Joining a friend for a week on the AT, what do I need to bring? Tips?
March 5, 2013 7:10 AM Subscribe
A close friend has decided to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail starting in about 10 days at Springer Mountain in Georgia. It just so happens that I have a week off with nothing to do, and he asked if I wanted to start out with him, and I said yes. Help me make sure I'm not forgetting anything (and/or shed inessentials). Any tips/tricks would also be appreciated for this AT newb!
posted by ghostpony to sports, hobbies, & recreation (13 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I've backpacked before, but this will be the longest/fastest hiking winter trip I've been on. I should be on the trail for about 7-days, and around 85 miles total. Temps at night will be below 30, and during the day around 40 or 50. He's planning to cover a fairly conservative 8-12 miles a day to begin (before he ramps up in the third and fourth week). I'm 26 and athletic enough that I think I can do that comfortably (I play racquetball three or four times a week, can run a 5K in around 27 minutes (and have run half marathons in the past). I'm also a Wilderness EMT, so I will be carrying a lightweight med kit, and know my way around a sprain, etc.
I know pack weight is the number one issue on the AT, and I've actually been collecting lightweight gear for ages for my many weekend trips. My friend is packing in a two person tarptent from Henry Shires (which I've seen set up and is large enough for the both of us). So far my packing list of things I own is:
A 15F down bag from Feathered Friends (this is probably overkill, but I hate sleeping cold, and am willing to carry an extra 10 ounces of down to stay warm at night)
Thermarest 3/4 length ProLite Pad
GoLite Jam Backpack
Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody
Patagonia stretch ascent shell (waterproof)
Carbon Fiber hiking poles
Snowpeak Gigapower stove (and butane)
Smartwool base layers (long sleeve shirt and long underwear) and socks
Inov8 Teroc 345 hiking shoes (I can't stand heavy hiking boots, and i've worn these on long hikes before)
Cloudveil Hiking Pants
Windproof convertible gloves, and OR waterproof mittens
Aqua Mira water purifying drops
Evernew foldable water bottles
a bear bag with 550 rope
What essentials am I forgetting? I know I'm going to need to order stuff, and I'd rather order online to save on costs in the next few days. What about food and trail snacks? On previous trips I've never been the meal planner. I'm thinking about ordering Mountain House Freeze Dried meals as I don't have the time or expertise to make my own in the next 10 days.
Do you have any tips for an AT newbie? I'm pretty sure that the trail is going to packed with thru hikers just starting, so we're planning on avoiding what will likely be over crowded shelters, and just sticking to the tent. Forums also seem to be indicating that it might be a bit wet the first week, and I'm worried about not having waterproof boots. Any ideas? Do I need rain pants?