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#182422 - 02/02/14 04:19 AM One-person tent
scrambler Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 3
Hi all- Newbie here. This is my first post.

I'm preparing for a long-distance walk from the east to west coast of the USA this year. Among other things I'm looking for a lightweight one-person tent. I've been considering this Eureka Solitaire tent but think I'd be better off with something that was freestanding such as a pop-up tent. Any advice would be appreciated

http://www.amazon.com/Eureka-Solitaire-Tent-sleeps-1/dp/B000EQCVNY

If it's relevant, I'm a 48 y.o. male, height 5'6", weight about 140.


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#182423 - 02/02/14 08:35 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
scratchtp Offline
member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 64
Loc: New York
Welcome!

I'll start out by saying that I don't have a lot of experience with one-person tents, or Eureka specifically. I do know that if you are looking for a lightweight one-person tent, there are lighter options out there.

What is your budget?

How important is having space inside the tent for you? (I'm just looking at the interior height of 28" on that Eureka and thinking I would get cramped over a long trip.)

As for freestanding, I switched to a non freestanding tent a year or two ago and found that it sets up faster than my old REI tent, and is more weather worthy. Many freestanding tents are not completely "freestanding" anyway as you have to stake out vestibules and such.

Just two specific examples of other options off the top of my head are the REI quarter dome, which is on sale right now. Slightly heavier, but with a vestibule and a higher ceiling. Also has REI's great guarantee:
REI Quarter Dome

Tarptent also sells some nice shelters that are probably as much as a pound lighter than the Eureka (although they may require a trekking pole to be set up) with more head room and a vestibule, such as this one: Tarptent Contrail

I'm sure other will join in with other questions and suggestions.

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#182425 - 02/02/14 09:47 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: scratchtp]
scrambler Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 3
Thanks very much for the response. My budget is a little flexible but I was thinking of trying to spend no more than $150. That being said, the REI tent does look promising even though it might be a little more than I was planning on spending. I understand that they have a good reputation so they will probably be a good resource for other equipment I'll need as well. Thanks for the tip!

I hadn't thought about the standing room- my plan is to basically walk dawn to dusk and stop only when I'm ready to rest and sleep so I wouldn't expect this to be too much of an issue.

As I'll be doing so much walking (and as I'm not the most technically adept person) my main concerns have been that it is lightweight (under 5 lbs) and easy to setup. I have been tempted by some of the popup tents which are also much less expensive, some as little as $20-40. Am I right in assuming that these are also probably not very durable and I would be foolish to expect them to last on a trip that can take several months?

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#182426 - 02/02/14 10:27 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Under 5 lbs is not light weight. I currently carry a 2 man pyramid tent that weighs 1 lb. the previous post gave some good examples of better tents.
http://www.tarptent.com/index.html

http://www.zpacks.com


http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=213

http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tarps/WildOasis.html


http://www.bearpawwd.com/tents_tarps/luna.html

Here are a few of the lighter options.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#182428 - 02/02/14 11:32 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
scratchtp Offline
member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 64
Loc: New York
I would encourage you to think about head room, just for at least sitting up in your tent. Even if you don't plan on spending much time in it, having the space to at least change clothing comfortably can be nice, or to read a book if its raining and you don't want to hike. Although there are others that simply use bivies (might be another option for you) and deal with the lack of room fine.

I don't have any personal experience with the cheap pop up tents. I have seen some of them collapse in thunderstorms from a distance though. grin
On the other hand I'm sure some have used them and made them work.

Rockchuckler has a good list of some alternative gear to look at, (I hadn't head of bearpawwd before) but some of it, such as zpacks, is probably out of your price range. Both the six moon designs and bearpawwd shelters are very light and closer to your price range.

As far as REI, I like them quite a bit, but don't often shop there anymore because they don't tend to have what I personally want. Often you can find more innovative and lighter gear from cottage manufacturers like those rockchuckler suggested.


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#182430 - 02/02/14 12:31 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: scratchtp]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Rockchuckler... Funny! My wife and I run a campground and I see those cheap tents break beyond use almost every weekend. It doesn't take much wind to snap poles, tear rainflys, basically shred a tent in minutes. We usually end up with at least one in the trash a week or more.


Edited by rockchucker22 (02/02/14 02:21 PM)
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#182431 - 02/02/14 12:39 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: rockchucker22]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
What you are contemplating is a long trip--not just a weekend or two in the mountains. Most of those cheap tents are made for the latter, not the former.

While you may think of a tent as simply a lightweight shelter for your sleeping bag, on a long trip is it a lot more than that. You may well get caught in storm that lasts for days. I would suggest that you look at a two-man tent--one that has at least enough room for you to sit up comfortably. Because a lot of your hike will take you through more civilzed areas (you won't be carrying two weeks of food, they way we do sometimes in the mountains) weight won't be as big an issue.

Get on that is strong enough to withstand some wind, large enough that you can stand to be in it for 36 hours, and then think about weight.

That's what I would do.
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#182432 - 02/02/14 12:51 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: rockchucker22]
scratchtp Offline
member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 64
Loc: New York
Haha, I'm not sure why I read your name as rockchuckler instead of rockchucker... I suppose the latter makes more sense smile

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#182435 - 02/02/14 01:08 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: scratchtp]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Try to find a used tent then. For such a long trip, you'll need a quality shelter. Better to buy a good tent, then get stuck somewhere with a broken one and have to get another cheapo tent because there is no decent store in town.
Look for at least 36"-38" head room. 40" or more is great.
Duane

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#182437 - 02/02/14 01:47 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I had a Eureka Solitaire and I didn't really like it all. It's hard to get in and out of, and there is no room for anything but you lying down. For a trip like yours I'd certainly want something bigger.

You should look into what long distance and through hikers are using. I can't help with that much, but I do agree that a free standing tent that goes up fast is what I'd chose. One with two poles that cross in an "X" and has a vestibule to put your pack under. That design is hard to beat.

That's a mighty ambitious trip you're planning. If you don't mind I'd like to ask a few questions...

Have you ever made the trip east of the Mississippi to the west coast?

Have you done, or do you plan on doing, some shake out trips before you head out?

Have you planned a route?

What is it you want, and what do you expect to get from this trip?

The reason I ask is because I've made the drive from the west coast to the Mississippi on North, South, and Central routes and all of them have very long and desolate stretches with little or no access to public water or land designated for camping, and a huge amount of what's there isn't what I'd call a scenic wonder, and your options are still wide open.

You see, there is a vast amount of experience here you can lean on to help with you getting to whatever your goals are and you might benefit from sharing them.

I'll offer that there are many places you can go to immerse yourself in the solitude and natural beauty and local culture with the time you want to spend, but a coast to coast tromp across the U.S. isn't that.

That's quite a different trip. I'd say it's more of a physical endurance and self deprivation kind of trip, and it's almost certainly going to involve some "stealth camping". You need a different plan for that kind of trip.
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#182443 - 02/02/14 05:00 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Take a look at solo tents from the following manufacturers:
Tarptent.com
Sixmoondesigns.com
Lightheartgear.com

All these have great solo tents weighing 2 lbs. or less including stakes and guy lines. Some are double-wall. If you don't use trekking poles, you can buy poles from these manufacturers, which will add about 2-5 oz. to the tent weight. The relatively new Tarptent Moment DW, now a double-wall tent, does have its own pole so doesn't require trekking poles or extra poles. It's probably the most wind-resistant. Now that it has doors and vestibules on both sides, it's also more versatile for ventilation.

Even the so-called freeestanding tents have to be staked down, or they'll fly away in a light breeze. IMHO, the so-called freestanding feature is greatly overrated. Most "popup" tents are quite fragile and will soon disintegrate.

Will you be following the American Discovery Trail? If so, be sure to check out some journals of successful hikers on trailjournals.com or postholer.com. Many of these journals include gear lists which will help you. You might particularly want to check the 2012 journal of "Boston and Cubby" on trailjournals.com. They had problems with water caches in the Nevada desert because so many of the plastic water jugs sprung leaks. And that is an area where there are many, many miles between water sources, so advance caching of water is essential.


Edited by OregonMouse (02/02/14 05:06 PM)
_________________________
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#182461 - 02/03/14 04:09 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: billstephenson]
scrambler Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 3
Thanks to all for your responses and advice. To answer some of your questions, my motivation for the trip is really not much more complicated than looking for something different and challenging to do over the next year. I realize it's going to be an endurance test, but also want to focus on the simplicity involved in getting somewhere by just placing one foot in front of the other.

I'm starting from the eastern US, so I'm likely to start once the weather gets warmer here- I'm thinking to leave once the temperature breaks 70. I don't have a specific route planned. I'm tentatively planning on ending up in Portland, OR, so I should stay north for the most part. I'm also planning on bringing along a good road atlas which should help in providing direction as I move along.

I appreciate your advice on the more desolate areas of the west- I was also expecting that I would have to do a great deal of camping in areas not specifically designated as such. Should I expect problems with the authorities if I do this or are people left alone for the most part as long as you move on?




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#182468 - 02/03/14 07:25 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I think you should look at some more options based on what you want from this change of pace you're considering.

The truth is, you most certainly will end up where there is no legal place to camp or even rent a room, and yes, people will mess with you when you camp on private land and they will call the law on you. That doesn't necessarily mean you'll be arrested or charged with a crime, but that potential is raised in those situations.

It's worth considering some of the advantages of a long distance trail hike like you'd have on the Appalachian Trail. You'll have places to camp out legally, places to restock supplies, and amazing scenery most all of the way. Crazy as it is, most of the long backpacking trails are not crowded, and you can always get off and walk to the nearest town to get a burger or slice of pizza, and even a night in a room with a shower and a bed.

It's a long hike to do the AT in one shot without running into some cold weather. I don't know much about any of those trails but I'm pretty sure that if you took your time and just meandered along it you could spend all Spring, Summer, and Autumn hiking it and not finish it.

Between the AT and the Pacific Crest Trail, which is also a very long hike, there are many other really great trails that run through some really cool areas and in all of them you'll find something different and challenging and you can test your endurance as much as you want on any of them.

Along any of the backpacking trails you're on you're sure to meet some great people who share your interest in getting out and away from the grind and you won't find yourself in a place where you're legally out of bounds.

If you're new to backpacking you'll have a lot easier time gaining the experience and honing the skills you need to be comfortable because you'll have better and more options as to when and where you'll set up camp for the night, and your route will be mostly within areas where those options are least limited.

And, if you complete any of the longer trails like the AT or PCT, you'll be a member of a very exclusive club. If you really want to go big you can hike the Triple Crown of Trails. Do that and you're among the backpacking elites wink

The main thing I'll ask you to consider is that you can chose to walk and camp in some incredibly beautiful areas on trails that are created just for that purpose. If you haven't done much of that, I'd offer it's a better place to start.

At the very least, I suggest you get all your gear together and start off with some short trips to get to know your gear, and then a couple longer trips, a week or two if you can, to get to know yourself once you've been out there more than a night or two, and then start making your plans for a long distance hike.
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"You want to go where?"



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#182470 - 02/03/14 08:08 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
I don't have a specific route planned. I'm tentatively planning on ending up in Portland, OR, so I should stay north for the most part. I'm also planning on bringing along a good road atlas which should help in providing direction as I move along.

Sometimes a lack of planning is refreshing and leads to instances of serendipity that you could never achieve by careful planning. However, I suspect that in this case your noticeable lack of planning will quickly lead to a total breakdown of your trip, as you now envision it. Either that, or you will need to learn how to succeed in this undertaking through a highly compressed crash course that could be very stressful as you struggle to master the unexpected complexities of this trip you now think of as 'simple'.

Whether you walk across the country as you now intend, or take the advice already offered above, of switching to a long-distance trail like the Appalachian Trail, I'd urge you to read as much as you can about the experiences of people who took similar walks, paying special attention to the nuts-and-bolts practicalities of making it all work out. Otherwise, one week after you start on this months-long trip you may find yourself stymied and not able to continue.

I wish you luck, but remember that "luck favors the well-prepared".

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#182472 - 02/03/14 10:33 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
If you read some of the journals about the American Discovery Trail that i suggested (the ADT runs from Delaware to just north of San Francisco), you'll find that even on a recognized trail there were numerous times the hikers had to put up at a motel because there was no place to camp. Often they had to ask permission to camp on private land, which was not always given. Some had serious confrontations with local law enforcement. "Lion King," who hiked the ADT 4-5 years ago, was mugged in East St. Louis. "Boston and Cubby," who hiked it in 2012, had an easier time, except for the aforementioned problems with their water caches. With only a few people hiking the trail each year, it's not that well known to the local inhabitants.

Out in the west, in many areas the only through roads are interstate highways, and it's illegal to walk along those (believe me, you don't want to anyway, unless you enjoy trucks blasting by at 70-75 mph every minute or two!). The ADT is mostly road-walking, but at least it avoids major highways. You also need detailed maps so you can distinguish private from public land; otherwise you may confront irate armed landowners. And settlements of any kind are often many, many miles apart.

There would be several options to hike on to Portland. One is to hike the ADT as far as the crest of the Sierra Nevada and then follow the Pacific Crest Trail north to Cascade Locks (just east of Portland).

Note that you need to time things very carefully to get across the Rockies and Sierra Nevada during the few snow-free months of the year. Timing will be even more critical for the alternate I described. You're basically talking June (when most years there are still many feet of snow left, requiring snow navigation skills and gear) to mid-October for the Rockies, Sierra and Cascades. If you wait until late spring to start from the east, you will probably have to lay over somewhere during the winter months and then wait for the snow to melt in the mountains.


Edited by OregonMouse (02/03/14 10:36 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#182476 - 02/04/14 12:09 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: OregonMouse]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1144
Loc: Washington State, King County
I don't know how to say this without sound patronizing or dismissive or some sort of negative, but ...

I'm wildly pessimistic about the chances of someone walking across country who has no long distance hiking experience. The ADT is indeed the best there is in terms of a path across the country, but very few have done it, and I rather imagine that the few that have didn't start from with a low experience base. Asking about basic tent stuff suggests little or no experience at this.

You can certainly learn long distance backpacking "as you go", but best is to do so in a more realistic setting where others can help you out. I'd suggest trying to hike a sizeable portion of the PCT or the AT. This particular year, the water situation for those starting the PCT in April/May (from the Mexican border) is tougher than usual, but in general best is to start more or less "with the crowd" and thus have a lot of ready mentors as you figure this stuff out as you go along.

I'm not saying that you can't make it. I'm saying that I agree with those that suggest it's highly unlikely that you will, at least if your intention is to hike several thousands of miles from coast to coast in the same year (?).

I've not investigated the ADT, but I rather suspect there's a whole lot of road walking involved, indeed a lot of private property challenges, resupply challenges in a context where you don't have the usual support net of information available about that, weather challenges of various sorts. Getting water in some of the dryer states (Utah, Nevada). The amount of road walking in particular would put me off, though.

I suggest that you hike, say, the Appalachian Trail, and then study the ADT after that to see if you want to do something a lot more challenging.

Best tent to do it with (not ignoring the initial question)? I'm a fan of Lightheart Gear tents.
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http://postholer.com/brianle

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#182477 - 02/04/14 12:27 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
IMO, you're asking for a lot of trouble and a lot of expense you didn't plan on. There are going to be hundreds of miles of "no camping" in there.

There have been over the past few years a number of people posting similar plans. I have yet to see any of them come back to follow up on what happened.

I really don't see this as a good idea - the desert is unforgiving and deadly, and you'll have no way of carrying enough water through it. Walking on freeways is illegal and also probably asking for a truck to hit you. Hitchhiking is illegal. Walking across the open desert? oy. Do you understand what lightning, flash floods, rattlesnakes, dehydration, hyperthermia aka heat stroke, and cholla cactus can do to you? Understanding the risks before you go is paramount.

As mentioned in this thread already, the seasons that will be prime travel conditions for the various biomes you'll travel through are a big concern, and long layovers are likely.
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#182485 - 02/04/14 10:59 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: lori]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Lori is right.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#182487 - 02/04/14 11:41 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: rockchucker22]
bluefish Offline
member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 677
I didn't do a planned route, but I traveled around for awhile cross-country with just a backpack, feet and thumb. I spent lots of nights on golf courses, parks, patches of woods, farm fields, and down railroad tracks. They seem to be the quickest way to get away from traveled roads. I was rousted a few times and strongly encouraged to get on a bus and get far away. I imagine it would be far worse now. I learned a low tarp shelter was by far the best for stealth purpose. The high points maybe being a snow cave and a sand cave when I made it to the Pacific. When I look back on the memories, a malaise of endless hours of treading pavement invades and diminishes the highlights. If I had it to do over , I would have tried to do the AT, something I had planned extensively to do, and chose not to; because I wanted to see as much of the country as I could. Besides the problematic camping issues, you will also spend a great deal of time alone, but surrounded by civilization. It gets depressing. The long distance trails on the other hand, provide a a different type of alone-ness that stems more from the nature of wilderness, than isolation from fellow humans. Meeting someone on the trail or in the very social AT shelters, you tend to have very friendly interactions out of mutual goals and experience. On the road, it's the vagaries of chance meeting and dealing with those who are suspicious of someone walking in a very automobile driven society. Homeless? Criminal? What are they running from? In my mind, it's more rewarding to experience a stretch of wilderness than deal with the problems associated with paved roads and private lands.
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#182492 - 02/04/14 03:16 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: scrambler]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Here's a BBC story about a guy who just finished jogging across Canada. This quote is noteworthy:

"Before I started, I was asked how I'd prepare for the more than 5,000 miles that lay ahead of me, I answered truthfully and said that I wouldn't - no amount of training or planning could have prepared me for this journey."

In a general way I agree with this. I believe the same applies to thru-hiking a trail like the AT. All you can really do is plan to be prepared for what you can expect may or could happen.

If you're hell bent on walking across the continent I don't want to discourage you. That guy did it and I have no reason to think you couldn't too. Shoot if you pass my way I'll lend my support, and I mean that.

But I wouldn't join you and here's why:

Originally Posted By bluefish
When I look back on the memories, a malaise of endless hours of treading pavement invades and diminishes the highlights. If I had it to do over , I would have tried to do the AT


That statement above, from a voice of experience, sums up perfectly what I believe you'll encounter on the trip you mention.

Consider BrianLe's advice:

Originally Posted By BrianLe
I suggest that you hike, say, the Appalachian Trail, and then study the ADT after that to see if you want to do something a lot more challenging.


When Brian tells you the ADT is "a lot more challenging" than the Appalachian Trail you need to understand that he has the experience to add that prospective. Thru-hiking the AT is an incredible feat. He offers that you hike a bit of it to put that into prospective first so you can gain a clearer idea of what hiking across the continent would be like. But I believe he also implies that you'd have to thru-hike the AT to really have a clue of what hiking the ADT would entail.

Those two responses are exactly the kind of experience you can benefit from here to help plan an awesome trip, as opposed to a mostly miserable and boring trip. You should take a look at BrianLe's blog. I'm sure you can gain a lot by reading about his hikes.

OregonMouse grew up spending months in the mountains out west. She's camped out more nights than most of us will ever get in. Her advice and comments on what you can expect is solid and well honed with experience. Crossing the Rockies is no small endeavor all on its own. That's an entirely different hike that plodding across Great Plains, which is entirely different than what's east of them. You really need to know something about backpacking in all the environments you'll encounter to avoid misery.

Experiencing misery is best done with fast lessons and the fewer the better. If I had the time to spend a year meandering around with a backpack I'm positively sure I'd choose to do it where even the worst days would still be good. Someplace where, when the storms finally passed, I'd be hard pressed to want to move on, able to stay longer if I chose, and know for sure that tomorrow will be just as good and maybe even better.
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#182499 - 02/05/14 08:38 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: billstephenson]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Personally, I like road walking, and I do a lot of it. I've studied the ADT closely, and I feel the part through the desert in the west is too dangerous for most people.

If you want an excellent pre-planned route, I'd suggest the ADT until Pueblo, CO., and then pick up the TransAmerica Bicycle trail. Even better, I'd suggest just doing the whole TransAmerica bicycle trail. You can buy excellent maps at their website.

You can do a virtual walk of the bicycle trail here.

Surprisingly, water may be an issue in areas where towns are further apart. I wouldn't consider any source of water safe along roads,even with filtering. I've never read of anyone who was successful with stashing water, especially in plastic containers. It's not possible to easily carry enough water in some of these areas to make it through the area. If I were doing this hike, before a long stretch where there is no water, I'd buy a wagon or a baby carriage at a thrift store.

Expect to be stopped by law enforcement along the way. Don't carry any weapons or drugs. Your chances of not being stopped will be better if you shave everyday and keep your clothes relatively clean. To minimize the chances of being stopped, walk against traffic so you don't appear to be hitch-hiking. If you stop to rest, get far enough away from the road so it doesn't appear as if you are hitch-hiking.

You will have to learn to stealth camp. Don't camp under bridges, as the homeless people tell me that's the most dangerous place to camp. Most nights, you won't need a tent. Once you start looking, you will find many places where it's possible to spend a night. The general rule on stealth camping is set up camp after dark and leave before sunrise. Camp at least a mile or so outside of town to avoid homeless camps.

Getting through Colorado on the TransAmerica Trail is easy. It's more difficult on the ADT as you end up in the mountains which is a different backpacking skill.

Your pack weight is a big issue. You should be able to keep it under 25 pounds including food and water.

Clothing requirements are different on the road. Sunburn can be an issue, and so can overheating as the pavement will be hotter. I always wear light cotton as synthetic is too hot and smelly. You won't need to be prepared for as broad a temperature range as you would in the mountains. To prepare, I'd suggest walking at least 5 miles a day in whatever weather you have. You will soon learn what clothing combinations work for you. I think you will also find that the number of miles you can do will be less than you think. Walking dawn to dusk is not a realistic goal unless you take naps along the way.

Footwear is another consideration. If it's hot, the heat from the road will come through the soles of your shoes. My most comfortable footwear is a pair of Danner combat boots. My fastest footwear, surprisingly, is a pair of Redwing boots. To make boots last a very long time, put black Gorilla tape on the bottom and patch it along the way. It forms a rubberized sole, and after over 1,500 hundred miles, the soles don't show any wear at all.

Another option is to buy cheap shoes along the way. They will last 2-300 miles. Either way, I recommend wool socks or Thorlo socks.

Now, for the reasons I like road walking better than trail walking. I'm a somewhat social person, but I find people on trails don't like to chit-chat as they generally have to be on their way to meet their goal for the day. On the road, people like to talk and tell you their life story.

If this is something you can't stop thinking about it, then do it. You will either make it or learn enough to make it the next time. After the first few days, you will be the expert. The chances of anything serious happening are small, and the chances of a lifetime of memories are high. Don't let anyone change your dream to their dream.




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#182501 - 02/05/14 09:34 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: Gershon]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
There are hundreds of miles of southwest desert where there are NO ROADS. Just freeways.

Another route, or another plan - a car - a bus - is a better choice for these sections.
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#182503 - 02/05/14 11:19 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: lori]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Lori,

If you look at the Trans-America trail, you will find it doesn't go through the far southwest. It turns northwest in Colorado. It is a little over 4,000 miles though.

It is possible to make it across Arizona without going on the interstate, and I've looked at the route carefully. However, it's almost impossible to plan for water, so I rejected that route. It does involve walking along dirt roads which may be hard to find. It's also illegal to walk near railroad tracks, and from what I heard from someone who got stopped twice in Arizona, they will stop you.

There is a 6,996 mile route that touches every state in the lower forty-eight that would be reasonable to hike, as long as the hiker is careful to check the weather for spring snowstorms for the first month or two. I think it could be done in 10 months with some scientific planning.

The best tool I've found for initial planning is Microsoft Streets and Trips. This program lists all services and phone numbers to call if you are dependent on one place on a long stretch. It is the most flexible program for entering a large route and making modifications. Then follow the route with Google Maps Street View to see what is really there.

To keep from carrying too many maps, take about 500 miles worth and email maps to yourself. Print them at libraries along the way. Another option is to have a support person overnight maps along the way.

Scrambler, I just looked at your original post. You are at a prime age to undertake this sort of adventure. I'd consider getting a good sleeping bag which will cost several hundred dollars. There are many tents you can get, and it's worth spending the money for a good one. Having the right tent and sleeping bag will likely pay for themselves in preventing two or three nights in a motel along the way. I'd suggest a woman's sleeping bag given your height.

The last person I know who tried this started out with a 65 pound pack and a poor plan. He only made it about 75 miles. I give him credit for trying. After, he decided riding a motorcycle was more fun.

Given your height, I think it's barely possible to use a 30 liter pack and stay under 20 pounds most of the time. This will be more a function of what you don't take than the cost of the gear. This would mean not cooking, which isn't a big inconvenience once you get used to it.

Your biggest concern will be money. People tend to spend much more than they plan on.







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#182505 - 02/05/14 12:43 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: Gershon]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I hope the OP hasn't left the building! Most of us are not saying this is impossible, just trying to point out the difficulties.

With the water caching bit: most people hiking the ADT take a road trip to the Utah and Nevada deserts ahead of their hike to cache water. In the case of "Boston and Cubby," when they found their caches consistently with empty containers, and finally (after testing old and new gallon water bottles) found that the plastic was consistently splitting along the bottom seam, rented a car and redid their caches just before they hiked through. Even if you don't plan to follow the ADT the whole way, do read those journals to get a better idea of what you're up against.

I'd like to suggest hiking west to east. I know this means the best scenery is in the early part, but it puts the prevailing winds at your back and will let you cross the Cascades or Sierra and the Rockies before the snow flies. The same is true of bicycling (which I'd recommend for a cross country trip rather than hiking, simply because you are better able to cover the very long distances between water sources out west).


Edited by OregonMouse (02/05/14 12:44 PM)
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#182520 - 02/05/14 03:26 PM Re: One-person tent [Re: OregonMouse]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
This thread has taken a very strong turn toward long-distance hiking as the topic, as opposed to one-person tents. It has quite a bit of useful info and advice for a long-distance hiker thinking about walking across the continent, so I've decided to move it to the forum where it could most easily be found in the future: Long Distance Hiking.

Carry on. smile

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#182542 - 02/06/14 02:18 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: aimless]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Good for you, Aimless, I was thinking about that myself but was too lazy!

Back to the original subject, I do think we have given the OP enough ideas for a tent, if we haven't chased him off by discouraging his project.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#182549 - 02/06/14 10:15 AM Re: One-person tent [Re: OregonMouse]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
This is a good website from a guy who has done it.
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http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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