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lilgallowsmama

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OH, Mini-Me and I love to hike. Mini'er me, obviously, isn't hiking yet but he loves being carried in a wrap strapped to my back. These kids seem to have been made for the outdoors. Mini-Me has been begging to go camping and after spending the last two nights with OH, hiking through the woods and building a mini-bonfire in the middle of a secluded, drained part of Allatoona, then wishing for sleeping bags come midnight, I'm now more interested.

 

He's slowly converting us from hikers to backpackers, and I love it. OH and I eventually want to backpack a good chunk of the App., so I might a well learn to love tents, right?

 

Anyway, I need info on two things a) places where you can hike and camp. Like, old fashioned, hike forever and find a spot when it gets dark type of camping, within reasonable distance. B) Pioneer-style camp sites that aren't $40-50 a night. wacko.gif To me, pulling my car up and popping a tent up on a concrete pad just isn't camping. I want to be in the middle of nowhere, without a faucet or electricity.

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Take highway 278 west . After you pass goldmine lake rd you will see a sign on the right that says preserve. There are several places to pull off of the rd and park. Hike down the hill to the branch (small creek) and follow it until it flow into raccoon creek. Hike along raccoon creek until the creek goes into a tunnel. Hike to the top of that hill and you will be on the silver comet trail. Take a right (west) and it will take you to the coots lake trailhead.

That is a full day hike and you could camp anywhere along there as it is all wma. I don't advise doing it during warm weather as there are a lot of cane break rattlers down in there.

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In years past I was a tent camper and did back packing. Great to get away from civilization and enjoy nature. Going to a campground using a RV or camper, opening up an awning, putting out your TV and preparing meals inside is not camping. It's suburbia gone to the woods. Catching your meal and cooking on an open fire is better. Then I got married. Roughing it to my wife is going to the Holiday Inn with a black and white TV.

 

Just be careful where you leave yor car. And if you have young one make sure you have warm clothing. And be aware of your surroundings. There are some crazies out there. Take protection and a roll of toilet paper.

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tons and tons of places up in blue ridge and heading up to vogel and beyond. Lots of folks park at Vogel and pay to park and just take off from there for days and camp on the trails off the app trail. You will need a trail map of course but i probably have one in the vacation folders of the 28 miles worth i hiked anyways. Some areas there is no camping or fires and other smaller inlets into it are fine to just stop and hang a hammock between two trees or pop up a tent. Bear spray advisable..lol

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Oh, honey - we need to sit down and have lunch. This is our boy scout troop's almost favorite activity. They did 22 miles on the AT over Thanksgiving (free other than food). And, they did 15 miles at FDR state park ($3 for the pioneer site and food).

 

There are tons and tons of places to go. I think probably your first trip needs to be to Hemlock Falls - a 1 1/2 mile flat hike in - beautiful series of waterfalls - completely unimproved (i.e. no bathrooms) but absolutely beautiful location. It one of our scouts' favorite places for a "quicky" weekend of lots of fun. I'll get the info on exactly which state park it is in.

 

You need to get the state park pass for the year - significantly reduces your fees if not eleminates them.

 

FDR is another good intro hike weekend. And, quite pretty - for this time of year - the two hours further south makes it a very nice winter hike if you don't have alot of cold weather gear.

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I've got some info and tips for you. Most don't know it but in a former life I was an avid backpacker. I've got tons of gear in my attic. I think a good beginner back pack trip is the Jack's River Trail in the Cohutta/Big Frog Wilderness. It's still one of my favorite trips. I start out at Dally Gap and hike in approximately four miles. There are three river crossings on the way. Then the next day I do an approximate eight mile round trip day hike to the falls. Then the third day we hike the four miles back out. There's some great camp spots right on the river bank about four miles in from Dally Gap and some AWESOME scenery. Make sure you put the food in bags and string it up in the trees. Thar's bar 'n dem dar hills.

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Ooooo, Mark - I'll put that on our list of potential trips. Our scouts are always looking for new trips. They've been kinda obsessed with finishing up the GA AT Now that they are done - they'll be needing new adventures that are closer than NC and TN (they are basically section hiking the AT - they eventually want to get all the way before they graduate from high school.)

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Ooooo, Mark - I'll put that on our list of potential trips. Our scouts are always looking for new trips. They've been kinda obsessed with finishing up the GA AT Now that they are done - they'll be needing new adventures that are closer than NC and TN (they are basically section hiking the AT - they eventually want to get all the way before they graduate from high school.)

 

I had a friend that took six months and hiked the AT. I would love to do it. I just don't know how I would ever afford to do it. If I left my business for six months, it would take a year to build it back up. So I would need two years of income plus some in the bank before I started that journey.

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I've got some info and tips for you. Most don't know it but in a former life I was an avid backpacker. I've got tons of gear in my attic. I think a good beginner back pack trip is the Jack's River Trail in the Cohutta/Big Frog Wilderness. It's still one of my favorite trips. I start out at Dally Gap and hike in approximately four miles. There are three river crossings on the way. Then the next day I do an approximate eight mile round trip day hike to the falls. Then the third day we hike the four miles back out. There's some great camp spots right on the river bank about four miles in from Dally Gap and some AWESOME scenery. Make sure you put the food in bags and string it up in the trees. Thar's bar 'n dem dar hills.

Spent a fair amount of time trail riding this area. No joke there are bear and snakes! Lots and lots of snakes! You don't have to worry about the snakes this time of year but just so you know if you end up going when it's warmer. If you hike this area, you have got to bring a gun cause there is a lot of bear activity.

 

There is a horse camp at Fort Mountain that we used to camp at and let me tell you, the folks that frequent this area are out there :blink: park rangers would come in the camp to search for things like bear paws. We would sit around the campfire and listen to the whooping in the woods. Also, they felt the need to run the heck out of their horses, come flying into camp and tie their exhausted horses, in tack, to trees for the night.

 

I did enjoy Standing Indian. It was nice but again, knowing people were not doing right (by how I was taught anyway) by their animals was always in the back of my mind.

 

You want to do the hiking and camping thing with a toddler and a young girl? Really? This time of year? You are out of your mind. A few times dealing with the reality of it will cure you I am sure.

 

Be careful. These wilderness areas are just that wilderness areas. Know what you are dealing with before you get yourself, and your kids, into a bad situation.

 

Good luck. I think you're nuts, but good luck.

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Spent a fair amount of time trail riding this area. No joke there are bear and snakes! Lots and lots of snakes! You don't have to worry about the snakes this time of year but just so you know if you end up going when it's warmer. If you hike this area, you have got to bring a gun cause there is a lot of bear activity.

 

There is a horse camp at Fort Mountain that we used to camp at and let me tell you, the folks that frequent this area are out there :blink: park rangers would come in the camp to search for things like bear paws. We would sit around the campfire and listen to the whooping in the woods. Also, they felt the need to run the heck out of their horses, come flying into camp and tie their exhausted horses, in tack, to trees for the night.

 

I did enjoy Standing Indian. It was nice but again, knowing people were not doing right (by how I was taught anyway) by their animals was always in the back of my mind.

 

You want to do the hiking and camping thing with a toddler and a young girl? Really? This time of year? You are out of your mind. A few times dealing with the reality of it will cure you I am sure.

 

Be careful. These wilderness areas are just that wilderness areas. Know what you are dealing with before you get yourself, and your kids, into a bad situation.

 

Good luck. I think you're nuts, but good luck.

 

Don't listen to the old wet blanket, LGM. If this hike weren't easy, I wouldn't have suggested it. It's very simple. Do not take Finn on this trip though. It's no place for a toddler and their is no cell service. But Nev will love it.

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I've got some info and tips for you. Most don't know it but in a former life I was an avid backpacker. I've got tons of gear in my attic. I think a good beginner back pack trip is the Jack's River Trail in the Cohutta/Big Frog Wilderness. It's still one of my favorite trips. I start out at Dally Gap and hike in approximately four miles. There are three river crossings on the way. Then the next day I do an approximate eight mile round trip day hike to the falls. Then the third day we hike the four miles back out. There's some great camp spots right on the river bank about four miles in from Dally Gap and some AWESOME scenery. Make sure you put the food in bags and string it up in the trees. Thar's bar 'n dem dar hills.

 

Jack's River is fun, but this time of year would be horrible and it it is not really good for kids. Cohutta is a great place to start though, maybe the chestnutt creek trail. The AT is pretty easy to get to from here. You can be at Springer Mountain in about 2 hours. I have done the AT from Georgia to the VA line, so if you need some more advice on places to go let me. Or if you need any gear let me know too.

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1325517724[/url]' post='3577628']

I had a friend that took six months and hiked the AT. I would love to do it. I just don't know how I would ever afford to do it. If I left my business for six months, it would take a year to build it back up. So I would need two years of income plus some in the bank before I started that journey.

 

My dad would give anything to be able to thru hike the AT. I think that he and my youngest are going to end up doing large sections of it over time (like 2-3 weeks at a time).

Yeah - everytime the subject comes up - mom tells him that they have to sell the farm first - she can't take care of it while he's gone. :)!

When our scouts were on the trail over Thanksgiving, they meet a thru hiker that was finishing up Maine to GA and was turning around to head back to Maine - I can't imagine thru hiking during the winter months. But, the adults with the scouts weren't exactly sure of this guy's mental status - not dangerous - just not all there.

 

1325518088[/url]' post='3577632']

Spent a fair amount of time trail riding this area. No joke there are bear and snakes! Lots and lots of snakes! You don't have to worry about the snakes this time of year but just so you know if you end up going when it's warmer. If you hike this area, you have got to bring a gun cause there is a lot of bear activity.

 

There is a horse camp at Fort Mountain that we used to camp at and let me tell you, the folks that frequent this area are out there :blink: park rangers would come in the camp to search for things like bear paws. We would sit around the campfire and listen to the whooping in the woods. Also, they felt the need to run the heck out of their horses, come flying into camp and tie their exhausted horses, in tack, to trees for the night.

 

I did enjoy Standing Indian. It was nice but again, knowing people were not doing right (by how I was taught anyway) by their animals was always in the back of my mind.

 

You want to do the hiking and camping thing with a toddler and a young girl? Really? This time of year? You are out of your mind. A few times dealing with the reality of it will cure you I am sure.

 

Be careful. These wilderness areas are just that wilderness areas. Know what you are dealing with before you get yourself, and your kids, into a bad situation.

 

Good luck. I think you're nuts, but good luck.

 

 

 

We did a day hiking trip at Ft. Mountain - didn't have any trouble. They did see a bear - big highligh. But, we've also seen them in the Smoky Mountains. My dad's troop in MD was chased by three bears in the Shenadoah Park in VA - they eventually just hiked up above the oak tree level - the bears stayed with the acorns. :)!

 

 

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Jack's River is fun, but this time of year would be horrible and it it is not really good for kids. Cohutta is a great place to start though, maybe the chestnutt creek trail. The AT is pretty easy to get to from here. You can be at Springer Mountain in about 2 hours. I have done the AT from Georgia to the VA line, so if you need some more advice on places to go let me. Or if you need any gear let me know too.

 

The Chutta Wilderness area is a secluded dense forest that is great to explore. Just be advised that the roads through there are not very wide and are unpaved. Although they are a mix of sand and gravel, I would check conditions before going according to what vehicle you own. I have seen it closed many times during the winter. As you start to hike and camp in these areas keep in mind that the weather outside here in PC can be totally different than even 60 miles away. Especially when you add in altitude. The worst thing you can do is to underestimate the weather and wake up or get caught in colder temps, storms etc. The Cohutta area has a few trails that are long with numerous water crossings. Everyone I've known always brings a pair of shoes to cross with, or to change into once they get to camp. It's beautiful though with many primitive camping spots available, pretty much anywhere off the trail. There are so many places to hike and camp with an hour to two hour drive you will be amazed. My wife and kids are discovering new places all the time. We are building our supplies up all the time. As far as the type of camping, primitive vs suburbia. I have always thought, if I come out of the woods after camping or hiking feeling as if I need to take a min to adjust or deprogram to fit back into society, then I had a great time.

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Don't listen to the old wet blanket, LGM. If this hike weren't easy, I wouldn't have suggested it. It's very simple. Do not take Finn on this trip though. It's no place for a toddler and their is no cell service. But Nev will love it.

Whatever Mark. Yup! I am an "old" wet blanket but I think I got to be "old" by having some common sense.

 

You can apologize anytime you're ready.

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Whatever Mark. Yup! I am an "old" wet blanket but I think I got to be "old" by having some common sense.

 

You can apologize anytime you're ready.

 

I'm sorry...you're not old.

 

And I know what you meant to say...I'm just saying that the part of the trail I directed her to would be perfectly fine for Nev to go as well. I've seen little boy scouts (I forget what they call them) camped there with their pack leaders. That part of the trail was once so heavily traveled they closed it because the tourists were junking it up. If it were dangerous I wouldn't have sent her there.

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... You need to get the state park pass for the year - significantly reduces your fees if not eleminates them....

 

If you're willing/able to plan your trip in advance (and with kids I'd think you have to), just check a park pass out of the library. You can keep 'em for one week. I did that a few months ago when The Companion and I went on our Sweetwater Creek Park adventure. :D

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I'm sorry...you're not old.

 

And I know what you meant to say...I'm just saying that the part of the trail I directed her to would be perfectly fine for Nev to go as well. I've seen little boy scouts (I forget what they call them) camped there with their pack leaders. That part of the trail was once so heavily traveled they closed it because the tourists were junking it up. If it were dangerous I wouldn't have sent her there.

If LGMs main goal is a walk on the trails for the day, then I agree with you it's fine. If her goal is hiking and camping (which is what I thought it was about) then I don't think it's such a good idea. If you do it in a group, that's different and a lot safer.

 

Oh, by the way, I am older than you and I'm good with it. :p. But I am not a wet blanket.

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If you're willing/able to plan your trip in advance (and with kids I'd think you have to), just check a park pass out of the library. You can keep 'em for one week. I did that a few months ago when The Companion and I went on our Sweetwater Creek Park adventure. :D

 

Get out! I swear, the things you learn! ;)

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If LGMs main goal is a walk on the trails for the day, then I agree with you it's fine. If her goal is hiking and camping (which is what I thought it was about) then I don't think it's such a good idea. If you do it in a group, that's different and a lot safer.

 

Oh, by the way, I am older than you and I'm good with it. :p. But I am not a wet blanket.

 

I thought she and her SO were going to take Nev camping and she wanted to do it in the woods. I suggested this trail because it's SUPER EASY. If you start at Dally Gap and go in the amount of miles I stated, you'd be perfectly fine. Four miles isn't far.

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If you are looking for just a nice secluded area to hike and camp you don't have to look any further than the Paulding Forrest. There are plenty of nice areas within hiking distance and now that deer season is over it will pretty much be vacant.

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Oh, honey - we need to sit down and have lunch. This is our boy scout troop's almost favorite activity. They did 22 miles on the AT over Thanksgiving (free other than food). And, they did 15 miles at FDR state park ($3 for the pioneer site and food).

 

There are tons and tons of places to go. I think probably your first trip needs to be to Hemlock Falls - a 1 1/2 mile flat hike in - beautiful series of waterfalls - completely unimproved (i.e. no bathrooms) but absolutely beautiful location. It one of our scouts' favorite places for a "quicky" weekend of lots of fun. I'll get the info on exactly which state park it is in.

 

You need to get the state park pass for the year - significantly reduces your fees if not eleminates them.

 

FDR is another good intro hike weekend. And, quite pretty - for this time of year - the two hours further south makes it a very nice winter hike if you don't have alot of cold weather gear.

Got it now on my list :)

http://www.n-georgia...mlock-falls.htm

http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/Hemlock_Falls_Trail

 

Thanks!

 

I've got some info and tips for you. Most don't know it but in a former life I was an avid backpacker. I've got tons of gear in my attic. I think a good beginner back pack trip is the Jack's River Trail in the Cohutta/Big Frog Wilderness. It's still one of my favorite trips. I start out at Dally Gap and hike in approximately four miles. There are three river crossings on the way. Then the next day I do an approximate eight mile round trip day hike to the falls. Then the third day we hike the four miles back out. There's some great camp spots right on the river bank about four miles in from Dally Gap and some AWESOME scenery. Make sure you put the food in bags and string it up in the trees. Thar's bar 'n dem dar hills.

Going to include this as well!

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In years past I was a tent camper and did back packing. Great to get away from civilization and enjoy nature. Going to a campground using a RV or camper, opening up an awning, putting out your TV and preparing meals inside is not camping. It's suburbia gone to the woods. Catching your meal and cooking on an open fire is better. Then I got married. Roughing it to my wife is going to the Holiday Inn with a black and white TV.

 

Just be careful where you leave yor car. And if you have young one make sure you have warm clothing. And be aware of your surroundings. There are some crazies out there. Take protection and a roll of toilet paper.

Thank you for the advice! We <3 being outdoors - anywhere without civilization or modern conveniences. lol

 

Oh, honey - we need to sit down and have lunch. This is our boy scout troop's almost favorite activity. They did 22 miles on the AT over Thanksgiving (free other than food). And, they did 15 miles at FDR state park ($3 for the pioneer site and food).

 

There are tons and tons of places to go. I think probably your first trip needs to be to Hemlock Falls - a 1 1/2 mile flat hike in - beautiful series of waterfalls - completely unimproved (i.e. no bathrooms) but absolutely beautiful location. It one of our scouts' favorite places for a "quicky" weekend of lots of fun. I'll get the info on exactly which state park it is in.

 

You need to get the state park pass for the year - significantly reduces your fees if not eleminates them.

 

FDR is another good intro hike weekend. And, quite pretty - for this time of year - the two hours further south makes it a very nice winter hike if you don't have alot of cold weather gear.

Thanks!! And we do need lunch! biggrin.gif

 

I've got some info and tips for you. Most don't know it but in a former life I was an avid backpacker. I've got tons of gear in my attic. I think a good beginner back pack trip is the Jack's River Trail in the Cohutta/Big Frog Wilderness. It's still one of my favorite trips. I start out at Dally Gap and hike in approximately four miles. There are three river crossings on the way. Then the next day I do an approximate eight mile round trip day hike to the falls. Then the third day we hike the four miles back out. There's some great camp spots right on the river bank about four miles in from Dally Gap and some AWESOME scenery. Make sure you put the food in bags and string it up in the trees. Thar's bar 'n dem dar hills.

You.Are.Awesome.

 

Spent a fair amount of time trail riding this area. No joke there are bear and snakes! Lots and lots of snakes! You don't have to worry about the snakes this time of year but just so you know if you end up going when it's warmer. If you hike this area, you have got to bring a gun cause there is a lot of bear activity.

 

There is a horse camp at Fort Mountain that we used to camp at and let me tell you, the folks that frequent this area are out there :blink: park rangers would come in the camp to search for things like bear paws. We would sit around the campfire and listen to the whooping in the woods. Also, they felt the need to run the heck out of their horses, come flying into camp and tie their exhausted horses, in tack, to trees for the night.

 

I did enjoy Standing Indian. It was nice but again, knowing people were not doing right (by how I was taught anyway) by their animals was always in the back of my mind.

 

You want to do the hiking and camping thing with a toddler and a young girl? Really? This time of year? You are out of your mind. A few times dealing with the reality of it will cure you I am sure.

 

Be careful. These wilderness areas are just that wilderness areas. Know what you are dealing with before you get yourself, and your kids, into a bad situation.

 

Good luck. I think you're nuts, but good luck.

The toddler doesn't walk, so he'd be strapped to my back, but we don't plan on taking him camping quite yet...just Nev. Nev hikes all the time though - we cleared around 14 miles in N. Georgia/Amacalola because she led the way and didn't want to turn around or find a way out back in the heat of July, and that was her first time on a 'real' trail. We've been all over the place, dozens of times since. She's a serious trooper. The only difference between what we've been doing for almost a year and what we want to do now is that we'll be sleeping overnight instead of coming back home and then going back the next day. happy.gif

 

Don't listen to the old wet blanket, LGM. If this hike weren't easy, I wouldn't have suggested it. It's very simple. Do not take Finn on this trip though. It's no place for a toddler and their is no cell service. But Nev will love it.

Yeah, I'm planning on doing this when Scott has Finn. I need to find pictures though - I just wrap him onto my back and he's as happy as a pig in mud. He's been strapped back there for 8-9 hours at a time except for diaper changes, meals, and stretch time and never even gets fussy....just falls asleep if he gets bored.

 

If you're willing/able to plan your trip in advance (and with kids I'd think you have to), just check a park pass out of the library. You can keep 'em for one week. I did that a few months ago when The Companion and I went on our Sweetwater Creek Park adventure. :D

Thank you!! I didn't know this was possible.

 

If LGMs main goal is a walk on the trails for the day, then I agree with you it's fine. If her goal is hiking and camping (which is what I thought it was about) then I don't think it's such a good idea. If you do it in a group, that's different and a lot safer.

 

Oh, by the way, I am older than you and I'm good with it. :p. But I am not a wet blanket.

Oh, I'm not going by myself. unsure.gif OH is most definitely going with us - he's 6 years military, former cop, and very, VERY outdoorsy. He can do everything from start a fire from scratch to catching/preparing fish and keeping us well protected. Like I said, he has alot of experience doing this, he just doesn't know where to do it around here. He's from VA, and did most of his 'surviving' either there or in Iraq. I imagine if he made it out of18 months in Baghdad alive, he can keep us safe from a few snakes and bears. biggrin.gif

 

I thought she and her SO were going to take Nev camping and she wanted to do it in the woods. I suggested this trail because it's SUPER EASY. If you start at Dally Gap and go in the amount of miles I stated, you'd be perfectly fine. Four miles isn't far.

 

Four miles is nothing for this kiddo. sleep.gif She wears me out.

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Get out! I swear, the things you learn! ;)

very cool info!

 

Not to hijack but it reminded me of when I used to "check out" art(all types of media)from the main library branch in Cobb. It seems like you could keep a piece for about 3 months. I LOVED it and got so many "ooooh's and ah'ssss" about my "ever changing art collection"...lol. It was really only a piece at a time and I always displayed it over my fireplace in the livingroom. You could put yourself on a wait-list for pieces, too.That was my first house when I was newly married, having my now 18 yr old son and no extra money, it was a great way to decorate. I need to see if they still do that. Feels like a kid in a candy store picking one out to take home.

Thanks for the VERY neat tip, RG!;)

 

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I'm sorry...you're not old.

 

And I know what you meant to say...I'm just saying that the part of the trail I directed her to would be perfectly fine for Nev to go as well. I've seen little boy scouts (I forget what they call them) camped there with their pack leaders. That part of the trail was once so heavily traveled they closed it because the tourists were junking it up. If it were dangerous I wouldn't have sent her there.

 

(in a whispered voice) Cub Scouts

 

Pine mountain trail on FDR state park, I think its 21 miles long and a few pioneer camps on the way.

 

There's nine different trails that can be linked for all different mileages. :)! We usually do about 16 miles over two and 1/2 days.

 

Thank you for the advice! We <3 being outdoors - anywhere without civilization or modern conveniences. lol

 

 

Thanks!! And we do need lunch! biggrin.gif

 

 

You.Are.Awesome.

 

 

The toddler doesn't walk, so he'd be strapped to my back, but we don't plan on taking him camping quite yet...just Nev. Nev hikes all the time though - we cleared around 14 miles in N. Georgia/Amacalola because she led the way and didn't want to turn around or find a way out back in the heat of July, and that was her first time on a 'real' trail. We've been all over the place, dozens of times since. She's a serious trooper. The only difference between what we've been doing for almost a year and what we want to do now is that we'll be sleeping overnight instead of coming back home and then going back the next day. happy.gif

 

 

Yeah, I'm planning on doing this when Scott has Finn. I need to find pictures though - I just wrap him onto my back and he's as happy as a pig in mud. He's been strapped back there for 8-9 hours at a time except for diaper changes, meals, and stretch time and never even gets fussy....just falls asleep if he gets bored.

 

 

Thank you!! I didn't know this was possible.

 

 

Oh, I'm not going by myself. unsure.gif OH is most definitely going with us - he's 6 years military, former cop, and very, VERY outdoorsy. He can do everything from start a fire from scratch to catching/preparing fish and keeping us well protected. Like I said, he has alot of experience doing this, he just doesn't know where to do it around here. He's from VA, and did most of his 'surviving' either there or in Iraq. I imagine if he made it out of18 months in Baghdad alive, he can keep us safe from a few snakes and bears. biggrin.gif

 

 

 

Four miles is nothing for this kiddo. sleep.gif She wears me out.

 

 

 

Where is OH from in VA?

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(in a whispered voice) Cub Scouts

 

 

 

There's nine different trails that can be linked for all different mileages. :)! We usually do about 16 miles over two and 1/2 days.

 

 

 

 

Where is OH from in VA?

Fort Belvoir. I have no idea where that is. lol. He spent a good chunk of time in upstate NY as well. Apparently, the area he was in is similar to the boondocks parts of Ellijay, but without the paved roads. blink.gif

 

 

 

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Fort Belvoir. I have no idea where that is. lol. He spent a good chunk of time in upstate NY as well. Apparently, the area he was in is similar to the boondocks parts of Ellijay, but without the paved roads. blink.gif

 

 

 

 

Ft. Belvoir is in Northern Virginia - I wouldn't consider it like Ellijay unless he was there a LONG time ago. We left 15 years ago - it definitely wasn't ellijay then.

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Ft. Belvoir is in Northern Virginia - I wouldn't consider it like Ellijay unless he was there a LONG time ago. We left 15 years ago - it definitely wasn't ellijay then.

laugh.gif

Noooo, I was saying he's from Fort Belvoir, VA, but he also (later in life) spent alot of time in upstate NY. tongue.gif

 

I'd just love to visit either. pardon.gif He talks about the upper east part of the US all the time and I have zero comparison. Maybe we'll hike there someday?

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You didn't ask, but know that sleeping bags are like shoes: you'll get what you pay for.

 

laugh.gif

 

I'll keep that in mind. OH and I were looking online and found a backpacking tent we like for pretty cheap that had good reviews - one that will has straps to backpack *with*. Below it, there was a 'Customers who purchased this also purchased...' section with some pretty nice sleeping bags.

 

Our only wonder is what 'temperature range' to get, considering we want to do this both now and in July. huh.gif

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1325653447[/url]' post='3578534']

laugh.gif

 

I'll keep that in mind. OH and I were looking online and found a backpacking tent we like for pretty cheap that had good reviews - one that will has straps to backpack *with*. Below it, there was a 'Customers who purchased this also purchased...' section with some pretty nice sleeping bags.

 

Our only wonder is what 'temperature range' to get, considering we want to do this both now and in July. huh.gif

 

As for a tent - I would really recommend a sierra designs - they are light weight - pack small - and very, very simple to set up - not alot of parts to lose or break. And, their footprints are marked so that you know which is what corner.

As for sleepig bags - we recommend to our scouts a 15 degree synthetic bag. Even in July - you can sleep on top. But, a 15 degree bag will do you well in GA and south TN, NC. And add a light blanket inside and you've got another 10 degrees lower. Get them taller than you (i.e. don't get a womans/youth bag even if it's just barely long enough) - you'll need the length. And often you can put your clothes in the bag with you - keeps your feet warmer and warms your clothes up for the next morning. Or if it's cold enough (or high enough), you may need to put your fuel in the bag with you to keep it warm fo the next morning.

We have two Eureka bags - 15 degree synthetic. It's done our boys well from the AT in an ice storm to New Mexico in July (he slept on top).

Another purchase that I would highly recommend are sleeping pads. They will give you alot of relief from the cold and hardness of the ground. Worth every penny and every ounce in my book. Oldest and my dad just got these whiz bang (and very expensive) sleeping pads that weigh 9 oz (I think) and reflect your body heat either towards you or away from you depending upon which side is up. They both said that the pads were worth every penny. My dad has a bad back. I'm not sure he could have made the 70+ miles this summer without it. :)! Watch what things weigh - usually cheaper means heavier. Heavier means, well, heavier. And you have to carry it. And, Nev isn't going to be able to carry alot for a while - 20% of her body weight even if she can carry more - don't let her. Not good for her body.

 

 

 

One more thing - DO NOT get down bags. It's way too damp and humid in this part of the country. Once down is wet - it's nearly impossible to get dry - weighs alot more - and has no insulating value. Not worh the risk in most of our backpacking friends' opinions.

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As for a tent - I would really recommend a sierra designs - they are light weight - pack small - and very, very simple to set up - not alot of parts to lose or break. And, their footprints are marked so that you know which is what corner.

As for sleepig bags - we recommend to our scouts a 15 degree synthetic bag. Even in July - you can sleep on top. But, a 15 degree bag will do you well in GA and south TN, NC. And add a light blanket inside and you've got another 10 degrees lower. Get them taller than you (i.e. don't get a womans/youth bag even if it's just barely long enough) - you'll need the length. And often you can put your clothes in the bag with you - keeps your feet warmer and warms your clothes up for the next morning. Or if it's cold enough (or high enough), you may need to put your fuel in the bag with you to keep it warm fo the next morning.

We have two Eureka bags - 15 degree synthetic. It's done our boys well from the AT in an ice storm to New Mexico in July (he slept on top).

Another purchase that I would highly recommend are sleeping pads. They will give you alot of relief from the cold and hardness of the ground. Worth every penny and every ounce in my book. Oldest and my dad just got these whiz bang (and very expensive) sleeping pads that weigh 9 oz (I think) and reflect your body heat either towards you or away from you depending upon which side is up. They both said that the pads were worth every penny. My dad has a bad back. I'm not sure he could have made the 70+ miles this summer without it. :)! Watch what things weigh - usually cheaper means heavier. Heavier means, well, heavier. And you have to carry it. And, Nev isn't going to be able to carry alot for a while - 20% of her body weight even if she can carry more - don't let her. Not good for her body.

 

 

 

One more thing - DO NOT get down bags. It's way too damp and humid in this part of the country. Once down is wet - it's nearly impossible to get dry - weighs alot more - and has no insulating value. Not worh the risk in most of our backpacking friends' opinions.

The tent we found is 6lbs - that's good, right? unsure.gif I'm gonna have to put on some weight so I can carry more, or I may just be stuck with Thing 2 on my back and a sleeping bag. laugh.gif We weren't planning on her carrying anything, really. She LOVES to hike, it's hard to even get her to wear her jr. camel-pak with her mini-bladder. It's a sensory thing - she can't stand to be strapped to anything. Even her backpack for school is a messenger bag.

 

Would a yoga mat work for a sleeping pad? OH and I spotted some super squishy ones recently and pondered if they were feasible.

 

 

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1325656773[/url]' post='3578552']

The tent we found is 6lbs - that's good, right? unsure.gif I'm gonna have to put on some weight so I can carry more, or I may just be stuck with Thing 2 on my back and a sleeping bag. laugh.gif We weren't planning on her carrying anything, really. She LOVES to hike, it's hard to even get her to wear her jr. camel-pak with her mini-bladder. It's a sensory thing - she can't stand to be strapped to anything. Even her backpack for school is a messenger bag.

 

Would a yoga mat work for a sleeping pad? OH and I spotted some super squishy ones recently and pondered if they were feasible.

 

 

 

Six lbs is awfully heavy. I think ours run in the 2 lb range.

If you're taking thing 2, you all may have a problem. Oh is going to be carrying a lot of weight. My mom and dad are like that. Yoga mat would kinda work ESP during warmer weather. But not so much during colder weather...less insulation between you and the ground.

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laugh.gif

 

I'll keep that in mind. OH and I were looking online and found a backpacking tent we like for pretty cheap that had good reviews - one that will has straps to backpack *with*. Below it, there was a 'Customers who purchased this also purchased...' section with some pretty nice sleeping bags.

 

Our only wonder is what 'temperature range' to get, considering we want to do this both now and in July. huh.gif

 

Whatever tent you buy, imagine yourself changing cloths in it before buying it. Get one you can at least sit-up in, if not stand up in.

 

The temperature range thing makes no sense to me. It seems to be more about how long you intend to stay in it--its durability--than its actual temperature range. Whatever temperature hoarding capability it might have (assuming it's unheated) means it will get wet on the inside. Moisture is the enemy, especially in winter. You want it to be vented, not unvented.

 

You want taped seams in the tent, or otherwise sealed seams. Notice how the rain fly (the cover that goes over the tent) meets the tent's floor. Does the fly well overlap the floor? Will wind blow rain under the fly? Imagine the wind we had yesterday. Will the tent stay put?

 

Is it big enough to put us and our gear in? Will anyone and everyone be able to get to the flap to go out and pee without crawling over people?

 

Get a sleeping mat for the adults. I can't seem to sleep without one. The kids can get by without one except they need one in the winter as insulation from the ground.

 

Get a cheap back pack, load it with rocks and walk the hood with it before spending money on lots of hiking gear. Some people are natural pack animals; some can't carry their own lunch to the car. Because of lightweight materials etc., hiking gear tends to be more expensive than stuff good enough for "car camping".

 

How will y'all eat? Freeze dried meals are a good idea for hikers because of their lightness. I've been experimenting with them to figure out which ones I like the best. A light stove is a far better idea than relying on a campfire for cooking. Sometimes a fire is a PITA if not an impossibility.

 

Don't forget TP.

 

Get a good water filter. Use it and trust it. Carrying enough water isn't going to work except for day hikes.

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Whatever tent you buy, imagine yourself changing cloths in it before buying it. Get one you can at least sit-up in, if not stand up in.

 

I don't think that they make a lightweight enough tent for backpacking that you can stand up in. But, sitting up is a requirement for me. I can't do the single or two man "coffin" tents. My son likes to backpack with a hammock and tarp. I don't do that either.

The temperature range thing makes no sense to me. It seems to be more about how long you intend to stay in it--its durability--than its actual temperature range. Whatever temperature hoarding capability it might have (assuming it's unheated) means it will get wet on the inside. Moisture is the enemy, especially in winter. You want it to be vented, not unvented.

 

Tempurature range gives you a sense of how well it is made. Usually tents are rated by the number of seasons that they are designed for - two, three, or four seasons. And, there is a significant difference in a four season tent. I wouldn't take a four season tent backpacking - too much weight.

But, you are correct - the venting is the key in the colder nights.

You want taped seams in the tent, or otherwise sealed seams. Notice how the rain fly (the cover that goes over the tent) meets the tent's floor. Does the fly well overlap the floor? Will wind blow rain under the fly? Imagine the wind we had yesterday. Will the tent stay put?

 

This is my hubby's big issue - he wants a full coverage fly. ALWAYS. My dad (40 year backpacker) is happy with a partial coverage fly - he's been in some serious weather over the years (tornadoes, hurricanes, snow/ice). But, I'm with you on the full coverage fly. And, the biggest reason tents don't stay in place - folks think that their gear will hold the tent down and they don't stake it. Big mistake.

 

Is it big enough to put us and our gear in? Will anyone and everyone be able to get to the flap to go out and pee without crawling over people?

 

We never put our gear in the tent with us. Actually, some federal parks and some scout reservations won't let you bring tents onto their property that have had food or drink in them. Backpacking tents are usually designed to have no gear in them or to put the gear in the vestibule. Being the only female that is on a trip with my scout unit - I don't share a tent with anyone - so I do typically have my gear in the tent. But, the guys never do. Two door tents (for two people) are the BOMB - no crawling over anyone.

Get a sleeping mat for the adults. I can't seem to sleep without one. The kids can get by without one except they need one in the winter as insulation from the ground.

 

Agreed. Kids maybe able to sleep without one - but they need it for insulation - really all year - the ground is a huge heat sink and will sap body heat year round. Though, that might be a feature in the summer time. Wilderness first aid teaches to ALWAYS put something under a patient because the ground will sap body heat.

 

Get a cheap back pack, load it with rocks and walk the hood with it before spending money on lots of hiking gear. Some people are natural pack animals; some can't carry their own lunch to the car. Because of lightweight materials etc., hiking gear tends to be more expensive than stuff good enough for "car camping".

 

I don't ever recommend a cheap backpack - don't buy based on price. Go to REI - get fitted for a backpack. Then start scouring the internet for a great deal. Or, become REI members and get it there (you get a 10% dividend based on what you've bought). You can always return something to REI if you don't like it or it doesn't work for you. Hubby tried about 20 backpacks before he finally found one that was comfortable (he has some pretty serious physical issues). It wasn't cheap - but it allowed him to continue backpacking for about four more years before his back gave out. And, he's getting better - he's hoping to get back out on the trail in the next year or two.

 

How will y'all eat? Freeze dried meals are a good idea for hikers because of their lightness. I've been experimenting with them to figure out which ones I like the best. A light stove is a far better idea than relying on a campfire for cooking. Sometimes a fire is a PITA if not an impossibility.

 

Given Nev's allergies - freeze dried probably isn't going to be an option for you. But, search the internet. There are TONS of recipes for homemade backpacking food. Also, look into backpacker magazine - they have recipes for all of their hikes each month. My youngest is currently working his way through those recipes. The biggest thing you have to balance is the need to wash dishes after cooking with the amount of water that is available. In the summer, we have learned to not plan on having to wash dishes because usually there is very little water. Over Thanksgiving, youngest and my dad packed food together (we try to get the kids to buddy up on food - helps with weight) and they planned on doing dishes and had chicken and dumplings. Messy - but very good.

 

Don't forget TP.

 

Get a good water filter. Use it and trust it. Carrying enough water isn't going to work except for day hikes.

 

Over 40 years of backpacking and about 9 water filters, we have moved over to the steripens. The water filters seem to be made very poorly now and really cause alot of trouble. The steripens have been quite effective. And, the one we bought has a filter cap that goes with it. So far, after about a year, we've had good experiences with it.

 

 

 

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Whatever tent you buy, imagine yourself changing cloths in it before buying it. Get one you can at least sit-up in, if not stand up in.

 

The temperature range thing makes no sense to me. It seems to be more about how long you intend to stay in it--its durability--than its actual temperature range. Whatever temperature hoarding capability it might have (assuming it's unheated) means it will get wet on the inside. Moisture is the enemy, especially in winter. You want it to be vented, not unvented.

 

You want taped seams in the tent, or otherwise sealed seams. Notice how the rain fly (the cover that goes over the tent) meets the tent's floor. Does the fly well overlap the floor? Will wind blow rain under the fly? Imagine the wind we had yesterday. Will the tent stay put?

 

Is it big enough to put us and our gear in? Will anyone and everyone be able to get to the flap to go out and pee without crawling over people?

 

Get a sleeping mat for the adults. I can't seem to sleep without one. The kids can get by without one except they need one in the winter as insulation from the ground.

 

Get a cheap back pack, load it with rocks and walk the hood with it before spending money on lots of hiking gear. Some people are natural pack animals; some can't carry their own lunch to the car. Because of lightweight materials etc., hiking gear tends to be more expensive than stuff good enough for "car camping".

 

How will y'all eat? Freeze dried meals are a good idea for hikers because of their lightness. I've been experimenting with them to figure out which ones I like the best. A light stove is a far better idea than relying on a campfire for cooking. Sometimes a fire is a PITA if not an impossibility.

 

Don't forget TP.

 

Get a good water filter. Use it and trust it. Carrying enough water isn't going to work except for day hikes.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much!!!! You guys are awesome!

 

We're currently experimenting with dehydrated food - OH's family got us a dehydrator for Christmas and we found an awesome backpacking site with recipes/ideas. OH has a light stove made for this.

 

Both of us are good at carrying weight. Personally, I easily carry the 20lb'er kiddo and quite often carry him on the front and a pack on the back as well - did that for 13 miles on a side trail at Amacalola. Wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done, but I escaped without any kind of back pain other than just being tired. I hiked pregnant, even, and that didn't bother me much. OH has done 50+lb rucksack marches for who knows how many miles, plus carried his life on his back in Iraq - he can definitely handle it. Dd is the only one who doesn't like to carry. happy.gif

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Just because you can carry the weight doesn't mean that you should. :)! You have to be ready for the worse case scenario - not the easiest scenario. We teach our scouts to pack ONLY the essentials and then one luxury item. I always laugh at what they take as a luxury item. Youngest takes a particular stuffed animal - it fits into a certain pocket and it makes a great pillow. It's been about 200 miles at this point. He always gets a picture with Carl the manatee on every trip. It's become his flat stanley.

You'll be surprised at how fast you can get 50 lbs built up - esp if he's basically carrying for all three/four of you. Oldest's pack is 35 lbs with just his stuff. Dad's runs about 40 lbs. Hubby's runs about 35 lbs. I carry about 30 lbs. Now, oldest is very, very fast on the trail. Often, folks will pile up gear on him to slow him down -he's carried as much as 60 lbs - too much weight, yes. But, at least they could keep up with him, then. :)! On the AT trip, my dad was having some trouble with his back - he gave about 15 lbs to oldest and another scout (total). He was fine, and they didn't even notice the weight.

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LGM...we should chat. My tent weighs 1 lb. Of course it is a cocoon but they do make them for two. It folds to the size of a very small pillow and has two poles. If you're in the woods, and it starts raining, your tent will leak. No question about it. I don't care if you spend $1,000 on a tent. If it rains, it will leak. You want to pack as light as possible. For clothing, take thin layers. You want two pairs of pants or one pair of shorts and one pair of pants for the summer. I never take more than three thing layers. Don't make the mistake of running out to buy new hiking boots. That's nuts. I hike in my every day sneakers. Never had a blister. I don't remove my shoes for river crossings in the summer. There's no need. By the time you reach camp your shoes and socks are dry. If not, they'll meltdry by the camp fire. You're way too DIY to get caught up in the web of which sleeping bag to choose, etc. I know you well enough. The one thing you don't want to skimp on is TP. But eat a lot of protein and you won't need it for a while. That's how I solve that problem in the woods.

 

Feel free to chat me up about any of this. I was trained by my friend who hiked the entire AT straight through. I know from where I speak.

 

BTW- I have some gear you can borrow for your first time out if you'd like to get a feel for the process before you start purchasing. Also, campmor.com is a great website to check out.

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