The Sheltowee Trace Association
A 501c(3) non-profit formed to protect, preserve and promote the Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail as a significant national resource for the enjoyment of hikers, bikers and equestrians, and for the value that wild and scenic lands provide to all people.
Discover and Enjoy Kentucky's Long Trail
Sheltowee Trace Association, 63 Burtonville Rd., Tollesboro, Ky. 41189 Phone: 606-584-7744
Food must be lightweight, nutritious and high in energy. On average, backcountry travelers need to consume 2,500 to 3,500 calories per day in the summer and 4,500 to 6,000 calories in the winter. Expect to carry about 2 pounds of food for each day of travel. Meals should be easy to prepare with consideration for fuel consumption. Eating nutritionally balanced meals is most critical. Remember, cold temperatures make your body burn more calories. This is one time in your life that you shouldn’t worry about consuming too much fat or carbohydrates as your body will quickly consume and use these substances.
Backcountry travel places a great deal of stress on your body. Be sure to get enough protein so that your body can repair itself. You might include a daily multi-vitamin since limited access to fruits and vegetables will lower your intake of required mineral and vitamins.
The human body loses between 8 to 16 liters of water per day during strenuous exercise. Add to that temperature and humidity level, and the amount rises. In addition, if you lose fluids from diarrhea or other illness, your body can lose up to 24 liters of liquid per day. Therefore, it is generally recommended that you drink at least one gallon of water per day on the Trail.
Water can be scarce along the ST in the Norther Section above Cave Run but is generally plentyful in the south.
Water quality is also an issue. Consider every water source to potentially carry Giardia and should be treated. This microscopic parasite known as Giardia Lamblia, is transmitted via mammal feces. Giardia exists in the coldest streams and its entrance into one’s gastrointestinal tract will likely cause more than mild irritation within a few weeks. Carrying a water filter is a must. Most filters are lightweight and easy to use if you follow the manufacturer’s directions. Boiling and iodine are other purification alternatives; however boiling increases the amount of fuel one must carry. Iodine tablets, while very lightweight, have an aftertaste and can be harmful to those with thyroid conditions.
If you are planning an "E2E" on the ST, you may need to develop a mail drop schedule for resupplying your food rations and other supplies. Many people who plan long distance trips on the ST are capable of carrying enough food and water for one week. Remember to always have a little extra in case of an emergency.
Mail drop schedules are used to send other essential supplies, such as new hiking boots, replacement parts for stoves or water filters, socks, and special treats to be eaten during your trail break. It is a good idea to contact your mail drop locations prior to finalizing your schedule in case they are no longer in business or have decided not to accept general delivery packages. A list of mail drop locations and post offices along the ST is available in the 2010 ST Trailguide available from the Trading Post.
Having the right kind and amount of equipment is crucial. The sample equipment list below will help you select the appropriate gear for the ST's rugged and remote backcountry. Check, use and field-test all of your gear prior to getting on the Trail. Make sure clothes fit and are in good repair and that all your gear works. Look for lightweight equipment where possible to lighten the load. Avoid cotton in all clothing items and use layers to regulate your body's temperature.
Suggested Overnight Gear
· Proper fitting backpack w/ rain cover
· Lightweight, backpacking tent with rain fly and stakes
· Ground cloth (for tent & emergency shelter)
· Sleeping bag
· Sleeping Pad
Suggested Cooking supplies
· Stove w/ repair kit
· Food bags and rope for hanging
· Cook pots
· Eating and cooking utensils
· Garbage bags
· Kitchen kit with spices, biodegradable soap, pot scrubber, can opener, screen for straining dishwater
Suggested Food and Water
· 3 to 4, 1-qt. water bottles or hydration system
· Water filter w/ repair and cleaning parts
· Iodine tablets for backup
· Approximately 2 pounds of food per day
· High-energy drinks
· Compass and applicable maps
· Flashlight w/ extra bulb and batteries
· Comprehensive first aid kit w/ separate blister kit
· Wind/water proof matches & fire starter in waterproof container
· Trowel for proper waste disposal
· Extra/backup high-energy food
· Lip Balm
· Extra backup clothing
· Bear resistant storage containers
· Duct tape
· Critical gear replacement parts
· Rip-stop nylon repair tape
· Safety pins
· Tent pole splint
· 2-3 sewing needles
· Heavy-duty thread
· 1 pair boot laces
Personal hygiene items
· Toothbrush and paste
· Biodegradable soap or waterless hand sanitizer
· Toilet paper
· Nail clippers
· Feminine hygiene supplies
Clothing and Footwear
· Pants and shorts
· Long and short sleeve shirts
· 1-2 pair(s) long underwear top(s) and bottom(s)
· Lightweight camp shoes
· 2-3 pairs of liner socks
· 2-3 pairs of synthetic or wool blend socks
· Liner gloves
· Synthetic or wool gloves or mittens
· Warm hat (covers the ears)
· Ball cap or hat
· Warm jacket (fleece, down or synthetic fill)
· Fleece pants
· Rain parka and pants
· River crossing booties or thermal neoprene socks
· Walking sticks
· Camera and film
· Fishing Gear