Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#137799 - 08/18/10 09:44 PM At thru great smoky mountain np
Nelli Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 6
I am planning to walk the at thru gsmnp in September. South to north in 7 nights, 8 walking days.
Any thoughts,suggestions.?
I am new at this.

Top
#137822 - 08/19/10 01:09 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Nelli]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1144
Loc: Washington State, King County
"Any thoughts,suggestions.?"

Uh ... have fun ... ? Not sure what kind of thoughts and suggestions you might be looking for here. Partly as I'm not sure what distance you're contemplating. By "walk the at thru gsmnp" do you mean starting at Fontana Dam and walking the 70-some miles of the Smokies, or do you mean starting at the southern terminus of the AT at Springer Mt. and doing 230-some miles to the north end of the Smokies? The former is less than 10 miles per day, the latter works out to a nearly 30 MPD average. There are folks that can do the latter, but if you're "new at this" then hopefully you're planning on the more sane of those two interpretations ...
I don't recommend that anyone count on averaging nearly 30 MPD unless they already know from experience that they can do that, particularly right at the start of a trip, and on that trail. Georgia isn't actually all that hard, but it certainly does include its share of PUDs (pointless ups and downs) and so forth. And my recollection of North Carolina is that it got a bit harder (than Georgia).

If transportation is an issue, I found the Hoch's at the Hike Inn near Fontana Dam to be nice folks; they picked up me and a couple of fellows I was hiking with at the Fontana Dam visitor center and brought us to their motel, shuttled us into town for resupply, brought us back to the visitor center to continue the next day. On the other end the Standing Bear Hostel is its own sort of unique place, not too far off trail and overall a friendly place that's very nicely located. In between, Gatlinburg hopefully wouldn't be too difficult a hitch at that time of year (I would hope, anyway). Or maybe you're happy to carry 8 days worth of food and blast through.

If you could specify what sort of thoughts and suggestions you're looking for, you might get a less random response! :-)
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

Top
#137834 - 08/19/10 08:32 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: BrianLe]
Nelli Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 6
Thanks
We plan the 71mile walk in the park and carry all the food.
No need for a tent.
I hope this resurrects an old sport for me.
I have contacted the horchs for a shuttle service.

Top
#137838 - 08/19/10 11:10 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Nelli]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1144
Loc: Washington State, King County
Probably you already know this, but in case you don't (your comment about not needing a tent reminded me of this), in the Smokies they consider anyone that's not starting and ending a hike at least 50 miles outside the park boundaries to be a section hiker. They have different rules for thru-hikers and section hikers for use of the shelters. Section hikers (that would be you) are required to make reservations in advance to use the shelters. In that context, yup it seems to me that indeed you have no need to carry a tent, having a reserved space!

I hope you have a great time. I walked through there in March this year; waist deep snow and in general lots of fog and clouds so not much in the way of views. My feeling is that while I walked through the Smokies, I've yet to really see them! :-)
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

Top
#137843 - 08/20/10 06:31 AM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: BrianLe]
Nelli Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 6
I have reservations but flexibility would be nice.
I may want to walk more or less one day but with the reservation system you are locked in.
What would happen if I tried to stay in a shelter without reservations?

Top
#137853 - 08/20/10 05:16 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Nelli]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By Nelli
I have reservations but flexibility would be nice.
I may want to walk more or less one day but with the reservation system you are locked in.
What would happen if I tried to stay in a shelter without reservations?


It depends on who is there. That time of year, you won't likely run into a ridgerunner checking permits. But you could perhaps encounter a ranger working bear control. It would mean you would betold to continue on (or back) to your reserved shelter. This isn't likely, but it IS possible.

More likely is you will arrive at a full shelter. Because other folks like flexibility (or may not even get a permit), you may run into a full shelter even if stick to your itinerary. Carry at least an emergency shelter.

When my wife and I hiked through the park 2 years ago, we carried groundcloths and ponchos that we could rig up as shelters just in case. We never had to use them as shelters, but at least they were available.

And most importantly, enjoy yourself!
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

Top
#137864 - 08/20/10 11:28 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Bearpaw]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1144
Loc: Washington State, King County
"That time of year, you won't likely run into a ridgerunner checking permits."

Going through the Smokies in March this year, with lots and lots of snow, ridgerunner Kentucky Greybeard was out on the trail, doing trail maintenance and generally hanging out, so I wouldn't count on ridgerunners not being out based on time of year (!).
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

Top
#137914 - 08/22/10 10:17 AM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: BrianLe]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and its maintaining clubs must pay for ridgerunners, so they only assign them during peak times when the tidal wave of thru-hikers will roll through. For GSMNP, this means mid-March through the end of June. The heaviest mix of hikers (early season thru-hikers and spring breakers) hit in March. It's all about the money per hiker ratio.

But my advice to stick to an itinerary still stands. I saw a couple who had to backtrack a couple of miles when they decided to bypass the shelter on their itinerary in '08. It's best to stick with the schedule.


Edited by Bearpaw (08/22/10 10:17 AM)
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

Top
#138016 - 08/24/10 08:36 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Nelli]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
You cant have gsnp thru resevations more tahn a month in advance unless you are a Apilacion trail thru hiker. Even then not tru! All shelters in gsnp are only reservable a monthe in advance. two bunks in each shelter are held for thru hikers. If shelter fills with researved hikers and more than two thru hikers are present . The thru hikers can set a tent outside shelter. Only a thru hiker can tent in gsnp Legal! I would not go without tent. If thru hikers or others lie and fail to produce permit on inspection,even though you are tenting illegal outside the ticket goes to them.! Happy trails

Top
#138017 - 08/24/10 08:39 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Kent W]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
Oh and I sheltered with a ranger this spring and a thru hiker, The amount of the ticket today I was told starts I repeat starts at 500.00 It is at disgretion of the ranger!

Top
#138019 - 08/24/10 09:46 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Kent W]
Nelli Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 6
I have reservations every night and really do not want the weight of a tent.

Top
#138033 - 08/25/10 04:26 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Nelli]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Take a tarp or a poncho that you have practiced pitching as a tarp. This is what my wife and I did. It's insurance against folks showing up without a proper permit who wind up taking your spot.

I'm not saying it's probable that you'll need it, but it's worth having a simple emergency setup just in case.
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

Top
#138136 - 08/29/10 02:31 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Bearpaw]
Nelli Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 6
Is there fishing?
I was told the trail stays on the ridge and the streams are way down at the bottom.

Top
#138211 - 08/31/10 06:10 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Nelli]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
That's correct, there is no chance for fishing. You will not pass a single stream along the entire AT in the park. All the water sources are springs.

The upside is that there are some excellent ridge views. Shuckstack firetower is worth the .2-mile side trip. RockyTop/Grandfather Mountain offers excellent views down to Cades Cove. Clingman's Dome observation Tower is right on the trail, and if you can deal with the crowds (a parking lot is half a mile away via a paved trail), you can get excellent views, weather dependent. Newfound Gap offers good views, but the traffic is intense, even for me. Charlie's Bunion is well worth the little side trip, less than a quarter mile. Bradley's Vieww offers great eastern views. Near the norhtern end, the 1.2-mile round trip to Mt. Cammerrer is totally worth the walk if the weather is decent.

Have fun with it. Deal with the shelters as best you can. They're not terrible, but I admit that I miss my hammock badly in the morning. wink
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

Top
#138587 - 09/09/10 11:21 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Bearpaw]
Nelli Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 6
What is your favorite trail/vista in the GSMNP?

Top
#138616 - 09/10/10 06:03 PM Re: At thru great smoky mountain np [Re: Nelli]
Bearpaw Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By Nelli
What is your favorite trail/vista in the GSMNP?


Two viewpoints come to mind. One is Shuckstack Firetower, just off the AT about 5 miles north of Fontana Dam. Incredible views down to Fontana Lake. The other is Mt. Cammerer Firetower, .6 miles off the AT, about five miles south of Davenport Gap. Both are great, without car traffic crowds swarming around.

My favorite trail is probably the Forney Ridge/Forney Creek Loop, starting at the Clingman's Dome parking lot. Nice ridge walk down with a series of excellent campsites and stream crossing on the way back up.
_________________________
http://www.trailjournals.com/BearpawAT99/

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Bivvy Sack combo Arrangement
by Jim M
10/18/17 01:58 AM
what is the lightest framed backpack around 40L
by toddfw2003
10/16/17 07:23 PM
a worthy challenger to the msr pocket rocket2
by the-gr8t-waldo
10/16/17 01:28 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Backpacking/Camping Near Savannah, GA
by Sean&Brit
Yesterday at 08:27 PM
Napa Fires
by balzaccom
10/11/17 07:43 PM
Backpacking the Ouachita Trail thanksgiving
by toddfw2003
10/05/17 11:54 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
Yesterday at 06:13 PM
alcohol stove comparisons
by Bike_packer
10/03/17 08:56 PM
Can footprint plasticizer harm tent ground-sheet?
by Weston1000
09/10/17 02:24 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 37 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Sean&Brit, Blackbuzzard, LivelyLiz, Weve, Tones21
12425 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com