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If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer...
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Thomas Oord
(tjoord) - F
If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer... on 09/15/2010 08:33:32 MDT Print View

I'm looking for advice. I plan to spend the summer hiking 1,000 miles in Idaho. I'm doing the Idaho Centennial trail (900 miles) and a few more all in one summer.

Of course, I want to go light. But I'd love to hear any advice on how to be both light and smart in what will likely be three months of continual hiking.

Looking forward to your wisdom...


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer... on 09/15/2010 13:24:31 MDT Print View

Not sure I understand the difference between "light" and "light and smart". Can you explain what you mean?

Thomas Oord
(tjoord) - F
1,000 Mile Hike on 09/15/2010 13:45:50 MDT Print View

I guess I mean that a person wouldn't be smart to pack the same way for a three-day hike as a three-month hike. Sorry to be vague..

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer. on 09/15/2010 13:58:05 MDT Print View

Thomas your resupply points and logistics for them are are going to be a big factor--Do your research on the towns and how many miles between them for sure..Be sure to take a ZERO day every 6-7 days of hiking to stay fresh and to maintain a good attitude. Sounds like a great hike...

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Re: 1,000 Mile Hike on 09/15/2010 14:02:31 MDT Print View

I have never done a long distance hike so I can't personally provide advice but...I'm not sure if you have seen I think they could provide you with a lot of information for your hike in particular. Here's the link to the ICT trail journal section for 2010: Centennial Trail

Also, the best trip report I've read of the ICT is from Brian Finkle of ULA on the ULA website:

Good luck with the planning!

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: 1,000 Mile Hike on 09/15/2010 14:35:09 MDT Print View

I guess I mean that a person wouldn't be smart to pack the same way for a three-day hike as a three-month hike. Sorry to be vague..

Resupply every three days and you can pretty much pack like it's a three-day hike. One hiker I know said the postal service has done more to influence fast long distance hiking than anything least it went something like that. The point is to find some way to not carry equipment that you don't need at the time.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer... on 09/15/2010 14:45:46 MDT Print View

You don't say what your current level of fitness is or whether you've been doing enough walking to have toughened your heels, but my advice is to get the boots/shoes you are going to hike in soon and wear them as much as possible before you start a long hike. Maybe do the shorter hikes before the big one with some recovery time and gear re-organising time in between.

My other tip is to take less than you think you need. Stuff always turns up if you are needing it on the trail in the form of loans and shares from fellow hikers. Don't be proud. You can return favours to them or others further down the trail after a re-supply.

Think about multiple uses for kit. Tent pole sections can stiffen a frameless pack, a Gatewood Cape is a tent and a waterproof... that sort of thing.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer... on 09/15/2010 14:49:30 MDT Print View

The limiting factor is supply points for food and fuel. Maybe water in some areas. Also, will specialized gear be needed in certain areas.

Really it is just a whole bunch overnight hikes laid end to end. You just cannot predict the weather, so you need to be prepared for that.

I agree that reading trail journals would be helpful.

Many years ago I did two 6-month trips. No trail journals or Internet in those days. The thought of a bounce box never occur to me. I just knew where to exit to get to a store. It wasn't that difficult at all. The only difficulty is being able to take several months of to do it.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
...hiking 1,000 miles... on 09/15/2010 14:53:55 MDT Print View

If you can find Brian F's (ULA founder) trip report of his ICT thru hike this will provide you with great hike/trail descriptions and trip planning information.

Edited by thomdarrah on 09/15/2010 15:02:04 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: ...hiking 1,000 miles... on 09/15/2010 16:43:52 MDT Print View

Brian Frankle's '08 Idaho Centennial Trail trip is Here.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Finkle on 09/15/2010 20:14:05 MDT Print View

I heard Brian Frankle did a great trip report. Maybe see if you can find that :)

Edited by dandydan on 09/15/2010 20:14:38 MDT.

Thomas Oord
(tjoord) - F
1,000 Mile Hike on 09/16/2010 10:41:01 MDT Print View

Thanks to all!!!

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
2 cents on 09/20/2010 23:28:59 MDT Print View

i hiked 2 months last summer (only 500 miles for me though - weekends off :D)...

here's my recommendation:

-start slow so you don't get hurt. think 12-15 miles max. save the 20 milers for your 4th week...

-change up food. you'll get sick of eating cinnamon buns for breakfast everyday for a month straight. try to get some variety...

-build some campfires and hang out. i find them very uplifting at the end of a day...

-try to catalogue your pictures somehow. you don't want to wrap up the trip with 1000 pictures of "views" and "cool shots in the woods". maybe get off the trail and get them onto a computer from time-to-time

have fun

Thomas Oord
(tjoord) - F
1,000 mile hike on 09/21/2010 13:40:20 MDT Print View

Thanks, Josh. This seems like good advice!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer... on 09/21/2010 19:58:53 MDT Print View

1,000 miles. Hum.

I would start to wonder about how long your footwear will last. One pair of the typical lightweight shoes we all love may not survive the distance. But I would NOT try to ship shoes forward. It has happened (many times) that a walker has had to change their shoes before they were worn out because their feet have grown too much. Horror stories available ...

Take it as it comes, but take a repair kit too.


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer... on 09/21/2010 20:24:06 MDT Print View

It sounds like a lot, but that is an average of 11 miles a day over 90 days. Add a few days off and it sure sounds possible to me. You really don't need any more gear for a 1000-miler than a 3-day, it's just keeping supplied and replacing worn out stuff.

There's lots of information on PCT through hikes, which I think would give good examples of the terrain and climate you will be traveling in. Check out Andrew Skurka's massive through hikes for more info: .

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer... on 09/22/2010 14:13:39 MDT Print View

The beauty of a really long hike is you can learn along the way.

When I hiked the PCT I sent home a ton of stuff in the beginning. I also ordered gear along the way. I had completely different gear at the end from what I started with. I also had a whole lot less gear in the end than what I started out with.

Not only is a long hike a series of shorter trips strung together, but it can also become a whole series of shakedown hikes strung together. I actually enjoyed testing stuff as I went along. I would bounce the item I no longer wanted to the next town and try something different. If it turned out I liked the old item better, I'd put it back in my pack and send the new item home. If it turned out I liked the new item better, I'd send the old one home.

I even carried extra shoes for a while just in case I didn't like new ones. Weight didn't matter so much after a while because after several hundred miles, I was pretty strong and an extra pair of shoes wasn't much different than tossing an extra salami in my pack.

Have fun!

Paul Gibson
(pgibson) - F

Locale: SW Idaho
Re: If you were hiking 1,000 miles in a summer... on 09/22/2010 19:33:47 MDT Print View

Trail Journals would be a great spot to start. Look at this one here: That is Ken & Marcia's 2009 Idaho Centennial Trail Journal
They did the ICT in great time and had very good info about resupply points as of last year. The ICT is not like most long trails where there are stores or town or anything every so often. In lots of sections the trail is away from any town for hundreds of miles so resupply turns to backcountry meet ups with outfitters.

Also in Brian's report he mentions straying some from the trail to pick up some more scenic locations to camp for the night than where the trail directly goes. He said, and I agree in some spots the trail is routed though the area of easiest travel rather than best travel. I think that would help with the day after day of endless miles.

I really would like to do a lot of the ICT, hope to section some of it this next year.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
One thousand miles on 09/22/2010 22:52:06 MDT Print View

Congratulations on making such a commitment. You are bound to have a grand adventure learn a lot about yourself in the process.

My advice? Don't be in a rush.

If you have enough supplies, and you reach one of those epic spots along the trail, you know, there is nothing wrong with bagging it early and enjoying the view. Take a zero (mile) day by a mountain lake and partake in the splendor that few people will ever have the opportunity to experience. I guess I took that away from my thru-hike; the feeling that I rushed through places that deserved exploration and reverence, that would have been fantastic destinations in their own right.

A lot of people on here are interested in pushing the limits of distance and endurance. You will likely do both, but just don't forget that sometimes, the best hiking days aren't measured in miles alone.

Have fun and let us know how it turns out!

Thomas Oord
(tjoord) - F
1,000 Mile Hike on 09/25/2010 21:12:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for these extra comments. All of this is helpful!