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  1. #1

    Default 14 days on the long trail... E2E?

    I am considering doing 14 days on the long trail next summer and would love to go end to end, though I will call in my ride home at the end of 14 days in whatever location I can make it to. In the interest of putting in as many miles as possible each day and not taking any zero days I could use some pointers. I was thinking of going cook-less and preparing for one food drop somewhere in the middle, 7 days in, at one of the road crossings. I figure that will allow me to spend pretty much all my waking hours hiking. I would love to ditch the tent, but I can't trust that there will always be room in a shelter especially if I am rolling in late in the day, so I figure Ill have to bring that.

    All tips, tricks, or advice of any kind welcome! 8 days is the longest I have been out before and I went fairly heavy and without resupply.

  2. #2

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    Doing the LT in 14 days is possible, but it isn't easy. Your talking 20 miles a day (+/- depending on shelter spacing) and most of those days are really hard, especially the northern half. You had best get into really good shape by doing a lot of hiking before this trip or you could hurt yourself trying to do 20 mile days right off the bat. A bad case of blisters the 3d day out isn't fun.

    You can send a box to the Inn at the Long Trail, which is about at the 1/2 way point and is (or was) right on the trail. It's also possible to send a package to the Jonesville PO, but they have limited hours and if you don't get there at the right time that could be a problem. Otherwise, getting resupply means going way off the trail which can cause you to loose most of a day.

    The LT is not very tent friendly. There aren't many locations where tenting is practical. Most of the popular locations have large shelters and north of the AT there isn't much traffic except at Camels Hump and Mansfield, so shelter space isn't a problem. However, you never know if some inconsiderate scout troop or the like will take over a shelter, so unfortunately you do need to carry the tent, even if there isn't a good place to put it up.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3

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    14 days is definitely doable, especially if you're in decent shape. I did a fairly quick E2E last summer, with no training beforehand. Feel free to message me and I will send you my journal which should help with resupply thoughts and daily mileage ideas for the various sections. I think you could get by without a tent. The LT has an incredible number of shelters. If one is full and it is rainy such that you can't sleep on the ground, the next shelter most likely will not be too far away. You may end up paying the price once or twice, but that tradeoff may be worthwhile.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by James GAME2009 View Post
    14 days is definitely doable, especially if you're in decent shape. I did a fairly quick E2E last summer, with no training beforehand. Feel free to message me and I will send you my journal which should help with resupply thoughts and daily mileage ideas for the various sections. I think you could get by without a tent. The LT has an incredible number of shelters. If one is full and it is rainy such that you can't sleep on the ground, the next shelter most likely will not be too far away. You may end up paying the price once or twice, but that tradeoff may be worthwhile.
    That might be putting it mildly
    I did a day hike and passed 3 shelters in 6 hours, and left the trail less than half a mile from a 4th!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by IP66 View Post
    I am considering doing 14 days on the long trail next summer and would love to go end to end, though I will call in my ride home at the end of 14 days in whatever location I can make it to. In the interest of putting in as many miles as possible each day and not taking any zero days I could use some pointers. I was thinking of going cook-less and preparing for one food drop somewhere in the middle, 7 days in, at one of the road crossings. I figure that will allow me to spend pretty much all my waking hours hiking. I would love to ditch the tent, but I can't trust that there will always be room in a shelter especially if I am rolling in late in the day, so I figure Ill have to bring that.

    All tips, tricks, or advice of any kind welcome! 8 days is the longest I have been out before and I went fairly heavy and without resupply.


    Several years ago a buddy and I did an E2E in 13 days. My personal belief when it comes to hiking around the 20 mile mark is slow and steady. Wake, eat, and hike. Other than normal breaks, you hike all day. Stop around dinner time, cook and eat,and then hike some more until it starts to get dark. Other than breaks, water, and a little light reading, I did not stay in a shelter. You hike until it's time to set up shop for the night. I tented and my buddy was a hanger.

    Following this method it's easy to make twenties or even more without trying too hard. But I will say, if you don't have a lot of experience walking ALL DAY , this method can take it's toll. I had previous thru-hiking experience on the AT and the PCT. I'm used to walking ALL DAY with only breaks along the way.

    the LT past the AT cut off is a lot more rugged and I found the miles came slower than on the lower half. It is not traveled as much and it makes the AT/LT section seem like a wide open bridal trail!

    One of the advantages of using a tent is protection from the biting bugs. If you plan on staying in a shelter, make sure you have a plan for protecting yourself while you are sleeping - they can be nasty depending on the time of year.


    Oh ya - I also found the trail very muddy and wet pretty much the entire way. Plan on dealing with wet feet and pick your foot wear accordingly. Trail runners are great for walking all day as long as your load isn't too heavy.

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    Northern Vermont is some of the most difficult hiking in the US, sure it can be done but you will need to be trail fit.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for all the replies guys! The 20 miles a day isn't necessarily a requirement, just more of a goal. I know I can do 15's and that gets me over 200 miles in 14 days, so I will do what I can and if I end up going end to end then that would be great! I just want to give myself the best opportunity to go as far as possible in the time I have.

    I'm not sure I would want to go completely tentless, but I may have to see if I can find a reasonably inexpensive ultra light option that I can use in the case that I do need to tent it.

    Slogoen, that drop at the Inn on the Long Trail isn't a bad idea, I was thinking of having someone hide a bucket of supplies at a road crossing, but the Inn wont inconvenience anyone by having to drive out with a bucket and will probably be more secure.

    Bobby, sounds like we have similar views on hiking distance. Honestly I am not sure what else to do with my days other than keep hiking. I have done a few shorter hikes where I planed maybe 15 miles a day and then when I get to camp in the early afternoon I just keep hiking because what else is there to do? I plan to take it easy and take short breaks whenever I feel like it but generally just hike from sun up to sun down, maybe even a bit past sun down depending.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by IP66 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies guys! The 20 miles a day isn't necessarily a requirement, just more of a goal. I know I can do 15's and that gets me over 200 miles in 14 days, so I will do what I can and if I end up going end to end then that would be great! I just want to give myself the best opportunity to go as far as possible in the time I have.

    I'm not sure I would want to go completely tentless, but I may have to see if I can find a reasonably inexpensive ultra light option that I can use in the case that I do need to tent it.

    Slogoen, that drop at the Inn on the Long Trail isn't a bad idea, I was thinking of having someone hide a bucket of supplies at a road crossing, but the Inn wont inconvenience anyone by having to drive out with a bucket and will probably be more secure.

    Bobby, sounds like we have similar views on hiking distance. Honestly I am not sure what else to do with my days other than keep hiking. I have done a few shorter hikes where I planed maybe 15 miles a day and then when I get to camp in the early afternoon I just keep hiking because what else is there to do? I plan to take it easy and take short breaks whenever I feel like it but generally just hike from sun up to sun down, maybe even a bit past sun down depending.

    I had a similar thought and actually started off with a tarp set up. For me it wasn't a good idea for Vermont in the summer. For the extra 1lb+ it was worth it to switch to a light weight tent for comfort and mostly a safe haven from biting bugs.

    walking all day sounds good -- just don't let shelters dictate where your day begins and ends. it's really easy to find a spot for a small tent just about anywhere - once you get in the habit.

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