Solo 7 Days Southbound on the Northville-Placid Trail
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- This topic has 29 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 3 months, 1 week ago by dirtbag.
Sep 19, 2022 at 2:02 pm #3760318
Companion forum thread to: Solo 7 Days Southbound on the Northville-Placid Trail
I did it!! 143.5 miles southbound on the Northville- Placid trail thru the remote and rugged Adirondack mountains of Northeast NY. I have been wanting this adventure for several years and finally made it happen…Sep 20, 2022 at 5:50 am #3760348David HartleyBPL Member
@dhartleyLocale: Western NY
Hi dirtbag – amazing you did this in 7 days AND managed to put together video footage!!
It was great meeting you – and kind of a wild coincidence since on Thursday I was only on the NPT for the very short section between the West Canada Creek Lean-to and where the Brooktrout Lake trail exits in the clearing by French Louis’ old chimney near West Lake – I think all told less than 1 mile!
I hear you on feet issues. I was only back there from Monday to Thursday, but 3 1/2 days of wet feet took there toll. The top off my feet were getting rubbed raw on top of each metatarsal and on the little toe on my right foot. In my case I think the mesh on my trail runners was stretching a bit and every inside reinforcement area was rubbing on wet socks. I have hiked with wet feet before, but this was probably the worst.
Did you meet the SUL guy hiking with a tiny pack without a hip belt? I ran in to him Tuesday afternoon at the Beaver Pond lean-to as he was taking a break. He was hiking similar mileage to you, but with a tiny pack. I wonder how he stayed warm later in the week as he got further north.
I will watch the video later when I have more time to enjoy.Sep 20, 2022 at 9:02 am #3760354Sep 20, 2022 at 9:03 am #3760355
That there are my chopped meat feet!!!Sep 20, 2022 at 10:26 am #3760360DanBPL Member
Sounds like a great trip, and something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, so congrats! And, as always, many thanks for posting an entertaining report.Sep 21, 2022 at 9:24 am #3760462
David, no I did not see the SUL guy, lol. I wonder how he msde out though now that u mention it. He had to resupply his food I would imagine. That was my weight.. 8 days of food in the Blazer.. other then that, well then I wouldn’t have needed to use my Circuit pack either so my weight probably would have been near 11 lbs or so..
Dan.. it was a fantastic trip, my longest to date let alone solo!! It was definitely something i have wanted to do for a long time and personally a grand achievement! My confidence has gone to the next level and I have a much clearer perspective of my ability and my limits. I never doubted myself, but always had that concern.. 143.5 miles through the Adirondacks by myself over 7 days.. for me, its a pretty sweet accomplishment. Other then my feet getting beat to $hit and my knee somewhat sore, I feel great!!!!Sep 21, 2022 at 9:36 am #3760463
Every one is asking me if there was anything i would do differently next time. Honestly, 2 things come to mind.
#1. My first Aid kit! I definitely kraped the bed with that. I grabbed my usual first aid kit that I always carry. When I needed it and opened it up I realized I made a big boo boo.. that kit is what I carry for my weekend jaunts or up to 4 days! This was an 8 day trip planned.. and 3.5 consecutive days hiking in the rain.. that first aid kit was not adequate. I mention it in the video while working on my feet.. so important lesson learned for me.. that was my mistake and I will NEVER make it again!
#2. This is nothing really.. but I did carry an empty peanutbutter jar.. figuring I would dump my bagged mix of garnola/almonds/blueberries/powdered milk/vanilla protein powder/carnation instant breakfast concoction into the jar, add water.. shake and eat. I did that once. For the other 4 times I simply added some water to the freezer bag .. shook it up and ate/drank it straight from the bag.. simple. I have done it plenty of times before so not sure why I even bothered with the empty jar. I guess I was thinking it would have been a nice comfort to eat that meal a little humane.. but after the first time.. I didnt really care much. It was easier and quicker to eat/drink straight from the bag and nothing to clean out after. Soo.. next time.. No to the jar!!Sep 21, 2022 at 12:37 pm #3760495Steve ThompsonBPL Member
Thanks for the video trek report and congrats on completing a long dreamt of trek! The NPT is as you describe a “walk in the woods”, no huge vistas but the lakes are beautiful. And after miles of mud schlogging come the lovely respites! I suspect the best time to hike is a week or two from now when the color peaks (I hiked it late October after the color).
The first long solo trek is also the most challenging. The lessons learned will serve all future backpacking endeavors. I imagine in this case – how to keep your feet happy. And now that you have the hard one behind you, the memories – the good will stay with you – and inspire your next long hike.
For my big trips I mostly hike out west and seldom see much in the way of rain. But I am glad for the lesson of my NPT thru-hike: “embrace the wet”. Rain most everyday, wet water crossings, etc. I learned to embrace wet and muddy feet using creek crossings to wash away the mud. My NPT experience prepared me for a just completed monsoon-y backpack in the Sierra Nevada.
Be justifiably proud of your achievement and recall it often; it is forever etched into memory and heart. And that you are home, time to start dreaming again and planning your next one.Sep 21, 2022 at 4:21 pm #3760520
Thanks Steve. Kind words.
I am smelling the Tahoe Rim trail or the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim…Sep 22, 2022 at 6:37 pm #3760582
Great video. The Snickers scene is spot on. I get it. I feel that way about Fritos on trail, which I never eat at home.
Hey for those toes – consider toe condoms, aka silicone toe protectors, get them at Walgreens or CVS or wherever. They work so much better than tape or moleskin or whatever. Lightweight and reusable. And consider better shoes.
I did the Tahoe Rim Trail this past summer, solo. It was a great trail to do solo, because you do get time alone and also with other hikers; you can find ways to be alone at camp if you want. Easy to resupply without having to mail anything. Also easy to get the permit through Desolation as a through hiker and that’s all you need. Plus you already have the bear can you need. Just a really great trail. Water is tough in some spots, but otherwise it’s just a nice cruisy trail with awesome views.Sep 22, 2022 at 6:39 pm #3760583
Question – how were ticks on the trail so late in the season? Gone altogether or did you have to worry about them?Sep 23, 2022 at 6:30 am #3760604
AK Granola.. My shoes were my beloved Salomon trail runners which I have always used for more then several years without any problems EVER! However, this newer model I have been wearing daily for the last year ( I have one for daily use and 1 for hiking ) maybe something is up? I did get Peronial tendinitis in my left foot, which I have never had foot problems before.. and now this happened on this long trip. Granted my feet were soaked and soggy for 3.5 days straight of 20+ miles.. Sooo.. Yes it is a concern and I have been researching all types of hiking shoes and trail runners.. I actually just ordered a new brand … Can’t believe I will try something new.. Innov8 trailtalon 290 V2, wide. Its possible the Salomon is a bit narrow and as my sausage toes/feet swelled up from soggy long miles, well.. You can see what happened to my piggies above, lol. So I will see how these new ones are. I also have flat feet so that drop may help.. Not sure what the Salomon are, but again.. NEVER had any foot problems in the past.. Lets see …. Not sure about ticks, I had no issues at all.. Wore Shorts and tank top 90% of the time, and my Outdoor Research echo 1/4 zip 10% of time. I also treat all my clothing with permitherin, so its possible that helped? Plenty section of the trail was overgrown and hi grass and felt like I was almost bush whacking in some sections, so I definitely was in contact with possibilities..Sep 25, 2022 at 9:45 am #3760685Tom BBPL Member
@tmbebee1Locale: Northern NY
Congratulations!!! Great to watch the video as you hiked. In 2004, I thru-hiked (NB) with my son and although most of the trail looks the same, I was surprised how Duck Hole looks now. Also the suspension bridge over the Sacandaga is indeed wobbly. We had my son’s dog with us from start to Lake Durant and he refused to cross that. My son had to pick him up and it was kind of dicey for him trying to cross the dog across bridge without being able to hold on. I think your suggestion of a 10 or more day hike to complete it, is good advice. We finished in 9 days, and that was when the trail actually started in Upper Benson, cutting off the section from Northville.
Good job and hope your feet recovered.
Elizabethtown, NYSep 25, 2022 at 11:39 am #3760698
Thanks Tom. Yes I saw quite a few people with dogs on trail. Funny ( sort of ) about having to carry accross suspension bridge. I believe it!!! Congratulations to you and your son for completing the NPT! That is awesome..Oct 2, 2022 at 6:56 pm #3761192Ike JutkowitzBPL Member
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
I spent my summers growing up in a little town near Northville. The NPT was the first trail I really fell in love with, and is still one that I use regularly when coming up with packrafting routes or other long traverses across the Adirondacks.
I’m glad you got to experience the whole route- people say it’s just a lowland walk in the woods, but I find the vleis, streams, rivers, and backcountry lakes to be a beautiful and haunting landscape. Nice job!
IkeOct 2, 2022 at 7:07 pm #3761193
Thanks lke. I couldn’t agree more with you! No breathtaking vistas or Mountain top views, but plenty of gorgeous streams, rivers and backcountry lakes!! One after the other all throughout the entire trail.Oct 2, 2022 at 7:17 pm #3761194
Add my congratulations for sure! Quite an accomplishment.
You really need to solve the blister issue. Clearly, something’s not working. You mentioned not having proper first aid for this. Yeah!
Here’s my formula for blister prevention and then blisters when they form:
–Often I’ll feel hotspots within the first two miles of hiking. I stop and make adjustments, including wrapping Leucotape as a preventative measure around the hot spot (this is rare.) The first day I’ll be patient and attend to my feet, socks, laces, etc. to avoid hot spots.
Leukotape. Have to have it.
–if a blister forms, I use mole foam with a diamond cut out of the center to protect the blister and relieve pressure. Then, I’ll wrap that with either a band aid or, better, a cut-to fit section of gauze pad. Then, I’ll wrap all of this with Leukotape. If the blister is on my foot and not on my toes, I’ll wrap the Leukotape all the way around my foot at least once to ensure grip and better protection. Smooth wrap! You don’t want the tape itself to cause a blister.
–I forgot to mention spraying a sterile solution of something on the blister before the wrapping. I’ve also used that tacky benzoine (?) solution that grips bandages well and sterilizes, but I wonder if it’s even sold anymore.
There’s no need to suffer blisters.Oct 3, 2022 at 2:29 am #3761203
Agreed. All my years hiking, even 20+ mile days, I have NEVER had any foot isssue or blisters. I have always hiked in my Salomon trail runners. They are narrow.. however.. this new style Salomon I have been wearing for the last several months, i have gotten pernonial tendinitis.. and now this.. so.. after some searching i have since switched to Innov8 Trailtalon 290 V2 for trails and Innov8 Parkclaw Knit 260s for everyday use. Should be arriving this week and hopefully wider toebox will help. Other then that, yes i use moleskin.. all that shabang.. just did not have enough in first aid kit. Like I said.. I never had any blisters or issues ever before this.. and my first aid kit always had me covered for about 4 days if needed, which is what my usual trips consist of.. 2-4 days. So I inadvertently grabbed that kit not even considering I should pack more in it for this trip. I am also sure 3.5 days of rain and consistent WET SOAKED feet.. 23 miles, 20 miles and 20 miles a day.. no chance to dry socks or feet other then end of day/sleep time.. well.. that didn’t help much either..Oct 3, 2022 at 9:27 am #3761219
Some people have no issues with with feet and blisters; I get blisters if my feet are wet. I also have weird shaped feet with a very wide to area; Keens have a great wide toe box. I’m in awe of folks who can carry packs and hike 20+ miles a day in trail runners. The Sierra (where I hike) are extremely rocky. and my feet require more support (yeah yeah I know all the arguments saying I’m doing it wrong). Tendonitis means something’s not working with your footwear for sure. I hope the new shoes fix all the issues! Everyone’s feet are unique.Oct 3, 2022 at 6:42 pm #3761235
I get blisters if my feet are wet
Lubricant! I use Aquaphor, but I’ve also used lip balm when I’ve run out. Or Vaseline works too. I like Burt’s Bees foot salve, but it has a strong scent and it makes me think a bear will be interested in munching on my feet some night…Oct 3, 2022 at 7:09 pm #3761236
Yes. Well I did have a small thing of body glide.. but never having issues with my feet in the past.. I did not think to use that on my feet!! Live and learn.. I also have since gotten the foot glide.. Ta Boot.. I have also been re reading an old kindle book “Fixing Your Feet”.. has a plethora of valuable information in it. Had I fully read it before this hike, I would have know a lot more! FyI.. if anyone interested in your feet and taking care of them..I highly suggest reading this book.Oct 3, 2022 at 7:27 pm #3761240
Here is the thing.. I am 47 years. I have never had feet issues or blisters. So I am now trying everything possible to prevent it again. However.. i usually do 2-4 day trips.. and i do bang 20 mile consecutive days occasionally.. so Not sure when my next big extended trip will be.. with all that rain and water.. so I wont know what works until then, really. One thing is my O C D.. when I am interested in something or want to learn about it, even perfect it, i have a tendency to not DIVE into that rabbit hole.. but i will DIG that hole deep and learn every thing possible and do everything possible to make sure I know all there is to know about it. I dont stop.. i kind of obsess over it.. poker, blackjack, backpacking, kayaking, weight training, nutrition.. now feet!! Not a fetish.. well not yet, lol.. I just want them to be perfect so I can always hike long distances. Not even so much loong distances.. but i need them to get me through some terrain so I can get to places I want to be.. and I need them to keep me running daily for my health… so my feet are my priority now!Oct 3, 2022 at 8:34 pm #3761242
Yes, I posted here years ago about Fixing Your Feet. Wonderful book. One thing that really stood out for me while reading was, how many different perspectives and prescriptions and practices were offered by different people. (for those unfamiliar with the book, it partly consists of long interviews with marathon runners, extreme hikers and such about how they approach foot care, shoes, etc.) There were as many different approaches as athletes, seemingly. So we all have to dial in to our own feet and find what works for us.
For sure, longer miles and hikes lasting about a week or more require a different approach than weekend forays. Also of course terrain plays a role.Nov 26, 2022 at 8:34 pm #3766299Josh BBPL Member
@jbalisteriLocale: Western New York
Rad, planning my NPT thru hike for next fall. I’m thinking of doin it in 12 days.Nov 26, 2022 at 8:35 pm #3766300Josh BBPL Member
@jbalisteriLocale: Western New York
Ike, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite pack rafting routes through the ADK’s,
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