HikeMore Online Newsletter - Appalachian Trail Edition, Spring 2004


AT Survey Guide

Getting Ready
Background Info
Making Time
Start Dates
Mail Drops
Bounce Boxes

Backpacking Gear
Top Twelve
Sent Home
Best Gear
Worst Gear
Top Brands
First Aid
Water Treatment
Maps / Guides
Seasonal Changes
Backpack Weight

Pain / Problems

Weight Loss

Trail Food
Top 5 Foods

Danger on the Trail

After the Trail
End Dates
Hiking Again
Favorite Sections
Biggest Surprise
Best of the Trail
Worst of the Trail
Lessons Learned


Appalachian Trail 2003 Hiker Survey

The majority of survey responses we received were from northbound thru-hikers, so these results are therefore representative of their experiences. To date we have received 49 replies to our Appalachian Trail survey. According to the ATC, there were 503 hikers that reported finishing the AT in 2003.

Backpacking Gear - Continued

Gear Replacements

When it comes to Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, many backpacking gear manufacturers are more than happy to help out when a piece of gear performs less than satisfactory. This is because they know that many AT thru-hikers love to talk gear (well, in the beginning of their hike, anyway) and they have a way of spreading the word when equipment just doesn't cut it. Many hikers find a way to get replacements for broken down gear, or reimbursed for the cost. This can be achieved by talking to representatives at Trail Days in Damascus, VA, or by contacting the manufacturer or dealer directly. REI is very good in dealing with Appalachian Trail hikers, and companies such as MSR, Mountain HardWear, and PUR (among others) are available to help out at Trail Days. Of course, manufacturers and stores are not always cooperative, but it never hurts to try.

Below are some of the gear replacement (and non-) comments shared by hikers who took our Appalachian Trail 2003 survey:


Hiker Comment

Asolo Asolo would not replace boots, but store they were bought from did.
Black Diamond Headlamp replaced 3 times.
Bridgedale Socks and liners replaced.
Campmor Replaced hiking poles 2 times.
Dana Designs Backpack stay came through pack. Dana Designs sent loaner pack and made repairs.
EMS Replaced hiking poles.
Garmont Very nice to thru-hikers.
Granite Gear Replaced pack with heftier one, but was able to keep both.
Gregory Replaced hip belt.
Gregory "Customer service a great disappointment."
Kelty New backpack.
Leki Bent hiking pole.
Leki Very nice to thru-hikers.
Marmot Replaced jacket ($300 credit.)
Montrail Replaced shoes.
Montrail Replaced shoes.
Montrail Replaced 2 pairs of shoes.
Mountain HardWear Replaced gaiters.
Mountain HardWear Replaced gaiters.
MSR Dromlite bag leaked, replaced.
MSR Very nice to thru-hikers.
New Technica Boots - sole separated.
Outdoor Research Replaced gaiters 2 times.
Patagonia Replaced stretch gloves.
REI Replaced
REI Replaced hiking poles.
Salomon Shoes fell apart - replaced.
Smart Feet Replaced.
Sweetwater Replaced broken filter parts.

Next > More Info on Backpacking Gear

< Back to Backpacking Gear Page 2

Hiking the AT in 2003
Danger on the Trail
Agony of the Feet
Appalachian Trail Documentary
Appalachian Trail 2003 Survey Results
Trail Food Ideas and Recipes
Comics - Coming Soon
Trail Days in Damascus

Additional AT Info

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HikeMore Online Newsletter | Appalachian Trail Edition | Spring 2004

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