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  1. #21
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    McBride, very nicely written.

    What time of the year did you start and what was the coldest temperature?

    I will be starting on February 21, 2010 and it appears that it will be a cold, wet, dark start. So I am planning on an extra layer, deluxe Thermarest foam pad, and warm mittens and gloves.

    I have very low body fat and tend to get cold. (or I could just be a wimp.)

    Thanks for the good info.

  2. #22
    Registered User Stud The Dud's Avatar
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    I have a couple questions.

    How many zero's did you end up taking?

    Did you ever have the chance to play pinball in any of the towns?

    Did you find yourself being very careful with your money along the way i.e. budgeting?

    Was the 1st or 2nd time hiking Moosilauke more difficult?

    And how do you keep your neighbors kids of your front lawn?

    Great Information btw. And congrats on your thru-hike.

  3. #23
    Registered User McBride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AggieAl View Post
    McBride, very nicely written.

    What time of the year did you start and what was the coldest temperature?

    I will be starting on February 21, 2010 and it appears that it will be a cold, wet, dark start. So I am planning on an extra layer, deluxe Thermarest foam pad, and warm mittens and gloves.

    I have very low body fat and tend to get cold. (or I could just be a wimp.)

    Thanks for the good info.
    I started March 8th, and it got down into single digits in the Smokies. Snowed on April 7th around a foot with 3 foot drifts in places. You should definitely throw a couple of chemical hand warmers into your pack. They're great in your sleeping bag on the coldest night and you'll know when that is.

  4. #24
    Registered User McBride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stud The Dud View Post
    I have a couple questions.

    How many zero's did you end up taking?
    60+ you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stud The Dud View Post
    Did you ever have the chance to play pinball in any of the towns?
    Yes, I would recommend the Lord of the Rings pinball machine in Caratunk Maine at the Northern Outdoors brewery (2 miles W when headed NOBO). But be aware that the Legolas run is broken and the ball gets stuck in the right hand chute near the bumpers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stud The Dud View Post
    Did you find yourself being very careful with your money along the way i.e. budgeting?
    Budgeting is very important as you know. I personally resembled the scene from Batman II where the Joker drops money via helicopter over the people of Gotham.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stud The Dud View Post
    Was the 1st or 2nd time hiking Moosilauke more difficult?
    The second time up was a bit harder mentally after descending the wrong trail. But the second descent in the dark and wet down the sheer waterfall was trouble with a capitol R. The cheeseburger at the bottom was worth it though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stud The Dud View Post
    And how do you keep your neighbors kids of your front lawn?
    The oldest trick in the book...

    -McBride

  5. #25

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    great advice, much appreciated.

  6. #26
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    Did you have the 800 fp MB ulss #2 bag? I saw your comments about the bag, and assume you liked it. I have the exact bag, and think it is about perfect, for me anyways.

  7. #27

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    McBride, 1st thanks for the excellent information. I too am over 6' and around 225.
    I section hike as long as 7 days at a time. My pack fully loaded with water has never been lighter than 40lbs. I am glad to see you say that your back was between 30-35lbs. I have no trouble with the amount of weight I have been carrying. I go slow and watch where I walk and enjoy the trail. If I get 10 miles a day I am happy.
    Happy Hiking and Backpacking

  8. #28
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    Very good write up, McBride.

  9. #29
    Registered User TheKO's Avatar
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    Default Writeup

    Thanks for taking the time for a great write-up. Your explanation on why you did what you did is also of great interest.

  10. #30

    Default Questions

    Great write-up. Very helpful.

    What type of sleeping bag liner did you use in the smokies ? How much warmth did it add ? Would an extra base layer have been better ?

    When you switched from the convertibles to lighter shorts, did you find the lack of long pants to be an issue in evenings, or when sleeping ?

    Also, what was the 1 Go-lite Y stake used for ?

    Thanks.

  11. #31
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    This was EXCELLENT!! Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to put it together. It helps a lot to know what worked and what didn't. I would like to see such analysis from other thru-hikers.

  12. #32
    Registered User McBride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnG10 View Post
    Great write-up. Very helpful.

    What type of sleeping bag liner did you use in the smokies ? How much warmth did it add ? Would an extra base layer have been better ?
    The liner was a montbell that was synthetic cloth with small holes throughout. My friend gave it to me before I left. It worked well and I guess is was same as most liners in the 10 degree range. It definatley was better than not having it.
    There were many discussions about sleeping naked as opposed to fully kitted out in thermals for the best warmth in your bag, but for me on the cold nights I wore every damn thing I had.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnG10 View Post
    When you switched from the convertibles to lighter shorts, did you find the lack of long pants to be an issue in evenings, or when sleeping ?
    I only wore the long pants up until the smokies if I were to do it again I would probably just hike in shorts for the whole time and throw on thermals if it was really bad. I went up Mt. Washington in Sept and it was gusting to 65mph and wind chill of 15f and my legs were fine. Definitely needed the upper layers however.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnG10 View Post
    Also, what was the 1 Go-lite Y stake used for ?
    Thanks.
    I used it at the foot of the Contrail in the middle to support the guyline of the auxiliary stake. If that's unclear go to the thread that I linked to and there are pictures. I found that that particular stake held better for that particular application.

    -McBride

  13. #33

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    Well put together overview! People often post their gear list pre-hike for others to critique. Nice to see a gear list post-hike with self-critique. Good job.
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

    http://www.wizardsofthepct.com

  14. #34
    Registered User srestrepo's Avatar
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    since this post came out, i think i've referred like 5 people to this so that they can see what other people have actually used vs what they wanted to use...

    this is an awesome write up and i'm sure others appreciate it/feel the same way.

  15. #35
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    This is very well done and very useful. I know it wasn't intended as an "Article" but I think it'd be good for that section of the website, as more folks will see it there. This is the sort of information that is incredibly useful to folks planning out their gear purchases and what they intend to carry.

  16. #36
    Registered User John B's Avatar
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    Very, very useful information. It's the type of write-up that makes Whiteblaze a great site for information. Thanks for putting it down for the rest of us to read.

  17. #37
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    I've got a Contrail and trying to locate a source for an 18" pole to use at the foot for Franco's storm setup... any suggestions? alluminum? graphite? where can I get that tip that will fit the end of the pole? got a link on the net?
    my home town has crap for camping gear sales, all we have is a Sport Authority, I buy everything on the internet for hiking gear...

    thanks and congrats on the thru hike this year!

  18. #38
    Teddy Bear in a hammock HikerRanky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    This is very well done and very useful. I know it wasn't intended as an "Article" but I think it'd be good for that section of the website, as more folks will see it there. This is the sort of information that is incredibly useful to folks planning out their gear purchases and what they intend to carry.
    I agree Jack.... Moved over to Released Articles.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerRanky View Post
    I agree Jack.... Moved over to Released Articles.
    Good move! When you have this many people thanking you for writing something, it's probably a sign.
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

    http://www.wizardsofthepct.com

  20. #40
    Registered User McBride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    I've got a Contrail and trying to locate a source for an 18" pole to use at the foot for Franco's storm setup... any suggestions? alluminum? graphite? where can I get that tip that will fit the end of the pole? got a link on the net?
    my home town has crap for camping gear sales, all we have is a Sport Authority, I buy everything on the internet for hiking gear...

    thanks and congrats on the thru hike this year!
    Winton at Neels Gap ended up giving me an old section of a tent pole. The 18" measurement was an approximation. It was just basically the bottom section of a regular aluminum pole. If you can't locate one just hit up Winton when you get to Neels Gap after the first few days. He has all kinds of stuf lying around.

    also the top of my particular pole section was female and I couldn't locate a tip on short notice either, so I would just jam two little chunks of a twig in making a y and put the guyline in the crotch of the two twigs, then staked it back.

    I've heard of people not even using a pole and just grabbing a stick each night at the campsite and just using that. Just get all McGuyver on it.

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