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Old 08-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #1
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Anybody on here done the whole Appalachian Trail? Other long range trails? Favorite overnight hikes? Favorite new gear? Ultralight equip? Best tent/hammock/bivy/tarp?

I know we like to drive trails, but let's talk bout hiking em!

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Old 08-02-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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I'm working on the AT in Pieces. . . .

LITTLE Pieces. I've hiked the AT in 6 different states. Just not all at once. One of my big regrets of my late teen years is not through hiking the AT before I became encumbered by a job, family, mortgage, etc.

So now, I just hike parts of it when I can. I hope to get back to ME in the near future to do they day hike to Mt. Katahdin.

We live quite close to the AT so hike it frequently. Along with other local trails.

My son has a goal of hiking Philmont. We're working together to get him there.

My favorite of all times though was a trail in Great Smoky Mtn NP. I don't even remember which one. But you hiked in about 3 miles to a pool and waterfall. At that point, most people turned back. But about 4 miles further, the trail goes into an old growth forest. It was the strangest feeling, like night and day, walking from regular forest into Old Growth. I had to sit and take it in for about an hour. Just a surreal feeling to sit in the middle of that majestic forest surrounded by trees hundreds of years old. Makes you realize how truly small you are in this world and all that it entails.

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Old 08-02-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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Nice, & ya got me beat. I'm a 4 stater, only 10 to go!

Yup, it's hard to take off from life for 6 weeks at least (and that's what, half?), especially when you're supporting folks. I hope to go next year but I see the window closing quickly. Guess we'll see.

I love GSM NP, absolutely beautiful country down there. I still remember the first time I learned what old growth meant, too - there just isn't anything else like it. Fortunately, I live on the skirts of Shenandoah NP, so I get my fill of day hiking.

I just may have to look into the trail you mentioned, I don't believe I have been down it.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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Growing up in Tennessee, our scout troop (226) would hike the portion from Fontana to Cade's Cove every summer. One of my best memories. We'd always motor by Gatlingburg on the way home. I did my 20 miler for my hiking merit badge by detouring up Mt Le Cont...
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmshay6 View Post

My favorite of all times though was a trail in Great Smoky Mtn NP. I don't even remember which one. But you hiked in about 3 miles to a pool and waterfall. At that point, most people turned back. But about 4 miles further, the trail goes into an old growth forest. It was the strangest feeling, like night and day, walking from regular forest into Old Growth. I had to sit and take it in for about an hour. Just a surreal feeling to sit in the middle of that majestic forest surrounded by trees hundreds of years old. Makes you realize how truly small you are in this world and all that it entails.
Laurel Falls!!! Walked it many times as a boy....
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:55 AM   #6
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I've done portions of the AT in NY, VT and NH.


I've done the Adirondack 46 peaks over 4000 ft; and most of the Catskill 35 over 3500 ft.

I am planning on doing the Northville Placid trail sometime soon.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:54 PM   #7
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Bumpage...
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
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Bumpage indeed...

It has come to my attention I am in need of 2 things: a new tent, and a new pack. Well, in want of 2 things, anyway.

My tent is way too much for my old self to carry around anymore, so I am looking to cut down on that. I do not want a bivy or tube tent, and I am a cheap ol buzzard. Looking at the Mountainsmith Morrison 2, 2 person actual tent, star gazer, dual door, not orange. Fits my criteria and weighs in at a little over 4lb. http://www.amazon.com/Mountainsmith-...ith+morrison+2 Thoughts, suggestions, comments?

I also need a bit larger pack as my 35-40L homebrew rig is becoming overstuffed for longrange hikes, which I hope to be doing more frequently. Still searching for the right one... suggestions here? Open to internal frame, but you'd have to sell me on why it is better than external. Kind-of interested in the High Sierra Clasic http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A1MPSLFC7L5AFK and this one http://www.amazon.com/High-Sierra-Co...ra+foxhound+50

I also thought about going over the top, but I can't figure what you'd put in it... http://www.amazon.com/High-Sierra-Cl...f=pd_sbs_sg_21

But haven't looked around enough. My friendly local hiking store is WAY too proud of their stuff to spend 250$ on a pack and 350$ on a tent, so Amazon it is. Lmao.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
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Do this section of the Benton McKay Trail. (Benton McKay was instrumental in building and planning the AT)
Leave a car at the Ocoee white water center near Ducktown TN and shuttle to Dyer gap in Blue Ridge GA to start the hike. It's nice 3 day 2 night hike, lots of varied terrain and scenery. first day after 2 miles is a ridge walk 8 miles total to a spring and flat ground to camp. Subsequent days are 6 miles each. So do an early start the first day and budget 1 mph.
Go to BMT.com for complete mile by mile trail description.
Bears are pretty active in that area so be sure to hang your food.
Best tent for the money is 2 person REI half dome plus, 5lbs total weight and around $270. North Face cats meow sleeping bags $130 but only 2 pounds. Plus the thing has been indestructable. And, the 1lb 4oz EXPED downmat $175 kind of pricy but it's heaven to sleep on and I've slept on a lot of different pads. Weight total for your 3 most important items = 8lb 4oz. Look to keep your total pack 28 lbs or less. Mine's usually around 30 with a firearm and bottle of Jack. I'm still looking for that perfect comfortable pack. Been using Osprey for the last 2 years good bulletproof pack. Moderatly comfortable.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:36 AM   #10
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Pulled the trigger on the mountainsmith tent, went with an alps mountaineering pack. We'll see how they do.

Looking to do the South River Falls loop in SNP in a week or so, nice overnight (dayhike possible) with a swimming hole. Drops 1000' and has a 70' waterfall. Also, across skyline drive from South River is Dry Run Falls FR. About a mile or so down it are some pretty cool climbing spots, 'lost cliffs'. Cool spot. And if you keep cruising down, you'll come to dry run falls. If you follow dry run falls (off trail hiking) up about 3/4 mile, maybe a bit more, you come to a really, really awesome cascade waterfall. If you have a small enough tent, you can pitch it up at the top of this cliff/waterfall and have an awesome night.

Not sure what I'm gonna do for Labor day... still looking at loop options.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:49 AM   #11
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I was going to suggest the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2 tent. A shade under 5 lbs, and you can usually find it on steepandcheap for around $79.

Amazon.com: ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2 Backpacking Tent: Sports & Outdoors


I've been impressed with the quality of the Alps Mountaineering stuff I've bought. They're not Big Agnes, but they are about 1/3 the price. I've had mine for 3 seasons, and I haven't had a single problem with it.

I've never done anything on the AT, but I've done about 150 total miles on the Colorado Trail, and about 8 fourteener climbs in Colorado (nothing too technical!) (ETA, also a few 5 day hikes on the Continental Divide Trail)

Great idea for a thread!
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:50 AM   #12
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I was going to suggest the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2 tent. A shade under 5 lbs, and you can usually find it on steepandcheap for around $79.

Amazon.com: ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 2 Backpacking Tent: Sports & Outdoors

I've been impressed with the quality of the Alps Mountaineering stuff I've bought. They're not Big Agnes, but they are about 1/3 the price. I've had mine for 3 seasons, and I haven't had a single problem with it.

I've never done anything on the AT, but I've done about 150 total miles on the Colorado Trail, and about 8 fourteener climbs in Colorado (nothing too technical!) (ETA, also a few 5 day hikes on the Continental Divide Trail)

Great idea for a thread!
Ironically, I got a mountainsmith tent because of the quality of their packs, and an alps mountaineering pack because of the quality of their tents. I didn't realize that until after that fact, either.

I looked at the alps tents and they are nice... Almost got one. I don't remember why I shied away, color maybe? Anyway... Waiting on brown Santa is killing me.

I picture those west coast trails as barren strips of mountaintop (vs the 'green tunnel' AT), any truth there?
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeYJ View Post
Ironically, I got a mountainsmith tent because of the quality of their packs, and an alps mountaineering pack because of the quality of their tents. I didn't realize that until after that fact, either.

I looked at the alps tents and they are nice... Almost got one. I don't remember why I shied away, color maybe? Anyway... Waiting on brown Santa is killing me.

I picture those west coast trails as barren strips of mountaintop (vs the 'green tunnel' AT), any truth there?

I don't have any Mountainsmith gear outside of some trekking poles, good to know they're a good value. I'm a total gear whore, but cheapskate to boot.

The color on my Alps isn't too bad. The fly is sage with some orange accents. I've seen some that are all orange, which to me screams, "Hey, I'm camping over here!" I've changed my thinking a little on colors on clothing to wanting a little more visibility in case of emergencies, but for the tent, I wanted a little more privacy.

I've never done any hiking on Eastern trails, so I'm not sure how it compares. The Colorado trails I've been on range from beautiful aspen and lodgepole pine groves at lower elevations, to almost Mars-like barren scree for 6000 ft above the treeline. Maybe I'll post some pictures from a recent trip to keep the thread going.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:47 PM   #14
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I don't have any Mountainsmith gear outside of some trekking poles, good to know they're a good value. I'm a total gear whore, but cheapskate to boot.

The color on my Alps isn't too bad. The fly is sage with some orange accents. I've seen some that are all orange, which to me screams, "Hey, I'm camping over here!" I've changed my thinking a little on colors on clothing to wanting a little more visibility in case of emergencies, but for the tent, I wanted a little more privacy.

I've never done any hiking on Eastern trails, so I'm not sure how it compares. The Colorado trails I've been on range from beautiful aspen and lodgepole pine groves at lower elevations, to almost Mars-like barren scree for 6000 ft above the treeline. Maybe I'll post some pictures from a recent trip to keep the thread going.
I know their bags are good stuff, at least the ones I've had/seen. I think it was one of them bright orange flys, and I am with ya 100%. I may need you to find me, but my tent shouldn't stick out unless I expect helicopter rescue on Mt Everest or something.

I picture it as all mars-like, lol. Nice to know there are some trees, too. Much of the AT is so tunneled sun screen really isn't an issue. The Northern half is different, or so I hear - higher, steeper, and more barren. Close to me, at 3800', the AT is like walking in the woods, but only hardwoods grow and it is very rocky / uneven, compared to typical ground. You're gonna want a pack you can scramble with, say. The pic up ^ there is actually the 'old AT' where it used to run before a resort was built there. It looks a lot like that with obstacles every so often.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:37 PM   #15
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Love the new pack and tent. It is so nice to have decent gear, lol.

I've also been using the Rayovac outdoors indestructable flashlight and headlight, both l.e.d. They are tough and I like them. It isn't a stinger, but on common batteries it is a nice, durable, bright light. I keep the flashlight in a pistol mag pouch on my chest strap.

I also found some socks at Wally World. I absolutely hate paying 25$ for decent socks I only wear on long hikes or in winter. These are poly (mid-weight; they also had wool, but I have plenty of those) and made in the U.S.A. packaged as 'Rocky' and sold in the sporting section. I don't expect as long of life from them as merino, but it was a pack of 4 for 5$ (or something like that). So far they are holding up well and are quite comfortable.

Any end of season trips for youz guyz?

Oh, almost forgot: Gander Mountain is coming to town! Opening the 15th... I've never been to one before. 40,000 sq ft of outdoors stuff? As much as I hate big corporations, I gotta see this.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:46 AM   #16
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I did a short 10 mile hike on the Ozark Trail in Taum Sauk Mountain State Park this weekend. It did rain pretty hard for about 6 hours, and my tent did leak some. I was never happier to have the US modular sleep system with the goretex bivy, as heavy as the darn thing is.

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