Overnight itineraries

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  1. #1

    Overnight itineraries

    I'm looking for some overnight backpacking trips to try for a first timer. My friend and I are looking to go on our first overnight trip. We're both reasonably fit and are looking for perhaps a premade itinerary, since it's the first time. I live in SE Mass and would like the Berkshire or NH area. We're comfortable with tossing down the tent anywhere so don't need an established campground. Any ideas?

    Adam

  2. #2
    Greg's Avatar
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    How much dayhiking have you done and where? Welcome to the forums!
    I ski double black diamonds.

  3. #3
    I've done 2-3 hour hikes at Blue Hills and I recently went car camping at Mount Greylock, did the Hopper trail. Took the Skyline trail (the one that crosses the falling river) back down. Haven't really done alot of hiking that makes me feel worn out at the end, really.
    Adam

  4. #4
    I don't know anything about the Berks. In the Whites there are soo many to choose from that I would suggest purchasing the hiker's bible known as the White Mountain Guide 27th edition. Every trail to everywhere is listed. Book time, distances, elevation gain, what to bring, etc.

    A great source to purchase the White Mountain Guide can be found here.

    Then you can choose your own itinerary of a thousand trails and have an overnight adventure that you'll never forget. Enjoy!

  5. #5
    A comprehensive guide is what I'd like, too. Thanks for the link. Sometimes it gets hard to plan when people just refer to trail names or the route numbers.
    Adam

  6. #6
    Greg's Avatar
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    MtnMagic is right on. The White Mountain Guide truly is a must-have. I would suggest some more agressive dayhikes in the White Mountains before tackling backpacking. The WMG does a great job at trail descriptions/distances, and hike time estimates. Please realize that is exactly what they are, estimates. You will find your average pace will vary from the book time and will be influenced by trail conditions/weather a bit. After a number of trips, you will get a feel for what your hiking time is versus the WMG booktime.

    So...I would start with some 3 - 8 mile hikes in the Whites. I'm sure you'll get a number of recommendations here for easier "big" hikes in the Whites. An up and back to Eisenhower via Edmund's Path comes to mind. There are hundreds of good dayhikes to get you started. Work your way up to the 8+ mile range.

    Backpacking is a completely different thing than dayhiking. Generally you're carrying more weight and over prolonged periods. There's also somewhat of a learning curve in terms of what to do at camp (setting up the tent, hanging food, working your stove, etc...). Even the simple, seemingly obvious things like keeping your raingear in the tent for the morning even if it's dry out the night before "just in case", can take some time before they're "automatic".

    Once you're comfortable dayhiking, a next get step is basecamping. Typically for me, a basecamp will consist of backpacking all my gear into an area, e.g. the Pemigewasset, Dry River, or Great Gulf wilderness areas, to set up camp. Day 2 will consist of a dayhike loop to a number of summits and then back to the same camp. Day 3 - hike out. You get the benefit of a lighter pack on the dayhike while still enjoying the backcountry camping experience. Other options at the start is car camping and taking dayhikes. Sounds like you've done that.

    Hook up with someone that has a lot of backpacking experience so they can share what works for them. This will make the learning curve much easier (and safer) and you'll have a much more enjoyable experience. Sorry for being so long-winded, but I hope this helps. Again, welcome to the forums, and please stick around. You'll get some very helpful information here as you begin your backpacking journey.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  7. #7
    The White Mountain Guide is THE book that has it all. The newest version has a section at the end of each chapter listing various hikes at different degrees of difficulty for that chapter. I would agree with Greg on starting off with some long dayhikes and then work your way into overnights. The Mount Greylock area is a great place to get your feet wet. The Hopper Trail - AT - Money Brook Trail loop is especially nice in the autumn. From time to time there are hikes posted in the "Trips and Events" area on this website that you could sign up for and glean some experience from others. No matter how much experience you have, you mind is always willing to learn something new.

  8. #8
    I think it's better to be long winded then to give short incomplete answers. Thanks for the help. I really should be using my free time better. If anything longer day hikes will at least get me out there more. Picked up the AMC Massachusett's guide today.
    Adam

  9. #9
    Greg's Avatar
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    For some great Massachusetts dayhikes, look for info on Mount Race and Alander in Southwest Mass. There are some great dayhikes there. Do some searches in these forums on "race brook" and "alander" for more info.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  10. #10
    The two Daniel Doan "50 hikes" books offer descriptions of hikes and backpacking trips. The go into detail in describing the trip and telling you how to get to the trail head. Some of the day hikes described can be easily turned into backpacking trips. Lots of stores have the books, or you can get them on Amazon.

    See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...201102-2703318

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