Hiking the Whites – Zeke’s First Backpacking Trip

Join Mike, TJ and I for 4 days of hiking & camping as we initiate our friend Zeke on his very first backpacking trip!

For this backpacking trip, we’ll be visiting one of my favorite areas, the White Mountains, for a counterclockwise Pemi Loop.  While I’ve previously done this loop as a solo hike, I switched things up this time by doing the loop in the opposite direction, starting with Bondcliff Trail and the Bonds and ending with a traverse of Franconia Ridge to return to the Lincoln Woods Visitor Center where we started. We also stretched the hike out to 4 days and 3 nights.  This enabled us to get some more camping and exploring in, and also let us do less miles per day, since this was our friend’s first backpacking experience.  The White Mountains are home to some of the most aggressive hiking trails in the country, and our goal was to make sure he actually wanted to do this again!

If you’ve never done a Pemi Loop before and are looking for some more logistics, trail listings, etc, feel free to check out my previous solo video.  For this video, we’ll be focusing more the amazing views, camp camaraderie and of course, the biggest question – will Zeke ever want to do this again?  Or will he want to push us off one of the numerous precipices that the Pemigewasset Wilderness has to offer…

 For info on the “helicopter situation” click here for a link to an August 28th post the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team’s Facebook page.

 A note on GPS Data: I didn’t record new GPS track data for this trip, as the data from my previous trip pretty much covers the route (in reverse of course) and includes waypoints for points of interest included in that video as well as this one.  I also tagged a decent amount of extra potential tent and hammock camping spots as I hiked, which some may find useful if looking for alternative camping spots.

Notable Items and Gear that may be of interest:

My hammock – Dream Hammock Darien, single layer.
Mike’s Hammock – Dream Hammock Thunderbird, double layer
TJ’s hammock – Dutchware NylonD hammock, 11 foot, single layer with Dutchware Summer Sock

Zeke’s Tent – Marmot Eos 1P Tent

Myself and Mike’s tarps – Both are Hammock Gear Cuben Hex Tarps with 11 foot ridge lines.

TJ’s Tarp – Hennessy Deluxe Tarp, 70D model, 12’x10′

 My underquilt – Hammock Gear Phoenix 30°
TJ’s underquilt – Hammock Gear Incubator 40° (seen up close in my earlier post here)

Mike’s underquilt – HG Phoenix 20°

Top Quilts – Hammock Gear Burrow 40° for me and HG Burrow 20° for Mike (TJ used a “regular” down sleeping bag as a quilt.)
My backpack – Osprey Hornet 46 (no longer in production)
Mikes backpack – Osprey Exos 58
Zeke’s backpack – Gregory Contour 70

Dehydrated meals tried in the video:  Mountain House, Packit Gourmet, and Alpine Aire.

Hiking the Pemi Loop – 3 Day Backpacking Trip

Come along for 3 Days of Hammock Camping, Hiking, and Backpacking on a classic Pemi Loop in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

The Pemi Loop, made popular by it’s distinction as one of “America’s Hardest Day Hikes” in a May, 2005 Backpacker Magaizine article, is not actually an “official” trail, but rather a series of AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) trails joined to create a 31.5 mile tear drop shaped loop in New Hampshire’s Franconia Wilderness Area.  GPS track data is available on the Trip Data page.

For this hike, I’ll be solo hammock camping with my Hennessy Hammock and the larger 12′ x 10′ Deluxe Hex Tarp, due to the threat of cold and wet late summer weather. In the White Mountains, weather can turn on a dime even with the brightest of forecasts, so when the weather report actually says things are going to be iffy, you’d better take it seriously. For this trip we’ll experience a wide range of conditions – from hazy summer heat, to gusty bursts of hail and chilling nighttime lows.

Sintax77 Pemi Loop Route

An aerial view of my 3 Day Pemi Loop route.

Gear List Highlights:
Hennessy Expedition Asym Hammock
Hennessy Deluxe Hex Tarp equipped with
Zing-it guy lines & Dutchware Wasps for quick, knot-free setup
Hammock Gear Incubator 40 underquilt
Hammock Gear Burrow 40 Topquilt
Osprey Hornet 46 Backpack
Fenix HL25 Headlamp
DIY Cookpot w/ DIY cat can alcohol stove
Ribz Front Pack for Carrying Camera Gear
Samsung H300 HD Camera (3 spare batteries), GoPro Hero 3 Black, RAVpower      10,400mAh USB battery pack, Garmin 650 GPS

Pemi Loop Direction:

Parking and Start Point:
Lincoln Woods Visitor Center N44° 03.820′ W71° 35.300′

Trails Used, Day 1:
Lincoln Woods Trail
Osseo Trail
Franconia Ridge Trail
Garfield Ridge Trail
Setup Stealth Camp
Summits: Mt Flume, Mt Liberty, Little Haystack Mountain, Mt Lincoln, Mt Lafayette
Mileage: 11.5 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain:
Pemi Loop Day 1 Graph - Sintax77

Trails Used, Day 2:
Garfield Ridge Trail
Twinway Trail
Bondcliff Trail
West Bond Spur Trail
Bondcliff Trail
Lincoln Woods Trail
Setup Stealth Camp
Summits: Mt Garfield, South Twin Mountain, Mt Guyot, West Bond Mountain, Mt Bond, Bondcliff
Mileage:17 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain: 
Pemi Loop Day 2 Graph - Sintax77

Trails Used, Day 3:
Lincoln Woods Trail
Return to Car
Mileage: 4.5 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain: 
Pemi Loop Day 3 Graph - Sintax77

3 Day Pemi Loop Trip Totals:
32.5 Miles
Gross Elevation Gain:
Pemi Loop Trip Total Graph - Sintax77