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    Default Your top 3 must haves in your pack?

    Curious to know from several of you, what are your top 3 items you MUST have in your pack if you are hiking the Appalachian trail?

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    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    3 stuff sacks to hold the 30 things I bring on every trip.

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    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    My tent, my sleeping bag, my pack. I'd add a fourth, my food. And a fifth, my air mattress. Everything else is unnecessary waste.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    My tent, my sleeping bag, my pack. I'd add a fourth, my food. And a fifth, my air mattress. Everything else is unnecessary waste.
    Years ago I came up with The Seven Holy Nylons---crap every backpacker carries.

    ** SHELTER of some kind---tarp/tent/hammock with tarp/bivy sac etc.
    ** PACK of some kind to carry all our crap. Could be a daypack, a butt pack, a hobo pack on a bindle stick etc etc.
    ** SLEEPING BAG for . . . uh . . . sleeping. Could be a quilt or a blanket or whatever.
    ** SLEEPING PAD for comfort and warmth against the ground. Very few backpackers use nothing---and some idiots still cut fire tree bough beds.

    ** FOOD of course. You can't do long backpacking trips without food.
    ** WATER CONTAINER. Gotta have something to hold water.
    ** CLOTHING because how many backpackers pull all their trips totally nude??

    These are mandatory. All the rest is not---like boots or books or stoves or hiking poles or first aid kits or knives or hatchets or Bic lighters or whatever else.

  5. #5

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    Hammock, sleeping bag, and tarp. I like my snoozing.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    My tent, my sleeping bag, my pack. I'd add a fourth, my food. And a fifth, my air mattress. Everything else is unnecessary waste.
    I wouldn't say a stove and cook pot are a waste, but it wouldn't not be the first I have seen people without that essential gear. A list of three things to have, to me won't provide much useful information as it's a contextual question. Much depends on the time of year, duration of trek, ability of the respondent, and a raft of other things. Perhaps the question is better stated by categorizing the top three things?

    What top 3-things for shelter/camp
    What top 3-things for food prep
    What top 3-things for food staples
    What top 3-things for hydration
    What top 3-things for warmth/weather (hypothermia prevention)

    There would be a lot of good information in those responses I think as opposed to a "what three things would you take" and nothing else brings me to quote Steve Martin in my favorite top things list delivery, "All I need is this chair, a lamp, and my paddleball thing" - The Jerk.

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Call me silly, but I would have thought the OP meant what are the 3 most important items BESIDES the obvious givens, like shelter and a sleep system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Call me silly, but I would have thought the OP meant what are the 3 most important items BESIDES the obvious givens, like shelter and a sleep system.
    Even interpreting the question that way brings me to the same intersection. I can more easily name the top three things I bring with regard to various elements of backpacking than I can just top three things overall, much changes with the seasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    I wouldn't say a stove and cook pot are a waste, but it wouldn't not be the first I have seen people without that essential gear. A list of three things to have, to me won't provide much useful information as it's a contextual question. Much depends on the time of year, duration of trek, ability of the respondent, and a raft of other things. Perhaps the question is better stated by categorizing the top three things?

    What top 3-things for shelter/camp
    What top 3-things for food prep
    What top 3-things for food staples
    What top 3-things for hydration
    What top 3-things for warmth/weather (hypothermia prevention)

    There would be a lot of good information in those responses I think as opposed to a "what three things would you take" and nothing else brings me to quote Steve Martin in my favorite top things list delivery, "All I need is this chair, a lamp, and my paddleball thing" - The Jerk.
    Those would be great to know in each category. Excellent idea. But that would make one long post

    One thing you mentioned im curious about. If you don't bring a stove and cook pot. How would you cook anything?

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    I would say everything in your pack should be a must-have for you. If it isn't, don't bring it. I mean, I know plenty of people don't use poles or a water filter or whatever item, and I use those things. So technically it's not a must-have for everyone, but it's something I consider a necessity. And besides my "safety blanket" of first aid kit, extra socks, and extra headlamp batteries, and my "luxury item" of my external phone battery, I use every item in my pack every day. If you're not using it every day, why are you carrying it?

    My first couple backpacking trips I added stuff to my pack, thinking, "I might need this." My pack got a lot lighter when instead, I only added it to my pack if I could say "I will definitely need and use this." As I said, the only exception to that is my bare-bones first aid/repair kit (smaller than a deck of cards) and my backup batteries and socks.
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    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisalwaysgood View Post
    One thing you mentioned im curious about. If you don't bring a stove and cook pot. How would you cook anything?
    You don't! You either eat things that are ready to eat, or cold soak.

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    John B's Avatar
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    Food, clothing, and shelter.

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    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I mean, I'm assuming we have all the camping and hiking gear, right? That's way more than three things. So here's my list:

    Good food. Some Scotch. A camera.
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

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    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Car keys so I'm sure I'm not locked out when I get back to the trailhead. I never use them hiking, but it would ruin a trip if I lost them.

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    Just trail runners on my feet on Hike Naked Day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightErrant View Post
    I would say everything in your pack should be a must-have for you. If it isn't, don't bring it.
    Me in a nutshell. I may bring extras, like camp shoes/sandals, even a folding saw and fixed blade knife, on 1-3 night trips in winter, but on a "real" backpacking trip where I'm knocking out miles and thousands of feet in elevation gain per day, nothing. The only mandatory carry item that doesn't get used(hopefully...usually) then is my first aid stuff, and any food I may have left over.
    The food remains an issue for me. It's hard to cut back when you're technically carrying too little to begin with, but when I'm out for 7 days, and know my appetite usually doesn't kick in 'til day 4...but what if doesn't work out that way this time?
    It's crappy cutting out every ounce you can, then coming home with 3.5lbs of "unnecessary" food you've toted around for a week, though.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisalwaysgood View Post
    Those would be great to know in each category. Excellent idea. But that would make one long post

    One thing you mentioned im curious about. If you don't bring a stove and cook pot. How would you cook anything?
    Specific questions get you closer to usable answers.

    It's rare to see someone not pack a stove and fuel, but it's done. There are some who believe it saves them weight (presumably they figure it's the key to Katahdin when walking up Springer), some people are cheap, others irresponsible. So they eat in town a lot, cold camp, or mostly beg others to use their equipment to cook meals, which in my view is irresponsible given the opportunity to obtain this equipment and be self sufficient.

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Stoveless hikers on our popular long trails are becoming more and more popular. I would say on the PCT last year it might be close to 40%. Same on the CO trail. Seems like perhaps stoveless hikers are fewer in number on the AT, but growing. Not for me, I have to enjoy 2-3 cups of hot coffee every morning. I could easily do w/o hot food, but not hot coffee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisalwaysgood View Post
    Curious to know from several of you, what are your top 3 items you MUST have in your pack if you are hiking the Appalachian trail?
    Assuming you mean the whole trail, not just a short day or section hike . . .

    I'm sorry. This is a really stupid question that doesn't really inform anyone of anything useful. This is more of a survival fantasy question which can probably be addressed better by watching the TV series "Naked and Afraid".
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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    All of my stuff has become just stuff.

    Three things I really like to use though...

    Photon Freedom Micro around the neck
    Handmade Grid Fleece Beanie
    Wide Mouth water bottle

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

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