AT Thru-Hike Prep (Day 1 of 3)

Preparatory Thoughts

The thoughts of thru-hiking a trail are the scariest and most diverse a person can experience. You have to go over all your gear many times to make sure nothing important is forgotten. Euphoria will be experienced, nerves, what-ifs, and much more. The most important question is, “am I committing this year or putting it off for another year?”

What gear do I need?

You will need a Sleep System (tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and pillow); day clothes (shirt, pants or shorts, socks, underwear, rain jacket); winter clothes (jacket, gloves, beanie, Yaktrax—ice grips that slide over shoes—thermal top and bottom); food bag (dry silnylon bag that rolls down and clips together, keeping weather out, and 75 feet-plus paracord with a carabiner rated for 30 to 50 pounds of weight); all other (headlamp, toilet paper, water filter, gallon ziplock for trash, hydration/water flavors, electronics charging cords, battery bank/solar, meds, vitamins, first aid, camp shoes, maybe a pad to sit on, a cookset if you choose, and a laundry line).

Final Thoughts

Things to understand about hiking gear:

1) Sleeping bag ratings are in need of adding 10 degrees to them to find out actual comfort rating. Example: 15-degree bag is totally comfortable at 25 degrees, but at 15 degrees the sun can’t come up fast enough.

2) Cook or don’t. Everyone does different things.

3) Have an amazing time because you will meet a lot of other people.

4) Test all your gear in the field for fit and comfort.

5) Buy gear off-season to save a lot of money.

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