Quick Answer: What To Pack For Appalachian Trail Thru Hike?


  1. Backpack (big enough for a bear canister, where mandated)
  2. Pack raincover.
  3. Small daypack (optional)
  4. Tent suited to terrain, with guylines and repair sleeve.
  5. Tent footprint (optional)
  6. Sleeping bag suitable for wet weather and anticipated temperatures.
  7. Sleeping pad.
  8. Whistle (plus signaling mirror)

What can you not take on the Appalachian Trail?

Top 10 Mishaps to Avoid When Hiking the Appalachian Trail

  • Bringing too much food.
  • Carrying too much water.
  • Carrying too many (or too few) clothes.
  • Not practicing with gear before starting.
  • Carrying a pack weighing 50 pounds or more.
  • Making someone’s day turn to crap.
  • Sleeping with food in tents and shelters.

How big of a backpack do I need to hike the Appalachian Trail?

The best size backpack for the Appalachian Trail is around 50 liters. Some people think it is a great idea to take a 70 liter rucksack but there are ample places to resupply with food and water on the trail and a large backpack will encourage thru hikers to take too much gear.

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How much money do you need to hike the Appalachian Trail?

REI Co-op employees say on-trail costs can range from $3,500 to $6,000—and that doesn’t include gear, which can cost between $700 and $5,000. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), most hikers spend about $1,000 a month, and the majority take nearly six months to complete their hike.

Can you use a hammock on the Appalachian Trail?

#3 – Ideal For Environment. Finally, my last reason has more to do with the Appalachian Trail itself than a hammock. Because the AT is so forested, a hammock set-up is almost an ideal shelter for it. As long as they are set up well with the right gear, a hammock set-up will leave little to no impact on the land.

How much water should I carry on the Appalachian Trail?

A general estimate is that hikers will have to carry anywhere between 1-2 liters of water. It’s unlikely most hikers need to carry more than 2 liters at a time, except in special circumstances. Hikers new to the trail will likely need more water than seasoned backpackers until their bodies adapt to the trail.

How much food should I bring on the Appalachian Trail?

1.5 to 2 pounds per day to start can be adequate in most circumstances if your food is high in calories, but if you are doing big miles or rugged terrain with a lot of elevation gain you will probably need more. On a long-distance hike you will develop a bigger appetite and may also need to carry more.

Can I smoke on the Appalachian Trail?

While it is common to participate in drug and alcohol it is still illegal on federal land which, is what most of the Appalachian Trail is considered.

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What should I eat while hiking the Appalachian Trail?


  • Beef Jerky and Dried Meat. Beef jerky, salami, and tuna are my favorite non-cook meats for the trail.
  • Tuna and Salmon. Tuna is probably the most popular meat of choice for thru-hikers.
  • Cheese.
  • Tortillas. Bread can be too bulky and fluffy for backpacking.
  • Greenbelly Meals.
  • Bagels.
  • Crackers.

Do you need a tent on the Appalachian Trail?

All overnight hikers should carry a tent or other lightweight portable shelter. Backcountry camping is available at about 125 designated camp sites and is also allowed in the immediate vicinity of most of the 260 shelters along the Trail.

How many liters pack for a thru hike?

In the US, backpack size is commonly measured in liters. Most thru-hikers’ backpacks are between 48 and 65 liters, but that’s still a pretty broad range. You don’t want a pack that’s too big, because it will weigh and cost more (and you may find yourself tempted to fill the extra space with crap you don’t need).

Are scrub pants good for hiking?

Scrubs are a light and packable option for camping. Light and packable, as well as breathable and moisture wicking, they’re perfect for town pants during an extended backpacking trip or camp clothes after your day hike during frontcountry adventures.

Do you need rain pants on the Appalachian Trail?

In a nutshell, most hikers will need the following: a hiking top and bottom, a raincoat, two pairs of socks, shoes, and a puffy. Optional / seasonal items include a mid layer, camp clothes, and town clothes. The Appalachian Trail is wet.

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What should you not wear while hiking?

What should you NOT wear while hiking? (10 Common Clothing Mistakes)

  • Denim. The first item on our list is denim.
  • Cotton. Cotton is on the list for similar reasons to denim.
  • Silk.
  • No-Show Socks.
  • Flimsy Shoes.
  • Bras with Clasps.
  • Bunchy or Bulky Pants and Jackets.
  • Stiff or Too Thin Fabric.

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