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Typical Trip Length?
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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Typical Trip Length? on 11/23/2009 00:12:57 MST Print View

Just want to take an informal poll....

What is your average backpacking trip length? Overnight? Few days? Week? Two weeks? More?

As a follow-up question, how long do you typically go without resupply? Andrew Skurka's comments don't count here! ;-)..............I kid, I kid!!

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
Typical Trip Length? on 11/23/2009 00:21:12 MST Print View

Most often are weekend trips, as I can go out whenever I want. I also do several 5 to 7 day trips a year. I got three in this year.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Typical Trip Length? on 11/23/2009 00:36:24 MST Print View

It's all across the board.

I typically like to resupply at least every nine days.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Typical Trip Length? on 11/23/2009 00:39:46 MST Print View

Jack,
What's your food weight when you start on your 9 day-ers?

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: Re: Typical Trip Length? on 11/23/2009 01:32:42 MST Print View

Don't know. I don't weigh my food. I try to not overpack it, eat well and eat light. It's heavy.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Typical Trip Length? on 11/23/2009 01:57:59 MST Print View

I hear ya.

I'm gearing up for a trip with the gf and weighed our base weights (we're nerds). She was all happy about her 11 pound weight until I reminded her of the food and water!! Now she's cranky........

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Typical Trip Length? on 11/23/2009 02:17:32 MST Print View

Anything from a day walk exploring an area (off-track, can be ... rugged) to 2 months in Europe, on tracks.

Off-track exploratory - up to a week long. Since we have to carry a bit more gear here - the weather can flip to stormy quite easily, anything over 7 days gets to be a bit heavy after food and water is included. This gets a bit tricky as going off-track for 7 days can leave you unsure about whether you will get to the other end of the route in time! Embarrassing to run out of food a day short of the car.

For longer local trips we have resorted to food drops.

Cheers

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Typical Trip Length? on 11/23/2009 02:41:42 MST Print View

My typical is a few nights, but a "long" trip for us is a week and have done a few of those. I'd really like to do a longer trek of several weeks. Does it start to feel like you're "living" out in the wild instead of just "visiting?"

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
"Typical" but not ideal trip length. on 11/23/2009 10:57:51 MST Print View

"Typical" for me has always been more constrained by school, jobs, hiking partners, budget than by desire.

When I lived 10 miles from the Sierra crest there were many, many overnighters. Now that I live 250 miles away, weekend trips aren't worth it to me. Between driving, lack of altitude adjustment time, and not sleeping well the first night on the ground I don't have that much fun.

My favorite trips are at least 5 nights. The good part always seems to start on day 3. Before bear cans were required up to 9 nights seemed a reasonable amount of food to carry. With my Garcia bear can anything over 6 nights is difficult.

Now that my kids are old enough to backpack I'm going to try for a trip every summer at least two weeks long- but with a resupply in the middle.

Someday my typical trip might be 12 months...

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
1 on 11/23/2009 11:08:59 MST Print View

I do a lot of 24s. Juggling school and work, it's just the only feasible way to get out and camp alot. They're almost always solo.

I agree with Jim that the good part seems to start after day 3. I hope to do more 4-7 day trips in the coming year. (Once I'm out of grad school!)

Edited by DaveC on 11/23/2009 11:10:50 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Typical Trip Length on 11/23/2009 13:13:47 MST Print View

David,
I feel your pain with grad school! I just graduated myself this past spring. Its sort of an odd feeling not to have to go to school now, since I've been in school for the last twenty-something years since kindergarten.

Jim commented on not sleeping well the first night on the ground, and both he and David agree that the fun really starts around day 3. Who else feels this way?
For me, its the first day hiking that is "worst," when my body is readjusting to the weight on my back. But each day that passes-partially due to using some consumables and partly due to readjusting-gets better and better. I've usually slept well out on the ground, but I carry a slightly heavy Big Agnes Air Core Insulated Pad for comfort. A good night's sleep is worth its every ounce!

To those more experienced hikers: do you still have a "break-in period" when you first get out on the trail?

Edited by T.L. on 11/23/2009 13:14:24 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Typical Trip Length on 11/23/2009 14:26:14 MST Print View

> To those more experienced hikers: do you still have a "break-in period" when
> you first get out on the trail?
Yes, but you get used to it and allow for it.

Cheers

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
trips on 11/23/2009 14:40:11 MST Print View

Regarding the break-in period, as Roger said you can allow for it with decreased mileage initially on your thru-hike, and your training can incorporate a lot of smaller trips (looooong day hikes turn into overnights which turn into weekenders into...).

I live in Tahoe so I do quite a few overnighters with my dog if I don't really have anything else going on (we hike out our front door, so this can be any night of the week). My wife and I try to do one thru-hike a year, but after the AT, PCT, CDT, CT, etc, we now seem to focus on 200-400 mile hikes in cool areas we haven't been to before.

We're now of the mindset that we'd rather go to a really cool area in the perfect (mild/no bugs/dry) season instead of doing a thru-hike that puts you in areas you don't necessarily care about in the wrong (hot/buggy/wet) season.

edit: we don't like to go more than 10+ days w/o resupply.

Edited by iwillchopyou@hotmail.com on 11/23/2009 14:42:16 MST.

Jack Newton
(figster) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Breaking in. on 11/23/2009 14:44:49 MST Print View

Like all good sports, warm ups are vital! During short winter days, I may be lucky to do 10 or so miles a day until day three. By day three my leg muscles are rock hard, my back is totally in the game, and my feet have exposed blisters to adjust for and medicate.

At that point I do not feel a thing except for hunger. Mileage increases at least fifty percent. Hiker's high!

Jack

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Breaking In on 11/23/2009 15:22:47 MST Print View

Thanks for all your comments! Its interesting for me to see a taste of who's doing what out there. Its never a matter of comparison, just the different styles (and of course the time our lives/job allow us to have out on the trail). Though, maybe I should post the same exact question on a "traditional" backpacking site, and compare the different milages/styles?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Breaking In on 11/23/2009 18:09:02 MST Print View

9-10 days, no resupply, no break in period required if you train adequately. Mileage dependent on conditions, as I typically hike a fair amount off trail. Exploring and hanging out in remote places as opposed to longer mileage thru hikes. A long day for me is 18-20 miles.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Beak In on 11/23/2009 20:20:17 MST Print View

It is just like any sport. If you are always training, then you are ready to go. I do a lot of day hikes with my wife, and 2-3 day solo BPing trips are most often what I do. And since I am therefore always in hiking shape, there is no "break in" period for me. The first day and night are normally enjoyable. Also, varied hiking opportunities are available to me year around, and close to home.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Breaking in. on 11/23/2009 21:50:44 MST Print View

Actually, I didn't mean it takes us a few days to get fit. That bit is not a worry. Feet don't need breaking in - we don't get blisters.

What I meant was that it takes a few days to settle into the routine, change sleeping patterns, adjust psychologically, adjust the digestion system - that sort of thing. After about 5 days the meals start getting larger ...

I do remember one long off-trail trip many years ago, when the kids with us were pretty well freaked by the end. They had never been away from home for that long before.

Cheers