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Posted: 4/3/2011 5:50:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2011 8:28:08 PM EDT by SpartanThreeActual]
I need some advice, guys.

For reasons I don't want to get into here, I am going to find myself out on my ass.
I've decided to take advantage of the opportunity to take some time for myself and hit the AT.
About 90% of the gear I will be using is from my GHB, so I'm about to get a real world test
I'll blog about it as well,  and keep the SF updated and let you all know what is and is not working for me.

I've got until Thursday, 7APR2011 to get my shit together.
I just weighed my load out and I am at exactly 30 lbs.  Heavy by long trail standards, I know, but my budget is right next to the
decimal point on the number scale.

What I need is a no-shit assessment of what I've got, and what I NEED (not necessarily want).
I'm going to be living out of this rig for 4-6 months.  I have no fall back position.

Best Extended Filed Test EVAR.

Here is what I've got.  (X's are packed.  Blanks are either needed or on hand but not packed yet)

MODS - PLEASE let this post stay here.  I don't trust any other forum for this advice.


====================================================================================
Navigation
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
X_  Map
X_  Compass
X_  Light Sticks

Misc
___________________
X_  JanSport Big Bear 82L, Internal Frame (Heavy, I know.  But it's what I can afford and it will last)
X_  Space Pen
X_  Note Pad (Write In The Rain)
X_  Flash Drive
.....X_  Medical History
.....X_  Contact Information
X_  ID
X_  ATM Card
X_  Postage Stamps
X_  Dry Bags (For Everything!)
X_  Walking Stick


Hygiene
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
X_  Soap Leaves
X_  Microfiber Towel
X_  Toothbrush
X_  Tooth Paste
X_  Foot Powder
X_  Body Glide
__  Razor Handle
__  Razor Blades
__  Shaving Cream
__  Moisturizer
X_  Lip Balm
X_  Sun Screen
X_  Bug Repellent
X_  Protective Head Net
X_  Extra RX Sunglasses
X_  Extra Rx Glasses
X_  Eyeglass Repair Kit
__  Moleskin
X_  Wet-Wipes
__  Toilet Paper
X_  "Poo Bags" - Very handy on hard-to-dig terrain.  Just clean up after yourself and bury when you can.

Clothing
__________________
__  Army PT Jacket
X_  Light Weight Poly-Pro Top
X_  Light Weight Poly-Pro Bottom
X_  Cotton Socks (2PR)
X_  Wool Socks (2PR)
X_  Sock Liners (1PR)
X_  Ex-Officio Boxer-Briefs (Synthetic, Anti-Microbial)
X_  Cotton Boxer-Briefs (2PR)
X_  Jeans (1PR)
X_  Hiking Shorts (1PR)
X_  Shower Shoes (Flip-Flops)
X_  Hiking Boots
X_  Leather Gloves
X_  Army Fleece PT Cap

Shelter
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
X_  Tent - Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD2
X_  Poncho - USGI (2X) (One to wear, one for a fly or ground cloth)
X_  Poncho Liner - USGI


Kitchen
__________________
X_  Snow Peak Ti Cup (Single Wall)
X_  CamelBak Bladder
X_  CamelBak Better Bottle (2X)
X_  Nylon Coffee Filter
X_  Water Treatment Tabs
X_  Light My Fire Spork
X_  Alcohol Stove (Back Up)
X_  Alcohol, 91%
X_  Wood Burning Stove (Primary)
X_  Butane Lighters (3X)
X_  Matches (~50)
X_  Fire Starters
X_  Assorted Foods
X_  Assorted Beverages
.....Trading the new "Mio" liquids for the powders.  Much more space/weight friendly.


Tools
____________________
X_  Seam Sealer
X_  Sewing Kit
__  Nylon Patch Fabric
X_  Cheap Multi-tool
X_  Gerber Bolt
X_  Gerber Steadfast
X_  Perimeter Alarm System (Per Ragnar's excellent post)
.....X_  Alarm (You can find them at Lowe's now BTW)
.....X_  Trip Wire
.....X_  Cup Hooks
X_  550 Cord
X_  Duct Tape
X_  Trowel


Electronics
____________________
X_  Android Cell Phone
.....X_  Charger
.....X_  Ear Buds
__  Laptop
.....__  Power Supply
.....__  Dry Bag
X_  12VDC Kit
.....X_  Clamp-On Socket
.....X_  Battery Charger
.....X_  Immersion Coil
X_  Headlamp
X_  LED Lenser Flashlight
X_  MiniMag w/LED Conversion
X_  AM/FM/WX Radio
.....X_  Ear Buds
__  Batteries
.....__  AA (8X)
.....__  AAA (9X)


First Aid
____________________
X_  Meds
.....X_  Imodium
.....X_  Ibuprofen
.....X_  Epinephrine Inhaler
.....X_  Benadryl
.....X_  Prilosec
.....X_  Low Dose Aspirin
.....X_  Multi Vitamins
.....X_  RX Analgesic
.....X_  Clarithromycin
.....X_  Topical Antibiotic

X_  HEMCON
.....X_  Trauma Bandages (2X) - USGI
.....X_  Tourniquet
.....X_  ABPADS
.....X_  Duct Tape
.....X_  Nitrile Gloves

__  Snivel
.....X_  Assorted Bandages
.....X_  Super Glue
.....X_  Sunscreen
.....__  Sunburn Relief
.....X_  Topical Benadryl Spray
.....X_  Poison Ivy Relief

X_  Dental Repair Kit

X_  Book - Wilderness and Remote Medicine (Adventure Medical)
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 6:00:29 PM EDT
other than im sorry you are getting kicked out, does all that really way only 30lbs?  laptop and everything?
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 6:11:09 PM EDT
that spork breaks easily. Buy the GSI aluminum anodized version.

All that does not weigh 30 lbs.. Check your numbers again.
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 6:14:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2011 6:16:30 PM EDT by FNFalGuy]
I'd dump the laptop (due to weight and connectivity issues) and be sure the you have a good water filter because there aren't public water sources easily accessable at all points along the trail.  Good boots and hiking poles are really critical on an AT hike.  I've never hiked the entire AT.  However, I've spent a fair bit of time on the trial in North Carolina (Cold Mountain and Shining Rock Wilderness areas).  It's a beautiful hike, but beware of bears and wild hogs along the trail.
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 6:18:42 PM EDT
OP:

Just saw your post. I have some spare gear that could help you out I can send Monday. IM me an address I could get it to you.
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 6:41:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
that spork breaks easily. Buy the GSI aluminum anodized version.

All that does not weigh 30 lbs.. Check your numbers again.


Minus the laptop and what I'm carrying, it really does.  Thanks, Bats.
And I'm trying to pare down as I can, but with extremely limited UNREP opportunities, I have to be careful what I dump
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 6:42:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2011 6:45:39 PM EDT by Johnnyutah]
Ditch half of your electronics.
Anything that is "extra", put in your bounce box.
The only place you'll need sunglasses is Greyson highlands stretch in va.  They do call it the green corridor.  
If you don't need it on a daily basis, put it in the bounce box.
Get a good filter.  The new gravity set ups are nice.  They filter without human effort and the upper reservoir is big enough to bring water in to camp.
You'll thin your load on your experience before you get out of Georgia. ;)
Good luck my man, enjoy the trip.

Btw, resuming points are plentiful if you Plan your trip out.  Have you picked up the guidebook?
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 6:44:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2011 11:24:18 PM EDT by SpartanThreeActual]
Originally Posted By FNFalGuy:
I'd dump the laptop (due to weight and connectivity issues) and be sure the you have a good water filter because there aren't public water sources easily accessable at all points along the trail.  Good boots and hiking poles are really critical on an AT hike.  I've never hiked the entire AT.  However, I've spent a fair bit of time on the trial in North Carolina (Cold Mountain and Shining Rock Wilderness areas).  It's a beautiful hike, but beware of bears and wild hogs along the trail.


Can't, unfortunately.  I'm a freelance writer and it will be my only source of income.  Believe me I would if I could.
I'll have wireless wifi all the way up and AT&T has good connectivity on 90% of the AT.

I am thinking about trading it for a netbook and spare battery, though.

Me and bears seem to get along ok.  More worried about rodents.  Wisdom on the trail is split 50/50 between hang your food and sleep with your food.
I'll probably hang it.
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 6:45:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Johnnyutah:
Ditch half of your electronics.
Anything that is "extra", put in your bounce box.
The only place you'll need sunglasses is Greyson highlands stretch in va.  They do call it the green corridor.  
If you don't need it on a daily basis, put it in the bounce box.
Get a good filter.  The new gravity set ups are nice.  They filter without human effort and the upper reservoir is big enough to bring water in to camp.
You'll thin your load on your experience before you get out of Georgia. ;)
Good luck my man, enjoy the trip.


No budget for a bounce box.  I like the idea, but not doable for me.  Thanks though
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 7:36:45 PM EDT
I have never done the AT but is a tent and a tarp needed, I thought you could even get by without a tent at all
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 7:48:21 PM EDT
Why not try to find a job?
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 7:57:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2011 7:58:37 PM EDT by SpartanThreeActual]
Originally Posted By fisterkev:
Why not try to find a job?


It isn't a matter of employment, honestly.  It's way too complicated to get into here, but thank you for the concern, Kev
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 8:04:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2011 8:05:39 PM EDT by fisterkev]
Not trying to pester you, and I understand you not wanting to go into details. It just sounds like you're going homeless / jobless, the cure to which is usually fixing the jobless part... Maybe a walkabout type thing to clear the air?

Sounds like a fun experiment. If you are taking a break from life to do it more power to you, and I wish you the best of luck.

Should be some interesting reports here for us to digest.
Link Posted: 4/3/2011 11:16:06 PM EDT
When u get close to the va/wv border give me a shout. i can provide a hot meal or 2.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 12:02:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JIP:
I have never done the AT but is a tent and a tarp needed, I thought you could even get by without a tent at all


That is a legitimate question.  The second poncho is doing triple and double duty, but if it's not needed I can always ditch it.

As for the tent, the shelters are frequently over run by rodents and it is sometimes advisable to not stay in some of them.
Also, the guides I've read indicate that there are about 30 days on the trail where you will be between shelters.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 12:24:24 AM EDT
How will you pay for food? You CAN live on rice and beans for a long while but I'm concerned you'll be seriously malnourished.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 12:42:59 AM EDT
GET SOME!!!
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 2:12:56 AM EDT
Call me old-fashioned, but the first thing that screamed out at me was "this guy ain't bringing enough socks!"



Be good to your feet.  You should be changing socks at least once a day, and if you ain't washing them every night, you're going to be a hurting unit.



You might also find that a change of clothes is beneficial. Jeans aren't the best things to wear when you're hiking in humid climes, and even good pants will crust up some well before 30 days on the trail.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 2:46:21 AM EDT
What are the light sticks for?  I've never carried them backacking and never felt the need for them.
Use a biodegradable soap like Campsuds- it'll lather even in salt water and a little goes a long way.  You can use it for shampoo and dishes too.  
Get a disposable razor- you'll only need it every now and then.  Lose the shaving gear and use Campsuds.
Lose the sunglasses; carry a pair of clip-ons.  As noted you won't need them for most of the trail, especially while wearing a hat.  Speaking of, I didn't notice a brimmed hat in your gear- I like boonie style hats but that's me.  My brother wears a Tilley and his kid an OR.  
Lose the cotton socks- they're hard to dry.  Get synthetic or wool/synthetic socks- they'll dry and still work when wet.  
Lose the cotton briefs- you will sweat, you will get jock itch and chaffing.
Loose the blue jeans and pick up something synthetic that's lighter, more comfortable and that'll actually dry.
Leather gloves?  Get some thin synthetics that will keep your hands warm on chilly mornings.  Use one of your socks or a folded bandanna as a pot holder if that's why you have them.
Lose one poncho- consider adding a small umbrella (sounds gay but it works well as long as the trail isn't too tight.  
Poncho liner?  I like my woobie too but a synthetic top is warmer, lighter and takes up less room.  A lightweight sleeping bag is definitely preferable if that's what you're trying to replace (since I didn't see one in your list).  The weather can and does change and it can be quite chilly at the higher elevations.
Camelbak bottles are heavy- use regular water bottles that you pick up at the store.  ex Aquafina, Desantes, whatever brand you like- easily replaced as needed
Carry two decent lighters like Bics- you can pick up more at any convenience store.  Waterproof your matches before you go.  
Water treatment tabs suck- well actually they just taste bad and you aren't supposed to use them for more than a couple days IIRC.  You need a water filter
Add some sort of small lightweight pot for cooking- you can't drink out of your cup if you're cooking in it.  I don't like my tea to taste like onion soup.    
Foods weigh a ton and take up the most space.  Be careful you don't overdo it on your sodium if you're planning on dehydrated or prepared foods; many of them have way more than your daily requirement in just one serving- even if you are sweating.  
Perimeter alarms- Once you're out there you won't sleep as much as you think you will and you'll be more attuned to the normal noises.    
Gerber Bolt and a Steadfast?  Seriously, drop them both and the cheap multitool and get one decent multitool or a real Swiss army knife.  Most you'll probably need it for is opening food, cutting 550 cord, etc.  I usually just carry a Gerber LST if I'm going light and fast.    
I'd much rather carry a netbook than a laptop- I'd rather not carry either.  
Get a decent LED headlamp and one or two of the keychain lights like the Proton.  Carry a spare set of batteries but remember you can pick up more at any convenience store.
Lose this stuff:
X_ HEMCON
.....X_ Trauma Bandages (2X) - USGI
.....X_ Tourniquet
.....X_ ABPADS
.....X_ Duct Tape
.....X_ Nitrile Gloves

Instead add two bandannas- they are much more versatile once you learn to use them as a multi-use item (tons of uses from hat to water filter to slings, bandages, repair items, etc).  You can cover all of the above with two bandannas except the gloves- I never carry them backpacking but a pair doesn't weigh much if you want them.  

Read the medical book beforehand- after you've been hurt isn't the time to try to figure out what to do and books are heavy.

Add reading material- paperbacks are good.  Yes, they add weight, but there will be days when you don't feel like getting up early or continuing late or you may need to rest tired or strained muscles.  There are often books left at places along the trail as folks finish them and you can pick up another along the way.  


You need to figure a way to resupply.  You can't do the whole trail carrying everything you need on your back.  You will wear out items like socks and possibly your boots depending on the starting quality.  Towards the end of the trail you will need colder weather gear too.    


Disclaimer- I haven't hiked all of the AT but I've done a lot of hiking/backpacking over the years.  These are just my suggestions- I'm not a guide, outfitter, etc. just an average bum.  




Link Posted: 4/4/2011 2:59:25 AM EDT



Originally Posted By TheOTHERmaninblack:


Call me old-fashioned, but the first thing that screamed out at me was "this guy ain't bringing enough socks!"



Be good to your feet.  You should be changing socks at least once a day, and if you ain't washing them every night, you're going to be a hurting unit.



You might also find that a change of clothes is beneficial. Jeans aren't the best things to wear when you're hiking in humid climes, and even good pants will crust up some well before 30 days on the trail.


Wow I didn't read this one man LEAVE THE JEANS AT HOME they might be good on the farm or out at the bar but thy have no place on the trail it will not take long for them to cause you problems besides the weight is rediculous.  I have to assume you have done at least some backpacking before but jeans?? no good at all.



 
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 3:05:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SpartanThreeActual:
Originally Posted By JIP:
I have never done the AT but is a tent and a tarp needed, I thought you could even get by without a tent at all


That is a legitimate question.  The second poncho is doing triple and double duty, but if it's not needed I can always ditch it.

As for the tent, the shelters are frequently over run by rodents and it is sometimes advisable to not stay in some of them.
Also, the guides I've read indicate that there are about 30 days on the trail where you will be between shelters.


you are correct....last time on trail......three shelters....out of three.....were best left alone.......one couple had an event with a skunk.....we smelled them way before we saw them.....damn shelters.......

only reason to go in them....is to check out the journals....IMO
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 3:50:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SpartanThreeActual:
Originally Posted By fisterkev:
Why not try to find a job?


It isn't a matter of employment, honestly.  It's way too complicated to get into here, but thank you for the concern, Kev


If you gave us the story, some of us might be more inclined to assist, we don't know what happened, why it happened, when it happened, how it happened, there are 2 sides to every story, tell us yours and you might get tons of help, or if it because of something that you brought upon yourself, you might not get much of anything, except ignored...so please post story...you have the time, you'll be out on your ass soon and the story would possibly help you. Just my opinion!!
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 3:54:40 AM EDT
Friends of mine have hiked almost all of the AT, they started north and went south...they loved it, but said going north and ending in maine with winter would really have sucked...thats why they went north to south...
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 4:15:09 AM EDT
If you're that strapped for cash, I don't see you being able to finish the trail... or even stay on it. Hiking is not exactly a cheap thing to do. Check out whiteblaze.net for cost estimates.

As has been said... lose the jeans. Cotton kills, and will be misery in both cold and warm weather out there.

Your stuff doesn't weigh 30lb. And after you've added food and water, you'll be well over 50lb. You will hate life and want to quit long before you reach Walasi-yi.

I'm just gonna list all the things you DON'T need to be bringing with you...

X_ Map
X_ Compass
X_ Light Sticks
X_ Postage Stamps
X_ Microfiber Towel
__ Razor Handle
__ Razor Blades
__ Shaving Cream
__ Moisturizer
X_ Sun Screen
X_ Protective Head Net
X_ Extra RX Sunglasses
X_ "Poo Bags" - Very handy on hard-to-dig terrain. Just clean up after yourself and bury when you can.
X_ Cotton Socks (2PR)
X_ Cotton Boxer-Briefs (2PR)
X_ Jeans (1PR)
X_ Shower Shoes (Flip-Flops)
X_ Leather Gloves
X_ Wood Burning Stove (Primary)
X_ Seam Sealer
X_ Sewing Kit
__ Nylon Patch Fabric
X_ Cheap Multi-tool
X_ Gerber Bolt
X_ Gerber Steadfast
X_ Perimeter Alarm System (Per Ragnar's excellent post)
.....X_ Alarm (You can find them at Lowe's now BTW)
.....X_ Trip Wire
.....X_ Cup Hooks
X_ 550 Cord
X_ Duct Tape
X_ Trowel
.....X_ Ear Buds
__ Laptop
.....__ Power Supply
.....__ Dry Bag
X_ 12VDC Kit
.....X_ Clamp-On Socket
.....X_ Battery Charger
.....X_ Immersion Coil
X_ MiniMag w/LED Conversion
X_ AM/FM/WX Radio
.....X_ Ear Buds
__ Batteries
.....__ AA (8X)
.....__ AAA (9X)
X_ HEMCON
.....X_ Trauma Bandages (2X) - USGI
.....X_ Tourniquet
.....X_ ABPADS
.....X_ Duct Tape
.....X_ Nitrile Gloves
.....X_ Super Glue
.....X_ Sunscreen
X_ Dental Repair Kit
X_ Book - Wilderness and Remote Medicine (Adventure Medical)

––––––––––

Presto - you are now at least 13lb lighter and won't miss any of this stuff once you're out there.

If you think you're going to be writing on the trail, you're out of your G-D mind. After busting out the miles with this rig, you will want to eat, drink, then curl up and die... not write. Also your laptop will break after the first day of being strapped down inside your pack. Also it will get wet and die the first time it rains or you do some cloud walking in north Georgia.

Heck, I don't even like to take a cell phone as the trail is just HARD on electronics. I killed my last blackberry that way. You're walking into the wilderness... not starbucks. AT&T may have some service (not a ton. Verizon does better), but your antenna and therefore your battery will be strained to their limits getting it.

What you DO need is a sleeping bag. The trail is still cold at night in April, and I've seen plenty of people catch hypothermia well into May at 48 degrees after getting a bit wet. Going out there with just a poncho liner is just nuts.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 5:27:21 AM EDT
He isn't telling us why he's doing this, other than he will be homeless...so that leaves us to speculate on why he is doing this...my conclusion is.... if he is to lazy to get a job and support himself, how in the hell is he going to survive when he gets alone on the trail, let alone carry a pack and set up camp on the trail, tring to carry all the gear... now thats work, so I hope he runs fast and hard....maybe he'll wake up and learn something about life....like nothing is free and you need to work for anything that is worth having...and you can run away all you want but your problems will still be there until you deal with / handle them.

Side note to you....post your story(that you say is to complicated and long here) so that the hive can know why your doing this...you have all the time in the world since your not working and can just take off from your problems....we are waiting.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 6:53:17 AM EDT
All,  Remember he said he will be homeless and is a writer.  His writing may just by walking the AT.

OP, best of luck to you.  Here my suggestions.

As stated ditch the blue jeans and get a set of ripstop cargo pants.  IE OD green or khaki, BDUs will work great.
Sleeping Pad-one comfort item you will want.  Cut down a pad just long enough for your upper torso and buttocks.
Trash Bags-multi role
Small 3x3" green scotch pad for cleaning dishes.
Possible solar charger for the electonics, plastic waterproof/shock proof for the laptop.  I've humped Military Toughbook laptops in the feild and it can be down.
Small Ceramic sharping rod for your knife
Brimmed hat
Bandanas
few extra ziplock bags

CD
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 7:08:22 AM EDT
Good suggestions above, especially the socks and underwear.   Wool blend socks do me much better than cotton, and regular cotton underwear is unpleasant after a short time of being hot and sweaty.

Also, is the laptop necessary?  Unless you have a netbook or a mac book air, they can be quite heavy, not to mention delicate to temperature/humidity changes.   You can do basic email from your phone you are already bringing, and maybe just a simple notebook would be better for writing.  Not sure with the small amount of info given though.  Maybe an Ipad instead of the laptop?

Good luck with your adventure, fill us in when u can.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 7:59:32 AM EDT
Where are you starting from?
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 8:32:54 AM EDT
Wow, 30 lbs for all that gear.
Maybe consider some of the dri-fit clothing and leave the cotton stuff behind, Make sure you have the best hiking boots you can buy and bring first aid for blisters etc. good water filter.
Maybe ditch some of the electronics and just bring a couple of good books.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 8:39:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 8:40:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2011 8:44:55 AM EDT by JIP]





Originally Posted By SALTDOG:



He isn't telling us why he's doing this, other than he will be homeless...so that leaves us to speculate on why he is doing this...my conclusion is.... if he is to lazy to get a job and support himself, how in the hell is he going to survive when he gets alone on the trail, let alone carry a pack and set up camp on the trail, tring to carry all the gear... now thats work, so I hope he runs fast and hard....maybe he'll wake up and learn something about life....like nothing is free and you need to work for anything that is worth having...and you can run away all you want but your problems will still be there until you deal with / handle them.





Side note to you....post your story(that you say is to complicated and long here) so that the hive can know why your doing this...you have all the time in the world since your not working and can just take off from your problems....we are waiting.


You ever think that this guy is in between jobs and sees an opportunity in his life to do something that not many people get the chance to do.  You know not every one has to be a slave to work and I see nowhere in his post that he is going to collect welfare or unemployment so why is it any of your friggin business why he is doing this.  I say congratulations and MORE POWER TO YOU man for grabbing this chance in your life to have an adventure and each yourself some survival skills while you are at it.  As far as the "homeless" thing I think some of you are taking it a little too literally maybe the guy just got out of a lease and before beginning another one and committing to another 12 months of rent or 20-30 years of mortgage payments he wants to live a little.
 
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 8:41:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 8:47:42 AM EDT
I know it's frowned upon by the dirty hippies, but what about a firearm?
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 9:00:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SALTDOG:
He isn't telling us why he's doing this, other than he will be homeless...so that leaves us to speculate on why he is doing this...my conclusion is.... if he is to lazy to get a job and support himself, how in the hell is he going to survive when he gets alone on the trail, let alone carry a pack and set up camp on the trail, tring to carry all the gear... now thats work, so I hope he runs fast and hard....maybe he'll wake up and learn something about life....like nothing is free and you need to work for anything that is worth having...and you can run away all you want but your problems will still be there until you deal with / handle them.

Side note to you....post your story(that you say is to complicated and long here) so that the hive can know why your doing this...you have all the time in the world since your not working and can just take off from your problems....we are waiting.


I'll leave it to you to draw the conclusions you will, sir.  God bless.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 9:03:18 AM EDT
Hope you find what you are looking for out there OP.

I've used the AT for clearing my head a time or two.....it's good for that.

If you can.....hit the trail off shoot that takes you to the Mt Rogers peak.....it's a nice side track.

If you need anything around the 81 crossing near Troutville VA.....IM me....I'll see what I can do.

Good luck

Echo2
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 9:12:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JohnAdamsIII:
Where are you starting from?


Apple House shelter where the AT crosses I-40
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 9:32:09 AM EDT
Do you have transportation like a bike or anything else?

Something simple like that will make traveling easier.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 9:54:21 AM EDT
"I'm going to be living out of this rig for 4-6 months. I have no fall back position. "
So are you going to be on the trail for 4-6 months ?
Are you expecting money to be comming in to resupply at some point on your trip ?
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 10:06:06 AM EDT
I envy you your journey.  I hiked most of the trail from Maine to MD thirty years ago, and had a great time.  But as others have noted, you are carrying a lot of crap on your back.  I look at the current gear out there, and I wish it was available when I was packing the trail.  I had to pack heavy because things like wool sweaters were the only choices out there.  A good fleece weighs in at about a quarter (or less) of what my old oiled wool sweater weighed.  If all that stuff your packing weighs in at only 30 pounds, and I suspect you are being charitable, then given some culling and selecting the right products will cut that weight in half.

Sleeping bag is something I would give serious thought to.  It may be getting warmer down here in the flat lands, but you will be in the hills and mountains.  It is going to be colder, and it is going to be a lot colder at night.  I spent four days stuck in a shelter in NH due to a blizzard (at least in the mountains) in late April.  Plan accordingly.

Regardless of what advice and ideas are thrown your way in this thread, the greatest teacher is experience.  You will find more and more stuff from your pack that you can live without with each segment of the trail you complete.  My pack lost more weight than I did when I was hiking the trail.

One other thing, more socks.  Your feet are your friends, treat them well.

stasiman
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 6:52:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SpartanThreeActual:
Originally Posted By SALTDOG:
He isn't telling us why he's doing this, other than he will be homeless...so that leaves us to speculate on why he is doing this...my conclusion is.... if he is to lazy to get a job and support himself, how in the hell is he going to survive when he gets alone on the trail, let alone carry a pack and set up camp on the trail, tring to carry all the gear... now thats work, so I hope he runs fast and hard....maybe he'll wake up and learn something about life....like nothing is free and you need to work for anything that is worth having...and you can run away all you want but your problems will still be there until you deal with / handle them.

Side note to you....post your story(that you say is to complicated and long here) so that the hive can know why your doing this...you have all the time in the world since your not working and can just take off from your problems....we are waiting.


I'll leave it to you to draw the conclusions you will, sir.  God bless.


I am sorry I came off like an asshole, we are behind you but, if you could enlighten us on the reasons that this is happening. We are all left to guess...I have had a few teenage kids..they were my GF's ...go and run from problems, when they did, it left there mom holding the shit end of the stick..that is one of the reasons that i voiced my opinion so loudly to you...I just don't want anyone to do what her kids did to her...it sounds dumb but man kids sometimes don't think and expect mom or dad to pick up the pieces that they leave behind.

I hope your doing this for you, and not running away from something, because it will always be there....good luck to you and keep us posted, like some above said, write it all down and make a diary or short stories out of your trip....then give us some good reading in the upcomming weeks.

Link Posted: 4/4/2011 7:27:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2011 7:37:56 PM EDT by CoyoteGray]
Hiking the AT is no joke and will take some planning.. I would highly suggest that you get a hold of one of the many books people have written about it. There is also alot of info on it available on-line.
"Advanced Backpacking" by Karen Berger is a good one. It's not specifically about the AT but has alot of information about it..
This one is very good "Hiking the Triple Crown : Appalachian Trail - Pacific Crest Trail - Continental Divide Trail - How to Hike America's Longest Trails" Buy it used, it's expensive...

It really depends on how far you intend to go but a plan for re supply is very important.
There are many businesses along the AT or close that will hold packages ( Food-Drops) for you to pickup on your way through. If you use a Post Office it's very important that you label the package correctly so they know what to do with it.. If your going for a long trip you will need to have someone back home available to send out the packages on a regular schedule or if you call from a town.



Link Posted: 4/4/2011 7:58:28 PM EDT
Good luck.  You've gotten alot of good advice.  

You will improvise, adapt, overcome, and all that good stuff.

Sometimes losing everything you have results in gaining everything you need.

Cheers.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 8:13:23 PM EDT
I can't really add anything, lots of great advice already posted.

Good luck op, it sounds like a cool experiment
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 8:25:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2011 8:30:44 PM EDT by L_JE]
You need to lighten the load.  I second most of SabreCat's suggestions on Page 1.   I'd also recommend ditching the hiking stick; either go with proper trekking poles or nothing.  I also don't recall any mention of a sleeping bag or ground pad.

I pick up AT hikers on a pretty regular basis, and I don't recall the last time I saw a pack over 30 lbs.

Added:
And if you happen to need anything where the AT crosses US 501 or US 60, you can IM me as well.
Link Posted: 4/4/2011 9:48:45 PM EDT
Bring dental floss man.
Link Posted: 4/5/2011 4:06:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By thehellbringer:
Bring dental floss man.


+100000
Link Posted: 4/5/2011 4:45:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2011 4:57:55 AM EDT by billclo]

As for the tent, the shelters are frequently over run by rodents and it is sometimes advisable to not stay in some of them.
Also, the guides I've read indicate that there are about 30 days on the trail where you will be between shelters.


I've also read that many of the rodents that use the shelters carry Hantavirus, which is a nasty disease that can kill you, and is spread by feces. They poop in the shelter, you breathe the dust/you get sick. I wouldn't want to risk it, personally.

Definitely lose the jeans, as has been said.

I'm not concerned WHY the OP is doing this trip. More power to him taking the initiative and doing it. It's a similar situation to what I went through in the late '80s. I took a cross-country trip over a month with my cousin and it was an awesome experience. Most people never get the chance to do something "radical" like that.

There's no way I could repeat it with a 9-5 job and a wife/kid situation.  I want to eventually take the wife and now kid on a similar trip someday, but the job-bondage thing prevents it (we could afford it). NO WAY could the wife get the time off to do a nice trip like that.
Link Posted: 4/5/2011 4:47:32 AM EDT
I would add try and set up a fall back with friends or family or something for the very real possibility of an injury that doesn't allow you to keep going. I know you say you don't have an option but you must have a friend that would let you crash on their couch for a bit with a broken foot or something.

The only reason I say that is I have a friend that did the AT 3 times he was only able to do the whole thing start to finish once due to a couple stress injuries. He had to stop for a few weeks to heal then start again at the point he stopped. He was also 18 in good shape and I'm almost sure carrying less weight than you will be. He might have been pushing harder for the miles then you will be though not having a timeline you want to keep.

good luck
Link Posted: 4/5/2011 5:53:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/5/2011 6:00:56 AM EDT by Combat_Diver]
OP,

Thought of a few other lightweight items.
Nail clippers-Those toe nails are going to get long and need clipping.  First priorty is to take care of those feet.
Teezers-God send for splinters that will fester.
Comb-after a few days your hair will be oily and matted.  Suggest a hair cut before lauching.
Belt-you will be losing weight and need to keep those pants up, preferable a adjustable web belt.  Also weigh yourself before starting.

Here's couple recipes to make things more interesting.  I don't think you'll be worried about calories.
Ranger Pudding-Hot Cocoa mix with just a small amount of water.
Ranger Icing-Non-dairy creamer, sugar and a teaspoon of water, mix and spread on whatever.  Can wrap in alumiumn foil and set on coals for a sugar cookie.

I'm old enough to still have gotten issued C-rats for a two week patrol and our rucks were a lot heavier.  Still eating MREs now days.

CD

ETA: Bungee Cords on poncho hooch if you go that route.  Makes setting up fast and easy.
Link Posted: 4/5/2011 6:46:11 AM EDT
I'd like to add a couple of suggestions;

First and foremost - Get your head right before taking the first step.  By this, I mean taking a realistic assessment at what you are engaging.  When folks come out to take these type of trips with us here - either single or multiple day trips - the greatest detriment I see them encounter is things tend to turn out different than they had expected/imagined.  I am sure you have a respectable amount of experience to elect embarking on this journey, just try not to get clouded by preparation, which can bring about unrealistic expectations.

SabreCat hit the nail on the head - COTTON KILLS. Carry wool or wool blend socks, and ditch the jeans.  I would also carry long underwear, preferably polypropylene, one top, and one bottom, and a similar 'beenie' type of headgear.  You will experience a bit of elevation change, and these are not only compact to pack, they are light weight as well, but I guarantee they will help during chilly evenings and early mornings.  Cold is the number one stifling effect to drive and emotions, and kills more people than physical injuries.  As with all of your other clothing (especially socks) wash them as best you can, as often as you can.

If it takes the last dollar you have, DO NOT embark on this journey in poor boots. If you haven't already, grab the best, most appropriate boots you can afford, and wear them now to get used to them for a few days before you start the hike.

Make sure you understand hypothermia, and how to recognize it, specifically how to continuously create tests for yourself.  Even though it's early Spring and the weather may be nice, hypothermia is not exclusive to sub-arctic temperatures, and can be experienced in an otherwise temperate climate.  Same goes for hyperthermia - especially carrying the gear you have and traversing the changing terrain.

Clean your system now - get the junk out, and accustom yourself to eating the same type foods you plan for your journey, preferably at least 3 days before starting the trip. You won't travel far with gut-rot on the trail.  This is one of the biggest issues I see people encounter, and if the upset gut is also accompanied with diarrhea (most often it is) then there is additional risk of dehydration and rapid loss of electrolytes.

Trauma kit - I really, really believe in having one, and never take  people out without having one along.  However, we are typically horseback, which makes carrying supplies much easier, and have  the experience in Wilderness Emergency Medicine.  Most often, the one needing the trauma kit is not lucid enough to use the trauma kit.  That's just how it works out.  You should be able to construct a small, basic first aid kit, though I recommend carrying two (2) kotex with you for the occasion should you need to address heavier bleeding.

Just a few things I thought I would toss your way.  Remember if you need something, there are LOTS of folks (like me) who may not post here much, but do read the forum on a regular basis, and there is a great collection of experience and information here.  I haven't been in the Appalachians in about 10 years, but if you were in Colorado, I'd be more than glad to help you out with setting up for the trip.

Godspeed
Link Posted: 4/5/2011 7:12:24 AM EDT
As has been already pointed out, lose the cotton stuff.

I think you need to re-think your sleeping setup. You will be hating the AT if you are not able to get a good night's sleep. A sleeping pad and some kind of lightweight sleeping bag or quilt would be in order.
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