Here's a link or two that might be helpful. You can see what others are carrying.
If you don't enough or the fever now-Read his book-The Last Englishman
IMHO one of the best hiking books period. It's about his hike of the 2,650 mile hike of the pacific crest trail. He also has a blog from hiking the App. Trail
Hope that helps....Enjoy funnybone
+1 for Andrew Skurka. His site is helpful also:
He shows you how to make a stove that he's used for hundreds of miles out of a fancy feast cat food can, that weighs .3 ounces. Also info on hammock camping articles by Alan Dixon are on that site.
You have gotten lots of good advice already but I would also suggest contacting the folks at Mountain Crossings (Walasi-yi Inn) in Ga. This is the first place the AT (going North) comes to a business and the only place the trail goes through a building. They send back TONS of extra gear that hikers start the AT with every year. They would probably help you trim your pack down instead of mailing a bunch of it home for you. I used to live near there and never dropped in that there was not a hiker dumping stuff they were sure they would need. You can check out some of the stories about hikers and their gear in Winton Porter's (owner of MC) book Just Passing Thru.
Enjoy your hikes and Thank You and God Bless you for your service to our country!!!
Last edited by Deadwood; 05-14-2013 at 15:21. Reason: added link
I know that you carried a heavy load in the military, because everything has to be GI proof, which makes it weigh a ton. Well you don't have to anymore, so pack light and enjoy the hike. Take your time, get the military out of your system, kick back, relax and enjoy!!
Thank you for your service from another veteran.
"No whining in the woods"
I would add a + 1 to those who suggested you take a short duration hike to test your gear. When I first got out of the Marine Corps I bought an alice pack on Ebay and filled it with gear, including and entrenching tool! I huffed it up the hills of California and bout had a heat stroke in the process. I understand the Military (and Boy scout) mindset of being prepared. But when I got back, I told myself that there has to be a better way. I got Ray Jardine’s book and it was helpful.
One of the most useful suggestions I have learned is when you get home from a multi-day trip, set out all that you packed and see what you did and DID NOT use. I trimmed away some pounds just by doing that. I photocopy the portions of books I think I may need. The e-tool is now replaced by a stick found at the site, If the ground is particularly hard, I use a rock to drive stakes - also found onsite. I’m a cheap son of a biscuit eater, so I do a lot of shopping at Goodwill or Wal-Mart for synthetics. I agree with the wear one set, wash the other and have a sleeping shirt philosophy as well. When I can afford it, I go with down for insulation. Fleece can be pretty cheap and tends to keep me warm even when you’re wet. Your gear doesn’t have to be Military grade or GI proof, just serviceable and in my case, affordable. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be pretty as long as it gets the job done.
And here is the very best advice I can give you – When you get out, FIND SOME PEOPLE FROM THIS FORUM AND CAMP WITH THEM‼!
I’ve gotten and still get so much help and advice from all the good folks here. By far the best group I’ve ever had the privilege to know.
Hope this is helpful.
From one vet to another, thanks for your service.
I will scour all the suggestions given to me for this journey.
There's no way all of that comes in less than 15lbs. Not a chance.
Sharpening stone? Hatchet? Three books that you don't *need*. Overkill.
Mat? Pad? You don't need any of these unless you anticipate going to ground, and you'd save a lot of weight by investing in an underquilt (UQ).
The Hammock Backpacking Group