- Apr 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm #3464582
As the title indicates, I’m looking for advice from people concerning my upcoming Long Trail thru-hike attempt. My wife and I will attempt this hike at the end of June; we plan on finishing the hike by mid-July sometime. We’re thinking we’ll take somewhere between 18-23 days to complete the trail (based on any zero days needed to rest sore knees or exhausted psyches).
Does anyone have similar experience with the Long Trail or similar hikes during the early summer period?
Here’s a link to my gear list; if you think I’m missing something or should rethink a part of my gear list, please don’t be afraid to make such comments. Any advice you can give me can only benefit us! :)
<script src=”https://lighterpack.com/e/3wbaf8″></script><div id=”3wbaf8″></div>Apr 23, 2017 at 8:50 pm #3464583
My gear list can be found here: https://lighterpack.com/r/3wbaf8
My base weight is 10.57 lbs. My skin-out weight is 13.89 lbs. The largest amount of food I will carry for a given set of hiking days is around 5-days worth; at 1.3 pounds of food per day, that puts me around 6.5 lbs of food. Other times, I will carry between 4 days worth of food. With a liter of water, I should be carrying no more than 21 lbs to start any leg of my trip (post resupply).Apr 23, 2017 at 10:54 pm #3464596
Steven ParisBPL Member
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
Wired hiked the Long Trail and has detailed info on her blog:Apr 24, 2017 at 3:06 am #3464607
Thanks! I’ll look into her info! I loved what she wrote and recorded of her time on the PCT, so I’m sure I’ll find her experiences on the LT equally informative.
Thanks again!Apr 24, 2017 at 9:35 am #3464630
Valerie EBPL Member
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
@civicbud — I’ll be doing the LT in September to finish my “Triple Tiara” and (hopefully) avoid the brunt of the Northeast’s vibrant biting-insect season.
Since you’ll be hiking right through the worst of the bug season (oh joy! both mosquitoes AND blackflies!) you might want to switch out your hiking shirt (capilene) for a treated long-sleeved nylon button-down shirt that bugs can’t bite through. Remember, the bugs can be so bad in the Northeast that moose have been known to commit suicide from it!
You might want to include some sunglasses — while a lot of the LT is “green tunnel”, there are times you’ll be above treeline.
From what I’ve read, bears really aren’t much of a concern on the LT — but rodents ARE. You might want to substitute a mesh rodent-proof bag for your bear bag. You could keep the cordage/biner, so if you want to hang, you could do so with the mesh bag. This will be especially important if you’re planning to use the shelters, where the mice have apparently taken trapeze lessons from Cirque du Soleil so that they can shimmy down cords to get at your food.
Your first aid seems incredibly thin — no Vitamin I, no Ace bandage, no hydrocoloid bandages — no room for mishaps! I see a headnet but no bug repellant. I generally refuse to use it myself, but conditions may warrant it when you’re out there (god knows I *should* have been using it last July in the Sierras’ massive mosquito invasion). Also, VT is tick territory (including Lyme Disease), so you may want to wear long pants (permethrin-treated), or at least treat your gaiters. And you & your wife should do regular tick checks at the end of each day.
Have you looked into resupplies on your esbit? Do you know for sure that it will be available? Also, I’m not sure if there are fire bans in VT that might prohibit esbit use (I don’t pay attention, because I use a canister stove).
You won’t need the X-Therm — the X-Lite should be fine.
One last thing — you might want to include some type of belt-like thing that could be used to tie your poncho around you if it’s rainy AND very windy.
Enjoy your trip!Apr 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm #3464650
Valerie: Thank you so much for the detailed and thoughtful response. I truly appreciate it!
I try to never use bug spray and the like either; I always fear getting it into the streams and brooks, and damaging the overall ecosystem of a given place. You might be right though: I may indeed need such repellents. For now, I’m going to see how my wind pants work at keeping the bugs at bay. They are pretty breathable; the question is, can I withstand wearing them and hiking in considerable heat (and humidity).
You’re also right about ibuprofen. I usually never touch the stuff, but for healing inflammation, it might be a necessity. I’ve never used it on any other hikes, but like I said, as I get older (36), I may now benefit from taking such “vitamins.” Again, thanks for the thoughtful and logical advice!
I’ll be sending boxes to various resupply points. I’m not too keen on resupplying on the trail; in practice, it makes sense, but I have very specific food desires that are better met with some preplanning and mailing of boxed items.
Lastly, I have the Z-Packs poncho which comes with a belt system to keep the poncho’s extra fabric more “in” and at bay. Honestly, I’ve never tried using the poncho on any windy summits though; I usually just opt for a windbreaker and hope for the best (summer).
BTW – What is a triple tiara? Also, good luck on your upcoming trek of the LT! Do you mind sharing your gear list? I know you’re travelling at a different time of year, but it would still be nice to see what a more experienced hiker brings!
:)Apr 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm #3464651
Valerie: Ever use an Ursack?Apr 24, 2017 at 1:47 pm #3464658
Ben CBPL Member
I would consider leaving home the mittens, mitten shells, booties, and hoodlum. I would consider wind pants or just regular pants for the biters. An Ursack is easy to use. Just tie it to a tree. It can be a little hard to untie though.
Not sure you have a lighter on your list.
The sleeping shirt seems superfluous.
Are you going to resupply esbit? Not sure how available it is.Apr 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm #3464659
Valerie EBPL Member
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
@civicbud — I’m a mail-out resupplier, too (I “assemble” freeze dried dinners that are specifically tailored to my own tastes, rather than eat pre-made ones over a long trip). I “top up” my resupplies locally with small things like chips/cookie/chocolate, etc. In Vermont, though, I may also buy some local cheese and bakery items, because it’s a “good food state”, and I’ll be travelling at a cooler time of year.
I used an Ursack for part of my Colorado Trail thru-hike, and it was fine. I also never saw any bears — or any bear poop — until the final 5 or 6 miles of the trail. I’ve been told that it doesn’t stand up all that well to rodent teeth, though (which seems counter-intuitive to me, but what do I know?).
It can get pretty hot/muggy in VT at your time of year, so if you can stand wearing your wind pants, you’re a better man than I! They also make some natural, no-DEET bug spray that is supposed to work (must be 30% lemon eucalyptus oil or 20% picaridin).
Finally, the “Triple Tiara” aka “Mini Triple Crown” is a miniaturized version of hiking’s classic AT-CDT-PCT Triple Crown, and requires a person to thru-hike the LT-CT-JMT (all of which overlap with the “classic” trails and include one west coast, one central, and one east coast trail.Apr 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm #3464660
Thanks, Ben! I think you’re right! I’d probably keep the beanie though for any summits where my ears get cold. I’m a baldy (shaved head), so I need all the coverage I can get! :)
Great tips! I appreciate it!Apr 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm #3464661
Valerie: You make some excellent points about the food aspect. I live in Massachusetts, but I am keenly aware of Vermont’s artisanal goods.
I’ve never done the cheese thing backpacking. Does the oil make things difficult? Do you use a knife to cut the cheese (and meats), or do you just bite into it? Any tips on that front?
I’m wicked jealous of your accomplishments! If I could handle high elevations (I feel very sick when up high, never HAPE or HACE though), I’d be all over the JMT!Apr 25, 2017 at 3:27 pm #3464847
Sam CBPL Member
I had never used Ibuprofen either until the age of 42; a time when “every thing” began to hurt for no apparent reason, and, I also realized it helped reduce swelling of the feet.
As for natural bug-repelent, for what it’s worth I have yet to find a non-Deet product that actually works. I’ve even went as far as to eat raw garlic.
I also like the idea of a Triple Tierra (y)Apr 27, 2017 at 6:22 am #3465079
Sam C: I try to tough out pain, since my philosophies are vastly different (and more “crunchy”) than most people’s views. Still though, you and Val bring up some good points. More – why NOT have some so-called “vitamin I” available as a just in case things go horribly awry. I’m sure vitamin-I, four or so, can’t weigh much …May 16, 2017 at 4:04 pm #3468237
Can anyone weigh in on whether his 40-degree apex quilt will be warm enough? I’m going to do the LT as well (late summer July-Aug) and can’t decide between a 20* or a 30* down quilt. forty seems too cold to me, but i’ve only been on the LT twice before. advice?Feb 1, 2018 at 1:21 am #3515939
Andrew SBPL Member
If you went on the trail then disregard this, but I end-to-ended with a 50-degree down quilt and was fine. This was August 4-20, 2016Feb 1, 2018 at 1:32 am #3515941
yes i end-to-ended the LT this last summer as well, approx those same dates. you must have lapped me since i started a bit before you, but ended a bit after. decided to carry a 30* down quilt and was never cold. that’s what i would carry if i did it again.
never cold, just grumpy about all the mud puddles.. especially up north ;)Feb 1, 2018 at 2:12 am #3515948
Andrew SBPL Member
Actually my hike was in 2016! lol. I am *hopefully* heading up there again, same timeframe, this August for another end-to-end. This time with my sister. I think I’ll be taking a 40 degree quilt though. I sleep warm, but if there had been wind on a few nights I would have been a little chilly
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