The time has come to plan for the Long Trail Thru Hike. This planning meeting is set for Feb 2, 2017, but that date is extremely flexible. We can work around the date and pick one that everyone who is interested in doing the Thru Hike can attend. Meeting place can be determined later depending on who is attending.
This meeting will be for those who wish to hike the entire trail. There was a lot of interest in people doing a week of the trail, and that might be a possibility. First, though, I’d like to get started planning on the End-to-End hike.
I hope to start a series of planning meetings where we can discuss logistics, clothing, sleeping and cooking gear, etc, and set a schedule for prep hikes. It isn’t necessary to be in hiking shape now. In fact, you can be overweight and out of shape now. The key will be regular hiking from early spring and on through the start of summer to built strength in the ligaments and tendons. Then in the summer, we can have a couple short backpack trips to test gear, food, cooking, etc etc. A good plan would be to hike the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway and then do a few days on the Long Trail or Appalachian Trail to get the feel of hiking shelter to shelter.
The original hike was listed as North to South in September, and that would have worked fine. That said, my strong preference is to hike South to North, mostly because the trail is more rugged in the north and less so in the South. By starting in the South, we can ease into the hike. If we do that, a start date in August makes more sense, as we will be on the Canadian border at the end of the hike, where it is cooler. A September start is still possible as long as you/we don’t mind a frosty morning or two.
I also think that three weeks is too ambitious. It is about 272 miles and averaging 12 miles a day means about 23 days, but I would like to re-supply five times along the way, an average of every four or five days, and would spend the night in town on re-supply days. On the AT I liked to plan a short hike on the day I entered town and also the day I left. This will likely push the number of trail hiking days up to 28.
For what it's worth, my profile photo for this group was taking on the Long Trail, south of Stratton Pond. I’ve had this photo here from the beginning; it’s just a nice coincidence.
Anyone who has any thoughts feel free to comment below or contact me via the meetup system.
Looking for some hiking in southern/southeastern NH.