Notices

Backpacking?

Old 12-18-2013, 11:35 AM
  #1  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 2,239
Default Backpacking?

I am a very experienced primitive camper but mostly kayak and canoe. I went backpacking for the first time in a very long time a couple weeks ago and loved it so got fitted and asked the wife for a Gregory 65 liter pack for Xmas. I plan to do a trip for a week or two this winter and the Appalachian trail in sections at some point. I guess my questions are. Is 65 liter (3900 ci) a good all around size for a first pack for about one week trips? Where is a good place to go for a week or so in the winter on the east coast with reasonable temps. Has anyone hiked the Appalachian trail in Jan-Mar? Any other info or advice is appreciated.
bikem is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 11:53 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location:
Posts: 3,993
Default

I can't understand why anyone would want to go winter camping. The only positive thing I could say about it is, the bugs and other campers are gone. Why would anyone want to get out of a sleeping bag at 20 degrees aside from bodily functions.

I can remember going camping and hunting with my dad and his friends years ago, when I was a kid. This was in the George Washington forest, not far from the Va appalachian, trail in Nov. It was cold and it sucked. It wasn't a fine bonding experience with my dad. It was trying not to sht myself while I was, balled up in the fetal position, shivering in my sleeping bag, and it was too cold to get out and use the outhouse at 2am. Winter camping-fuhgetaboutit
FishnDive is online now  
Old 12-18-2013, 12:10 PM
  #3  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Greenville/MHC, NC
Posts: 2,553
Default

Linville Gorge. The most wilderness terrain east of the Mississippi.

First time in the Gorge for me was at the end of March.

Lets see, we got rained on...snowed on...sleeted on...and thunder and lightninged on.

Typical camping weekend for me.
aFORDable is online now  
Old 12-18-2013, 12:12 PM
  #4  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Sharon Springs, NY
Posts: 4,515
Default

Originally Posted by FishnDive View Post
I can't understand why anyone would want to go winter camping. The only positive thing I could say about it is, the bugs and other campers are gone. Why would anyone want to get out of a sleeping bag at 20 degrees aside from bodily functions.

I can remember going camping and hunting with my dad and his friends years ago, when I was a kid. This was in the George Washington forest, not far from the Va appalachian, trail in Nov. It was cold and it sucked. It wasn't a fine bonding experience with my dad. It was trying not to sht myself while I was, balled up in the fetal position, shivering in my sleeping bag, and it was too cold to get out and use the outhouse at 2am. Winter camping-fuhgetaboutit
My most precious to me accomplishments are the ones that tested me to the maximum. It's what makes you smile and feel worthy when you have private moments.

My dad used to take us winter camping. Zero degrees, wind and snow. We learned to be resourceful fairly quickly.

I remember every one of those frozen nights with flimsy sleeping bags and cheap plastic shoes because that's all we could afford.

Sorry to derail, I can't offer any info on backpacking for the OP. This just brought back some of my childhood and fine accomplishments for me.

Last edited by Mike Boehler; 12-18-2013 at 12:22 PM.
Mike Boehler is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 12:21 PM
  #5  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,083
Default

the number one reason why I love to go is because of the beauty!

Last edited by Garett; 12-24-2013 at 11:52 AM.
Garett is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 12:36 PM
  #6  
gf
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 12,913
Default

65 liters is on the small side for true winter backpacking if you are encountering sub-freezing temperatures and need to carry extra clothing, a heavy sleeping bag, food, water, etc.

I use a GoLite Odyssey 80 (no longer made) and it can hold more stuff than I care to carry.

65 liters is a great size for all other 3-season week+ backpacking trips, however. Even a 50 liter pack might work for mild weather trips and you adhere to some common sense ultralight practices. I'm not a big Gregory fan and urge you to also look at packs from Osprey like the Aether 60 or 70.
gf is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 12:40 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Durham, NC Beaufort, NC
Posts: 778
Default

I have spent a bunch of time in the Linville Gorge during the winter months. Keep your eye on the weather. I really like the Spence Ridge Trail to get in to the Gorge, it's probably the easiest route in to the gorge but no route is easy. There is a lot of elevation change to get in and subsequently out of the gorge. Sitting Bear, Table Rock (the busiest b/c of climbers), and Hawks Bill were all my favorites for mountain top camping. All offer spectacular views of the Gorge. Another interesting trip is the Neusiok Trail in Carteret county, NC. This is a 20+ mile coastal trail through Croatan National Forest. All flat but very interesting and a good way to spend a few days in the woods. The biggest problem is getting a shuttle set up for solo camping since it is not a loop. Winter is the only time to do this trail due to heat, snakes, bugs, and bears.
Harriss Sea is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:04 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,083
Default

Get the biggest pack there is - space is not something you can add.

Last edited by Garett; 12-24-2013 at 11:51 AM.
Garett is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:11 PM
  #9  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 2,239
Default

Originally Posted by Mike Boehler View Post
My most precious to me accomplishments are the ones that tested me to the maximum. It's what makes you smile and feel worthy when you have private moments.

.
Well said!
bikem is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:26 PM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 2,239
Default

Originally Posted by gf View Post
65 liters is on the small side for true winter backpacking if you are encountering sub-freezing temperatures and need to carry extra clothing, a heavy sleeping bag, food, water, etc.

I use a GoLite Odyssey 80 (no longer made) and it can hold more stuff than I care to carry.

65 liters is a great size for all other 3-season week+ backpacking trips, however. Even a 50 liter pack might work for mild weather trips and you adhere to some common sense ultralight practices. I'm not a big Gregory fan and urge you to also look at packs from Osprey like the Aether 60 or 70.
I tried the Osprey in about a 50 liter pack and liked it's fit and lots of features but they just looked fragile to me. The Gregory just seemed better made and about the same comfort with 30 lbs in it, but then again I know nothing about packs accept what I have read on line and what the sales person told me. Buying local so can be exchanged after Xmas. Thanks I will look again.
bikem is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:35 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 902
Default

3900 does seem a bit small for a week. The Golite mentioned earlier is a great size and mfg, but that brand is typically limited to a lighter weight capacity - which is fine if you're really packing light (read grams). The Jam 50 got great reviews. I'd own one in a heartbeat, but wouldn't recommend it for what you're doing. I use a Black Diamond 3500, but I don't know if I could do a week with it. For 3 days, it's stuffed to the freakin' brim and I try really hard to be a reasonable minimalist. Even then, it's got sh1t hanging all over it. :D

Having said that, I'd start with a good solid 3 day bag and work from there. Tons of great reviews online.

Last edited by Knoxes; 12-18-2013 at 01:53 PM.
Knoxes is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:56 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 902
Default

Regarding destinations, I'd look to the Low Country this time of year - like Francis Marion. It's right in your backyard, too. Temps are too cold for the really bad critters and yet warm enough that you won't need 10 layers just to keep from freezing. Working on one of these trips myself, for a few days just after Christmas.
Knoxes is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 02:21 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 298
Default

http://www.foothillstrail.org/index....trail-overview

I hiked some of the foothills trail while at Clemson. Its nice and not to far of a ride from your location. Pick a good weather window and it shouldn't be to bad.
clink is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 02:34 PM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 2,239
Default

All great responses! Linville gorge sounds good if it's mild weather with elevations between 1000 and 4000. Like the idea of a coastal trail but want to do at least a week. I know Francis Marion like the back of my hand and will break in the pack there on a weekend trip but want to get out of town for a longer trip. I don't think I want a bigger pack because I have light gear and don't want to haul to much stuff also don't want to camp extreme cold conditions. My bag is only a 20 degree and have a liner but with pad and minimalist tent sleeps good below freezing but not in teens and wind.
bikem is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 02:46 PM
  #15  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Charleston SC
Posts: 2,239
Default

Originally Posted by clink View Post
http://www.foothillstrail.org/index....trail-overview

I hiked some of the foothills trail while at Clemson. Its nice and not to far of a ride from your location. Pick a good weather window and it shouldn't be to bad.
Thanks for the link. That might be a good one to start with and perfect for 7-10 days. Plus my son goes to Clemson. Maybe he could bring me a 12 pack at some point.
bikem is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 02:58 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 404
Default

There was a local guy Ed Kuni ,he hiked a Appalachin trail many times,even in his 70s.Belive he wrote some books about it. I joined a hiking club we go once a week,some tough 10 to 15 mile mountainous hikes. If ever in Beacon NY try breakneck ridge overlooking Hudson river. Ages of hikers in our group are twentys to upper 70s,you wouldn't believe how good of shape the older hikers are in. Seems like it keeps them young and in great shape.Some of the older hikers hike Mt Washington and other countries steep mountains Swisterland ect. I would like to hike the AT one day,they say before your out of Georgia your down to your hiking weight.
Larry Patrick is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 03:01 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 430
Default

Highly suggest GoLite brand.
I met some guys that work for GoLite out in Dillon,Co last year. Super nice people. Family owned business, and they stand behind their product.

They were actually about to depart on their 350 mile (i think that's what it was) hike from Durango to Denver.
Crazy!
USSLIVEACTION is offline  
Old 12-18-2013, 03:50 PM
  #18  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: LOBX/Bahamas
Posts: 1,795
Default

Bikem,
Great thread, brings back great memories of the winter hikes as a youth in the Presidential range in NH. We would do 5-7 day trips where snow shoes, mouse boots and wool bibs were the norm.....guess I just dated myself.
Huntersun is offline  
Old 12-19-2013, 12:09 AM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,083
Default

Do you pack water or are you taking tables?

Last edited by Garett; 12-24-2013 at 11:50 AM.
Garett is offline  
Old 12-19-2013, 12:10 AM
  #20  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,083
Default

Your winter camping is totally different than mine

Last edited by Garett; 12-24-2013 at 11:48 AM.
Garett is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread