Every year I take a Fall hike and this year I chose the Northville-Placid Trail in the Adirondacks. I did not have a lot of time to hike this year, although my Northville-Placid Gear List had many new pieces, and only spent four days hiking
The fall foliage was just starting to pop and the hike was beautiful.
I’ll take you through the gear I took for the conditions and highlight any new gear.
Table of contents
Northville-Placid Trail Conditions
On this hike, I hiked about 51 miles over two full days 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, overall I considered it a moderate hike with an extensive shelter system similar to the Appalachian Trail.
If you enjoy beauty and solitude then you will enjoy the NPT.
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 brief summaries.
- Katabatic Sawatch 15 Degree Quilt – My quilt is a size long with 2 extra ounces of Down added since I sleep cold. Temperatures were just below freezing on one night when I slept on top of Blue Mountain. This quilt was impressive and I stayed warm. I slept in my Feathered Friends EOS puffy and used the hood to keep my head warm.
Review: Feathered Friends EOS Puffy
- Zpacks Duplex Tarp Tent – It rained quite a bit on this trip, especially at night, and the Duplex held up well. 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 Tart 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 becomes a brick pillow by the end of the night. This is definitely a luxury item that I will be carrying going forward.
- 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 on numerous occasions and never ripped or tore. 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 almost exclusively use Smartwool PhD Ultralight Mini socks. They are comfortable and dry fast. On the NPT I decided to try both 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 were more comfortable. They will be my new 3-season socks for cooler weather.
- RAB Trek Gaiters (Womens) – I started out with my Dirty Girl gaiters just to see how long they would hold up. The NPT chewed them up after a few hours and I switched to my new RAB gaiters. They are very durable, and I did not have an issue with the strap that goes under the shoe breaking like I do with my Outdoor Research gaiters. These gaiters preformed 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 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 took wet conditions into consideration. This is why I chose the Hyperlite Junction and its weather-resistant Dyneema for this trip.
With eight days of food, I would normally 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 piece of gear I never knew I needed!
- Feathered Friends EOS Jacket – the warmest Down hoody I’ve used so far.
- Versalite Rain Jacket – Great lightweight jacket that 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 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 use out west.
- Earplugs – ALWAYS. Had to block out shelter party on this hike.
- Hairbrush – Foldable with small mirror in handle
- Kulacloth – 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 on airplane mode, but also sometimes listen to books and take a lot of photos.
- Garmin InReach Mini – This keeps “home” happy, allowing them to keep an eye on 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 so 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 really no gear I would have changed. Everything worked well.
The biggest surprise was definitely 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 has not happened in years. I do wish I had taken more tape and taped them prior to starting to hike.
I purchased all of the gear in this article. I do not accept sponsored posts or compensation to write reviews, and all opinions and views are my own. If this review has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links above. Thank you