Jack Anderson

Trip Report: Lick Mountain, Uwharrie National Forest

4 minute read

Campsite near Lick Mountain

Lick Mountain

I managed to sneak out for a really quick backpacking trip over labor day weekend. I had to dig around for something within an hour of where I live and about ten miles in distance. Lick Mountain seemed like the right fit. 9.6 miles, ‘well rated’, not too far.

Hiking and Camping

My plan was to hit the trail no later than 4:30 PM, hike until seven or so, or around halfway, and set up camp. To my pleasant surprise I covered a lot of ground, and I was well past halfway by 6:30 or so. I ended up finding a suitable pre-existing campsite around 7:15 or so, about 6.6 miles in. I probably could have found a better spot, as the ground here was quite packed down. However there were some nice rocks to sit on while cooking/eating, so I consider that a win.

The terrain was pretty good. There was some elevation change, but nothing too wild and nothing too technical. It was challenging but never more than a quarter mile or so.

The trail itself was well marked, with only one point of confusing. I had to follow a gravel road for a hundred meters or so to find the offshoot from the Uwharrie trail into the Dutchmans Creek Loop, but once there it was well marked. A GPS made this trivial, without that I probably would have wandered a little bit.

Unfortunately the views were limited, with lots of trees everywhere. Fortunately for me this still feels new after a lot of desert hiking, so I don’t mind, but I could see it getting old.

On the note of desert hiking, I’m going to have to get used to carrying less water. I’m used to bringing 4+ liters as water sources were scarce out west. Here there was filterable water every mile or more.

Gear notes

I haven’t been out much this year due to moving and COVID, so this was the first time I’ve used some of my gear in anger. A few notes:

Dan Durston X-Mid 2P

This tent is super cool. It combines some of the things I like most about my TarpTent Stratospire without some of the downsides of that. It packs easier, without hard struts, and it is much easier to pitch given the rectangular perimeter. I suspect it will be the perfect size for two people and a dog, once we get the whole family out.

There was no real weather this time around so I didn’t really put it through its paces, but I was quite pleased with it this time.

Arc’teryx Remige Sun Hoody

I snagged this on a whim, to contrast with a Black Diamond Alpenglow, and I like it. It is less of a mesh fabric and probably a little less breathable, but fits a little closer which I prefer. Both are great, I’ll probably continue to use both of them.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) Versa

The Versa is a crossover fanny-pack/chest strap pack. I’ve used it a lot around town as a bum bag, but this time I tried it out by attaching it to my backpack’s chest straps. Pretty useful, it’s nice to have some items more accessible. Ultimately I didn’t really need the space on this trip, and I’m not sure what conditions will actually necessitate putting a couple more liters of storage in front of me, but it’s nice to have and it worked well at it.

HMG stuff sack pillow

This thing is really neat. I used to use an inflatable pillow and while it was nice to elevate my head, it wasn’t very comfortable. This is much more comfortable with the fleece lining, but I have so few spare clothes to pack in it that it’s a little underfilled. I might need to snag the smaller size to fix that.

‘Old’ stuff:

  • The Hyperlite pack continues to do great, my only regret is that I didn’t order a smaller one.
  • Titanium pot + Pocket Rocket 2 stove works well and is substantially lighter than my other integrated stove.
  • NeoAir Xlite short. Still an adjustment to sleep on a short pad but after enough hiking I’m tired enough to not mind.
  • REI Magma Quilt. So nice in the summer. it’s great to just throw it off when it gets too hot.