View Full Version : Food Supply in Whites

01-22-2016, 11:54
I plan to hike New Hampshire this year and have a few questions. What is the best month to avoid crowds and bugs? How much food should I plan to carry through the Whites. I have heard anything from 2 days worth to 5-6 days worth. I usually carry about 5 days worth of food, but do not want to carry the extra weight if I don't have to. I'm a section hiker and have completed the AT up to Hanover, but everyone says the trail gets much harder through New Hampshire. I'm an average hiker and usually plan approx. 15mi per day.

01-22-2016, 12:16
Someone will chime in with more specific information than me, I'm a NH resident, but I tend to stick to 3,000 footers and more moderate trails thus far. So take this for what it's worth.

What kind of bugs do you hope to avoid? Black flies are early in the season at lower altitudes late spring to early summer. Higher altitudes, can last until July. They aren't much of problem in the wind, which the Whites have plenty of. For me, they buzz around my face, but rarely to never bite me, other people get chewed on. Deet helps with the bites, but they'll still buzz your face. Hike with someone taller, with a black hat, they'll be drawn to that person.

Mosquitoes are later in the season. Deet helps a lot.

I've only noticed larger crowds on weekends, especially holiday weekends, even then, it's not an obnoxious level of crowding. The highways are far worse than the trails.

http://theatguide.com/PlanNobo2010-15.html This shows one strategy for supplies at 15 miles per day. Doesn't seem to involve any long sections without resupply in NH.

01-22-2016, 12:19
Crowds: Any month that the Whites are hikeable will have crowds. That region is a premier global tourist spot, so you have a wider range of people to interact with than simply AT thru hikers. It's really fun, there will be people from all over the world. I went through in early September and the crowds were entirely manageable.

Food: Because you are not thru hiking I'm assuming you will not ask for work-for-stay. Being fed by the huts is the main driver behind thru-hikers carrying less food through the Whites. I can recall people going full-food-load up Kinsman and they were miserable. Consider treating yourself to a hut/lodge stay (or several) and get breakfast/dinner. You only live once, and being catered to in the wilderness is a great experience.

Terrain: New Hampshire is very challenging but nothing like Maine. If you plan on long days (and weather cooperates) you can hike your 15's no problem. The ridgewalks are easy. Anywhere you see a big ascent or descent, however, plan on it being very steep, there's nothing like it south of the Whites.

White Mountains Lodge and Hostel provides excellent hospitality and shuttle services...(plug)

01-22-2016, 12:20
You can avoid the crowds or you can avoid the bugs, but you can't avoid both.

June is pretty quiet because that's when the bugs are at their peak. It can also still be cool, wet and muddy in June, but that is highly variable year to year.
The peak season is July and August. July tends to have a lot of thunderstorms and the summits are often in the clouds.
September has the best weather, but that's when the bulk of the thru hikers are here.

Weekends are always busy, regardless of time of year.

You have to be in prime hiking shape to pull off 15 mile days. Camping is highly restricted in NH, so that has to be factored in too. Resupply options are limited and not very convenient, so that adds to the difficulty.

01-22-2016, 14:56
Resupply for me through the NH/whites actually ended up being pretty easy for me last year. I went from Hanover - Hikers Welcome Hostel in Glencliff - Lincoln - back to lincoln (there are two road crossings) - Gorham
Like Slo-go'en said though, it's not easy hiking through there. I was at the tail end of a thru hike so I was still pushing out 20 mile days which let me only carry a day or two of food through there.