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New Backpacker - 30 miles?
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Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Re: Re: New Backpacker - 30 miles? on 01/09/2012 05:11:27 MST Print View

@Jamie: Could you do me a favor and email what you just said to my wife?! I want super powers...:(

Actually, I guess I could see getting up to 2mph if I lost 20lbs from my pack, and was hiking alone or with someone in better shape than me. I do recall stopping or slowing a couple of times so my wife could keep up, last trip. Problem is that she's perfectly happy with what she's currently carrying and doesn't see spending the money to lighten our loads worth it. She's a trooper, makes me feel like whiner.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Re: Re: Re: New Backpacker - 30 miles? on 01/09/2012 14:50:01 MST Print View

I'm interested to hear his report also. I've never been hiking in that area, but have read some PCT trip reports and some of the trail around that area sounds pretty steep with some significant elevation changes.

18 miles flat is certainly doable. 18 miles with long steep climbs is something else altogether.

That's a long day even if you are in decent hiking condition.

Hope it went well!

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: New Backpacker - 30 miles? on 01/09/2012 15:00:36 MST Print View

Nick, my last PCT pace was over 2.5 mph. My load was pretty light. I'm quite fat though. I figure my pace would probably be around 3.5 mph if I was skinny.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: New Backpacker - 30 miles? on 01/09/2012 15:55:47 MST Print View

I won't be surprised if we don't hear back from OP.

Jeff Landis
(jeff6605) - F
Made it! (Hike Update) on 01/10/2012 12:00:03 MST Print View

WOOOW!! All the replies are amazing. Some taking bets on me, I love it, haha.

So the trip was great! First off I was with a group of experienced backpackers. I borrowed some of their gear. My pack was 20 lbs fully loaded, that included 3 liters of water as we had planned water stops. (Went through 7 liters total with cooking)

I will be honest. No, I was not ready for that mileage, but with a bit of a push I made it just fine. I am sore 2 days after the trip but I suspect tomorrow I will be back to normal. The hardest thing was keeping up with the other guys on the uphills. They hike a solid 3 mph up/level/down terrain so at certain points I needed to fall back and give it my own pace. Then when I did fall behind they waited at crossings and I was 3-4 minutes. No big deal, but do know that I need to condition these muscles for sure in this sport.

The hike Lake Hughes - Hwy 138 on the PCT. Was beautiful! It got to freezing overnight. Beautiful sunset that night and a full moon! I had a lot of fun.

So, miles 1-11 no real problems. 11-18 my legs were getting sore. Day 2 I was cramped up but after stretching I continued on with the group. 18-end I was fighting my legs. Needed to push on, and modify my pace.

It was a good first experience. I got to learn some lightwieght methods and try some gear. I have some ideas now on what I may want to go out and purchase. I will go again with this group. Lots of fun and good guys.

We did 5000+ total elevation climb, so I say I did pretty good for my first trip! The top was 5650ft, we slept just below that.

Edited by jeff6605 on 01/10/2012 12:03:14 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Made it! (Hike Update) on 01/10/2012 12:28:39 MST Print View


Good for you! I knew you could do it and its sounds like you had a great time to boot. Well, you better start saving your money for the gear binge :)

My advice is to spend a lot of time here researching any gear you need before purchasing. Also, focus on quality/utility not price so you don't have to dump that cheaper-doesn't-work-as-well stuff.

Chad Anderson

Locale: N. California
Great! on 01/10/2012 12:38:39 MST Print View

Glad to hear that the trip worked out. It's good to know what you're capable of doing. I find that it really does provide a morale boost for future trips. I suspect most new backpackers probably enjoy about a 6 to 8 mile day, to avoid being too tired and to take in the scenery. Not that you shouldn't push yourself, but you'll know that you can do something a bit more relaxing without any troubles on future trips (if you want).

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Good for you on 01/10/2012 12:48:37 MST Print View

Glad it all worked out. Now that you have a good idea what your limits are you can plan feature trips around what works for you.

Jeff Landis
(jeff6605) - F
Agree on 01/10/2012 12:51:13 MST Print View

And, hey Luke. Thanks for the tips on the pain relievers. Vitimim-I came in handy!

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
great news on 01/10/2012 13:04:59 MST Print View

Glad you enjoyed the trip! And yes, hang out here and become fully and completely addicted...


John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Re: Made it! (Hike Update) on 01/10/2012 13:10:20 MST Print View

Dang, I think that's pretty impressive for your first time out, especially with that elevation change!

Are you hooked yet? :)

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Made it! (Hike Update) on 01/10/2012 13:13:53 MST Print View

Jeff, great job, glad to see you made it and made it back to the forum. I think you did better/more than most on this forum would/could do if they went out right now.
BTW, the second day back is always the sorest. Its all down hill from here.

Jeff Landis
(jeff6605) - F
Re: Re: Made it! (Hike Update) on 01/10/2012 13:44:38 MST Print View

Yes! I think I am hooked. I am really curious to hike some not too familiar locations like up in Oregon, Washington, or back east, maybe the AT. So many options. Its great exercise for sure. Just what I need. I am also getting into road biking. Coinsidentily looks like there are a lot of bikers on this forum too. I will be back for sure. Great info and people here! :)

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Re: Re: Made it! (Hike Update) on 01/10/2012 16:01:55 MST Print View

Alright! Glad to here you enjoyed yourself despite the high mileage. You sir are a better man than I.
20lbs isn't too bad for your first trip. Do what others have said and research before purchase and don't worry so much about price. I went the cheaper route, it still cost me a fortune, and now I can't talk my wife into letting me lighten, 'cause the stuff we have "is perfectly fine."

Douglas Prosser
(daprosser) - MLife

Locale: Camarillo, California (SCAL)
New Backpacker - 30 miles on 01/13/2012 23:43:57 MST Print View

I was one of the crazy leaders of this Meet-up group section hike of the PCT along with Todd Hein & Sandy Smith. We really enjoyed having Jeff with us. It was fun to see backpacking through the eyes of someone brand new to it. The other three of us hikers have been doing it a number of years and have gotten our kits down really low in weight.

I loan Jeff a bunch of gear from my seconds so he could really see how lightweight gear performs & to see how a low weight on your back helps to go down the trail a bit faster. He was carrying GG Mariposa Plus w/ Z-rest; Golite Adrenaline 20 degree; SMD Lunar Solo; BPL Cocoon Pullover, Patagonia R4 (since he was worried about being cold). He got to cook trail food for the first time, still were hike=ing a bit after sunset, get water out of a cistern with rigged line & pot.

Driving home we had the question: Why do you do this? :-)))))

I hope we didn't beat him up too much. The three of us are in our 50's so having a 31y/o (Dive master) we thought he might show us up. But the three of us can hike 3+ mph all day long, up, down, or flat and Jeff stayed with us. I hope he comes back for more.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: New Backpacker - 30 miles on 01/14/2012 01:40:51 MST Print View

Bwuahaha...y'alls better pay up before I gotta grab my trusty baseball bat!

Excellent work on your first trip, that elevation gain is killer.

Although those 50 year olds and their pace put me to shame, and I've only got half as much wear and tear on my legs!!

That's it, I'm going out this weekend to train!