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[at-l] responses - my three week hike in the Southern App's

Gary Ticknor asked:  Sounds like you made out pretty well, and
>> on a difficult section of trail. But tell, me, what would you change,
>> what did you learn? What would you do differently? Any gear changes?
>> How was the weather, and what would you have liked to do differently
>> if the weather was worse?

>> Hi Gary,    I would change - I would plan on stopping more often for
>> food, however possible.  Like, I got a ride into Gatlinburg when I was
>> halfway through the Smokies, from Newfound Gap.  That would have saved
>> me carrying some food.  I learned to have a quick breakfast ready,
>> like the cereal in ziploc, and get going sooner in the morning.  I
>> learned to be careful with keeping track of which bottles of water I
>> had treated and which not yet.  I learned that I don't need a sleeping
>> pad on wood or ground.  I learned that even a good brand name tent
>> must be properly used to keep rain out, and still may get some water
>> in.  I would bring nylon pants.  I may not bring a little mirror to
>> check for ticks, as I never bothered to use it.  And, most
>> importantly, I learned to love myself, and that this will solve a lot
>> of my problems.    I would do differently - not pressure myself as
>> much to go fast, but always get to a campsite with time to cook and
>> hang my bear bag in the light (atleast if I'm alone).  I'd probably
>> bring manufactured walking sticks.  I'd carry a bivy instead of a two
>> person tent (made the most sense to buy the 2 person even though most
>> of the time I was alone).  I'd probably get zip off pants instead of
>> two separate pieces of clothing.  I'd allow time to go to a waterfall
>> or another pretty place instead of plan on only hiking on the AT.
>> The weather was great except for a section I did first over four days,
>> when it rained a whole lot.  I did have a poncho, which was fine, but
>> I would have an actual pack cover instead of the garbage bag I was
>> using.  I would still have an extra garbage bag to put on the ground
>> in the vestibule of my tent (if I was carrying one).  I used -lots- of
>> ziplocs. Every single thing in my pack was in some sort of plastic,
>> which I like a whole lot.  That way, even if it was excessive for rain
>> protection, it would slide easily in and out against the surrounding
>> plastic.Eric  

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