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  1. #21
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    The two most important items are missing: a sleeping bag and a backpack.
    Duh.

  2. #22
    Prince Zedditose spthibault's Avatar
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    Default Fire Starters uncommon

    As I am sure we all have seen or will see Les Stroud AKA Survivorman do;

    I'd have to say that hand sanitizer is a great fire starter even if you have no lighter, if you do and the lighter runs out of fluid use it to make spark. I like the Cotton Ball/Vaseline routine, that works well too if you can get it to catch the spark.

    Gather some dry tender, just like he does on the show, and from prior exp in the Army I can agree, finding it might not be easy, but its around, even if its in the center of an old fallen tree, make some dust or small bits by crunching, or shaving it up, and that is the basics of your bed to lay your coal or smoldering cotton ball of warmth and light, after that common sense takes over, once you have ignited your tender, feed it slightly larger sticks till you get to the size you want. just stop before you burn down whole trees and the forest, haha.

    SO, lighter, fire starter, and trees. after that you can fashion what you need from the world around you. of course, Food and Water. so really you only NEED 5 things. haha

    The best fire started is simply the one that works... you can even start it with a Flashlight.

  3. #23
    Registered User moondoggie's Avatar
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    I second the fine steel wool, and your headlamp or flashlight battery will ignite it (just touch a few strands to each end). Amazing!

    But I carry and use cotton balls/vaseline/bic as my primary fire starter.

    Most everyone has extra ziplocks, right? On rainy, damp days; collect natural firestarter as you hike and put it in extra ziplock
    If you come to a fork in the road...take it - Yogi Berra

  4. #24
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    Default Duraflame Firestarter

    There's all kinds of fire starter you can find in the woods or bring with you. However the one I use the most is Duraflame Firestart in the brick form. Not the ones in long 1/4X1/4 strips, I don't like them at all. For two or thee bucks you'll have enough for a thru-hike. I take a small piece with me and leave the rest at home and have it ship to me in a mail drop when needed. I have never had proublms if it's a little wet and it will help start a fire under the wetest conditions. You can find it at camping stores or Walmart. You can also place it in all most any container because there is No leakage or crush it flat and it will still work for you. Its also made from 100% renewable resources. Saying all of that I will admit I have never used this in sub-0 weather. If anyone has please let me know how it worked out.
    Forever North

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Yeah, i wouldn't take half that stuff. sunglasses on the AT? for what?

    THat must be an old list from the 1960's boy scout handbook or something.

    I do see it's an old thread. Lots of that going around these days. Must be cabin fever.
    That is from the Boy scouts 10 essentail backpacking list. It is still a requirement to this day for the backpacking and hiking merit badge. I used to teach it to the scouts in my council at a summer camp. I feel if you know how to impervise on some of the gear then don't take it.

    Also there is no sleeping bag, shelter, and other things like that as this is just a basic. If it gets cold start a fire, if you need a shelter build one, and so farth.

  6. #26

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    I used sunglasses on my thru constantly.

  7. #27

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    The Top 10 Essentials for the AT:
    1. Tent or Tarp
    2. Sleeping Bag
    3. Food and Water + Purifier(dont overpack though!)
    4. First aid Kit: Bandaids, Tylenol,Triangle Bandage, Tape (anything else is overkill)
    5. Headlamp
    6. Lighter/ matches
    7. Pocket Knife
    8. Bandana
    9. Rain gear
    10. COMMON SENSE! and yes you'd be surprised how many people leave home without it.

  8. #28
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    1. Rambo Knife(that's it)

  9. #29
    Registered User tigerpaw's Avatar
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    Ya'll hiking naked?

  10. #30
    Registered User Spogatz's Avatar
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    I'll bring my camera.....
    ---Where ever you go
    There you are---

  11. #31
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    Default minimal except on water

    Things I might do without: A map, compass, fire starter, matches, sun glasses and sunscreen. But how do you get by without these? you may question: The trail can be found on the internet; I study it! (I'd like to contradict this and bring maps anyway but can probably get by without them.) A compas isn't needed, except maybe on a cloudy day when I can't see shadows, but I know where I am on the trail and where I came from and the other direction is where I'm going; I won't be straying off the trail, except into town, and again I know where I came from and where I'm going. Although stress reduces mental abilities, bear this burden and be aware of it -- keep your presence of mind! If you feel lost take a break and hope for a break in the clouds to see a shadow; afternoon shadows point east; morning shadows point west (sunrise in East, sunset West). Cardinal directions: North facing with East on right, West left. South: East left, West right.

    Sun glasses are fussy. Instead a hunter camouflaged crushable fedora (to support a mosquito net for the head, including back of neck), long brimmed fishing cap, and a double insulated sock hat for head gear (also a hooded military stop-rip poncho and a hooded, semi-water proof, wind breaker parka shell) will provide sun & eye protection and more. Long sleeve t-shirts for sun protection on the arms and occasional long pants for the legs.

    Matches and fire starter fail once moistened, and they can't be kept always dry; instead, bring a grill lighter, the kind with the long stem tube and a sterno, two 5 oz. cans, camp stove (total weight less than 2 lbs.). Don't plan on cooking much: Eat peanut butter, raisins, and vitamin C tablets breakfast, lunch and dinner. Do bring about 35 lbs. of bottled water to be restocked at grocery stores and Walmarts along the way. Don't drink any ground water until after it's boiled, perhaps as a cup of tea (bring tea bags) for breakfast.

    Don't trust water purifiers: Tablets don't work. Filters clog. Pumps break filter seals. Gravity systems make you wait.

    Wear tight fitting leather gloves like the kind for gardening, and have a long sleeve, mock turtle neck t-shirt that may help with some mosquito problems. Be ready with some deat insect repellent. Bring lots of extra underwear pants (7) and socks (7), not so much on short pants (1) and trousers (2), a couple long sleeve t-shirts, one long sleeve sweat shirt and pants set. Put all individual clothing items into zip-lock plastic bags, quart size if necessary, and bring a couple extra large lawn and leaf plastic bags to cover the back pack with its contents inside.

    Bring good walking shoes. An extra pair will be needed if the favorites get wet. Bring a set of water sport shoe-sock slip-ons to ford stream crossings.

    A typical first aid kit will soon fail; instead, bring lots of extra breathable fabric (not vinyl coated) first aid tape, a safety pin to lance and drain blisters which must be taped, a roll of gauze bandage and three gauze bandage pads, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and two ace bandages (one for each ankle if needed); snake bite kit not needed. If chafing rash appears between the legs, a first aid antibiotic cream, or vaseline, might help; change your gate with feet spread further apart so the fat doesn't rub so much and the rash vents better; treat with peroxide and rubbing alcohol (ew! it stings! too bad, deal with it; soon you won't have the fat anymore for walking the A.T., and the rubbing and subsequent rash will be gone).

    A cook pot is too heavy. One metal Coleman brand camp plate to also serve as a fry pan-griddle, one metal Coleman brand camp bowl, and one large pint-sized metal Coleman brand camp cup, a spork, and a pocket knife.

    No sleeping bag nor tent; instead, a military style foam sleeping pad, a military style poncho liner, and the poncho already mentioned. The flashlight should be the kind with the self charging hand crank generator. There's another flashlight, having fewer LEDs and thus lower candellas, system with a hand crank generator that also has a USB port to recharge cell phones and AM/FM radio.

  12. #32
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    For minimal except on water, also bring a spool of extra thick jute cord from Ben Franklin Store and six tent stakes and two collapsible tent poles.

  13. #33
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    I kept waiting for the smiley face, but I think Turkhevn is serious. :O

  14. #34
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    More for minimal except on water: Toiletries. Toothbrush, large toothpaste, soap bars (2), plastic soap bar dish-travel case, hair comb, small hair brush, face shaving razor with replacement blades, large toe nail clippers (not scissor type), can of spray deodorant, stick of slather-on deodorant, two rolls of toilet paper (each in its own quart size zip lock storage bag), two boxes of baby wipes (each removed from boxes and put into quart size zip lock storage bags), wash cloth in its own zip lock storage bag, and small bath towel in its own zip lock storage bag.

  15. #35
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    Smiley face, too, is very important!

  16. #36
    Registered User seasparrow's Avatar
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    1. Pack
    2. A food supply
    3. Clothes on your back and foots
    4. kord or fishing line
    5. trail name
    6. Light maker
    7. Impty bottle
    8. Good poncho
    9. High quality bandana
    10. The credit card

  17. #37
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    Weed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

  18. #38
    BYGE "Biggie" TOMP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senor Jalapeno View Post
    The Top 10 Essentials for the AT:
    1. Tent or Tarp
    2. Sleeping Bag
    3. Food and Water + Purifier(dont overpack though!)
    4. First aid Kit: Bandaids, Tylenol,Triangle Bandage, Tape (anything else is overkill)
    5. Headlamp
    6. Lighter/ matches
    7. Pocket Knife
    8. Bandana
    9. Rain gear
    10. COMMON SENSE! and yes you'd be surprised how many people leave home without it.

    This is a good ten. But I would be hard pressed to consider about half of them essential. There really isnt 10 essential items more like 5. The rest could be done without and most people dont use at least one of the top 10. Common sense and experience isnt something you can bring if you dont have it and it might be impossible to acquire. In the hot months you could drop this to 3 items (3-5) if you sleep only in shelters or in poncho.

    1. Tent or tarp
    2. sleeping bag (not if its warm though)
    3. Proper clothes (and this is different in different seasons)
    4. Rain gear
    5. Proper footwear (varies on preference)

  19. #39
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    Can't believe they left off a whistle. Way too important, especially if you hike at a time when traffic is light. As for firestarters, get a cardboard eggcarton. Place a golfball-size piece of dryer lint in each cup and pour in melted parrafin wax. Always worked for me, even when it was damp or rainy.

  20. #40
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    The Ten Essentials were first described in the 1930's by "The Mountaineers", a hiking and mountain climbing club based in Seattle , Washington.

    -source: Wikipedia
    Last edited by Spokes; 03-24-2012 at 06:19.

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