Thru-Hike Update December 2015

About a year and a half left until my AT departure date, only 6 months away from my original date.  I got a bit of gear for Christmas, but there’s still quite a bit to go.

Leaving either May 31st, or sometime in June of 2016 I plan to hike the 100 mile wilderness, which of course I planned to do this past summer.  This time I’m making sure I plan a date so I can get off work ahead of time.

As for the gear list.  Not only have I been checking things off, I’ve also weighed all the gear I have so far that I will be carrying.

Gear I Have:
Enlightened Equipment Revelation  – 1.25lbs.
Tarptent Rainbow – 2.5lbs.
NobleCamper 2-in-1 Dog Bed and Sleeping Bag – 2lbs.
BioLite Campstove – 2.5lbs. (Christmas gift from my super cool, super supportive parents!)
Deuter ACT Lite 70+10 – 4.5lbs.
LifeStraw – <.25lbs (Another great gift from my parents!)
Basic First Aid Kit – .25lbs (Another gift, I’m going to alter it from just bandaids and alcohol wipes)
Bugspray, Sunscreen, Hand Sanitizer – <.5lbs
TOTAL – ~13.5 lbs.

  • Because I’m a n00b when it comes to backpacking gear (I really just started researching gear, I haven’t even done a real backpack trip, yet, be nice!) I bought a camping quilt instead of a sleeping bag, not realizing they aren’t the same thing.  I have been sleeping in it as a normal sleeping bag though, and I think it’ll work just fine.
  • I still need to seal the seems on the tent, but I’m still really excited about it.  Everything about it, it’s weight, how easy it is to pitch, even how much space inside (more than enough for me and Cheyenne), it’s amazing!
  • The NobleCamper is another thing I’m stilled psyched about, and it’s not even for me! Cheyenne sleeps in hers pretty much every night, she does get nervous if I unzip it though, so that’s something we’re working on.
  • The BioLite Campstove is actually way cooler than just any camp stove.  First of all, it’s only 2.5lbs.  Second, it uses twigs, leaves, cardboard, and stuff like that as fuel so I don’t have to carry around a heavy stove PLUS heavy fuel.  Third, it has a USB port on it so I can charge things like my phone, and when I order them, my camera, headlamp, and GPS.
  • Dexter ACT Lite is pretty neat, I’ve been packing all my gear as I get it, for practice.  I’m still learning all the compartments and such.  It’s a super comfortable backpack, and I’d highly recommend it.
  • Ahh LifeStraw, it’s a really cool thing for sure.  The only downside I’ve found to this filter (in weight, and convenience it wins against most other filters) is that I won’t be able to save filtered water, and I won’t be able to filter water for Cheyenne.  Unless I use my Dad’s suggestion of spitting the filtered water into a container to carry with me, or give to the dog.  Sorry Dad, I’m not sure about that…
  • The first aid kit I carry around on a day-to-day basis is more full than the one I have for the trail so far.  My eventually kit will include: My Emergency Inhaler, Bandaids, Ace Bandages, My Knee Brace, Tweezers, Alcohol Wipes, Gauze, Medical Tape, Q-Tips, Arnica/Icy Hot or similar Pain Relieving Gel, Athletic Tape (possible overkill, but better safe than sorry), Tick Key, and probably more once I think of it.  
  • Bugspray is definitely a must, however I’m considering getting permethrin also.  I don’t use sunscreen often, only to cover tattoos really, but I figure I should bring some along just in case. Besides, Cheyenne might need it, too.  Hand Sanitizer I use a lot of.  I’ve used like 1oz in under a month before, I don’t get sick as often since I started this habit though!

Gear I’ve Ordered:
Banzai Dog Pack
LupinePet ECO Collar and Matching Leash

  • I’ve heard great things about “wolf packs” so I’m pretty excited to try it out.  Cheyenne is just about old enough to start training her with weight in the pack (She’s about 9mos right now).  I’m definitely going to make her wear an empty pack for a couple of short hikes, and then she can start carrying things like her favorite snacks, and a light toy.
  • I’d never heard of LupinePet before I order the leash and collar.  The main reason I chose to go with their company is because of their lifetime “even if chewed” guarantee.  I also really love that they have a recycled option for collars and leashes! Maybe all of my family’s dogs will get things here 🙂 Plus, they’re a New England company.  Personally, I can’t see a reason not to purchase their gear.

Gear I Totally Want But Will Definitely Be Made Fun of For:
Pocket Shower, come on, it’s so cool.  Plus, one of the biggest problems for some people on the AT is going without showering for a while!
Scrubba Portable Washing Machine, it’s only 6oz, I could totally do that.  I mean, clean clothes is another tough thing on the AT.  I won’t have to pay for laundromats, I won’t have to be scared about polluting water sources by dipping dirty clothes in, and it’s just as good as a washing machine apparently.  Win, win, win!

Other than all that I’m pricing out the rest of my gear before I purchase it.  That way I’ll be able to see exactly how much more I’m going to spend on prep (not including food!).

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