Hello from North Carolina

Posted by: RabbitTat

Hello from North Carolina - 05/08/12 09:38 PM

Just a quick hello to introduce myself. I just got into the backpacking about a month ago and really enjoy it. I have only been on some day hikes to Morrow Mtn. a couple of times and to the Uwharie Trail once. Im gonna do sections of the Appalachin Trail as time and gas money permit. So anyway , I hope to have some good discussions on the finer points of backpacking.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/08/12 10:59 PM

Welcome aboard.

While some of those "snobs" out West will bore you with their tales of the Cascades and Sierras, unending views with no evidence of a human touch, and skies full of stars, those of us who know that true beauty is to be found in the heat and humidity of the eastern US will keep you on the True Path. smile

(Sorry, it's late and I couldn't resist.)
Posted by: Cranman

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/09/12 07:17 AM

Hey Rabbit, welcome to the forum. Where abouts in NC do you live? I'm just south of Raleigh. We hiked/camped a few areas off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone during spring break, there were some good trails and awesome views up there!
Posted by: RabbitTat

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/09/12 07:28 AM

Hey there Glen, I am all about some heat and humidity as I am a transplant from Texas.

Hey Cranman,I live in Salisbury. Its about 30 miles north of Charlotte. I am looking forward to get to the mountains and do some hiking.
Posted by: Blue_Ridge_Ninja

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/09/12 07:52 AM

Welcome aboard! I'm in the same neck of the woods.

You western folks can keep your slightly grander vistas....along with altitude sickness, avalanches, icy crevasses, brown bears, mountain lions and sub-zero nights. grin
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/09/12 09:04 AM

I heard somewhere that there are actually mountains and wilderness in the East. But every time I look, I can't see any. confused
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/09/12 12:10 PM

Actually, there are some truly beautiful areas in the east and midwest. This assumes you can stand the heat and humidity!

I did live back east for 10 years, and two of my children were born in Pennsylvania. I have a son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren living in Ohio.
Posted by: Banjopickin

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/09/12 05:58 PM

Hey RabbiTat! Ive hiked the Southeasten Apps. for a while and I'd be happy to suggest some trails. Its really all about time and experiece. How much time do you have and what type of experience your looking for. In the meantime I suggest a few over-nighters to get your technique down pat before going out for extended trips of several days or more. My college roomate lived right next to Dan Nicholas park and that would be a great place to start. Take your time and learn as you go. But most importantly have fun.
Posted by: RabbitTat

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/09/12 08:28 PM

Hey there banjo..Ive been to Dan Nicholas and walked around the trail they have. Its actually a really nice trail.That was where I tested out the hiking boots I bought. Any suggestions you can throw my way would be great.I really dont have any experience to speak and the only gear I have is my boots a 70oz camelback bladder and a high sierra backpack that my work gave me. Its not so much of a hiking backpack but it was free and its working for what I have done so far. I went to a store and tried on some real backpacks and ther was a huge difference in the way it fits. That will be my next purchase so now I am trying to figure out the size I need for the day hikes and maybe up to a couple of days.But any suggestions on trails or any advice would be good.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/09/12 10:54 PM

Have you read the articles on the home page of this site, left-hand column?

You'll want to read them before you go gear shopping. Note the recommendation to buy your pack last, so you know the gear will fit in your pack and that the pack is comfortable for you with the gear.
Posted by: RabbitTat

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/10/12 08:21 AM

WOW...That is a ton of information.It is good information,alot of stuff I never would of thought about untill too late. I got a question on packs though.. What does it mean when a pack is 50+10 or 45+10 and so on.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/10/12 09:30 AM

It means the pack is "extendible" - usually by means of a cuff at the top. (The numbers typically are given in liters; there are about 60 cubic inches per liter.)

The basic capacity of the pack is usually the first number, and the extension cuff adds the "+" number if you need extra capacity. For example, on the Deuter ACT Lite 50+10 I carried last weekend, the main compartment has a pull-cord running around the top seam; there is then a draw-corded sleeve, about 6 or 8 inches high, above it. For my typical summer load, I fill the pack almost up to the first (50-liter) seam, pull the cord tight, then close the top cord and roll the excess down into the pack. For a winter load, I'll end up filling the pack pretty much to the top of the sleeve, tighten both cords as much as possible, then close the lid; I've now filled 60 liters (50+10) of space.

Usually, in an "X+Y" pack, the lid compartment will be of the "floating" variety: that is, there will be a couple of webbing straps on the back that allow you to raise or lower the lid to fit the normal or extended configuration. (A floating lid may or may not be removable.)

It's a handy feature - I have one Deuter pack that works year-round, but I have two Osprey Kestrels: a 48 liter for summer, and a 58 liter for winter. There are advantages to both setups; separate packs mean you're not trying to shrink the pack to fit smaller loads, but a single pack saves a couple of hundred dollars and eliminates the experience of "I forgot to move my rainsuit from the smaller to larger pack before the trip. Oh well, maybe it won't rain long." (Not that anyone I know ever did that. smile )
Posted by: Ewker

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/10/12 11:25 AM

Originally Posted By OregonMouse
Actually, there are some truly beautiful areas in the east and midwest. This assumes you can stand the heat and humidity!

I did live back east for 10 years, and two of my children were born in Pennsylvania. I have a son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren living in Ohio.


Living and hiking in the southeast with all of the heat and humidty has you conditioned to hike almost any where IMO.

I have hiked a few times in Calif with some friends of mine. I keep asking them to come to Tenn to hike and they always refuse...to dang hot and humid is their excuse...lol
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/10/12 12:23 PM

The answer to that argument is to start on the trail at the crack of dawn and stop when it gets hot--something that we westerners also do on really hot days!

After a couple of days in Ohio, I got pretty used to the humidity as long as I didn't try to exert between noon and sunset. The main difference is that 100 degrees F out here is more like 85 degrees back there!
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/10/12 12:56 PM

Yeah, Mouse, but we have some days in August where you could start at the crack of dawn (say, 6:30am), when it's a comfortable 80, and have to quit for the day by 8am! smile
Posted by: Ewker

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/10/12 03:57 PM

Originally Posted By OregonMouse
The answer to that argument is to start on the trail at the crack of dawn and stop when it gets hot--something that we westerners also do on really hot days!

After a couple of days in Ohio, I got pretty used to the humidity as long as I didn't try to exert between noon and sunset. The main difference is that 100 degrees F out here is more like 85 degrees back there!


hahahaha in getting them to get up early to start hiking. Even at sunrise it could be 85 with 70% humidity.

Interesting that when I hiked in Ca. it never seemed hot to me even when it was 90 to 100. With no humidity you hardly notice the heat. I did like that I could lay a shirt that was wet with sweat on a rock and it would dry in 5 to 10 minutes. here it Tenn. it won't dry in a week
Posted by: Banjopickin

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/10/12 09:04 PM

If we stopped when it got hot we'd never make it anywhere haha. Great strategy on really hot days like 98/100 degs though. Down here it hits 90+ degrees with 100% humidity about early May and holds until late October on average. Good thing the Southern Apps have a ton of water flowing. I dig it because its like a jungle. It rains every other day and the plant and animal life is awesome.

RabbiTat...Definitely do some research before buying any gear and if possible test it out first. Backpacking can be a really enjoyable and inexpensive activity. I went several years with a old external frame pack, thick wool blanket and a 8x10 tarp. You dont necissarily need high dollar stuff but it makes it more enjoyable with high quality gear IMO. However, quality=$$$ in most cases. Take it step by step and strive to have fun and dont worry about the rest.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/10/12 09:40 PM

Don't forget dry creeks and springs, impassable brush, and stultifying heat......
Posted by: RabbitTat

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/11/12 04:05 PM

Thats good advice Banjo.A man could spend a lot of money in a hurry.I just want to have some good legal fun.I think I might get a better pack first.Wich leads to my nexy question. Can you feel a difference betweeen different brands of packs as far as the physical toll on the back or does it mainly depend on weight and packing style. I just need a pacck big enough for day trips up to two days on the trail, any suggestions on that?
Posted by: Banjopickin

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/11/12 08:12 PM

Well you have internal frame, external frame, frameless and probably a few others I dont even know about. Try on alot of different ones with the weight you plan on carrying and walk around to feel how they fit. If you can find someone to properly fit you for a pack even better. IMO the pack should be the last thing you buy. If you buy the pack before the tent and sleeping bag you can wind up struggling to stuff it all into the pack. Do your reasearch do find whats most comfortable for you. If I were to splurge $$$ some bucks on one of the "Big 3" it would be sleeping bag/pad. A good night's sleep on the trail is priceless. Also you can save alot of weight with a good quality down bag. That being said most folks on this site lean toward "lightweight" backpacking (10lb base weight). I would recommend trying to go as light as is safely/comfortably possible for you. Ive found its tougher to make the change from high weight to lightweight as opposed to starting light from the jump. This site has some great stuff on it. Read all you can, hike as much as possible, and ask ALOT of questions.
Posted by: RabbitTat

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/11/12 09:10 PM

After looking back at the posts you are the 2nd person to tell me to not get pack untill I have my other gear. I dont know why I want to do it the other way. This could actually turn into a stressful hobby if you let it. So many options on every piece of equipment.I was leaning more tword the hammock side of sleeping. Im thinking that would be lighter and less trouble than a tent. I am open for any words of wisdom any one
cares to share.
Posted by: Banjopickin

Re: Hello from North Carolina - 05/12/12 08:12 PM

My tarp shelter is lighter and more comfortable than most hammocks I've tried. Im a terrestrial sleeper and I've never been able to get comfortable in a hammock. Some folks I hike with are the opposite. You'll still need a good pad and bag for hammocks though. I suggest not dropping a ton of cash until you really decide this is an activity you plan on doing for a while. Byer of Maine makes a good traveller hammock Traveller Lite Hammock. Its light and cheap. I keep one in my truck for random hammocking. You'll still need rope though. Get some 2-3 mil poly sheeting and make a tarp to keep you dry. If its warm, carry a wool or fleece blanket and get a $10 Walmart blue closed cell foam pad for insulation in your hammock. Thats a fairly light setup and really cheap. Buy new lightweight($$$) gear as you can afford it and keep hiking. My whole philosophy is this should be an activity to get you closer to nature and give you time to reflect and decompress from the everyday world. You dont have to break the bank. Do as many over nighters as you can and refine your skills. Be careful though, this can be addicting! grin