AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Other provisions not covered above that may make survival easier if your life is tossed out of the norm. This section is for discussing everything from arc welders to underwear.

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AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Arsenul » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:51 am

So some items that I'll be bringing with me for sure is a kindle so that I don't have to carry a ton of books, my phone and Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel, my blast match, $7 stove and fuel (unsure of how much fuel I might need), my Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter (unless I can get something smaller), a knife sharpener and a couple of gear knifes, tea, some mountain house food, and that's all I have for now. This trip is going to be in a while. So here's why I'm talking about this. It's my dream to start from Maine and go to the most southern point of the trip. 2,200 miles of trail which should last somewhere around 6-7 Months. Or so the internet say's. I want to know if someone's, anyone's, done the entire hike before and what you can suggest. Also I'm curious on a few things gear related. I know that I'm missing a sleeping bag, which is why I'm getting one plus a Sea to Summit fleece liner.

I might want to hunt and trap animals. Is that legal and would I be able to take a Henry US Survival AR-7 .22LR in order to get meat? I'd also be bringing some fishing stuff as well.
How much fuel do you think will be needed in order to get through from one resupply to another?
Do you know of what type of bag might be good, how many liters, etc?
Do you know what gear I'm missing that I might want to bring?
What type of clothing might I want to bring?
Also do you know what type of filter might be smaller and better?
How much cash do you think I should have on me when I'm out on the hike?

I know I'm most likely missing some stuff, but I'm curious about what I should do here. This trip's going to be a while from now so comment, comment, comment. I can build a list off of this and I can purchase everything while I wait for the time to come for the hike.
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by maldon007 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:44 am

I am not a thru hiker, so take it as second hand stuff... But if you have done multi-day hikes, you should already have a decent idea of what you need... (hint hint)

If you haven't seen the vid or read up on this guy, do so- http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=25415" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Seems like the postal service and a friend mailing you stuff is item #1 you will need. And #2 is detailed planning... At first glance, it sounds like you are headed for a very heavy pack, though... And hunting and trapping don't make for getting miles behind you, fast efficient/light weight meals are the key. Unless it's not so much getting the trip done you are looking at, but more of a "survival experience". But if it's that, I wouldn't count on getting more than 5 miles a day (at best), so 440 days, min?
Last edited by maldon007 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Das Sheep » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:48 am

A sturdy backpack.

A nice wool blanket (roll it up under the backpack).

As much Jack Daniels as you can fit in the back pack.

A knife.

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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by the_alias » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:15 am

Polite suggestion that you go and do some basic research on this yourself.

Edit I'm actually going to lock this because it is clear to me how this thread will evolve and end.

OP - there are an awful lot of resources out there about hiking the AT. I suggest you make use of Google and books to read up on it.

Without meaning to be offensive the way you have phrased your questions and this thread makes you come across as woefully ignorant and ill-prepared to be contemplating this.
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Horatio_Tyllis » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:26 am

Upon review and moderator discussion, i've decided to re-open this thread, if for no other reason than to let the OP repsond.

Arsenul: Do some research reading what's out there. Get a book on multi day hiking. Check out some hiking forums and read a lot. If you don't go into this prepared, i promise you you will kill yourself by the end of it. What you are suggesting is no light feat, and the nature of your questions indicates that you really have no idea the realities behind it. I say this because I don't want to see you come to a bad end. Read, learn, do some day hikes where you stop for meals, work up to some multi day hikes, see how those go for you. once you've done that, THEN is the right time to start a thread like this.

Godspeed and good luck.
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Boondock » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:13 am

A search on YouTube for "AT thru hike gear list" will yield a trove of ideas.

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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by JackBauer » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:38 am

OP, like several mentioned it sounds like you want to do an epic adventure but considering your questions havent bothered doing basic research other than coming up with a few pieces of kit.

Check out several camping forums like White Blaze http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/forum.p ... ef616c2f1c, real life experiences, great info on gear and techniques, and recommendations there.

Visit the AT Conservancy site

Most important just do it, start small, Try a one or two day hike on a section of AT thats closest to you, talk to some other hikers.
then come back here and provide ZS with a cool story!
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Boondock » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:09 pm

Cockroach wrote:Check out several camping forums like White Blaze http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/forum.p ... ef616c2f1c, real life experiences, great info on gear and techniques, and recommendations there.
Yup, and also check out just about any post from Woods Walker, who practically lives on the AT.

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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Murph » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:36 pm

Arsenul wrote:I might want to hunt and trap animals. Is that legal and would I be able to take a Henry US Survival AR-7 .22LR in order to get meat? I'd also be bringing some fishing stuff as well.
So you're going to get 14 different states' hunting and fishing licenses?
:lol: :lol: :lol:
And not to mention some of the states on the trail are about as gun unfriendly as they get.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by NapTime » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:06 pm

This reply will be in two parts.

Trapping and hunting is (realistically) going to be a "no" while you're on the trail. I would plan to carry all the food you'll be eating on trail.
The amount of food you'll carry will depend on a few things, such as how much you normally eat, and how long you will be going between resupply. Plan on the high side, as hiking long distances burns a lot of calories, so thru-hikers regularly eat between 3000 and 6000 kcal/day.
The size of the bag you need will depend on how much gear you carry and how compact it is. A 55-65 L pack is a good compromise size FOR ME in terms of balancing size vs. weight. You may find you need more capacity than that, or less. I found an Osprey Exos 58 on sale, and it has been really good to me for multiday backpacking trips.
Possible missing gear: A shelter to sleep in, with a good pad, and as you said, a sleeping bag. Soap for self and dishes, a pot and spoon (and a bowl and mug if you want to get all civilized), headlamp/flashlight, bandana. On the other side of the coin, if it were me I'd only bring one knife, I wouldn't take the sharpener, and I personally wouldn't worry about trying to take reading material.
Clothing is going to be a personal choice, but as previous posters have said, there are gearlists online that will give you some inspiration. Enough to keep you warm while you cook dinner/breakfast in the dawn/duskish times, and more if you don't want to end up trapped in your sleeping bag all evening. Don't underestimate a good hat and dry socks.
I've been looking at the Sawyer Squeeze. It's quite small and light, but I can't vouch for the durability of the bags. Other people use purification drops for the same reasons. I believe both would be smaller than what you have now, though not better on all metrics.
There's nothing wrong with emergency cash to have on your person, but it seems in most trail (ie: non apocalypse) situations, a debit card would work just fine.

Part 2: The best thing to bring on a hike like this is experience. There are people who have gone thru hiking without experience and survived, but it is not a pleasant process, and there are very real risks. Just by hearing you're interested in doing this, I can imagine you enjoy the outdoors, so my advice would be to take as many opportunities as you can find to go backpacking and camping. A weekend here, a few days there if you can get the time. You will quickly find what works for you and what doesn't. You will find things both good and bad about the gear you have, and you will know for yourself what you'll want for the thru hike. The AT isn't something that starts on Mt. Whitney or in Springer GA, it starts with going out into the backcountry often enough that you feel comfortable with your gear and your skills to the point where an 8 day backpack is smooth sailing. I can't tell you what clothing or what pack or what tent you'll need for the AT because everyone is different. It's frustrating to be on a budget and trying to outfit yourself once and for all, but it probably won't work like that. Get some stuff that won't break the bank, take it out, spend some time in the woods, and let us know how it goes!

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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by omega_man » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:18 pm

You are not going to pack everything you need for this 7 month journey. As suggested, do some research. The AT conservancy is the go-to, as are plenty of books on the subject. The key to the AT is to know where the post offices are and a)pre-mail supplies to yourself or b)have someone mail supplies that you pick up along the way. There are also plenty of little places to re-supply at, but you need to know where they are and plan around that. You also need to know where the shelters are and hostels are. Again, plan. In order to properly plan, please go do plenty of multi-day trips starting now to figure a)what gear you actually use and b)some idea of your "pace count", i.e. how far can I reasonably walk in "X" amount of time with "Y" pounds on my back. These are good questions and there's a lot of knowledge here on ZS, please consider it.

Oh, big no on hunting. Every state has there own hunting and fishing regulations and proper licensing is required for all said activities. Now, as a wildlife biologist I encourage you to buy as many hunting and fishing licenses as you want since all monies go directly back into conservation 8-)

The trail to Springer Mtn, the southern-most AT trailhead, is littered with tons of shit that noobs toss aside w/i 1 mile of walking uphill. Think about that.
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Mister Dark » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:27 pm

Yea, what OM said. The forum at Whiteblaze.net has a ton of great threads about the AT (It's all they talk about, really) and if you do a search for "hunting AT" you will probably get a lot of informational threads to read.

basically it boils down to this: The AT is meant for long distance hikers who have ONE thing on their mind - making as many miles per day as they can, so they can finish the hike in the time they have available. Not much free time for fishing, hunting, or making 6 mile days because their pack was heavy.

Most of these guys get their packs in the 20-30 pound range, and only carry food for 3-6 days at a time. LOTS of food and gear gets mailed back and forth to hikers on the AT.

But anyway, to answer a few of your questions:

I might want to hunt and trap animals. Is that legal and would I be able to take a Henry US Survival AR-7 .22LR in order to get meat? I'd also be bringing some fishing stuff as well.
No. Dont even bother.

How much fuel do you think will be needed in order to get through from one resupply to another?
If you are using an alcohol stove, do a few test burns in different climates and weather, and average them together. Then multiply by how many burns you will need in a day, times how many days without resupply. (This is why I carry an isobutane stove, but almost always cook over an open fire)

Do you know of what type of bag might be good, how many liters, etc?
A good starting point is the Osprey Kestrel (I think) Osprey and a few others pretty much own the long distance hiking market. Personally, I am a fan of Golite, Granite Gear, and Vaude. Its what I have, anyway. Depending on temps, it is possible to get away with a 50 liter or smaller bag, but its tough. Most long distance hikers seem to settle in the 60-75 liter range.


Do you know what gear I'm missing that I might want to bring?
Well, you will need water, water purification, shelter (tent/tarp/sleep gear), food and a way to heat it, multiple layers of really good quality clothing, raingear, lots of socks, a flashlight, an AT trail guide, personal hygene gear, a small repair kit for your pack and shelter (duct tape and dental floss/needle is what I carry), a small FAK, and a few other things I cant think of right now. And then try to get it under 30 pounds.

What type of clothing might I want to bring?

One of the big challenges of the AT is the HUGE variation in weather you will experience. With the extreme elevation changes, you can start the day in 60 degree sunny conditions, hike thru near freezing fog for a few hours, and end the day with a snowstorm or thunderstorm while you try to set up camp. It is really all over the map. Thats why you have to have a solid layering system in place, and have the experience to know when to shift setups. Only way to do that is thru getting out on short multiday hikes. Close to home, I might add. Hypothermia sucks.

Also do you know what type of filter might be smaller and better?
The Sawyer Squeeze is 4 oz with included bags. and it fits in a sandwich baggie.

How much cash do you think I should have on me when I'm out on the hike?
Enough to pay for an emergency locator beacon. :awesome:

As far as sleeping bags, most thru-hikers seem to use just two. A heavy, 0 degree (or better) and a 30-40 degree lightweight bag. And most of them seem to wish they had BOTH on them, at least a couple of times on the trail. Personally, I would rather haul a heavier, 0 rated bag the whole damn time, than sleep hoping I dont freeze to death. But thats just me.

Seriously, I have never been able to hike the whole thing, although it is one of my biggest dreams to do it. It is an endurance contest, no doubt about it. Get some gear, go on overnighters and short weekend trips and TEST STUFF. Dont do like so many have done and buy a bunch of crap you heard was good, throw it in a brand new pack, and haul off on a 2200 mile trail with no experience USING the gear. You will be extremely unhappy by day 2, or worse. Dream big, but start small.

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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Woods Walker » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:28 pm

I have sectioned hiked some of the AT and talked with many Thru-hikers. Here is a bit of advice.

1. You can hike off trail and get food from supermarkets, gas stations etc etc. There is a hiker' s cabin in NY that has takeout delivered to it. I have even used vending machines. There are booklets that cover this for each state. People often leave them in the shelters as they exit the area because pack weight is very important. The community on the AT is helpful in that they will communicate local resources to you. Also "trail magic" can provide a cool soda, water and snacks etc. There are blueberries, strawberries, walnuts etc etc seasonal however you won't have time to do more than nibble on these plus the energy requirements of hiking the AT is greater than any forage on the fly could provide IMO.

2. My advice is to pack the most UL shelter possible. There are shelters however if traveling through an area's bug season it can get interesting. The mice can be a PITA as well. Also the shelters fill up fast certain times of the year. All that said there are many Thru-Hikers who don't pack a shelter.

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Here is the shelter I most often use on the AT but might consider going even more UL on a Thru-Hike.

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3. Water is one of your primary considerations.

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There are also water pumps but all water should be treated. There is a fine balance between packing too much water and running short. Too much and your pack is too heavy. Too little and you will suffer. Ask other hikers what the water situation is within the area. Sometimes despite signs saying water is ahead it might be dry.

4. Clothing should be UL but effective. Shorts are your friends but cotton shirts not so much IMO. It is ok to be hungry and tired at times but the same could not be said for cold, wet and thirsty.

5. If you decide on packing a stove my advice is to go with a UL wood burning hobo and a Pepsi can burner backup. There are lots of hikes who don't pack any stove because pack weight is a big concern.

6. Make up a cool trail name and write funny stuff in the sign in books.
Last edited by Woods Walker on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by maldon007 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:43 pm

I got #6 down... And got the shirt that says "I hiked the entire width of the AT!"
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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by olbaid_dratsab » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:07 pm

The thru-hikers companion trail guide is worth its weight in gold. One of the more useful things I took for 700 mi in 08.
You don't need much, and your pack is going to be heavy as shit the way you're thinking.
Food cooking; empty cat food can and always a bottle of denatured alcohol. Within a day you'll find someone to explain how to work it. Thdn just add a simple lightweight pot.
Knife; started with a cold steel then mailed it home and just used a delica for 500 mi. You really don't need a knife for anything. Its the AT, not the PCT.
Cloths; gym shorts and a pair of hiking pants. 2 tee shirts. 1 base layer. 4 pair of good socks, 4 pair of "ranger panties/catch me fuck me shorts/silkies". 1 shitty jacket.

I didn't have anything mailed to me. Just use a trail guide book and read trail logs to plan towns to hitch into. It also seems to me you get a ride quicker when you just sit there instead of walking while hitching.

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Re: AT Thru-Hike Gear List Help

Post by Manimal2878 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:05 pm

olbaid_dratsab wrote: Just use a trail guide book and read trail logs to plan towns to hitch into. It also seems to me you get a ride quicker when you just sit there instead of walking while hitching.
I've hiked a lot, but never attempted a thruhike, are there times where you need to hitch, like town is unreachable in a reasonable amount of time or is it just to make the chore of grabbing food and getting back on trail quicker? I'm an introvert and the idea of relying on hitchhiking terrifies me.

That question asked, I'll offer some advice based on my backpacking/hiking experience. Since it sounds like the OP is new to backpacking not just thruhiking I"ll offer the following.

The weight of the pack is everything. Your main goal is to walk, not camp. Therefore the lighter the better, aim for about 20 lbs before food, water, and fuel. That is reasonably lightweight and achievable with mass market stuff, without having to spend a ton on exotic materials or hunt down cottage gear makers. You will just have to limit the luxeries and pack smart to achieve this.

Make a spreadsheet and research everything you think you might want to carry for weight and price before you buy it.

Good websites for gear reviews are: BackpackGearTest.com, outdoorgearlab.com, the reviews of gear at REI.com, reviews on forums at Backpackinglight.com, Backpacker.com, Whiteblaze, Look at these same places for gear list suggestions. Hikelite.com is another place with tips.

Google and read the blogs by the following people: Andrew Skurka , Brian Green, Erik the Black.

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