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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralAppalachian Trail Thru hike, begining next week, HPG gear coming along...Appalachian Trail Thru hike, begining next week, HPG gear coming along...
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4/23/2016 5:00 PM
 

I just wrote a really long post, listing everything and their weights.... and somehow it erased it, so you're going to have to get the short version..

 

I am leaving Arkansas for Washington, DC on May 3rd, touring DC and picking up my Canadian hiking partner then heading to Harper's Ferry that night..... Starting the AT bright and early May 5th.  We are going to hike North from HF to Maine, then flip back to HF and hike South to Georgia (we have both hiked northbound from GA to VA on the AT, Approx 700 miles last year)

I want to thank the people at Hill People Gear for being such amazing and kind people, and for giving me the opportunity to use some amazing HPG gear during this adventure.  I am taking the HPG Ute w/ Tarapocket, and the HPG Runners Kit Bag.  I will be writing a complete review of how the gear holds up to 5 months on the trail, and 2,189 miles.

I don't have any pictures of my clothes, but its all pretty cheap synthetic "qwik-dri" type shirts and short, no pants... Ingini Toe Sock liners, thins with Darn Tough socks (two pair, one ankle and one calve length) with a pair of thick wool socks for sleeping.

If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to give me your .02, I still have time to change some things if I want to.. I did drop the emergency blanket and warmers from the picture with the random kit gear, and have a pocket rocket stove on the way that will replace the heavy one I had.  Decided on a Sig Sauer p238 .280 for my carry in the states that reciprocates Arkansas CHL. I am thinking about replacing the external battery in the picture because it's horrible, was supposed to be 50k MaH and it only gives me1 and a half charge on a 4500MaH Motorola Droid Turbo phone... just would take a little out of my hiking budget... so still deciding (a nice 22,500MaH at Best Buy is about 40$)

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I know that a chair is a HUGE luxury item,, but it is just about my only one... so it's staying!  Last year the thing I wanted to most was a comfortable place to sit down... and maybe a lower body fat %... lol

I want to give a big thanks to a few companies that have helped me get ready for this adventure!

First and foremost Hill People Gear, amazing people with great quality gear, I have already been converted to a huge fan, and I've only done practice hikes with the gear,  Big Agnes, a great hiking gear company that has the best "free-standing" tents on the market in my opinion, great bags as well (they also are the USA seller for Helinox, which is the chair I brought), the people there have been great to me, and I look forward to working with them through the hike.  Death Wish Coffee..... great "swag package" they sent me, and they sell the strongest coffee in the world (literally) that taste amazing, Everyone there seems like super cool people as well!

If anyone wants to follow our adventure this year.. I am on instagram as PLATYPUSHIKER, I am on Twitter @chefgauf, but I post my daily videos on facebook, and it gets everything that gets posted anywhere as well, so that would really be the best way, "Alex Gauf".. its the one in Arkansas, with a  pic of a guy and a dog (maybe add a note if possible that you are from the forum, since this is my personal account)

 

Thanks, and God Bless America

Alex

platypus2016blog.wordpress

 
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4/23/2016 6:29 PM
 

That sounds like a great adventure--with 700 miles already under your belt, no doubt you're pretty squared away...still, I could see you wanting, say, a Smartwool insulating layer, given that even a summer thunderstorm can leave you wet and cold, and it's definitely possible to get soaked and stay that way for a while.  (For that reason, I might also add an extra pair of socks and a blister kit.)  Best of luck--you'll be passing through some beautiful country.

 

 
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4/23/2016 6:58 PM
 

I'd loose that heavy trowel.  I use an SMC snow stake to dig catholes with.  A tad more work but a fraction of the weight and serves duty also as, well, a stake.

 Also, if at all possible, I'd urge you to hike south first and then go back to Harper's Ferry and head north.  Your way is gonna be HOT down south.

 
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4/23/2016 8:45 PM
 
Thanks to all who replied, going to try to answer them in order..

Creationbear.. Yeah my rain jacket is what I use for when I'm cold, I'm a big guy and normally run extremely hot (the type of guy who is completely soaked with sweat before leaving camp, lol) I did get cold at some if the higher elevations in the Smokies last year.. But I plan on buying a puff (probably from big Agnes or Monte Bell) when I see one on sale or see one in person that I really like. It's hard for me to. It clothing without trying it on because of my size (6'3" 280, very wide shoulder, comical long arms..) Because only certain things fit me properly, and if I'm going to spend 200-300$ in a quality jacket.. It better fit like a rug. And I do have a first aid kit, it just was t in the videos, I have mole skin, dr schols blister kits, medical tape, duct tape... And they will all be on my feet lol, I get blisters constantly, it's like I do t get that "hot spot" warning where I can stop and attend to it before it's too late
That is what the injinji. Sock liners ae hopefully going to fix, they are like feet gloves, so they are supposed to stop the blisters in between the toes..

Take-a-knee (love the name): I have actually been thinking off dropping the trowel all together... And using steaks and my hiking poles (and as bad as this is to say., if the ground ID too hard, Frenchie , my hiking part et. Series a titanium one I could use)
As far as the hiking South first... Negative sir.. The whole reason of this an is because we want to avoid the coldest of weather up north. We hiked the southern end of the trail last year in June/July, and I'm from the south.. I'll take hot over cold any/everyday! Plus most of the southern part is in Forest so you have some shade

God bless America
Alex
 
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4/24/2016 6:44 AM
 
Ha, glad to see there's another Clydesdale on the board--I was even born and raised in SW Arkansas.  I'm in Knoxville now, so be sure to wave from Thunderhead as y'all pass through.:)  BTW, I'm another fan of Injini socks--if you have blister problems, though, think about taping up with Leukotape, and be sure to wipe your skin with an alcohol swab to get the oils off before applying...it will adhere a lot better.
 
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4/24/2016 6:30 PM
 
I'm super glad to hear that about the Injinji... I have yet to even try a pair on.. But if I don't like them I can go back to regular sock liners.

Since I'm a razorback fan, I'll make sure to eat lots of fiber that night before I ascend rocky top... Lol

Alex
 
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4/27/2016 11:38 AM
 
Hey guys, with Evan's help I have set up a separate Facebook page at
www.Facebook.com/platypushiker. Please feel free to follow the page and keep up with the hike and HPG gear.

Alex Platypus
 
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4/28/2016 10:10 PM
 
we build them big down here in Arkansas!!! the guys that work at my local outdoor store always love it when i come in and try stuff on. looks like a rhino putting on a trashbag lol glad to see another big arkasnas boy that aint afraid to hike.
 
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4/29/2016 8:28 AM
 
I am also interested in hearing more about the injin. I have been experimenting with liner socks again lately, and am intrigued.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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5/2/2016 7:39 PM
 
scothill wrote:
I am also interested in hearing more about the injin. I have been experimenting with liner socks again lately, and am intrigued.

 

I'll let you know how they work, it's also my first experience with them.

 

Heading out bright and early in the morning, 

-Alex

 
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5/2/2016 7:43 PM
 
Roamingxterra wrote:
we build them big down here in Arkansas!!! the guys that work at my local outdoor store always love it when i come in and try stuff on. looks like a rhino putting on a trashbag lol glad to see another big arkasnas boy that aint afraid to hike.

 

It's got to be something in the water.....or maybe the cornbread lol.

 

Yea I always like the looks I get when I pass a 140lb hiker with a 15lb pack...."fat passing on the left" is the best way to surprise a "zombie hiking" person on the trail..  Lol

 

-Alex

 
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5/3/2016 5:15 PM
 
Scot after I had my foot operated on I got some toe problems. Injinji socks solved them easily and comfortably. My wife also swears by them. Those socks have kept her running when she almost quit because or sore, worn toes. They do work though they are a bit of a pain to put on. I wear the liners under thicker regular socks for boots and it works very well. Get a pair and test drive them, you might like them if you have toe issues.
 
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5/4/2016 10:10 AM
 

+1 on the Injinji socks--they're especially good if you have a "hammer toe" or two, which can twist and rub a blister on an adjacent digit.  They come in a variety of thicknesses, but I found the "liner weight" under a pair of Smartwool PhD's to be a good combination.

http://www.injinji.com/shop/liner.html

 

 
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5/6/2016 4:06 PM
 
snakey3 wrote:
Scot after I had my foot operated on I got some toe problems. Injinji socks solved them easily and comfortably. My wife also swears by them. Those socks have kept her running when she almost quit because or sore, worn toes. They do work though they are a bit of a pain to put on. I wear the liners under thicker regular socks for boots and it works very well. Get a pair and test drive them, you might like them if you have toe issues.

 

I can already vouch for them!!!!

Havezero blisters after two days of hiking in the rain and being wet on the Appalachian Trail! My feet are feeling great, I'm going with the thin liners with darn tough and point6 wool socks

Give them a try

 

-Alex

Facebook.com/platypushiker

 
New Post
5/6/2016 4:07 PM
 
snakey3 wrote:
Scot after I had my foot operated on I got some toe problems. Injinji socks solved them easily and comfortably. My wife also swears by them. Those socks have kept her running when she almost quit because or sore, worn toes. They do work though they are a bit of a pain to put on. I wear the liners under thicker regular socks for boots and it works very well. Get a pair and test drive them, you might like them if you have toe issues.

 

I can already vouch for them!!!!

Havezero blisters after two days of hiking in the rain and being wet on the Appalachian Trail! My feet are feeling great, I'm going with the thin liners with darn tough and point6 wool socks

Give them a try

 

-Alex

Facebook.com/platypushiker

 
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5/6/2016 10:04 PM
 
Good luck and enjoy your hike.  Take care of your feet.  Hope you're not wearing sneakers/trail shoes.  Those PA rocks tough on the dogs. 
 
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5/9/2016 7:17 AM
 
I just ordered a couple of pairs of the liners. I hope they are the right size as I wear a 13 or so these days. I do have the issue of my little toe curling in just a bit and it can rub. I have stuff jammed tight on my toes so it will be interesting to see if these are a solution for me or not. Thanks for the feedback.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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5/9/2016 11:29 AM
 
The liner socks are pretty stretchy--I'm a size 15 and the XL's fit me fine.  If they don't address the issue, you might consider the Leukotape route--cut a half-inch strip and apply to the bottom of your little toe, then use a separate strip over the top to lock it in place.  I use both the socks and the tape--as I've aged, I've become more prone to blistering, especially if a day afield includes wet-wading for trout and a significant walk back to the trailhead.
 
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5/22/2016 11:13 PM
 
Looking forward to more updates.

I bought one of those Fiskars trowels as a cheap and somewhat lightweight (better than steel) backpacking shovel and the second time I used it it broke (mind you I live in New Mexico and the ground here is much more rocky than back east where I used to live)  I probably could have still accomplished all my digging needs without breaking it if I was more careful, but you shouldnt have to have to worry about breaking one of your tools every time you use it; especially if youre hiking the AT.

And dont mind the Duct Tape.  The handle didnt break. I just needed a place to store some tape so I didnt have to carry a whole roll.

 

 
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5/23/2016 1:28 AM
 
This is what I use.  Super lightweight and I haven't broken it yet.

http://gossamergear.com/deuce-of-spad...
 
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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralAppalachian Trail Thru hike, begining next week, HPG gear coming along...Appalachian Trail Thru hike, begining next week, HPG gear coming along...