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  1. Yesterday
  2. New From New Hampshire

    Hi Dane and welcome to TrailGroove!
  3. Acadia Recommendations Please

    My wife and I are leaving for Bar Harbor soon and we'd like any recommendations for easy hikes both on Mt. Desert Island and in Acadia National Park. Any recommendations or thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.
  4. Within the Last week
  5. Dogs on the trail

    There are other issues as well. Dogs can carry parasites and diseases that may affect local wildlife, and that can include in their feces. I don't know many people who take dogs into the wilderness and pack out their poop... One of the really ironic stories from the early exploration of the Sierra Nevada is John Muir's work as a shepherd in what is now Yosemite National Park. The sheep he herded carried diseases that virtually wiped about the native bighorn sheep in the Sierra. Only in the last five years or so have those sheep be re-introduced into Yosemite, more than a century after they disappeared.
  6. Dogs on the trail

    Good topic. We see so many dogs off leash in NH and Maine. I have nothing against dogs off leash if the dog obeys and and actually stays near the owner when called. That is not always the case and I've had multiple situations like those described in this post where a dog comes barreling around a corner and the owner is 100 yards up the trail. Finally, the owner catches up to find me holding my dog while their dog is jumping up on me and trying to get to my dog. "He's friendly don't worry!" Well my dog has anxiety/aggression issues with other dogs. We ALWAYS keep him on a leash and never have issues when we pass other dogs on leashes. Your friendly dog should not be jumping up on anyone and if they don't come to you when called, they should be on a leash.
  7. New From New Hampshire

    Hey all! Excited to find an active hiking forum and the magazine is a plus. I moved up to NH almost 2 years ago from FL with my girlfriend and our dog and I can't get enough of the mountains up here. I'm currently working my way through the NH 48 4000 footers. I'm only 13 in but plan on bagging at least 25 this year. It's a 3 hour drive to most of the 48 trailheads from where I'm at so it does take some scheduling, but I make it work. I'm also working my way through a couple other lists: Belknap 12, All NH Fire Towers (still standing and past locations). I hope to hike the Long Trail before I move away from the NE as well. I've got some big plans! I take my dog along on as many hikes as I can when I go hiking and while my girlfriend works on Saturdays, we all get outside together on Sundays. That's just a little about me. Happy to be here! Happy Trails. Dane H.
  8. Thanks for the tip! I have been doing a lot of research so far but want to get an "on the ground" opinion as to some of the places that interest me. It's a pretty long trip for me to get there (from Ohio) so I want to get the most out of it I can.
  9. check with scatman or Joey at A lot of Yellowstone backpack trips are posted on that site.
  10. Dogs on the trail

    Yes, but Glacier, Yellowstone, Yosemite, etc, etc, etc- are most certainly not WILDERNESS. A whole different agency and a whole different set of rules/regulations. And development in the parks is rather subjective. How many cell towers do you get? Enough RV parking? Not to mention, in my humble opinion, WAY too many people. Like Aaron, I try to avoid those places. So many thousands of square miles of true wilderness out there, why waste your time in a National Park? I've probably been in Yellowstone many hundreds of times and in my younger days (read 60's-70's) I did do some backpacking there. Like everything else, it was a different place back then. The last 3 decades however, my presence there is only because it is the shortest route for my wife and I to get to the Beartooth's-a place that could be Glacier Park, but thankfully isn't.
  11. Dogs on the trail

    I think that they put the rule for leashing the dogs in the wilderness is good for both sides since the owner can control their dogs from the dangers of the environment and the dangers they can cause, i don't want my friend get lost in the wilderness and facing some hungry bears.
  12. Earlier
  13. I haven't looked at this older post of mine in a while. I'm sorry that the images are not showing any longer. I'm not able to edit my post, otherwise I could fix the links. My apologies.
  14. Looking for Texas hiking locations

    All those. Franklin SP is also nice. The Ridge Tr. combined with other on and off trail routes can make for a multI day trip. TX is not all flat! Easy to do multiple several day or one wk long hike in Big Bend NP. Outer Loop with many add ons is nice. 3-5 days in Guadalupe NP is possible. McKittrick and Devis Staircase is nice in the fall. Adding in an off trail to El Kapitan summit on the way to the TX high pt of Mt Guadalupe extends the summit experience. A Guadalupe Traverse for the experience scrambler and route finder with above avg water logistics with a side trip to McKittrick is a great way to take in more of G NP. A Lone Star Tr thru is a pancake hike but gets you out and can be used as a shake down hike for a longer hike.
  15. Looking for Texas hiking locations

    where here in Texas did your adventures take you?
  16. Just yesterday, I started to watch her Appalachian Trail Full Documentary. Also, I see that she's going to attempt to thru-hike the CDT this year. If she's successful, that would give her the Triple-Crown.
  17. Does anyone Geocache while hiking?

    I just got a new Cache published yesterday it is already but I love to hike and it is only natural to geocache while on the trail
  18. been watching a series that Homemade Wunderlust made on her thru-hike of the PCT and AT like it alot
  19. Backpacking Stoves - Best Choices and Fuel Types

    Follow up to the flimsy "groundsheet" / heat reflector for alc stoves: the flimsy stuff failed on my first outing under real trail conditions. Spent two weeks in Death Valley National Park in February, temperatures moderate to cool (up in the mountains, at least) and set my flimsy foam and foil groundsheet ablaze on my first cookout. Boy, what a mess! This foam stuff really burns sootier than candle wax! It still might work directly on snow, but I happily revert to my 4mm poplar ply disc, sealed with clear nitro laquer and covered with aluminum foil, weighing in at a mere 57grs (less than 2 oz). I still have to be careful with this set-up. Operating it with too hot a stove, any wood not covered with aluminum foil will get charred. So the stronger stoves, burning some 1.8ml of alcohol per minute, are confined to winter and weaker stoves, burning some 1.0 to 1.3ml of alcohol per minute for shoulder season and summer situations... Happy trail cooking!
  20. New to the Forum

    that last pic is just awesome
  21. This is a follow-up post to my previous trip report "And So It Begins... Thru-hiking The Appalachian Trail". This past Tuesday, I drove from my home in Upstate South Carolina to Sam's Gap, near the Tennessee, North Carolina state line. I hiked 2.7 miles south on the Appalachian Trail till I arrived at Hogback Ridge Shelter, where I knew my friend Wayne, who is thru-hiking the AT, would be staying on that particular night. Over the next three days, we hiked about 40 miles together. Along the way we endured heavy rains, freezing temperatures, and strong winds. This post begins in the middle of the first night and covers our first day of hiking. Thanks for reading. At about 3:05 am, I was awoken by a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder. The rain was coming down in droves and the wind was blowing hard. My tent wasn’t leaking, per se, but because the air was so filled with moisture, there was a ton of condensation inside. The top of my down sleeping bag was wet from where it had touched the tent wall. My backpack had suffered a similar fate. My boots happened to be leaning against the wall the whole night. By morning, they had about a quarter of an inch of water inside them. To make matters worse, the temperature was plummeting. Fortunately, as long as I stayed inside of my sleeping bag and on top of my pad, I was able to stay mostly dry and warm. Near the top of an early climb. As morning approached, I called out to Wayne to see if he was awake. He had enough of a signal on his phone that he was able to check the forecast for a nearby town. Supposedly, the rain would be moving out at eight, to be replaced by sunshine and blue skies. Eight came and went but the rains remained. Then half past eight, then nine, but still no sign of the sun. Many of the other hikers had braved the weather and had already packed their gear and headed up the trail. Eventually, Wayne and I had no choice but to do the same thing. The freezing rain and cold temperature made my hands feel numb, which naturally made everything much harder to do. Finally, right at ten o’clock, Wayne and I began to hike. Of course the rain waited till just then before it stopped. Someone up there has quite the sense of humor. Campsite in a level area along a ridge. I had parked my car at Sam’s Gap the day before and had hiked south to Hogback Ridge Shelter to meet up with Wayne. Now we were heading north, back towards my vehicle. I was cold, my gear was heavy laden with moisture, and my toes were freezing from being stuffed inside wet boots. I have to admit that I was more than a bit tempted to bail once we reached the gap. Grassy Field. When we passed through here, a fellow offered to give us a different kind of “grass”. We graciously declined. Instead of bailing, Wayne and I climbed into my car and drove about three miles to the Little Creek Cafe. It’s rather nondescript looking from the outside, but inside, it’s quaint and cozy. More importantly, it was nice and warm. The food was also pretty darn good. Wayne had the special, which consisted of chicken casserole, two sides, a dessert, and sweet tea. I had a chili dog and home fries. Wayne passing one of many A.T. white blazes. He has his vest hanging from the back of his pack so that it can dry out. While we ate, we discussed our alternatives. Originally, I was supposed to hike with Wayne all the way to Iron Mountain Gap, about 47 miles away. That was going to require us to do back-to back-to-back sixteen mile days. In this terrain, that would have been a challenge under the best of circumstances. Now, with the late start and with rain soaked gear that was probably six to eight pounds heavier than when it was dry, it seemed like it was simply too much. We looked over our maps and came up with a plan B. Instead of Iron Mountain Gap, I would hike with Wayne to Indian Grave Gap, about 37 or 38 miles further. This would allow us to reduce our daily mileage and have a more relaxed pace. On the other side of this gap is the start of an extended long climb. When we finished eating, we drove back to Sam’s Gap, parked my car, then commenced to hike. The town of Erwin, Tennessee was twenty-seven miles away. Today, we intended to hike about half that, or roughly 13.5 miles. There is a hostel there in Erwin that is well known to most anyone that does much hiking or backpacking here in the southeast. The name of the hostel is Uncle Johnny’s. It’s situated on the Nolichucky river and has bunks, cabins, and a small outfitter store. The Appalachian Trail passes right by it. I thought that this tree was prettry cool looking with whatever that is growing on it’s surface. Sam’s Gap is at an elevation of 3,760 feet. Our hike today, began with an immediate steep climb of more than 700 feet in less than a mile. That was followed by a descent, where we lost more than half of our hard-earned elevation gain. The Appalachian Trail is chartered to follow the high ridge, so it’s common for it to go up and over a knob, hill, or mountain, then drop down to a gap, only to do it all over again. That bald at the top of the mountain is where we were heading. The trail follows the ridgeline to the right as it climbs. The climbs aren’t without their reward though. When you get to a place with a beautiful view, like a grassy field, a rocky outcrop, or an expansive bald, it makes it all more than worth the effort. Today was no exception. About half way into our hike and after an extended climb of fifteen-hundred feet, Wayne and I emerged from the woods onto the grassy expanse of Big Bald Mountain. Awe inspiring views from the top of Big Bald Mountain. The views were simply spectacular in every direction. I felt privileged to be there. While a lot of people hike, it occured to me that we were still in the minority of people that would ever see those views in person and with there own eyes. Another view. The trail goes down, then passes over the grassy bald in the foreground. Wayne calls this “the touch”. For him, it’s a way of connecting one point to another. For me, it was a way to make a memory. After spending a few minutes taking pictures, we resumed hiking. We were heading towards a camping area at Whistling Gap. Along the way, we passed the junction for Bald Mountain Shelter. The shelter is not more than about a tenth of a mile or so off the trail. Through the trees, I could see that there were people already at the shelter. I heard the sound of snapping branches and surmised that they were preparing to build a fire. Sign at the junction to the Bald Mountain Shelter. At this overlook, Wayne appears to be reflecting on all the terrain traversed and miles covered in the first month of his thru-hike. While there were still a couple of good climbs between us and Whistling Gap, it mostly trended downhill the rest of the way. It was 6:45 pm when we finally arrived. We were losing daylight and our tents and groundsheets were still wet. The whole day had been very windy, so we took advantage of that fact and drapped our gear over logs and branches to give things a chance to air dry. It worked pretty well and we were soon able to get our camp set up for the night. A view of the trail along one of the last climbs before reaching Whistling Gap. In addition to the strong wind, it was cold. The temperature was supposed to drop down to about 27 degrees by morning. After cooking dinner and hanging our food, I went into my tent and climbed into my sleeping bag. Wayne’s tent was set up next to mine so we chatted back and forth for a few minutes. I was pretty drowsy though, so it wasn’t long before I rolled over and dozed off. We passed this large rock jutting out of the ground. The ubiquitous symbol of the Appalachian Trail is painted on it’s surface. This day had provided quite the initiation and insight into Wayne’s world as a thru-hiker. You have to be mentally and physically tough to long endure all that nature will throw your way. As for the stats, according to my Garmin gps, we had hiked a total of 14.5 miles, climbed nearly 3,800 feet and had descended over 4,200 feet.
  22. smartphone hiking app that isn't such a resource hog?

    Hey toejam, I use the app as a premium subscriber for all the additional maps and the offline and layering ability, but just tested on another device and I'm actually able to import kml tracks onto the free / trial version of Gaia successfully...wasn't able to find anything on the Gaia site so figured I'd give it a go. Definitely suggest one of their membership options to get the most out of the app though, and keep in mind that a free year of their premium offering is all included with a TrailGroove Premium Membership as well!
  23. smartphone hiking app that isn't such a resource hog?

    I'm assuming this means you have to pay for Gaia service for it to do what you say? My free version doesn't do much - can't import gpx file or see different maps.
  24. I am finally doing the trip to Yellowstone that I have always told myself I was going to do. I figured to go to the experts on here and seek any advice and info that might make this the trip I want it to be. Right now, am planning an early to mid- September trip and want to be there 7-10 days. What I am most interested in are the little known sites that are off the beaten path. I am planning on going alone and basically want to enjoy the landscape as much as possible (ie minimal human contact) without being overwhelmed by other parties. Any inside information from those of you that have been there as to sites, climate, packing etc. would be greatly appreciated. I do know that there are a number of things that make this park unique and want to experience as much as I can. This is the best place I can think of for this kind of information. Thanks in advance, all!
  25. smartphone hiking app that isn't such a resource hog?

    I also use GaiaGPS and it's great. Not only will it record your tracks, including average speed and elevation changes, but you can also import *.GPX tracks and have it displayed on the map. There's a variety of maps to choose from as well.
  26. Update 03/30/18: Today, Pam, Jan and I drove to Hot Springs, NC. We hiked south on the AT until we ran into Wayne, then turned around and hiked back to town. In town, we ate dinner with Wayne and some of his friends from the trail. He's going to take a zero tomorrow, then get back on the trail Sunday morning. In all, he's hiked more than 280 miles already, including the approach trail.
  27. smartphone hiking app that isn't such a resource hog?

    Thanks, Aaron. I will give it a try!
  28. smartphone hiking app that isn't such a resource hog?

    Hey jerost, I’ve had good luck with the Gaia GPS app on a couple different iPhone models - no lack of responsiveness whatsoever for me. Here’s a quick post on using the app for planning out trips and use on the trail that might give you an idea of what it’s all about as well: Hope this helps!
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