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GoLight
09-23-2016, 13:32
I sort of recognize that we each have our own style of hiking and backpack camping and we self-select into sub-groups based on our interests, expertise, available time and money and so forth. Im in the keep it normal range. My base weight is 24 pounds, I strive for 15 miles day average, I zero every Sunday and I take a bandana bath every night.
Others Ive met on the trail have a base weight half mine (or less) and they kill 20 or 25 miles (or more) every day.
Some of us are gear geeks, others are gram geeks and yet others are just normal. Me, Im a gram geek with my Zpack 52L that weighs less than a pound and a half, but Im a gear geek with my Helinox backpacking chair that weighs almost 2 pounds. I never leave home without it.
So, what type of hiker-backpacker-camper are you?

DuneElliot
09-23-2016, 13:55
Depends on what I'm doing...comfort camper with the car and the dogs

But hiking and backpacking, I have a 13lb base weight and carry the essentials. I hike 10-12 miles a day and take lots of breaks to enjoy the views and the weather.

How are you managing a 24lb base weight with an Arc Blast. Those are generally maxed out at 30lbs and you still don't have food or water in that equation!

Uncle Joe
09-23-2016, 13:57
Minus water I carry about 23-24lbs. I can pull about 10-11mi per day. I wish I could pull a 20 but not there. Currently, a section hiker. I try to overnight when I can. I will car camp, esp. to explore new trail.

Sandy of PA
09-23-2016, 14:18
As light as I can get the pack while including my bearcan/stool. Base down to freezing is 13lbs. warmer weather, or short trips with smaller stool, 9lbs. Distance, whatever I feel like up to 20 miles per day, plan food based on 12 miles per day. Love to stealth camp, now you see me, now you don't!

hikernutcasey
09-23-2016, 14:25
This is a good topic because I think so many people come to this site looking for "the" way to do all things backpacking and as we all know there is no one way to do anything associated with backpacking. It's all about finding what works for you and finding what style of hiking works for you.

To answer the OP's question, I am a section hiker who typically gets out a few times a year for anything from a weekend trip to a 100+ mile week long section. I carry around 24 pounds with no water to begin a trip and typically hike around 16-18 miles per day.

AfterParty
09-23-2016, 14:33
I will stop and fish when i think i need a break and it looks good and no more then 12 miles in a day working on more but not there.

cneill13
09-23-2016, 14:48
My base weight not including food, water or booze is around 12-13 pounds.

But it goes up to 17-18 pounds once I add my Helinox chair and table, frypan, saw, Bluetooth speaker, and three pillows.

My typical daily mileage is between 10-12 miles. I also cache my food and booze along my route a week in advance. It saves a ton of weight.

Just because I'm on a hike doesn't mean I can't have a little luxury.

Carl

tdoczi
09-23-2016, 14:58
Im in the keep it normal range.

and who decided that this way (yours) is normal?

GoLight
09-23-2016, 15:33
and who decided that this way (yours) is normal?

Jajajajajaja, Good point. Whats extreme for me might be normal for you.
I was thinking normal is like most of us who are maybe halfway between ultralight and slob heavy.

My base weight for three season gear is 24 pounds. Zpack has a 30 pound capacity. For a seven day section I add both fresh and dehydrated foods that I make up at home ahead of time and I carry average a liter of water. That brings the weight up to 35 or 36 pounds total for the first day out, which includes fresh food for first dinner and first breakfast on trail. But, not all of it is in the backpack.

Some of that food is in a separate dry bag strapped to the top of the pack. After the first day my total weight drops to about 32 pounds and going down each day as I eat through the food supply.

To take the strain off the backpack and my shoulders I spread my load over two belt pouches and a waterproof waist pouch for things like camera, reading glasses, maps, first aid kit, smart phone, compass, folding knife, fire starter kit, space blanket.
Some of these items like the smart phone, maps and compass, folding knife, fire starter kit, space blanket, waterproof wallet with cash and credit card, drivers license for ID, are things I want to have with me if I ever get separated from my backpack.

In my base weight I also include a 1 pound bucksaw, a 1 pound hatchet for batoning firewood and a little wood burning stove for cooking and boiling water for coffee. Like everyone else, Im in it for the solitude and distance from civilization but Im also into comfort and pure enjoyment, thus the luxury items.

jjozgrunt
09-23-2016, 17:11
Base weight of 14 - 18 lbs depending on the season. The longer the walk the better but usually entails having to cache food as distances are very long between towns on most long walks over here. Base weight all things being the same is going to change depending on the individual. I'm 6' 3" solid build so all my gear is lg - Xlg, long/wide etc. Therefore it will weight more than others.

Consider myself a normal hiker heading lighter, gear wise. I solo walk a lot and will do anywhere from 10 - 20 mile days, depending on terrain and weather.

Maydog
09-23-2016, 17:16
I'm basically a day hiker with lots of cool backpacking gear that I hope to start using on a more regular basis.

map man
09-23-2016, 18:54
I guess the quickest way to pin down what kind of backpacker I am is to describe the ways I vary from the norm. Those ways are:

I never take a zero day.
I never use trekking poles.
I never get in a motor vehicle during the duration of a hike (when I'm hiking by myself and not with partners).
I am always vegan in my food, clothes and equipment choices.
I always go stoveless.
I always resupply with mail drops (sent to businesses, not post offices).

In other ways like how much weight I carry, how many miles I hike a day, and how frequently I stay in a tent or in a shelter or stay in a hostel/motel, I am within a range most hikers would consider fairly normal, I'm guessing.

nsherry61
09-23-2016, 20:20
I try to get a week or two of backpacking in per year with a few weekends or long (3-4 day) weekends. I don't really care what season I go in, any of the four is find and wonderful for me. I missed my week-long ski trip this year for the first time in many.

My winter 5-day ski backpack with food and water and whiskey is about 33-35 pounds depending on whether I use a tent or tarp.
My last 4-day backpack trip was with an 11 lb pack with food, but not water. When solo, non-winter, I generally use my poncho as my rain-gear, pack cover and shelter. I hike in trail running shoes all year round.

So, I guess I lean on the light side of average. I am a minimalist at heart. I'm pretty happy heading into the woods with very little. I am also a psudo-cheepscape in that, although I have way too much nice gear, I often don't use it. I like to backpack on the cheep. I often use cat or pop can stoves instead of one of my canister stoves. I often use a cheep poly tarp instead of one of my ultralight tents - I really don't like tents. I generally eat top ramen, or couscous or potato type dinners more than freezdried meals. I often use a cheep comforter for lightish summer sleep insulation instead of one of my nicer down bags.

I always use trekking poles. I generally go solo, but also have a few friends I regularly go with when we can line up our schedules.
I'm over 50. I grew up backpacking, camping, climbing, paddling, cycling and surely that colors my take on the outdoors.

Sometimes I plan my trips more carefully, sometimes I just head out with a few days of food and a general area I'm interested in exploring and then walk or ski or snowshoe wherever feels good at the time.

Generally I look for areas with fewer people and fewer or less developed trails (or no trails) and more dramatic scenery. Lately, with moving to New England, I spend more time looking for dramatic(ish) scenery regardless of remoteness since the concept of remote is pretty highly populated in this region.

martinb
09-23-2016, 20:39
As long as I'm out int he sticks, enjoying mother nature, I'm happy. The rest is just details.

Dogwood
09-23-2016, 20:57
Mostly detail oriented solo UL backpacker/hiker that seeks efficiency hiking long hrs 15 or more/day or 30+ hr stretches at a time all over the U.S. during all 12 months on named trails and routes and off trail hikes. Currently enjoying piecing together segments of trails and my own routes to enjoy longer hikes but also like those 60 - 500 mile hikes that can be squeezed into a narrower hiking window. Like to enjoy Nature and be in a Zen Zone on hikes. One of the greatest pleasures is being able to potentially contribute positively to other's evolution as people and backpackers.

Kits are dependent on a wide range of factors so they are always changing as I change becoming more developed as a backpacker.

Kaptainkriz
09-23-2016, 21:17
Short sections, in and out over weekends with my wife when we can. I keep a gps file of where I've been and keep filling the sections in. Call me a retro lightweight. A mix of old school white cloud and caldera Ti cone / Zelph starlyte kinda guy, but can pull out the SVEA123 if it suits the mood. :)

Another Kevin
09-23-2016, 21:31
I'm a weekender. I don't know how likely I am ever to do the Big Hike. Maybe in retirement.

Otherwise, I'm content with my style, which is short mileage (I'm never on trail long enough to find my "trail legs", so 8-12 mpd is all I plan), day trips, overnights, 3-4 day long weekends. Backpacking isn't my first love - heresy, I know! I like getting out in the woods and seeing cool places that I haven't been to before, or showing others cool places that I have been to. Some of those cool places are more than a half-day's walk - at least at my short mileage - from the highway, particularly if I'm going to have time for photography, map-making, or writing when I get there. So my backpack comes along for the ride and I spend a night or three Out There.

On the other hand, I go anywhere that they still call 'hiking.' I've bushwhacked Northeast 4000ers in winter. I like remoteness - I've done 40+-mile roadless stretches, with no way out shorter than the trail. I don't mind routefinding in ledges and brush, or rock scrambling, or plooshing through beaver swamp, or wallowing about on snowshoes. If it's generally regarded as 'hikable,' I'm up for trying it!

Unless I'm in a group and we're all socializing at a shelter, I'll tent nearby virtually every time. The mice can have the place to themselves.

I do like having a few toys - smartphone and big heavy brick charger, camera, bucket so that I can have a bath or wash my socks. I feel naked without a topo map of the day's hike, a compass, and a notebook and pencil. (Usually an altimeter as well.) I've never weighed my pack. I can carry it, it can carry my gear, that's what matters. It usually has more water than I need, because I'm often hiking off-trail or on trails with poor or nonexistent guidebooks, sometimes along bone-dry ridges, and so I don't always know where the next water source is, or want to descend a thousand feet of elevation to get to it. A few pounds extra water weight, for my style, is often worth the convenience. Oh, yes, and on overnighters I always bring stove, pot and coffee filter. If I can't have real coffee, I'm not going!

Despite the fact that in the fifty years I've been hiking I've probably racked up more trail miles and bag nights than a lot of AT thru-hikers, often on routes that are harder on the AT, I still feel like an impostor on a site that reveres the Big Hike and scorns the casual "just get out and play in the woods" hiker - hence the Clueless Weekender sobriquet. The longest trail that I've hiked in its entirety is the 138-mile Northville Placid.

One thing that I think would be Really Cool would be to put on my backpack, hike downtown to the train station, ride Amtrak to New York City, and hike home from there. It would be doable, using the New York Long Path, the AT, the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, the Long Path again and the Mohawk and Hudson Bike Path (part of the Erie Canalway), and would total maybe 400 miles. Every time I talk about it I start to plan it, so I think it's a "must-do" if I ever retire. It's not for everyone, but the Hudson Highlands, Shawangunks, Catskills and Helderbergs are my part of the world. I want to see more of them - and revisit the big pieces of the route that I've already done on various day and weekend trips.

Tipi Walter
09-23-2016, 22:53
The only important criteria is whether you're indoors or outdoors. Right now I'm indoors.

MuddyWaters
09-24-2016, 00:41
Base 7 lbs avg, varies 6-10 depending on season, canister, etc.

I target 100 miles per week in prime seasons with one zero day usually. Makes planning simple. Usually end up higher, around 110-120.

No frills. I dont wash. I dont take off hiking clothes unless damp or muddy. Wear them dry, go to bed. In warmer weather I like predawn starts, and long days. Vast majority of hiking is solo.

In towns I like to relax, and Im most comfortable relaxing by myself in my own space.

I try to spend a month per yr on trails these days. Some years it's a single trip, sometimes it's a mix of 3-7 day trips. It depends on life. For instance I was supposed to have September off this yr, instead I'm typing this from hotel in Amman. Didn't work out as planned. Sometime it do. Sometime it don't. Maybe in 5 more yrs it will always work out....

Engine
09-24-2016, 05:41
Base weight between 9-12 pounds

I don't hike particularly fast, maybe a 2 mph overall daily average if you factor in breaks during the day. But I do hike all day, setting up the tent less than an hour before it's really dark. That allows for 16-24 mile days depending on terrain and the time of year. (I'm definitely faster and safer with trekking poles...bad ankle from martial arts...)

I'll take a nero every week and a zero every other. They aren't planned, it just usually works out that way.

I'm not opposed to unplanned stops for an unexpected cool campsite or taking a long lunch and 45-minute nap in the sun. But the long days still make for weeks around 100 miles.

garlic08
09-24-2016, 08:21
My style continually evolves with each long hike. I keep learning things. My AT hike in 2008 was the last of my Triple Crown hikes and how I hiked that trail was completely unrecognizable from when I started long distance hiking six years earlier. Things are different even now, after some more difficult hikes on the AZT and PNT. I'm a stoveless vegetarian, always buy food as I go. No electronics other than an LED headlamp, no spare batteries. I truly enjoy one-way hikes, or loop hikes. I don't mind road walks to close loops. Perhaps my favorite trail of all has been the Wonderland Trail in MRNP.

Some bragging numbers: The current version is about eight pounds base weight and with that I can average 600 miles per month with one or two zero days. I can hike up to 50 miles in temperate desert conditions between water sources, and up to 200 miles between food sources. I have hiked 100 miles several times in two nights out. In the US it costs about $1000/month to keep me going healthy, well rested with little weight loss.

I share my hiking time with an older bicycle touring passion. I generally average 5000 miles a year on the bike, some years over 10,000 miles, almost always more than I drive. I will sometimes bicycle a day or two to a remote trailhead for a backpacking trip, combining those passions for a perfect trip.

(I'm a lifelong Mustachian (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/), a lifestyle that allowed me to retire at age 40.)

Traveler
09-24-2016, 10:32
Base weight depends on a lot of factors:

The season and what stove I will use
Temperature ranges and potential weather conditions to be prepared for (wet/below freezing weather gear, layer clothing, etc)
What type of foot gear (runners, boots, traction devices, snowshoes)
How long I expect to be out
Type of terrain
Water availability
Am I alone or with others

Once all these considerations are made the pack I use will be selected for the conditions. So weight changes with different packs and necessary items to deal with basic situations. Obviously, three nights in winter conditions would require a more bulky and heavier pack than a single night in August.

cmoulder
09-24-2016, 12:41
So weight changes with different packs and necessary items to deal with basic situations

+1

My lightest summer base weight is about 6 lbs, but it's about 13.5 lbs in the winter... heavier quilt, supplemental CCF sleep pad, more clothing, microspikes, canister stove, heavier shelter....

LIhikers
09-24-2016, 21:47
There's a word that describes my hiking style, that word is slow.
I'm OK with that and the affect it has on my gear and food choices.

Leo L.
09-25-2016, 06:40
Living in the mountains for my whole 59 years of life, I've done hiking since I was a kid and never really stopped doing it.
The hiking style changed dramatically though.

In the very old days, hiking always had been getting up early, rush up to the summit we'd chosen, take a break, and walk down back home.
When I started rock climbing hiking was part of it for access purpose.
After a period of motorbike travelling I fell in love with the desert, and finally developed a hiking style that fits to the desert:
As a preparation I "draw a line" on the map, do very close research about possible paths and water sources, and then go for it.
A typical desert trip might cover 100-200km, include lots of mountains and passes, might take 10-14 days and I carry everything I need (plus some more) with me, except water that I refill at given sources.

Now that the political situation in the Middle East is anything but nice, I successfully carried over the very same hiking style from the desert into the Alps.
Although I'm half retired now I still don't have enough time to do real long distance hiking, but I'm out in the mountains for several days in a row as many times as possible (and as the weather allows).

One of my specialities nowadays is to mix the necessary with the pleasant, so for example if we have a dinner invitation by friends in the next village, I'll start hours, or even the day before and hike to their place using the most pleasant and adventurous path I can find.

Base weight is not a topic, I just take whatever I think I'll need for the trip. Sometimes, if the pack seems to be heavy, I'll use the bathroom scale to weight it, and I try to stay below 25kg even for the longest trip, as I know from experience that a pack heavier than this will give me spine problems.

DLP
09-25-2016, 18:59
Have no desire to thru hike. I couldn't even get thru the AT Thru Hike online game. :)

I want to go to beautiful places farther than a day hike away.

Ideally like to get out 30 days a year, but life gets in the way sometimes.

I enjoy returning on the same trail I hiked in on. I always see new things on the way back. Or doing a loop clockwise and going back and doing it counter-clockwise works,too.

Wish I could Cowboy Camp, but I'm afraid of mice, squirrels, etc. I don't mind bears or mountain lions. Woke up last Wednesday to find bloody rocks and CSI looking drag marks in the dirt 40 yards from my tent. A ranger thought that a mountain lion had probably dragged a kill past my tent? As long as the are doing their bear or mountain lion thing, I'm okay with that. But don't care for chipmunks and rodents. Deer can sound like Sasquatch stomping through the forest. Driving to/from trail is statistically the most dangerous part of any trip.

I hate carrying tent poles and put my tent poles in a dumpster 3 days into my first solo trip. I'm happy in bivy sack sized spaces. I made a bivy from mosquito net and brown silnylon which we refer to as "Denise's Coffin". :)

I'm female and came to backpacking later in life.

I usually hike 6-10 trail miles a day. I'm also disorganized and pedometer shows that I walk an additional 2-3 miles a day setting up for the night, going to the bathroom, packing up in the morning, etc. etc. Working on this. :)

Generally carry 13ish lb, including bear can. I'm happy on 1.2 lbs of food a day and can get 10+ days of food into a Bear Vault 500.

Venchka
09-25-2016, 19:27
Old. Slow. Brand new CDT section hiker. 3 days at or above 11,400' and 12,200' high point in the South San Juan Wilderness Area.
Wayne


Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."

LIhikers
09-25-2016, 19:39
One thing that I think would be Really Cool would be to put on my backpack, hike downtown to the train station, ride Amtrak to New York City, and hike home from there. It would be doable, using the New York Long Path, the AT, the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, the Long Path again and the Mohawk and Hudson Bike Path (part of the Erie Canalway), and would total maybe 400 miles. Every time I talk about it I start to plan it, so I think it's a "must-do" if I ever retire. It's not for everyone, but the Hudson Highlands, Shawangunks, Catskills and Helderbergs are my part of the world. I want to see more of them - and revisit the big pieces of the route that I've already done on various day and weekend trips.

I have a similar hike in my head Kevin.
I would take the train from my home on Long Island into New York city. Then I'd follow the same trails you mentioned north into the Catskills. There I'd pick up the Finger Lakes Trail west across NY's southern Tier to the North Country Trail across the north west corner of Pennsylvania. That would take me to Ohio and the Buckeye Trail in Ohio. Then I'd show up at my son's house unannounced :)

Teacher & Snacktime
09-25-2016, 21:42
I'm basically a day hiker with lots of cool backpacking gear that I hope to start using on a more regular basis.

That's me too :)!

I max out at 5-7 miles....maybe a little more without a pack, but not likely. I hike ridiculously slowly, usually I have a kid or two in tow, and always carry way too much food and liquid. I avoid outdoor overnights like a plague and am a big fan of hostels or my car. I delude myself into believing I'll make that long section or multi-night trek without injury, but haven't succeeded yet. I'll be testing that delusion soon in GA with overambitious mileage plans, too much weight, and a recently-initiated kiddo.

That cool gear collection? Let's just say I'll be indulging in a well-equipped delusion.

Leish
09-26-2016, 04:39
Easy for me to answer: I'm a total newb:rolleyes:

Shutterbug
09-26-2016, 11:33
I have been hiking for more than 40 years and I still haven't figured it out -- Do I hike so I can take outdoor pictures or do I take outdoor pictures because I hike?

When I first started hiking, I didn't always take a camera, but I soon became obsessed with wildlife photography. Now, I never hike without a camera.

I will share a story. Soon after I moved to the Northwest, I decided that I wanted to photograph a bear in the wild. My research indicated that a good place to photograph bears was Mt. Rainier National Park. I got the necessary permit to hike the Wonderland Trail with my number one objective being to photograph a bear. On the very first day, I met a hiker going the opposite direction who was very excited. He said, "There is a bear back there about a quarter of a mile right by the trail." I had my camera in my hand an hurried in the direction of the bear. When I came around a corner, there was the bear right in the middle of the trail. It was less than 50 yards ahead. The bear stood on its hind legs and stared at me for a second or two. It was a perfect pose, but as soon as the bear ran into the woods I realized that I was so excited that I forgot to take the picture.

I got other bear pictures on that hike, but I learned an important lesson -- it isn't enough to just be ready. When opportunity comes, take action!!

evyck da fleet
09-26-2016, 13:03
4 season hiker, 3 season backpacker/tourist (my idea of winter hiking is going to NZ when it's summer there) and zero season camper. As long as I'm at or under 25 lbs with everything I need I should be able to explore for 4 days and around 60 miles before I roll into the next hike or tourist day. I could hike 15 hrs a day but I don't like to night hike ( except hiking Mt. Whitney by moonlight to catch the sunrise). I prefer to do about 15-20 miles a day letting the weather and my destination determine the actual distance. If I'm hiking something like the AT of JMT I'll hike all day. In my current state of hiker/tourist on well known permit requiring trails my mileage is limited to the distance to the next legal camping spot including side trips.

Venchka
09-26-2016, 15:18
Old. Slow. Brand new CDT section hiker. 3 days at or above 11,400' and 12,200' high point in the South San Juan Wilderness Area.
Wayne


Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."

I do my own research. I find my own trails. I plan my own itinerary. I change my itinerary as I see fit.
I have an interesting assortment of antique and modern gear.
I don't ask for a mail drop plan for a 4 day, 3 night hike.
I don't ask where I can find water.
I have no problem carrying 7+ days of food and fuel. Aiming for 10 days if needed.
I aim to be prepared for a 60 degree to 20 degree overnight temperature range.
HYOH.
Wayne



Old. Slow. "Smarter than the average bear."

Lnj
09-26-2016, 19:30
Rank amateur describes it best I think. Small section hiker at best and most usually a weekend day hiker. Heavy gal with a heavy pack and I move at a snails pace, something less than 1MPH. But man, do I truly love it!! I have heart and gear enough to climb Everest, but time and opportunity to get on any short trail at all, about once every couple of months or so, if I am lucky.


Yet ANOTHER reason I am SO looking forward to retirement! Most people don't want to get older, and I know there are many downsides to it but... still, I am excited at the notion of getting old enough to see my children grown and self-sufficient and happy and to see myself doing just whatever my heart desires and my body will allow me to.

Teacher & Snacktime
09-26-2016, 20:07
Rank amateur describes it best I think. Small section hiker at best and most usually a weekend day hiker. Heavy gal with a heavy pack and I move at a snails pace, something less than 1MPH. But man, do I truly love it!! I have heart and gear enough to climb Everest, but time and opportunity to get on any short trail at all, about once every couple of months or so, if I am lucky.


Yet ANOTHER reason I am SO looking forward to retirement! Most people don't want to get older, and I know there are many downsides to it but... still, I am excited at the notion of getting old enough to see my children grown and self-sufficient and happy and to see myself doing just whatever my heart desires and my body will allow me to.

I can so identify with everything you've written here. Perhaps your signature most of all. I'm happy to see another enthusiast who struggles to make 1mph.

egilbe
09-26-2016, 20:45
I'm a weekend hiker/section hiker/day hiker. It really all depends on how much time I have off. This weekend was a trail maintenance over-nighter. No goals in mind. East Bald Pate attempted to kill me 70 mph gusts and sub freezing temps. I still enjoy the adventure of surviving.

DLP
09-26-2016, 21:06
I can so identify with everything you've written here. Perhaps your signature most of all. I'm happy to see another enthusiast who struggles to make 1mph. Happy to join the good company in the 1 mile an hour club! Went over Glen Pass (nearly 12,000 ft elevation) last week and averaged only 1/2 mile an hour for a couple hours. :) It was awesome!

Lnj
09-27-2016, 09:57
Happy to join the good company in the 1 mile an hour club! Went over Glen Pass (nearly 12,000 ft elevation) last week and averaged only 1/2 mile an hour for a couple hours. :) It was awesome!

I do it out of pure necessity, as I am just not in good enough shape to do better, but there is truly a great benefit of just slowing the roll and moseying around in the woods. Its really fun to me. I do wish I could and hope to one day be able to do a bit better, but not substantially. If I can average 1pmh to 1.5 mph, that is as fast as I really want to go.

Another Kevin
09-27-2016, 13:29
I can so identify with everything you've written here. Perhaps your signature most of all. I'm happy to see another enthusiast who struggles to make 1mph.

I've been on trips where it's taken 45 minutes to go a couple of hundred yards. Elf took this picture on one of them. That turned out to be a l-o-n-g day. We cut our trip short and were still making camp by headlamp.

https://c6.staticflickr.com/3/2930/14738421885_a2bd6a813d_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/osogma)
P7200320 (https://flic.kr/p/osogma) by Kevin Kenny (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ke9tv/), on Flickr

Another Kevin
09-27-2016, 14:16
I have a similar hike in my head Kevin.
I would take the train from my home on Long Island into New York city. Then I'd follow the same trails you mentioned north into the Catskills. There I'd pick up the Finger Lakes Trail west across NY's southern Tier to the North Country Trail across the north west corner of Pennsylvania. That would take me to Ohio and the Buckeye Trail in Ohio. Then I'd show up at my son's house unannounced :)

The other one that keeps coming into my head is the other half of the NY Long Path - the half that isn't blazed, because it's a route rather than a trail. A good description of the route as it it existed eighty years ago can be found starting on page 26 of http://www.nynjtc.org/files/documents/LBP.pdf.

With the state acquisition of the Finch Pruyn lands, it would be feasible to do virtually the whole route as described without trespassing. (When I read the 1930s-vintage description of the route, it seems charmingly naive, "you're trespassing here, so don't build any fires or make camp," rather than 'PRIVATE! KEEP OUT!")

There are only a couple of reroutes that would be absolutely required (avoiding Mason Hill in favor of following the East Stony Creek up from Northville; something to get around the private land near Crane Mountain; finding a bushwhack route up Gore from the southwest), and some open questions (can the dam maintenance road, disused for a century, be followed from Boreas Bridge to complete a route into Boreas Ponds, or should the modern route detour east to follow the Gulf Brook tote road? Is the tote road from Casey Brook to the Elk Lake-Marcy trail a passable route?) The missing section is easy to reconstruct from the mileage table. It descends from Four Corners to the west as far as Lake Colden, heads north through Avalanche Pass and finally picks up the Van Hoevenberg trail to the Adirondak Loj.

Combining the route as described with a thru-hike of the blazed Long Path would make for about a five-hundred-mile Big Hike, including some dozens of miles of unmarked, abandoned haul roads and maybe 10-15 miles of outright bushwhack. That hike would take in the best of Harriman, the Shawangunk ridge, the Catskills (including the Burroughs Range, half of the Devil's Path, and the northern Escarpment), the Schoharie valley, the Helderberg escarpment, a TON of roadwalking to get across the Mohawk valley (sorry! No workaround here! At least it's pleasant farm country with good views, like the Cumberland Valley was when the AT roadwalked through it), and then the very best of the Adirondacks: East Stony Creek, Crane Mountain, Gore, the Hudson Gorge, the Boreas Ponds, Panther Gorge, and a circuit of the Adirondack Great Range, before finally going through the spectacular Avalanche Pass out to Lake Clear of Heart.

Logistics for it would involve a lot of homework. There are sections where places either to camp or to pay for lodging are pretty sparse. Finding the route would mean carrying 1895 topo maps as well as modern ones.

About 5-6 years from now, if my body cooperates, and I can find a suitable crew (I would not attempt such a crazy stunt solo),I might just give it at try.

runt13
09-27-2016, 14:37
1. Hiker, mostly out of necessity as in to get from one place to the other. I do enjoy it very much and would like to do it more, eventually becoming a section hiker.
2. Backpacker, mostly day trips, I carry what I need for the day plus a little extra for safety
3. Camper, Done it all, overnight as a hiker / backpacker, car / truck camped, tent camped, canoe camped, beach camped, pop up camper, tow behind camper, RV, shelter camped. Most recently I got a Hammock and have been doing some multi day motorcycle camping. 36405

Most of my time out of doors is directly related to hunting or fishing, so take that into consideration. However I have been spending the time and money to outfit myself for some week long adventures in the very near future.

RUNT ''13''

GoLight
09-27-2016, 18:01
​Two excellent candidates for a hike of considerable distance would be the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama-Georgia, and the Benton Mackay Trail in Georgia that connects to the AT in two places.

http://www.pinhotitrailalliance.org

The Pinhoti is a premier southern Appalachian long distance hiking trail and it is also a southeast region Appalachian Trail connector. The total distance of the trail is 339.0 miles. There are 171.2 miles in Alabama and 167.8 miles in Georgia, which makes the Pinhoti the longest hiking trail in either state.

​The Pinhoti's northern terminus is in northwest Georgia, just west of the town of Blue Ridge, where it intersects with the Benton MacKaye Trail. Hiking east on the BMT for 72.3 miles will put you at Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the famous Appalachian Trail.

LIhikers
09-27-2016, 18:46
The other one that keeps coming into my head is the other half of the NY Long Path - the half that isn't blazed, because it's a route rather than a trail. A good description of the route as it it existed eighty years ago can be found starting on page 26 of http://www.nynjtc.org/files/documents/LBP.pdf.

With the state acquisition of the Finch Pruyn lands, it would be feasible to do virtually the whole route as described without trespassing. (When I read the 1930s-vintage description of the route, it seems charmingly naive, "you're trespassing here, so don't build any fires or make camp," rather than 'PRIVATE! KEEP OUT!")

There are only a couple of reroutes that would be absolutely required (avoiding Mason Hill in favor of following the East Stony Creek up from Northville; something to get around the private land near Crane Mountain; finding a bushwhack route up Gore from the southwest), and some open questions (can the dam maintenance road, disused for a century, be followed from Boreas Bridge to complete a route into Boreas Ponds, or should the modern route detour east to follow the Gulf Brook tote road? Is the tote road from Casey Brook to the Elk Lake-Marcy trail a passable route?) The missing section is easy to reconstruct from the mileage table. It descends from Four Corners to the west as far as Lake Colden, heads north through Avalanche Pass and finally picks up the Van Hoevenberg trail to the Adirondak Loj.

Combining the route as described with a thru-hike of the blazed Long Path would make for about a five-hundred-mile Big Hike, including some dozens of miles of unmarked, abandoned haul roads and maybe 10-15 miles of outright bushwhack. That hike would take in the best of Harriman, the Shawangunk ridge, the Catskills (including the Burroughs Range, half of the Devil's Path, and the northern Escarpment), the Schoharie valley, the Helderberg escarpment, a TON of roadwalking to get across the Mohawk valley (sorry! No workaround here! At least it's pleasant farm country with good views, like the Cumberland Valley was when the AT roadwalked through it), and then the very best of the Adirondacks: East Stony Creek, Crane Mountain, Gore, the Hudson Gorge, the Boreas Ponds, Panther Gorge, and a circuit of the Adirondack Great Range, before finally going through the spectacular Avalanche Pass out to Lake Clear of Heart.

Logistics for it would involve a lot of homework. There are sections where places either to camp or to pay for lodging are pretty sparse. Finding the route would mean carrying 1895 topo maps as well as modern ones.

About 5-6 years from now, if my body cooperates, and I can find a suitable crew (I would not attempt such a crazy stunt solo),I might just give it at try.

In 5-6 years I should be retired, sign me up as a maybe for that trip.
Ask again in 5 years :)

Night Train
09-28-2016, 11:43
Fast, light, freeze at night, when not hiking I run ultras.

Tipi Walter
09-28-2016, 15:28
Slow, heavy, warm at night. When not hiking I'm dehydrating food for the next trip.

SkraM
09-28-2016, 20:05
I get to the AT 2-3 times a year. Hike 4-10 days per trip covering 11-15 miles per day. Try to hike a different section each trip. My three season base weight ranges between 13-16 lbs, depending on time of year and conditions. I always take an afternoon nap in my hammock. Never pass a vista or overlook. Taking the final steps toward lighten my base weight with a new pack (Zpacks), swapping synthetic insulation for down, and lighter misc gear. When the new gear arrives, I’ll take it for a walk.

rocketsocks
09-28-2016, 20:21
The kind that needs to go more. Hike to camp.

GoLight
09-29-2016, 11:39
Slow, heavy, warm at night. When not hiking I'm dehydrating food for the next trip.

Do you dehydrate all the meals you eat on the trail? Im in my first year of learning how to dehydrate and so far I am totally impressed with weight savings and good food and less bulk in my pack.

kayak karl
09-29-2016, 14:04
Slow, heavy, warm at night. When not hiking I'm dehydrating food for the next trip.
i just assumed you put saddle bags on a pig and let it follow you to camp :)

Tipi Walter
09-29-2016, 14:12
Do you dehydrate all the meals you eat on the trail? Im in my first year of learning how to dehydrate and so far I am totally impressed with weight savings and good food and less bulk in my pack.

Yes, and it's right you should be totally impressed with the weight savings as home drying makes a big difference, plus you get to eat exactly what you want and it's much cheaper than Mt House and way less salty. To get some idea of your choices, check out my Kitchen keyword on Smugmug---click thru them and find the Dehydrator pics---

https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/keyword/kitchen/i-5q9tHNk


i just assumed you put saddle bags on a pig and let it follow you to camp :)

The only pigs I know have tusks and snarl and hate carrying extra gear so I still have to do all the hauling.

DuneElliot
09-29-2016, 14:20
Yes, and it's right you should be totally impressed with the weight savings as home drying makes a big difference, plus you get to eat exactly what you want and it's much cheaper than Mt House and way less salty. To get some idea of your choices, check out my Kitchen keyword on Smugmug---click thru them and find the Dehydrator pics---

https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/keyword/kitchen/i-5q9tHNk



The only pigs I know have tusks and snarl and hate carrying extra gear so I still have to do all the hauling.

Any recommendations on decent dehydrators on a budget?

Lear
09-29-2016, 14:32
I like supported hiking best, esp when someone is along who doesn't want to hike but loves to camp. Then I might even hike some and trail run some. I enjoy being on the trail mostly to see all the flora, the views are unreal too. Generally hiking and taking water off the streams and using a Sawyer leaves me refreshed. I like doing 15-20/d but at 55 that catches up to me. I have done some unsupported hiking this year but tore up my achilles carrying a heavy pack with too much food and too much water. I use tarp tent and find it easy to set up. I did see a woman once in hammock on the top of Blood Mountain that I envied for her view. My aim is to be able to go out and hike unsupported and enjoy it. It isn't easy for me to find time off to do the entire thru hike, but maybe I will retire.

Tipi Walter
09-29-2016, 14:35
Any recommendations on decent dehydrators on a budget?

Try to find something as big as possible for your budget. I like my stainless steel TSM 5 tray model but it's not cheap although I've processed hundreds of meals on the thing in the last many years. This pic shows the amount of drying space I have---enough for around 5 separate backpacking meals---or five days of cooked meals.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2014-Trips-152/Bald-River-Backcountry/i-pGcGJcJ/0/XL/Trip%20158%20003-XL.jpg

rocketsocks
09-29-2016, 16:19
i just assumed you put saddle bags on a pig and let it follow you to camp :)thats this guys style...he brings a goat. My wife and I saw him one day while grocery shopping at our local place.
36425

http://modernfarmer.com/2015/01/man-goat-walking-across-america/

GoLight
09-29-2016, 17:11
Any recommendations on decent dehydrators on a budget?

Check Amazon and find one that you like, then look for it in eBay or craigs list to see if you can find a good used one for half price. I found mine for half price, but now that I know I really like doing this Im looking to trade up to a bigger, better one.
Ive been making extra at each dinner and putting the leftovers in the dryer and setting it to turn off after 5 hours. then I finish the drying in the morning. Excellent.

Dogwood
09-29-2016, 17:21
​Two excellent candidates for a hike of considerable distance would be the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama-Georgia, and the Benton Mackay Trail in Georgia that connects to the AT in two places.

http://www.pinhotitrailalliance.org

The Pinhoti is a premier southern Appalachian long distance hiking trail and it is also a southeast region Appalachian Trail connector. The total distance of the trail is 339.0 miles. There are 171.2 miles in Alabama and 167.8 miles in Georgia, which makes the Pinhoti the longest hiking trail in either state.

​The Pinhoti's northern terminus is in northwest Georgia, just west of the town of Blue Ridge, where it intersects with the Benton MacKaye Trail. Hiking east on the BMT for 72.3 miles will put you at Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the famous Appalachian Trail.


I've been saying the same thing for a few yrs. NOBO PT to NOBO BMT to AT at Davenport Gap. SOBO on AT back to Springer.

RockDoc
09-29-2016, 20:42
Good topic. It depends on whether you are a hiker who camps, or a camper who hikes.
The hiker who camps can go very bare-bones and get along fine. We often hike 10-12 hrs then have time just to eat and sleep.
The camper generally needs a lot more gear because they might spend 20 hrs camping and only 4 hrs hiking. Some people need distractions to fill the time, and that means gear besides clothes and footwear. And if you're using gear, like digital gadgets, your probably not hiking.

GoLight
09-29-2016, 23:13
Good topic. It depends on whether you are a hiker who camps, or a camper who hikes.
The hiker who camps can go very bare-bones and get along fine. We often hike 10-12 hrs then have time just to eat and sleep.
The camper generally needs a lot more gear because they might spend 20 hrs camping and only 4 hrs hiking. Some people need distractions to fill the time, and that means gear besides clothes and footwear. And if you're using gear, like digital gadgets, your probably not hiking.

After looking at tipi Walters food page at smug mug I realize that Im more about eating and a comfortable camp than I am about hiking. My wife Better tells everyone we meet that she eats to live and I live to eat, and its true. Id walk a mile off the trail for a sweet camp spot with spring water and a good view. Then, as Rockdoc says, Ill set up my hammock camp and stay there a while.

I guess that makes me less of a hiker and more of a backpack camper.

PatmanTN
09-30-2016, 07:19
Interesting to read all the varied responses. I've never measured base weight but I know it probably spans a wide range for me depending on whims, mood, and season. I work full time but have life circumstances that allow me to get out a little more than every other weekend; usually wind up between 30 and 40 short trips every year. Typical is two night -two days with two week long trip added in as life allows. I've maintained this pace for about the last 8 years.

I like endurance exercise and sometimes merge that with backpacking and wind up hiking 20-25 mile days (on trail of course). In new places I like to keep it under 15 mpd and of course when bushwhacking in the southeast, a 2-5 mile day might be a big one.

Teacher & Snacktime
09-30-2016, 07:26
https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2014-Trips-152/Bald-River-Backcountry/i-pGcGJcJ/0/XL/Trip%20158%20003-XL.jpg

I see you have no dogs :)

Tipi Walter
09-30-2016, 09:49
. . . . I realize that Im more about eating and a comfortable camp than I am about hiking. My wife Better tells everyone we meet that she eats to live and I live to eat, and its true. Id walk a mile off the trail for a sweet camp spot with spring water and a good view. Then, as Rockdoc says, Ill set up my hammock camp and stay there a while.

I guess that makes me less of a hiker and more of a backpack camper.

I wouldn't get too hung up with the Are You A Hiker/Are You A Camper definitions. Every backpacker both hikes and camps. ULers with 5 lb packs camp. UltraLoaders with 90 lbs hike. What's the difference between a guy with a 90 lb pack hiking 5 miles in 4 hours or a guy with a 12 lb pack hiking 25 miles in 8 hours? NOTHING.


Interesting to read all the varied responses. I've never measured base weight but I know it probably spans a wide range for me depending on whims, mood, and season. I work full time but have life circumstances that allow me to get out a little more than every other weekend; usually wind up between 30 and 40 short trips every year. Typical is two night -two days with two week long trip added in as life allows. I've maintained this pace for about the last 8 years.

I like endurance exercise and sometimes merge that with backpacking and wind up hiking 20-25 mile days (on trail of course). In new places I like to keep it under 15 mpd and of course when bushwhacking in the southeast, a 2-5 mile day might be a big one.

Glad to see you back on Whiteblaze. Me and Patman have done alot of trips together!! See his pics here of our treks---

https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/keyword/patman/

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpacking2012/15-Day-December-Decompression/i-mk4jZmz/0/L/TRIP%20140%20227-L.jpg
With Patman a couple years ago on a winter trip.



I see you have no dogs :)

Ha ha good point. This tomato floor pic was placed low just for the pic, then lifted and placed in the dryer.

GoLight
10-01-2016, 12:38
Two things stand out....my normal is halfway between ultralight and ultra loaded. 24 pound base weight is twice what some of you are doing. Got my gear spread out on the floor planning a hike to the hot springs tomorrow. Impressed by all the posters who have pack weights half mine so Im looking at what I can leave behind for a four day hike. Hiking 12 miles first day, staying two days fishing in the river and exploring the area, returning on fourth day.
If I take out my chair, hatchet, saw, wood stove, grill, fire bowl, umbrella I can cut 7 pounds. Leaves me sitting on my ground cloth without a good campfire and cooking on the Jetboil and possibly walking in the rain without my portable roof. Saves weight but gives up luxurious comforts. Not sure I like that trade off. Still got my tequila and my coffee, so its going to turn out well regardless. Ill try it this time and see what I think at the end.

rocketsocks
10-01-2016, 14:32
Two things stand out....my normal is halfway between ultralight and ultra loaded. 24 pound base weight is twice what some of you are doing. Got my gear spread out on the floor planning a hike to the hot springs tomorrow. Impressed by all the posters who have pack weights half mine so Im looking at what I can leave behind for a four day hike. Hiking 12 miles first day, staying two days fishing in the river and exploring the area, returning on fourth day.
If I take out my chair, hatchet, saw, wood stove, grill, fire bowl, umbrella I can cut 7 pounds. Leaves me sitting on my ground cloth without a good campfire and cooking on the Jetboil and possibly walking in the rain without my portable roof. Saves weight but gives up luxurious comforts. Not sure I like that trade off. Still got my tequila and my coffee, so its going to turn out well regardless. Ill try it this time and see what I think at the end.that sounds wonderful...i wouldn't change a thing!

MuddyWaters
10-01-2016, 17:42
Two things stand out....my normal is halfway between ultralight and ultra loaded. 24 pound base weight is twice what some of you are doing. Got my gear spread out on the floor planning a hike to the hot springs tomorrow. Impressed by all the posters who have pack weights half mine so Im looking at what I can leave behind for a four day hike. Hiking 12 miles first day, staying two days fishing in the river and exploring the area, returning on fourth day.
If I take out my chair, hatchet, saw, wood stove, grill, fire bowl, umbrella I can cut 7 pounds. Leaves me sitting on my ground cloth without a good campfire and cooking on the Jetboil and possibly walking in the rain without my portable roof. Saves weight but gives up luxurious comforts. Not sure I like that trade off. Still got my tequila and my coffee, so its going to turn out well regardless. Ill try it this time and see what I think at the end.

Yep
Theres pure hiking
And theres pure camping
And theres a continuum of mixtures of the two in between.
Neither right, neither wrong, just different ways to enjoy time outdoors.
As long as can make your mileage necessary...your good

theinfamousj
10-05-2016, 23:37
Base weight is around 12 lbs.

I'm not a fan of speed hiking. Making miles doesn't work for me. I hike to enable me to camp in nature (as opposed to car camping at a campground). I prioritize comfort and experience with the environment. I enjoy seeking out bugs or plants that I know, seeing pretty views, swimming in natural bodies of water, marveling at fungi and the natural decomposition cycle of the forest around me. I hike more slowly than a turtle. And my body has a lot of trouble with altitude gains (I always feel like I cannot get any oxygen, even though hiking a level ridgeline at the same altitude my body is completely fine with).

At the same time, I hate taking breaks. I'd rather be a slow and steady turtle than a fast-but-resting rabbit.

I plan to do about 8 miles a day and that is just how I like it. 12 mile weekend loops are my favorites.

kayak karl
10-06-2016, 01:22
I hate being stereotyped. I'll just do as I please, when I please :)

Another Kevin
10-06-2016, 10:11
I hate being stereotyped. I'll just do as I please, when I please :)

Bravo! I get amused, in a perverse sort of way, when someone like a few of the guys around here tell me that I "won't make it twenty miles with that stuff..." as I'm coming off the trail from a hike longer than that.

Hosh
10-06-2016, 14:42
I wouldn't get too hung up with the Are You A Hiker/Are You A Camper definitions. Every backpacker both hikes and camps. ULers with 5 lb packs camp. UltraLoaders with 90 lbs hike. What's the difference between a guy with a 90 lb pack hiking 5 miles in 4 hours or a guy with a 12 lb pack hiking 25 miles in 8 hours? NOTHING.

While I think everyone would agree on different hiking styles and objectives, it's nonsensical to say there's no difference between hiking 5 miles versus 25 miles. It's a huge difference to any section or thru hiker. Even on a weekend destination type trip, hiking at faster pace frees up more time for day hiking, fishing, reading or enjoying the scenery.

Lnj
10-06-2016, 14:46
While I think everyone would agree on different hiking styles and objectives, it's nonsensical to say there's no difference between hiking 5 miles versus 25 miles. It's a huge difference to any section or thru hiker. Even on a weekend destination type trip, hiking at faster pace frees up more time for day hiking, fishing, reading or enjoying the scenery.

Difference is in the eye of the hiker. I think the "difference" Tipi is referring to is actually more of a "Who Cares?", not to be taken in the most literal sense...but I could be wrong... or dumb... as LW so sweetly pointed out in another post. :)

theinfamousj
10-06-2016, 16:17
Even on a weekend destination type trip, hiking at faster pace frees up more time for day hiking, fishing, reading or enjoying the scenery.

More time you say? A slow pace is precisely because we are doing these very things already. You don't need to free up time for them as if they were some secondary use of your outing. They get first priority status. Making miles is relegated to second place.

Which is the whole point of it all: what do you prioritize?

Tipi Walter
10-06-2016, 16:42
Yep
Theres pure hiking
And theres pure camping
And theres a continuum of mixtures of the two in between.
Neither right, neither wrong, just different ways to enjoy time outdoors.
As long as can make your mileage necessary...your good

There is no pure hiking otherwise you would never stop walking 24-7. And there's no pure camping unless you're car camping with no walking involved. Every backpacker both hikes and camps. Even Skurka camped.

In fact, the only backpackers I see spinning the You're Either a Hiker or You're Either a Camper mantra are minimalist ultralighter types---"ultimate" hiker types a la Skurka---who chant this over and over to ordain high mileage days. In fact Skurka wrote a whole spiel of this on his blog---

http://andrewskurka.com/2012/what-inspires-you-to-backpack/

I wrote a review of his post in my trail journal but I'll have to look for it later.


While I think everyone would agree on different hiking styles and objectives, it's nonsensical to say there's no difference between hiking 5 miles versus 25 miles. It's a huge difference to any section or thru hiker. Even on a weekend destination type trip, hiking at faster pace frees up more time for day hiking, fishing, reading or enjoying the scenery.

But you left out 70% of the equation with your example. You left out hiking 5 miles with a 90 lb pack in 4 hours versus hiking 25 miles with a 12 lb pack in 8 hours. By leaving this info out your comparison desperately wants to sound that yes you're right.

colorado_rob
10-06-2016, 16:57
I'm sure I'm not the only one on here, but I don't see another at first glance.... I guess I'm a UL hiker that goes s-l-o-w, hiking speed at least. I do try to enjoy each and every day, not so much concerned with the miles.

Having virtually no noticeable weight on my back though affords a more complete enjoyment, for me at least. I basically mostly stop noticing I'm carrying a pack at all most of the time, except on days right after a resupply and fully loaded with water (in preparation of a dry camp, for example).

I think it does actually come down to what you really actually enjoy out there. I enjoy walking and looking around, plain and simple. Seeing what's around the next corner, doing side trails to summits, etc. So, even though I'm slow at the actual hiking in terms of instantaneous speed, I wind up walking a lot of hours each and every day, hence wind up doing fairly long mileage days, longer than most (about 18 average, including zeros/neros for the entire AT), but again, not really being concerned with the MPD as I have all the time in the world (most of the time).

I cannot even guess how many times "faster" hikers (many with huge packs) fly by me, yet at the end of the day I'm at least as far if not further up the trail.

I do also like my "camping" when on the trail, and even though I think I am indeed UL, I carry enough to enjoy camp, in all conditions (full tent, plenty big with netting but only 16.0 ounces, 21 degree EN rated bag at 21.0 ounces, UL stove so I eat hot food and drink plenty of coffee!). 8-9 pound base weight in summer, creeps up a bit for spring and fall, maybe 11-13, then maybe 17-18 for full high altitude winter conditions (not including snowshoes if needed).

hobbs
10-06-2016, 17:20
Figures Tipi is on this only thing he does camping :D

cmoulder
10-06-2016, 17:34
I'm sure I'm not the only one on here, but I don't see another at first glance.... I guess I'm a UL hiker that goes s-l-o-w, hiking speed at least. I do try to enjoy each and every day, not so much concerned with the miles.

Having virtually no noticeable weight on my back though affords a more complete enjoyment, for me at least. I basically mostly stop noticing I'm carrying a pack at all most of the time, except on days right after a resupply and fully loaded with water (in preparation of a dry camp, for example).

I think it does actually come down to what you really actually enjoy out there. I enjoy walking and looking around, plain and simple. Seeing what's around the next corner, doing side trails to summits, etc. So, even though I'm slow at the actual hiking in terms of instantaneous speed, I wind up walking a lot of hours each and every day, hence wind up doing fairly long mileage days, longer than most (about 18 average, including zeros/neros for the entire AT), but again, not really being concerned with the MPD as I have all the time in the world (most of the time).

I cannot even guess how many times "faster" hikers (many with huge packs) fly by me, yet at the end of the day I'm at least as far if not further up the trail.

I do also like my "camping" when on the trail, and even though I think I am indeed UL, I carry enough to enjoy camp, in all conditions (full tent, plenty big with netting but only 16.0 ounces, 21 degree EN rated bag at 21.0 ounces, UL stove so I eat hot food and drink plenty of coffee!). 8-9 pound base weight in summer, creeps up a bit for spring and fall, maybe 11-13, then maybe 17-18 for full high altitude winter conditions (not including snowshoes if needed).

+1

Well stated, and same here. I'm not in a particular hurry but I can do 15 miles without even thinking about it a lot.

With a light load, going slower or going faster are options. Carrying 75 lbs, faster is not an option for most.

AO2134
10-06-2016, 20:05
I hate camping. I only camp so I can hike. So I hike until it gets dark and/or I am completely gassed. I like to keep moving. Usually that means 18-20 mile days. I am out of shape and fat so much more than 20 miles and it turns from "this is easy and fun (first 15 miles) to "this is hard, but fun (15-20 miles)" to "this is very hard and no longer fun (20+ miles)." Whenever I get to that point, I look for the next campsite. If I am with someone, camping sucks marginally less, and I might be willing to camp a little earlier. Not much though because I really hate camping. Just so much. While I respect that others enjoy it, it simply isn't for me.

As for gear, weight doesn't much matter to me. I carry what I carry. It is my weight, so I don't understand why others feel the need to comment on it. I probably carry about average pack weight. I could go lighter, but I am not the type to spend $100 to lower my pack weight 1-2 lbs. I just don't really notice the difference. Of course, there is no reason to carry heavier gear than you have to. So when I replace a piece of gear, if the price is relatively the same and the quality is relatively the same, I would go with the lighter option. I just wouldn't buy something now to lose weight when my current gear is still working fine. Just not worth it to me. I've never been a hike yet where I thought, "if only my pack were 3-4 lb lighter this would be easier." I can't even tell you my base weight. Never felt the need to measure. I take what I need. It's weight has never been relevant consideration. The day it does become relevant consideration, I will re-evaluate, but until then I am happy with my set up. This, again, is what applies to me. I completely understand and respect others may have different opinions so long as your opinion is that I have to change the way I like to hike BASED on YOUR preferences. If you do that, I have the right to call you an idiot.

I've also found that there is quite a bit of judgment in the hiker community. I've read asinine comments like what is the "proper" speed or mpd to hike. Not what a particular person enjoys, but a rule for all hikers. That "no one can enjoy hiking if they do much more than 8-10 mpd." That is just silly and arrogant. We all hike for different reasons and derive pleasure from things in different ways. If you told me the only way I could hike is if I would do no more than 8-10 miles and then camp, I'd stop hiking today and never look back. That sounds like hell to me. Of course, if you told me the only way I could hike is if I would do no less than 35 mpd, I'd likely stop hiking as well because (assuming I could do it), I would find no joy in that.

There is nothing wrong with either. If you are a 8-10 mpd or a 35 mpd hiker and you enjoy it, great. Honestly, I am happy for you, but either option if forced upon me would be hell. This is to say we are different. We each hike differently. We each enjoy things in different ways. My hiking is right for me. Your hiking works for you. We are both happy in hiking the way we hike. Let's keep it that way and stay away from stupid declarative rules on the proper way to hike.

colorado_rob
10-06-2016, 20:37
... As for gear, weight doesn't much matter to me. I carry what I carry. It is my weight, so I don't understand why others feel the need to comment on it. I probably carry about average pack weight. I could go lighter, but I am not the type to spend $100 to lower my pack weight 1-2 lbs. I just don't really notice the difference. Of course, there is no reason to carry heavier gear than you have to. So when I replace a piece of gear, if the price is relatively the same and the quality is relatively the same, I would go with the lighter option. I just wouldn't buy something now to lose weight when my current gear is still working fine. Just not worth it to me. I've never been a hike yet where I thought, "if only my pack were 3-4 lb lighter this would be easier." ... Get back to us say, about 29 years from now when you're 60, see how you feel about backpack weight then :-)

Another Kevin
10-06-2016, 23:52
Get back to us say, about 29 years from now when you're 60, see how you feel about backpack weight then :-)

OK, I'm sixty. I've still never weighed my pack. I know that some of my gear is heavier than it might be. I know that I could leave some of my gear behind if the point of the trip were to hike from point A to point B (it seldom is, for me!). I understand my gear. I carry what I need plus a couple of pounds of none-of-your-business. For the most part, I stay warm and dry. I very seldom say, "if only it were all UL stuff, this would be so much easier..."

I don't do big miles, of course. I think fifteen-mile days are the longest I've done in the last decade or so. And I don't do long trips - 3-4 day weekends are about as far as I go. But I enjoy it. So maybe AO2134 will age to have an attitude toward pack weight like mine, rather than like yours.

SouthMark
10-07-2016, 07:25
OK, I'm sixty. I've still never weighed my pack. I know that some of my gear is heavier than it might be. I know that I could leave some of my gear behind if the point of the trip were to hike from point A to point B (it seldom is, for me!). I understand my gear. I carry what I need plus a couple of pounds of none-of-your-business. For the most part, I stay warm and dry. I very seldom say, "if only it were all UL stuff, this would be so much easier..."

I don't do big miles, of course. I think fifteen-mile days are the longest I've done in the last decade or so. And I don't do long trips - 3-4 day weekends are about as far as I go. But I enjoy it. So maybe AO2134 will age to have an attitude toward pack weight like mine, rather than like yours.

Hey Kevin I think that is great. I on the other hand I am 69 and I never say, "if only it were all heavier stuff, this would be so much better..." But I do appreciate everyone being able to do it the way that makes them happy. It makes no difference to me if a person's pack weighs 80 lbs or 15 lbs. The only time I care is when it is MY PACK.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

MtDoraDave
10-07-2016, 07:37
It's a constant evolution for me. I started as a car camper who brought firewood, two coolers, tent, air mattress, etc... and did that for years. That was when I used to drink (the second cooler was just for beer).
Then, after watching Survivorman for several years, I started thinking how "fun" it would be to backpack camp. Ran the idea past a friend of mine, and it began. The first trip was with a USMC ILBE pack (9 lbs empty) with perhaps 60 lbs of stuff inside; close to 70 lbs on my back. We hiked 2 miles and camped in the woods. Had a fine time, but learned a lot about what isn't necessary on a backpacking trip.
A few months later, I had the pack weight down to 43 lbs, and did my first week on the AT. I now have the fair weather pack down to 38 lbs (fully loaded with food for a week and water) and the winter pack is 43 lbs.
I'm able to do 15 mile days with these setups - but when I get to the mountains, the first day is closer to 10 miles, and by the third day we're doing 14 - 15 miles.
My hiking partner is very slow to get moving in the mornings, so we often don't get on the trail until close to 10:00 am, hiking about 2 mph in the "average" trail topography, stopping for lunch, and usually getting to camp before sunset... though we have done night hiking about once per trip.
He bailed last March, and solo, I was able to knock out a 17 or so mile day - my longest to date.

My backpack will likely get lighter each trip... I'm going to replace things with lighter things. I'm going to replace the Tarptent Squall 2 with a Notch - saving 7 ounces. I just replaced my Katadyn pump with a Sawyer Squeeze, saving 4 ounces.

I don't want to become the mileage pounder who so focused on the destination he doesn't take time to enjoy the journey. Like life, the journey IS the destination.

colorado_rob
10-07-2016, 08:14
OK, I'm sixty. I've still never weighed my pack. I know that some of my gear is heavier than it might be. I know that I could leave some of my gear behind if the point of the trip were to hike from point A to point B (it seldom is, for me!). I understand my gear. I carry what I need plus a couple of pounds of none-of-your-business. For the most part, I stay warm and dry. I very seldom say, "if only it were all UL stuff, this would be so much easier.. yep, you represent what i see as the very typical 60-ish weekend warrior. I can count on my fingers how many 60-ish hikers out there that actually seem to try to cut down on nonsense in their packs. And, same demographic for you gun toters. 55+ dudes and their pieces.

cmoulder
10-07-2016, 09:25
If it's any indication, the last few days I crossed paths with 4-5 AT SOBOs in Harriman SP and they were all very LW or UL, so word is getting out.

Hikingjim
10-07-2016, 09:31
I buy middle of the road stuff and my gear is light enough, unless I'm carrying someone else's gear i'm hiking with! Something like a $250 quilt makes sense over a bulky 3 lb synthethic bag... a $650 tent doesn't make sense to me. That would just mean I have to work more to pay for it and get outdoors less.
I weed out useless crap and go with what I have, and slowly have accumulated better gear over the years. The only hikes I've felt like throwing my pack down at every break are hikes where I go with someone else and they are slowasses, and I offer to take 15 lbs of their crap to get things going!!

I typically do 10 miles in the morning then see what I feel like later (5-10 more or a half day at a hostel/hotel the odd time)

Leo L.
10-07-2016, 09:40
I'm also almost 60, and just recently switched from an old and heavy gearset to something significantly lighter.
While I appreciate the much lighter load, I'm constantly afraid of breaking/tearing some of my UL gear, and am not yet comfortable with most of it.
Example:
Got an Exped UL 500 bag. Its so narrow and has such a short zip that it's not really comfortable, and the outer fabric is so thin that I'm afraid of ripping it when airing it out during a break. In fact it already shows some tiny holes with downs peeking out, after only 3 weeks of use.

The next stuff I'll buy will not be real UL stuff.

Another Kevin
10-07-2016, 10:16
yep, you represent what i see as the very typical 60-ish weekend warrior. I can count on my fingers how many 60-ish hikers out there that actually seem to try to cut down on nonsense in their packs. And, same demographic for you gun toters. 55+ dudes and their pieces.

It's your mind that made the leap from "none of your business" to "gun toter". How about "none of your business" as in "I don't choose to share what I might need in the way of medical supplies", or "none of your business" as in "maybe I feel like carrying around the book I'm in the middle of, and don't necessarily want to discuss what I'm reading," or just plain "none of your business?"

ETA: If I'm carrying on the trail, in most places that I hike, I'd be a fool to admit it. If I'm not carrying, I'd also be a fool to advertise it. So: none of your business in any case.

Tipi Walter
10-07-2016, 10:23
I'm also almost 60, and just recently switched from an old and heavy gearset to something significantly lighter.
While I appreciate the much lighter load, I'm constantly afraid of breaking/tearing some of my UL gear, and am not yet comfortable with most of it.
Example:
Got an Exped UL 500 bag. Its so narrow and has such a short zip that it's not really comfortable, and the outer fabric is so thin that I'm afraid of ripping it when airing it out during a break. In fact it already shows some tiny holes with downs peeking out, after only 3 weeks of use.

The next stuff I'll buy will not be real UL stuff.

You fear of UL gear seems to be well founded, at least in your experience. Your bag is not really comfy, the shell is too thin, it's got holes with leaking down etc. One big component to a successful backpacking trip is to have no surprises, especially on a long trip with no town visits or resupplies. No Surprises to me means no pack or tent or bag or pad failures, especially due to flimsy UL gear.

MuddyWaters
10-07-2016, 10:56
There is no pure hiking otherwise you would never stop walking 24-7. And there's no pure camping unless you're car camping with no walking involved. Every backpacker both hikes and camps. Even Skurka camped.

.

You say there's no such thing as... .then give examples?

I put fastpackers and trail runners in the "close enough" category. Doing 200 mi in 4 days, only sleeping a few hrs in a bivy while eating nut butter doesn't count much as camping in my book.

But you got the car camping thing right as the other end if the spectrum.

Tipi Walter
10-07-2016, 11:15
You say there's no such thing as... .then give examples?

I put fastpackers and trail runners in the "close enough" category. Doing 200 mi in 4 days, only sleeping a few hrs in a bivy while eating nut butter doesn't count much as camping in my book.


But Whiteblaze is not an endurance athlete site, or a site for Iron Man competitions. It's a site about backpacking the Appalachian Trail and most participants on this site are not pulling 200 miles in 4 days. You could say Dayhikers don't camp and only hike, but this would have to be defined in a perverse way. (They sleep at home every night). Same thing for slackpackers.

And when you bring up fastpackers and fastest known time types, well, I put them in the Gimmick category like hiking with a tuba or hopping on one leg or walking backwards and crawling or rollling an upright piano or whatever else. Btw, how come all these 200 miles in 4 days types don't do it with 90 lb packs?? Wouldn't this REALLY SET SOME SORT OF HE-MAN (OR HE-GIRL) RECORD???

Hikingjim
10-07-2016, 11:45
But Whiteblaze is not an endurance athlete site, or a site for Iron Man competitions. It's a site about backpacking the Appalachian Trail and most participants on this site are not pulling 200 miles in 4 days. You could say Dayhikers don't camp and only hike, but this would have to be defined in a perverse way. (They sleep at home every night). Same thing for slackpackers.

And when you bring up fastpackers and fastest known time types, well, I put them in the Gimmick category like hiking with a tuba or hopping on one leg or walking backwards and crawling or rollling an upright piano or whatever else. Btw, how come all these 200 miles in 4 days types don't do it with 90 lb packs?? Wouldn't this REALLY SET SOME SORT OF HE-MAN (OR HE-GIRL) RECORD???

fast hikers are not weight lifters and body builders. It's a cross between endurance running and hiking... so what marathon runner do you know that wants to carry 90 lbs of anything (other than tuba players, of course)

It would not surprise me if eventually carrying a ton of weight and hiking long distance does become a fad and/or a competition. But I can't see how that's any more/less of a gimmick, considering no one in their right mind requires 90 lbs of crap for 200 miles.

Hosh
10-07-2016, 11:50
Trying to convince someone who carries watermelons so they can take a picture of themselves at camp is pretty fruitless.

Typicalsloan
10-07-2016, 12:09
When I'm by myself I tend to hike all day and setup camp when it starts to get dark. When I'm with others I don't mind hiking for half a day and setting up camp. It totally depends on my goals and the goals of others when in a group. I can enjoy the outdoors either way.


Trying to convince someone who carries watermelons so they can take a picture of themselves at camp is pretty fruitless.

Seems full of fruit to me :)

Tipi Walter
10-07-2016, 12:23
It would not surprise me if eventually carrying a ton of weight and hiking long distance does become a fad and/or a competition. But I can't see how that's any more/less of a gimmick, considering no one in their right mind requires 90 lbs of crap for 200 miles.

You're forgetting food weight for a 3 week trip with no resupply. Around 45 lbs including fuel. I don't see staying out for longer periods w/o resupply as a gimmick although I would be very interested to see how long a backpacker could pull a trip (while moving from camp to camp every day) on one food load. Eric Ryback pulled a 21 day section of the AT with one food load back in '69.

Golite founder Demetri Coupounas attempted to pull 40 days on the AT with no resupply with a 135 lb pack. He did 470 mile Colorado trail w/o resupply, 218 mile JMT and the 280 mile Long trail the same way. Check out these pertinent links---

https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/4623/#comments

http://backpackinglight.typepad.com/2006_arctic/2006/05/how_far_how_fas.html

http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/how-far-how-fast-challenge/overview/

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/55403-What-has-happened-to-Golite

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/19127-AT-Thru-Hike-with-only-3-to-5-resupplies

http://www.mchalepacks.com/ultralight/Detail%20Hi%20Rez%20Pages/Muir%20Trail%20Story.htm

rafe
10-07-2016, 12:27
I'm not a gram weenie but I know what base weight is. I keep it to mid-teens (lbs.) in summer. Total pack weight hopefully 25 lbs. or so, with three days food and a couple liters of water.

Probably no more super long hikes for me, but hopefully some 100 - 300 mile sections and short trails in my sights. Maybe the Colorado Trail or JMT one of these days. I'm happily married to a woman who doesn't hike, so that kinda limits the long hikes. (She's not interested in "tagging along" or being my support crew, either, and I don't blame her for that.)

I've enjoyed hiking some of the lesser-known trails close to home. They may not have the vertical challenges of the AT, but they're quite interesting, and never a problem with crowds. I do day hikes in the White Mountains year round.

MuddyWaters
10-07-2016, 12:35
But Whiteblaze is not an endurance athlete site, or a site for Iron Man competitions. It's a site about backpacking the Appalachian Trail and most participants on this site are not pulling 200 miles in 4 days.



Funny how there's a subsection expressly for speed hiking.
And many , many, thru hikers attempt 4 state challenge too
Or other parts of AT in fixed times, pushing themselves for short periods to make it more interesting.

I'd say the site is MORE about that than 3 week midwinter trips on non AT lands like the Slickrock....

Hikingjim
10-07-2016, 13:04
You're forgetting food weight for a 3 week trip with no resupply.


I wasn't forgetting the 3 weeks worth of food, I just don't need 3 weeks worth of food for 200 miles. The sign up sheet would be pretty empty to recruit people that want to go less than 10 miles a day while lugging 21 days worth of food...
If I want to do that... i bring my canoe. So i carry 100-120 lbs worth of stuff for 2 miles a day... and let the boat do the work the rest!

Another Kevin
10-07-2016, 13:22
Funny how there's a subsection expressly for speed hiking.
And many , many, thru hikers attempt 4 state challenge too
Or other parts of AT in fixed times, pushing themselves for short periods to make it more interesting.

I'd say the site is MORE about that than 3 week midwinter trips on non AT lands like the Slickrock....

I'd say it's about hiking on the AT. I almost said, "hiking the AT," but to too many, that specifically implies "end to end in a season".
If it's thru-hiking, that's fair game.
If it's using the AT as an access path to secondary trails or a jumping off point for a bushwhack, that's great too.
A hundred-mile section hike, a three-week survival outing with a monstrous great pack, a winter peak-bag, a quick overnight shelter trip to introduce a little kid to backpacking, a survey of bug damage to the trees, a trail maintenance or boundary monitoring trip, going for a record or meeting the Four State Challenge, going on a trivial little day trip up to Perkins Tower, they're all hiking on the AT. Heck, if you want to talk about strolling down the avenue in Damascus or Hanover, I still won't kick.
It's about putting one foot in front of the other with a white blaze in front of you for at least part of the trip. That's it.

And that's what I think Walter is saying: endurance athletes are welcome, but don't have any especial privilege over any other AT hikers. The one important thing we all have in common is getting Out There.

Didn't we once have a regular poster here with the signature, "it's all good"?

rocketsocks
10-07-2016, 15:13
Didn't we once have a regular poster here with the signature, "it's all good"?yeah, but he did it wrong.

ryply76
10-21-2016, 15:37
I try to keep things under 30lbs. I find anything over that and you notice issues.

Kc Fiedler
10-22-2016, 20:10
I sort of recognize that we each have our own style of hiking and backpack camping and we self-select into sub-groups based on our interests, expertise, available time and money and so forth. Im in the keep it normal range. My base weight is 24 pounds, I strive for 15 miles day average, I zero every Sunday and I take a bandana bath every night.
Others Ive met on the trail have a base weight half mine (or less) and they kill 20 or 25 miles (or more) every day.
Some of us are gear geeks, others are gram geeks and yet others are just normal. Me, Im a gram geek with my Zpack 52L that weighs less than a pound and a half, but Im a gear geek with my Helinox backpacking chair that weighs almost 2 pounds. I never leave home without it.
So, what type of hiker-backpacker-camper are you?

Ultralight is probably the category I would "identify with" but I also am heavily focused on ethical use of public lands so I'm pretty anal with my own LNT adherence.

My Backpacking DnD stats are totally:

Ultralight: 13 points
LNT: 12 points
Fitness: 12 points
Luxury Items: 4 points
Gourmet Cooking: 5 points
Charisma: 8
Magic: 20

Sarcasm the elf
10-22-2016, 22:28
yeah, but he did it wrong.

Except for that time that he wanted to do it wrong, then he got it right by accident.

rocketsocks
10-22-2016, 22:42
Except for that time that he wanted to do it wrong, then he got it right by accident.
Right! I mean wrong, I mean right.

cmoulder
10-23-2016, 06:21
All those FKTers, ULers, slack packers, dayhikers, weekend warriors, etc etc, are "enjoying the wilderness incorrectly." :)

(That's sarcasm, of course, and I have to give credit to Ralph Burgess at BPL who, afaik, first thunk it... at least that's where I first read it, anyway.)

allmebloominlife
10-25-2016, 11:06
My base weight not including food, water or booze is around 12-13 pounds.

But it goes up to 17-18 pounds once I add my Helinox chair and table, frypan, saw, Bluetooth speaker, and three pillows.

My typical daily mileage is between 10-12 miles. I also cache my food and booze along my route a week in advance. It saves a ton of weight.

Just because I'm on a hike doesn't mean I can't have a little luxury.

Carl

Glamppacking!! The preferred method! lol

Another Kevin
10-25-2016, 13:33
Right! I mean wrong, I mean right.

And then he turned right instead of left, when turning left would have been right, so we left without him.