Appalachian Trail Thru Hike - Jersey Joe Alaya 2002
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Gear

Eureka Gossamer Tent
Jansport Alaska II 100 Internal Frame Pack
MSR Whisperlite Internationale Stove
           & MSR Fuel Bottle 22 fl. oz.
The North Face Trinity 20° Reg. Mummy Bag
Asolo AFX 535 Midweight Hiking Boots
Princeton Tec Solo Headlamp
PUR Hiker MicroFilter
Emergency Germicidal Drinking Water Tablets
Nalgene 32 oz. Narrow Mouth Loop-Top Bottle
Water Sack & Pillow
Red Ledge Thunderlight Full Zip Pant
Red Ledge Thunderlight Parka
Silva Starter Type 1-2-3 Compass
Mini Mag Lite
Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pad
Personal Protection Uzi
*Some Of The Food I'll Be Taking With Me

Eureka Gossamer Tent

Eureka Gossamer Tent
Details:
Capacity1
Min. Wt.2 lbs. 8 oz.
Packaged Wt.2 lbs. 14 oz.
Dimensions2 ft. 8 in. X 8 ft.
Area(sq. ft.) 16
Interior Ht.2 ft. 2 in.
Pack Size5 in. X 12.5 in.
No. of Poles 2
Pole Size8.5 mm
Pole Material7000 Series Aluminum
No. of Doors1
Floor Material2.2 oz. Taffeta nylon w/ 1000 mm coating
Fly Material2.2 oz. Taffeta nylon w/ 1200 mm coating
Roof Material40D No-see-um
Netting40D No-see-um
ColorCharcoal Floor and Vestibule with Loden Fly
Style2 pole hoop
ActivitiesKayaking, Bike touring, Backpacking
Use3 season
Special FeaturesUltra compact pack size, 5 sq. ft. vetibule.

Joe's Review:
The Eureka Gossamer Tent has three things going for it.
1) It's very light at just over 2 1/2 lbs.
2) It is very cheap. I purchased it at campmor for only 79.99.
3) It beats a tarp because it keeps the bugs out!
The space inside this tent is extremely tight and I was unable to sit up inside it. This was a sacrafice I was willing to make in order to have a lighter weight tent. While thru hiking I stayed in shelters whenever I was able to but I would recommend having a backup plan in case the shelter is full or you can't make it to one. Both sets of Aluminum poles wound up breaking during my trip which doesn't speak well for its durability. Campmor happily replaced them for me though, free of charge.


Jansport Alaska II 100 Internal Frame Pack

Backpack for the Appalachian Trail
Details:
  • Fabric:              420D Packcloth with 450D RipStop and 500D Kodra
  • Weight:             7 lbs. 14 oz. / 3.6 kg.
  • Dimensions:       31"Hx22"Wx15"D
  • Torso Length:    15 in. to 18 in.
  • Hipbelt Length:  32 in. to 52 in.
  • Capacity:           6200 cu. in. / 101.6L


  • Front Panel Access - provides access to the main load, making it easy to reach items in all parts of the pack.
  • Hideaway Compressor Side Pockets - fit quart size water bottles and can detach when you need a sleeker profile
  • Hydration-ready sleeve (bladder not included) - H2O on the go
  • Pinnacle Suspension System™ with improved shoulder strap that won't cut into your neck
  • Ice axe loops
  • Bivy extension with self locking Cord Lord® closure
  • Mesh water bottle pockets - easy access to your H2O
  • Sleeping bag compartment unzips to expand main compartment
  • Top compression strap under lid


  • Joe's Review:
    I didn't purchase this pack with the intention of thru-hiking with it. I bought it a year before for weekend use. It is extremely comfortable with ample hip and shoulder padding. It has lots of easily accessable pockets and tons of space. The major downside to this pack is the fact that it weights over 7lbs.


    MSR Whisperlite Internationale Stove

    MSR Whisperlite International Stove
    Details:
    Weight w/o Fuel14 oz.
    Dimensions6 in. x 4 in. x 4 in.
    Fuel Type(s)white gas, auto, kerosene
    Avg. Boil Time1 qt. - 3.8 min.
    Fuel Capacity1.29 pints
    Burn Time2 hr. 40 min.
    Suggested Use(s)backpacking/ international

    Joe's Review:
    I was very impressed with the MSR Whisperlite Internationale Stove. I had absolutely no problems with it. It is light, fast, and easy to use. The few extra ounces are well worth it. While others were still struggling with their wood or homemade lighter stoves I was done cooking and eating dinner already! I made the mistake of starting my hike with two 22oz bottles but definitly didn't need two. I never even came close to exhausting my one bottle while cooking at least one meal a day. There are plenty of places along the way to resupply with white gas.


    The North Face Trinity 20° Reg. Mummy Sleeping Bag

    The North Face Trinity 20° Reg. Mummy Sleeping Bag
    Details:
    Size84 in. x 31 in. x 20 in.
    Fits To6 ft.
    Fill Weight1 lb. 14 oz.
    LoftN/A
    Avg. Total Wt.3 lbs. 3 oz.
    Stuff Size8 in. x 17 in.
    Temperature20°F
    MateableYes - order left or right zippers.
    InsulationPolarguard® classic
    Inner ShellSilky taffeta
    Outer ShellSilky taffeta
    Zipper Type#5 Generic coil with locking slider
  • Polarguard® classic insulation with overlapping shingle construction for uniform warmth.
  • Silky taffeta shell fabric.
  • Full-length draft tube prevents heat loss through zipper.
  • Hood and chest adjustment cords help cusotomize fit and optimize warmth.
  • One-hand color-coded pull cords for easy hood adjustments.
  • Lined zipper columns prevent zipper from snagging.
  • Easy-grab pull tabs.
  • Stuff sack included.
  • Mateable - order left or right zippers.


  • Joe's Review:
    I once again opted for the cheaper option. The North Face Trinity 20° Reg. Mummy Sleeping Bag isn't down and it isn't the lightest bag on the market but it worked just fine for me. Its not down, so it's not the end of the world if it gets wet, and I can wash it. Also, this bag is rated at 20 degrees which turned out to be perfect throughout my thru-hike. There were many times when it was too warm, but there were also plenty of nights where it was just warm enough. A lot of people sent home their warm sleeping bags in Virgina but I held on to mine and i'm glad I did. There are 30 degree nights all the way to Maine!


    Asolo AFX 535 Midweight Hiking Boots

    Asolo AFX 535 Midweight Hiking Boots
    Details:
  • 2.6/2.8 full-grain, clean, smooth leather upper.
  • Gussetted tongue for protection.
  • Asolo speed lacing metal hardware.
  • Cambrelle lined.
  • Asolo shock-absorbing anti-bacterial footbed.
  • Aso-flex medium insole for lateral support.
  • Avg. wt. 3lbs

    Joe's Review:
    I was extremely pleased with the Asolo AFX 535 Midweight Hiking Boots. The break in period was short with only minor blisters on my heels. They are a little heavy but provide excellent foot protection and stability. They were also extremely durable lasting almost the entire 2200 miles of my thru-hike and coming up just about 100 miles short. Asolo no longer makes this boot but it was replaced with an updated version, the TPS 535.


    Princeton Tec Solo Headlamp

    Princeton Tec Solo Headlamp
    Details:
    Waterproof. Comes with a high-power Halogen and a long burning Krypton bu lb. 2 beams (wide or narrow). Runs on 2AA batteries, incl. Burn time 2-8 hours. 2 in. x 2 in. x 2.5 in. Wt. 4.5 oz. with batteries. Mesh pouch incl.

    Joe's Review:
    I'm a big advocate of the headlamp, very convenient. I'm not so sure about this particular brand because it seemed to go through batteries at a very fast rate.


    PUR Hiker MicroFilter

    PUR Hiker Microfilter
    Details:
    Weight11 oz.
    Size6.5 in. x 2.375 in.
    Removesbacteria, protozoa, giardia
    Pore Size.2
    Cart Capacity200 gal.
    Liters per Minute1 L/min.

    Joe's Review:
    As far as water filters go, the PUR Hiker Microfilter worked great and I have no complaints. I did wind up abandoning using it a few hundred miles into my thru-hike and went with the risky strategy of drinking untreated water. I did however continue to carry this along with me and used it occasionally on questionable water sources.


    Emergency Germicidal Drinking Water Tablets

    Water Tablets
    Details:
    50 iodine based tablets in each bottle. Two tablets will disinfect approx. one quart of water. Wt. 1 oz.

    Joe's Review:
    I would recommend getting some of these. Even if you have a filter, they are light, take up no space and are handy in a pinch. I did see people using the chlorine mixing


    Nalgene 32 oz. Narrow Mouth Loop-Top Bottle

    Appalachian Trail Thru Hike Water Bottle
    Details:
  • Ideal for carrying water, juice, and other thirst-quenching beverages
  • Narrow mouth for no-hassle, spill-free drinking
  • Easy-to-open attached cap won't get lost

    Joe's Review:
    I used the Nalgene water bottle and it served its purpose fine but I definitly didn't need to buy this for 8 bucks. A 22oz. Gatorade bottle works fine, is lighter, and comes filled with gatorade! Oh, and if need be, it is disposable too. I wound up hiking with this and a gatorade bottle.


    Water Sack & Pillow

    waterbladder
    Details:
    2.5 gallon capacity yet weighs only 4 oz. Collapsed, it fits into the tightest backpack! Rugged nylon outer cover with a tough double inner liner of 3 mil food grade polyethylene. Filled with air, it makes an excellent pillow! A shower attachment is available as an optional accessory.

    Joe's Review:
    Ok, I didn't use this as a pillow, but it certainly came in handy around camp. You will need something to store water a couple gallons of water in because often times the water source is a good distance from the shelter. This worked well because it compacts nicely and has a spout that makes it easy to use when hanging. I saw a lot of collapsable buckets out there that seemed to work just as well.


    Red Ledge Thunderlight Full Zip Pant

    Red Ledge Thunderlight Full Zip Pant
    Details:
  • TH-4 microporous waterproof/breathable coating.
  • Fully seam sealed, 100% waterproof.
  • Ripstop nylon taffeta shell.
  • Full side zip with Velcro® closure flap at bottom cuff.
  • Waist has elastic band with adjustable drawcord.
  • Unlined.
  • Packable into back pocket.
  • Comes with mesh stuff sack for easy storage.
  • Avg. Wt. 10 oz.

    Joe's Review:
    The Red Ledge Thunderlight Full Zip Pants were one of the cheaper brands of rain pants and they seemed to work fine. I wound up sending these home early on because I found that if I hiked in them when it was raining I wound up getting soaking wet anyway from sweat. Not a bad idea for a lightweight pair of pants though.


    Red Ledge Thunderlight Parka

    Red Ledge Thunderlight Parka
    Details:
  • Thunderlight series was highly rated in Backpacker Magazine for performance and value.
  • TH-4 microporous waterproof/breathable coating.
  • Fully seam sealed, 100% waterproof.
  • Ripstop nylon taffeta shell.
  • Underarm pitzips for desired comfort.
  • Men’s features two large pockets with mesh lining for ventilation.
  • Interior storm flap covers main zipper.
  • Bottom hem with side adjustable drawcord.
  • Velcro® closure and elasticized cuffs.
  • Attached hood with adjustable drawcord.
  • Unlined.
  • Packable into left pocket.
  • Comes with mesh stuff sack for easy storage.
  • Avg. wt. 13 oz. Avg. length 30 in.

    Joe's Review:
    Again, the Red Ledge Thunderlight Parka was one of the cheaper brands of raingear. Very comparable to Marmot. Worked great. I used this more on cold rainy days and as a windbreaker. Towards the end of my hike when it got warmer, this was my only long sleeve item that I carried.


    Silva Starter Type 1-2-3 Compass

    compass
    Details:
    The Starter has an enlarged ergonomic base plate desgned for children or adults with smaller hands. The larger rotating capsule with 5 degree dial graduation is easier to read. There are inch and millimeter scales plus a lanyard hole on the base plate.

    Joe's Review:
    While this compass is cheap and works great, the Appalachian Trail is extremely well marked and there is no use for a compass to navigate. I sent this home the first chance I had.


    Mini Mag Lite

    maglight
    Details:
    Constructed of aircraft aluminum, with a positive on-off rotary bezel switch that changes the beam from a flood light to an intense (2200 candlepower) spot light. Remove the head piece entirely, and you have a 360° area light. Features a long-life bulb, and a spare stored in tail cap. Water and shock resistant. Two AA cell batteries, included, give up to 5 hours of light. Wt. 2.5 oz. (without batteries). Belt Holster Included.

    Joe's Review:
    Why carry a mag light when I already have a headlamp? It just makes sense. When hiking at night, I often used both and I have to carry extra batteries anyway why not carry them in a spare flashlight?


    Therm-a-Rest® Ridge Rest Full Length Closed-Cell Foam Pad

    sleeping pad
    Details:
    Wt. 14 oz. Size: 72 in. x 20 in. x 5/8 in. Rolled: 20 in. x 8 in.
    Named for its pattern of ridges and valleys, Ridge Rest is warmer, softer, and more comfortable than other non-molded closed-cell foam pads. The ridges in the pad create thickness for comfort, with less weight. The valleys form air pockets that trap air and keep you warmer. Ridge Rest EVA foam remains functional to -65° F. Color: Black/Grey.

    Joe's Review:
    On my thru hike most of my nights were spent in shelters on hard wood floors so a sleeping pad was a must. Also, insulation from the cold is essential. I saw many blow up sleeping pads out there, but they are heavier and higher maintenance. The drawback to Thermarest Ridge Rest is that it doesn't pack up very small and I had to strap it to my pack.


    Personal Protection Uzi

    Appalachian Trail Guns
    Details:
    This is just a joke....for all the people out there that asked me if i was bringing a gun. NO!!! i'm not bringing a gun!!!! Sure there are dangers on the trail, but Millions of people hike the trail every year and something like 8 people have ever died on the trail...I LIKE THOSE ODDS!!! Much better than the odds of dying in a mail room in America, thats for sure.



  • Some Of The Food I Consumed Along The Way

    Probably the biggest topic of conversation on the trail is FOOD!!! This is for good reason. A thru-hiker burns on average 6,000 calories a day, and even more when its cold out. This means that many calories must be consumed and careful consideration should be made as to what food one will have to carry.

      Breakfast

    Poptarts
    Oatmeal (mostly maple and brown sugar)
    Powdered Milk
    Instant Coffee (my mom found the kind that works like a teabag)
    Carnation Instant Breakfast (yer gunna love it in an instant!)

      Lunch

    Tuna In Water(only cans i'm bringing, but i did find some tuna packets)
    Crackers
    Peanut Butter
    Gorp (trail mix comprised of peanuts, raisins, cherrios and m&m's)

      Dinner

    Ramen Noodles
    Lipton Noodles
    Uncle Ben's Rice
    Dinty Moore Beef Stew (only one can per week)
    Mac & Cheese

      Snacks

    Snickers Bars
    Granola Bars
    peanut butter crackers
    yogurt covered raisins
    slim jims
    [whatever else my mom sneaks into my drop boxes]

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