I did a 270 mile section of the AT from 9 May to 3 June, using my HH Exped Asym, MacCat tarp, homemade Kickass UQ, homemade RayWay topquilt and an ULA Catalyst pack. I hiked everyday.
Some of you may know that the weather in northern Georgia was all over the map. My second night out at Hawk Mountain was a frickin rainstorm of at least 2-3 inches with 35 mph winds. The really bad stuff was just east of us. That MacCat keep me dry though. I was hanging a bit low, so I got plenty of ground splatter to my underside. I added my 3/8in Gossamer Gear pad midway through the night to stay dry. I was using some homemade straps and headchange4u's trucker's hitch setup. My straps where nylon, so I had problems with stretch and a lack of 100 percent faith in my loop sewing. So, I hung a bit low.
The next night at Gooch Mountain was even more interesting as 35 mph winds increased to 40-45 with gusts to 60 in the treetops. I slept great as branches slammed into the shelter. Not a one near me
The MacCat saved me again climbing out of Uncoi Gap to the Cheese Factory during a pouring rain. That climb kicked my butt. I was very tired, late in the day, windy, etc. I got my tarp setup, climbed into my hammock and crashed.
The only time I became really concerned was the climb to Muskrat Shelter, passing the GA/NC border. It was pouring again, I was soaked, tired, winds were hitting 45 mph and the temperature was falling through 50 degrees. People in the shelter were astounded that I setup my tarp and hammock during a 20 minute stop in the rain. My topquilt got a bit wet, but it still did its job. Thunder and lightning for the next 4 hours kept me from sleeping well, but it eventually came. I LOVE my MacCat.
Midway through the second week, I abandoned the trucker's hitch. I just went with a round turn and a couple of half hitches to the rings on my tree huggers. It was much faster and easier for me to setup. I used figure 9s on the ends of the tarp. I had only one breakaway using the 9s. If I expected really windy weather, I just tied the extra around the tree.
Overall a very great trip. Being from the midwest, the miles of trees did not do much to inspire me. I love trees, but the terrain really got a bit tiring. So I was ready to get off the trail when I did. Of course, I did not take any zeros. That may have been helpful to me. Another thing I need to improve is food intake. I also need to figure out some lighter raingear and a lighter warm layer. Overall, my trust in my equipment improved tremendously during this hike, as did my faith in myself that I could do this. I will be back to the AT next year!
Lastly, it was fun reading Cannibal's logs!