Calling all with Backpacking Expertise

3:37 p.m. on January 26, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Calvin, Dominick, Mike, mporco

I am well seasoned day hiker who has recently taken interest in backpacking. I am planning two trips this summer. The first will be in the High Peaks Region of NY's Adirondacks (3-4 nights) and the second will be in Rocky Mountain NP along the Continental Divide (5-6 nights). I was wondering if ya'll could give me advice on what type/how much gear, clothing, and food I should bring. Also, has anyone had experience with the Dana Glacier pack? I found a good deal on it, but I have heard mixed reviews about its performance. Great thanks to all those with advice.

10:17 p.m. on January 26, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

quite a can o' worms...

you've opened up Devon. There's no end to the discussion of what and how much to bring on any given wilderness adventure, and everyone has their needs and preferences. The more backpacking you do, the more you will learn about what works for you and what doesn't, and eventually you'll develop a system that's ideal for you. It just takes experimentation and experience. I wouldn't call myself a highly experienced backpacker, but even in the 6 since I started my gear list has changed a lot. With that said however, being a "well seasoned" day hiker, you may already have a lot of what you'll need in terms of clothing, andl ots of smaller stuff like flashlights and water bottles, and who's know what else. You do. Let us know what you have, or plan to get, and maybe people here can offer some more specific advice. Also it might be a good idea to purchase a "guide to backpacking" book. In this you would get a lot of specific imformation and tips that couldn't all be listed here. There are some really good ones out there, but I can't think of them off hand.

(for starters you'll need shelter (tarp/tent), sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, some form of water purification (filter or tablets), stove, cookware, base layers, insulative layers, and shell layers and...boy it's hard to think of everything since I jsut sort of automatically take it:)

You're hopefully going with some more experienced folks for these first few trips, so seek their advice about before and during the trips about the specific areas you're heading for.

Hmm, this probably hasn't been very helpful, but there it is.

Happy Hiking,

Daniel

9:17 a.m. on January 27, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: quite a can o' worms...

Daniel gives some pretty good advice. I'd also recommend a shorter trip to begin with. Maybe one or two nights. As far as packs go you'll just need to try them on. My wife has an Arc Teryx that she loves, one friend has a Gregory, I have a Dana Terraplane which I have mixed feelings about. The key is to go to a store where the salepeople know what they are doing and get one that fits you correctly.


Quote:

you've opened up Devon. There's no end to the discussion of what and how much to bring on any given wilderness adventure, and everyone has their needs and preferences. The more backpacking you do, the more you will learn about what works for you and what doesn't, and eventually you'll develop a system that's ideal for you. It just takes experimentation and experience. I wouldn't call myself a highly experienced backpacker, but even in the 6 since I started my gear list has changed a lot. With that said however, being a "well seasoned" day hiker, you may already have a lot of what you'll need in terms of clothing, andl ots of smaller stuff like flashlights and water bottles, and who's know what else. You do. Let us know what you have, or plan to get, and maybe people here can offer some more specific advice. Also it might be a good idea to purchase a "guide to backpacking" book. In this you would get a lot of specific imformation and tips that couldn't all be listed here. There are some really good ones out there, but I can't think of them off hand.

(for starters you'll need shelter (tarp/tent), sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, some form of water purification (filter or tablets), stove, cookware, base layers, insulative layers, and shell layers and...boy it's hard to think of everything since I jsut sort of automatically take it:)

You're hopefully going with some more experienced folks for these first few trips, so seek their advice about before and during the trips about the specific areas you're heading for.

Hmm, this probably hasn't been very helpful, but there it is.

Happy Hiking,

Daniel

9:20 a.m. on January 27, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Adirondack High Peaks Suggestions

Devon,

If you want to get some good feedback about the Adirondacks, I would suggest you repost your question on www.viewsfromthetop.com in the Northeast Q&A Section, in the Q&A Forum. You will have to register to do so.

As for food in the Adirondacks, only you can really estimate how much food you'll need, based on the length of your trip. Consider both the number of days you'll be out hiking, as well as how strenuous your hikes will be. I'll mention a few things though. Bears are becoming an increasing problem at the more popular campsites in the High Peaks. These campsites include (but are not limited to) Marcy Dam, Flowed Lands, and Lake Colden. If you are not a pro at hanging your food in a bear bag, I would HIGHLY recommend that you obtain a bear proof canister to store your food in. The bears in the High Peaks are getting very smart when it comes to getting food from campers. These containers cost about $75-80 retail, but I've been told they can be rented for $5 a day at the EMS store in Lake Placid. Bear activity is worst in the summer months (especially the late summer months), when the bears have exhausted their natural food supply.

You should also be aware that campfires are not allowed in most of the High Peaks regoin of the Adirondacks, so you should plan on bringing a stove to cook your meals.

As for shelter, you should know that the black flies in the High Peaks are horrendous from about Mother's Day to Father's Day (and perhaps all the way through the month of June). So, if your trip will fall in that time period, you'll definitely want to consider a shelter with screening to keep the bugs out. Leantos are first come first serve. They are often available mid week, but you should be prepared to share the leanto, and have an alternative shelter if the leanto is full. If you plan to make use of the leantos, make sure you have the most recent trail map possible, as many of the leantos have been removed.

As for water, the Adirondacks usually remain fairly wet, even throughout the height of the summer. Finding water is rarely a problem, although some higher seeps, springs, streams, etc. will dry out in the summer months. It will be difficult to find water on long ridge hikes, so plan ahead if that's the case. You can count on lakes and ponds shown on the High Peaks map to be there year round. If I were to come up with a rule of thumb (for a 150 pound hiker), I would say carry 1 liter of water for every 4 hours you plan to spend above 2,500 feet in the summer. In other words, it should be pretty easy to find water below 2,500 feet for someone who is not familiar with the area.

As for weather, and clothing suggestions, it is not uncommon to see snow linger until early June at higher elevations. You should definitely be prepared for rain, as it rains quite frequently in the Adirondacks, even in the summer. A 40 F sleeping bag should do you fine from mid June through early September. For clothing, I'd recommend waterproof jacket and pants, poly base layer tops and bottoms, lightweight fleece jacket, hat (for warmth), lightweight gloves or mittens, sturdy hiking boot, at least 1 pair of wool socks for every 2 days hiking, and a cap.

If your looking for suggestions as to a possible route, you'd have good luck posting your question on www.viewsfromthetop, as I mentioned earlier. You may get more suggestions than you want. If you don't already have it, the Adirondack Mountain Club's Guide to the High Peaks is very helpful, and will help you reference suggestions you may get from Views from the Top.

John

September 21, 2014
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