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Jcorye1
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First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
A buddy and I are doing the Wild Azaela Trail the weekend after next. It's around ~30 miles and we won't be speeding through as we are doing it over 3 days two nights. I've been doing plenty of hiking to build up to it, and made sure my bag can last 2 nights 3 days by camping at primitive campsites at local state parks. Any common mistakes first timers make that I should avoid?

I'm bringing plenty of water, and plan on refilling at the creeks filtering with the Lifestraw and purifying with chemicals if needed. I'm also planning on around 5K calories per day with an additional 2.5k if anything goes wrong.



Salmon
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On the trails
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56327 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
quote:

Any common mistakes first timers make that I should avoid?


packing too much unnecessary shit

quote:

I'm bringing plenty of water, and plan on refilling at the creeks


We haven't had much rain. How sure are you that all your water stops have flowing water right now?

for the Azalea, it crosses roads many times, I would suggest placing a few 1 gal jugs of water for emergency reserves at a few of those crossings, just in case

quote:

I'm also planning on around 5K calories per day with an additional 2.5k if anything goes wrong.


again, I'd suggest stashing these reserves along the road crossing

this is what makes Azalea a good starter hike, you don't have to carry all your reserve things

I think the longest segment of the Azalea is what? 7 miles?

I've ran the entire thing before, either completely or by segments

which way are you hiking?


jimbeam
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University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
45820 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
2 pounds of food per day is the standard. But the WA is a pretty easy trail compared to most, so take that FWIW.


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Jcorye1
Detroit Mercy Fan
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Member since Dec 2007
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re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
From Lake Valentine to Woodworth.

So basically just fill some gallon jugs and drop them off along some of the different segments just in-case?


Salmon
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re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
quote:

So basically just fill some gallon jugs and drop them off along some of the different segments just in-case?



that is what I would do

I used to do this when I would run it so I didn't have to carry water


Jcorye1
Detroit Mercy Fan
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Member since Dec 2007
48910 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
That's a good idea, should I camouflage them so people won't mess with them, or is it something that people don't mess with.


Salmon
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re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
I don't think anyone would mess with them

just kinda hide them in a bush or something

and it doesn't just have to be water, leave some treats for you

you would be amazed at what a little sugar will do after you have hiking all day
This post was edited on 10/10 at 1:37 pm


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LoneStarTiger
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Lone Star State
Member since Aug 2004
14303 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
quote:

Any common mistakes first timers make that I should avoid?


you'll pack way more stuff than you'll need.

I wouldn't worry with a caloric target for each day. I mean, let's be honest, you'd survive if you didn't eat for 3 days anyways, so just pack something light you'd like to eat and don't worry about the calories. Hell, I'd take the opportunity to kick start dropping a couple lbs, myself


jimbeam
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re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
also, probably just me, but after humping my gear all day, I never eat everything I bring. Never.


Salmon
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re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
quote:

but after humping my gear all day


you're doing it wrong


jimbeam
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re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?


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LoneStarTiger
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Member since Aug 2004
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re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
quote:

probably just me, but after humping my gear all day, I never eat everything I bring. Never.




not just you, I never feel hungry when we go backpacking. I force myself to eat at night. I always bring home food, particularly the sweets and snacks.


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dltigers3
LSU Fan
Collierville, TN
Member since Jun 2010
540 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
What is your shelter arrangement?


Jcorye1
Detroit Mercy Fan
Tom Brady = GoAT
Member since Dec 2007
48910 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
I have a tent, rainfly, and footprint meant for a single person. It's Ozark Trail, but should work for this purpose.

I'm going to check the weather, but it should be nice enough I won't need a sleeping bag, and I can just pack a liner and wrap my tent up in a fleece blanket sleeping on a self inflating pad.
This post was edited on 10/10 at 2:29 pm


jimbeam
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re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
Don't bring the footprint. I have one for my tent as well but it's just more weight honestly.


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LSUintheNW
LSU Fan
Here and there
Member since Aug 2009
27058 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
quote:

Any common mistakes first timers make that I should avoid?


you'll pack way more stuff than you'll need.

I wouldn't worry with a caloric target for each day. I mean, let's be honest, you'd survive if you didn't eat for 3 days anyways, so just pack something light you'd like to eat and don't worry about the calories.


No doubt. I know nothing about this trail but it is LA so I'm guessing you won't be humping any elevation gain so that makes it a fairly easy 10 miles (depending on your conditioning).

Some snacks I love to take (as Salmon said...sugar/candy is amazing on the trail) are dried mangos, Mike and Ikes, Sour patch kids. I also carry salted almonds or peanuts.


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Salmon
USA Fan
On the trails
Member since Feb 2008
56327 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
quote:

footprint


nix this

don't need it for this area, its not rocky and you should be able to find some soft pine straw areas pretty easily

quote:

I won't need a sleeping bag, and I can just pack a liner and wrap my tent up in a fleece blanket sleeping on a self inflating pad.


how heavy is your sleeping bag? fleece blanket seems like it would be heavier and take up more space, no?



LSUintheNW
LSU Fan
Here and there
Member since Aug 2009
27058 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
quote:

fleece blanket seems like it would be heavier and take up more space, no?



I was curious about this too.



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Jcorye1
Detroit Mercy Fan
Tom Brady = GoAT
Member since Dec 2007
48910 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
It's not really heavy, plus I have a nice bag to compact it as much as possible. I meant one of those thin fleece cheap throws from Walmart.


LSUintheNW
LSU Fan
Here and there
Member since Aug 2009
27058 posts

re: First Backpacking Through Hike, Any Tips?
How are you cooking your meals?

What's on the menu?
This post was edited on 10/10 at 2:39 pm


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