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Tahoe Trim Trail thru-hike advice
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Tahoe Trim Trail thru-hike advice on 07/28/2010 13:28:30 MDT Print View

I’ve got my TRT book on the way via Amazon, but in the interim, I’d like to ask a few questions.

I’m planning for either 8 days/7 nights or 9 days/8 nights. I’d rather it be 8 days, as I’m stretching my time off work and budget as it is, but it seems like 9 days might make the hike a bit more stressful as far as making miles. The hike would be from October 2nd through either the 10th or 11th, starting/finishing in South Lake Tahoe. My rationale being that hotels are cheaper, there are more frequent Reno Airport shuttles(I’m flying in from the East Coast), and Tahoe City makes a more convenient resupply point with the trail going fairly near the Albertsons.

The biggest help I could get would be suggestions for the best camping sites along the trail. I could then mark these out on my National Geographic Tahoe Basin map and have a better idea of where I need to end up at the end of each day. Right now I'm just looking at mileage. I need to average 18.3 miles/day for 9 days or 20.6 for 8. But hiking 20.6 miles/day won't necessarily leave me at the best place to set-up camp each night.

This will be my first thru-hike, so any other advice inre hiking the trail is very welcome.

Edit: Preliminary gearlist posted in the appropriate forum.


Edited by jrmacd on 07/28/2010 13:55:25 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Tahoe Trim Trail thru-hike advice on 07/28/2010 14:33:14 MDT Print View


Your list looks solid.

Only thing that I see that is "heavyish" is your rain jacket, but I am not sure it is worthy spending the money to get a lighter one when your load is soooo light.

Lighter than mine when I did the TRT last year.

Biggest thing that I learned last year on the for your feet!

Was my 1st big mileage trip over multiple days.

Do you have enough foot care products for taping your feet...stuff to deal with blisters, etc?

That seemed to be the biggest issue on the trip for the four of us.

I even had some chaffing issues with my pant leg rubbing my inner thigh.

That is what I can think of off the top of my head.


Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Tahoe Trim Trail thru-hike advice on 07/29/2010 08:06:51 MDT Print View

Tony, thanks. Found Jeremy's trip report as well as another from 2008. Both those help alot. (If you have the link to your photo report, that'd be great as well.)

It's nice to see the trip can be done comfortably in 9 days of hiking. This will also be my first big-mileage, day-after-day trip as well. My previous long trip was a loop of Sunrise, Merced and Vogelsang High Sierra Camps last August over 3 nights, and I think my trail miles were 12,17,10 and 11. It's a big step up to be looking at 15-23 mile days, day after day. I've been following the ibuprofen vs aleve thread, and while I've never taken pain meds on the trail, 165 miles in 9 days might be the time to start.

Knock on wood, I never,ever get blisters. The only time I have foot problems is wearing dress shoes to work. But I probably should look into foot care stuff.

I'm trying not to buy any new gear for this trip, as the trip itself takes up all of my budget, but I am thinking about dropping $20 on a Driducks rain suit and subbing the jacket in, as that would save me 7oz cheaply. I'd stick with the Golite pants, as I've read how flimsy driducks are. I may stick with the Alpha LT though depending on weather reports, as in a winter storms the more bomber protection might be preferable.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Where in South Lake Tahoe to buy MSR canisters? on 07/30/2010 06:43:40 MDT Print View

Can anyone help me out? I'm sure at the Raley's I could find denatured alcohol, but I'm leaning toward bringing my Windpro, as if there's a night(s) where it's 20 degrees and sleeting, that would probably be faster/more reliable. Since I'm flying in, I need to be able to buy my fuel on Saturday night at 6pm or the next morning before I head out. I'll be staying in SLT near Heavenly, most likely. Probably buy an 8oz canister and deal with the extra weight, unless someone can also confirm that the Save Mart in Tahoe City or someplace nearby also sells canisters.


Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Tahoe Trim Trail thru-hike advice on 07/30/2010 12:26:13 MDT Print View


Here is the link for the photos essay:

Bottom thread: Ultra Light Thru Hike

My TRT trip was a number of 1st for me....longest trip in mileage and number for days.

The pain med was really for the soreness that I felt....maybe after a few days, I might not have needed it, but I chose to be medicated the whole time. :)

Like you, I am fortunatley to not get blisters, but I did have some spots that I needed to tape to prevent blisters. Ultimately, I think that I ended up with two blisters on the sides of my toes/feet, but nothing that killed me.

Having tape for your feet or other parts of your body for friction protection was something that I never encountered before, but found that I needed for the webbing of my thumbs for my hiking poles....if the trip was longer, I would have needed to tape my inner thigh from chaffing from my pant zipper (zip off legs).

I don't know about the MSR fuel canisters, but think you should be able to buy something there.

I would suggest posting a question on the TRT Forum...sure that someone living locally up there can tell you where to find fuel.

Given that your low base weight, replacing your jacket with the driducks is not so critical in my mind. Plus, on a long trip like this, I would error on the side of going with gear that you know and is trail tested for you.

You are going to have an amazing trip!

P.S. The photo essay is rediculously long....over 450 photos, but it is captioned. You might want to skim it to read about what we did and issues we encountered on the trail. That way you are "surprised" by what you see on the trail vs. having seen it all before.


Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Tahoe Trim Trail thru-hike advice on 07/30/2010 13:18:08 MDT Print View

Tony, I found your photo essay on BPL, and I'm working my way through it. Just started day 7.

Two places where it's definitely helped so far is confirming Susie Lake as a place I want to spend a night, and in never occured to me to spend a night at a motel in Tahoe City. I was having trouble making the mileages work clockwise or counterwise as far as passing through Tahoe City, resupplying, and then getting back on the trail and getting to an acceptable place to spend the night. Staying a night in Tahoe City should make things work out much better, as well as giving me a break about half-way through.

Having tape for your feet or other parts of your body for friction protection was something that I never encountered before, but found that I needed for the webbing of my thumbs for my hiking poles

Thanks for mentioning the hand-taping. I hadn't even thought of this, and I do notice that after 10+ miles, I start to get raw between my thumb and forefinger. It never even occured to me to tape them.

I'll probably spend the money not on a dricucks jacket (I may also eventually get around to converting my Golite Poncho Tarp into a Roger Caffin mountain poncho which would probably weigh in around 7.5oz)but on more spare batteries for my camera. I already have 1 extra, and I get about 200-230 shots per charge. After looking at your photo essay, I think I'll want at least 3 spares (.74oz/battery) to get me up to 800-900 shots, or about 100/day. I'd rather tote an extra 1.5oz than stop to think about whether or not I should waste precious battery life on a particular shot. Thanks goodness for non-OEM batteries. (I supposed I could weigh the charger + cable and see if that's ~the same weight as two extra batteries and just charge the two I have during my night in Tahoe City)

As far as miles per day, I'm debating where to keep them consistent (18-20/day), start low at say 17 miles per day and work up to 22-23/day, or vary them up and down. I guess a lot will be determined by whether I do it in 8 or 9 days and where the best campsites are.

Thanks for your advice.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Tahoe Trim Trail thru-hike advice on 07/30/2010 15:31:32 MDT Print View


You are welcome and glad that you are able to gleen some useful information from the photo essay.

The hand taping thing really saved my butt, but never having done such a long trip before....never ever had a problem like that before.

As for the mileage per day, just depends an the terrain you are encountering on a particular day.

My hardest day was the shortest day....13 miles after resuplying at the Tramway market and having a huge breakfast at a sports bar.

I think that what Jeremy found was that the campsites and water sources were the big factors on how many miles needed to get pounded out.

The Eastern Side of the trail....Marlette Campground and everything Southbound, was pretty dry and demanded a faster pace and more miles.

My thoughts would be shorter mileage on the first are adjusting to altitude, new weather, new terrain, and you are getting your legs broken in for the trail.

I am sure you will find sections of the trail later where you can pound out the miles easily and make up for the shorter day upfront.

That said, you might consider structuring a short day where you end up camping someplace that is spectacular and soak up the views.

Anyway, hike your own are going to be fine.

Feel free to ask away with any other questions or PM Jeremy about the logistics of where to camp or why he chose those spots to camp at. Sure he would be happy to answer your questions.

P.S. You might want to consider a poncho tarp to possibly save more weight for dual usage. If you are willing to look dorky with a poncho, go for the poncho tarp!