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  1. #1
    Registered User jollies's Avatar
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    Default Long Trail in October?

    Hello Whiteblazers,
    I am looking for some advice on hiking the Long Trail Southbound in the month of October. What different preparation and gear should I expect to take with me as opposed to a normal summer Thru-hike? Thanks!

    Jollies

  2. #2
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    I'm planning on being on the LT starting the first Friday in October. Here are the changes I am planning on making:

    1 - 20 degree bag
    2 - poly pro liner gloves
    3 - fleece vest
    4 - long sleeve base layer shirt
    5 - light weight poly pro balaclava
    6 - rain gear top & bottom - marmot dry precip

    Other than that, I'll bring all the regular gear I bring for a summer trip. I won't be bringing pants other than my rain pants. It it's chilly out, I will still hike in shorts until I stop. Then my rain pants will go on.

    I'm planning on starting at the AT splitoff and heading North. I've done a lot of fall backpacking in NH and Vermont on the AT, so I feel this will is more than appropriate for what the weather temps may throw at me.

    The only additional piece of gear I may throw in is either an extra pair of gloves that are a little heavier or my goretex shell mittens. The mittens weigh very little, but will provide warmth (especially when combined with the polypro glove liners) and protection in case of rain and 40-50 degree temps. My major concern in fall is protecting against hypothermia.
    Peace Be With You

  3. #3
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    Default

    if you wear wool socks, and if you carry an extra pair, you can use those for outer mittens if it is cold... even if wet...
    Lazarus

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenleelazarus View Post
    if you wear wool socks, and if you carry an extra pair, you can use those for outer mittens if it is cold... even if wet...
    Agree, but if it's wet out and in the 40's / 50's you need to protect yourself from heat loss by staying dry. This won't keep you dry if you're backpacking for 7-8 hours. I wouldn't advise this unless it's an emergency plan.
    Peace Be With You

  5. #5
    Registered User jollies's Avatar
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    So just some warmer clothes is all you are planning to bring? I think I'm probably going to end up doing it in the middle of October, possibly from the junction heading North. Not sure 100% what I'll be doing yet.

  6. #6
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    Yup that was all I was planning on bringing in the way of fall stuff. The rest of the gear is traditional gear I bring all the time.

    What were your thoughts going into the trip?
    Peace Be With You

  7. #7
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    I'd consider more clothing and possibly some blaze orange once I determined what if any hunting might be going on at the time of your hikes. If hunters are required to wear blaze orange, it might be wise for you to do likewise.

    Be sure to visit GMC's website. You'll more likely than not find useful information there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades of Gray View Post
    I'd consider more clothing and possibly some blaze orange once I determined what if any hunting might be going on at the time of your hikes. If hunters are required to wear blaze orange, it might be wise for you to do likewise.

    Be sure to visit GMC's website. You'll more likely than not find useful information there.
    Completely agree with the orange blaze. It's down right scary to backpack during hunting season.
    Peace Be With You

  9. #9
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    Just be prepared for the possibility of extended wet and cold (freezing) weather and don't let mileage become an obsession if conditions worsen. Trying to get up and over Camel's Hump or Mansfield in freezing rain and windy conditions would not be pretty. It's getting colder even right now as right now at my house at 0500 it's 38 degrees and I'm at 900 ft el about five miles west of the trail at Camel's Hump. Last week two hikers apparently had to be "rescued" after holing up at Puffer shelter after being wet and cold for several days. The views in October should be pretty good as the foliage for the most part will be gone from 2,000 feet and up. Enjoy the trip as in October you will definately have more solitude. On August 1st I finished my fourth end-to end of the LT and now am working on the side trails which in many cases are much nicer than the actual LT itself.

  10. #10

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    In addition to all the good advice above, don't forget that you have less hours of daylight in October. The evergreen forests (generally above 3,000') can be quite dark. I would definitely hike SOBO that time of year.

  11. #11
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    I do as much hiking in winter as summer up here in New Brunswick.
    But I would definitely fear Pomola, and others, in their season.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    But I would definitely fear Pomola, and others, in their season.
    Can you explain further? I don't understand this.

    Thanks
    Peace Be With You

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7Sisters View Post
    Can you explain further? I don't understand this.

    Thanks
    www.pantheon.org/articles/p/pamola.html

  14. #14
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    JAK,

    I just googled it. Is this what you mean?

    "A bird-spirit / night-spirit in Abenaki myth who causes cold weather. It allegedly lived on Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine, and resented mortals intruding from below. Hence, the mountain was off limit to all peoples."

    It would make sense in the context of the discussion, but had never heard of that before.
    Peace Be With You

  15. #15
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    yup. that's it

  16. #16
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    wolf,

    Just tried your link and it didn't work for me. Anyway, it copied the definition I found, so people can understand the context.

    Hope you're enjoying your three day weekend.

    Regards
    Peace Be With You

  17. #17
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    I'd also recommend a heavier sleeping bag than summer. Expect nights below freezing.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaks View Post
    I'd also recommend a heavier sleeping bag than summer. Expect nights below freezing.
    agree - I normally don't carry a 20 degree bag in summer, but am planning on taking one for this trip.
    Peace Be With You

  19. #19
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    In 2005 I attempted the LT going Southbound starting on Oct 12th. It rained for the first 8 days. Then it was dry for 2 days. Then we got a foot of snow north of Kilington and I was done.

    Lessons I learned:

    1. Be very conservative in your mileage estimates in the northern section. You have no idea how difficult it is. Not so much any one particular place as it is just the fact that it never goes flat. Always up or down. And this is coming from someone who thinks nothing of running 100 miles in a week.

    2. Do not forget your pack cover

    3. Be very careful on mountain tops. At one point on Camel's hump, I slipped and fell down a small embankment for no reason. Did not misstep, was not hurrying, was looking where I was going, etc. Had it happened just 200 yards earlier today I would be dead now.

    4. Do not forget your pack cover

    5. Do not sleep in any shelters. Never again will I sleep in one of those mouse-infested hell holes.

    6. Following on #5, the hiking hammock is the greatest invention ever.

    7. Following on #6, bring a very warm sleeping bag/quilt (20 rating or better) and a very warm underquilt if you are using a hiking hammock in Vt in October. I brought the JRB Nest Down Under and it was not warm enough. Next time I'm bringing their warmer quilt.

    8. Do not forget your pack cover.

    9. Bring a good compass (duh). I brought one that I didn't trust very well. It got me through but next time I'll bring a better one.

    10. The Breadloaf Wilderness is terribly marked. That's where the compass will come in handy.

    12. Be sure to get both the waterproof Long Trail map that wildernessmaps.com sells as well as the End to Enders guide.

    13. Do not forget your pack cover.

  20. #20
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    14. On Camel's Hump, if the weather is bad, do not feel bad about taking the roundabout, safer trail around the summit (I forget the name of it).

    I got as close as 15 feet from the summit but STILL turned around and went down and around because it was so icy and windy I was scared to death. Second smartest decision I made on the hike.

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