I am writing this some time after the Long Trail hike.
Despite some cooler temps and some uncomfortable moments in those cooler temps early on in the hike, it was really an enjoyable trip. We had a good variety throughout..some warmth, some cold….some solitary times walking, some good hangout time with other hikers at the Green Mtn Hostel, on the trail and at some of the shelters.
The hammocks worked very well on the LT. I enjoy using a hammock whenever possible. Because of a lack of hikers in the northern section, I was able to hang inside shelters when it was rainy…that was nice, and quite doable. With shelters being so frequent on the trail, I can see where a hiker would be able to do most of the trail sleeping in shelters if they have a pad.
Our pace was a bit quicker than average….hiking the trail in 14 days (13 + a morning). I enjoy moving fast, but largely our pace was dictated by some other things going on in life, and knew ahead of time that we’d need to be moving quickly. Interestingly, where the trail was the steepest and hardest on my knees coming downhill, it was also the coldest, so we were walking quite quickly through those sections (northern section).
The LT is not the easiest of the hikes I have done. I’d argue it has some of the more difficult terrain in the US, and would compare it to some of the northern sections of the AT (Maine).
I’d like to do the LT in the winter some time. I think snowshoeing some of the steeper sections would be a lot of fun.