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 Advice for beginner overnight hiker 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:26 pm
Posts: 3
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 Advice for beginner overnight hiker
Hi All, this may be an area that has been talked about but I couldn't find much online or using the search. My question involves back country campsites. How quickly do they usually fill up? and what do you all do when you reach one that is full?

Last fall, we did the Tom, Field, Willey hike planning on staying the night at Ethan Pond. By the time we reached the Pond the site was full and since we hike with our dog we decided the shelter wasn't an option. We ended up hiking out and staying another night at Dry River. Besides a few extra twilight miles of hike the campsite being full didn't ruin much. However; as we plan longer trips it could have a bigger effect.

Do most people end up just finding a suitable backcountry site a mile or so away from the campsite?

Thanks for all your help and advice as we continue to grow and explore hiking in the Whites!

Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:59 pm
Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:35 pm
Posts: 2765
Location: south of the notches
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 Re: Advice for beginner overnight hiker
Hi. What I would do is get out there early to secure your spot. IDK how quickly they fill, but for the ones I have used I never had a problem with space with the early plan.

I would say that if they are full and you've schlepped out there (wherever 'there' is) I would know the regulations for back-country winter camping and have a plan B in mind so you don't have to abort the mission - and yes, this plan B could be that you hike another distance (doesn't have to be a mile!) to a suitable area.

Do you have a specific area in mind? You mentioned WTF (WAY more fun to refer to that way than TFW) :wink: in the fall. That may have been a time with AT thru-hikers which could account for the #s. And, being fall.

OK. So I'm an idiot. I just re-read your post and I now see that you were not specifically referring to winter. DOH! I'm too lazy to go back and delete what I've already said...and you didn't have any other responses I'd go with the same advice though, just disregard the back-country winter camping part.

Life is a trip ~ pack accordingly

Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:29 am
Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:40 pm
Posts: 1664
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 Re: Advice for beginner overnight hiker
Some campsites they have you share a platform, so if your tent is not taking up a lot of space, you're more in luck. The caretaker may be able to suggest sites to be on the lookout for. Kathy is right, start looking early, you'll have better luck. Some people use hammocks; flat ground with enough space to pitch a tent is sometimes hard to come by, so they find it easier to use those trees to hang a hammock. I've had good luck finding spaces due to my daughter, she is great at seeing a tiny path to the side and finding it leads to a decent (and legal) site. Also, we're short and can get by with a smaller tent.

Rumor has it if you plan on backpacking the Pemi Wilderness the rangers in the Lincoln Woods Cabin may know of some legit sites.

Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:03 pm
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