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First time on the AT !


randy grider
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Come sept, I have been invited to accompany a friend on a week or so hike of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. We will be starting in Damascus, and hopefully hiking as far as Narrows, which im told is around 120 miles. I do have some good gear, but feel I need to upgrade my pack, and possibly boots. Any recommendations on a good lightweight hiking boot (with ankle support) and a light weight backpack. The pack I have is 2200 cu inch hunting pack made by badlands, which did excellent service in CO on an elk hunt, but its heavy, and not needing a pack to carry an elk out, Id like to shave a few pounds. I feel the 2200 cu inches is enough. Also any reccomendations on underwear and pants, shirts. Wanting to get some of the pants the legs zip off of.

Thanks in advance! Thi is my first post !

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you have a nice trip planned. I don't normally hike in boots but if I did I'd try to stay on the lightweight and well-ventilated end of the spectrum. Regarding the pack I use the ~2.5lb Circuit from ULA:

http://www.ula-equipment.com/product_p/circuit.htm

Larger than 2200 but it's probably close to perfect for me on a 7 day trip with food. (Although, not sure if you plan to resupply) Either way, check to make sure the pack will comfortably carry all your gear space and weight wise. For clothing - I go with whatever is comfortable and synthetic. One thing I like is a lightweight long sleeve zip neck shirt, (Patagonia Capilene 2 in my case) I find it really versatile for everything from warmth to sun protection to bugs. Pants: I hike in an older version of the REI Sahara without the newer "No Sit Zips":

http://www.rei.com/product/861660/rei-sahara-convertible-pants-with-no-sit-zips-mens-32-inseam

...but honestly I never use them in shorts mode. I do find the zippers are nice for ventilation on occasion, though. Hope this helps!

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Hi Randy. New here too. I love my Osprey Exos 58 pack. Light, great back ventilation, and a good size for a week long trip.

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