“How’s the hike planning coming along? Are you still going?”
It’s coming along, and yes, still planning on going!
FedEx and UPS have been making almost daily stops at my house; this has been a source of tremendous anticipation and excitement! Since we have most of the “big stuff,” currently deliveries are mostly clothing items – base layers, rain gear, hiking pants, etc. Each delivery brings with it a new opportunity to try things out…especially the rain gear – rain has certainly been plentiful of late.
The research on all of this stuff has been really quite interesting. Reading reviews and getting tied into Facebook groups that are AT- or gear- specific has helped tremendously. A few websites have proven to be extremely informative and have swayed my decisions greatly. These include Erik the Black’s Backpacking Blog and SectionHiker.com to name just a couple.
With the departure day looming in the not-so-distant future, and with several folks asking about my gear, I thought I might post a list of some of the items purchased. I have a beautiful Excel spreadsheet that I’m using to track all the stuff I’ve been accumulating. There are several sections, and the following “packing and camping” section is the only one that’s complete so far.
Keep in mind that I’m buying for 3 of us, so in most cases (except for the tent), I’m getting 3 of each item…so yay! Triple the cost! My research indicated that you can go just about as light as you want, as long as you have the money to spend. Now, contrary to what you might think after seeing what I’ve spent on the gear listed below, I do not have an unlimited budget, so I have made some compromises in some areas. The table below represents about $1700 worth of gear.
|Packing & Camping||Item||Weight (oz)|
|Shelter / Fly / Footprint||Big Agnes Fly Creek UL3 tent||60.5|
|Sleeping Bag||Marmot Helium 15 Sleeping Bag||34.6|
|Sleeping Pad||Thermarest Neoair xlite||12.5|
|Sleeping Pad Pump||Thermarest Neoair Mini Pump||2.6|
|Sleeping Bag Stuff Sack||Sea to Summit Ultrasil Dry Sack (13L)||1|
I did take these items out in the fall on a camping/hiking trip, and I love the tent. It was very easy to set up, and after several practice runs at the house, I was ready to go! At the camp site, I had the chance to set it up in the dark just using my head lamp. Very easy! I still need to get the backpack properly fitted; the thing has what seems like hundreds of straps and clips! The one thing I might change is the sleeping pad; it’s extremely lightweight and comfortable, but it has a bit of a crinkly sound when you’re moving around on it. My dad would say, just don’t move! At any rate, I’m still looking for a local weekend backpacking trip we can all do to really test things out.
I can save about an ounce and a half by taking all the tent components out of their individual bags. I’m still thinking on how to pack the tent. Today, we set the tent up so I could take these photos. This particular picture makes my kids look like giants…yes, that spot in the middle is for me. Yes, this is a 3-person tent! Hammocks seem to be the trend lately; but I’ll admit – the idea of the three of us hanging in three separate places just doesn’t appeal to me. The mom in me wants to know where those accounted for on the mountains!
I currently have about two pounds’ worth of clothing; that will be the topic of the next post! Stay tuned!