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Long Trail Thru
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Kevin Sullivan
(bustedchucks) - F
Long Trail Thru on 09/19/2010 14:29:09 MDT Print View

Google Docs link:

So I am looking at about an 18 pound base at the moment.

Solo, soutbound starting next week. Weather Underground puts average lows for Ocotber in low/mid thirties for North Troy (~600 asl) Camping will be ~2000.

I plan to stay in shelters for the most part and I could swap out the tarp for a Golite Poncho Tarp, but I'm not very comfortable with its size in bad, cold weather.

I generally go with Aqua Mira but it has been dry and recent reports have noted low water, so I am still on the fence as far as what I should bring.

I know there is some redundancy with drysack, liner, pack cover. We pack our fears, right? I'd like some input there.

I also have a zlite that I can replace the Aircore with. Not likely to happen, though.

Have at it!


Stephen P
(spavlock) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Long Trail Thru on 09/19/2010 21:04:55 MDT Print View

I'm working on planning my own long trail thru. Bet you will have a blast! Here are my two cents:

- get rid of the pants, hike in your polypro bottoms and shorts if cold

- Take the pack liner and leave the cover and drysack at home. Use the pack liner to keep your bag and clothes dry. Just stuff them in then roll the top closed. Pack the rest on top.

-Take a 1L platy at most along with the gatorade bottle for mixed drinks. Or just use recycled plastic bottles.

-nix the plastic knife, use the spoon for everything

-take aquamira instead of the pump filter (Unless you decide you absolutely need it for some reason due to whatever water situation you described.)

-Is the SP 600 absolutely necessary? Take a 12oz heiny can and cut of the lid to give you a 12oz cup for under an ounce. Or take 2 styrofoam cups packed safely in your pot.

- a supercat alcohol stove w/ foil windscreen would save you a little over an ounce

- Check the weight on your bear bag rope and biner. 550 is real heavy...I can't believe that whole rig would weigh only 2.8 ounces

-Do you need a 16oz fuel bottle or will you be refueling during town stops?

-nix the ace bandage. You can get creative if a situation arises that would warrant for one. Use sticks and cord to make a splint, use clothing to wrap a sprain, etc.

-You could eventually lighten up some of your main items like the sleeping bag, tarp, and insulation, but that takes $$$ of course!

-I'm assuming the sleeping pad is a luxury item!

Have a good hike!

camellia beth
(camellia89) - F
thank you! on 09/19/2010 21:13:01 MDT Print View

wow, it is so amazing, i like your trip. I will take some information from your experience. Thanks a lot.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Re: Long Trail Thru on 09/20/2010 08:34:06 MDT Print View

First, let me say, this is a great time of year to hike the LT! The leaves may just begin to start changing and there just aren't that many people out right now, except at the major day hiking spots (Camels Hump, Mansfield, Ab, etc).Have you done the LT before?

I think you're right to focus on drops vs. filter, phonco/tarp vs. Tarp/shells/cover, and Aircore vs. Closed-cell.

I've been out on the LT trail in three different areas this Sept in the Linoln, Duxbury, and Belvidere areas. It's not "wet" out there, but it's not dry either. I just brought two 1L Polar seltzer water bottles and chemical drops as I was fine. I would think that the ridge by Sugerbush would be the only real dry spot, but you should be fine if you fill up at the pond by the Ap Gap. A filter won't help you there anyway, since there just aren't any sources period. With a 3L platy you'll have plenty of water, just bring a small scoop.

Next, as you brought up, I'd suggest that you ditch the tarp, shells, and pack cover. I'd just bring the Golite poncho/tarp. In fact, that's exactly what I bring with me. My dog and I camped out under my poncho/tarp this week on the LT by Bamforth Ridge. Honestly, from what I've seen, most Thru hikers go from shelter to shelter, because good camping spots aren't always easy to find on the LT.

Finally, if I were you, I'd ditch the Aircore for the Z-rest. Maybe it's just me, but I find the air mattresses to be a PITA. I find that it's quicker and easier to unpack and pack the Z-rest in shelters and it doubles as a camp chair.

Anyway, I'm not much for looking at gear lists, but I figured I'd comment on the points you brought up. As I mentioned before, I think that this is the perfect time to hike the LT, so you should have a great time.

Kevin Sullivan
(bustedchucks) - F
Re: Re: Long Trail Thru on 09/20/2010 08:34:19 MDT Print View

Thanks for the input, some good stuff.

The pants can go, I I'm not likely to miss them. I know the rain protection is overkill and will likely lose the cover. I just don't have the confidence to lose the added insurance of the drysack just yet. That is something I'll play around with on weekend trips.

3l platy is there cause that's what I have. I'll decide on the ground how much to fill it up at any point. I like having the option of dry camping. Apparently there are some killer stealth spots up high along the way.

Knife is totally redundant. I was just thinking 'bout cutting of hunks of some really sharp cheddar; Vermont, you know!

I will try and get some more first hand info regarding water levels. I mean, I can always dip my cup(or a bottle) into really small flows and transfer it to the platy. I do prefer using drops, I just think is faster, easier.

Bear bag rope is pretty long, too. I can snip it down a bit. I look around, might swap it.

16oz fuel bottle is what I have, not that I'll necessarily fill it up.

I am really stuck on the Aircore vs. Zlite. I like the weight savings and I also like the ease and indestructibility of the foam. I've heard people complain about leaks in the BA pad they can't find and so can't repair in the field. I recall not being very comfortable on the zlite, but those were just weekend trips...maybe I can get used to it.

Thanks again.

Kevin Sullivan
(bustedchucks) - F
Re: Re: Long Trail Thru on 09/20/2010 08:44:57 MDT Print View

Thomas, thank you! That's pretty funny, we were drafting posts at the same time and seemed to cover much of the same issues.

I really appreciate the info about water.

I don't think I am going to go with just the poncho-tarp. I'll give it some consideration, but that is the kind of setup I'd want to get comfortable with on some weekend trips.

I am starting to lean towards the foam. Easier, no muss no fuss.

I've been looking at all of the foliage maps and historical data and am getting all sorts of excited!

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Re: Re: Re: Long Trail Thru on 09/20/2010 10:18:32 MDT Print View

Kevin - It's definitely "early" foliage season now. So, you should be in for some good views!

I guess I misread your first post. I though you said that you already had a poncho/tarp. My mistake. I agree that a small tarp is something you want to take some time to feel comfortable using in the field. I actually think that a poncho/tarp and lightweight bivy sack is the best combo for an LT thru hike, because you can use the bivy in the shelters if there's spray or drafts. Also, you can use the bivy under a small tarp as a ground sheet and to give you extra coverage.

Have a great hike!

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
a few thoughts on 09/20/2010 11:52:39 MDT Print View

Mattress: Over the long haul, I like having the extra softness of an air mattress over the z-rest. I also find I do not need a pillow with a full length BA. It is a pain, just using the air-sack-pump system for an insulated mattress, ie. you will need some patience. It works best if you can have a strong breeze to fill the sack for you!
Shelters: Don't bother with bear-bag hanging at shelters, just be sure to use the hanging system provided in shelters to keep to keep your food away from mice. Sept.-Oct. will find you alone at most shelters.
Water: when sources are low, ie. just a trickle, I use a flexible bowl handy to catch the water eg. Guyot Squishy, Sea-to-Summit X-bowl, or Fozzil Bowl (see REI website) Platypus bottles are easiest to fill if you use a bowl to fill them. Aqua Mira should be enough.
Tarp: With the Golite poncho/tarp I have strung the guy line above it, with a clove hitch around the hood. For me that is a mini shelter, I like the roomy SpinnTwin, but a tarp is plenty of shelter.
Water proofing: I like having my gear in waterproof bags(sil/nylon) of different colors, to help keep gear organized. It is nice to have a pack covered, too in the pouring rain, so it won't get water logged. I have seen covers get blown off in winds, without the hiker realizing it, so secure them well. I own a bright orange one from Jacks-R-Better which is nice to have in deer season!

PS I have hiked the LT end-to-end. I trust you have the latest edition of the E-to-E Guide available at Vermont is wonderful.

Edited by rambler on 09/20/2010 12:06:26 MDT.