Lone Star Hiking Trail Thru-Hike Redux: Some Changes

As my first attempt to thru-hike the LSHT ended early, I have been itching to get back and make another attempt.  I’m making some changes based on what I learned and here’s what I’m planning for my Lone Star Hiking Trail Thru-hike Redux.

Lone Star Hiking Trail Logo

Gear Changes

My gear, for the most part, will remain the same with the exception of my hat and shoes.  I will most definitely look for a different and hopefully better pair.  As for the camera, I haven’t really decided what to do about it.  It can’t sit on top of the pack again. I’ll probably find some way to secure it around my chest while it’s hanging around my neck to keep it from swinging and banging around. I learned a little about using it for video, so hopefully, I can take a little more video with it.

The rest of my gear I plan to keep the same.  Everything else, that I used, worked as I expected.  I had no need to use the sleeping bag or the rain poncho or a few other things.  I’ll still take them as they will be part of my gear on much longer hikes in the future.

Food Changes

I will be making MAJOR changes to my diet.  Pop Tarts are OUT!!  Those were a horrible idea.  They get mashed to pieces, for one, and they just aren’t very appetizing.  For whatever reason, after I got home from my first attempt, I have had zero desire for oatmeal.  Prior to that I ate oatmeal almost every day and sometimes twice.  Not sure what happened or why, but I will probably adjust my oatmeal rations. This time I will also take salt or salt pills. The tuna wraps worked well and I will do those again as they were appetizing, easy, and fairly healthy.   Additionally, I will take some Knorr Rice sides (they have an article on campsite cooking, cool) and also some instant mashed potatoes.  Jodi and I have been eating both of those on the boat and they cook up easily and are pretty tasty as well.  I’ll probably still take some granola bars.  I certainly am not going to pack in 3.6 kg (8 pounds) of food again.  What was I thinking?

Route Changes

No changes here.  I will start at trailhead 1 again.  I was extremely pleased with my detour around the Stubblefield Road bridge and will follow that same route.  The stream that I crossed and filtered water from was well worth the extra couple miles that it adds to the hike.  And it was a very nice, enjoyable hike.

Map of my detour around the closed Stubblefield Road Bridge
Map of my detour around the closed Stubblefield Road Bridge

Other Changes for My Lone Star Hiking Trail Thru-hike Redux

Packing my Pack

Everything I read said “Pack your food in the middle of your pack.”  Did I listen?  NNNOOOO…I thought it would be better to have the food at the top for, you know, easy access.  Bad idea.  Horrible.  I didn’t even eat that much while actually hiking and what I did eat was snacks from my hip belt pockets.  Somewhere in the middle of day 3, I moved the food to the middle and it made the pack ride a little better.  Which, relatively speaking, was tons better.  It really does make a monumental difference HOW your backpack is layered.  Lesson learned.

My Pace

I focused a lot on maintaining a pace of 3 MPH.  Because of that I didn’t take breaks like I should have and really didn’t consume the amount of water that I needed.  I read in a book recently that for every hour of hiking, take a 5 minute break.  The book went into the physiology of lactic acid buildup and preventing it to combat muscle soreness.  I didn’t have any soreness issues, but thinking back, I really should have taken shorter more numerous breaks.  I’ll try to hiker slower, but for more hours per day.

Schedule

For the first hike, I really didn’t have a schedule .  I just went out, started hiking, and did my best to figure it out on the fly. That is more than likely what will be happening on any ultra-long thru-hike due to weather, detours, fatigue, resupply trips, etc.  As such, I wanted to test my ability at hiking “on the fly”.  I did fairly well, but this time, as I truly want to complete the whole hike, I have done a little more pre-planning.

Lone Star Hiking Trail Thru-hike Redux Schedule
Lone Star Hiking Trail Thur-hike Redux Schedule

Water

I will most definitely drink more water.  Which means that I will, given the opportunity at water sources, have to filter much more water.  Based on my previous attempt, I shouldn’t have a problem.  There were a couple major streams that look like they should have water in them except in the most extreme droughts.  My poor water consumption was due in part to attempting to maintain the 3 MPH pace and not really being sure that there would be adequate water sources along the way.

In Conclusion

Shoes, water, and food.  Those are the major changes.  I am supremely confident *wink* *wink* that I will complete the whole 96+ miles on my next attempt.

Now I just need to find 5 days where I can get away.  I have some small contract physical labor jobs lined up and those coupled with the little bit of freelance work I have currently, has put a crimp in my “freedom”.  Money.  I don’t need much, but I still need some.  And it always comes at the price of time.

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