light pairs to rotate daily and 1 slightly-thicker wool for sleeping. That's a lot of time on your feet.

1 pair of running shorts with no liner
1 synthetic hiking skirt (or hiking pants if you prefer. I like non-convertibles and a separate pair of shorts, but keep your convertibles if you like them. The skirt just seems like a smart solution for what I imagine the ADT is like).
1 Lightheart Gear sil-nylon rain wrap (to go over the skirt),
1 baselayer bottoms
1 rain shell (go cheaper like Sierra Designs Hurricanes or simple nylon dance pants. There's a thread here somewhere).
** Most of the above things can be layered.

1 synthetic tank top (core base layer, in hot weather, in cities as needed),
1 button-down synthetic long-sleeve "sun" shirt,
1 L/S zip-top synthetic base layer (midlayer, light insulation),
1 100-wt or 200-wt fleece pullover (I like merino, too, but a fleece should be lighter, dry faster and quicker to clean. Look for something at TJMaxx, REI-outlet, Target, Lands End, etc.).
1 rain jacket

SHOES: find any trail runner/road running shoe that FITS you.

OTHER: swim suit, bandana, don't forget a hat, gloves, sunglasses


Here's what I think you should look like: look at "Ninja" in the 2d photo down:

Skirt, long-sleeve shirt for sun, sun hat.

Finally, don't worry about taking labels/logos off your clothing. Once a little worn-in and dirty, nobody is going to care if your jacket says "Patagonia" and also don't be worried about being, well, a little more serious in discussing your gear here at BPL or anywhere else. Please don't take this wrong, but your post sounds a little, well, cavalier about what seems like a major undertaking!

Good luck! Sounds like an adventure!

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Tentative List - Thru Hike Noob on 03/20/2014 14:40:37 MDT Print View

Yeah, all that stuff is NEVER going to fit into an Ohm. Ever.

I agree on the clothes comments - have a walking system and a camp system, although the two can overlap. Understand that the walking system will be the one that will need to be sweated in, and the camp system is the one that needs to be dry and warm.

Here is what I would bring clothes wise:

walking system:
sports bra, whichever you like
Tank top, breathable/light
long sleeve top, also lightweight and with some SPF to it. I'm a huge fan of the uber dorky adventure shirt from rail riders, but obviously I am pretty much alone in this as it has to be the ugliest shirt on the planet. But i can roll the sleeves up, open or close the neck, it's baggy and lightweight and is very airy and cool in the sun.

I like to hike in running shorts or a skirt. But if you like convertibles by all means go for it. You just need the one pair. My current set up includes a single pair of running shorts and a pair of wind pants. Love it. It's so much lighter and easier than dealing with heavy/hot long pants. Want to wash the shorts? Wear the wind pants or your sleeping tights, the shorts will be dry by the time you need to wear them again. If not, just put them on anyway. They're running shorts.

2 pair underwear (one for wearing, one for drying while you walk. always switching each day). If you make sure one pair is black then it can double as a swim bottom

2 pair socks THAT WORK WITH YOUR FEET. Same as underwear - one for wearing, one for drying (having washed them the night before)

pair of trail runners THAT WORK WITH YOUR FEET.

Camp system:
light down puffy
tights/long underwear for sleeping, or for wearing during hiking if it's cold out
long sleeve zip t-shirt or hoody, usually medium weight, for chilly nights/mornings, and for sleeping

Wind shirt
Rain jacket
rain kilt to keep my thighs dry and warm during downpours

hat, light gloves.

I cannot say anything about hammocking because I know nothing about it. It always seems like a lot of stuff to manage, and I like simplicity.

Go with the sawyer squeeze for the filter. I'm not sure what you meant by your other post…you WANT the squeeze, not one of those huge and heavy Katadyn things. And you can use whatever bottles you want - google the sawyer mini with the bladder to see how it works. It's a great UL system and you can't really beat it unless you go with chemicals instead.

I'm assuming your DIY UL stove has a pot with it?? I can't say I have any understanding of your cook system. But make sure you have a pot, a heating element of some sort, and a windscreen. You need a fire starter (mini bic) and a spare fire starter (another mini bic, stored in a different place). There are a TON of way-too-knowledgeable folks here re stoves and cook systems….

What's the point of the alcohol soaked cotton balls? The alcohol will evaporate pretty much within about an hour and then you'll have…well…cotton balls.

No bear spray
No bear can - but yes on getting a nice food bag and a good hanging system

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Yep. on 03/20/2014 16:00:38 MDT Print View

Pumps are heavy, especially compared to a Sawyer mini.

And regarding other posts about bottles... Yes, with a squeeze bag, you can squeeze water into whatever container you want, until the bag leaks or breaks. Then if all your bottles have mix-matched threads, then what? Suck thru the straw and spit water into your cook pot? If you do decide to go with the mini, then have at least ONE bottle with regular cap threads.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Some thoughts... on 03/20/2014 18:16:26 MDT Print View

You mentioned taking a few months in Colorado to prepare for desert hiking. How much general backpacking experience do you have now? Your planned hike is an enormous endeavor. If you don't have hundreds of miles of backpacking experience now, I'd suggest doing a few week-long or more trips to get a feel for things. Good lists are very subjective and the more experience you have the better your choices will fit you.

There is no need to start out with bear canister and bear spray. If you need some protection from people I agree with the pepper spray if it's legal along that route.

The sleeping sock idea is a good one. I'd carry two pairs of hiking socks. I'd recommend not buying your pack until you have a better idea of what you'll be carrying for a load.

I think most experienced long-distance backpackers would recommend NOT preparing all your food before hand, especially food recommended by other people. Your food tastes/desires are almost certain to change during the trip and some food that sounds good now might well seem revolting a year from now if you are still on the trail.

If you are going to head off walking across the country in June, think sun. Carry sunscreen and wear a very wide-brimmed hat. Hiking in direct sun I personally am a fan of long-sleeved shirts and full length pants, both loose-fitting.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Tentative List - Thru Hike Noob on 03/21/2014 05:52:55 MDT Print View

Hi Katrina,

Regarding your Sawyer mini, the threads on the Evernew bladders are compatible with it. I bought mine off of Ebay. I haven't owned them for too long so I can't give you a long term report but my initial impression is that they are a quality product.

Do you already own the Ohm? I have the 2.0 and think it's a great pack. I found that my Ohm usually has room to spare and I think your list, without a bear canister, sounds fine for it. If you do end up bringing a canister then I'd look for something else.

I've only hammocked a couple times but if you could make a CCF pad work for your bottom insulation, then that would work double duty for the nights when you have to sleep on the ground in treeless areas. One idea would be to cut a Thermarest Ridge Rest to size and replace the one in your Ohm with it; cut another piece torso length. Obviously try that on a shorter hike before committing to it.

I realize trekking poles are not for everyone but they've been a great fit for me. One nice thing about them is that you can use them to pitch your tarp when you can't use trees.

+1 on the watercolor kit. The artist gene in my family somehow skipped me but fortunately my daughter continues the family legacy. I have great memories of my grandfather taking my siblings and me to the woods to spend the day painting and sketching. Still makes me smile thinking about it.

Michael Gunderloy
(ffmike) - MLife
CCF Pad/hammock on 03/21/2014 06:16:07 MDT Print View

I found a CCF pad was fine for hammock bottom insulation (before I got expensive and fancy with an underquilt) but it was substantially more comfortable after slicing in half and turning the upper half sideways under my shoulders. Could still put it back together on the ground when I really needed to.

I also experimented with taping a cut up mylar blanket to the underside of the pad, and it did help keep me warmer, though I see the experts on BPL have said in the past that this can't possibly work :)

Katrina Redman
Sorry for the delay, folks. on 05/04/2014 12:58:52 MDT Print View

Thanks for the input, everyone! It's much appreciated.
I've been out getting a feel for things, so my list has changed pretty drastically (see: more realistic). I'll get around to an update when everthing's squared away.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
sleeping pad? on 05/14/2014 10:43:16 MDT Print View

I didn't recognize a sleeping pad in your gear. That is an essential piece to me. Also, if you ever try the caldera cone for cooking, you'll love it. Its very fuel efficient.

I agree with you on taking a substantial knife, and a Mora is hard to beat for practicality.

Are you saying 25 lbs not counting food and water? You can get it down a bit I bet.

I take a silnylon stuff sack with a dry bag closure, fill it 1/3 with water and dirty clothes, add soap, shake it back and forth, dump, rinse, bingo clean (kind of) clothes.

I would skip the light jacket, and take a light raincoat, a long sleeve nylon shirt (plus your t shirts) and if cold weather is expected anywhere, an insulation layer of down vest.

what is TQ
what is EE
what are whoopie slings, they sound like fun
DUY bug net, man a head net is cheap, and light.
what is UQs.
what is polycryo

Man am I out of touch with the terminology!

Edited by rshaver on 05/14/2014 10:53:37 MDT.

Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
Hammock on 05/14/2014 11:23:57 MDT Print View

@Bob: He's talking about a hammock setup, which is why there isn't a ground pad either.

J Mag
Re: Tentative List - Thru Hike Noob on 05/14/2014 12:23:44 MDT Print View

As exciting as naked hiking sounds, I have watched too many episodes of Naked&Afraid to consider that route. Plus I don't think that is encoraged for male hikers.

The next best thing I have found is Outdoor research clothing. Their "Echo" line makes up my summer baselayers because it is SUPER light, comfortable (you can barely feel it when wearing it), has a lifetime warranty, and is treated to reduce odors. I am looking into trying out more of their line eventually.

J Mag
Re: sleeping pad? on 05/14/2014 12:31:06 MDT Print View

what is TQ - Top Quilt (just like a ground quilt)
what is EE - Enlightened Equipment (cottage manufacturer)
what are whoopie slings, they sound like fun - They are fun, but are used to suspend a hammock from the trees
DUY bug net, man a head net is cheap, and light.
what is UQs. - Underquilt, the opposite of a top quilt (goes under the hammock). It replaces a sleeping pad and serves the same function.
what is polycryo - Window film insulation, a cheap and light clear material that is fairly tough. Used for ground sheets mainly.

Michael Gunderloy
(ffmike) - MLife
Re: Re: sleeping pad? on 05/14/2014 12:41:51 MDT Print View

Presumably the DIY bug net is to go around the whole hammock, not just the head. Especially if the hammock is thin & you're not using an underquilt, a headnet isn't enough. Well, unless you're tougher than I am.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
hammock technology on 05/14/2014 14:14:05 MDT Print View

No wonder I didn't recognize the terms. I hike with a guy who uses a hammock, and it often works out fine. But there are many areas that don't have enough trees, and he takes a tent. I don't know what kind of country that hikes goes through, but I'm wondering if you'll always find trees spaced apart when you want them.