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SGT Rock
2006-10-15, 16:15
I am starting to work on my Journal for my 2008 Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail. I haven't decided if I am going to put the Journal up here, on Trail Journals, or find some other solution. That is still to be decided.

Anyway. The plan, in case you didn't know it, is to retire from the Army in 2008. I plan to start terminal leave the first weekend of April and start hiking that Sunday - so April 6 2008 will be the start date. I intend to take 5 months to do it all in - so around 5 September 2008 I intend to summit Mount Katahdin. With all the terminal leave I am saving from being in Iraq and permissive TDY, I should be able to draw a paycheck until the end of July. After that it will be savings, retirement check, and maybe a job for my wife.

Back to the plan. Instead of the normal thru-hike, I intend to start at Springer Mountain in Georgia, but then get on the Benton McKay trail and follow that for the first 287 miles to Davenport Gap - then get back on the Appalachian Trail.

Why not use the AT for the first 14%? Why use the BMT? Well, because I want to, that is why. Plus I have already walked all that part of the AT except for a few miles of the Smokies which I will probably finish on shake-down hikes after I get back. Plus I want some time alone at first. The Appalachian Trail is getting thicker at the start these days, and doing the BMT means I avoid those sorts of crowds at the start. And finally, the BMT is a little wilder. It isn't the wide trail with shelters ever 8 miles and signs to everything that the AT can be in most places.

Now getting on the BMT presents a few issues that the AT does not. First off there isn't a bunch of resupply points handy. Then there is not a great set of maps or even a data-book available yet for the whole thing. Heck, from what I understand you may even need a map and compass and be prepared to do some bushwhacking on sections. All of which suit me fine.

More to follow later as I have time.

Turk
2006-10-15, 16:25
Right on Sarge. Sounds like the way to go. Why take the interstate
until you absolutely have to ? Plenty of backroads to take the path less
travelled.:m1helmet:

Seems fitting starting that way. Using the very skills you taught for so
long in one life, to pave the road to a whole new chapter and the unknown.

bird dog
2006-10-15, 17:31
Way to go Top. Hike Your Own Hike! Sounds like a good plan for whenever I get the chance to Thru too. If I can help on your hike as far as resupply goes, Im in North Click. Let me know. Whatever you decide to do with the journal, keep us all posted. Im sure that you have a large following that will want to keep up with your progress (me included). BD

SGT Rock
2006-10-15, 19:06
Thanks guys. I have been spending most of my off time here working through the details of the hike. As to where to put the things, I have been thinking about installing some software hacks to this site to put it up. but then again Trail Journals already has all that figured out, so all that would be needed here would be links to an updated journal page.

Next part: Planned packing list...

1. Clothing
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/ae94zz_1.jpg
Microfiber underwear.........................1..2.08 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/11947_25.jpg
Wal-Mart running socks.....................1..1.55 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/436D.jpg
Coolmax long sleeve Zip-T.................1..7.53 oz
Equinox sil-nylon stuff sack (storage)..1..1.27 oz
Total............................................. ..12.44 oz

2. Rain Gear
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/img2.gif
Packa rain jacket.................................1..11.20 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/703332_321.jpg
OR rain mittens....................................1...1.1 7 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/DN606_ProSport_Pants.jpg
ProVent rain pants with re-enforced butt..1..5.62 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/sus01b.jpg
Seal Skinz goretex socks........................1..3.46 oz
Total............................................. .......21.45 oz

3. Spring/Fall Clothing
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/704234_587.jpg
Arc'Teryx Powerstretch Pants.................1..8.06 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/698899_1377.jpg
REI Powerstretch shirt...........................1..9.33 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/09063_gry.jpg
Wigwam hiking socks.............................1..2.61 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/90045.jpg
Wigwam knit hat...................................1..2.44 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/pgl03a.jpg
Wigwam glove liners..............................1..1.10 oz
Total............................................. .......23.53 oz

4. Winter Clothing
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/08808.jpg
Wigwam heavy wool socks......................1..3.29 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/13598.jpg
OR P300 fleece mittens..........................1..1.84 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/pth503a.jpg
Polypro neck gaiter................................1..2.08 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/us1014.gif
Modified Army surplus field pants liners.....1..8.09 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/big_kennebec.jpg
Kennebec insulated pullover.....................1..9.72 oz
Total............................................. ........25.02 oz

5. Kitchen
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/lexanspoon.jpg
Plastic spoon........................................1..0. 35 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/untitled.JPG
Evernew 0.9L titanium pot.......................1..4.03 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/Mini4pack.jpg
Scripto lighter.......................................1..0 .64 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/comp4.gif
9 ounce fuel bottle.................................1..0.78 oz
12 ounce plastic bottle for olive oil..............1..0.95 oz
16 ounce plastic bottle for alcohol..............1..1.06 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/platypus.gif
100 ounce platypus bladder......................1..1.52 oz
Equinox sil-nylon sack (food bag)...............1..1.48 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/CH969.jpg
Zip lock bags - 1 gallon............................4..1.27 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/untitled2.JPG
Glass iodine pill container..........................1..0.35 oz
Plastic Vit C container..............................1..0.18 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/alabama-wildfire_sm.gif
Plastic hot sauce bottle............................1..0.49 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/100_0322.jpg
Pot Cozy.............................................. ..1..0.88 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/100_0317_small1.jpg
Ion stove w/stand and windscreen..............1..0.95 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/Gatoradebottle.jpg
Gatorade bottle with cord and snap link.......1..2.08 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/IMG00013g.jpg
Gatorade bowl with cozy..........................1..2.19 oz
Total............................................. .........19.22 oz

6. Miscelaneous Stuff
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/22998t.jpg
First aid kit with repair kit and batteries..1..5.16 oz
Bag for fire starter..............................1..0.07 oz
Equinox sil-nylon stuff sack..................1..0.60 oz
Card for data case.............................1..0.18 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/511869.jpg
1 GB data card..................................2..0.14 oz
Total............................................. .....6.15 oz

7. Hygiene
Zip lock bag.....................................1..0.25 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/camp_towel.jpg
Towel mitten....................................1..0.78 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/83142.jpg
1 oz bottle (for soap).........................1..0.28 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/29591293.jpg
toothbrush and toothpaste tube w/bag..1..0.46 oz
Total............................................. ......1.77 oz

8. Navigation
Zip lock bag - 1 gallon............................................ ...1..0.32 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/Produit_Image_464.jpg
Zipka Plus Headlamp w/Lithium batteries.......................1..1.91 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/Photo2.jpg
paper (for trail journal).......................................... ....1..1.38 oz
Pen............................................... ........................1..0.46 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/at5-thumb.jpg
Map............................................... .......................2..5.65 oz (average)
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/2006comp.jpg
Guide book section (homemade fom ALDHA Companion)..1..0.53 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/AT1-0803.jpg
Mapdanna.......................................... ...............1..1.59 oz
Total............................................. ......11.84 oz

9. Rucksack, Sleeping, and Shelter
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/GSWinter2.jpg
Moonbow Gearskin sil-nylon pack........................1..22.47 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/stuffsacks.jpg
Equinox sil-nylon stuff sack (for quilts).................1...1.06 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/B000696CL6.01-A371T3MB2CH11Q._AA280_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg
Hennessy Tarp with triptese line..........................1...8.41 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/IMG214.jpg
Hennessy A-Sym ultralight hammock w/snake skins..1..23.11 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/NS-Serape.jpg
JRB No sniveler quilt...........................................1. .18.02 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/wx60x1.gif
Trash compactor bag (pack liner).........................1...2.26 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/tarp8x9cat.jpg
Custom enzolite mummy sleeping pad....................1...9.61 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/IMG220g.jpg
Stake bag and cord...........................................1.. .2.51 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/rbsp6.jpg
Plastic lawn stakes............................................ 4...0.42 oz
Total............................................. ....................87.88 oz

10. Fall/Spring Hammock Gear
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/quilt.jpg
Hungry Howie down quilt.....................................1..17.70 oz
JRB Shock cord system.......................................1...1 .20 oz
Total............................................. .....................18.90 oz

11. Winter Hammock Gear
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/DSC03785_Weather_Shield.jpg
JRB Weathershield top and bottom........................1..14.42 oz
JRB stuff sack.............................................. .....1...0.49 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/81280.jpg
Space blanket emergency ground cloth..................1...0.95 oz
Total............................................. .....................15.87 oz

12. Luxury items
Recharge cable............................................. .....1..0.57 oz
Headphones........................................ ..............1..0.49 oz
Total............................................. ......................1.06 oz

13. Consumables
Fire starter........................................... ............6..0.71 oz
Dr Bronners Soap.............................................. .6..0.71 oz
Toilet Paper............................................. .........6..1.26 oz
Iodine and Vit C pills..........................................10. .0.28 oz
Toothpaste........................................ ..............30..0.75 oz
Food (2.01 pounds per day average)....................6..194.50 oz
Alcohol fuel.............................................. .........6..7.10 oz
Water............................................. .................1..24.32 oz
Drinking alcohol........................................... .......6..16.70 oz
Total............................................. ....................256.33 oz

14. Clothing Worn and Gear Carried
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/M809AT_xl.jpg
New Ballance Running shoes................................1..28.27 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/imain_r3_c28.gif
Wedding Ring.............................................. ......1...0.11 oz
Wal-Mart running socks......................................1...1.5 5 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/210200930_irgreengrey_200.jpg
Whiteblaze wicking shirt......................................1...5.6 5 oz
Microfiber underwear......................................... .1...2.08 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/713902.jpg
Nylon shorts............................................ .........1...3.71 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/untitled3.JPG
Whiteblaze hat............................................... ...1..3.18 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/9918.jpg
ID/Money/credit cards........................................1...2 .47 oz
Scripto lighter........................................... ........1...0.64 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/swissarmyexpress_1910_5165410.jpg
Small Swiss Army knife........................................1...0 .64 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/63978.jpg
Timex Expidetion watch (with digital compass)........1...1.27 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/tag145a.jpg
Dog tags.............................................. ............1...0.95 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/TM2133_06_Ti_CORTEC.jpg
Hiking poles with rubber tips................................1..19.43 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/2mt15a.jpg
100 MPH tape on poles.......................................1...2. 97 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/ddv-720.jpg
GenX 6.6 MP camera with battery and 1GB card......1...5.94 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/Plastic_Soap_Boxes.jpg
Soap dish (camera case).....................................1...1.31 oz
http://hikinghq.net/gear_pics/411061.jpg
Ultrapod camera tripod........................................1... 1.73 oz
Map............................................... ..................1...2.83 oz (average)
Guide book.............................................. ..........1...0.18 oz
Zip lock bag (map case) - 1 gallon........................1...0.32 oz
Total............................................. .....................85.23 oz

1. Clothing...................................12.44 oz
2. Rain Gear.................................21.45 oz
3. Spring/Fall Clothing....................23.53 oz
4. Winter Clothing.........................25.02 oz
5. Kitchen...................................19.22 oz
6. Miscellaneous Stuff.....................6.15 oz
7. Hygiene....................................1.77 oz
8. Navigation...............................11.84 oz
9. Rucksack, Sleeping and Shelter...87.88 oz
10. Spring/Fall Hammock Gear........18.90 oz
11. Winter Hammock Gear.............15.87 oz
12. Luxury Items..........................1.06 oz
Dry weight - Summer...................10.11 pounds
Dry weight - Spring/Fall................12.77 pounds
Dry weight - Winter.....................15.32 pounds

Consumable weight.......................16.02 pounds

Start pack weight........................31.34 pounds

Starting FSO Weight.....................37.67 pounds

SGT Rock
2006-10-16, 05:56
Now that I have that gearlist done (that was more work than I thought it would be :cguru: ) I can move on to "The Plan".

OPORD (Operation Order)


OPORD 06-01


16 1200 OCT 2006


1. SITUATION:

Enemy:

Bears, boars, snakes, and rodents will operate throughout the sector with the possibility of criminal insurgents near towns and road crossings. Bears present a hazard if proper food precautions are not observed. Snakes do not present a hazard unless they are disturbed. Rodents will present a hazard to Class I operations at all times. Campsites near road crossings should be generally avoided and in town extra precaution must be observed to minimize the possibility of interacting with criminal insurgents.


Friendly:

Household 6 will be available for ground transportation at various stages and to provide re-supply operation via postal service.


Trail Angels will operate throughout the area and provide Class I and Class VI at various unexpected sites.


Artillery support: none


Engineers: Trail crews will provide engineer support along the trail with priority of work being mobility and survivability.


Terrain and vegetation:
Terrain is characterized by Peaks (highest point 6,000’+) and low gaps (lowest 123’). Throughout the zone of operation there are many rivers, creeks, and other water hazards that will impede movement. Vegetation will start off as new growth with good observation of NAIs (Named Areas of Interest) along the route, but will later turn into heavy vegetation, which will provide excellent camouflage, but will restrict observation.


Weather:

Weather during the operation will start with average highs around 75, lows in the 30’s with the possibilities of even lower temperatures and snow. Rain will be highly possibility at all times, as will fog at certain elevations. Later in the operation, highs will be up to the 90’s, and lows throughout the operation have the possibility of dipping into the 10’s. At all times SGT Rock should be prepared for clothing layering in order to prevent overheating or hypothermia.


Light Data:

Beginning light data will have sunrise starting at 0618 local and sunset at 1902local with BMNT starting at0523 local and EENT ending at 1958local. During the operation it will peak with sunrise at 0439 local and sunset at 1942 local with BMNT starting at 0329 and EENT ending at 2057 local. By the end of the operation sunrise will be 0506 local and sunset will be 1805 local with BMNT at 0359 and EENT at 1913. This facilitates hiking days that are at least 13 hours in length with extra light for set up or break down of camp during twilight. The longest possible hiking days (during daylight hours) will be 15 hours long.

Night illumination – all phases of moon illumination will be observed during the operation.


2. MISSION:

SGT Rock conducts Tactical Road March from SP (Start Point) Springer to RP Katahdin along Route Appalachian Trail (AT) and Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) NET (No Earlier Than) 06 1200 APR 08 in order to develop outdoors skills, discover a sense of inner peace, and improve overall fitness.


On Order Mission: Seek local employment in the Tennessee area of operations in order to facilitate follow on operations.


3. EXECUTION:


Concept of the operation. This operation will be completed in four phases:

Phase I: Pre hike reconnaissance. Prior to 06 1200 APR 08 SGT Rock will conduct reconnaissance hikes along various sections of the AT and on other trails in order to gain information about specific trail sectors, operational requirements, camping/hiking techniques, and refine equipment packing lists. End state is to be better prepared for successive phases of the operation and have a lowered packing list weight.


Phase II: Movement to SP. 06 0600APR 08 Transport to AA (Assembly Area) Amicolola via ground transportation, then move to SP Springer in order to conduct Tactical Road March to RP Katahdin. End state is to be at SP NLT (No Later Than) 08 1200 APR 08 and be prepared to conduct Phase III.


Phase III: Tactical Road March. Conduct Tactical Road March from SP Springer to RP Katahdin averaging a minimum of 14.4 miles per day in order to make RP (Release Point) NLT 04 1700 SEP 08. End state is to complete AT and move to


Phase IV NLT 05 0800 SEP 08.


Phase IV: Re-deploy to home station. Using local civilian contracted transportation, move via ground transport to Millinocket Maine in order to arrange and travel to home station via civilian bus liner. End state is to be at home station in Tennessee NLT 6 1800 SEP 08.


Phase V: Re-integration. During this phase SGT Rock will begin the process of learning to use indoor plumbing, acclimate to indoor living, and seek local employment in the Tennessee area of operations. BPT (Be Prepared To) start employment during the month of September 2008.


Intent:


Commander’s intent is to complete the operation while achieving maximum enjoyment. If the operation becomes joyless or painful, then the operation will be terminated.


Task: Conduct hiking trips. Purpose: IOT (In Order To) complete Appalachian Trail at a later date more efficiently. Endstate: Hiking skills that enable SGT Rock to hike with the lightest load possible while maintain safety, survivability, and independent operations.


Task: Complete Appalachian Trail. Purpose: develop outdoors skills, discover a sense of inner peace, and improve overall fitness. Endstate: Appalachian Trail completed NLT 04 1700 SEP 08 while having fun on the trip.


Task: Re-deploy to Tennessee in a timely manner. Purpose: To prepare for follow on operations. Endstate: travel conducted in a cost and time efficient manner IOT facilitate on order missions and follow on operations.


Task: Seek local employment. Purpose: Support family post hike. Endstate: employment in the Tennessee area of operations with a starting wage in the area of either $11 an hour or a starting salary in the area of $21,000 annually.


Scheme of maneuver.


Phase I: This phase will be conducted at regular intervals, goal is to complete at least 2 overnight backpacking trips per year and to use regular unit training exercises to the greatest advantage to AAR and critique all phases of hiking operations.


Phase II: Household 6 will provide ground transportation to AA Amicalola using POV (Privately Owned Vehicle). This element will SP home station NET 06 0600 APR 08. Route will be US 321 to US 129 to US411 to US76 to GA52 to Roy Road to USFS42. She will set in the AA until SGT Rock departs 06 1200 APR 08. SGT Rock will use USF 42 approach trail to reach SP NLT 06 1200 APR 08. See Appendix E for details of the route.


Phase III: SGT Rock will move along Route AT and BMT loosely using Phase III execution matrix (Appendix A) averaging 14.4 miles per day until reaching RP Katahdin.


Phase IV: Call local transportation company for ground transport to Millinocket Maine, and then arrange bus transportation to home station.


Phase V will begin prior to the hike starting but will continue throughout the hike with final decisions on employment coming on or about 15 SEP 08.


Tasks to specific elements:


Household 6:
1. Provide ground transportation to AA Amicalola.
2. Provide re-supply to SGT Rock via US Postal service IAW (In Accordance With) mail drop schedule (Appendix B)
3. Provide special re-supply as requested.
4. Provide Intel updates via US Postal service and telephonic conversation.
5. Maintain on-line journal.
6. Continue to monitor employment contacts for SGT Rock

SGT Rock:
1. Conduct pre-hike operations in order to improve hiking efficiency, reduce pack weight, and increase enjoyment of the operations.
2. Pack equipment by SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) (Appendix C)
3. SP Spring NLT 06 1200 APR 08
4. RP Katahdin NLT 04 1700 SEP 08
5. Conduct Road march IAW Appendix A
6. Conduct local coordination at Millinocket Maine I order to reduce to home base.
7. Finalize employment coordination in the Tennessee area of operations.

Coordinating instructions:
1. MOPP (Military Orientated Protective Posture) N/A
2. ADA (Air Defense Artillery) status: White, Tight
3. ROE (Rules of Engagement): do not engage any targets, and leave no trace.
4. Fire Support: No external fire support expected. All fires will be provided by internal assets, priority of fire goes to SGT Rock.
5. PIR (Priority Intelligence Requirements): improve methods of hiking, pack weight reduction, and routes to and from route AT
6. FFIR (Friendly Forces Intelligence Requirements): Report location of SGT Rock to HQ at any time the situation permits and send journal for updating via internet.
7. Hike your own hike

4. SERVICE AND SUPPORT:


General: Re-supply will be done via mail drop and local purchase.


CL I (Food/Water): CL schedule will be done using appendix F as a guide. Majority of Class I re-supply will be accomplished by local purchase.


CL II (Clothing, Individual Equipment, Tentage): CL will be carried. Additional Class II will be sent via mail drop IAW appendix B for seasonal gear needs.


CL III (Fuel): Fuel will be purchased locally, as well as added to mail drops IAW Appendix B.


CL IV (Engineer Materials): N/A


CL V (Ammunition): N/A


CL VI (: Class VI will only be local purchased based on legality and availability.


CL VII (Major Items): CL VII will be only needed for initial transport to trail head, no special CL VII supply issues are foreseen at this time.


CL VIII (Medical): Basic supplies will be carried. For additional needs the insurance card will be carried in case of emergency.


CL IX (Repair Parts): Basic BDAR (Battle Damage Assessment and Repair) kit will be carried. For more comprehensive repairs or replacement, local purchase will be used.


Other. Money – UMA funs will be required for the movement IOT local purchase CL I, CL II, CL III, CL VI, CL VIII, CL IX and contract for lodging as required. Estimate of the amount of funding required is included in Appendix D.


5. COMMAND AND SIGNAL:


SGT Rock will maintain regular contact, and send spot reports and SITREPS (Situation Reports) via land line (Phone), NIPER (Internet), and courier (US Postal service). Primary means of land line communication will be AT&T phone card.


Location of key elements:


Household 6 will be located in and around the vicinity of the TOC during the majority of this operation. She may occasionally be found at various trail crossings.


SGT Rock will be located on the route as the lead element.


Standard call signs, code words, and signal SOPs are in effect.

SGT Rock
2006-10-16, 10:09
Week...Day...Date...Location...............Mile Point...MPD for section... Notes
1..........1...Apr 6....Springer Mountain...0.0
............2...Apr 7
............3...Apr 8
............4...Apr 9
............5...Apr 10
............6...Apr 11
............7...Apr 12

2..........8...Apr 13...Reliance, TN........108.3...13.5........................Mail Drop
............9...Apr 14
...........10...Apr 15
...........11...Apr 16
...........12...Apr 17
...........13...Apr 18
...........14...Apr 19...Deals Gap..........187.8...13.4

3..........15...Apr 20...Maryville - Zero
...........16...Apr 21...Smokies
...........17...Apr 22...Smokies
...........18...Apr 23...Smokies
...........19...Apr 24...Smokies
...........20...Apr 25...Smokies
...........21...Apr 26...Davenport Gap....237.3...14.6

4..........22...Apr 27
...........23...Apr 28
...........24...Apr 29...Hot Springs, NC...270.7
...........25...Apr 30
...........26...May 1
...........27...May 2
...........28...May 3...Erwin, TN...........338.7

5..........29...May 4
...........30...May 5
...........31...May 6
...........32...May 7
...........33...May 8...Hampton, TN......418.2
...........34...May 9
...........35...May 10

6..........36...May 11
...........37...May 12..Damascus, VA...459.5...13.9..........................Mail Drop
...........38...May 13
...........39...May 14
...........40...May 15
...........41...May 16..Partnership Shelter..523.3................................Get ride to Trail Days
...........42...May 17...Trail Days

7..........43...May 18...Trail Days/Hardcore....................................Give wife winter gear
...........44...May 19...Hardcore
...........45...May 20...Groeclose, VA...534.8
...........46...May 21
...........47...May 22
...........48...May 23
...........49...May 24...Crandon, VA....592.5

8.........50...May 25...Pearisburg, VA..622.1...................................Mail Drop/Mail home Spring/Fall gear
...........51...May 26
...........52...May 27
...........53...May 28
...........54...May 29...Catawba, VA...688.6
...........55...May 30...Troutville, VA...714.3
...........56...May 31

9.........57...Jun 1
...........58...Jun 2
...........59...Jun 3
...........60...Jun 4
...........61...Jun 5
...........62...Jun 6
...........63...Jun 7... Waynesboro, VA..848.4...15.0.......................Mail Drop

10........64...Jun 8....Shenandoah's
...........65...Jun 9....Shenandoah's
...........66...Jun 10...Shenandoah's
...........67...Jun 11...Shenandoah's
...........68...Jun 12...Shenandoah's
...........69...Jun 13...Shenandoah's
...........70...Jun 14...Linden, VA...........961.8................................ .Mail Drop

11........71...Jun 15
...........72...Jun 16
...........73...Jun 17...Harpers Ferry, WV..848.4...16.1.......................Mail Drop
...........74...Jun 18
...........75...Jun 19
...........76...Jun 20
...........77...Jun 21

12.........78...Jun 22...Pine Grove Furnace..1088.2...........................Half way
...........79...Jun 23...Boiling Springs, PA.....1107.6
...........80...Jun 24
...........81...Jun 25...Duncannon, PA.........1133.2...........................Mail Drop
...........82...Jun 26
...........83...Jun 27
...........84...Jun 28

13........85...Jun 29
...........86...Jun 30...Port Clinton, PA........1203.2...........................Mail Drop
...........87...Jul 1
...........88...Jul 2....Palmerton, PA............1245.3
...........89...Jul 3
...........90...Jul 4...Wind Gap, PA.............1263.9
...........91...Jul 5...Deleware Water Gap....1279.5...15.0..................Mail Drop

14........92...Jul 6
...........93...Jul 7
...........94...Jul 8
...........95...Jul 9...Vernon, NJ................1342.8
...........96...Jul 10
...........97...Jul 11
...........98...Jul 12..Bear Mountain Circle..1388.6

15........99...Jul 13
..........100...Jul 14
..........101...Jul 15
..........102...Jul 16...Kent, CT................1452.1...15.7................... Mail Drop - Get Spring/Fall gear back
..........103...Jul 17...Cornwall Bridge, CT..
..........104...Jul 18...Salisbury, CT..........1484.7
..........105...Jul 19...Great Barrington......1506.9

16.......106...Jul 20...Tyringham, MA........1526.3
..........107...Jul 21...Dalton, MA.............1555.0
..........108...Jul 22...Aniversary
..........109...Jul 23...Aniversary
..........110...Jul 24...Cheshire, MA...........1563.6
..........111...Jul 25...North Adams...........1578.3
..........112...Jul 26...Green Mountains

17.......113...Jul 27...Green Mountains
..........114...Jul 28...Manchester Center...1636.8...15.4
..........115...Jul 29...Green Mountains
..........116...Jul 30...Green Mountains
..........117...Jul 31...Green Mountains
..........118...Aug 1...Green Mountains
..........119...Aug 2

18.......120...Aug 3....Hanover, NH.........1732.7
..........121...Aug 4
..........122...Aug 5....White Mountains
..........123...Aug 6....Glencliff, NH..........1776.1...15.4....................Mail Drop - Get winter gear
..........124...Aug 7....White Mountains
..........125...Aug 8....White Mountains
..........126...Aug 9....White Mountains

19.......127...Aug 10...White Mountains
..........128...Aug 11...Crawford Notch....1829.6
..........129...Aug 12...White Mountains
..........130...Aug 13...Pinkman Notch.....1855.6
..........131...Aug 14...White Mountains
..........132...Aug 15...Gorham, NH.........1876.6...11.2
..........133...Aug 16

20.......134...Aug 17
..........135...Aug 18...Andover, ME........1918.1
..........136...Aug 19
..........137...Aug 20
..........138...Aug 21
..........139...Aug 22
..........140...Aug 23...Straton, ME.........1986.8...13.8

21.......141...Aug 24
..........142...Aug 25
..........143...Aug 26...Cartunk, ME.........2023.4............................Mail Drop
..........144...Aug 27
..........145...Aug 28...Monson, ME.........2060.1
..........146...Aug 29...100 Mile wilderness
..........147...Aug 30...100 Mile wilderness

22.......148...Aug 31...100 Mile wilderness
..........149...Sep 1.....100 Mile wilderness
..........150...Sep 2.....100 Mile wilderness
..........151...Sep 3.....Abol Bridge..........2159.5
..........152...Sep 4.....The Birches.........2169.4
..........153...Sep 5.....Kahtadin.............2174.6
..........154...Sep 6.....Millenockett, ME.........................................Mail Drop - Get duffle bag and town clothing

23.......155...Sep 7....Depart Maine on bus
..........156...Sep 8....Arrive Knoxville, TN

This is a planning guide only, it is not a strict time schedule of how I plan to hike the trail.

SGT Rock
2006-10-16, 16:59
Mail Drop...Forcasted Ship Date...Forcasted P/U date...Location................................... ...........................................Content s
1.............4 Apr.......................13 Apr.....................Hiwassee Scenic River Outfitters PO BOX 62, Reliance, TN 37369.....6 days Food

2.............3 May......................12 May....................General Delivery Damascus, VA 24236.........................................Map 7,8,9

3.............16 May.....................25 May...................General Delivery Pearisburg, VA 24134.........................................Map 9,10,11

4.............29 May.....................7 Jun.....................General Delivery Waynesboro, VA22980........................................Map 12.13.14

5.............4 Jun.......................13 Jun....................General Delivery Linden, VA 22642............................................. .Map 15,16

6.............8 Jun.......................17 Jun....................ATC HQ 799 Washington St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.....................5 days food, Map 17,18,19,20

7.............16 Jun......................24 Jun....................Doyle Hotel 7-9 N. Market St. Duncannon, PA 17020.......................Map 21,22

8..............21 Jun.....................30 Jun....................General Delivery Port Clinton, PA 19549........................................3 days food, Map 22,23

9..............26 June....................5 Jul......................General Delivery Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327.............................Maps 23,24,25,26,27,28

10.............7 Jul.......................16 Jul.....................General Delivery Kent, CT 06757............................................. ....Maps 29,30,31,32; Fall gear package

11.............22 Jul......................31 Jul.....................Manchester Center, VT 05255............................................. ......Maps 32,33,34

12.............28 Jul......................6 Aug.....................General Delivery Glencliff, NH 03238............................................6 days food; Maps 34,35,36,37,38; Winter gear package

13.............17 Aug....................26 Aug....................General Delivery Cartunk, ME 04925............................................M aps 29.40.41.42

14.............28 Aug....................6 Sep......................Appalachian Trail Lodge Millenocket, ME 04462..............................Duffle bag; road atlas; street clothes

Hog On Ice
2006-10-16, 20:56
Zipka Plus Headlamp w/Lithium batteries.......................1..1.91 oz


Petzl warns against the use of lithium batteries with the Zipka Plus (and other headlamps) - the lower internal resistance of the lithium battery tends to cause non-regulated headlamps such as the Zipka Plus to have the LEDs overheat - see link: http://en.petzl.com/petzl/LampesNews?News=159

I damaged a PT Aurora LED by using lithium AAA batteries - one LED now blinks instead of being steady on - very distracting

SGT Rock
2006-10-16, 23:38
I did not know that. I wonder if you can mix a lithium and a non-lithium to bump up the resistance yet still have some better life characteristics?

bird dog
2006-10-17, 00:19
I did not know that. I wonder if you can mix a lithium and a non-lithium to bump up the resistance yet still have some better life characteristics?

Isnt that kind of like mixing an alkaline and non-alkaline battery? BD

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 01:05
Good point. Mixing any chemistry of batteries has it's own problems.

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 01:15
While I am trying to wake up for a morning patrol, I figured I would get on with posting another part of the plan:

Catagory........Estimated #....Estimated Cost Each....Estimated Total
Mail Drops...........14..................$8.00......... .............$112.00
Re-Supply...........30.................$50.00........ ............$1500.00
Days Out...........156..................$5.00.......... ............$780.00
Hostel Stay.........29.................$25.00............ ..........$725.00
Hotel Stay..........12.................$70.00........... ...........$840.00
Emergency...........1................$500.00...... ................$500.00
Total............................................. ......................$4457.00

Miles:2227.5 (includes BMT)......................Cost per mile: $2.00

Days on Trail: 153...................................Cost per day:$29.13

bird dog
2006-10-17, 01:36
Hey Rock, isnt that cost estimate much more than one you had originally figured earlier on this site? Whats the differance? Just thought it looked like more, but cant find the original one that Im refering to. BD

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 01:49
http://hikinghq.net/at_stuff/at_cost.html

You mean this page - the estimate from 2002. The difference in the total is only $2.00. But now there are less mail drops, more miles, days on the trail, more hostel and hotel stays, and less re-supply points planned.

bird dog
2006-10-17, 02:05
http://hikinghq.net/at_stuff/at_cost.html

You mean this page - the estimate from 2002. The difference in the total is only $2.00. But now there are less mail drops, more miles, days on the trail, more hostel and hotel stays, and less re-supply points planned.

Yup, I guess that would be the one. Im mistaken. I thought your original estimate was about half of that. Im probably thinking of something else I saw at WB. They have a thread about the cost of a thru..Interesting. Some people are doing it with a Very low budget. When I do my thru, I hope that I have enough saved to enjoy myself. Keep your head down. BD

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 02:08
You are probably thinking of Weathercarrot's thru-hike advice on inexpensive thru-hiking.http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/article.php?p=22959&postcount=1

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 02:16
From the park, go west on Ga. 52 for 13.6 miles to Roy Road, at Cartecay Church and Stanley’s Store. Turn right, and proceed 9.5 miles to the second stop sign. At the stop sign, bear right, and go 2.3 miles to Mt. Pleasant Church on the left. Across from the church, turn right onto unpaved Forest Service Road 42. This well-graded gravel road, suitable for all vehicles, winds 6.6 miles to the A.T. crossing at Big Stamp on the north side of the road. To reach the summit of Springer Mountain, walk 0.9 mile south. If you don’t want to retrace your steps on the A.T., an alternative is to continue 1.7 miles past the A.T. crossing to USFS 42’s intersection with the Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT). The BMT leads 1.5 miles up Springer and joins the A.T. just north of the southern terminus.

SGT Rock
2006-10-17, 09:55
Again, this is another subject which is not set in stone, but it is a general guide to help selecting what foods to plan for with mail drops and hitting a town for re-supply.

Item...........................Servings...Weight per Serving...Total Weight...Callories
Breakfast:
Grits...........................2.............1... ........................2..................200
Breakfast bar/pop-tart...2.............1.3........................2. 6...............240
Olive Oil......................1/2..........0.96.......................0.5......... ......120
Coffee Filter bag...........2.............0.05.................. ....0.1

Brunch:
Spread (nutella or sim)....2............1.3........................2. 6..............200
Tortilla.........................2............1... ........................2.................203

Lunch:
Raman, potatoes, etc.....1............3...........................3 .................380
Olive oil........................1/2.........0.96......................0.5........... ....120

Dinner:
Red beans & Rice (or sim)..2..........2...........................4.... .............510
Sausage or other meat......1..........1.3........................1. 3..............120
Tortilla...........................2..........1... ........................2.................203
Olive Oil..........................1/2.......0.96......................0.5............. ..120
Pudding mix (or other).......2..........1......................... ..2................180
Milk................................1.........0.8. ........................0.8...............90
Tea bags........................2..........0.05....... ................0.1

Snacks:
Beef Jerky.......................1..........1.3........ ................1.3..............130
Dried Fruit.......................1..........1.3........ ................1.3..............200
Candy Bar.......................2..........2.1.......... ..............4.2..............560

Condiments:
Hot sauce.......................1..........0.2........ .................0.2
Parmesan Cheese.............1..........0.5................. ........0.5...............20
Butter Buds.....................2..........0.1........... ..............0.2................5
Multivitamen....................1..........0.1.... .....................0.1

Trash.............................1..........0.6.. .......................0.6.................0
Total............................................. ........................32.4 oz.......3601 calories

This also gives me about 96 grams of protein a day which is more than the estimated 75 I need to maintain muscle mass. The carb/fat/protein split is also about 54% / 37% / 9% which is very close to the recommended 55/35/10 ratio recommended by nutritionists for this sort of exercise.

john pickett
2006-10-17, 17:26
Sarge,
I thought it was supposed to be the stove tests you were anal about!
Oh, That's right. You're a First Sargeant. You're paid to be anal.
Clue; when you retire, you get to stop being anal.:aetsch:
Keep your head down.
John Pickett:captain:

deadeye
2006-10-17, 21:20
Good Luck, Sarge, we'll all be watching. Yell if you need resupply assistance in the Green Mtns.

p.s. it couldn't hurt to let all us potential trail angels know some of your favorite beverages. You never know when you'll find a cooler full of icy beverages trailside! (no matter when that happens, it's just when you needed that ice cold coke/beer the most!):beer:

Take-a-knee
2006-10-17, 21:47
Rock, 96 gm of protein might be enough, I would add another 20 or 30 grams to be safe. We forty-plus types shed muscle easily, it is a lot of hard work to get it back. Also, what are you going to do when you get orders for the Sergeant Major Academy? Ft. Bliss really isn't so bad, Colorado isn't that far away also.

SGT Rock
2006-10-18, 01:46
Sarge,
I thought it was supposed to be the stove tests you were anal about!
Oh, That's right. You're a First Sargeant. You're paid to be anal.
Clue; when you retire, you get to stop being anal.:aetsch:
Keep your head down.
John Pickett:captain:
And I once had a platoon sergeant that told me I was not a good planner LOL. This is what happens when you start planning to do a thru-hike 9 years before you actually start.:hmmmm2:


Good Luck, Sarge, we'll all be watching. Yell if you need resupply assistance in the Green Mtns.

p.s. it couldn't hurt to let all us potential trail angels know some of your favorite beverages. You never know when you'll find a cooler full of icy beverages trailside! (no matter when that happens, it's just when you needed that ice cold coke/beer the most!):beer:
Jim Beam. I appreciate the offer :cheers:


Rock, 96 gm of protein might be enough, I would add another 20 or 30 grams to be safe. We forty-plus types shed muscle easily, it is a lot of hard work to get it back. Also, what are you going to do when you get orders for the Sergeant Major Academy? Ft. Bliss really isn't so bad, Colorado isn't that far away also.

Thanks for the tip about protein. I've been considering some sort of protein bump up - maybe just a few grams - a once ounce bump would do it. Just gotta see what is available.

I'm going to turn it down. In fact I plan to decline consideration next year when I get back - I am dropping retirement in August 2007 - I've already talked to my branch manager about it.

I've bought my retirement house and I'm tired of moving around my family every 2-4 years. I'm also about 1/2 way done with my degree. Now with this unit of action thing and the time-line for USASMA it would mean make the list next year, then go to school the year after that, graduation 9 months later, then a PCS move for another 3 year lock in. That means the earliest I could retire is 2012 - too many more years for me, I'm getting tired of getting shot at and blown up. I got hit by an IED last week - buck got lucky, just scratches on my face.:help:

Naw, I am ready to live off my retirement and GI Bill/College fund for a couple of years and work at an outfitters or something while I become a college student/hiking bum.:rock:

SGT Rock
2006-10-18, 08:26
Rock, 96 gm of protein might be enough, I would add another 20 or 30 grams to be safe.

Because of your post I did some more research on the protein thing. I want to make sure I don't loose muscle mass as I try to make this hike happen and that seems to be the trend for most male thru-hikers. Add to that I am actually planning to make sure I get to a 20% body fat level before I start to have an energy reserve before I start.

First, for some background info, my menu was set up based on experience and recommendations found in these articles:

http://www.thru-hiker.com/PackLightEatRight/protein.htm (protein estimates)

and

http://www.thru-hiker.com/PackLightEatRight/fat.htm (Carb/fat/protein mix)

So First thing I tried to do was meet the recommendations of the first article. The article states that you need about 1 gram per KG of body weight - which is more than what the average person needs in their diet by about 25%. According to a couple of sources the recommendation is 0.8 grams per KG of body weight. So, with my weight of about 165, this means normally I need 60 grams - and hiking I need 75 according to that article (which is 1.25 times the RDA).

In another document I found that weight lifters need about 1.2 times the RDA - so I would need 72 grams for trying to bulk up weight lifting. Sort of seemed to me that this didn't seem right that a hiker needs more than a body builder, but in the same article that gave the 1.2 times RDA recommendation for weight lifting it also said that long distance runners need 1.67 times RDA. So I would need 100 grams of protein if I was running marathons. I imagine the difference is how fast the body must shed the amino acids in a runner - and a hiker probably has a similar issue.

This same article said getting extra protein wasn't a good idea since your body doesn't store them, and besides that they say:

"When too much protein is ingested, the body must eliminate it, resulting in dehydration and calcium loss through the urine. ...

...the additional metabolic demands placed on the kidneys make extreme protein consumption undesirable. Athletes can make greater performance improvements by determining how much protein they need to fuel metabolism and athletics and working to meet this requirement through a healthy diet"

So based on this, I would venture to say that somewhere between 1.25 and 1.67 times RDA is where I need to be. this means (for me) 75-100 grams a day. The difference between 75 grams and 100 grams of protein is about 2 ounces of beef jerky. Going over 100 grams may be a bad idea when thinking about the hydration issue and mineral loss that I may encounter.

Take-a-knee
2006-10-18, 16:09
Rock, those were some good sites on the protein/diet thing. I disagree with the second website about the 30/40/30 diet, that has been proven by bodybuilders to work, at least for them. A lot of bodybuilders are knucklehead extremists, so are a lot of nutritionists. A lot of nutritionists are tree-hugging world improvers who think America is the world's biggest problem, like the one that authored that second article. Her comment about "all the starving children" around the world is classic. I took a college nutrition class nearly twenty years ago, they were saying then that about 30 grams of protein/day were all you need...yeah to stave off kwashiorkor! The weight lifting world has forced the rest of us to acknowledge that they have been mostly correct for several decades now. Weight lifting has transformed modern sports, even NASCAR pit crews. All serious bodybuilders know that, while a cardio workout is an essential component for fitness, too much cardio is the fastest way to hijack a muscle-building program, it is also, of course, the best way to shed fat. As long as a person's kidneys are healthy, a little extra protein (20-30 gm), won't hurt you as long as you hydrate, and you should do that anyway, that is just part of a healthy lifestyle, on or off the trail. I predict someone will scientifically prove that long distance hikers, like SFAS and Ranger School students, have quite unique nutritional requirements. Having said all that I don't think we need to eat three whole chickens everyday to be healthy. Jack Lalanne has made it to an amazing 91 years on vegetables augmented with eggs and fish. He still swims AN HOUR EACH DAY, AFTER LIFTING WEIGHTS! I don't know many non-SEALS who could swim one hour in the first place. I also take issue with the advice for hikers to plus up with margerine, that stuff is a slow poison, I know I've beat that drum before, anything that says "partially-hydrogenated" on the label should not go in your shopping cart...or your mouth. Rock, you apparantly already know this, since you use olive oil (the best fat). There are "fashions" in medicine and academia that come and go, and often there is only a glimmer of truth to them. Most often, the truth is somewhere in between what the knucklehead-extremists at each end of the spectrum are screaming.

SGT Rock
2006-10-18, 16:48
Point taken Take-a-knee. So what level of protien do you reccomend for someone that weighs in at 165 and plans to do about 16 mile days when he is walking?

Take-a-knee
2006-10-18, 18:22
I would say 1 gm per Kg minimum, bodybuilders say one gram per pound of bodyweight, I don't think that is possible or at least practical for someone living out of a pack. Here is my plan, eat protein everytime you can, when you resupply, go heavy the first day, maybe a small steak or half-chicken if you eat in town. From what I've read about the AT, it is easier to resupply now than in the past, so resupply more often so you can tank up. Where is the right level between 1 and 2.2 grams protein per pound of bodyweight? I haven't a clue, I would err on the side of more than less. I think WHEN it is eaten may be as, or more important than how much. Lifters have found that there is a 30-60 minute window after lifting when the body best utilizes protein to build muscle. If you eat along during the day, this should take care of itself. I plan to drink some sort of protein drink at night(a lot of your body's maintenence takes place during quality restfull sleep) maybe the MET/RX, it comes in a packet. Another good source is one of the protein bars, I'm currently liking the Cliff Builder bar (20grams protein) A possible plan maybe to stop and cook late afternoon, walk a few miles, hang the hammock and have a milkshake. Since I'm rambling on about nutrition I'd say that not getting enough vegetables may be a bigger health issue for a thru hiker than the protein thing. A compromised immune system leads to all manner of health problems, top of the list is inability to heal and repair your body.

SGT Rock
2006-10-19, 01:48
OK, so:

o 1 gram per KG minimum - 75 grams
o 1 gram per pound max - 165 grams
o Plan to get 165 grams in towns and on first days out.
o Try to eat protein throughout the day since I am exercising throughout the day
o Get a good dose before going to bed to help with muscle damage repair. Protein bar or shake for a before bed snack.
o Stick with olive oil as a fat source.
o Get fresh veggies in town - big steaks and salads a plus (I like that one)
o Take a multivitamin and eat dried fruits and veggies on the trail to make up for less fresh veggies.

deadeye
2006-10-19, 10:43
What the heck, I'll throw in my 2 cents. A little pamphlet I picked up yesterday, produced by Vermont Department of Health, along with local hospitals, athletic clubs, etc. has this to say:

1) carbohydrates are the bodys prefered fuel for muscles when performing high intensity excersize, athletes need 300-500 grams/day of quality carbs (fruit, beans, veggies, pasta, cereals, 'taters).

2) athletes need 0.5-0.75 grams/day of protein per pound of bodyweight. Excess protein can contribute to dehydration and force your body to work harder to keep cool

And from my own experience (and many others, I hear), it only helps you if you eat it.

bird dog
2006-10-19, 15:31
Wow! All these years ans Ive only ate what was east to cook and tasted good. Guess I gotta lot of planning to do before I thru. Or I can just steal Rock's research? BD

SGT Rock
2006-10-19, 16:19
It ain't stealing. Use whatever you want to. I still have some info about the BMT to post and I hope that is helpful to others as well.

bird dog
2006-10-19, 21:58
Its all useful. Let me know if you need some magic when you get to North Click or a Class 1 resupply Top. BD

SGT Rock
2006-10-20, 04:31
Oh you can bet there will be a thread around here as I go north where we can all talk about these things and arrange hook ups along the trail. I think getting to meet a bunch of you guys along the trail would be priceless. Especially if you show up with whiskey and food.

SGT Rock
2006-10-20, 06:42
http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/appalachian-trail-map.jpg
http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/APPAmap1.pdf
Since most people reading this will know a great deal about the Appalachian Trail (www.appalachiantrail.org (http://www.appalachiantrail.org)) or will probably learn a great deal through the many sources, I won’t go into the standard facts about the AT here. But since I am planning to add the Benton MacKaye Trail as a portion of my thru-hike, I thought that this could be a good time to introduce the trail to some of you that may have never heard of it.
http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/BMTmap.JPG
http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/BMTRouteMap.pdf
The Benton MacKaye Trail (www.BMTA.org (http://www.bmta.org/)) was started as an idea in 1979 by Appalachian Trail hikers that were worried the AT was becoming too crowded and overused.

If they could have only seen the eventual future of the AT 27 years later!
http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/mackaye_atmap.gif
Since Benton MacKaye, the father of the Appalachian Trail, originally drew proposed feeder trails to the AT along the western branch of the southern Appalachians, that route was looked at to create a feeder trail system that met his plan while offering the hiker a wilder trail with less grooming and construction. There are only 2 shelters on the entire BMT (well three if you count Springer Mountain Shelter) for a more remote wilderness experience. Construction was started in 1980 and finally finished in 2005; at 287.6 miles long, that is about 11 miles per year! The first 82 miles of trail were finished in 1989, and then construction stalled for 14 years waiting on federal approval. The next 200+ miles or so of trail were negotiated over time and/or built in a partnership with various federal agencies such as the Forest Service, Park Service, and other government offices. Because of the regulations regarding historical, ecological, and other impacts – the majority of the time has been spent trying to meet all regulations regarding trail building and use rather than the actual construction. To make the process easier, Section 2 and Section 3 in GSMNP follow many trails and old logging roads that already existed.

The BMT’s lowest point is 765’ at the Hiwasse River in Reliance, TN and the highest point is 5843’ at Mount Sterling in the GSMNP. Unfortunately this means you miss some of the taller peaks of the Smokies including Clingman’s Dome. Another thing that may be a problem to some hikers is there are about 10 miles of road walk on the BMT. The Benton MacKaye trail is marked by white diamonds where markings are allowed – not all of the trail has blazes because of wilderness rules that prevent trail blazing in some areas

The trail starts on the Appalachian Trail 50’ north of the Springer Mountain Shelter turn off and crosses the AT again near the FS42 parking area. It joins back to the AT at Three Forks and follows the same path until Long Creek Falls area. After that it goes its own way westward on its own and doesn’t see the AT again until GSMNP at mile point 196.4 (167.7 on the AT). During this time the BMT only passes one shelter (well two if you count Springer Mountain Shelter) while the AT will have passed 25 shelters. The BMT has less re-supply locations along the trail and hasn’t got any hostels in that stretch unless you count a bunk house for river rafters at over 100 miles into the trip. A hiker contemplating these sections of the Benton MacKaye needs to be more self sufficient and take a little time to figure out how they plan to tackle it.
http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/smokies.JPG
http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/GRSM_Trail_Map_2005.pdf (http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/BMTRouteMap.pdf)

After crossing the AT at Sassafras Gap in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the BMT follows the western side of GSMNP for 91.2 miles and rejoins the AT at Davenport Gap at mile 287.6 (234.9 on the AT). For those that hate the GSMNP shelter system: the BMT in the Smokies only has ONE shelter! Compare that to the 12 on the AT in the Smokies. And while the AT in the Smokies only has one designated campsite you can use if you want to sleep outside a shelter, the BMT in the Smokies has 21 to choose from! But there is a draw back: when you enter the Smokies you have to plan your itinerary and register for campsites and the one shelter (if you plan to use it) before you start. The system for thru-hikers is not as user friendly yet, but I think it may change if more people start thru-hiking the BMT. One positive is you are only 6 miles from Cherokee, NC when you cross US 441, so it is an easy walk downhill on a busy road with a good possibility of a hitch into town for re-supply when you get to that point.

Trail Guides and maps:

Although the AT is one of the easiest trails I have ever navigated, I still plan to take maps. The BMT however is not as well marked and the trail instructions often caution the hiker against going the wrong way so maps are even more necessary. I consider a map as essential as insurance: You may not want to have it because of the initial cost, but if you ever need it the cost will seem very reasonable. I'm also a map freak and love to pull my map out regularly to check the terrain around me.

I have a full set of AT maps that were bought from another hiker a few years back. They are not the most up to date, but they will work fine because the topography is still the same, only a few miles of trail here and there have changed – and it saved me some money getting them that way. For Guide books I will carry "Thru-Hikers Companion" by ALDHA for the AT. It is full of essential information and can be used to determine the facilities, phone numbers, addresses, etc. of just about any point of significance on the trail. Because it is not laid out exactly as I wanted (more information and weight), I took the data from the book and re-arranged it in MS Word to make it more trail friendly for my style of hiking. I have greatly reduced the weight and bulk of the guide by doing this. That said: I’ve found the new Companion lay out to be one of the best published trail guides out there. At one time I planned to use The Thru-Hikers Handbook, but the quality of information seems to be getting worse every year (and the editor gets more controversial) while the Companion only gets better.

For BMT maps I have the most recent maps of Big Frog and Joyce Kilmer wilderness and GSMNP trail map that show the majority of the BMT. But I haven't found a good map produced for the BMT yet that covers from Springer Mountain GA to The Big Frog wilderness. So doing some research I was able to find a good set on the internet - the only problem being they were not set up for printing out very well. The solution was to put them together into a format with the same scale and in segments that will fit on normal 8.5"x11" paper. I put those together into a handy PDF. For those planning to hike the BMT, here is what you need

1. 0.0 to 65.3. From Springer Mountain to Big Flat Mountain you can use this file I made: http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/missing_ga2.pdf. This file is an Adobe Acrobat format and allows you to print your own maps of the section on standard 11x8.5 paper - all you need is your own color printer, paper, and a way to protect the maps on the trail. It will take 3 pages for the maps printed front to back, plus one extra page front to back if you want the trail profiles. Special thanks to www.georgiahikes.com (http://www.georgiahikes.com/) for the maps and most of the trail profile.

2. 56.3 to 191.4. Hudson Gap to Twentymile Ranger Station in the GSMNP. Trails Illistrated map of Tellico and Ocoee Rivers #781. http://www.ngmapstore.com/shopping/p...iProductID=330 (http://www.ngmapstore.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=330&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=54&iSubCat=117&iProductID=330)

3. 179.2 to 287.6. Intersection of the Slickrock Trail and Stiffknee trail to Davenport Gap. Trails Illustrated map of The Great Smoky Mountain National Park #229. http://www.ngmapstore.com/shopping/p...iProductID=260 (http://www.ngmapstore.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=330&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=54&iSubCat=117&iProductID=260)

Also, there is a databook in production, but not out yet. So I also put my own version for a temporary fix. The file was put together from info at the BMT website (www.bmta.org (http://www.bmta.org/)) and is available here: http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/BMT.doc . This is in an editable word document so you can add your own data if you want - also some sections are a lot more detailed than others. The section in TN/NC are sometimes compiled checking the trail constuction maps and entries to places marked on the map but I am not exactly sure what is there are simple listed as a question mark. I set up a version of this document to print in a small, pocket sized format that should only take three sheets (front to back) of paper to print the entire booklet using Adobe Acrobat http://hikinghq.net/user_projects/BMT.pdf

Pappyhighlife
2006-10-20, 14:51
Hell Top, I dont remember our frag orders being quite that...... I guess er percise. But then again its been a long time.
Good luck, god speed and I will be looking forward to reading this work in progress.

P.S. I stole, I mean copied much of your packing list great stuff.. :adore:

SGT Rock
2006-10-20, 16:34
Well a FRAGO - definitely not very detailed. But when I worked on a Brigade staff those orders were intense.

As to OPORDS, I feel they are getting WAY too complicated. When I was a young Specialist the wisdom was an order had to fit on one page and be simple enough for a private to understand. Now days a Platoon Leader would get his ass reamed for such a simple order. Seems everyone wants to make sure you show off all your skills when you write an OPORD, and could care less if a private has to remember it in the middle of a fight.

Time for me to go...

TeeDee
2006-10-20, 21:31
Rock, 96 gm of protein might be enough, I would add another 20 or 30 grams to be safe. We forty-plus types shed muscle easily, it is a lot of hard work to get it back. Also, what are you going to do when you get orders for the Sergeant Major Academy? Ft. Bliss really isn't so bad, Colorado isn't that far away also.


TAK - look at the the following site -

http://www.cbass.com/Biomarkers.htm

some very interesting information on aging and excercise and muscle mass. It doesn't contradict you, but it does contradict a lot of the conventional wisdom. Based on solid research at Tufts University since the late 80's. The original book "biomarkers" was published in 1991 and the continuing research since then continues to reaffirm the original results.

So if you just keep hiking and packing you should be pretty good.

Take-a-knee
2006-10-20, 22:42
Teedee, that was some good stuff. I would say that cardio and weight training are equally important. Once you obtain some degree of fitness with the weights you get a passable cardio workout from lifting by itself. I work alternate muscle groups without a lot of break between sets and when I get on the step mill after lifting my heartrate will be about 115 which is the low aerobic range. No exercise plan will work if it isn't fueled, you gotta eat right.
About the protein thing on the trail, I plan to see what sort of freeze-dried egg products are available. I know Mountain House has some, my only concern would be eating too many yolks per day, I try to eat just one egg yolk per day but you can eat several egg whites with no problem.

TeeDee
2006-10-21, 18:39
TAK - yes I agree - aerobic and strength training are equally important. One without the other is kinda like biking with the brake on all the time (hmmmm, hell on the brake pads, but maybe good aerobic excercise?). I excercise prior to breakfast every morning (or at least 4 days/week). Usually don't have breakfast until 11 am.

I also think that nutrition is on an equal footing with excercise.

Read or heard someplace in my travels: The most powerful drugs you take are the foods you eat every day.

I try to stay as close as I can to the 30/70 rule (30% of calories from protein and 70% from complex carbohydrates). I try to keep calories from fat under 10% and as close to 5% as possible. But that is just what I have found works for my body - genetic predisposition to sudden cardiac death and no thyroid since age 10. Have also found that strict vegan works best for me - nothing to do with ethics/morals or whatever, meat just doesn't work well for me (and I was raised where and when meat and potatoes were the two basic food groups, took me too many years to learn otherwise :boring: )

SGT Rock
2006-10-22, 02:46
So how about whiskey in the diet plan?

Take-a-knee
2006-10-22, 11:30
Nothing wrong with a little snort at night as far as I'm concerned. About 2 ounces of alcohol in the evening is a sleep aid and one of life's age-old simple pleasures. It has proven vascular benefits. More than 3-4 ounces of alcohol/day is probably hard on your liver though, long term. If you drink alcohol all day, even occasionally, you may have "issues". Some people just have to leave it alone.

TeeDee
2006-10-22, 18:23
I've nothing for or against whiskey - it's just that I discovered long, long ago that the taste of alchohol is something that I just cannot tolerate. I've tried everything from whiskey (quite a few) to beer to wines (quite a few, even the bubbly) and I can taste the alchohol in every one. Pick something for which the taste alone you totally cannot tolerate - that's alchohol for me. The other things in beer, wine or whiskey I really don't know since the alchohol taste is just overwhelming to me. Just think of all of those college dorm parties I had to forego :bawling:

bird dog
2006-10-23, 08:59
Rock, great info on the BMT. Your trail guide is impressive. Pappy, glad to see you. Hows Jack? BD

Pappyhighlife
2006-10-24, 15:21
Great thread learning much from it, as I normally do on this site.
Hey BD, yep had to let go of Jack Walker put one thru his 10 ring, got a new buddy now "Jack Daniels" great hiking pal, he don't say much, keeps up with my pace, and never complains,even makes me chuckle around the campfire at night.
Oops, strike that my wife says its just too weird.

bird dog
2006-10-24, 17:43
Great thread learning much from it, as I normally do on this site.
Hey BD, yep had to let go of Jack Walker put one thru his 10 ring, got a new buddy now "Jack Daniels" great hiking pal, he don't say much, keeps up with my pace, and never complains,even makes me chuckle around the campfire at night.
Oops, strike that my wife says its just too weird.

Sounds like more than a hiking friend! BD

SGT Rock
2006-10-25, 03:45
Jim, Johnny, and Jack. Three great friends for hiking with. And for the record I ration myself to 2 ounces per day. OK, sometimes three.

And coffee too!

SGT Rock
2006-11-04, 17:17
Just thought I would add this...

A member at WhiteBlaze, Mr Parkay, has created a BMT file for Google Earth:

http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=EarthNature&Number=670580&Searchpage=1&Main=670580&Words=benton&topic=&Search=true#Post670580

You will need to install Google Earth first to use it.