This was by far the best beginner backpacking trip we have done. About 5 miles to the tent site, with a little bit of all types of terrain thrown in.
Lee, Pauline and Jen. Up the wildcat river trail, then along the wild river trail to bog brook, north to rainbow, east on rainbow to the Perkins notch site. BTW, there is no more shelter there. On the way down we took the bog brook all the way back. The trail is interrupted by a beaver pond, so you had to walk around it.
This was Jen's first trip with us. Her bag must have weighted 50 lbs! But she handled it without a problem, very strong hiker. I showed her my bag contents, which contained everything I needed and food enough for an overnight. My total weight was about about 23 lbs with food and a liter of water. She was surprised how minimal it was. On the way back she was asking the best way to start lightening her load.
The tent site had 3 regular and 1 large ground platforms. There was extra room, probably for another few tents. The spot we originally choose was a nice opening and perfectly level. The only problem was when I looked up, I noticed a tree was leaning over the site at about a 45 degree angle. It acutally looked like a rope had been attached to it for holding it up. I don't think so, we moved to one of the other sites, which had a slight tilt, but didn't bother me or Pauline in the least. Water was about .1 miles east of the site at a pond, or less then 1/2 mile further to a stream. You could also get water less then a 1/4 mile to the west, back the way you come in.
We ended up getting water at the pond, which offers a fantastic view of the Carter Dome mountain to the west. While Pauline was filling our water bottle, her foot rolled off the log and her foot went in up to her knee. She insisted her foot didn't get very wet.
For food, Jen had brought along a military ready to eat meal. It had mexican rice, chicken, cookies, M&M's, chiklets, bread, and cheese sauce. That thing must of weighted 4 lbs! It was ready to eat, but you had to heat it up using this packet that you add water to, and a chemical process heats things up. She either didn't put enough water in, or didn't mix it well enough, as it didn't heat up much. I ended up boiling some water and sticking the packets in my Jet Boil to warm it up.
I brought the Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with noodles, which was tasty, but it's single serving wasn't quite enough. Don't remember what Pauline had.
When we went to bed, we heard what we think was a Barred Owl, although after searching the internet a little, it could have been a grey or red fox. What a horrible screaching sound! Later in the night, or very early in the morning, we heard some coyotes. The sound coyotes howling and barking is enough to make your blood curdle. They sounded really close. Then in the morning, we heard a Great Horned owl. I didn't dream about bears, thankfully.
Brought: Puffy, Helium jacket, Asolos, GoLite, Jet Boil.
Wish I brought: Little more food.