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to Dan Wasser making a list ...

>X-POP3-Rcpt: richm@water
>Date: Sat, 23 Sep 95 04:13:40 CDT
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>Errors-To: ryan@inc.net
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>From: Jim Bruton <jbruton@quest.arc.nasa.gov>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <at-l@inc.net>
>Subject: making a list ...
>X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
>Rich, hi!
>FWIW, I'd be happy to describe what I took. Others could no doubt add, 
>delete, and dispute these choices. 
>SLEEP - only what is needed, a light bag for the Smokies, then I heard a
>lot of thru hikers say they were mailing back their bags and getting light
>blankets as the weather warmed up. 
>	- therma-rest pads seem to be the norm. I like 'em a lot. I have the
>3/4 length, which seems to be all that's needed. Closed cell foam is 
>lighter but bulkier. 
>	- to tent or not to tent? I carried a 5-lb. Northface Starlight,
>which I liked a lot. A tent is bug protection, and for when a shelter is
>full or too far away. I could pull my whole pack in with me. I also
>carried plastic tent ground cloth.
>	Actually, in my tent was the most comfortable sleeping I did on
>the trail. However, because 5 lb. is a lot to carry, I'll probably go for
>a one-pound bivvy sack next year. But, the pack'll have to stay outside.
>	I met plenty of thru hikers who carried no tent, just a poncho or
>light rain fly. 
>BOOTS - Best you can get, they're the most important thing. I also
>discovered gators from other hikers. These protect your socks, boot laces,
>and lower legs from brush. Won't keep boots dry in rain, though. 
>PACK - There's the whole internal/external question. I opted for external
>because it's cooler on the back. 
>EATING - MSR Whisperlite International is my stove of choice. It'll burn
>unleaded gas if Coleman fuel isn't available. It's light, field
>repairable. One pot. One cup. One spoon.
>	- food is a whole huge subject, but I can say, one mistake I made
>was carrying too much. It is possible to resupply quite frequently, so
>ten-days' worth of food, which I sometimes had after resupply, was too
>DRINKING - I carried a PUR Hiker water purifier and containers for one
>gallon of water. Most thought this was way too much to carry (8 lb.) I
>didn't always fill up on a whole gallon. But in camp it is good to have a
>way to carry a big amount of water. I saw many hikers with those MSR water
>bags. They all said they liked them. Some saved the weight of the water
>filter by using just iodine, bleach, or no purification at all (the last I
>do not recommend). 
>CLOTHING - Don't need much in the summer. I like to have a pair of long
>pants and T-shirt exclusively for shelter living, and a pair of shorts and
>T-shirt just for hiking in. Avoid cotton. You'll need a warm jacket (like
>synthetic "fleece") for the southern mountains in spring.  Later, mail it
>back. I like a floppy hat, but it turns out that it was needed only for
>rain. Sun's not a big factor in the forest. And the hat was too hot. I
>wore bandanas as sweat bands.
>	- rain gear. I carried a treated nylon windbreaker, but its main
>function was to guard against hypothermia when soaking wet on a windy day.
>Wearing it to keep dry was not workable, because it was too hot and I'd
>just sweat inside it. I just gladly (or not so gladly) let the rain get me
>	I heard about "national hike naked day" (summer solstice) too
>late. Maybe next year! 
>OTHER STUFF I TOOK      - hiking staff
>			- minimal first aid stuff. moleskin & bandaids
>			required. bug dope. ace bandage.
>			- toothbrush, toothpaste, and that "Dr. Bronner's"
>			all-purpose soap. A tiny pair of folding scissors. 
>			- needle & thread.
>			- Swiss Army knife
>			- Dan "Wingfoot" Bruce's _Thruhikers Handbook_
>			- a book to read. picked 'em up at shelters and
>			hostels, or stores. Left 'em behind when done.
>			- nylon stuff sack for trash
>			- nylon pack cover for rainy days. worth it.
>			- maps
>			- a tiny AM/FM radio with earphones. personal taste.
>			- a mini-maglight, 2-AA type, with headband, makes
>			it possible to walk after dark if needed.
>			- extra batteries
>			- cigarrette lighter
>			- sports sandals, for camp. worth it. 
>			- camera
>			- camper's saw
>			- smaller second pot
>			- 7X25 compact binoculars
>			- those ATC guidebooks
>			- candle lantern
>This is just a summary. There are plenty of "fine points" that could be 
>debated. I wish you best of luck on your thru hike. 
>> Jim Bruton, jbruton@quest.arc.nasa.gov,
>  Chinle, AZ