Hiking the AT
Posted: 27 June 2008 01:08 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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hello, i have questions regarding the best equipment for “use” on the entire AT. i am already aware of the commitment it is going to take. my best friend and i are planing on hiking the AT next year and i could definately use some input on the gear that i would need. i am probably going to be carrying about 40 or so lbs. so what would the best pack for the weight im carrying and that will last? or if someone could even tell me what exactly i would need for the entire trip. what exact gear would i need? if any information at all about gear or preparation could be given would be very much appreciated. i am kinda new at hiking but once i started i cannot stop! its a lifestyle. thank you

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Posted: 27 June 2008 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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There’s nothing unique about gear for the whole AT vs gear for an overnight.  People hike with gear from bookbags to gigantic sherpa packs and everything in between.

If you need gear, borrow, thrift-store, or rent stuff first and get some time on the trail before you shell out the cash for your own for the AT.  You can make a lot of your own gear with resources from this and other sites, such a tarp shelter, stuff sacks, etc.  The first thing you should buy or borrow is a scale so you can keep track of what your gear actually weighs as there is no need these days to carry anywhere near 40 lbs on the AT.  Also, thru-hikers tend become disinterested in gear nearly instantaneously (I know I do) as the hike progresses unless something breaks or is in the process of breaking, at which time it becomes the focal point of a lot miles worth of ire.

Here’s the general recommendation for an AT setup:

Pack: 3000 cubic inches +/- 1000 cubic inches depending on real estate requirements of other choices plus a trash compactor pack liner or equivalent
Sleeping bag and insulating ground pad:  if only one, get a 20 degree.  If more than one, get a 40 degree and a 15 degree +/- 5 degrees depending on how warm you sleep.
Shelter: 1 lb or less, something like a tarptent, tarp, poncho, etc.
Stove and cookware:  minimal.  alcohol stove/canister stove/esbit stove & fuel plus @1 L pot plus a spoon.
water purification: polar pure, aqua mira, or equivalent.  Treat open sources, drink from springs. 
water storage: 1 L hard or soft bottle plus large volume water bag (at least 2 liters) or equivalent.
clothing: only carry what you wear plus what you need to stay warm and dry, plus at least one extra pair of socks
data: databook, handbook sections/map, compass, essential personal items like an LED light
hygiene&fixit;: toothbrush&paste;, small chip of soap or equivalent, tp & lighter, handful of ibuprofin tablets, needle&thread;, a few bandaids & a few turns of duct tape


There are so many combinations of these items that add up to less than 10 lbs.

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