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 Post subject: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:11 pm 
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So, I thru-hiked the appalachian trail in 2010. My brother did in 2011 and next year he's doing the PCT and I'm pretty ridiculously jealous.

What kind of backpacking do you guys do? Want to do? Anyone want to Triple Crown? (I have a vague idea that that might be nice eventually)

I'd like to do some winter overnights but not in high elevation at all. Next summer I'm probably going to do some day hikes but I don't know yet about backpacking. I'd like to get out there but most of my friends aren't backpackers.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Yay this thread!

Never thru-hiked anything, but I love me some backpacking. Before I went back to school, I was making it out at least once a month. Now my only opportunities are during fall, winter, and spring breaks. Every fall break since I've been back in school, we go to Grayson Highlands SP and visit the ponies; it's such a fun default location when I don't have the time/energy to plan new stuff.

Does anyone have a favorite season for backpacking? I love winter backpacking so hard.

This was a great winter trip, even though we had to turn back and stay at an earlier shelter due to the feet of unbroken snow on unblazed trails.
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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:45 pm 
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wow crowderpea, those pics look great. super jealous :)


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Yay for this thread!! I love backpacking but I haven't done much recently.

My most recent trip was 3 days in Sierra high country. It was amazing! I finally upgraded to a high quality pack with lots of padding and it made the trip so much more enjoyable. I would love to do the PCT but I can't imagine I'll ever get that much time off :( I also really want to do the continental divide trail!

We just got a 4-season tent and liners to make our sleeping bags 0 degree-ers but I'm still kinda intimidated by winter backpacking! I hate the cold!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:23 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
We just got a 4-season tent and liners to make our sleeping bags 0 degree-ers but I'm still kinda intimidated by winter backpacking! I hate the cold!


You could do a short one night trip to try it out. As long as you have good shelter, sleeping bag, layers, and maybe crampons or something, you don't need a ton of fancy gear. Definitely go with someone who's done it before and has a better idea of what to plan for. The biggest thing I've noticed, besides the extra gear, is the decrease in hiking speed (and therefore the distance you can cover) and the increase in food you need to eat. On the trip I took those pictures on, our hiking slowed to about a half a mile an hour before we decided to turn back towards the first shelter. I would also recommend picking a trail/route you are familiar with, or at least one that is well-blazed. You may find you love it, despite the cold. To me, it's like being in a magical land. The way the woods sound when everything is covered in snow is great--I can't explain it!

I can't stop posting pictures; this trip was so fun! I want to get out in some snow soon!
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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:31 pm 
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I'm super jealous of you people who've backpacked out west or through-hiked! Those are goals for me--some day!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:14 am 
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Thanks for starting this thread Lillianp! I'm super-excited to see that there are fellow PPKers that like to hike! I love me some backpacking & am stoked for a place to talk about it with a vegan emphasis- gear, food, etc.

I thru-hiked the PCT in 2003, and am planning a CDT thru-hike in 3 (or 4) years. I'm looking forward to taking mountain school -a local 3-4 month program in mountaineering, with graduation climbs in WA and Canada-to gain some useful skills that can only help me during the CDT thru-hike. (I can't say I think I'll ever be passionate about mountaineering, though- glaciers and freezing cold all the time is just not my idea of crazy fun. I prefer backpacking. On the other hand, my husband is planning a bucket-list Denali climb this May; I doubt I'll ever aspire to a climb such as that).

Anyhow, I live in Northern Idaho, so I have lots of great backpacking close, and even more great backpacking within a few hours.

I need to get to bed now, but YAY for this thread!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:19 am 
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Also, I definitely want to Triple Crown- as of now, that is a major life goal of mine. I think I'm saving the AT for retirement, though. Not because I think it's easy, just because you have longer to hike it season-wise if you like (as in you can start way early if you can stand the cold). And you can only quit so many jobs at my age to thru-hike.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:13 am 
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I've not been in awhile, but this thread has served as impetus for me to start hiking again. It had been one of my favorite activities pre-baby. I've hiked nearly all of the Pa Appalachian trail and would love to complete it in its entirety. Someday!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:24 am 
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Those pictures of snow remind of the smokies where it snowed almost the entire time I was there. I'd love to go through snow again, but I'm also wary since I came out of it with an injured knee (more related to just it freaking out because I was doing way more physical activity than before than the snow).

I'd loove to see snow like that around here without having to use the serious traction devices/axes/etc that I'd have to use in the Whites.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Just did a three-day snowshoe trip to a Forest Service cabin in S.W. Montana. The first 2 miles were steep but on a well-broken trail; then 3-1/2 miles breaking trail through snow that was sometimes knee-deep or worse. That was hard!!

We ate like freakin' kings using the ancient cook stove: thai noodles with fresh veggies and tofu, fresh-baked cheesecake in the oven (I'm serious), pasta with artichoke hearts and olives, fresh-veggie curry (a whole can of coconut milk? really?), beans and rice, two bottles of wine, jams, heaping piles of oatmeal ... we did not pack light!

Coming out was a piece of cake because our packs weighed practically nothing, and we'd already broken our own trail!

Gonna do it again, definitely, but we'll pay better attention to the weights of everything. It was sure good food, but a little on the absurd side!!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Sounds like fun! I always eat like crazy in the winter, too. And when it's that cold and you've been hiking in snow, everything tastes 10x more amazing.

Winter food tip: put Rotel in/on everything. Especially mac and cheeze.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:00 pm 
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This whole thread is making me anxious to move. There aren't many backpacking opportunities in Iowa. We've camped and hiked around almost every camping spot in a fifty mile radius of us plus most of the larger state parks here. We should start planning three day weekends to some state parks farther away but time doesn't seem to come out of nowhere. When I need to actually get a pack for longer trips I'll know where to ask for advice. Until then I want to live vicariously through all of you.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Catalina wrote:
This whole thread is making me anxious to move. There aren't many backpacking opportunities in Iowa. We've camped and hiked around almost every camping spot in a fifty mile radius of us plus most of the larger state parks here. We should start planning three day weekends to some state parks farther away but time doesn't seem to come out of nowhere. When I need to actually get a pack for longer trips I'll know where to ask for advice. Until then I want to live vicariously through all of you.



Where are you at in IA? I used to live in Sioux City.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:24 pm 
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VeganHaggis wrote:
Just did a three-day snowshoe trip to a Forest Service cabin in S.W. Montana. The first 2 miles were steep but on a well-broken trail; then 3-1/2 miles breaking trail through snow that was sometimes knee-deep or worse. That was hard!!

We ate like freakin' kings using the ancient cook stove: thai noodles with fresh veggies and tofu, fresh-baked cheesecake in the oven (I'm serious), pasta with artichoke hearts and olives, fresh-veggie curry (a whole can of coconut milk? really?), beans and rice, two bottles of wine, jams, heaping piles of oatmeal ... we did not pack light!

Coming out was a piece of cake because our packs weighed practically nothing, and we'd already broken our own trail!

Gonna do it again, definitely, but we'll pay better attention to the weights of everything. It was sure good food, but a little on the absurd side!!


Awesome! Glad you had fun and ate well!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:22 am 
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Tenacious LD wrote:
Catalina wrote:
This whole thread is making me anxious to move. There aren't many backpacking opportunities in Iowa. We've camped and hiked around almost every camping spot in a fifty mile radius of us plus most of the larger state parks here. We should start planning three day weekends to some state parks farther away but time doesn't seem to come out of nowhere. When I need to actually get a pack for longer trips I'll know where to ask for advice. Until then I want to live vicariously through all of you.


Where are you at in IA? I used to live in Sioux City.

I'm in Ames. We go west every once in a while on our way to family in Sioux Falls, SD but haven't really explored out there much. If you remember any cool places I'd love to hear about them.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Just got back from a snowy trip in the Smokies! Pictures soon!

It was a bit cold...

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:29 pm 
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We did just a quick overnighter. Low Gap trail up to Cosby Knob shelter and back the same way. Not quite as much snow as last time we were up there, which meant we could actually hike. Somehow I got out of the trip with mostly pictures of my boyfriend walking down the trail...

Image

Image

Image

It was beautiful, but I'm glad to be back and resting my wimpy legs. Walking up and down on rock/slush/snow/ice is pretty rough on the ankles and knees!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:51 am 
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Gorgeous!


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Ohhh great thread!

I did the Three Peaks Challenge last (!) year - you climb the 3 highest mountains in the UK in less than 24hrs (including travel time). It was brilliant but pretty tough!

This was the peak of Ben Nevis at 5.30am (we started climbing at 2am!) via instagram;
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I've done some 'walking' in the Cairngorms but I'd love to go back this summer - I've never done any kind of multiple day/overnight trips.

Can I ask a dumb question - where do you sleep?! Do you take a tent with you? Or is the weather in America always so amazing you can sleep under the stars :)


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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:50 pm 
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In the winter, I like staying in trail shelters. Usually, they have fireplaces and offer a lot more protection from wind and weather. Otherwise, I use a tent. Sometimes it is nice enough weather-wise to sleep without a tent, but that nice weather is also great for bugs. I like a tent for bug protection at least!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:52 am 
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Hey winter hikers!

Do you guys have any suggestions for a good winter sock? I want to do some snow hiking/backpacking and right now I have synthetic backpacker socks that are really padded and lovely and I also have sock liners. I get really really cold feet, even at moderately low temps, so I worry they won't be warm enough!

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:17 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
Hey winter hikers!

Do you guys have any suggestions for a good winter sock? I want to do some snow hiking/backpacking and right now I have synthetic backpacker socks that are really padded and lovely and I also have sock liners. I get really really cold feet, even at moderately low temps, so I worry they won't be warm enough!


I would like to see some suggestions, too. I still haven't found an awesome replacement for my old non-vegan smart wool socks. I would love to find an alternative sock that I would trust in sub-freezing conditions. As much as I hate using wool, I don't want to take any chances with frostbite and whatnot.

I'm also looking to replace my boots soon. The ones I currently have were bought pregan and have a small amount of leather on them. I love how they fit and work (narrow, light, waterproof, breathable), so I hope I'll be able to find an equally awesome replacement.

Also, just an FYI: if anyone is looking for a non-down insulated jacket, the synthetic Columbia poofy jacket that is lined with that OmniHeat stuff is amazing. Mine came as part of a 3-way coat (outer waterproof shell that the inner poofy part zips into). I can't even wear it when I hike because it reflects body heat so well I end up overheating.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:53 pm 
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Catalina wrote:
Tenacious LD wrote:
Catalina wrote:
This whole thread is making me anxious to move. There aren't many backpacking opportunities in Iowa. We've camped and hiked around almost every camping spot in a fifty mile radius of us plus most of the larger state parks here. We should start planning three day weekends to some state parks farther away but time doesn't seem to come out of nowhere. When I need to actually get a pack for longer trips I'll know where to ask for advice. Until then I want to live vicariously through all of you.


Where are you at in IA? I used to live in Sioux City.

I'm in Ames. We go west every once in a while on our way to family in Sioux Falls, SD but haven't really explored out there much. If you remember any cool places I'd love to hear about them.


Sorry I missed you're question, Catalina. I don't know if it's worth the trip in and of itself, but if you're ever around Sioux City, Stone State Park does have a lot of good trails for day hiking. (Also, I got married there). I used to train for out-of-state backpacking trips there, and in Ponca...hmmm I can't remember the name of that park...maybe Ponca State Park? That's just over the river from Sioux City in Nebraska. You can tent it in both places. My husbands dad used to be the caretaker of the local Boy Scout camp, so we used to camp out there, as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Backpacking! Thru-Hiking! Let's talk about it here!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:59 pm 
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I've got the same question about socks! I tried giving up wool as a vegetarian, but never quite made it (smart wool socks were the only hold out). I've been vegan almost a year now (yay)! and I am definitely gonna have to replace these smartwools soon.

My husband got me some AWESOME synthetic (as in, not down) booties for my birthday. I just wear them around the house, but they are made for winter camping. They are super warm. The brand is Baffen Polar Proven.

Speaking of which...warmest, most light-weight 3-season sleeping bag? I really need a new bag, and I really want a light weight one! Anyone been researching light weight synthetic bags lately?

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