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#120457 - 09/06/09 09:57 PM Hiking with a buddy questions
Steven Offline
member

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 24
Loc: United States
Yes I am still training for my marathon, but I am also planning for my hike along the AT here in Georgia.

I have found a hiking buddy so I won't be flying solo. That's a lot safer. The question I have is what is the best way to plan my hiking gear since I will be traveling with someone else. For example, I looked at tents and I know that a two person tent weighs more, but two one person tents weigh even more. So should I plan gear along the lines of a solo hiker, or should I plan to share the weight and have one person carry the heavier two person tent while the other person carries extra food (or other items).

Thanks in advance

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

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Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

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#120458 - 09/06/09 10:05 PM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: Steven]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Your post is a bit unclear. Are you talking about gearing up for the AT? If so, some of the experienced AT hikers can weigh in on shelters. For just hiking with another person, a two person tent should be fine. I've never owned a one person tent, even though I usually am alone. I had a two person SD Flashlight while bike touring and have a two person winter tent. I like the extra room and don't mind the extra weight. However, I don't carry my winter tent; I tow it and the rest of my gear on a sled while skiing, so that is totally different.

If I was going to do a long solo trip like the AT, I'd probably go for something like one of Henry Shires's (Tarptent) designs.


Edited by TomD (09/06/09 10:05 PM)
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#120459 - 09/06/09 10:24 PM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: TomD]
Steven Offline
member

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 24
Loc: United States
Sorry I will try to be more clear. I am planning my gear for a hike of the 80 miles of the AT in Georgia. I will start on the Georgia border and hike to springer mountain.

While planning my gear, I was trying to decide if I would be better off sharing the two person tent with my hike buddy, thus saving the weight that we both would end up carrying our own tents. (Carry one tent, not two).

Yes there could be issues about sharing space with someone for a week, and that alone would probably make me really consider carrying my own tent. Not to mention needing that extra room to move around.

I appreciate the comment about going ahead and getting the bigger 2 person tent, even if I plan on only having one person stay in the tent. I have always found tents to be undersized when they say its a 4 person tent, its really a two to three person tent.

Thanks again.

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington
_________________________
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

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#120460 - 09/06/09 10:33 PM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: Steven]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I suggest that while you're planning to hike with another person that you also plan for the possibility that you'll split up on the trail.

So perhaps consider a tarp (or two connecting poncho tarps) and lightweight bivy sacks to use underneath. Or just both get Gatewood Capes, or some sort of single wall solo tent each. Even if you make the various compromises necessary to stay together for the whole trip, you might find that the ability to sleep at a bit (or a lot) of distance from each other will make you happier --- snoring, personal space, privacy, whatever. A beer can cook pot and a really light cat food can alcohol stove are pretty lightweight (and cheap) options such that each person can carry their own independent "kitchen". Aqua Mira for each of you, also not too heavy for each to have their own water treatment.

IMO the best trail partnerships are the ones that form ad hoc on the trail. I'm hoping I can get a couple of remaining issues to align so I can take a shot at the AT next year; if so I'll be pretty inclined to walk by myself at first. After the first one to two hundred miles a lot of those who will drop out have done so, and those remaining have mostly found their normal pace and hiking style. That will be a good time to find one or N others to walk with for a goodly chunk of trail.

In terms of hiking with another person being safer --- I've not been on the AT, but I expect that it's plenty safe to walk solo, depending on what it is you're concerned about. If it's bears, hypothermia, breaking a leg, space alien attacks ... there are a lot of hikers around on the trail, if something happens to you someone is likely to be along fairly soon. If it's crazy humans near trail heads, that's the more significant danger, but my sense is that it's still pretty low.
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#120462 - 09/06/09 10:53 PM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: BrianLe]
Steven Offline
member

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 24
Loc: United States
Thanks for the advice. I certainly can see where hiking pace can be a real issue. The safety piece was more about injury and not about bears, or other wild life. (human and animal) smile I talked to one person whom was hiking with his wife and she ended up with a compound fracture along the AT. (This was years ago) If she was hiking alone I could have seen this to have been a real issue. As it happened it was a real adventure to get her out of the woods. Her husband hiked to the top of a hill, was able to get cell service and then got a 911 dispatcher that couldn't spell AT, let alone know where it was or how to get some to help. smile I am sure things would be a lot different today. I guess the time of year when I kicked off the hike will also effect the number of people I can run into.

I appreciate your comments and will take them into consideration when planing my gear.

Thanks

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington
_________________________
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

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#120476 - 09/07/09 09:28 AM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: Steven]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Although I take a number of two-person trips, I also go solo. The same goes for my usual hiking partners. As a result, we all own solo tents, and tend to carry a full solo load (each has his/her own filter, stove, first aid kit, tent, and food.) This is the simplest approach for us because it's the most versatile. Yes, we could share gear to lighten our total load, but it's just easier not to.

However, if you're just starting out, and neither of you has any gear, you may want to consider sharing: you buy the tent, he buys the stove and pots, etc. It will result in a lighter load than if each of you carry a solo load. It will also mean that you can't just take off on your own if you want; you'll have to coordinate with you partner to borrow the rest of the gear - and you will be traveling a little heavier if you go alone. But, in total, the weight differential need not be more than a pound or so if you select gear carefully. (There will also be a cost savings, since you'll only be buying one stove, one tent, etc.; and 2-person tents usually cost less than 2 solo tents.)

If you start by sharing gear, then decide later that you want to go solo, it's not a big deal to add the missing pieces. And, if you're the one with the 2-person tent, the weight penalty isn't prohibitive; take the 2-person tent for a while and enjoy the palatial living!

Enjoy your hikes.

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#120521 - 09/07/09 11:42 PM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: Glenn]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
I come from a background of scouting where the emphasis is on the group. Therefore, I suggest you consider a two (or even three) person tent to share, providing that you think you can get along with your hiking partner for 8 day 24 hours a day. As you have noted, it will be lighter this way and you have the opportunity to work together. If, however, you think you need time apart from your hiking partner, get a Henry Shires Tarp Tent for the space and light weight or a hammock for the joy of comfortable sleep.
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#120522 - 09/07/09 11:46 PM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: thecook]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I'll give you exactly the opposite view. I love solo shelters because they are lighter, and I like my quite time at night. even when with people, I'm happier to sleep by myself. Most of the time I'm in a hammock or solo tent.
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#120527 - 09/08/09 03:57 AM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: phat]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Originally Posted By phat

I'll give you exactly the opposite view. I love solo shelters because they are lighter, and I like my quite time at night. even when with people, I'm happier to sleep by myself. Most of the time I'm in a hammock or solo tent.


Awwwwwwww....shucks!! I guess i'm going to have to return this two man hammock, then:

http://www.junglehammock.com/models/vertex/index.php

BF cool

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Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#120571 - 09/08/09 09:10 PM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: bigfoot2]
Steven Offline
member

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 24
Loc: United States
Just something about the wording "Two Man Hammock" just doesn't sound right. smile

Thanks again for everyone's advice.
_________________________
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

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#120584 - 09/09/09 05:49 AM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: Steven]
leadfoot Offline
member

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 954
Loc: Virginia
I'm with Phat on this. You both should have your own tent or shelter of sorts. It's good to have personal space at night, plus if you're caught in a long-lasting rain, no way do you want to be crammed in a 2 man tent. Also, if something happens to one of you and need to leave the trail, then the other is stuck carrying a heavy 2-man tent. You both are still camping in the same site, so it still is 'group' camping. Camping with my friends, we all pack as solo but enjoy our camaraderie during the day and in camp.

Some day you'll want to go solo and you'll have the gear.

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#120594 - 09/09/09 10:56 AM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: bigfoot2]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By bigfoot2

Awwwwwwww....shucks!! I guess i'm going to have to return this two man hammock, then:

http://www.junglehammock.com/models/vertex/index.php

BF cool


Just remember.. I'm the big spoon...
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#120598 - 09/09/09 11:38 AM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: phat]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By phat
Originally Posted By bigfoot2

Awwwwwwww....shucks!! I guess i'm going to have to return this two man hammock, then:

http://www.junglehammock.com/models/vertex/index.php

BF cool


Just remember.. I'm the big spoon...


TMI...that is definitely TMI. eek eek
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#120635 - 09/10/09 12:28 AM Re: Hiking with a buddy questions [Re: leadfoot]
Steven Offline
member

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 24
Loc: United States
These are really good points. Heck I snore and the hiking buddy probably wouldn't like it very much. Not to mention when that big wind storm comes along and blows your tent away or gets damaged.

I think I need to break down and buy my own tent. That new Movement tent from Tarptent looks really nice.

Thanks again to everyone.
_________________________
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.
George Washington

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