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Thread: CDT #1 Planning

  1. #1

    Default CDT #1 Planning

    Well here I am!

    Never hiked out west

    I have dates!!! April 14th start date

    I know I have to have a permit for NM

    Looks like Tucson is 20 miles closer to Lordsburg than El Paso however El Paso is a good bit cheaper

    Getting from either airport to Lordsburg....I am assuming that a 150 Mile shuttle from airport to Lordsburg is going to be at least $200....+ $200 to return to airport at end of trip...So I am thinking a car rental and let it sit for the week in Lordsburg isn't that bad of an idea...I did this in Maine for a 1 trip, 2 different sections and it worked out well.

    CDT shuttle from Lordsburg to Crazy Cook understood, waiting on 2023 schedule/ bookings to open

    Question 1: about mileage expectations....I am thinking 20 mpd average for the first trip will be a good ballpark? 105 ish miles for the trip, and if I get to Lordsburg several days early I can shuttle my car further up trail and hike to it, then directly back to the airport

    Question 2: Suggestion on a quilt rating? I am thinking a 30-40 in April, matched with my puffy.

    Question 3: Gloves, beanie, base layer, fleece....any of that needed? I'p thinking no

    Question 4: Gore-Tex not needed correct? No rain pants, and just a windbreaker/ waterproof running jacket?

    Question 5: Anticipated water capacity? 4 Liters? 2 Liters?


    Please provide your inputs it is greatly appreciated!
    Trail Miles: 4,523.3
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  2. #2

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    You didn't make clear why you are renting a car, but it sounds like you're intending to do a section hike and not a thru-hike. I had a hard time figuring out how it would work until I guessed you're only intending to be on the trail for a limited duration. Traveling in NM isn't easy. Buses are only available in limited areas. Car rental shops are few and far between, so it sounds like leaving a car parked in Lordsburg may be your only option if you want to rent one.

    Anyway, here are some thoughts in response to your questions...

    Question 1: about mileage expectations?

    Yes, 20 miles per day is doable for the section from Crazy Cook to Lordsburg. There's one caveat to that, however. You may wish to pace yourself to camp near water sources. You can save a lot of weight doing that. For my thru-hike last year, I hiked 14.1 on day one, 20.1 on day two, 13.4 on day three, 20.4 on day four, and 12.8 on the fifth day when I arrived in Lordsburg. I think I there were a couple of dry camps in that schedule, but they weren't far from water. I didn't intend to hike more than about 15 miles a day so I wouldn't overdo it at the start, but the terrain and water intervals were such that I ended up hiking more on some days.

    Question 2: Suggestion on a quilt rating?

    I carried a 22F Katabatic Flex quilt with a silk liner, but I was doing the whole trail. A 30-40 bag wouldn't come close to being adequate for me, but if you're only hiking the southern part of NM, it might be okay. Though desert nights get cold quickly, I found that the temps at night during the first week only got down into the low-50s. It got much colder in the Gila River section, and had frozen shoes one morning.

    Question 3: Gloves, beanie, base layer, fleece?

    I didn't need any of those during my first couple of weeks in NM. As I said, the overnight temps dropped to below freezing in the Gila, so keep that in mind if you intend to go north of Silver City.

    Question 4: Gore-Tex not needed correct?

    Rain is possible but unlikely. I saw rain but never got wet in southern NM. I could see it falling from clouds, but it evaporated before reaching the ground. If you should get hit by a shower, it's likely to be brief and you will be completely dry within minutes afterward.

    Question 5: Anticipated water capacity?

    Two liters might not be enough. I had a capacity of six, but I don't think I needed to carry more than three. Of course, that means I cameled up at every opportunity. Speaking of which, consider using a bandana or some other method of pre-filtering your water. NM water destroyed my filter.

  3. #3

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    I followed Waldo & the bare necessities on his CDT thru hike.

    Like his name implies, he's an extreme ultra lite hiker doing big miles, but watching his NM videos would give you some idea what to expect. That is if you haven't already watched a bunch of these. For the most part, NM looked pretty darn boring. Be sure to bring a wide brim hat for the sun.

    https://youtu.be/XvcKNLgfpG8
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  4. #4

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    As a suggestion, you may want to consider renting a car one-way from El Paso to Lordsburg for $75 to $100 and drop it off at the airport. On the return, do it in reverse. You'll save a few hundred bucks if the one-way day rates are still at the level above. You may find the National companies to offer this type of rental than local rental agencies.

  5. #5
    Garlic
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    Default

    In addition to what's been said:

    If you leave a car out there, be sure to get comprehensive insurance on it. I've had two car break-ins in my life, both times in New Mexico.

    Wind and dust may be more of a factor than rain.

    Unless there are more water sources now than when I hiked there (the Wolf route), I'd bring 6 liters capacity, in one and two liter containers. It's too possible to lose or puncture a container. A spare 2L platy is good to have.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  6. #6
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    If you get on the first shuttle you will be hiking by 9 - 9:30. Mid 50s hiker. Began hiking 19 Apr. starting each morning around 6:15 and stopping 5:30 or so. I did 16.1, 19.2, 21.8, 20.2, and 7.6 into Lordsburg. If still offered, pay for water at the water cache boxes.

    I took 20d sleeping bag.

    Can't remember my water capacity but don't think I ever carried more than 5 quarts, during any stretch, for the entire state. Probably took capacity for 6.

    I always carried beanie, gloves, base layers.

    I carried a light weight rain jacket, rain kilt, rain gloves. Coldest and wettest I've ever been was the walk into Grants, NM. I know you aren't going that far but you never know...
    Lonehiker (MRT '22)

  7. #7
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Follow-up 25.1, 18.6, and 18.5 out of Lordsburg...
    Lonehiker (MRT '22)

  8. #8

    Default

    Just Amtrak from El Paso to Lordsburg. It's usually cheap.

  9. #9
    Registered User xrayextra's Avatar
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    Hi Gambit,

    I'll be hiking the CDT this year (2023) planning on a NOBO hike starting late March.

    If you book Amtrak early, you get a great discount. I'll be traveling Amtrak from New Orleans, $115 total (36 hrs or so).

    It looks like you're only doing a week, so you may want to consider some simple rain gear like frogg toggs.

    I've read a lot and watched a lot of YouTube videos to prepare for this trip. I plan to have a capacity of at least 6 litres of water through much of New Mexico. I doubt I'll need to carry that much but I will if I feel like I need to in some areas. A few extra Platypus 1-litre bladders are extremely lightweight compared to empty Smart Water bottles or whatnot and they pack away very well.

    Good Luck!
    Flatfoot
    AT 2013, GA->ME
    PCT 2017, Mexico->Canada

  10. #10

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    Xrayextra Triple Crown Time aye? Good on you! Im thinking ill rent a uhal in elpaso, drive it with my buddy to lordsburg, return it to lordsburg uhaul and start the trip. Will have the same plan setup prior to leaving to get back to el paso. It will be about $150 each way + will have a big box we can sleep in prior to getting shuttle to terminus
    Trail Miles: 4,523.3
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  11. #11
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    Hope this helps!

    SOBO 2020 Out or Lordsburg:
    34.1 to just past water source
    34 to 1.5m from past junction after water cache
    15.2 to border

    If quick and in shape, a half/warm up day followed up with two days doing 'well' would put you at water sources.

    I have a note saying "11.2 flowing wTer" from the border. I don't remember this and it was in October so may not pertain.

    Good luck

  12. #12

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    Pay one of the shuttles for access to the water caches. You can do the entire bootheel on cache water and avoid the cow swamp water.
    That desert can be hot and dry. Best to have 5+L capacity. Here's those 85 miles I did last year:

    https://edthesmokebeard.com/cdt5-85-lordsburg-again/

  13. #13

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    CdT shuttle reserved last night!
    Trail Miles: 4,523.3
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllDownhillFromHere View Post
    Pay one of the shuttles for access to the water caches. You can do the entire bootheel on cache water and avoid the cow swamp water.
    That desert can be hot and dry. Best to have 5+L capacity. Here's those 85 miles I did last year:

    https://edthesmokebeard.com/cdt5-85-lordsburg-again/
    Downhill -
    Heat during the Day?
    Cold at night?
    Did it rain on you?
    Trail Miles: 4,523.3
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  15. #15

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    Rental Car -
    Flight -

    Rental Car - ✔

    Ready for April!
    Trail Miles: 4,523.3
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  16. #16
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    I highly recommend sunscreen or light weight gloves with the fingers cut off. Once met a hiker from England on the ATZ that had severely sun-burned the backs of his hands from hiking with his poles. Living in AZ at the time we never had issues, but if you're fair-skinned or not already tanned it could be an issue.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by alborg2 View Post
    I highly recommend sunscreen or light weight gloves with the fingers cut off. Once met a hiker from England on the ATZ that had severely sun-burned the backs of his hands from hiking with his poles. Living in AZ at the time we never had issues, but if you're fair-skinned or not already tanned it could be an issue.
    I plan on the sunscreen however I am already pretty tan, no gloves for me
    Trail Miles: 4,523.3
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    BMT Map: 52.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Downhill -
    Heat during the Day?
    Cold at night?
    Did it rain on you?
    When I hiked the first 2 sections, in mid to late April 4 years ago, the first section was mostly level with the only climbs I remember being a few hundred feet or so. The second section from Lordsburg to Silver City was still mostly level, though with a few real extended climbs. I remember one that was a bit steep but the rest didn't leave an impression.

    The hottest day forecasted for the trip was high 80's on the second day which was worse part of the 1st section that it could happen. Very exposed (no real brush to hide under) and sandy, especially a few miles before and after the 2nd cache so got a bad blister in the early afternoon. I rarely get blisters except in those type of hot sandy conditions. The first day out of Lordburg on the second section is also simiarly bad but its the lowest elevation of that section and the rest has some shade, unlike most of the first section.

    Weather can change from year to year. 2 weeks before I started, a weather front came through and it actually snowed in the second section a little bit so temperatures were much colder than I saw. On my hike, I don't remember the night temperatures dropping below freezing, but the possibility remains.

    I think it was the 3rd night, the forecast was for 20% chance of showers. To me, that means not likely and if it does happen, it will be short, so i cowboy camped as I normally get away with it. But not that night. It was rain, not showers and it came off and on till dawn. Thunderstorm came in a midnight and every time it started to rain, the wind picked up with strong wind gusts (one pulled a stake out on my tarp and I had to pile rocks on them in the middle of the night). It rained hard at times, would stop, and then start up again. The storm went right over the top of me based on the lightning/thunder interval. Was fine the next morning, but it did dump again late morning for 30minutes. A trail angel was at the next road, giving out gatoraid and he let me and another hiker wait it out in his car since we arrived when it first started to sprinkle. No rain the rest of that trip.


    Between the 1st and 2nd cache, many take the alternate dirt road walk, but I don't really get why. I took the actual trail. Like many places along the first section, the CDTC put in trail posts to mark the route and are letting the hikers pound in an actual trail along the path of least resistance and will let that become the official trail. So you follow post to post. There is often a trail of some kind in between them, but sometimes there is more than one path as clearly the hikers didn't know where they were going (or it was the cows going who know where). Which is why I tried to find the next post before moving on and blindly following what may be a mistake. The problem is some of the posts are wood so after some weathering, the color blends in with the surrounding brush. But many hikers have been putting some of the numerous white rocks on top of the posts so you can spot them in the distance. When one didn't have any rocks (likely blew off in the wind), I put some on as I found it useful when they were there. I brought a 1.6oz Brunton monocular for the purpose of hunting for them and would scan the horizon with it to spot the next post. Most of the time, that worked. For me, it was kind of a game where if I looked at my gps app, I lost. There were only a few occasions in the first section that I felt that I had to look at the Farout App to figure out where I was going (I think some posts were missing). And there was one time I wasn't paying attention on a dirt road and walked past my turn so lost 30 minutes having to backtrack. Mostly I used the app as a sanity check to make sure I was still on trail for that very reason.

    I averaged 18 miles for the first section which was pretty easy to do. I didn't see the point in doing more as I got back into Lordsburg before noon anyway and couldn't check in till after 2pm so just sat around in front of the hotel doing nothing after having an early lunch.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    In addition to what's been said:

    If you leave a car out there, be sure to get comprehensive insurance on it. I've had two car break-ins in my life, both times in New Mexico.

    Wind and dust may be more of a factor than rain.

    Unless there are more water sources now than when I hiked there (the Wolf route), I'd bring 6 liters capacity, in one and two liter containers. It's too possible to lose or puncture a container. A spare 2L platy is good to have.
    garlic08,

    Can you give a little bit more details on where you were when it happened? I've been leaving my car while I do long stretches both ways. I have an older car but still worried about someone coming along and breaking a window or something else. From what I've gathered on the news, NM has a huge crime problem which makes me worried. I still have from Crazy Cook to Grant, NM to complete.

    Wolf

  20. #20
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    garlic08,
    Can you give a little bit more details on where you were when it happened? I've been leaving my car while I do long stretches both ways. I have an older car but still worried about someone coming along and breaking a window or something else. From what I've gathered on the news, NM has a huge crime problem which makes me worried. I still have from Crazy Cook to Grant, NM to complete.

    Wolf
    Once was at the Mt Taylor trailhead just north of Grants, the other was in front of my brother's house in the city of Albuquerque. Both times were smash-and-grabs, with broken windows and dents.

    I'm getting more and more nervous about trailhead crime and vandalism, even with my 25 year old car, because of the CAT converter. That would probably "total" the uninsured car--cost of the parts could be more than the car is worth. I agree, it seems to be worse in NM.

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