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2 UL Guys & 2 Reg/Heavy Pack Guys @ Harriman State Park
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Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
2 UL Guys & 2 Reg/Heavy Pack Guys @ Harriman State Park on 06/01/2011 20:41:18 MDT Print View

Went to Harriman State Park this past long wknd for 2.5 days with BPL member Steve McAllister and three other friends.

I'll let Steve comment on his gear list and base weight, but he was initially packing for two and then slimmed down to gear for one.

Here is my gear list for 25-30 miles, temps 60-85F, and 3 days, 2 nights of backpacking in the NE. I clocked in at 6.15 lbs w/out my luxuries, and 6.82 w/ (my heavish camera):

We initially started out with Steve's wife, two of our friends, Steve and myself in Suffern, NY to head North on the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail to loop around to Lake Sebago. Steve's wife decided to make the trip an overnighter and the four of us finished up with somewhere between 25-30 miles under out belts in 2.5 days. A good weekend's work for Steve and I with all our ailments. :p

Here is my pack, an original GG Mariposa that is too large for me as I approach SUL base weight for my long weekend trips in 3-season mode:

GG Pack

On the other end of the spectrum was our friend with a 55-60 lb pack:
Derek Start

Our other friend had a 50 lb pack.

So there you have it. Two guys w/ UL packs and two without.

I'll keep my trip report to gear and thoughts that came to me while on the trail. You can find all trip pictures here:

Pack weight....obviously there are benefits to carrying less weight on a trip. Can hike faster, longer, etc., but what I didn't realize was that with less "stuff" I was ready more quickly in the morning than some others and it really simplified my packing to keep things organized.

This was the first time I was using my BearPaw Winderness Designs Cub Den 1.5 in .51 CF. I had recently setup the shelter in my backyard, in the rain, right after receiving the shelter ( What I didn't realize was, I was using the venetian blind cord while soaked and thickened by rain through the Lineloc 3s on the shelter.....well they slip quite a bit when dry so I bypassed them. This is alright, I planned on saving the weight in the end anyway, but I could of used some more practice. I did better pitching the shelter the 2nd night while weaking up to a nasty thunder and lightening storm and strong, gusty winds. The shelter did well.... reason being? I pitched the shelter with the main support pole outside the shelter. This increased interior room and let me get the pitch tighter. The downside being I lost the strap of the GG LT4S as an interior place to let socks dry out. I didn't get wet and it was great to pack up my things and don my rain gear under the shelter being protected from the rain and then break down the shelter, throw it in my mesh pocket and be on my way.


Steve did the same with his monk tarp!


This actually allowed us to leave a few hours earlier that our tenting friends who didn't want their tents or gear to get wet while packing up in the rain and hike in the cooler morning air.

Steve's SteriPEN was pretty cool. I used Micropur tablets but was in danger of running out. So we all used his SteriPEN in the end. It was instant and worked well. Made me wonder if the heavier SteriPEN was actually less total weight vs. my tablets as he didn't have to carry water for 30 minutes to drink it. I'll have to think about it some more:


Bugs and sun protection in mostly covered forest with some exposed areas. I did great with sun protection. I had a baseball cap and bandanna. The bandanna was probably one of my most important pieces of gear. Tucked under my cap, it kept the sun off my neck and ears, plus I could soak it for washing my face and cooling down the rest of my body. It also served to sop up blood from a cut on my palm and kept the little gnats off 3/4s of my face/neck region. Great multi-use piece of gear. For bug protection I failed miserably. I went with long sleeve pants which did great to protect me, but I went with short sleeved shirts thinking I would stay away from bugs so long a I was moving...boy was I wrong. Next time I'll have a long sleeve shirt like Steve's RailRiders ecomesh.


GG LT4S trekking poles. Steve used to have the 1st gen TiGoat poles, but passed them on to his wife because I think he snapped one or two sections. He was commenting how mine seemed beefier. They work as advertised. They did not slip on me and could support my full 195 self. I did pay attention to then getting stuck into snags, but that's normal for me.


I did not wear the hip belt on my GG Mariposa the entire wknd to see if I would notice. I did not at this weight. As I walked, I thought about a CF Zpacks Blast 26 and how I would customize it. The mesh is nice on the GG to dry out gear, but it really doesn't expose all that much fabric to dry when it's all scrunched up in there. Might as well go with the lighter CF back pocket w/ grommets for drainage. Also, for water my base weight goes down, water placement becomes more important as it represents a larger % of my total pack weight. It kinda sucks to have a water pouch on either side of the GG mariposa. As you drink one water bottle, your pack shifts to one side because you're not wearing a hip belt. I'll have to think about the Zpacks design.

My DriDucks Jacket worked great. I didn't bother to bring the pants as I thought they'd be too hot and I've also read about them tearing easily. Instead I brought MLD chaps. In the end I only wore the DriDucks jacket. It was better to hike in slightly wet pants than hot/dry pants with chaps on at these temps. The DriDucks breathed and I was only slightly damp after hiking. It would of been fine as a windshirt too.


Steve had a nice idea for multi use gear by using his Polycro ground sheet as a skirt to protect his pants somewhat. Here he is after he took it off:


Other than that I'll leave you with some pics I thought came out nice. If anyone has any Qs about the area, let Steve or I know! Many thanks to Steve for organizing things!eee444424rbsv

Edited by bster13 on 06/02/2011 07:56:29 MDT.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Thanks on 06/02/2011 09:27:25 MDT Print View

Great post.

As far as hip belts go, I wonder what you would think about the hip belt if you had to carry a weeks worth of food and/or more water?

I do find that I shift my weight from my shoulder to my hips throughout if I'm carrying more.

A lot of people go without the hip belt on long hikes with no complaints.

I realized that almost a third of my pack weight was the Thermarest Prolite 4 that I always carry.
I'd drop a pound if I had your Neoair.

Maybe in the near future.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
2 UL Guys & 2 Reg/Heavy Pack Guys @ Harriman State Park on 06/02/2011 10:05:29 MDT Print View

Nice report. I love seeing pictures from other people's trips, for some reason. Maybe I should go somewhere......

The bug bites on your arms look bad. Reminds me of my legs when I got into chiggars last year in South Dakota.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
1 weeks worth of food on 06/02/2011 11:52:51 MDT Print View

Steve, I'd prob want a hip belt then, but the reality is that I most likely will never get a week to go straight....who knows, maybe. Perhaps I could get a Zpacks with removable hip belts.

Andy Clark
(AndyClark) - F

Locale: East Coast
Ticks, Poisen Ivy and Bug Bites!! on 06/11/2011 14:23:48 MDT Print View

Great trip report Bryce! I hiked in Harriman the same weekend with my wife, our friend and our dog, Spot. We just did a big loop, one night hike. It was our friends first backpacking trip so I splurged on a few things. Eye balling the map, it looks like 8- 10 miles on Sat and we finished up with 2 miles on Sunday. It was a short great hike, we all had a good time. We started at the parking lot on Rt. 6 (Long Mtn Parkway) that crosses the Long Path. The route we took was:

-Start off heading north on the Long Path
-Turned right onto red PG trail
-Turned right onto white Anthoney Wayne trial at Turkey Hill Lake
-Turned right onto blue 1779 trail
-Turned right onto white Appalachain Trail. Took a break at the scenic view at the top of Black Mtn, ate lunch and pulled about 10 ticks off of the dog.
-Took a right at William Brien Memorial Shelter onto yellow Menomine trail.
-Trail ends back at the Long Path, we stayed around Stockbridge Shelter for the night.

Splurging - I did something that I never thought I would ever do, that is sacreligous to this site, I carried my 12lb, 3 person, car camping tent on the hike! There was only three of us, one night, so there was hardly any gear. My pack was still less than half the weight of your buddies 60 lb pack.
Everything tastes good on the trail, with that being said, I am not a huge fan of freeze dried meals.....but I still eat them. So I always like to bring "real" food the first night of the trip. For me, the reward of the good food is always worth carrying the extra weight the first day.

Itchy stuff - We all wore shorts and t-shirts and woke up Sunday morning with bug bites on all of our exposed areas. They looked just like the nasty bites on your arm. Bryce - Any idea what kind of bites those are?
We went through some really bad tall grass sections where we were attacked by ticks! Coming out of one of the areas, I brushed ~5 ticks off my legs before they bit in. I only had a couple that I had to pull out by the end of the trip. But through the whole trip and a couple days after, we pulled over 25 ticks off of our poor dog!
Everyone is fine now between the bug bites and ticks, we are all treated and good to go. Between the three of us, I am the only one alergic to poisen ivy, two weeks later, I think I have gotten the worst of the rash, and it is starting to go away.

I think we all learned our lesson to wear long pants and long sleeves. The deet dosent work very well when you sweat it off.

I attached a few pics, enjoy!

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: Ticks, Poisen Ivy and Bug Bites!! on 06/13/2011 09:46:52 MDT Print View

Hi Andy,

That is a nice hike. I have done most of it. We had decided to do the less popular route to avoid the holiday crowds and I was surprised by how few people we saw on most of our hike.

Regarding: "We all wore shorts and t-shirts and woke up Sunday morning with bug bites on all of our exposed areas."

Although I knew that this time of year could be very bad for flying insects, I neglected to warn others in our group:-(
Adele and I knew from our experiences hiking in the area, so we were both wearing long sleeves, long pants and carried head nets for rest and camp periods.

I have found no insect repellent that works during that time of year and I have tried a lot, Deet, Skin-so-soft, Picaridin, natural herbal concoctions,... all seem to do nothing.

We also know how bad the ticks are and wear clothing treated with permethrin.
If we were hiking with a dog, I would have treated her/him with a spray of a highly diluted solution of permethrin. Dogs are more susceptible to Lyme than people are as it's harder to find all the ticks.

A very high percentage of area hikers have had Lyme disease, myself included.
Although flying insect are only a real issue in May and early June, ticks are an issue in all but below freezing weather.

Anyway, let Bryce and/or me know and maybe we can hook up somewhere in the area sometime.

peter tooke
(petersont) - M

Locale: NYC
Harriman - permits? on 06/15/2011 09:15:28 MDT Print View

Thinking about a 2-3 day loop there... do you ( ie did you...) need permits to tent camp in Harriman?
Also, any other recommendations for some 2-3 day walks within a few hours of NYC appreciated.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
23 Mile Loop within 2 Hours of NYC on 06/15/2011 09:24:52 MDT Print View

You might want to consider the Pinchot Trail in the Poconos. It's probably a 2-hour drive for you to reach Thornhurst.

I haven't hiked this one yet, but people like it. It's a 23-mile loop through some varied terrain.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Harriman on 06/15/2011 09:25:39 MDT Print View

Hi Peter,

No permits required. You are supposed to only camp at or near the shelters. There are I think 7 or 8 shelters in Harriman.

Camping elsewhere is supposed to not be allowed, but people do it. They stay away from roads and trails.

Lots of underground fires get started there when people build fires in unapproved fire rings.

The Shawangunk Trail has some sections that are owned by the state so responsible camping is allowed.
Catskills as well.

The best source of information is at

I have probably hiked at least half of the trails in Harriman as I have a cabin there.
The North East Bear Mountain section is the most popular, so I usually avoid that area.
The North West quarter is the least popular. It's all good.

Water is good this time of year, but if it gets dry, water is only usually available at the many lakes in the park.

PM me if you want some loop ideas.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 06/15/2011 09:33:15 MDT.

Andy Clark
(AndyClark) - F

Locale: East Coast
Test on 06/23/2011 11:08:02 MDT Print View

Everyone's happy and tick free as we begin.


Edited by AndyClark on 06/23/2011 11:10:43 MDT.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Trip Report? on 06/23/2011 19:28:16 MDT Print View

OK Andy, let's hear your trip report:-)

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Ticks, Poisen Ivy and Bug Bites!! on 06/24/2011 11:00:12 MDT Print View

" I carried my 12lb, 3 person, car camping tent on the hike! "

I have half a mind to report your post to BPL with that little red flag in the top corner and get you thrown out of BPL!! But if you get shunned, you'll never learn any better so all we can do is try to educate (and ridicule) you. First of need to buy a new shelter from Gear Swap today.

Edited by TomClark on 06/25/2011 04:49:32 MDT.

Andy Clark
(AndyClark) - F

Locale: East Coast
Re: Ticks, Poisen Ivy and Bug Bites!! on 06/28/2011 10:40:07 MDT Print View

OK OK OK - I'll have some time this long holiday weekend to get the rest of the pics up.

Wait a sec Tom - I'm still waiting on your Trail Days trip report from early May!