It might sound daunting to pack for a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. After all, how are you going to really carry everything you want for six months in a backpack?
Believe it or not, packing for the Appalachian Trail actually isn’t that completely different than packing for any other hike.
Below is a whole Appalachian path gear list. But earlier than we jump in, let’s briefly talk about climate and the seasons.
Appalachian Hike Equipment List
Cold Weather and Summer Gear
Hiking the Appalachian path varies significantly from Summer to Winter.
The summer season months of your thru-hike are sizzling and you won’t have to carry as many layers as traditional.
Hikers can anticipate snow and chilly climate in the course of the first few months of their hike, but when heat climate rolls around there won’t be any level in carrying a puffy jacket, hat and gloves, or 20 degree sleeping bag.
When you attain Damascus, Virginia, assuming that the weather has been warm, it’s a safe time to mail house a few of your cold weather gear. Don’t do it any before that. The yr I thru-hiked, hikers mailed gear house early and then had to retreat to cities when snow unexpectedly hit. It’s higher to carry gear for an extra week or two than to not have it whenever you need it.
Have your cold-weather gear mailed back to you earlier than you reach the White Mountains in New Hampshire. New Hampshire and Maine will probably be cold, windy, and have unhealthy climate.
Quick Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Gear Check List
Gear and Accessories
Clothes & Footwear
Cold Weather Clothes & Gear
* Down jacket:I use the Rab Microlight.
* Warm mountaineering outfit
* Rain pants
* Hat and gloves
* Sleeping bag liner
Appalachian Gear List In Detail
As lengthy as you’re not a particularly heavy packer, a 50-liter backpack should be sufficient capability for all the gear you want on your thru-hike. If you’re actually into ultra-light backpacking, you may have the ability to use an even smaller backpack.
We suggest buying most of your other main gear purchases first, then selecting a backpack that is the finest size to accommodate your gear. This way you won’t end up with a backpack that’s too small.
Osprey make awesome packs. I suggest the Farpoint 55L for males or the Fairview 55L for ladies.
There are shelters alongside the Appalachian Trail, but it will be good to deliver your own shelter regardless. The man-made shelters often fill up rapidly in bad weather, and you won’t all the time make it to a minimal of one earlier than nightfall.
Popular types of shelter alongside the Appalachian Trail are tents, hammocks, and tarps. There are plenty of timber along the trail, so you’ll never have a problem finding someplace to hang your tarp or hammock. You’ll often have the ability to discover a flat spot on your tent as well. It’s purely a matter of private preference on what type of shelter you want to use, but when I had to recommend an ultralight tent I would go for the 1-person Alps Mountaineering Lynx tent and the Wise Owl Outfitters hammock.
There are two things to assume about when shopping for a sleeping bag for the Appalachian Trail.
* Do you want both a winter and summer season sleeping bag?
* Down or synthetic?
Some hikers choose to have two totally different sleeping bags for his or her thru-hike. One is for cold-weather and rated to 20 levels F or decrease. This sleeping bag is carried through the spring time and later in New Hampshire and Maine. In the summer time it will get mailed residence.
In the summer season, hikers can have a lighter pack by carrying a summer season sleeping bag and in addition mailing home other cold-weather garments and gear.
In terms of down or artificial sleeping luggage, each varieties have their very own list of professionals and cons.
The Appalachian Trail does are typically humid, damp, and overcast. When your down sleeping bag will get wet, it is typically challenging to find an opportunity to dry it out as a outcome of it’s so cloudy. Down is not going to maintain you warm when it’s moist, not like synthetic baggage.
As for optimistic aspects of down sleeping luggage, they tend to weigh lower than artificial. You probably don’t want two sleeping luggage in case you have down as a end result of it’s already light-weight.
Synthetic sleeping luggage are convenient for the Appalachian Trail as a result of they will keep you considerably warm when they’re wet. It can rain so much on the trail and stay cloudy for days, so this can be a huge consideration. Of course, they do weigh quite a bit more than down sleeping baggage. If I had to suggest a sleeping bag I would go along with the Hyke and Byke Eolus.
The two primary options listed right here are inflatable sleeping pads or foam sleeping pads. Typically inflatable sleeping pads shall be much more snug. If you’re planning on sleeping in the lean-tos often, you might want to go with an inflatable because the lean-to platforms are picket and uncomfortable.
On the negative side of things, inflatables do cost more and you run the danger of popping a gap in them.
Foam sleeping pads are primarily useful because they value a fraction of the price of inflatables and also you never have to fret about getting holes in them. Even although they do take up extra space on your backpack, they usually weigh lower than inflatables.
In terms a pads I recommend the Therm-A-Rest Z-Lite, and if you want to go along with an inflatable then I advocate the Therm-A-Rest LuxuryMap.
Camp Stove & Cooking Pot
A cooking set-up is one thing you would go with out so as to carry much less things. Only do that if you’re OK with not having a scorching meal on the end of the day or a heat drink on a chilly morning. A good in between possibility is sending your camp range house along with your cold-weather gear. You may not want scorching food in the summertime anyway.
Fuel canisters and liquid fuel are each simply accessible in most trail cities. You don’t have to worry about not having the ability to find camp range fuel.
For a compact cooking stove I advocate the MSR Windburner.
Water Treatment System
It’s highly recommended that you just treat your water while mountaineering the Appalachian Trail. Farm animals generally reside close to water sources and not to mention there are many different hikers round. There are many ways the water sources can get contaminated.
Some of the primary options for treating water are water filters, purifying drops, and Steripens.
Water filters and purifying drops take extra time, whereas Steripens are fast. Filters and drops sometimes cost considerably less than a Steripen nevertheless. The purifying drops can go away an aftertaste. Do some research on every methodology to determine out which one is most appealing for you.
Water Bottles/ Bladder
Typically water sources are plentiful along the Appalachian Trail. You will cross by a number of streams and comes in a day. This is handy because you don’t really have to worry about operating out of water.
We suggest having capability to carry two liters of water at a time. This might be a lot for most sections of the trail. You may have to regulate and get another water bottle if there’s a long time frame with out rain or a summer warmth wave. It’s possible that some of the water sources will dry up throughout instances corresponding to these.
In terms of hydration packs I recommend the Platypus Big Zip, and for water bottles, Camelbaks are great.
Trekking poles are a matter of desire. Some hikers like using them and others are fantastic with out. If you have unhealthy knees, it would be a good idea to hike with trekking poles. It helps to distribute weight and take the pressure off of your legs.
The Appalachian Trail can be quite steep in sections, and trekking poles will help you hike more confidently on strenuous uphills and downhills.
For an excellent pair of mountaineering poles, check out the TYTN Carbon X poles.
There is commonly cellular phone service alongside the Appalachian Trail, so that you won’t be completely disconnected except you wish to flip off your telephone.
It shall be days between towns and alternatives to charge your cellphone. Leave it on airplane mode to increase the battery life. On cold nights, sleep together with your phone near your physique to maintain it warm as a outcome of the cold will drain the battery.
Get an influence bank if you’re planning on utilizing your cellphone frequently for photos, podcasts, or music. Solar costs don’t work very properly on the Appalachian Trail as a end result of most of the path is underneath the shade of timber and days are sometimes cloudy.
A good selection of hiking shoes is crucial for a successful hike. The two major choices are mountaineering boots and path runners.
Boots are most likely to last more, subsequently you don’t have to spend as much cash on footwear throughout your hike. They are good options for hikers who are inclined to roll their ankles, as you get extra help. However, they take longer to break in and are more doubtless to provide you with blisters.
Trail runners are lightweight and many hikers feel they’re extra snug to stroll in. They don’t take as long to interrupt in. The danger of foot pain is reduced because you could have less weight on your ft while walking.
Merino wool socks are the most effective to hike in because they dry shortly. There’s no must layer socks. Just get a number of snug pairs and switch them out each few days.
There’s also the matter of deciding if you want a pair of camp sneakers or not. At the tip of the day, it’s nice to get your toes out of your hiking shoes and allow them to air out. Additionally, if your footwear get wet during the day it’s good foot care to take them off. The solely reason to not have a pair of camp shoes can be if your exceptionally concerned with having a low backpack weight.
In phrases of boots I advocate the Salomon X Ultra sequence, and for path running shoes, the Salomon X Missions.
Choose mountaineering clothes which are made from quick-drying and lightweight supplies that ideally preserve some level of heat when wet. Synthetics, merino wool, and fleece are good examples of this. Avoid things like jeans and cotton as a outcome of they take a lengthy time to dry.
If you need to avoid wasting money, it’s simple to search out synthetic shirts and fleece jackets at thrift shops. Then it can save you your cash for dearer objects like a down jacket or different gear.
When choosing mountaineering clothes, keep in mind that it’s essential to layer. For example, in chilly climate a good system would be a long-sleeve artificial shirt, a fleece jacket, and a down jacket. As you hike and get hot, you can take layers off. This system is best than just having one huge winter coat as a end result of the coat can only be worn in very cold weather and might be heavy to carry.
One essential factor to be consistent with is to at all times have a dry set of clothes you’ll have the ability to placed on at night time. Hypothermia is a threat in chilly, wet climate. This danger significantly increases should you get to camp and solely have wet clothes. There shall be mornings during your hike when you’ll have to get dressed in your cold, wet garments from the day earlier than to have the ability to hold your nighttime garments dry.
Pack the clothes you’re not wearing into a water-resistant stuff sack in order that they won’t get moist. You can even use this clothes bag as a pillow at night time.
Outfit to Wear Hiking
In the summer time, put on shorts and a t-shirt or tank top whereas climbing. It shall be scorching and humid. In the colder months, you will want to have a pair of pants or leggings and a long-sleeve shirt.
Have a top and backside base layer you could throw on when the weather will get cold. This is often leggings or tights for the bottom. You’ll additionally need a long-sleeve shirt on your top base layer.
It’s good to keep your fleece jacket with you for your whole hike. You won’t use it usually in the course of the summer, but there shall be occasions when the climate turns on you and you’ll be pleased to have the extra layer.
It will rain on the Appalachian Trail. Have a good rain jacket with you for your entire hike. You actually solely want rain pants during the shoulder season because you in all probability won’t put them on anyway when it’s warm and raining.
If your backpack is not waterproof, you will want a rain cover. It just slips over the outside of your pack and keeps it dry. A good trick is to get a trash compactor bag and line your backpack with it. You will then pack all your gear inside it. This method if any water does creep inside your pack, your issues will nonetheless be dry.
Cold Weather Clothes
As I stated previously, you actually don’t need to hold these items all through the summer season. They will only be essential within the early and late months of your thru-hike.
Have a down or artificial jacket for chilly climate. Get this jacket in a single dimension up so you can wear your whole layers beneath of it when you want to. A hat and gloves may even be essential. If you’re in a pinch without gloves, you possibly can put a pair of socks on your hands to remain warm.
If your sleeping bag isn’t enough by itself, get a sleeping bag liner. It doesn’t make a huge difference, however it does add a few degrees of heat to your bag.
For extra packing lists see ourhiking resources pageor choose from one of our well-liked gear lists beneath:
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