By Noah Haber, High Peaks Information Center Staff
When preparing for your wilderness adventure, one of the most challenging tasks can be determining a feasible route for your hiking group. Taking the time to effectively plan out your route ahead of time in a way that is approachable for all members of your party will vastly enhance your wilderness experience and allow your group to safely and successfully complete the trip you set out to do.
Some important considerations to make when deciding on a route include the amount of mileage your group will cover in a day, the amount of elevation gain you would prefer to hike, and if you would like to complete day hikes or camp in the back country overnight. If you choose to camp overnight in the backcountry, you should anticipate a shorter day and slower pace since you will be carrying a significantly heavier pack with overnight gear. A great way to complete overnight trips in the High Peaks region is to establish a base camp at a designated camping site or lean-to, and taking day-packs up some of the actual summits (just make sure any food you leave behind is stored responsibly in a bear canister). This will help to cut some of your weight in the more difficult and steep sections of trail. Another important thing to consider when planning your trip is to develop a contingency plan. That way, if adverse weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances concerning the people in your group arise, you will have an alternative trip already in the works that will allow for a fun and fulfilling trip if something were to happen that would prevent the completion of your original trip such as dangerous weather, illness, or injury with members in your group.