View Full Version : Thru Hiking the AT 2011

07-02-2011, 07:31
Hi all,

I just completed the 100 mile wilderness and thought I'd put up a post with a link to my journal while I have a net connection.

http://Postholer.Com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=50ad8bd2518ae74708f62e649b7835 5b&event_id=1023

Just started hammocking this year and decided to hang for my thru hike of the AT. So far, it is working quite well. We have found easy enough places to hang and am enjoying the comfort. I am hoping the next 2000 miles continue as well.

Big thanks to this forum and the helpful people here. I wouldn't be sleeping so good if it weren't for you folks.

07-02-2011, 17:10
Good read...you're in my Favorites. Look forward to checking on your progress. You seem very well prepared...I'd say your chances are quite high of making it.

Good luck, Miguel

07-02-2011, 20:00
I wish you two a wonderful and safe journey. The gear looks good and can't wait to read more of your adventures.

07-18-2011, 19:54
Things continue well. we have completed a bit over 300 miles of the journey. Our gear endured a hail (pea size) storm up on the Bigelo Mtns in Maine a couple weeks ago, and the .5 oz cuben held up fine. Most folks are amazed at how well we stay dry in the rain while hammocking.

Only gear mod to either of our hammock rigs is my tarp ridgeline. I was using the Zline that is a non braided type line, and it broke down after daily wrapping around the dutch bone. I switched over to a ridgeline that I got from Dutch and that has been working well. I still use the non braided Zline for the tie outs and don't expect to encounter the same issues, but time will tell....will be setting up the hammocks nearly daily from now till at least November.

Setup speed has increased and I have to say that the prussik knot (which we use for tie-outs as well as connecting the tarp to the continuous ridgeline) is one uber-handy knot....quick to use, quick to make and very reliable.

07-19-2011, 05:50
Just read over your journal and signed your guestbook Godspeed and enjoy the journey:)

07-19-2011, 21:55
Fascinating journal. I will look forward to following this trip.
Several things caught my fancy, pic of sunset over the lake, kamikazi grouse, listening to the loons call while you write, just to name a few.
I'm sure years from now, you two will look back on this as a highlight of your lives.


07-21-2011, 13:38
am enjoying your postholer journal and your youtube vids. you guys seems to have a good system figured out. am especially interested in the nano 7 as an ultralight hammocking system. i'm 5'7" and 173lbs and wondering if that would accommodate my heft. looking to do my first hike of magnitude this fall in the desert southwest and would love to get as light as possible.

what kind of shoes are you guys wearing? with all the wet and mud?

"may the tread be clear, the footfall light, and the destination evolving!"


07-21-2011, 15:26
be careful in this heat guys!

07-22-2011, 16:06
Thanks for the encouragement guys!

am enjoying your postholer journal and your youtube vids. you guys seems to have a good system figured out. am especially interested in the nano 7 as an ultralight hammocking system. i'm 5'7" and 173lbs and wondering if that would accommodate my heft. looking to do my first hike of magnitude this fall in the desert southwest and would love to get as light as possible.

what kind of shoes are you guys wearing? with all the wet and mud?

"may the tread be clear, the footfall light, and the destination evolving!"


Hi bubby...I think the Nano 7 may squeeze your shoulders at that weight..it is narrow, and you would feel it. Length wise, it would probably be fine. My suggestion would be to get some 1.1 or 1.5 oz/sq yd stuff that is close to 60" and make your own. Get some whoopies and make your own webbing tree straps and you will still most likely be under 10 or 11 oz, and have something far more comfortable. You will want to replace the suspension stuff that comes with the Nano 7 anyways..you will have a better rig this way. I believe the Nano 7 is 1.1 oz ripstop, so you would just be gaining a little weight by adding the width, and maybe some length. My wife, who is using the Nano 7 is significantly lighter, by the way.

I wear trail runners that are not waterproof. Because we are walking in areas where it is very wet or walking in the rain all day, wet shoes/feet are unavoidable, even with Goretex..so, I use a shoe that will dry quickly.

07-24-2011, 16:14
I recently got back from my NOBO thru (I don't think I met you guys though...) and I had no problems finding spots to hang. I'm sure you've heard this a million times, but you'lll be cruising after the Whites. Best of luck!

07-24-2011, 19:59

Well done on your and Alli's AT Thru hike preparations. These things don't happen by accident with out researching and putting time and effort into it. Looks like you have your gear dialed in fairly well. Great trail reviews too, looking forward to reading more about your journey and adventure.

The good advice you received from the guy at Mahoosic Notch. Basically saying to go through it slow and you will enjoy it. Might be worth remembering for other parts of your journey.

Wishing you both good hiking, traveling and blessings plus much trail magic to boot.

Hike strong and keep safe.

07-31-2011, 14:22
Chop and Ms. Chop;

enjoying your postholer journal and keeping current with it. You have my good wishes with every stride!

Thanks, too, for your insights into trying to use the Nano 7. I think I'll try making my own, as you suggest, and just a bit wider than the Nano.

I also need a go-to-ground option here in the desert so'west. Of the ground options, which are you most fond of? Trees are at times scarce here, at least hangable ones.

Thanks and here's to highstepping!

08-02-2011, 20:03
I read your trip postings as soon as they are online. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Pro Vagabond
08-02-2011, 20:26
Good luck on your travels and enjoy the journey, it will be over before you know it.

08-03-2011, 06:30
Good luck and thanks for sharing!

08-03-2011, 15:04
Thanks for the encouraging words folks. We are doing good. currently in Manchester Center Vermont.

Our go to ground option is an 8"*20" Walmart pad.....The $6 blue foam pad cut down. I use that as the back pad in my pack that I made as well. A better option may be a Walmart blue foam pad cut down so that it covers your shoulder to just past your hip bone. A few more ounces, you can think about its value to you.

We have went to ground twice. Actually, harder than ground. We did work for stay at the huts in the white mtns, and slept on their wood floors. It was fine for a couple nights.

To me, if you are only going to ground in a pinch, then you can get by with just a small pad that can be also used as sitpad or backpad in a lightweight pack. YMMV, I go as light as I can.

08-12-2011, 20:36
Hope the ankle is OK. Been following your travels with no small amount of envy.

08-13-2011, 13:22
one of my customers told me via cell phone convo (as he lay in is hammock) that more than 25% of shelters are hammocks on the AT. He then told me that he could visibly see 15 hangers in the area he made camp.. man! nothing like that out here on the west coast. i'd say hangers are about 3-5% of backpackers.. hopefully, that will change.

08-14-2011, 09:58
Seeing an Orthopedist on Monday about the ankle...doctor visit on Friday wasn't too positive about getting on the trail again quickly, but he may being overly conservative.

Regarding # of hammocks on the AT: 25% would be really high compared to what we have seen....but we had only been on 650 miles of the trail. Our last night, before getting off to lay off my ankle for a bit, had 5 hammocks at the site. It was enough of an anomaly that we took a photo. Prior to that night, we had only seen one other hammock setup at a campsite. We know of a couple others that were hangers just from conversation.

Hammocking is definitely growing in interest however as people are pretty inquisitive. I expect we will see more as we continue southward.

08-14-2011, 12:14
We met South of Ore Hill Shelter on July 27. Glad the bootfitter in Manchester Center was able to help you out. It is good to hear your trip is progressing well and I will follow the journal to keep up.

Good luck and Safe travels


08-14-2011, 12:51
Thanks Tom. Yep, Beardo and Sweet Pea.

You have made it through something that many of us fear happening on the trail and remain very positive. Continue your healing well!! That last little bit of AT will be waiting for you next year :)

08-14-2011, 12:58
i look forward to reading your journal entries best of luck and HapPy Hanging.

08-23-2011, 20:01
Back on. Rested up the ankle, and I got back on the trail again today!

08-23-2011, 20:20
Hey glad to see the good news and look forward to your entries. I have you bookmarked to my favorites bar and check first thing every day. Again good luck with the trip and hanging.....

11-19-2011, 18:54
Chop, aka Beardo, and Sweet Pea, are still on the AT South of NOC.

They have been "hanging" most every night

They will be soon finishing their trip.

11-27-2011, 07:47
Just thought I would update....

We made it to the Springer Summit on this past Tuesday.....Nov 22! Thrilled to have successfully completed my thru hike of the AT.

Hammocked up till Damascus and then went to ground and shelter for the final 400 or so miles. That is when it got cold and our 3 season yetis were not enough...and we didn't really have good ability to research warmer UQ options for the last bit...also, wanted to have a bit of the shelter experience as well as the tarp experience. Prior to the.injuries, we figured we.would have been done a bit earlier and the cold wouldn't have been an issue.

The whole AT is hammockable and the only time we went to ground while carrying our hammocks was above treeline in the Whites, and we did work for stay at the huts.

All the gear that we made for the trip worked well, which for hammock gear included:

Cuben tarps...loved them..the weight, the ability to fold them and put in the packs outside.sleeve, the dryness on the inside, and their general ruggedness. We used one as our shelter when we were on the ground at the.end.

My Hammock....the.integrated bugnet was great, the extra length that I could not get in a commercial hammock of this style was excellent. Hopefully use this hammock for many more miles.

Wife's.bug sock over her GT nano7...light,.easy effective.

My top quilt.....light and worked good to 45ish. Will parobably make another that goes lower....20s

The trip was great, lucky to spend.months walking around in the woods!

11-27-2011, 08:47
Thanks for the update. You folks did great! I wondered about how well the cuben would hold up.

11-27-2011, 09:04
Congratulations on the completion of an epic adventure!
I have contemplated attempting a thru hike after I retire in the next year or so! I think I could meet the challenge physically, but fear I may lack the mental toughness that is required!
You have my utmost respect and admiration!

Red Hat
11-27-2011, 09:15
congrats on your thru! I did GA-ME in 2010 with my Warbonnet Blackbird. Hope to see you at some hiker gatherings... SoRuck in Jan?

11-27-2011, 22:41
Happy to see you post again, I will have to go look at your journal. Hopefully you have lots of pics. What would you have done different (far as hammocking goes) if anything.

11-27-2011, 23:03
Congratulations to you both! I followed your journal until the ankle incident. Now I'm going to go back and read the whole thing. :)

11-28-2011, 10:52
Thanks for the kind words. I encourage any folks interested in this type of journey to try and make it happen. Life is short.

If there is a gathering in Mass or NH this coming year, that is my best chance of making it to a group hang.

12-04-2011, 09:23
Just realized I missed the question asking 'what would you have done differently, with regards to hammocking'....

1. I may consider making a larger tarp, width-wise. I am a tall and when packing up and setting up, I like to stand-up straight. If it is raining pretty hard, I like have the sides fairly low. I would probably add another 16" total width to the hammock so that it can be setup a little higher and still go lower on the sides.

2. I would get in the habit of pulling out my hammock and letting it air out whenever staying overnight in a hostel or motel. I had an incident of mold.

3. Before heading out, I wish I would have experimented a bit with unified stuff sack that had hammock, sleeping bag or top quilt, underquilt, and clothes. These all put together in one sack will stuff down smaller than the multiple stuff sacks once food bags are on top.

That is it. Top of the list could be the air out, the other two would be just nice.

12-10-2011, 13:00
Found your journal today, read the whole thing. Thanks for sharing your journey!

12-17-2011, 23:53
Great journal. Fun read. I look forward to hearing more of your adventures! :D

Popeye 62
12-18-2011, 05:33
Congrats on the accomplishment! I enjoyed reading all 131 entries.