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My Super UltraLight Gear List!


Stick

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Well, as I have mentioned in numerous places, a good buddy and I are about to head off on a big hike (for us). This is a 3 day, 74+ mile hike through the Great Smoky Mountain NP via the Appalachian Trail. Of course to do this, we decided that a lighter pack would be a great idea to help us get up and over those mountains, as well, this time of the year is the most opportune time for us to get a pack weight as low as possible due to the "warmer" weather.

So, for the last couple of months I have picked brains, scoured the web and added and subtracted more than I care to admit from a Google Spreadsheet...but the end results are sweet! What I have come up with is a 3.99 lb base pack weight! And IMO, this is bit of a luxury gear list. This hike is more about the hike for us than camping, so the light pack weights is very nice. However, as can be seen in my gear list, I still have a full size air pad with a pillow that I know I can sleep well on...

Anyway, if you are interested, here is the Google Docs Spread Sheet Gear List

GSMNP Thru Hike SUL Gear List

And here are some videos I did:

As well, for a more in-depth write up, here is the link to my write up on my blog:

My Super UltraLight Gear List

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Stick,

Sorry about the 1 video per post limit - It's now been changed so you shouldn't have that issue in the future!

Great breakdown on the gearlist, everything looks really well thought out. Day 2 looks to be the crux of the trip but definitely sounds doable. The amount of daylight this time of the year certainly won't hurt! I know the videos weren't about consumables, but what's the plan to keep the energy & hydration levels up during the day? I know that for me, this has been the key to making high mileage days work, especially when those days fall back to back.

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Thanks Aaron for checking it out! I am pretty excited about the whole trip... :)

As far as my food, the only reason that I have not done it yet is because I will actually repackage my food on Tuesday. Also, I am expecting some odorproof bags from LiteTrail which should also be here by Tuesday that I want to mention in the video/write up too. I typically use a 12x20 Opsak which weighs in at 1.3 oz, however, LiteTrail has one that is slightly larger but comes in at 0.4 oz! That is pretty impressive to me... :)

Anyway, here is a direct link to my food planer:

Food Planner

I feel like I have a lot of food though. I will start the day off with a cold breakfast. I am also packing 6 "snacks" and I will stop and have one about every 2 hours throughout the day. Then I will finish with a somewhat high calorie, hot dinner. I am also carrying some Emergen-C which I will drink while on the trip, as well as some "energy" drink mixes to mix in with my water throughout the day.

Anyway, the first day I will have breakfast before getting on the trail, but then have a total of 3255 calories and weighs 25.6 oz. Day 2 is 4040 calories and 32.9 oz. Day 3 is 2500 calories and 20.8 oz, however we are not eating dinner on the trail this day. Also, on day 2, my wife may meet us at newfound gap and bring us a burger or something... So, at the moment, I am at 123.52 calories per oz which is not the best, but I don't think it's so bad either...

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day one: 25.6 oz, Day 2: 32.9 oz, Day 3: 20.8 oz

So that is working out to 1.65 PPD which is a bit over the usually typical 1.4 PPPPD ratio.

Given the fact that this will only be a three day trip, and your TPW is around about 12 pounds, big whoopie'do if you are a half-pound or so over on food. You will be pushing yourself harder than you probably ever have in an attempt to reach your mileage goal for day #2, and that is going to be pretty dang hard given that your hiking legs will not yet be under you on only day two. Most hikers spend a week or two to reach those mileage levels, if you do manage to hit your MPD that you are shooting for, you are going to be burning some serious calories and putting a lot of strain on your muscles. You really need to be thinking about the kind of food that you can take to make sure that you do not suffer major leg cramps at night. People hike the entire AT and PCT without ever hitting 28 mile days (though most do, they have already hiked about 1800+ miles at that point) there are still a lot of people out there that complete them without hitting the 30mpd mark. You guys should really keep this in mind and prepare your bodies and food in a manner that can handle this goal you guys have.

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Yeah, weight aside, I realize that I am carrying more food per day than I normally would, however, I am expecting the long miles to warrant it. However, on the second day about 18 or so miles in my wife is going to meet us at Newfound Gap with some burgers or Subway or something. (That is as long as we get cell reception at Clingman's Dome, which is a few miles before Newfound Gap and we can give her a round about time to meet us there.) At this point, we can reassess our food situation. If it looks like we are not eating as much as we thought, we can send some back, or if we are eating more, she can bring us a few extras.

As well, concerning the miles...if the trip does turn out to be more ambitious than what we can do, then we can call it quits right then and there and still have ~ 35 miles under our belt in a day and a half...

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Aaron Zagrodnick

However, on the second day about 18 or so miles in my wife is going to meet us at Newfound Gap with some burgers or Subway or something.

Just don't fall asleep after the meal - Still 10 miles left for the day! :D

Took a look at the food planner and things really look very well planned. I always aim for 1.5 pounds of food per day, but for some reason my appetite always drops when I'm out there... I usually end up eating in the 1.3 ppd range but a little extra is always good to have. For higher mileage like this trip though, bumping that up makes a lot of sense. Snacking throughout the day always works for me and it looks like you're set in that regard! I'm also a big fan of the various energy gels / chews for when I really feel the "wall" approaching, and Emergen-C is a staple for me as well...

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I wonder if I should throw in one of those power gels per day...

This will be my first hike with the Emergen-C. I just order a variety pack of these the other day, and I gotta admit, they ain't to bad.

And I don't think that I will have to worry about falling asleep with that many miles left... :) At least I will be in familiar territory there though... :) Although, this will be the first time I hiked up out of Newfound Gap rather than into it...it is a little climb...

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Jolly Green Giant

The Emergen-C is a ridiculous product. With such ambitious mileage, I have a feeling you are going to see the benefits instantly. I'm looking forward to hearing your post-trip report.

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