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Ramblings | TheCampingPro

2009 Thru-hikers!!

Every year I try to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) to try to meet thru-hikers and this year I was trying to see a friend who is hiking the trail, Grampa Hugh. On our hike we met about 13 other thru-hikers but not Hugh.  I don’t remember all of the thru-hikers names but some is better than none so here they are: Rocket, Broadcast, Poky, Snooze, Red-Bear and Low-key. There were several thru-hikers that didn’t have trail names yet. This year I took my big brother, Roddy, with me on the hike. We started our hike at Stecoah Gap and went south to the Nantahala Gorge.  This section enjoys beautiful views from Cheoah bald (5062 ft elevation), it was spectacular. The climbs were strenuous for non-trail hardened folk but we survived. The weather was perfect with clear and sunny days and cloudy, cool nights. We camped with Jason and Justin (Broadcast) at Locust gap where we talked about gear and junk from my days in outdoor retail. It was really great talking to guys who like outdoor gear as much as I do. I enjoyed meeting all the thru-hikers and wish them well on their hike.

The Ramblings of the CampingPro!

Here are some considerations to think about when you are going on a backpacking trip. Lighter is better so be sure you are packing only what is needed. The trick is, knowing what to leave at home. It is very easy to take the scout motto too far. “Be prepared” does not mean be prepared for every possible thing that could happen. We have to use some common sense and prepare for what is a very possible. Like needing extra pair of socks in case your first pair gets wet but we don’t bring an extra pair of boots incase of losing your boots.
It is also easy to get carried away with bringing luxury items like camp chairs, GPS devices, radios, Gameboy and even playing cards. These things are not bad and I am not saying don’t bring them on your hike but I would say don’t bring them all and take less than more. When you go on a hike it is often with friends or family and it is the whole point of the trip to go and do something you can’t do at home. Live in the moment and enjoy the environment and the company.
When planning a hike don’t plan to hike too far in a day (this is a common mistake). You want to be sure you can make you can arrive at your destination in plenty of time to set up your tent and cook dinner as well as taking time throughout the day for breaks and lunch. A good goal for pack weight is less than 35 lbs. before food. As you improve your backpacking skill you should try to get you pack weight with food to weigh less than 35 lbs. This is not easy my first try at backpacking my pack weighed in at 57lbs. and I was miserable. Well this is just something to think about. I would love to hear from you, please comment.


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