Section of the the Long Trail
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Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Section of the the Long Trail on 05/28/2013 19:08:52 MDT Print View

Sat night: Stratton Pond
Sun night: Bromley Mountain Shelter
Ending at Mad Tom Notch parking lot.

We got caught in the Nor'easter that happened in the North East. Was glad I did not opt for my hammock and brought my 15F bag instead of my 40F quilt.

What this trip taught me is that what u think will work on paper for your gear list will not work in practice during adverse conditions necessarily. It was good to test things out.

Here are the pics:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.851235734776.1073741830.17506531&type=1&l=9276dff4b2

Thoughts after the hike:

Buy a bigger cuben tarp w/ 10 tieouts. My current tarp would not of cut it with the nasty winds and rain/snow to keep my Grand Trunk Nano dry.

Bring a real toothbrush for extended day trips. The dog toothbrush was "eh."

Use trash compactor bag or 2x nylofume bags for pack liner. Perhaps it was overstuffing the bag, but I worried about that bag wasn't going to keep things dry over 3 days.

4k calories/day seemed about right.

USe small baggie for drugs to keep them dry, some got a bit damp or crushed in my larger toiletries bag.

Endura tape was amazing through all the wetness on the back of my heels to prevent blisters.

I want to test how long Weber Fire Cubes last when exposed to air over a week. They're fine for a long weekend though. Light and cheap. 2 meals per cube.

If not hiking dawn til dusk w/ a big group, bring camp shoes. Suck to be in wet shoes all night getting cold.

Will probably swap a lighter for a small firesteel. More reliable in wet weather.

Gear brought for warmth:
15F marmot bag
thin patagonia long johns
heavyweight patagonia long john top
trash bag for vapor barrier (hiked in it too)
Golite trailwind long sleeve shirt
ninjaclava balaclava

There were two other BPL members on the trip and mostly day hikers new to overnights who did wonderful. It was a great learning experience for all and the miles passed by easily talking about gear with BPL folks. THe conversation centered around what would be fine for a nice weather, 3 day hike...wouldn't necessarily be good for a week 5 day hike or when weather hit the fan. It has be rethinking some things and adding back some weight from my SUL setup. I suppose I'll live. :p

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: Section of the the Long Trail on 05/28/2013 20:35:07 MDT Print View

My additions to Bryce's observations from this trip,

I'm amazed at how much heat is reflected from the NeoAir, upon initially laying on it under my quilt I felt the "warmth" from the NeoAir well before my quilt. Some amazing technology right there.

I really need a dedicated pillow, the clothes in a bag thing just doesn't work for me, and that means I don't sleep as well.

Earplugs are a must when the likelihood of sleeping around others exists.

DriDucks are awesome, and their hats are great!

Big Breakfast. Big Lunch. Soup for dinner. Increasingly convinced of this meal plan.

This trip was organized for a few of my friends who had never done an overnighter. Bryce, said other member, and my housemate helped make their first trip great, even with the Noreaster.

My photos overload...
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Edited by TinCanFury on 05/29/2013 13:27:18 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
As a side sleeper... on 05/28/2013 20:38:34 MDT Print View

I used to go nuts trying to make a pillow w/out adding weight until I put my sneakers underneath the head end of my neoair, toe side pointing towards me. This was my way to get a pillow going w/out adding weight.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: As a side sleeper... on 05/28/2013 20:48:38 MDT Print View

yea, except they were caked in mud =P

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Good thing on 05/29/2013 04:45:10 MDT Print View

Good thing we all had waterproof neo air pads. :p

Greg Pehrson
(GregPehrson) - MLife

Locale: playa del caballo blanco
Re: Section of the the Long Trail on 05/29/2013 05:22:21 MDT Print View

Nice one, gentlemen. Great pics; the smiles tell the story.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: Good thing on 05/29/2013 06:59:39 MDT Print View

haha! yea, never thought I'd see a hike of 7 people where NeoAir's out numbered other pad types

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Section of the the Long Trail on 05/29/2013 07:29:28 MDT Print View

Sounds like you guys had fun. I was thinking of doing the Long Trail later on this year...maybe July when things start getting really busy in the ADKs. How is the population pressure up there?

"Buy a bigger cuben tarp w/ 10 tieouts. My current tarp would not of cut it with the nasty winds and rain/snow to keep my Grand Trunk Nano dry."

Yeah, I think I agree. Mostly, three season hiking in the Whites, Green Mnts, ADKs and through Maine don't require much of a tarp. But, one nasty two-day storm with the winds coming from every direction and with temperature ranging from 32-80F will quickly prove the worth of a larger tarp. It can mean the difference between a comfortable trip (even in some rather bad storms,) and a wet trip. You will find most of the lean-to's in those areas have nails for attaching your tarp as a wind screen, too (when using those types of shelters.)

"Use trash compactor bag or 2x nylofume bags for pack liner. Perhaps it was overstuffing the bag, but I worried about that bag wasn't going to keep things dry over 3 days."

Generally, I have found that liner bags don't work that well. A slip in the mudd can cause a split or something. I went back to a standard dry bag, even though it meant extra weight. But they only last about a year. The dry/compression bags last several years, but weigh a lot more.

"USe small baggie for drugs to keep them dry, some got a bit damp or crushed in my larger toiletries bag."

Better still is to use a small bottle with a tight fitting lid. For the extra ounce, they keep things dry even if submerged. (I need my dibetes meds...)

Anyeway, this usually means my base pack is around 8-10 pounds.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: Re: Section of the the Long Trail on 05/29/2013 07:46:32 MDT Print View

"Generally, I have found that liner bags don't work that well. A slip in the mudd can cause a split or something. I went back to a standard dry bag, even though it meant extra weight. But they only last about a year. The dry/compression bags last several years, but weigh a lot more."

I can't say I've ever fallen on my bag hard (knock on wood), but I've never had an issue with either a trash compactor or nylafume bag as far as breaking the seal and letting things get wet. I like that the nylafume is much larger, which allows for better top rolling, and lighter, but haven't noticed it be much weaker than a trash compactor bag.
Perhaps if one was really worried you could put your down gear in the trash compactor bag, then put that in a nylafume with everything else you want to keep dry?

On an extended hike, I would say carrying a second, unused, nylafume bag would probably be a good idea.

the dry bags also cost a lot more =P

"Better still is to use a small bottle with a tight fitting lid. For the extra ounce, they keep things dry even if submerged. (I need my dibetes meds...)"

This is what I do too, and you also don't have to worry about the bag puncturing, or the side seam splitting when opening it. I keep my first aid stuff in an old plastic pharmacy medicine bottle. One advantage of dating a girl on lots of drugs is plenty of large pharmacy bottles I kept...

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: Section of the the Long Trail on 05/29/2013 07:50:14 MDT Print View

Bryce,
"Bring a real toothbrush for extended day trips. The dog toothbrush was "eh.""

was yours an actual dog toothbrush? I have a short-handle toothbrush that was a freebie from the dentist of a girl I know, so it's a proper "human" toothbrush but the handle is just shorter.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Section of the the Long Trail on 05/29/2013 08:05:08 MDT Print View

I've used a trash compactor bag without an issue for 3-400mi so far, including an absolute deluge on the LT last summer (2mi of thunderstorm level rain)

We were up on Mt Greylock this weekend and my GF raved about her NeoAir so I am on the lookout for a deal.

I use the Exped Air Pillow and love it. you can adjust how full you want and is under 3oz. I cannot sleep without a pillow and generally use all of my clothes at night.

for my Advil i use a double ended tube used for making ice "tubes" for small opening bottles.. could also use a NUUN canister

my gear list from this trip.
http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=13367


I did the whole Long Trail last summer at the end of July.. There was always space in the shelters and once you get past where the AT splits off it's very quiet.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Section of the the Long Trail on 05/29/2013 11:57:17 MDT Print View

"Perhaps if one was really worried you could put your down gear in the trash compactor bag, then put that in a nylafume with everything else you want to keep dry?"

I tried a pack of three (from Sears) several years ago. I went through one per trip, and, really didn't care too much for packing food with my sleeping bag, anyway. I was also using it as a Bear Bag, which was nice because it rains many nights. The last trip I slipped on some muddy rocks (coming down one of the peaks) and landed on my butt/bottom of the pack. The pack was fine but the food bag had split the liner, as I found out later. I got my overall weight down to about 5 pounds for the NCT. Since retirement, my usual trips are a week or two and much prefer more reliable gear rather than SUL stuff, so, it has crept up to 8-11 pounds, again.

I find reliability, durability, and low volume mean more than lightest weight because of the number of days I am out.

Anyyway, I am thinking that July might be good for doing the Long Trail. But, I think I will need more pack than the Murmur. Mostly food, I believe.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Comments on 05/29/2013 12:18:42 MDT Print View

I don't think you can do the long trail in one resupply. Most folks do it in 20-30 days. So perhaps your Murmur can do it if you have room enough for ~1 week of food at a time. If I were doing the LT in July, I think I would in my Murmur.

Not sure when Black Fly season ends there. It was starting Monday when the weather turned nicer.

As for trash compactor bags or Nylofume, I think I'd be ok, but to note, my food bag is a recycled silnylon sleeping bag, bag. It is not waterproof but everything in it is (ziplock bags) so it rides on top of my pack liner for easier access and can get wet all it wants.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
Re: Comments on 05/29/2013 12:55:58 MDT Print View

Everything Bryce said.

I keep my food in OpSak's, which keeps my food dry, so I don't bother to leave it in the nylofume/compactor bags.

The trail is ~270 miles. Assuming ~120cal/oz for food,
2000cal/day = 17oz/day
2500cal/day = 21oz/day
3000cal/day = 25oz/day

Total Food Weight Required
2000cal 2500cal 3000cal
10mi 28.125 35.15625 42.1875
15mi 18.75 23.4375 28.125
20mi 14.0625 17.578125 21.09375
25mi 11.25 14.0625 16.875
30mi 9.375 11.71875 14.0625

So if you can subside on 2000cal, and do it in 30mi days, you'd only need 10lb worth of food. If you take a wood burning stove you wouldn't need to carry fuel either!

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Comments on 05/29/2013 16:12:20 MDT Print View

Depends how fast you walk.. Ryan (guthook) and I both did it in 16-18 days with 18mpd(ish) average. I was on trail by 5:30 most days and done by 5ish at night.. 2mph including stops was what we aimed for. we are both used to longer miles and rougher NH terrain so LT felt easier to me.

I resupplied 4 times but could have probably made it with 3.. Manch center, LT Inn/Rutland, Richmond, Stowe. I could have skipped Stowe if i hadn't taken 1.5 zero's there at a friends house.

I am far less analytical than Bryce and Steve so I went with what I wanted to eat and was reasonably light. After about 1 week on the trail you can throw your numbers out and eat what you need.

I did the whole thing on 1 100g canister doing FBC and fires are not allowed in many spots along the LT.

you don't need to keep much in your compactor bag.. extra clothes and sleeping bag/quilt. everything else "can" get wet... my Osprey Exos is plenty water resistant on it's own... again.. downpour with not a drop inside. i put cook kit and sleeping pad on top of compactor bag.. then food bag in it's own silnylon roll top bag. then tent and rain jacket on top.

I had zero bugs at the end of July.. I also had probably the driest LT thru hikes ever.. "vermud" was nonexistent and most water sources were pretty low.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Just purchased... on 06/03/2013 15:46:30 MDT Print View

Coughlan's Fuel Tablets. They don't come in individual packages, but I am going to individually wrap them in saran wrap to keep the goodness in and prevent them from drying out.

I also ordered a BSA Hot Spark. It is tiny (and light!) but I hope it is adequate for my skills to light my dinner on the regular.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Comments on 06/03/2013 16:57:58 MDT Print View

Sorry for the delay. I've been busy revarnishing two boats and preparing for a week long canoe trip with my daughter.

I usually burn about 2500C per day, down from about 3500/day ten years ago. In the high peaks a bit more, along the Finger Lakes Trail/NCT a bit less. I am planning around 3 weeks, ie 22 days. Usually, my typical calorie density as ~120-130C/oz. This means I have to carry about 28 pounds of food plus the normal 8 pounds of base pack. Fuel will be about 20oz for two burns per day at 1L per burn. Total pack weight will be about 38 pounds at the start. No resupply needed for less than 40 pounds. But, it would be far easier to take the Murmur. I can just fit two weeks of food and base gear in there, and it would be nice to split it in half with a resupply somewhere near the middle.

Blackfly season is usually turned off by july, or the first week in July.It usually coincides with the ADK's give or take a few days. But they can vary on a yearly basis by a couple weeks...plenty of rain this year, so far. They are out a bit late in the ADK's but they came out in SWARMS rather than by bits. There were none in early may...

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Section of the the Long Trail on 06/03/2013 17:36:58 MDT Print View

Thanks for the details.

Re: 4,000 calories, I usually can't get much more than 2,000 a day down until I've been on the trail a few days. I do loose weight, but make up for it later after I get a few days down or stop in town.

Regarding toothbrush. I use a long skinny one.
CVS sometimes has these light skinny inexpensive toothrbrushes. They are OK weight wise, but nice to have the length.

I use four durable drybags in varied sizes. Together they weigh less or equal to pack liner and less than a pack cover.
1 large - food
1 medium - clothes
1 medium - sleeping bag(quilt) and down sweater
1 small - the little things like medicine and electronics

I can remove and/or repack my gear and remove food from the food bag in the rain without worry.
You can't do this very easily with pack liners and you do get a little dampness in each time you have to get something in the rain. This leads to slightly damp pack contents.

I would not even consider a pack cover as a way to protect down or water sensitive equipment. I know too many people who have suffered from that concept, myself included.
Totally unreliable and unsafe, but common.

Friends don't let friends rely on pack covers.