Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 69
  1. #1

    Default CT Thru-hike Packing List - Rough Draft

    Hello everyone. Thanks in advance for sharing your time and knoweldge with me.

    I plan to hike the CT this summer with a good friend of mine. I've never hiked the CT, but I've hiked extensively in the Smokey Moutains with day hikes, as well as roughly 100 miles in both directions from Clingmans Dome. I am an ex-Army scout and I'm currently built like a division 1 linebacker. (Not ideal for hiking, I know) I'm a teacher, so I have summers off.

    The problem is, I want to take my best friend, who is relatively out of shape, and in her late 40's. On a treadmill, she can walk at 3mph with a 7.5% incline for 3 miles without needing to stop. We've completed many day hikes in the Black Hills of South Dakota (Up to like 7,200 feet) and she always does fine without needing breaks. This is however, the most difficult phyisical exericse she's done in the past decade (or two).

    To balance our strengths, I'm considering carrying the majority of the load. Here is our rough draft packing list. Please help us make it into the final packing list. Below the list is the rough draft travel itenerary. Thanks for your help.




    Danielís Pack
    Gear Weight (Ounces) Name and Link
    Backpack 77 Osprey Aether 85
    Tent 25 Big Agnes Scout UL2
    Sleeping Bags 31 REI Igneo (+19 degree Menís Rating)
    Sleeping Pads 2x 19
    19
    Thermarest Large Foam Pads
    Headlamp 4 Black Diamond Revolt
    Insulated Jacket 8 Mountain Hardwear Down Ghost Whisperer (Hooded)
    Rain Jacket 2 Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisper (Hooded)
    Top Base layer 8 Under Armour ColdGear Compression Top
    Bottom base layer 8 Under Amour ColdGear Compression Bottom
    Long Sleeve Shirt
    Shorts 3.5 Mountain Hardwear Refueler Shorts
    Rain Pants 7 Mountain Hardwear Plasmic
    Gaiters 3 Outdoor Research Ultra Trail Gaitors
    Socks 8x ? 8 Pair
    Underwear 4x ? 4 Pair
    Ventilated Shoes 24 Asics Scout
    Cell Phone 14 Galaxy Note 2 + Otterbox Defender
    Solar Panel 24 JOOS Orange
    Compass 1 Suunto A-10
    GPS 2 Garmin Foretrex 401
    Water Container 5.2 CamelBak UnBottle Insulated Reservoir
    Water Filter 2 Sawyer 3-Way Inline
    USB Cable 0.3 6 inch micro USB Cable
    Towel 2 PackTowel Ultralite (Large)
    Lighter
    Sunscreen
    Ibuprofen
    Rx Meds
    Toilet Paper
    Wet Ones
    Pocket Guide
    Trowel
    Pack Totals:
    BPW: 18.05 lbs
    Water: 6.50 lbs (3 liters)
    Food: 32.00 lbs (2lbs/day/person, 2 people, 8 days max)
    Total: 56.55 lbs


    Worn by Daniel
    Gear Weight (Ounces) Name and Link
    Hat
    Sunglasses
    Headphones
    Long Sleeve Shirt
    Gloves
    Shorts
    Socks
    Ventilated Shoes 24 Asics Scout
    Trekking Poles 16 Leki Carbonlite XL




    Teresaís Pack
    Gear Weight (Ounces) Name and Link
    Backpack 37 Osprey Mira 34
    Sleeping Bag 34 REI Joule (+22 degree Womens Rating)
    Headlamp 4 Black Diamond Revolt
    Insulated Jacket 6 Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket
    Rain Jacket 2 Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisper Jacket
    Gaiters 3 Outdoor Research Ultra Trail Gaitors
    Towel 2 PackTowl Ultralite (Large)
    Top Base layer 8
    Bottom base layer 8
    Long Sleeve Shirt 8
    Ventilated Pants 8
    Rain Pants 7
    Ventilated Shoes 24
    Socks 8x ? 8 Pair
    Underwear 4x ? 4 Pair
    Water Filter 2 Sawyer 3-Way Inline
    Water 104 3 Liters of water Ė Inside included reservoir
    Extra stuff 16

    Totals:
    Gear: 10.43 lbs
    Water 6.5 lbs
    Total: 16.93 lbs


    Resupply points:

    Begin CT (Leave with 4 days of food)
    48.5m from start - Bailey, CO (Leave with 6 days of food)
    76.6m from last resupply - Breckenridge, CO (Leave with 8 days of food)
    108.8m from last resupply - Buena Vista, CO (Leave with 4 days of food)
    62.7m from last resupply - Salida, CO (Leave with 6 days of food)
    113.1m from last resupply - Creede, CO (Leave with 4 days of food)
    83.7m from last resupply - Silverton, CO (Leave with 4 days of food)
    82.8m from last resupply - Durango, CO


    582.45 miles total with included resupply trips and Mt. Elbert side trip



    Rough Trip Itinerary:

    Arrrive in Leadville for altitude acclimation: June 15th
    Begin CT: June 21st, 2013
    Return: August 2nd, 2013


    Day 1 - 12.1m
    Day 2 - 12.1m
    Day 3 - 12.1m
    Day 4 - 12.2m - Arrive in Bailey, CO
    Day 5 - Rest
    Day 6 - 12.8m
    Day 7 - 12.8m
    Day 8 - 12.8m
    Day 9 - 12.7m
    Day 10 - 12.8m
    Day 11 - 12.8m - Arrive in Breckenridge, CO
    Day 12 - Rest
    Day 13 - 15.65m
    Day 14 - 15.65m
    Day 15 - 15.65m
    Day 16 - 15.65m - Arrive at Mt. Elbert Trailhead
    Day 17 - 6.25m - Mt. Elbert round trip
    Day 18 - 15.4m
    Day 19 - 15.4m
    Day 20 - 15.4m - Arrive in Buena Vista, Co
    Day 21 - Rest
    Day 22 - 15.7m
    Day 23 - 15.7m
    Day 24 - 15.7m
    Day 25 - 15.7m - Arrive in Salida, CO
    Day 26 - Rest
    Day 27 - 18.9m
    Day 28 - 18.9m
    Day 29 - 18.9m
    Day 30 - 18.9m
    Day 31 - 18.9m
    Day 32 - 18.9m - Arrive in Creede, CO
    Day 33 - Rest
    Day 34 - 21.0m
    Day 35 - 21.0m
    Day 36 - 21.0m
    Day 37 - 21.0m - Arrive in Silverton, Co
    Day 38 - Rest
    Day 39 - 20.7m
    Day 40 - 20.7m
    Day 41 - 20.7m
    Day 42 - 20.7m - Arrive in Durango - Sleep in Hotel
    Day 43 - Fly/Drive Home


    I'm concerned about the Bailey resupply point. Considering doing a mail drop there, and skipping the rest day. Not sure. Mind you, this is a rough draft. I'll finalize everything after I have more time for thinking and get feedback. Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    I suppose a major cocern about the packing list would be the lack of a camp stove. While I was in the Army, even in freezing temps, I rarely used the MRE heaters. While camping along parts of the AT, I carried a camp stove, but never felt drawn to use it, except when my cook-free foods ran out. Maybe I'm strange, but I just never really need warm food while on the trail. Teresa is fine without the camp stove too.


    As for the cell phone and solor panel totaling 2lbs, 6 ounces. Both Teresa and I really like having the phone for when we're in town. I want to use the phone to take pictures and a little video logging for youtube. Also, if we have accessive downtime, we can use the phone to watch pre-loaded movies/tv shoes from its 5.5 inch screen 80gb storage. Additionally, I've heard of many high points of the CT which have some cell reception. It would make my day to phone someone from the trail, even if it was a rare occourance. Anywho, got to run.

  3. #3
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    57
    Posts
    861

    Default

    Coupla points, from a 35-year CO veteran: those are mighty long days down in the San Juans, even at the end of your hike when you'll be trail-tough. I'd count on fewer down there. the early mileage looks reasonable. You'll also hit the height of the Monsoon (starts in July, usually 2nd-3rd week) and have rain every single afternoon, but that's not a biggie, just be sure to be below treeline then. Hang out for an hour or two then it generally clears up and you can get some more miles in.

    I'd find a different place to acclimate than Leadville, unless you have some other compelling reason to go there. Lots of cool, high altitude towns to hang in. You'll be starting the trail at a mere 6000' or so, gently ascending for a couple days, don't see the need to acclimate all the way to 10K+ right off the airplane.

    8 pair of socks each? Seems excessive. Same w/ 4 pair of underwear.

    Nice add-on with Mt. Elbert. I'd also add on San Luis peak, another 14er just off the trail. Easy walk up to CO's least popular 14er.

  4. #4

    Default

    I thruhiked the CT in 2011 so I have some perspective. Here are my thoughts:

    1. I understand and admire your wanting to carry more than Teresa but I think the loads are too imbalanced. Maybe you can start that way but evaluate as you proceed.

    2. Too many pairs of socks and underwear - more of an issue of bulk than weight

    3. I didn't see a winter hat on your list. I assume that the hat you're wearing is a hat with a visor e.g. baseball cap.

    4. She's carrying 3 L of water but what's the capacity of your Camelback?

    5. Speaking of water, at times you won't need to keep your containers all full but other times, you will. Pay close attention to the water source locations described in the guidebook. For example, your second night will be a dry camp - all of Segment 2 is dry so you need to draw sufficient water at the S. Platte marking the Segment 1/Segment 2 divide.

    6. I agree that you'll both get stronger as the hike goes on but constant 21 mile days from Creede to Durango is pretty ambitious. Furthermore in this stretch and elsewhere, you need to factor in afternoon thunderstorms, meaning don't ascend an above treeline ridge in thunder & lightening. It's not just a safety issue; you'll enjoy the alpine scenery much more in the bright morning sun than with your head down in a rainstorm. Of course in Segments 22-24, you're above treeline most of the time. Also around Days 19-22, the pace is pretty ambitious because the Collegiate Peaks are the steepest climbs of the CT.

    7. Consider 2 slackpacks if you're open to it: (1) from Breck, take the bus to trailhead, slackpack Segment 7 (statistically the steepest section), take bus from Copper Mountain back to Breck, next day take bus to Copper Mt. to resume hike (2) in Creede, the outfitter can shuttle you to the trailhead to slackpack Segment 21 from whence you can get another shuttle back to Creede.

    8. Gaiters - I don't think you need them but that's a personal preference.

    9. I wholeheartedly endorse your plan to spend a week in Leadville to acclimate. I trust you will use those days to day-hike so that by the end of your time there, you've hiked up to 12,000'

    I encourage you to read my trail journal which is linked in my signature below. Best of luck to you - the Colorado Trail is magnificent!
    Last edited by Cookerhiker; 03-13-2013 at 21:50.

  5. #5

    Default

    colorado_rob, thank you for your time. What if I added a day between Creede and Silverton, and another day between Silverton and Durango? Making the average daily mileage about 16.6 miles. Would that be reasonable, or should we make it a 6 day section at a rate of 14 miles/day? (Cookerhiker, same question)

    Rob, do you have any suggestions of neat places to go which will sufficiently acclimate us? We're basically at sea level where we live.

    Socks/Underwear, you're both probably right. It's a habit I had in the army... We used at least 2 pairs of socks a day. Then again, we used leather boots. Not well ventilated shoes. As for the underwear, that's always just been my personal preference. I'll certainly reevaluate this and see what I can get away with. Do you two have specific suggestions for 8/6 day unsupported section, in regard to socks/underwear.

    San Luis peak does sound interesting, but we're on a bit of a time crunch. We're due back at work August 5th. Starting earlier is an option, but the snow pack might negate the choice to start early.

    Cookerhiker, thanks for your time. As for the imbalanced pack weight. I'm a mule of a guy. The type who can move an entire house of furniture, queen size beds, washers, dryers, and full size fridges out of a house, into a moving truck, and into a new house, all without a dolly, without damage to walls and objects and without any help. In the Army, there were multiple weekend marches, which for me looked something like this:

    Bullet proof vest with 4 ballistic plates (20'ish lbs? Not sure - 35 lbs according to wiki, but it seemed lighter than that)
    Load bearing vest with ammo and water (2L water - 210 rounds of 5.56mm and 30 rounds of 9mm)
    helmet (Seems light at first, but I hated it the most)
    ruck sack with 3 days of food and gear (About 30 lbs)
    Vietnam era platoon radio, with batteries (about 18 lbs)
    M240B with 400 rounds (HEAVY) - made you a happy camper to carry the M249 instead
    And of course I still had to carry my personal weapons being the M4 and M9 (Probably like 10 lbs together)

    We did a few 3 day/50 mile marches with side trainings included, while I'd carry the above. (Not because the Army made me, but because everyone else moaned about carrying the radio and machine gun, so why not...) While I hated the army, and I don't want a repeat of it. And while I don't want to carry unnecessary weight, I'm the type who can handle it.

    Yesterday we walked for 9 miles with a 64 lbs pack, gaining (and losing) nearly 3000' (by looping up and down our biggest local hill) After we finished I felt fine. Today I feel fine as well. Teresa says she's a little sore, but ready for more. Teresa's pack contained her water and sleeping bag only. Logic says, maybe Teresa shouldn't do it, but I would really like her to. It's basically a deal breaker for me, if she doesn't come.

    3) My plan was to use my headphones as ear muffs and use a typical hat. Should I consider something else? Have any good examples of winter hats for the CT?

    4) My camelbak capacity is 3 liters as well.

    5) Yes, I had planned on paying close attention to the water sources, as to carry 2-3 lbs less if possible.

    7) What is slackpacking?

    8) My biggest pet peeve is debris finding their way into my shoes. Is the CT clear of loose gravel and wood chips?

    9) Yes, the plan is to do lots of day hikes, where ever we acclimate at. Does Leadville work for that?

    I have your journal saved. I'll read it soon. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    57
    Posts
    861

    Default

    Yes, I like the idea of adding those days to your prelim. schedule and reducing the planned mileage. The San Juans include some rough country! I think the up-and-down along the CT is worse there than the Sawatches, but I've never done the complete thru on the CT (but have hiked nearly every mile of it in sections).


    Leadville: nothing against Leadville, per se, but there is just not much to do there, considering you'll be walking right through that country during your through hike. I would suggest staying in or near the city of Estes Park for a few days, and venturing up into Rocky Mountain NP a couple/few times, doing some day hikes in this most amazing national park. You'll certainly get some good altitude training. You could start "low", like 8000-9000 feet in a few areas the first day or two, then get on some alpine trails near and above treeline. It would be a shame to visit Colorado and NOT visit RMNP ! It's the Gem of Colorado. Zillions of trails.

    Leadville? Meh. Just another high mountain town. Nice area, but again, you'll be spending plenty of time there.

    The only downside of Estes Park is it might be a tad crowded on weekends that time of year.

    I also say lose the gaters, and definitely carry a warm cap! I personally think a "winter hat" is a bit much for mid-summer along the CT, but defintely a pull-on wool or fleece cap. And bring plenty of sunscreen! The UV in the CO high country is as high as it gets in the lower 48 of the US.

    Finally: don't forget to research and visit some of our world-renowned micro breweries!

  7. #7

    Default

    5 days each section, with 16.6 miles, or 6 days, with 14 miles?

    Okay, I'm 90% sold on Estes Park. I visited RMNP as a child, but it's been too long. Not sure why I didn't think of it first. Thanks.

    But I reeeeeaaaallly hate debris in my shoes! Like, I feel like screaming anytime a 2mm pebble gets in. It's worse than having an itchy nose while being paralyzed. (I suspect)

    If I need a fleece cap, I have a few of the now cliche army PT caps. Will one of those do?

  8. #8

    Default

    Sorry, didn't know whether you knew that "slackpacking" simply means a day hike without the full heavy pack. You'll see how it works from the descriptions I wrote of the 2 stretches (Segments 7 and 21) for which it's feasible. It entails spending an extra night in Breck and Creede respectively, leaving your stuff at the hostel/motel, and hiking with a light pack to the segment end and returning via bus (Segment 7) and shuttle (Segment 21).

    Rob's recommendation for Estes Park as a good place to acclimate is a good one. Rocky Mountain NP is pretty awesome and you can hike at different elevations.

    Regarding my reference to "winter hat," a pull-on wool or fleece hat should suffice - I used the latter.

    Finally, no one mentioned mosquitoes - you will have them. My hike started July 24 and I had them for about 10 days. The worse time was evenings in camp.

    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    ...Finally: don't forget to research and visit some of our world-renowned micro breweries!
    Here, Here! Carver's Brew Pub in Durango gives a free pint of their locally brewed Colorado Trail Ale to those completing a successful thruhike.Colorado Trail 435 Celebrating completion in Durango.jpg

  9. #9

    Default

    BTW Daniel if I'm counting correctly, you're on the trail for 42 days with 6 zero days, giving you 36 days of hiking. That makes your hike the exact same length as mine which was 38 days of which 2 were zeros: 36 days of hiking.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Toms River NJ and Kapaa HI
    Posts
    7,753

    Default

    +1 to all Colorado Rob and CookerHiker stated! especially about the mileage through the San Juans with a 60 lb haul. They gave spot on advice!

    PLEASE, don't take this the wrong way. Don't think I'm trying to turn you into something you may not be ready for but I have to tell you this because I also USED TO HAUL a 60 lb loaded Osprey Aether 85 but on flatter trails half the elevation of the CT. I'm also very fit, athletic, and med framed but well built. It's a great fully featured BOMBER pack. It, as well as the rest of your gear, can and probably will work for you. I know you said you are built like a linebacker and an ex-Army Scout and the condition of your hiking companion comes into play but the CT IS NOT the place to act macho. Shedding a bit of wt will pay HUGE dividends for not only your companion but for you too on this high altitude hike and probably make for a more comforatble thru-hike FOR BOTH OF YOU. Do so by examining what you plan on carrying. And, it doesn't have to ALL be about gear! Just doing simpler things like doing less miles, more resupplying to lessen trail food wt hauls, especially in the beginning of your thru-hike, or doing #5 like CookerHiker said will help you shed a bit of wt that you haul. DO read Mags CT End to Enders Guide!

    Ok, here's the nitty gritty on your gear. I'm not going to be ruthless just maybe a littel more wt sensible. Yes, you are on the CT but it's summer and have a decent 2 p tent and decent sleeping bags. You don't need sleeping pads that weigh 19 0z each. Lose some of that pad wt. If they are closed cell foam(CCF) trim them down shedding wt or buy less wt ones. Could easily drop that by a lb total. The MH Down Ghost Whisper Jackets should be plenty warm enough IN CAMP AND ON STOPS but the 2 oz MH Ghost Whisper Rain Jackets ARE NOT rain jackets! They are really wind jackets certainly not suitable for the rain showers YOU WIIL encounter on the CT during summer! IMHO, you need rain jacket protection on the CT in summer that can double as wind jackets! Buy light wt or UL Rain Jackets! Look at the GoLite Malpais for abot $75 and weighing about 9 0z in XL. 8 oz each for thermal bottoms? My cheapy silk wt ones weigh 3.5 oz in XL. I know you'll be in CO but you are not going skiing! REMEMBER, it's summer. 8 pr socks? What do you own a sock store? 2 pr are enough. 4 pr underwear? 1 pr is enough! There are laundromats and water sources on the CT to wash dirty socks and undies. * Please don't wash dirty clothes in drinking water sources. Talking about water, why does she, or you, always need to haul 104 ozs of water? That's a mistake allotting that much wt to her for water. Look at what CookerHiker stated in #5! Take some of the wt you are carrrying FOR HER and allot HER her that wt you've mistakenly allotted to her for water! I see you have your bottom half covered with more ventilation when it's hot with shorts and when it's rainy or cold with thermal bottoms and rain pants. She might choose something similar for when it's hot(hiking skirt, convertible pants, etc) and rain protection with rainpants or rain skirt at other times. If my math is right you are hauling about 42 ozs(more than 2 1/2 lbs)with your cell ph, solar panel, GPS, compass, and USB cable. Can't you lose some of that electronics wt? Is all of that REALLY NECESSARY? TP and Wet Ones? It's one or the other or maybe SMALL amts of each.

    Not much in Bailey - convenience store at gas station(LIMITED resupply!), NO grocery store, two restaurants(the one diner has big B-fast portions at VERY reasonable costs), PO, Library, liquor store, laundromat. I would think you would want to hitch out/back in rather than walk the road or take a blue blaze into town/back to the CT. However, once in Bailey everything there is all within a short walk. Bailey is basically a SMALL town in a bend in the road. I've stealthed theer twice with permission(cops, liquor store) in the Gazebo behind the small train(historical?) museum/liquor store. Could, TO REDUCE THE HAUL, also or alternatively go into Jefferson from Kenosha Pass. Getting rides at KP and back are easy! In Jefferson is a med sized convenience store/PO/sometimes off hrs limited cafe under one roof.

    Several good towns to zero or place to make short stops:
    Breck(Fireside Inn and Hostel is GREAT(most reasonably priced place I know of in Breck for a person(s) on a limited budget to stay!/owners are very hiker friendly and sociable but also respectful/can you say HOT TUB?/no full kitchen though). BTW, since you are two hikers together and if you are both acceptable to the idea it might be more convenient and maybe cheaper to just rent a private room in a hostel or possibly some town hotels/motels.

    If you don't like the atmosphere OR PRICES in Breck you can easily take the FREE bus to Silverthorne or Frisco(DO NOT confuse Silverthorne with Silverton!) where everything a thru-hiker usually desires also exists. There's a hostel in Silverthorne and some SHWEET hiking outfiitters/gear consignment stores/gear outlets here! Never stayed at the hostel in Silverthorne but instead chose to stealth along the Blue River.

    Leadville(One of the BEST RUN FULL SERVICE HOSTELS I've ever had the privledge of staying!!!/hostel is within walking distance of everything/GREAT eclectic coffee shop/cafe called City On A Hill on Harrison St(get your pre-hike back to the trail chow on with a GREAT B-Fast burrito and some bakery goods here, they roast their own beans too)

    As Cooker Hiker stated, between Breck and Leadvile you have some slack pack opps that are rather easy to facilitate. For example, I did a Copper Mt back to Breck slack pack that allowed me not having to haul a full resupply NOBO from Leadville to Breck over the ridge. I also did this slack pack on my CDT thru-hike in reverse. Mags CT End to Enders Guide has some info about this as well as a WHOLE LOT MORE worthwhile, but condensed, info about hiking the CT which addresses some of your initial questions. Some of what I'm posting here is included in his FREE CT guide. http://www.pmags.com/colorado-trail-end-to-end-guide-2 In addition, Jonathan Ley's FREE for a donation CDT mapset covers the CT from Breck to Leadville and beyond to Twin Lakes so you can see the slack pack possibilities on a map, you can use the buses to slack pack.

    DO NOT take the side trip to summit Mt Elbert so lightly especially given the condition of your female hiking companion and the wt you and maybe her will have on your backs. I've twice been denied summiting Mt Elbert because of me not being prepared for the weather to summit.

    Buena Vista(like this town, two of my CO friends moved here, nice library, laundromat(Hwy 24 across from the library/has HOT showers too!), eateries, PO, history, architecture, grocery stores, two SHWEET coffee/cafe shops(BV Roastery and Bongo Billys, one downtown on Main St and one on main highway(Hwy 24), stayed here twice stealthing down by the BIG park on the ARKANSAS RIVER

    I stopped off at Princeton Hot Springs(its right on the CT) for a few trail snacks. Instead, had a good decent B-Fast buffet. Sat out under the tress on the large deck overseeing the grounds and river. Then, was offered a free shower, towel, and hygiene products. You know I took them up on that offer. AND, then stayed for free bar snacks(burritos, mango salsa, baked corn chips) and a drink(yeah I left a nice tip) before heading off.

    Salida(nice hostel/close to everything, very cool CO town!, during summer when you'll be on the CT you should go down by the Arkansas River to check out the kayakers and rafters, some excellent bar stops here, old gas station has been converted into SHWEET coffee shop, this town has some cool small craftsman style homes, Main St architecture, shops, book stores, art gallery, etc, a few consignment stores with some used gear steals available!

    Although Gunnison is quite a few miles off trail(about 35 miles) I wanted to check it out. Nice college town. GREAT well run cordial hostel(Wanderlust Hostel) offering oodles of info. Nice kitchen too if you decide on some cooking. Another hostel I highly recommend.

    I've chosen to go into Lake City from Spring Creek Pass instead of going into Creede on three hiking trips through the pass. Some, like Mags, have supposedly encountered HARD hitches from this pass but I've never experienced a long wait. I like that Lake City has a quiet decently equipped close to everything(it's a small town) hostel right next door to a very good coffee shop/cafe run by a previous thru-hiker and his wife(Ravens Rest Hostel). If you go here and visit the coffee shop look at all the sayings written on the wall! You'll find a few of mine there.

    Silverton is an OLD CO mining town with oodles of history, lots of touristy related shops, historical hotels(some of them gave me the feeling that I was back in the Old West 140 yrs ago, actually I got that feeling from the whole town), eateries, library, med sized grocery store, PO, laundromat, coffee shops, etc Some very cool architecture here but much of it is VERY dated. Has a *NO FRILLS* hostel/inn(Silverton Hostel?). This small town must have had upwards of 60 bars/saloons during its mining heydays. Some VERY COOL ANTIQUE WOODEN BARS here. Worth a short overnight stay to resupply from Molas Pass. The big highlight of this town is that it's the terminus of the Durango & Silverton Railroad. The D&S RR is a steam engine narrow guage RR throwback when the Iron Horse was in its heyday. Perhaps, you and your hiking companion might work a train ride into your CT hike? IF you work that out right it might just add that gravy to the tatters on your CT thru-hikes! BEWARE, there's a good sized ascent up to Molas Pass on well engineered switchbacks from the valley where the D&S RR is located.

    Durango(simply put this is a GREAT town to finish up on a CT thru-hike!!! Make sure to get a VERY GOOD micro brew at one of the bars post hike. Make a pt to say you just finished thruing the CT. It should get you some free drinks, maybe a few delish slices, and more than a few inquisitive and envious smiles from the great CO folks in DURANGO who like to reward those who do things like what you and your hiking companion just did!

    Started typing this awhile ago(I type slowly) so maybe some of this has already been answered by posters

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Toms River NJ and Kapaa HI
    Posts
    7,753

    Default

    I'm a mule of a guy. The type who can move an entire house of furniture, queen size beds, washers, dryers, and full size fridges out of a house, into a moving truck, and into a new house, all without a dolly, without damage to walls and objects and without any help. In the Army, there were multiple weekend marches, which for me looked something like this:

    Bullet proof vest with 4 ballistic plates (20'ish lbs? Not sure - 35 lbs according to wiki, but it seemed lighter than that)
    Load bearing vest with ammo and water (2L water - 210 rounds of 5.56mm and 30 rounds of 9mm)
    helmet (Seems light at first, but I hated it the most)
    ruck sack with 3 days of food and gear (About 30 lbs)
    Vietnam era platoon radio, with batteries (about 18 lbs)
    M240B with 400 rounds (HEAVY) - made you a happy camper to carry the M249 instead
    And of course I still had to carry my personal weapons being the M4 and M9 (Probably like 10 lbs together)

    We did a few 3 day/50 mile marches with side trainings included, while I'd carry the above. (Not because the Army made me, but because everyone else moaned about carrying the radio and machine gun, so why not...) While I hated the army, and I don't want a repeat of it. And while I don't want to carry unnecessary weight, *I'm the type who can handle it.*

    Yesterday we walked for 9 miles with a 64 lbs pack, gaining (and losing) nearly 3000' (by looping up and down our biggest local hill) After we finished I felt fine. Today I feel fine as well. Teresa says she's a little sore, but ready for more. Teresa's pack contained her water and sleeping bag only. Logic says, maybe Teresa shouldn't do it, but I would really like her to. It's basically a deal breaker for me, if she doesn't come.


    With all due respect Daniel, BE CAREFUL with these gung ho thoughts when applying them to an almost 500 mile CT thru-hike. I know you are one tough SOB. It's not that thru-hiking is a super human feat but what you've done IS NOT THE SAME as hiking at an avg of more than 10K ft day after day after day after day after day after day often with major elevation changes WITH 60 lbs on your back. It's different. Just like being a world class Olympic road bicyclist is different from being a world class Olympic long distance runner. Just like living in an Army barracks or driving a tank or doing things the "Army Way" is different than living on a nuclear powered submarine boomer or driving a sub or doing things the "Navy Way". It's not that there aren't huge cross-over benefits that you bring to the table such as being as accomplished physically and mentally as you are, it's that athletes, even accomplished athletes in other sports, and especially driven, in supreme athletic shape, military personnel, can suddenly and often have rude awakenings to the rigors of and acclimating to long distance hiking trail life. If you closely examine your own INITIAL REACTIONS to the rigors of acclimating to the new consistencies of Army life you'll better understand where I'm coming from. You don't have the entire support of the Army behind you anymore with this endeavor to get you in the place to complete this. You have to take what you've learned and grown to become in the military and what folks like me and some accomplished others are offering and apply it. AND, be forewarned, whenever hiking with others, you as the strongest in the group, can only go so fast and do so much for the weakest or least experienced in your hiking group! And, let's not forget that you aren't all that experienced as a long distance hiker either. Realize those things, going in. Now, go enjoy your hike with your hiking companion.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Toms River NJ and Kapaa HI
    Posts
    7,753

    Default

    One more thing Daniel. With all the extreme detail I notice in your initial post and the way you are being so strict organizing your hike BE FOREWARNED not all will go as rigorously planned as you might be accustomed to while on a long distance hike. IMO, one of the key assets to completing AND ENJOYING a long distance hike, and let's not lose sight of that, you are doing this to enjoy it, is to be adaptable/flexible. And, I've done more than a dozen over 500 miles. This isn't something where you can foresee every scenario or plan for every possible contingency. Things WILL OCCUR on the CT that you can't control or foresee but what you can control is what you do about these things.

  13. #13

    Default

    Thanks Dogwood. You're a very excited person. Perfect, I can use your enthusiasm. With your help, I'm sure I'll be ready to start the CT with the best possible plans.

    First things first, I clearly do want to shave weight. Some things are more negotiable to shave than others, but I'm here with my packing list, mostly... to get help shaving weight. Ideally, would I want to carry more than my share of gear? No. The rational behind doing it is simple:

    I want to complete the CT by August 4th with Teresa. I'm in much better shape than Teresa. If we carry equal gear, she will certainly become tired and sore quicker than me. If I carry some of her gear, she will last longer. If she last longer, our chances of trail completion by August 4th increase. My goal isn't to be macho, it's to complete the trail with Teresa.

    As for the heavy pack. In my experience, if you're going to have a heavy load, you need a strong (heavy) pack. Before I can lighten the pack, I need to lighten what goes in the pack.

    Shorter days for the last half of the CT - Got it, thanks. (Revamped itinerary at the end of this post)

    Socks/Underwear - Got it, thanks

    Foam pads - I'm a really picky sleeper, so a pad is essential to me if I'm to get any rest. I've tried my best to become a back sleeper, but I still sleep on my side. Because of this, I took a large foam pad, cut it in half and glued the two halves to each other, making a 25 x 38.5" double thick pad. It cushions my arm, ribcage, and hips enough to sleep on my side. (a single thickness pad isn't cushioned enough for side sleeping) I'm open to other solutions, just know, I've made a lot of effort to sleep on my back, but I just can't fall as sleep like that. No matter how tired I am, I always end up on my side.

    Rain jacket - I was thinking it might be to LW to work. Thanks for confirming.

    Water - Yes, absolutely carry less if we can get away with it.

    Wet ones and toilet paper - I always get monkey butt (Not sure what else to call it) if I don't use wet ones while camping. The toilet paper will actually be paper towels, which I've found work better. Taking enough wet ones to wipe cleanly without the tp, can be quite heavy.

    Bailey - I'm skipping Bailey

    As to being a tough SOB - I have no intention of carrying 60 lbs day after day. More realistically, this is what I expect my weight per day to be:

    Starting weight leaving Denver: About 57 lbs (gear + 8 days of food + 1.5L water)

    Day Miles Weight by the end of the day
    Day 1 - 13.1m 53 lbs (subtracting a days worth of food and half of the water)
    Day 2 - 13.1m 49 lbs (subtracting a days worth of food)
    Day 3 - 13.1m 45 lbs
    Day 4 - 13.1m 41 lbs
    Day 5 - 13.1m 37 lbs
    Day 6 - 13.1m 33 lbs
    Day 7 - 13.1m 29 lbs
    Day 8 - 13.1m 25 lbs - Arrive in Breckenridge, CO (Shuttle to and from TH)
    Day 9 - Rest
    Day 10 - 14.7m 53 lbs
    Day 11 - 14.7m 49lbs
    Day 12 - 14.7m 45lbs
    Day 13 - 14.7m 41lbs
    Day 14 - 6.5m - Mount Elbert Summit (WEIGHT - Drop the 37 lb pack in a hidden location, use Teresa's pack for food and water)
    Day 15 - 15.0m 33 lbs
    Day 16 - 15.0m 29 lbs
    Day 17 - 15.0m 25 lbs - Arrive in Buena Vista, CO
    Day 18 - Rest
    Day 19 - 15.7m 37 lbs
    Day 20 - 15.7m 33 lbs
    Day 21 - 15.7m 29 lbs
    Day 22 - 15.7m 25 lbs - Arrive in Salida, CO (Shuttle back to trail)
    Day 23 - Rest
    Day 24 - 16.7m 45 lbs
    Day 25 - 16.7m 41 lbs
    Day 26 - 16.7m 37 lbs
    Day 27 - 16.7m 33 lbs
    Day 28 - 16.7m 29 lbs
    Day 29 - 16.7m 25 lbs - Arrive in Creede, CO (Shuttle back to trail)
    Day 30 - Rest
    Day 31 - 14.7m 41 lbs
    Day 32 - 14.7m 37 lbs
    Day 33 - 14.7m 33 lbs
    Day 34 - 14.7m 29 lbs
    Day 35 - 14.7m 25 lbs - Arrive in Silverton, CO (Shuttle back to trail)
    Day 36 - Rest
    Day 37 - 15.5m 41 lbs
    Day 38 - 15.5m 37 lbs
    Day 39 - 15.5m 33 lbs
    Day 40 - 15.5m 29 lbs
    Day 41 - 15.5m 25 lbs - Arrive in Durango, CO

    Naturally I don't mean to say we'll actually cover the said miles exactly like the itinerary shows, but more that, we'll make it to the next resupply in X number of days.

    Additionally, it'd be nice to shed a few lbs from my BPW, so that every number on that list is a few lbs lighter! That would be lovely.

    I wish I could type more, but I have work tomorrow. Thanks guys. You're already being super helpful.

  14. #14

    Default

    I did the math. The mid day average across the whole hike would be 37lbs. Which is super high if I was solo packing. But half of that weight is coming from carrying someone elses food and some of the gear.

  15. #15

    Default

    Just curious - when I hiked the trail in '11, the total length was 486 miles. Your mileage adds up to 529. Even if your mileage includes the Mt. Elbert side hike, that doesn't bring the total to 529. So it appears that you're taking the new loop from Twin Lakes (i.e. staying on the CDT) which I believe adds a net 40 miles. Any reason you chose this route? I believe you'll be further from Buena Vista and Salida when you reach the access roads.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    ...I stopped off at Princeton Hot Springs(its right on the CT) for a few trail snacks. Instead, had a good decent B-Fast buffet. Sat out under the tress on the large deck overseeing the grounds and river. Then, was offered a free shower, towel, and hygiene products. You know I took them up on that offer. AND, then stayed for free bar snacks(burritos, mango salsa, baked corn chips) and a drink(yeah I left a nice tip) before heading off. ...
    I also stopped at Princeton Hot Springs and enjoyed a delightful breakfast. It's on the only CT roadwalk which amounts to anything; you walk right past the restaurant.

    However, I'm guessing that Daniel is hiking the "new" portion which coincides with the CDT (see above post) so he'll miss Princeton Hot Springs. It also means he'll miss the Collegiate Peaks which renders one of my points in Post #4 inapplicable.
    Last edited by Cookerhiker; 03-13-2013 at 08:04.

  17. #17

    Default

    Have to be quick. The extra miles are distances to and from resupply points, which don't have known shuttles. I'm not a big fan of hitch hiking, except for emergencies, so if a shuttle isn't offered, I quickly accept I'll be walking. I'm doing the traditional CT route.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Fisher View Post
    Have to be quick. The extra miles are distances to and from resupply points, which don't have known shuttles. I'm not a big fan of hitch hiking, except for emergencies, so if a shuttle isn't offered, I quickly accept I'll be walking. I'm doing the traditional CT route.
    Wow! Well, that explains the mileage.

    We all profess to believe the mantra HYOH (Hike Your Own Hike), but....

    I urge you to reconsider your aversion to hitching. Salida will be the worst - 15 miles on a hard-surface US Highway in open sun. Buena Vista is 9.5 miles, Creede is about 10. For Salida, you could phone the Simple Lodge & Hostel and they might pick you up if they have space available. The problem is knowing/estimating your arrival date. As you acknowledged yourself, the schedule is flexible when paper meets reality. The Simple folks are very hiker-friendly so perhaps they'll pick you up - for a fee - even if they're full.

    Creede - when you're walking down the 4 WD road and an infrequent vehicle comes by, you're not even going to stick out your thumb?

    And suppose you need to get off the Trail for an emergency - injury, whatever. You'll have to hitch.

    Yes, it's possible that someone at the trailhead will happen to offer a ride - happened to us at Avalanche Creek when a guy offered to take us to Buena Vista. We declined but he offered other hikers the same thing on the day before. So that kind of "magic" occurs. But for the long haul, I don't think a rule against hitching is wise.

  19. #19

    Default

    I wouldn't turn down a ride. I just hate asking for favors unless it's an emergency. Calling Simple lodge seems like a good idea. If I'm desperate, I may stick out my thumb. We'll see how things go.

  20. #20

    Default

    Daniel, here's my last piece of unsolicited advice which may be unnecessary. My hunch is that you're an early riser but what about Teresa? The Colorado Trail is one hike where you want to get up early and start hiking by 6, perhaps even earlier since you're beginning with the solstice. Why? Because you're guaranteed 2 things about the weather: it will be sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon. It's true that I had a few rain-free days in around the middle of the Trail but you can't count on that. And of our 38 days, only 2 did not have sunny mornings.

    You want to take advantage of that early morning sunshine.
    Last edited by Cookerhiker; 03-13-2013 at 21:52.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •