Hiking New Jersey: The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
|Josh out on the trail down Mount Tammany.|
A friend is training to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in a month, and asked if I'd accompany him and his dog on a high-mileage weekend. We kicked around a few options, and finally settled on combining day hikes we'd both done in the Water Gap. The initial thought was to climb Mt. Minsi on the Pennsylvania side of the Water Gap, head back to the car, and drive a few miles into New Jersey to hike more and find a campsite. I would do Mt. Minsi without a pack, as I'm not training for anything, then put the pack on in New Jersey.
As it turned out, we opted to spend all of Saturday hiking in NJ, both with our packs. I jokingly told Josh I didn't want people we passed on the trail to think he was carrying all the gear while I just had a Camelback on! We started with a climb up Mt. Tammany, which requires a 1250' ascent in 1.5 miles. I definitely wouldn't recommend doing anything like that to start. Our muscles weren't warmed up, it was 90º and humid, and we were both exhausted after the ascent.
|Our tents set up along Dunnfield Creek.|
After waking Sunday morning, we opted to hike the three miles out to the parking lot and head home. But not without a stop for pie and fresh local vegetables on the PA side! It was my first night in my new Big Agnes Emerald Mountain 3 tent, which is much too large for one person, but should be perfect for two with room. It was a cinch to set up, and looks pretty good in the woods (see right).
I was quite worried about dehydration and heat exhaustion the whole trip. I have an MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter, and pumped water as frequently as I could into my 1.5L Camelback reservoir, but I couldn't seem to drink fast enough. There's always a danger of over-hydration as well. But it takes time for your body to get used to expending significant energy in an extremely hot environment, and we probably overdid it a bit the first day. I was a little dizzy at points, which is never a good sign. Lesson learned, though, and I'll take it a bit easier next time