SHT Thru Hike - May 2009
Display Avatars Sort By:
Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 01/31/2009 19:01:15 MST Print View

This is a companion thread to my gear proposed gear list for this hike located HERE.

I am planning a Southbound thru hike of Minnesota's 205 mile Superior Hiking Trail starting in mid May. This hike will be achieved in one straight push. The first half will be more laid back, and I will be hiking it with my wife. I have given myself a 3 day buffer if I need to use it. We should both have sub 12 pound base pack weights.

Here is my proposed itinerary:

THIS ITINERARY IS UPDATED FURTHER DOWN THIS THREAD

Part 1 - With My Wife

Day 1 - (7 miles hiked, 310 miles driven) Drive north forever and drop my car at the south end of the SHT (Two Harbors), jump into my wife's car and continue on to Bluefin Bay resort (making stash drop at Hwy 1 near Tettegouche on the way). Drop her car at Bluefin (loaded with a resuppply), and get a prearranged ride to the northern trail head on Otter Lake Road (making a drop at Co Rd. 58 on the way). From trail head, hike to Jackson Creek Campsite. Short hiking day due to driving up from south of St. Paul, MN. Pack weight est. to be 20 lbs at start of day (12 base + 8 pounds food/fuel/water).

Day 2 - (13.2 miles) Hike to Hazel campsite. Pack weight est. to be 18.5 lbs at start of day (12 base + 6.5 pounds food/fuel/water).

Day 3 - (18.5 miles) Hike to Crow Creek campsite. Pack weight est. to be 16.5 lbs at start of day (12 base + 4.5 pounds food/fuel/water).

Day 4 - (10.3 miles) Hike to West Devil Track campsite. Pack weight est. to be 15 lbs at start of day (12 base + 3 pounds food/fuel/water). Resupply at Co Rd 58, 2.4 miles before camp

Day 5 - (19 miles) Hike to Cut Log campsite. Pack weight est. to be 19 lbs at start of day (12 base + 7 pounds food/fuel/water).

Day 6 - (15.6 miles) Hike to West Poplar River campsite. Pack weight est. to be 17 lbs at start of day (12 base + 5 pounds food/fuel/water).

Day 7 - (12.5 miles) Hike to Springdale Creek campsite. Pack weight est. to be 15 lbs at start of day (12 base + 3 pounds food/fuel/water).

Part 2 - To Be Completed Solo

Day 8 - (23.1 miles) Hike to West Caribu River campsite. Pack weight est. to be 17.5 lbs after resupply (12 base + 5.5 pounds food/fuel/water). Resupply first thing in the morning at Bluefin Bay from car and then part with wife.

Day 9 - (24.9 miles) Hike to Section 13 campsite. Pack weight est. to be 15.5 lbs at start of day (12 base + 3.5 pounds food/fuel/water).

Day 10 - (23.4 miles) Hike to North Beaver River campsite. Resupply about 8 miles into day near Tettegouche from stash. May sneak into Tettegouche for shower if I'm feeling I need it. Pack weight est. to be 14 lbs at start of day (12 base + 2 pounds food/fuel/water).

Day 11 - (23.0 miles) Hike to Gooseberry River campsite. Pack weight est. to be 16.5 lbs at start of day (12 base + 4.5 pounds food/fuel/water).

Day 12 - (13.9 miles) Pack weight est. to be 14.5 lbs at start of day (12 base + 2.5 pounds food/fuel/water). Hike out to car!!

I technically still have 3 days off work after day 12. If I feel the >20 mile days are killing me too much on the second half, or whatever, I can slow down quite a bit as needed. I think I'll have a good feeling of how things will go after the first 7 days. I may also choose to burn a day in the middle between day 7 and 8 grabbing a burger and beer with my wife, stealing a shower/shave from her room at Bluefin, and covering little or no miles.

I could probably resupply more often, but I don't want to burn 1/2 day running into town and stuff. Some things I have thought of are to put some fresh fruit in my stashes to be eaten immediately (such as apples or oranges). I also intend to take advantage of a few state parks to dump off trash. All pack weights are estimated. I have not worked out our meal plans just yet, so I'm going on historical patterns of how much we normally eat.

Any and all tips are welcome!

Edited by mn-backpacker on 04/06/2009 13:03:13 MDT.

Stuart Burke
(burkest) - F

Locale: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
Re: SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 01/31/2009 22:04:43 MST Print View

Dan,

I am thinking about hiking the SHT SOBO starting starting may 17th or 18th with a good friend of mine. We would hike the trail in 15 days or less. Hopefully we will run into you and/or your wife.

I will be hiking with a 7 to 9 pound base weight and my friend will be hiking with a 20 to 25 base weight unless I outfit him. He is a strong 22 year-old with good endurance so he should have no trouble keeping up with me despite the difference in base weight.

It seems like you have things well planned out but have left some flexibility in your plans which is good.

Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
hope to see you on 01/31/2009 22:31:42 MST Print View

I hope to see you and your friend. You need to help him. A 10-15 pound advantage is so unfair. He needs to see the "light" if ya know what I mean. That said, you still have a several pound advantage on me. :)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 02/02/2009 10:28:31 MST Print View

Stuart is an excellent hiking partner. Look him up out there.

Jeremy Gustafson
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
RE: SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 02/02/2009 11:23:10 MST Print View

Certainly looks doable.

I'm sure you probably know this, but campsites are not always available. Especially if you hike late into the day, much less on Memorial Weekend. This may be a factor in getting to the locations you are planning each day and may force you to go further or bushwack your campsite. Some campsites have numerous locations for tents/tarps and some are very limited.

Jeremy Gustafson
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
Re: Re: SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 02/02/2009 11:38:44 MST Print View

Looking more closely at your campsite selections for the second part of your trip, here are my thoughts:

Caribou River: The multi-site has lots of options for tents and flexibility to make your own on both sides of the river, especially on the west side of the river (assuming the waters not too high and it's not too muddy). Easy water access and great water falls! Hopefully you get to see this when it's light out.

Section 13: Again, lots of options for tent location in addition to the pre-made tent pads as the forest is very clear of underbrush. Fill your water bottles at the little creek before you make the trek up the hill. There is no water at the top where the campsite is and it's probably a 3/4 mile hike back to the creek.

Beaver River: This is a little more limited on tent pad locations. Forest is pretty dense through here, so you might have to get creative if the tent pads are full. Cute little creek to get water out of. If I remember correctly, there a few places just off the trail just to the SW of the campsites that open up once you get up the next hill.

Gooseberry River: Don't remember this as distinctly, but with all the State Park trails, there are areas that are a little more open because of all the foot traffic and park maintenance to set up a tent if the pads are full.

One thing to consider is that if your trip gets extended, you might want to cache an extra couple days food at Tettegouche or somewhere down the trail further if needed. You can always drive back up there to get it if you don't end up needing it.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Memorial Day Weekend on 02/02/2009 12:34:48 MST Print View

My brother and I finished our hike on Memorial Day - we thus had to hike through the weekend to finish the trek. The trail was busy, especially Friday and Saturday. We were camped about Bear Lake Friday night, and in Split Rock Saturday night. We stayed at the rest stop above Bear Lake and in one of the campsites along the river but inside the park.

We saw lots and lots of hikers Friday night and Saturday. We got into camp early both nights (around 5 p.m.) to make sure we didn't have to find a stealth site.

On that note, we also saw more Dana Designs packs, all with 5K cubes of volume each, loaded down on people. Most were wearing their hipbelt too low and leaning forward to compensate. With each person, we wanted to ask, "Are you having fun now? I mean now, while walking, and not when you get to camp."

Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 04/05/2009 21:22:01 MDT Print View

Based on the input of some here and also other on the SHT hiker yahoo group, I've updated my itinerary. I'm not leaving my car at the trailhead, and instead will be using a shuttle service. I've finalized my start date to be May 16th. I do realize I'll likely be jumping over and around a lot of trees from the recent ice storm, but I'm excited about the trip!

Part 1 - With My Wife

Day 1 - (7 miles) Hike to Jackson Creek Campsite. Short hiking day due to driving.

Day 2 - (10.2 miles) Hike to South Carlson Pond campsite.

Day 3 - (15.3 miles) Hike to North Little Brule campsite

Day 4 - (16.5 miles) Hike to West Devil Track campsite.

Day 5 - (19 miles) Hike to Cut Log campsite.

Day 6 - (15.1 miles) Hike to West Poplar River campsite.

Day 7 - (14.6 miles) Hike to Springdale Creek campsite.

Part 2 - To Be Completed Solo

Day 8 - (23.1 miles) Hike to West Caribu River campsite.

Day 9 - (24.9 miles) Hike to Section 13 campsite.

Day 10 - (23.4 miles) Hike to North Beaver River campsite.

Day 11 - (17.9 miles) Hike to Blueberry Hill campsite.

Day 12 - (18.4 miles) Hike to trail head!

I've changed where my food drops will be as well. I've decreased them, but they are also more strategic, allowing me to accomplish some longer days with little food in my pack - but enough in case I can't do the whole day.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 04/06/2009 10:34:14 MDT Print View

Dan, I think by the 16th of May most of the trail maintainers will have done initial clearing work and you'll find many less downfall trees than you would if you were starting on the 1st of the month.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Trees on 04/06/2009 10:39:36 MDT Print View

Ditto what Sam said. The 25k/50K trail runs are on May 16th, so thing probably will be clear by then. (If they're not, this is going to turn into a long, long steeplechase.)

Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: Trees on 04/06/2009 11:25:21 MDT Print View

25/50k steeplechase race would be fun to watch! I just wouldn't want to see the all the bloody people crossing the finish line though. :)

Edited by mn-backpacker on 04/06/2009 11:49:04 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 04/06/2009 11:58:59 MDT Print View

Dan, There's a good chance you'll run into me on day 7 ... likely on the Britton->Oberg section. I'll backpacking with part of Roleigh's JMT crew for the Memorial Day weekend (Oberg->Cascade) and am thinking of starting at Britton earlier on Friday, joining them at Rollins Creek Friday evening..

Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: Re: SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 04/06/2009 12:09:07 MDT Print View

I'll keep my eyes out for you! You know what I look like. I'll be in brown REI Sahara pants, a black Smartwool top, and a GG Vapor Trail pack with the newer blue color accent.

I'll have some extra spring in my step that day since my pack will be pretty low on food... probably around 15 pounds total weight.

Edited by mn-backpacker on 04/06/2009 12:09:38 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: SHT Thru Hike - May 2009 on 04/06/2009 13:02:32 MDT Print View

I'll be in very faded brown Sahara pants, shirt depends on the weather. GG Virga. May or may not be solo depending on a friend's availability.