AT Thru hike Gear

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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movingchicane
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by movingchicane » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:41 pm

Murph wrote:Hey Movingchicane!

Awesome job on the base weight, and that Melaleuca walking stick is really cool!

And I have a couple questions...
What's a Foster Cup? Is it a cut down beer can?
What are you carrying your stove fuel in?
It seems like you've got your water covered with the Smartwater and soft-bottles, why bring the heavy Nalgene?

...And where did you get all the small mesh net pouches? :D
Fosters cup is a cut down beer can with a tight fitting reinforcing ring machined to fit the top and one of those silicon bracelets at the edge so you don't burn your lips. Batchstovez.com makes a kit, but I have access to a metal lathe so I just whipped one up. If the can gets damaged the ring is fairly easy to swap to a new one.

Stove fuel is in a root beer soda bottle (not shown). Soda bottles seem like the most bomb proof fuel container as far as anti leaking. It is important to have it well marked however. Also for me personally the root beer comes in a different shaped bottle than most other sodas, so it minimizes the chance of an after dark mix up.

The nalgene is there as a cold weather insurance policy. A Nalgene filled with hot water inside the quilt is the second best way to stay warm on a cold night, and it doesn't try to steal the covers :wink: .
It will probably get shipped home when I switch to my 40 deg quilt somewhere in Virginia.

I have a box of stuff sacks and pouches in the closet that I've been collecting for a long time. They're just random bags that came with consumer products that didn't really need a bag. I could never bring myself to throw them away so into the box they go. The mesh ones work really good for the water filter and cook kit.
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by olbaid_dratsab » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:01 am

Awesome. I did 700 miles in 08. PA-Fontanna Dam.

Some things I didn't see mentioned...
For cooking I used a cat food can and denatured alcohol. Then just a regular small camp pot for cooking' in. My food was mostly Ramen noodles, slim jims, nutella, and nature valley bars.

Baby powder or foot powder. Also, there is a right and wrong way to fix and protect blisters. I admit, that to this day I still do the wrong way, sometimes with duct tape if I don't have mole skin. Couldn't hurt to look up the right way though. If you take mole skin, take a tiny pair of scissors.

I took a small note book. Most shelters have a log book, but the not book came in handy for recording certain roads or something. I used it one day to leave signs about 30 meters before and after some ground bees that stung me a few times. A bear was digging them up right before I got to them.

Trecking poles. I used a broken SwissGear pole I found in a bathroom and a stick I found at a trail head. Lekies are nice, but cheap stuff works.
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by Murph » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:01 pm

movingchicane wrote: Fosters cup is a cut down beer can with a tight fitting reinforcing ring machined to fit the top and one of those silicon bracelets at the edge so you don't burn your lips. Batchstovez.com makes a kit, but I have access to a metal lathe so I just whipped one up. If the can gets damaged the ring is fairly easy to swap to a new one.

Stove fuel is in a root beer soda bottle (not shown). Soda bottles seem like the most bomb proof fuel container as far as anti leaking. It is important to have it well marked however. Also for me personally the root beer comes in a different shaped bottle than most other sodas, so it minimizes the chance of an after dark mix up.

The nalgene is there as a cold weather insurance policy. A Nalgene filled with hot water inside the quilt is the second best way to stay warm on a cold night, and it doesn't try to steal the covers :wink: .
It will probably get shipped home when I switch to my 40 deg quilt somewhere in Virginia.

I have a box of stuff sacks and pouches in the closet that I've been collecting for a long time. They're just random bags that came with consumer products that didn't really need a bag. I could never bring myself to throw them away so into the box they go. The mesh ones work really good for the water filter and cook kit.
Thanks for the answers! I have seen BatchStovez.com at some point, it was marked as a favorite when I opened it up! Right now I'm using a lightweight canister stove and a Ti Cup, but alcohol stoves are pretty interesting. And from what I've heard alcohol is easier to resupply on a thru hike. I like the root beer fuel bottle idea a lot, especially since I don't drink root beer, no chance in mistaking it. I've heard of the Nalgene hot water bottle trick. I wasn't sure if you had other plans for it too. And I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who has a bag of bags too!
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

Post by movingchicane » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:28 pm

olbaid_dratsab wrote:Awesome. I did 700 miles in 08. PA-Fontanna Dam.

Some things I didn't see mentioned...
For cooking I used a cat food can and denatured alcohol. Then just a regular small camp pot for cooking' in. My food was mostly Ramen noodles, slim jims, nutella, and nature valley bars.

Baby powder or foot powder. Also, there is a right and wrong way to fix and protect blisters. I admit, that to this day I still do the wrong way, sometimes with duct tape if I don't have mole skin. Couldn't hurt to look up the right way though. If you take mole skin, take a tiny pair of scissors.

I took a small note book. Most shelters have a log book, but the not book came in handy for recording certain roads or something. I used it one day to leave signs about 30 meters before and after some ground bees that stung me a few times. A bear was digging them up right before I got to them.

Trecking poles. I used a broken SwissGear pole I found in a bathroom and a stick I found at a trail head. Lekies are nice, but cheap stuff works.

Thanks for the tips. My stove is a pressurized alcohol design made from an aluminum beer bottle. I've had the best performance out of this one so that's what I'm starting out with. Cat can stoves are the least finicky to make though.

Scissors in SAK check! They were a must have for nail trimming.

I wish there were a few more blank pages in the trail guide for notes, but I guess they're trying to keep it as light as possible. I may glue a couple sheets into the binding though. Did you have to walk back through the bees nest to get your marker up trail?

I have a set of Leki poles, but honestly I much prefer just having one hiking stick.
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by movingchicane » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:39 pm

Thanks for the answers! I have seen BatchStovez.com at some point, it was marked as a favorite when I opened it up! Right now I'm using a lightweight canister stove and a Ti Cup, but alcohol stoves are pretty interesting. And from what I've heard alcohol is easier to resupply on a thru hike. I like the root beer fuel bottle idea a lot, especially since I don't drink root beer, no chance in mistaking it. I've heard of the Nalgene hot water bottle trick. I wasn't sure if you had other plans for it too. And I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who has a bag of bags too!
I'm still on the fence about convenience vs weight of the canister stove. On route it seems there isn't a lack of either as a lot of stores cater to hiker needs in the season. I've used alcohol exclusively for the last four years of weekend trips, and I figure if it doesn't work that great for a long trip I'm out maybe $5 :lol:
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by olbaid_dratsab » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:01 am

I wasn't running, but briskly hiking and couldn't react in time before stepping right in them, got stung a few times, then ran about 30 meters. Just walked back off the trail to avoid them and put a note up, then another note when I started hiking again.

Maybe look at a sleeping mat too. I know you have a hammock, but in some parts I'm not sure if you want to use it. The shelters in the Smokies had chainlink fronts to mitigate bears. Hammocks are more comfy, but a sleeping mat has its merits too. Easier to use in shelters or hostels. I think they're more forgiving in cold weather too. Basically, I can use a mat anywhere I can use a hammock, but I can't use a hammock everywhere I can use a mat.

I started my hike using a penny stove made from two Stony's cans and 90% alcohol. Took to long to vaporize the alcohol and have it function right.

Instant coffee is nice to have too. I drank it cold or dipped it while hiking more often than actually making coffee from it.
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by Murph » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:37 pm

olbaid_dratsab wrote:Maybe look at a sleeping mat too. I know you have a hammock, but in some parts I'm not sure if you want to use it. The shelters in the Smokies had chainlink fronts to mitigate bears. Hammocks are more comfy, but a sleeping mat has its merits too. Easier to use in shelters or hostels. I think they're more forgiving in cold weather too. Basically, I can use a mat anywhere I can use a hammock, but I can't use a hammock everywhere I can use a mat.
FWIW, I carry a hammock + air pad combo also, because it gives me the option to use the air pad in a shelter instead of setting up my hammock. However, I don't own an underquilt, so that's really my only choice.
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

Post by Wraith6761 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:40 pm

Alcohol stoves are pretty awesome, but they tend to not want to work correctly when it's cold-ish...best way around it that I've found is to get a small (like 1-1.5oz) bottle with a good sealing lid, put your fuel for the next morning into that, and keep it in a shirt pocket when you go to sleep, so it'll stay warm and your stove will actually work in the morning. Also, putting a square of aluminum foil beneath the stove along with a windscreen helps a lot with cooking times (acts as a heat reflector or something I guess).
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by movingchicane » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:54 am

Murph wrote:
olbaid_dratsab wrote:Maybe look at a sleeping mat too. I know you have a hammock, but in some parts I'm not sure if you want to use it. The shelters in the Smokies had chainlink fronts to mitigate bears. Hammocks are more comfy, but a sleeping mat has its merits too. Easier to use in shelters or hostels. I think they're more forgiving in cold weather too. Basically, I can use a mat anywhere I can use a hammock, but I can't use a hammock everywhere I can use a mat.
FWIW, I carry a hammock + air pad combo also, because it gives me the option to use the air pad in a shelter instead of setting up my hammock. However, I don't own an underquilt, so that's really my only choice.
I do have a semi inflatable pad in a drop box for the Smokies. Currently it is mandatory to stay in a shelter there unless they are full. So I'll suck it up to that point and should have a really good idea whether I want to carry a pad or not.
Wraith6761 wrote:Alcohol stoves are pretty awesome, but they tend to not want to work correctly when it's cold-ish...best way around it that I've found is to get a small (like 1-1.5oz) bottle with a good sealing lid, put your fuel for the next morning into that, and keep it in a shirt pocket when you go to sleep, so it'll stay warm and your stove will actually work in the morning. Also, putting a square of aluminum foil beneath the stove along with a windscreen helps a lot with cooking times (acts as a heat reflector or something I guess).
Good tips Wraith, Thanks.
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by ROCK6 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:39 am

movingchicane wrote: I do have a semi inflatable pad in a drop box for the Smokies. Currently it is mandatory to stay in a shelter there unless they are full. So I'll suck it up to that point and should have a really good idea whether I want to carry a pad or not.
They've taken the fun out of the Smokies. Not that I'm advocating, but a hammock allows you to stealth camp much easier. The shelters are bear magnet along with your local trashy hikers; I just really hate crowded shelters. That was the only section we had to get creative on. A great hiking area, but damn, they've taken the fun out of it during peak seasons.

I would get the latest trail guide. Fortunately, I think the drought is over. Just a couple months ago, it was bone dry all through GA and up into some TN and NC areas. Manage your water wisely as some sections can get lengthy without any water sources. I still think you should be good now though.

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Gear-wise, you look set. I've watered my illumination down to just a Petzl e+LITE headlamp and I carried two spare batteries; and a new Fenix RC05 which is a rechargeable light, single 14500/AA battery light and I carried one spare battery. The Fenix was much smaller and lighter than my Sunwayman, and I could recharge off my battery charger or any other USB/AC adapter (it does require it's on magnetic USB cord).

Image

It's hard as a knife-guy to trim down, but I'm down to a Leatherman PS and a Spyderco Dragonfly and sometimes my little Mora (it's really, really hard ditching a fixed blade!) Still, my base pack weight is between 13-15 pounds depending on the season. With food, water (2-3 liters) and fuel added, I'm still about 25-28 pounds which gives me roughly 5-7 days on the trail before needing resupply of food and fuel.

When are you getting started? My wife and I are continuing our section hikes with 126 miles from Ervin, TN up to Damascus, VA in early June. You should be much further north of that by then...

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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by movingchicane » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:29 pm

Yeah I'm not a super big fan of shelters. So the gray area is; if the shelter is full when you get there you are permitted to camp in the "vicinity". My days in the smokies may start and end a little later than normal :wink: .

I had the 2017 guide ordered and it should be at the house when I get back from this work trip. I can then give the 2016 version to my primary mailer so we can be on the same page as far as locations go.

I'm starting at Amicalola falls March 8, and going to try to keep it under 10 miles a day for the first week. Just to ease all the body parts into it. I am thinking I will probably hit Damascus around Mothers day, and am still on the fence about hitching back for trail days.
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by SCBrian » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:17 pm

movingchicane wrote:Yeah I'm not a super big fan of shelters. So the gray area is; if the shelter is full when you get there you are permitted to camp in the "vicinity". My days in the smokies may start and end a little later than normal :wink: .

I had the 2017 guide ordered and it should be at the house when I get back from this work trip. I can then give the 2016 version to my primary mailer so we can be on the same page as far as locations go.

I'm starting at Amicalola falls March 8, and going to try to keep it under 10 miles a day for the first week. Just to ease all the body parts into it. I am thinking I will probably hit Damascus around Mothers day, and am still on the fence about hitching back for trail days.

Your gonna hit a section just after Hawk Mountain shelter (IIRC) Where you go for 7 miles, mostly uphill with no water source. Sassafras Mtn sucks. Make sure to stop at Neels Gap and resupply, or just enjoy real food for a meal. :) I've covered it from Springer to Hogpen, so if you've questions about that section, feel free to ask. :)
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:11 am

movingchicane wrote:Yeah I'm not a super big fan of shelters. So the gray area is; if the shelter is full when you get there you are permitted to camp in the "vicinity". My days in the smokies may start and end a little later than normal :wink: .

I had the 2017 guide ordered and it should be at the house when I get back from this work trip. I can then give the 2016 version to my primary mailer so we can be on the same page as far as locations go.

I'm starting at Amicalola falls March 8, and going to try to keep it under 10 miles a day for the first week. Just to ease all the body parts into it. I am thinking I will probably hit Damascus around Mothers day, and am still on the fence about hitching back for trail days.
If you have little extra cash and want to 'pamper' yourself on the start- check out the Len Foote Hike Inn. It's on a spur or the AT-AT in the Amicalola Falls State Park.

Shelter is full- can I camp nearby?

Depends on where you are. Great Smokie Mountains National Park- you HAVE to sleep in a shelter. No if ands or buts about it. That's the law. Amicalola Falls State Park and Mt. Katahdin State Park are the same way. Anywhere else is pretty 'fair game' for pitching a tent on the side of the trail (excluding towns of course).
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by movingchicane » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:03 am

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
movingchicane wrote:Yeah I'm not a super big fan of shelters. So the gray area is; if the shelter is full when you get there you are permitted to camp in the "vicinity". My days in the smokies may start and end a little later than normal :wink: .

I had the 2017 guide ordered and it should be at the house when I get back from this work trip. I can then give the 2016 version to my primary mailer so we can be on the same page as far as locations go.

I'm starting at Amicalola falls March 8, and going to try to keep it under 10 miles a day for the first week. Just to ease all the body parts into it. I am thinking I will probably hit Damascus around Mothers day, and am still on the fence about hitching back for trail days.
If you have little extra cash and want to 'pamper' yourself on the start- check out the Len Foote Hike Inn. It's on a spur or the AT-AT in the Amicalola Falls State Park.

Shelter is full- can I camp nearby?

Depends on where you are. Great Smokie Mountains National Park- you HAVE to sleep in a shelter. No if ands or buts about it. That's the law. Amicalola Falls State Park and Mt. Katahdin State Park are the same way. Anywhere else is pretty 'fair game' for pitching a tent on the side of the trail (excluding towns of course).
I looked into that just to be sure, and yes with a backcountry permit you ARE required to stay in a shelter or designated camp site. However with a thru hiker permit you are required to give up your spot in a shelter to day hikers with shelter reservations.

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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by ROCK6 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:11 pm

movingchicane wrote: I'm starting at Amicalola falls March 8, and going to try to keep it under 10 miles a day for the first week. Just to ease all the body parts into it. I am thinking I will probably hit Damascus around Mothers day, and am still on the fence about hitching back for trail days.
Yeah, you should be all the way through VA by the time we get to Damascus, but if events slow you down, PM me. We're going to park at Damascus and then shuttle back to Erwin, TN.

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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by Murph » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:54 am

movingchicane wrote:I'm starting at Amicalola falls March 8, and going to try to keep it under 10 miles a day for the first week. Just to ease all the body parts into it. I am thinking I will probably hit Damascus around Mothers day, and am still on the fence about hitching back for trail days.
I've heard of hikers renting a car and carpooling back to Damascus if they've past it when Trail Days happens. Which seems like a decent idea if you can swing it.
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

Post by movingchicane » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:55 pm

Murph wrote:I've heard of hikers renting a car and carpooling back to Damascus if they've past it when Trail Days happens. Which seems like a decent idea if you can swing it.
That's a pretty good idea. I may try to convince a non thru hiking friend that they need to go to trail days, and catch a ride with them. It all hinges on whether or not I want to stop hiking for the party though.
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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by movingchicane » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:13 pm

The first two youtube vids are up. Be gentle they aren't quite up to Woods Walker's level yet. Hopefully next time I'll remember to turn the phone sideways :roll:



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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by movingchicane » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:19 am

Hey guys sorry for the lack of updates, hiker midnight comes early. Currently in Franklin,NC taking a couple zero days and letting the body recuperate. I haven't had any gear issues yet other than my shoes, so I did the last 109 miles in my sandals. Luckily I found a shoe guy who rebuilt the foot bed of my Salomons, so hopefully they'll work a little bit better now. I feel like I'm at the front end of the bubble, but haven't had any problems finding two trees to hang the hammock from. There was a freak storm last week with snow, ice, and sub zero temperature (that was fun).

I did build one campfire so far (it was cold and wet and someone said it was impossible). Usually I'm content just curling up in the quilt and drifting off in the gentle sway of the hammock.

I'm going to be taking it easy from here to the smokies then maybe putting in some 20+ mile days after Hot Springs. I've been trying to keep updates on FB and pictures on IG as much as possible DM if you want a link. Hopefully check back in soon.

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Re: AT Thru hike Gear

Post by Murph » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:56 pm

movingchicane wrote:There was a freak storm last week with snow, ice, and sub zero temperature (that was fun.
There was a lot of folks worried about hikers getting caught out in that storm. How'd you manage through it?
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

Post by movingchicane » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:37 pm

I did pretty well, my winter quilt is rated to 5 degrees and I slept with a down jacket. It wasn't exactly comfortable but I stayed fairly warm. Most people have 30 deg bags and there was a mad rush to get into town and out of the elements. I heard of a few life flights. I also saw several cases of frost bite. I'm really glad I decided to pack 2 extra lbs of winter gear. Sometimes it really does pay to be prepared.

I've been trying to get a system going with my sister to get YouTube videos up. I believe there are some more on the same channel as above, but I haven't been able to watch any yet.

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