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  1. #1
    Bearded Dragon twdant's Avatar
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    Bartram Trail Thru-Hike

    Hello all, it's been a while. How the heck are ya?

    Anyway, I'm planning my first major thru-hike for this October, 111 miles from Clayton, GA up through Franklin, NC to Cheoah Bald on the Bartram Trail. Hopefully this will be an enlightening experience and will show me whether or not I'm capable of actually doing the AT some day.

    I got a rough draft gear list together last night and want to run it by the forum for editing. I'm conservatively allowing myself 8 days to make the trip, that's between 13-14 miles per day, I figure 6 or 8 hours of comfortable walking each day. My list is below, with weights in oz.

    Pack-84.7
    Hammock with whoopies-19.45
    Straps-7.3
    UQ, TQ, and dry sack to store them in/use as a bear bag-41.15
    Bugnet-19.45 (heavy, I know. I'm considering making a lighter one before I go.)
    Tarp-20.45
    Thermarest Neoair (in case I need to go to ground)-20.35
    Pillow (a must for me in a hammock)-9.3
    1 set of extra clothes (with 4 pairs of socks)-35.2
    Water filter-14.65
    Pocket Shower-5.2
    Towel-3.05
    Cookset (1 pot, alky stove, pot handler, empty bottle for fuel)-10.4
    IMUSA Mug-2.5
    Fat lighter-1.7
    Knife (w/ firesteel)-3.65
    Flashlight-3.55
    100' extra cord-1.7
    Trail Guide-1.75
    Chacos (for stream crossings)-38.0
    Thermal underlayer-19.7
    Rain Jacket-13.5

    Total=376.7oz or 23.54 lbs.

    This does not include any food, water, or stove fuel. I plan on bring 20 oz of alcohol for fuel, 2 liter size nalgenes and packing enough food to make the whole 8 days. Does anybody see anything glaringly wrong? Am I overlooking anything necessary or taking anything unnecessary?

  2. #2
    old4hats's Avatar
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    You will be in the woods, the Thermorest left at home will lighten it a bit. Over two pounds for stream crossings shoes? Cut back on this all you can, that food and fuel and water has to make the trip.

  3. #3
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    Put it all together in your backpack and then go try it out... That is the best way to see what you think... If you then think it is too heavy, there are places to reduce weight.

    For reference...My size 10 Crocs are 12 ounces. Not real fashionable but oh well.

  4. #4

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    Don't forget a first aid kit - at least some essentials.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mattyg's Avatar
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    you could lose the shower for wipes add a first aid kit. trowel for cat holes and tooth brush and such. some eating utensils.

  6. #6

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    skip: air mattress and shower
    add: compass, map, water purification, first aid kit, hiking poles, wipes, TP. Agree to look for lighter shoes like crocs or something that can be used for camp shoes as well as stream crossings.
    Not sure about using the bear bag as my quilt stuff sack though?????
    We will be looking forward to your trail report it sounds like a great hike.

  7. #7
    STinGa's Avatar
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    twdant ... I can't add any other info for your packing list, I would just be an echo. I am looking forward to your trip report though.

    Good luck.

    STinGa

    ps ... battery life for your light system and spare batteries?
    Sarcasm is a dying art.

    Eagle Scout September '85 Troop 339 Smyrna, TN

  8. #8
    joanwest's Avatar
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    The Bartram is a fantastic trail, and October should be a great time of year to do it!

    Already looks like you've got some excellent recommendations here already.

    I don't recall any stream crossings that needed a change of shoes (though who knows with all this rain…), though some parts get muddy.

    No need to go to ground. Only one place on the Bartram caused me trouble and that was the campsite marked on the map for the surge tower descending into the Nantahala Gorge- turned out to be an open area for tents, no suitable trees, but plenty of trees on down the trail.

    Do you only have capacity to carry two liters of water? Be sure to plan ahead for that 9ish mile section w/out water on the climb up Wayah Bald by filling up at Locus Tree Gap #1. It's a tough climb. Probably wouldn't want to carry more water than that anyway. Then again, maybe with all this rain, there'll be seasonal water sources for you. Just be aware that it has been dry that whole section in the past.

    Maybe add a warm hat- gets cold at those high elevations.

    Also, are you planning on hiking the road walk and staying in town? Perhaps you could do a resupply there in Franklin and not have to carry all your food the whole way?

  9. #9
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
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    Enjoy. The Bartram trail is on my list. You won't be far from me. The Bartram Trail crosses right at the Foothills Trail near the Chattooga River.

    I recommend ditching the chacos (although they are my everyday shoe), the thermarest, and the shower. It can get cool along that section, do you intend to bring rain pants? Where is your first aid kit?

    I highly recommend using separate stuff sack for your food and quilts. Having your quilts remotely smell like food is not a good idea.

    I've recently switched to using a fleece jacket as my pillow. It then pulls double duty. I wear it in camp and when I crawl in the warm hammock, I don't need the jacket so it becomes my pillow. I mention this because I didn't see a jacket or warm hat. Be careful with your longjohns and make sure they don't act as compression wear. If they do, you will have the blood slowly squeezed out of your elevated legs and get cold feet.

    Are you planning on carrying all of your food for the 8 days? Might I recommend a resupply?
    -Jeremy

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
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  10. #10
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    I don't know what your finances look like, so I'm going to rank my suggestions by weight saved versus cost:

    Thermarest ($0.00, 20.35 oz): Leave it at home. If you're going to be hammocking, then hammock. The only time you'll need a pad is if you're deliberately going to an area which has no trees whatsoever (read: "desert, tundra, or the shelters in GSMNP"); otherwise, you'll do just fine with your hammock.

    1/2 set of extra clothes ($0.00, estimated 17.6 oz): You'll need one spare set of undies and a spare shirt, as well as a set of sleep socks. Ditch the extra socks (or use your extra set as a set of sleep socks) and walk 'em dry. At most, carry one spare set plus your sleep socks. Worse comes to worst, dry 'em on the outside of your pack while keeping your sleep socks dry.

    Pocket Shower ($0.00, estimated 3 oz): Carry an ounce of biodegradable soap (if you use Dr. Bronners, depending on your tolerance for the taste, you can use this as toothpaste as well) and your bandanna. Wash up with that in camp; you're not going to be impressing anyone out on the trail with how you smell regardless of whether you bring the shower or not.

    Towel ($0.00, estimated 2.5 oz): Swap for a bandanna. A cotton bandanna (only cotton I recommend you bring) is multiuse and lighter.

    IMUSA Mug (either $~3.00 or $0.00, either estimated 1.5 oz or 2.5 oz): Either leave the IMUSA at home or swap for a recycled plastic frozen juice concentrate container. You've already got a pot: there's no need for a second boiling vessel, even if you want a cup for "coffee". If you don't want a cup for "coffee", ditch it altogether.

    Pot Handler ($0.00, estimated 1 oz): Bring that bandanna I mentioned above. It'll double (triple? quadruple? pentuple?...) as a pot grabber.

    100' Extra Cord ($0.00, estimated 1.2 oz): Bring 30'. You'll never need more than that, unless you intend on doing serious bushcraft (and, if you do, it'll eat into your hiking time).

    Chacos (either $0.00 or estimated $15.00, either 38 oz or estimated 26 oz): Either leave at home or swap for a pair of WallyWorld croc knockoffs. Personally, I'd leave 'em at home and just walk my shoes dry (especially if I'm wearing wool socks), but you may have issues with that if you're using boots or "waterproof" shoes.

    Bugnet (estimated $30.00, estimated 6 oz): This assumes a Fronkey-style net with fairly heavy (but cheap) materials. You most definitely can go lighter. On the other hand, you should be moving through that area when bugs are beginning to die off. A Permethrin treatment may be enough to keep 'em from bothering you. A treatment would save you an estimated 18 oz (assuming you bring an head net, just in case) and cost an estimated $25.00 (including the head net).

    Water Filter (estimated $50.00, estimated 10 oz): Go to a Sawyer Squeeze if you must have a filter. If not, regular chlorine bleach (not the scented kind) drops will work for you at an estimated cost of $10.00 and an estimated savings of 11 oz.

    Pack (estimated $250.00, estimated 36 oz): I'm assuming an ULA Catalyst here (as your pack weight is still likely to be a little high, and that pack's good for 40 lbs of weight). Just a guesstimate on volume and weight, though; it'd be pretty easy to go much lighter once you get your base weight down.


    Stuff to add (note that the weights here are added rather than subtracted):

    Bear Bag (estimated $10.00, estimated 4 oz): You'll want your quilts stored separate from your food, especially in bear country. Even if you're not going where there're bears, do you really want to share your sleeping space with every hungry critter out there?

    Water Bottles (estimated $3.00, estimated 2 oz): Add a pair of 1 L or 1.5 L water bottles from your local convenience store. They're lighter than Nalgenes and nearly as durable over the long haul.

    First Aid Kit (estimated $20.00, estimated 6 oz): This is a very personal item, so I'm just going to go over what's in mine rather than saying, "Buy this!" I carry two gauze pads, some duct tape, a pair of tweezers, a needle and dental floss (used more for gear repair than sutures, honestly), a one-use tube of superglue (for little cuts on my hands or feet, where they're going to be exposed to stuff), four to six Band-Aid blister ampoules (amazing things; they actually stick to me), a pair of nitrile gloves, an ACE bandage, a pair of tweezers, and meds (two Ibuprofen per day, one Immodium and one Benadryl per day).

    A warm hat or balaclava (estimated $20.00, estimated 3 oz): Something to wear to bed when you're cold. Trust me, it makes all the difference in the world.

    Trekking Poles (estimated $40.00 to $200.00, estimated 20 oz to 9 oz): These run the gamut from WallyWorld aluminum knockoffs to truly space-age carbon poles. I highly recommend them for carrying a pack over moderate terrain, such as you're likely to encounter in the Appalachians.

    Mini Bic (estimated $2.00, estimated 0.25 oz): Using a firesteel is great and all, but have a backup as well. A mini Bic weighs next to nothing and is really cheap for the number of uses you'll get out of it.


    How are you going to do food? I highly recommend the FBC (Freezer Bag Cooking) method of entrees for ease of clean up on the trail (it wastes less water and time). Personally, I plan for ~3,000 calories per day on the sorts of distance you're talking about, but I'm a pretty big dude and like to eat. Generally speaking, I try to avoid bringing anything that has less than 100 calories per ounce (except "coffee"--need my caffeine); this means that my food usually works out to 1.25 lbs/day at 3,000 calories.

    I highly recommend FIMB's suggestion above of a resupply at some point. Four to five days of food will add 5 to 6 pounds to your pack, which should be a significant fraction of its total weight. So, a resupply drop halfway through should save you a significant amount of weight carried.


    Hope it helps!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

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