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Long Distance Hiker

                         The Long Distance Hiker

 

100 Mile Wilderness provides services and assistance geared to the long distance hiker and section hiker planning to hike Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness. This site is a source of information that deals specifically with the difficulties and challenges you will face while hiking through the wilderness region of Maine. If you are planning a long distance hike through Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness, please keep in mind some of the basic information you will read throughout this site. Many of you reading this may be new to backpacking. Perhaps you are planning to hike the entire Appalachian Trail or just the 100 Mile Wilderness. Search out as much information as you can and find out what will work best for you. There is no “right way” to hike the Trail, but there certainly are a few wrong ways. Poor planning and packing too heavy are two ways. Even being inexperienced or out of shape won’t necessarily effect the outcome of your hike. It can, however, make a difference on whether you prepared for the unexpected and how you learn to deal with it. Attitude is everything. Out on the Trail, your life will be stripped bare. You soon learn what you can live with and what you can do without. Only the basics come into play. Food, water and shelter are of primary concern. Staying warm and dry is paramount as well. Injury is a daily risk. Issues with blisters and chafing can slow your progress. So can impossible river fords due to several days of heavy rains. Will you be prepared and able to adjust if you have to wait a day or two for the water level to drop? Will you be able to stay warm despite being wet? Do you have enough food? Stay focused and approach everything you do confidently and with a sense of humor. Mishaps happen. Proper preparation is the key to a successful and enjoyable hike. Each day will provide you with a new destination as well as a new set of challenges…… No one knows more about the 100 Mile Wilderness and the Appalachian Trail in Maine than I do. A bold, but true statement. I have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine 3 times. I have hiked the 100 Mile Wilderness as a trip, in and of itself 13 times. I helped build many of the lean-to’s you will pass by as well as helped build much of the new Trail you will walk. I have been involved with the MATC since 1977 and an Honorary Member since 1998. I am a life member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy since 1981 and have been a Volunteer in Baxter Park since 1978; having maintained both the Helon Taylor Trail on Katahdin and the South Turner Mountain trail for many of those years. I know at least 20 ways in and out of the 100 Mile Wilderness and can provide you with at least 30 additional camp sites within the 100 Mile Wilderness that will allow you to camp in private as well as add some flexibility to your itinerary. I also provide two resupply options within the 100 Mile Wilderness and have the experience and knowledge as a Registered Maine Guide to make your trip safe, trouble free and without worry. So….if you’re planning a trip in the 100 Mile Wilderness or anywhere else along the Appalachian Trail in Maine…I’m your best source and guarantee all of my services or you don’t have to pay. ……..Let the journey begin!…Phil Pepin, Registered Maine Guide


Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls
Jeremiah 6:16


BASIC INFORMATION

The Appalachian Trail in Maine is both rugged and extremely wet. Proper preparation and planning are the keys to enjoying a successful hike through Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness. Prepare for the unexpected and carefully plan out your itinerary to include enough food and supplies to get you through the 8-10 days needed to complete your hike along this remote section of Trail. Do not underestimate the difficulties and challenges you will face while hiking the Maine woods. The weather in Maine can be the most formidable foe. Plan for the cold and plan for the rain. Make sure to have a weather-tight shelter and always have something warm and dry to change into at days end. If you need help or need to get out, remember, cell phone coverage is poor to non-existent. Texting works best.  While there isn’t much you can do about the weather; proper planning means you will at least have the chances of a safe, memorable and enjoyable hike. Contact me for your shuttle, accommodations, information requests and help with logistical planning….

                                                                             Phil Pepin, Registered Maine Guide


Equipment Checklist

  • Pack
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Insulated ground pad
  • Portable stove and fuel
  • Matches/lighter
  • Cooking gear/spoon/cup
  • Guidebook and maps
  • Hiking boots
  • Extra socks
  • Knife
  • Insect repellent
  • Headnet
  • Toilet paper
  • First aid kit
  • Water bottles
  • Water purification system
  • Repair kit
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Nylon rope
  • Extra plastic zip-lock bags
  • Tent
  • Ground cloth
  • Rain gear
  • Warm, synthetic jacket
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Pants-quick dry
  • Bandana
  • Shorts
  • Shirt-synthetic
  • Extra food


Food Suggestions

  • Pepperoni
  • Hard cheeses
  • Bagels
  • Peanut butter
  • Energy bars
  • Powdered drink mix
  • Instant rice
  • Ramen noodles
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Tuna
  • Bacon bits
  • Flavored noodle mixes
  • Hard candies
  • Trail mix (raisons, nuts, M&M’s, etc.)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Instant soups
  • Jerky
  • Instant pudding
  • Powdered milk
  • Protein powders
  • Cookies
  • Crackers


Hints, Common Sense and Lessons Learned

  • -Most springs and streams dry up to a trickle during the summer months. Always bring a cup to use for dipping when filling canteens.
  • -Eat instant oatmeal right out of the packet. Just add water and save yourself the cleanup. Works with hot or cold.
  • -Tie your wet clothes on the outside of your pack to dry and air out
  • -Never waste an opportunity to dry out your gear and tent. Even a 15 minute break can significantly dry out most equipment; especially when placed in the sun on a clothesline.
  • -Always use a pole when fording! Alway loosen your shoulder straps and always unhook your waistbelt before entering the water. Always wear footwear and always face slightly upriver.
  • -Ziplock everything and additional ziplocks for all clothing. Place all ziplock items in different colored stuffbags for additional protection. Large garbage bags add additional rain protection (but in the end—everything gets wet to some degree anyways!)
  • -Make sure to protect your pack with a rain cover. Even though rain covers do not always do their job; they do add a degree of protection by covering zippers from wind driven rain.
  • -Gatorade bottles make great pee bottles. (You’ll wish you had one-trust me)
  • -Dental floss and a large needle make a great sewing kit and duct tape wrapped around a water bottle will repair most anything. 50′ of nylon cord rounds out your repair kit.
  • -A plastic 2 x 4 welders helmet mirror is ultra-lightweight and is handy for those times when you need to dig out those pesky gnats from your eyes.
  • -Toilet paper is a necessity and wet-wipes are worth the weight
  • -Aqua Mira is the best water purifier and is fool-proof. Stay away from Steripen and be aware that filters do and will clog.
  • -Always have dry clothes to change into at days end and keep these clothes dry, no matter what!
  • -If you are using mail drops, send just the maps and Guide pages you need for the next section instead of carrying the whole book.
  • -A small section of closed cell foam makes a great sit pad as well as an excellent windbreak for your cookstove.
  • -Always remove all food from your pack and make sure all zippers are left unzipped to keep mice from chewing a hole through your pack.
  • -Placing plastic bags over your feet and then putting on your socks will keep your feet warm and toasty.
  • -Socks (preferably clean ones) make great emergency mittens.
  • -Tyvek house wraps (available at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) makes a virtually indestructable ground cloth and a good emergency tarp cover to huddle under during a break while hiking in the rain. Ultra-lightweight, though noisey.
  • -Sand makes a great pot scrubber
  • -If you plan on using shelters, a pair of earplugs will help block out all the snoring coming from the female hikers.
  • -A headnet is your sanctuary from the hordes of biting insects.
  • Make sure you have your reservations for Baxter Park!
  • Make sure you make your reservations with 100 Mile Wilderness in Monson



If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Thoreau

100 Mile Wilderness Adventures and Outfitters

Phil Pepin-Registered Maine Guide
PO Box 47, 349 Pleasant Street
Monson, Maine 04464
Phone: 207-991-7030
phil@100milewilderness.info