How much do you tip the bellhop to bring your wardrobe to the next AT shelter?

So where do you buy backpacking dressers and wardrobes? Should I hire someone to haul my wardrobe around or should I risk just taking it all myself? I know it would cost a lot, but my suits might get wrinkled on the AT if I carry them myself. So many decisions……

On a second thought, I’ll just bring the essentials and be perfectly content. I know what clothes to bring can be a pretty big decision when you’re going to hike the AT; and through my experiences and what I’ve read from previous thru hikers, I believe I planned out everything I will need (and hopefully not anything more).

This is what I’m planning on bringing currently. It’s all subject to change, but I can’t imagine it would change drastically.

  • 1 short sleeved hiking shirt: Made with moisture-wicking material of sort. I will either just use one of my current work out shirts or something else if I come across something I like better.
  • 1 long sleeved shirt: I figure this would be good when it’s cooler up on mountains, cool nights, when black flies or mosquito’s are everywhere, etc. The sleeves can also be pulled up and VOILA! I will have another short sleeve shirt. Magic. I have a work out one made with moisture-wicking material again. I don’t really like it, I never have. I’ll use it if I don’t find anything else that I like that is affordable.
  • 1 pair of running shorts: Super light material. Pack small. They don’t hang down to my knees. Really comfortable. Adidas. I already own them. What more could you ask for? Better decision if you just want a pair of hiking shorts compared to something specially made for hiking.
  • 1 pair of convertible hiking pants: This will give me a pair of pants and a second pair of shorts. There is a reason so many hikers use convertible pants and I don’t plan on arguing with them. I’ve been using a great pair from Columbia for about a year now and I have no reason to get anything different. I could always be super fancy and hike with one leg as pants and one leg as shorts. #Superstar!
  • 2 pairs of underwear: I wear Adidas boxer briefs. They’re cool and light. 2 pairs just seems like a no brainer and they’re super light, so it can’t imagine it will matter. I don’t have a problem with my thighs chaffing, but boxer briefs would definitely help if I did.
  • 3 pairs of socks: I know some people swear by only bringing two pairs, but I love my feet too much for that. I will bring two pairs of regular weight, Smart Wool socks. I own four pairs currently and they’re great. On top of that I’ll bring one pair of heavy weight socks for cooler weather and sleeping. I figure your feet are too important while hiking to skimp on a few ounces because you’re a super nitty gritty weight freak. I would even consider bringing 3 pairs of the regular weight socks and one heavy weight pair. Most would say that’s overkill, but my feet would stay dry and happy.
  • 1 pair of boots: This could be the boots I start out with or they might wind up changing to trail runners when I wear out my current boots. Regardless, I will always have one pair of trail boots/trail runners. Waterproof, duh.
  • 1 pair of sandals: I have a pair of Chaco’s. Not the lightest, I know, but they’re great. You can hike in them and they’re great for stream/river crossings. Also, wear them around camp to dry my feet.
  • 1 pair of gloves: I have a good medium weight pair of gloves right now that I’m going to bring. Could be useful on mountaintops in the warm months and definitely useful in the colder months. I’ve hiked in fairly thin gloves before in single digits/teens temperature and my hands were perfectly fine while hiking. If my hands get cold as winter sets in I might send away for my thick pair. We’ll see.
  • 2 hats: One ball cap from my alma mater that I wear on all my adventures and a cold weather hat. The ball cap will be good in all weather except for really cool temperatures. It’s a ball cap, no reason to explain why I would bring it. I also have a great Arcteryx winter hat that will be useful in colder weather, especially when I sleep on cool nights.
  • 1 pair of long underwear: Hand me downs from my dad. Patagonia. They’re a great base layer. Bottoms and tops.
  • 1 pair of sunglasses: Because duh. And I’ll look awesome. #Superstar!
  • 1 raincoat: Because I heard rumors it rains while hiking the AT. I doubt it will ever rain on me, because I’m just so positive, but it’s better to be prepared. Plus, it’s a good outer layer on cool or windy days.
  • 1 pullover: I have a Columbia pullover that I love and is really comfortable. It’s not super light or anything, but I own it and it will be a great mid or outer layer.
  • 1 winter coat: I have the Arcteryx cerium LT hoody down jacket. It’s super warm and light. I can use it folded up as a pillow in the warm months. It was expensive but definitely worth it from the use I’ve gotten out of it so far.
  • 1 pair of rain pants: I’ve been up in the air if I wanted rain pants or not, but recently decided I should bring them. I don’t know which ones to get but I already know I hate the REI ones. If anyone has a suggestion for a pair that doesn’t cost $200, that’d be great. I figure they’d be good if it gets cold suddenly and I need some leg protection while I hike over a mountain. I hear they also do well in the rain.

I think that’s it. I might have missed something, but that is close enough. I’m pretty sure I hit everything. It does seem like a lot when I write it out like this, but I have to remember I will be wearing a lot of it at all times. I could probably go without my pullover, but I find a lot of use out of it now on my backpacking trips and don’t want to part with it quite yet.

Clothes are important. It’s so easy to bring way too many so you have to think how different combinations can replace something else. I feel I have a good grasp on it right now. I won’t be surprised if that changes by the time I leave, so any advice would be great!

94 days til Katahdin! #SOBO #Maine2Georgia

“Of all the featherless beasts, only man, chained by his self-imposed slavery to the clock, denies the elemental fire and proceeds as best he can about his business, suffering quietly, martyr to his madness. Much to learn.”


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