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  1. #1
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Suggestions for a long(ish) distance hike with hammock?

    Itís still early days, but Iím playing with the thought of visiting the US for a couple of weeks later this year and trying to figure out what to do while Iím there. I got a taste of multi-day hiking in New Zealand, so I had a look at the John Muir Trail. It looks as if it could be a good hike for somebody with less time (than e.g. half a year). However, Iím not familiar with US trails. What would more experienced US hikers suggest to a foreigner? Things to consider would be:
    • of course I would like to use a hammock - unless the trail would be spectacular enough to compensate for using a tent
    • the hike should not take longer than a month (two weeks hiking time would be more realistic, plus a couple of days for breaks). But it could be a part of a longer trail, in which case Iíd like to pick the nicest part, of course.
    • it shouldnít require special skills (Iím not into survival, rock climbing or the likes - just a regular and not super experienced hiker).
    • meeting nice people would be a bonus.


    I hope this is not off topic, but since the ability to use a hammock is an important factor, I figured the best place to ask would be here. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Sounds like you want the Appalchian Trail. It runs North to South along the Eastern Seaboard. There's a lot of beautiful hiking with seasonal peaks throughout.

  3. #3
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    The JMT is a very spectacular trail, about three weeks for a thru at a slowish pace. It does require quite a lot of advance planning, you need a permit and it would be to your advantage to get one the day permits open for your hiking dates. You would need a resupply at somewhere like Muir Trail Ranch for 110 miles or so, this could be difficult as you are planning from overseas. Public transport to and from the trail is available. There are many beautiful places to hammock and the above treeline sections are not too long so you dont have to camp there.
    Logistics for the AT would be simpler for you as resupply is straightforward. I dont think public transportation to and from the trail from an airport is quite as easy as the JMT but is certainly doable. you can hammock with ease on almost all sections.
    The Colorado Trail is another good one, a thru would take me about 6 weeks but of course you could do a few sections. Hammocking would be easy except for a long above treeline section in the San Juans. Transport to and from the trail might prove problematical but many here could tell you how to accomplish this. Resupply could be done by hitchhiking into towns about a week apart.
    the Superior trail in Minnesota is another you could hike in about three weeks and logistics would not be too complicated. You could hammock with ease, it's wooded all the way and has great views across Lake Superior.
    Wonderland trail in Washington State is fabulously beautifull but needs permits. I dont have first hand experience on how easy it is to hammock as you have to pre book campsites.
    Hope this gives you a few ideas.

  4. #4
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    The possibilities are almost endless, and Richard and Mike have given you several really good choices.

    Here is one more. Go to Pinedale, Wyoming and drive west to Big Sandy Campground ( one of many great trailheads) and hike in to Big Sandy Lake, go above to Clear Lake/Deep Lake, come back down to Big Sandy Lake and cross Jack *** Pass to Lonesome Lake/Cirque of the Towers.









    You can do numerous loops in this area to take up a couple of weeks.





    Or, you can just catch the Continental Divide Trail again out of Big Sandy Lake and hike north west 50 to 100 miles or so along the west side of the Continental Divide, over 2 weeks to a month. If you are a trout fisherman, there are literally many hundreds of trout filled lakes, plus streams and rivers.

    Only thing is you should be a very experienced hiker if solo, or be with some one experienced. You don't have to rock climb if you stay on main trails, but these are jagged high altitude mountains in deep wilderness. Depending on time of year, it is not uncommon to hike all day and not see any one else, and to have one of these trout filled lakes all to yourself. And what time of year? Regardless, you must be prepared for freezing weather and snow every month of the year. I have seen 24F and 1+ foot of new snow in late June, though weather is usually not too bad in the summer. Usually lows of 40, but could be a lot colder. Elevations will be from 9000 to 11000 ft if you don't climb the nearby 12000 to 13000 ft peaks.

    But if you are up for it, I think you will never forget this place. Take bear spray just in case.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 03-04-2012 at 21:42.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  5. #5
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    Maybe you could time the trip to coincide with one of the group hangs? Do some hiking and enjoy the company of some fellow tree dwellers.

    That said one of my favorite hikes is the Alta Via 1. Little more local to you and offers great opportunities to hang, or awesome rifugios and beer if want!

    "Camping" isn't allowed but you can bivouac for overnight.







    Cheers

    Vince

  6. #6
    Senior Member hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Great suggestions, thanks!

    At the moment I don't have a hiking buddy; I plan to do the hike solo, and if a hiking companion materializes, even better. I'm also not experienced enough for Big Sandy Lake, although it sounds awesome. I only have done 3 multi-day hikes, and those were on the easy side.

    I hadn't thought of transport to and from the trails! Thanks for pointing that out. I also didn't figure that resupplying might be an issue. Seems like the AT might be a better choice for a beginner than the JMT.

    I'll also check if there are any hangouts happening when I know my travel dates. Probably a great place to pick up additional advice.

    Please keep the suggestions coming - it helps to hear first hand experiences!

  7. #7
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    Its fairly easy to setup a shuttle to get you to and from the AT, it really is probably the most novice friendly trail out there. I'm not saying its easy, just that there is a lot of access to towns and other hikers. If you're hiking solo can be a good thing as it will give you an opportunity to meet a hiking partner or group, but if you're trying to get away from people you might find it a bit "crowded" even though you can go most of a day without seeing people, just don't count on being alone at a shelter.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  8. #8
    sandykayak's Avatar
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    Go to www.amazon.com and search: hiking the appalachian trail (there are 898 entries!)

    You can find guides for portions of the AT. Quite a few are available used and quite cheap, but not sure if they would ship to Germany. Used books are shipped via the individual bookstores (not Amazon), so you can email them and ask.

    Bill Brysonís Classic ďA Walk in the WoodsĒ is humorous
    http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Woods-Red...3&sr=1-2-spell

    If you have the option for Kindle e-book:

    See You Down By the Trail Ė Kindle only $2.99 Long.
    http://www.amazon.com/Down-Trail-Ber...239297&sr=1-51


    Read trail journals: www.trailjournals.com

    Google white blaze forum - good place to see who is hiking where and when.

    I'm just an armchair hiking...but even a very short hike on the AT has always been a dream.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gris's Avatar
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    I have been looking into hiking the Long Trail in Vermont www.greenmountainclub.org/ Depending on when you plan on coming over you might want to consider it. Most of the research Iíve done says that late August to late September is one of the best times to go (after black fly season). The trail is 270 miles long and it takes hikers an average of 21-28 days to hike. Roughly the southern half of the trail is the Appalachian Trail well maintained and fairly easy terrain compared to the northern sections. The northern sections offer a more remote and challenging hike. Just like the AT there are towns that offer a chance to resupply or just take zero days if you like. Hope this helps.
    Peace,
    Gris

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