Next week, my buddy Craig & I will be attempting to hike the 77 mile long Foothills Trail from one end to the other, in 2 nights & 3 days.
“The Foothills Trail is located along the Blue Ridge Escarpment in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina. The landscape is diverse, ranging from high rocky outcrops with views to the distant horizon, to quiet forests in deep valleys carved by bold mountain streams. Elevations along the trail range from 1,120 feet at Table Rock State Park to 3,560 feet atop Sassafras Mountain.“
This will be the first time that I have stepped foot on this trail, however, Craig has hiked some small sections of it in the past. Looking at the weather forecast for Table Rock State Park, it looks like we will have cloudy, overcast days, with a possibility of rain, and temperatures between mid 60’s to mid 80’s. We have a couple of different itineraries planned (which will be decided as we are hiking along), however, none of them have us at high elevations for the night, so I am assuming temperatures near this, but have planned to be able to go a little lower if need be. And of course, we will continue to check the weather forecast until our departure gets a bit closer (since we all know that weather forecasts can change drastically from one day to the next)…
Being that this hike will primarily consist of more hours hiking (after all, it is 77 miles in 3 days) than time spent (awake) in camp, I have decided to forfeit some of my luxury items (such as my Kindle) and instead opted for a lighter (“ultralight” to be correct) pack weight, filled only with items I need. However, I did not skimp on items that will keep me comfortable, or safe. For those interested, HERE is my entire gear list on a Google Doc spreadsheet. For those that would just rather see some basic numbers, this is what those looks like:
- BPW: 6.68 lbs (106.8 oz)
- Big 3 Consumables: 7.93 lbs (126.81 oz)
- Multipack: 0.79 lbs (12.6 oz)
- Carried Items: 0.71 lbs (11.3 oz)
- Worn Items: 3.24 lbs (51.8 oz)
This gives me a total skin-out weight of 19.33 lbs, or 309.31 oz. Also worth noting is the way the weights listed above will be split up in different areas once I actually pack it all up. (Mainly, my food will be split up.) I have opted to carry the food I plan to eat each day while hiking inside my Multipack, rather than inside my pack with the rest of my food. This means the total weight of my pack cannot be figured simply by adding my BPW + the big 3 consumables. As well, my Multipack weight will be a bit more than what is listed above since some of my food will also be inside the Multipack. This is what the actual total weights (measured on my scale) look like at the beginning of my hike, with the food divided up…
- Total Pack Weight: 13.89 lbs (222.3 oz)
- Multipack Weight: 1.66 lbs (26.5 oz)
Of course, my carried weight (which consists of items such as my wallet, trekking poles, whistle & light) will remain the same (0.71 lbs/11.3 oz). As well, my worn items weight will also remain the same (3.24 lbs/51.8 oz).
Other than sorting through my gear, I have also been studying up on the trail and its conditions by visiting different internet sites, as well as watching other’s YouTube videos. Also, both Craig and I have spoken with others that have already hiked the trail. As well, I have both the map and the guide-book that I purchased from the FTC site (linked above), and have been looking them over. (On the trip though, I will be carrying the map, and Craig will be carrying the guide-book.)
As far as physical shape, I have been walking at my local park both on a paved trail, as well as a “cross-country” trail, just trying to get my knees (and my lungs) ready for the hike.
So, at this point, I feel like I am well prepared for the hike, and I’m looking forward to getting some trail time! Until then… thanks for stopping by!