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Solo 7 Days Southbound on the Northville-Placid Trail


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Home Forums Campfire Member Trip Reports Solo 7 Days Southbound on the Northville-Placid Trail

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  • #3760318
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    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…

    #3760348
    David Hartley
    BPL Member

    @dhartley

    Locale: 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.

    #3760354
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    #3760355
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    That there are my chopped meat feet!!!

    #3760360
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    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.

    #3760462
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    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!!!!

    #3760463
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    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!!

    #3760495
    Steve Thompson
    BPL Member

    @stevet

    Locale: Northeast

    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.

     

    #3760520
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Thanks Steve. Kind words.

    I am smelling the Tahoe Rim trail or the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim…

    #3760582
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    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.

    #3760583
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Question – how were ticks on the trail so late in the season? Gone altogether or did you have to worry about them?

    #3760604
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    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..

    #3760685
    Tom B
    BPL Member

    @tmbebee1

    Locale: 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.

    Tom

    Elizabethtown, NY

    #3760698
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    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..

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