[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Volunteer Crew + Mail from Hikers + AT Extension

A few days ago, I announced that there was an application for the ATC-run 
volunteer crews on the AT page.  Since then, I asked Jeff to send me the 
text that accompanied the form.  The explanatory text is now 
there as well.  URL: http://www.fred.net/kathy/at/crewform.html
As per Roly's suggestion, I added a little more of a disclaimer to the 
file sent from Quebec about the authors' thoughts about the AT extension.
I had indicated it was just a mystery file that arrived in my PO box one 
day, but I thought I would add a little more to try to clarify that it 
was not any sort of official position on the whole thing...
Below is some email from the Kushmans.  They left Springer (I think) on 
the 1st and sent this out several days later, I assume from a payphone, 
or some phone, somewhere further north.  (This first message seems to 
have been totally written before the hike was started.)  I'm planning to 
put their messages on a page and make it available on the AT page after I 
get their next one.

--Kathy Bilton

Date: 07 Mar 96 11:21:02 EST
From: Richard Kushman <70304.1011@compuserve.com>

 3/ 1/1996
RE: 1996 Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail
		Richard and Kathleen Kushman

Beginning of journey...

This is the first, I hope, of many updates from the Appalachian trail.  
Now while  flying to Georgia to begin our  hike  seems like a good 
time to reflect on the last very hectic three months. Call this 
a pre-hike equipment evaluation. We have read everything we could find, 
talked to many other hikers and listened to the sales people make 
their case for what they sell. We think we have chosen our equipment 
wisely, time will tell.

Here is what we did ...

PACKS ............... 	KK - Lowe sirocco
				RK - Osprey Helix

We tried on many and with weight. We bought the packs that  felt the 
most comfortable, period.
There are many high quality packs available both external and internal 
frame we ended up picking internal because they simply felt best. 

BOOTS........		KK - Vasque Super Hiker
				RK - Raichle Mountain Guide

What's to say, both good quality and they felt best to us.

TENT......	Mountain Hardware
			Windlight III

We just liked it. Plenty of room, excellent quality, and not too heavy 
for two people.

SLEEPING BAGS .....	KK - Cats Meow - NF
					RK - Big Kazoo - NF

We pretty much followed the recommendations of others. Synthetic 
fill (Polyguard) was thought best. Then why did I get a down filled 
bag? I needed room and the Big Cat (NF) was very comfortable but didn't 
compress nearly enough, unless we took no food. The Big Kazoo offers the 
space and actually compresses smaller than the Cats Meow. I will 
certainly have to keep it dry.

RAIN GEAR :.. 	KK - Mountain Hardware
				RK - Mountain Hardware

Triple Gortex jackets, fit good and received good rating in Backpacker. 
We opted for less expensive pants just to get us through the first few weeks.


I read all the first hand reports and complaints I could find on Compuserve, 
AOL, and the Net There were a few different filters that some people 
thought excellent The only filter that had no complaints about clogging 
was the Hiker. initially I was concerned that the pore size (.5) would 
not be  small enough but several hikers were not happy with clogging and 
stopped using a filter with no side effects. The Hiker seemed a safe 
bet for this trail.

STOVE		Camping Gaz Tristar

This choice was interesting in that CW says a MSR Whisperlight. We liked 
the ease of use and safety of the Gaz. Cartridges are much more 
available now and some people have been known to mail drop them, 
two of the 270 cartridges weigh one pound...we will see on this choice.

FOOD		Alpine Aire 

We got a good bulk discount on backpacking meals. Really simplified mail 
drops and planning. Good variety, dinners only, we purchased 
approximately 130 and some deserts.

We are sending updates with a Sharp Zaurus, which is a small computer 
like device. It weighs one pound, we plug into a phone and link 
through Compuserve.

Our gear choices will have much less to do with our success than the 
mental drive and spirit we need to accomplish an adventure 
like The Appalachian Trail.

No trail names yet.