Every year I take a Fall hike, and this year I chose the Northville-Placid Trail in the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, I did not have much time to hike this year; although my Northville-Placid Gear List had many new pieces, I only spent four days hiking.
The fall foliage was starting to pop, and the hike was beautiful.
I’ll take you through the gear I took for the conditions and highlight any new equipment.
Table of contents
Northville-Placid Trail Conditions
I hiked about 51 miles on this hike over two full and two-half days.
There was not a lot of elevation gain and loss other than Blue Mountain, and it was a wet trail.
This is a “wilderness” designated trail, so maintenance is minimal in areas, and there were quite a few blowdowns, mud bogs, and creek and marsh crossings.
Although there were some unmaintained sections of the trail, I considered it a moderate hike with an extensive shelter system similar to the Appalachian Trail.
If you enjoy beauty and solitude, you will enjoy the Northville-Placid Trail.
Northville-Placid Gear List – New Gear
I tested a few pieces of new gear on this hike and will eventually do reviews on each piece. Below are some summaries.
- Katabatic Sawatch 15-Degree Quilt – My quilt is a size long with two extra ounces of Down added since I sleep cold. Temperatures were just below freezing one night when I slept on top of Blue Mountain. This quilt was impressive, and I stayed warm. I slept in my Feathered Friend’s EOS puffy and used the hood to warm my head.
Review: Feathered Friends EOS Puffy
- Zpacks Duplex Tarp Tent – It rained entirely on this trip, especially at night, and the Duplex held up well. Of course, there was the typical Dyneema, single-wall condensation, but the shelter was so roomy it did not matter. I appreciated the roominess and large vestibules, along with how easy it was to set up and pack up this particular shelter.
Review: Zpacks Duplex Tarp Tent
- Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow – What a pleasant surprise. This 2.7-ounce pillow is something I should have started carrying long ago. I had a much better night’s sleep and used my puffy to keep my head warm instead of combining it with clothing that eventually became a brick pillow by the night’s end. This is a luxury item that I will be carrying in the future.
- Montbell Versalite Rain Jacket – This jacket was durable for only 6 ounces and held up well on this brushy trail. The jacket was snagged by branches numerous times and never ripped or torn. The jacket also kept me dry and warm in some steady downpours. I appreciated the deep hood and features like long pit zips.
- Darn Tough Lightweight Socks – I exclusively use Smartwool Ph.D. Ultralight Mini socks. They are comfortable and dry fast. On the NPT, I tried the regular lightweight Smart Wool socks and Darn Tough PCT and CDT Micro Crew Lightweight socks. In the lightweight socks, Darn Tough came out on top. These socks have a tighter weave and are more comfortable. I’ll use them for cooler weather and keep using the Smartwool for warmer weather.
- RAB Trek Gaiters (Women’s) – I started with my Dirty Girl gaiters to see how long they would hold up. After a few hours, the NPT chewed them up, and I switched to my new RAB gaiters. They are durable, and I did not have an issue with the strap that goes under the shoe breaking as I do with my Outdoor Research gaiters. These gaiters performed better.
- Petzl Zipka Headlamp – This lightweight headlamp held up well around camp and while hiking. I need to use it a little more to see how the thin head strap holds up. I’m tired of carrying so many different cords for charging, so I decided to give this battery-operated headlamp a shot and was pleased with the amount of light on the low setting.
- Zpacks Duplex – Great, roomy shelter for only 19 ounces (See Review).
- Extra Tarp Tent Line
- Tent Stakes – I use the red tops because they are easy to find.
- Duplex Stuff Sack – Comes with the Duplex.
The Northville-Placid gear list considered wet conditions, so I chose the Hyperlite Junction and its weather-resistant Dyneema for this trip.
With eight days of food, I would typically have taken a ULA Circuit for comfort and durability, but the Hyperlite is more weatherproof, and I was not sure what to expect on this trail.
- Hyperlite Junction 3400 – Great durable backpack for wet climates in 3-season hiking (See Review).
- Compactor Bag – I use this to line the backpack for my sleeping bag and clothes.
- Hyperlite Shoulder Pouch – Use for my iPhone and InReach Mini (See Review).
- Katabatic Sawatch 15 Degree Quilt – High quality and very warm. Upcoming Review
- Katabatic Lines – secure sleeping pad to quilt.
- Thermarest Neoair X-Lite – My go-to sleeping pad for three seasons (See Review).
- Gossamer Gear Thinlight 1/8 – This has multiple uses and is about one ounce (See Review).
- Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow – My new favorite gear I never knew I needed!
- Feathered Friends EOS Jacket – the warmest Down hoody I’ve used.
- Versalite Rain Jacket – Great lightweight jacket kept me dry.
- Versalite Rain Pants – Great pants, but I need a new pair.
- Smartwool Socks (2) – My favorite micro ultralight socks, especially for warm and desert hiking
- Darn Tough Socks (2) – New favorite 3-season lightweight socks – very comfortable
- Kora Beanie – made out of YAK wool but takes too long to dry and is not as warm as my OR beanie.
- HOKA Speedgoat 4 – These are the most comfortable trail runners I’ve used, along with EVO Speedgoats (See Review).
- Smartwool Baselayer – Very soft for a wool base layer.
- Buff – I get mine at REI when they are on sale.
- Bandana – More absorbent than my buffs. I use it to wipe things down when wet.
- Icebreaker base layer shirt – I use it for sleeping and my town shirt.
- REI Hiking Shorts – I use cargo shorts because I like big pockets.
- Pocket Rocket 2 Stove – I decided to cook at the last minute, and as always, I am glad I did.
- MSR Fuel Cannister – I only use the stove for dinner, so that fuel will last me two weeks.
- Snow Peak 900 Titanium Pot – I’ve used this small, lightweight pot for as long as I can remember.
- BIC Lighters (2) – Even in cold temperatures, I’ve not had these fail.
- Titanium Spork
- Purel – This is even better than a water filter. I think most sickness is from unclean hands.
- Dental Floss – Also used to repair shoes and gear.
- Chapstick – Mostly used out west.
- Earplugs – ALWAYS. I had to block out a shelter party on this hike.
- Hairbrush – Foldable with a small mirror on the handle
- Kula cloth – More expensive than a bandanna, but less odor and cleaner (See Review).
- Toilet Paper
- Tinactin – Great for heat rashes. Never leave home without it.
- Leukotape – I do preventative taping since I know where I get hot spots
- Anker Portable Charger 20,000 mAh – I use the larger battery, which lasts about five days. I leave my phone in airplane mode, but I sometimes listen to books and take many photos.
- Garmin InReach Mini – This keeps “home” happy, allowing them to monitor my location daily. It also comes in handy in remote locations when I need to send a text.
- iPhone – I use a 12 Plus
- Inpher Quick Charger – This allows me to charge multiple devices more quickly in town.
- Water Bottles – I use Smart Water bottles. They fit in my side pockets well and don’t fall out.
- Black Diamond Carbine Alpine Hiking Poles – I used to use LEKI but switched to these about two years ago. They are very durable and lightweight (See Review).
- Gerber Knife – I’ve carried this same knife since 1998. Mine is not identical but very similar.
- Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter – This filter works for me because it is simple and easy to use (See Review).
- DEET – I saw a few mosquitoes but did not end up using any repellant.
Northville-Placid Gear List – Post-Hike Thoughts
There was no gear I would have changed. Everything worked well.
The biggest surprise was the small pillow. I was amazed at what a difference it made in how well I slept.
My feet got chewed up from being wet for so long. I was surprised since this had not happened in years. However, I do wish I had taken more tape and taped them before starting to hike.
(I visited three times, three visits today)