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  1. #1

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    Cool Pemi Loop in October

    Hello Friends,

    I am planning my first hammock backpacking trip ever. And it's the biggest one yet. I and my buddy are planning to do the Pemi loop in October's first week.

    I have always used tents but am really really getting sucked into hammock camping.

    My pack list is here

    I plan to do the loop clockwise starting from Lincoln Woods Visitor Center. My previous biggest loop was the Dolly Sods - but this is at a whole new level for me.

    I would appreciate it if folks can critique my pack-list; have suggestions or recommend cool sites for hanging out. I plan to take it slow as I want to smell the roses - 4 days / 3 nights.

    Best,
    - Tintin



  2. #2

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    Did the Pemi loop a few years ago clockwise also. Camped at the Liberty Springs campsite first night then found a spot just past South Twin peak to camp.

    One of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done.

  3. #3

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    Thank You Sir... I saw your video... amazing!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Checked out your Lighterpack list. Impressive piece of kit so I don’t have much to add. Your pack is considerably larger than what I would normally carry for most trips but I see you are packing near winter weight quilts. Guess snow is possible in early Oct so best to be warm and safe.

  5. #5
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twistytee View Post
    Checked out your Lighterpack list. Impressive piece of kit so I don’t have much to add. Your pack is considerably larger than what I would normally carry for most trips but I see you are packing near winter weight quilts. Guess snow is possible in early Oct so best to be warm and safe.
    I agree. As that gear list stands, by the time actual weights of food, water and fuel (consumables) are added, OP will reach a pack weight north of 40lbs.

    There are ways to reduce that quite a bit. However, going lighter in the winter is a very specialized niche that requires a lot of new skills, experience and strategies that are not going to be gained in less than a month. So my advice is to stay with your current list and work on this later. Here is an older gear list of mine for temps down to (and a bit below) 0°F that I've used in the past. If you want to get into nuts-n-bolts discussions about lightening your load, for donating members we have the Ultra Lite Gear sub forum... well worth $10/yr IMHO for that and other non-hammock sub-forums. The link in my sig line below is an excellent source. A good book is Lichter/Forry Ultralight Winter Travel.

    Winter can come early up yonder. Some years back they used to hold the Mt Washington bicycle hill climb race in early September but had to move it to the third week or so in August because it was frequently snowed out in September!
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~ Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Senior Member sparky32's Avatar
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    As others have said, I don’t have much to add in terms of your gear. I used to consistently lug around a 43 - 45 lb backpack. And, when I attempted the Pemi loop several years ago I was still carrying a 43 lb pack. Not good, at least not for me. For years I had been wanting to lighten my pack weight and it was that trip that finally forced my hand and I made a drastic change. I now carry a total pack weight of 29 or 30 lbs (including food, filled water bottles and stove fuel). I will tell you we had incredible views but it was, by far, the most physically demanding hike we have ever done. Be prepared for difficult terrain but also for spectacular views from the summits!

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  7. #7
    Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    You'll have a great time! The established tentsites - Liberty Springs, Garfield and Guyot - make for obvious excellent places to settle down for the night. You'll also find a good number of stealth/established sites on the Garfield Ridge Trail. You'll never know what kind of weather you'll get in October so it's good to be prepared. I did a Pemi Loop about six Octobers ago - bluebird 60 degree day on Day 1. Day 2 was a steady drizzle which made everything wet and the Garfield Ridge treacherous. Temps were in the low 50s and I was always keenly aware of hypothermia. At night the temps got chilly (I was staying at the Greenleaf Hut) and everything was icy and frozen over on Day 3. It can be a real mix!

  8. #8

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    Hello Twistytee,

    Thank You for taking the time out to reply.

    I used this as my baseline for weather: https://www.mountwashington.org/expe...-extremes.aspx

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    I agree. As that gear list stands, by the time actual weights of food, water and fuel (consumables) are added, OP will reach a pack weight north of 40lbs.

    There are ways to reduce that quite a bit. However, going lighter in the winter is a very specialized niche that requires a lot of new skills, experience and strategies that are not going to be gained in less than a month. So my advice is to stay with your current list and work on this later. Here is an older gear list of mine for temps down to (and a bit below) 0°F that I've used in the past. If you want to get into nuts-n-bolts discussions about lightening your load, for donating members we have the Ultra Lite Gear sub forum... well worth $10/yr IMHO for that and other non-hammock sub-forums. The link in my sig line below is an excellent source. A good book is Lichter/Forry Ultralight Winter Travel.

    Winter can come early up yonder. Some years back they used to hold the Mt Washington bicycle hill climb race in early September but had to move it to the third week or so in August because it was frequently snowed out in September!
    And that truly is my biggest concern. I am working keeping it to 37 Lbs max load out (with consumables etc). The biggest culprit there is my backpack - I was torn between that and the Hyperlite Mountain Gear porter - the thing about the Kajka is the fitting; it fits me like a glove. I can obviously shed a few pounds there. My theory was to carry a heavier pack with light equipment. My priority is safety at all costs.
    • Water - I am lugging 3 liters there - that's 6 lbs again; but then again I am playing it safe. This is all about safety first; there aren't that many water sources on the ridges.
    • My 15 degree quilts and near winter weight. Again those Microspikes - maybe I don't need them & maybe I do... this is my first time going to NH anyway leave alone the Whites. I used this as my baseline.
    • Bear canister for food - I could obviously use a bear bag but again peace of mind and safety.
    • Another Q I have is the total weight is 17764g - but I am wearing 1909g - that makes the pack weight 35 lbs. Or am I reading that wrong?
    • ​Do I need liquid fuel - or will the canister cut it?




    I have weighed out the consumables on my kitchen scale, and those are the actual weights. You are so on point that my total weight with wearables is north of 40lbs.


    • I have read warnings where the recommendation is to not go beyond 30lbs - so I am incredibly wary. FWIW I hiked the Dolly Sods with that sort of a loadout (actually 45 lbs as I was carrying my 11-year-olds gear w the tent and a ton of food - what a learning experience that was), and I was knackered by the end of it.
    • As lessons learned, I am training this time around and am losing bodyweight. I have an upcoming appointment with my Physical Therapist, who is going to fit the pack on me (I will be packing the whole deal and headed to the clinic looking like a dork - but at the end of the day, the goal is not to get hurt). I also did the Deep Gap Hike as a prep with this loadout.
    • As a mitigating factor, I am going with a buddy. I will carry some of his food in exchange for my gear to offset the weight of the bear canister. There are a few changes there; I will give him my Primus Omnifuel with White Gas. If the temperatures dip and my Fuel Canister does not light up, the White Gas should be plenty good.
    • As days pass and we consume stuff, the trash bag goes inside the canister and hopefully, the loadout gets lighter. I also plan to dump water out and only carry a couple of liters on the last day as I plan to go clockwise as the last 4-5 miles are supposed to be easy and adjacent to the river.




    My plan B is a semi pemi - if stuff does not settle down by the middle of the trip, I make my way down Tuckerman to the Liberty Springs Parking Lot. Also, I plan to be going slow - take 4 days 3 nights if I have to.

    Fantastic feedback btw and this post is going to make me a paid member.
    Last edited by tintin_snowy; 09-13-2021 at 14:37.

  10. #10
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    tintin_snowy, very glad you found the reply useful.

    I won't go into everything on your list since it would be getting perilously close to off-topic for this sub forum, but there are some items listed as 0g and I'm not sure if that's because you don't intend to carry them or haven't yet populated the list. And many other things have some very round numbers such as 100, 200, 300g which might mean they're estimates based upon mfg specs, which in most cases I find rather unreliable. I've perused more than a few spreadsheets and some things like this get my attention.

    At the end of the process what counts is actual total pack weight (TPW) at the trail head. I, like many, use a digital luggage scale and I've noticed that most people are surprised that it is significantly more than what I've dubbed in the past as FSW (Fantastical Spreadsheet Weight) Many times there are last-second items that people put in their packs that are not reflected on their spreadsheets, such as their smartphone, or extra food that didn't get re-weighed, etc.

    In general, I see on your list a fair bit of back-up clothing and containers and accessories (hangtime, lantern) that I personally wouldn't carry.

    HOWEVER, this is your hike and this is in no way a criticism of what you choose to carry into the hills, and lightening your load is a much trickier process for winter kit than it is for summer. This is why in my advice for this trip is to stick with what you know and are comfortable with, and take a slower, more studied approach to learning about winter lightweight gear, clothing and techniques. And then make short trips into the winter woods to test things.

    As far as gas (isobutane) stoves and winter, there's some good info/links in this thread.

    If you want to start a thread in the UL Gear sub-forum we could get more into the specifics of your lighterpack list.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~ Mark Twain

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