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REPOST - OR - Hiking Trails of the Smokies- Elizabeth Davis

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  • Elizabeth Davis
    Andre, Thanks for the edits Sorry I took a while, its been a bit hectic around here lately. The new URL is: http://tiny.cc/0YNV9 Right now I can t access a
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 26 3:20 PM
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      Andre,
      Thanks for the edits
      Sorry I took a while, its been a bit hectic around here lately. The
      new URL is: http://tiny.cc/0YNV9
      Right now I can't access a camera to upload a picture of the book; can
      I add a picture later if I get the chance?
      Thanks
      Elizabeth

      PS your cook kit is that heavy? good grief! =) When I say that my pack
      is lightweight, I mean I use a hammock instead of a tent, and I
      usually carry about 25-30 pounds, which includes food. I'm actually
      kidding about your cook kit being heavy, mine weighs somethings like
      that... I'm not really sure, I've never weighed it.

      Anyway, here goes...

      HIKING TRAILS OF THE SMOKIES
      OWNER REVIEW
      by ELIZABETH DAVIS
      August 26, 2008

      TESTER BIO
      Name: Elizabeth Davis
      Age: 18
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 ft 4 in ( 1.63 m)
      Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)
      Email address: elizrd AT gmail DOT com
      City, State, Country: Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

      Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking occasionally since I
      was about eleven. During the last two years I have been hiking and
      backpacking every chance I get. I hike about twice a month, and more
      on holidays. I usually go on short backpacking trips of about
      two/three days and I enjoy wet, rugged conditions. I'd like to stay
      out longer in the future. My pack is usually fairly lightweight. Most
      of my trips are in the Southern Appalachians where temperatures range
      from 80 F (27 C) to 0 F (-18 C).

      PRODUCT INFORMATION
      Publisher: Great Smoky Mountains Association
      Manufacturer's Website: http://www.smokiesstore.org
      Copyright: 2003, 3rd edition
      ISBN: 0-937207-15-2
      Measured Weight: 12 oz (340 g)
      Measured Dimensions: 4.5 in by 6 in by 1 in (11.4 cm by 15.2 cm by 2.5 cm)
      MSRP: US$ 19.99
      Product Description: This is a guidebook for all of the maintained
      trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was co-written
      by 17 hiker/writers, and is known to hikers in the area as the "brown
      book". It comes with a map which is great for planning trips but
      terrible for navigation.

      FIELD LOCATION/REVIEW

      I have used this guide for all of the hikes and backpacking trips that
      I have done in the Smokies for the last year and a half, which totals
      approximately 400 miles (640 km) of use. This guide differs from the
      multitudes of hiking books about the Smokies for several reasons: it
      covers all of the maintained trails in the park, it has elevation
      charts for each trail, and it has the most accurate mileages
      available. This book has every trail individually described in its
      entirety. This means that, when armed with a map and this book, I can
      plan any trip I like and have information for all of the trail.
      Lovely. The elevation charts are simply continuous line graphs which
      show the change in elevation per mile. They also have markings to show
      some points of interest and any large unbridged stream crossings. They
      are very useful for gauging where I am in a hike, and for planning
      hikes with groups of individuals with varying abilities. I can also
      just read a USGS quad map and get the same information, but when a
      quad map isn't available, the elevation charts provide more detailed
      information than the basic topo map printed for the Smokies. The trail
      mileages given in this book are the most accurate mileages anywhere
      (including posted trail signs). The book states that Bob Lochbaum, one
      of the books contributers, wheeled each trail in the park at least
      twice prior to the books publication. While trail signs at either end
      of a trail will sometimes disagree with the book (or each other!),
      based on topographic and USGS quad maps I have found the book to be
      correct . The map which accompanies the book has the same marked
      mileage as the book, but it is not a topographic map. It has wiggly
      lines to indicate trails, and it shows the mileage between
      intersections. Do not buy this book for the map. However, if, for some
      reason you lose the map and want another one, it is available for US$
      1.00 at most Smoky Mountain park ranger stations.

      The book is laid out with an introduction that includes helpful
      telephone numbers for planning trips, Leave No Trace regulations,
      notes on bears, snakebites, poison ivy, blisters, and other concerns,
      weather, and suggested loop routes. I would not rely on this book for
      a first aid manual as the descriptions are brief. After the
      introduction, the trail descriptions are arranged alphabetically.

      Each trail description has seven sections: Length, Highlights,
      Cautions, Map Key, Use, Trailhead, and Narrative.
      Length: Just that. The length of the trail (given in miles) in its entirety.
      Highlights: Includes highlights such as "spring flowers", "winter
      views", "old homesites", "solitude", and "fringed polygala blooms in
      May"
      Cautions: Includes cautions such as "unbridged stream crossings",
      "icicles falling from Alum Cave bluff", and "exposed cliffs"
      Map Key: Gives the coordinates for the map supplied with the book,
      and the USGS quad.
      Use: Indicates hiking trail, horse and hiking trail, or, in the case
      of Trillium Gap Trail, horse and hiking and llama trail.
      Trailhead/Starting Point: Provides a brief description of how to get
      to the trail. This is the only part of the book I have ever had
      trouble with, and then only once. Once I spent an hour driving around
      on back roads trying to find Rich Mountain Road out of Tuckaleechee
      cove, and guess what? It's a dead end! The book fails to mention that
      Rich Mountain road has an imposing "dead end" sign at the beginning of
      it. We finally tried that direction as a last resort, and arrived at
      the trailhead. Really, I can hardly complain that a hiking guide book
      doesn't have great driving directions. After all, it is a hiking book.
      The last part of the trail description is the trail narrative. It
      begins at one end of the trail, and follows through, as though the
      author were hiking the trail. It includes interesting geological,
      historical, and botanical facts about the trail. Depending on the
      particular author, a trail narrative may focus on the story of some
      previous residents of the area, or describe some of the spring flowers
      and edible plants nearby. The trail narrative includes mileages for
      landmarks such as outstanding trees, campsites, and stream crossings.
      The narrative also includes detailed descriptions of campsites. The
      narratives are extremely well written, and are very interesting. They
      provide a great background for knowledge of the area through which I
      am hiking.

      The only complaint I have about this book is that it doesn't include
      references to manways or off-trail paths. I have seen previous
      editions of this book which included this information, and I think it
      is very interesting and incredibly useful (because I like off-trail
      hiking). However, the authors state in the introduction that they do
      not want to include manways, because the use of manways is more
      dangerous and has greater impact on park resources than the use of
      trails. Perhaps it is good that information about off-trail hikes is
      hard to access because it prevents all but the dedicated from
      venturing off-trail, which cuts down on cross-country travel.
      I really like this guide, and will continue to carry it for hikes in
      the Smokies.

      THINGS I LIKE
      It is a great size and weight to throw in a backpack
      It is thorough, and includes all the trails in the Smokies
      Well-written, informative, narratives
      Printed with soy ink on recycled paper with a sewn binding!
      Elevation charts

      THING I DON'T LIKE
      No manways or off-trail references
    • AndrĂ© Corterier
      ... Elizabeth Davis ... can ... #### Well. The answer should be no . When posting test reports, a report is deemed not to be posted (on time) as long as it
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 27 4:54 AM
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        > EDIT/APPROVAL: REPOST - OR - Hiking Trails of the Smokies-
        Elizabeth Davis

        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Davis"
        <elizrd@...> wrote:
        >
        > Andre,
        > Thanks for the edits
        > Sorry I took a while, its been a bit hectic around here lately. The
        > new URL is: http://tiny.cc/0YNV9
        > Right now I can't access a camera to upload a picture of the book;
        can
        > I add a picture later if I get the chance?
        > Thanks
        > Elizabeth

        #### Well. The answer should be 'no'. When posting test reports, a
        report is deemed not to be posted (on time) as long as it doesn't
        come with the pictures it's supposed to include.
        But of course - it's the opening identifying picture that it's
        *supposed* to include, as the rest is optional one can always just
        post FRs and LTRs without pictures. And so far noone's minded when I
        added a picture between Edit and Upload, because it tends to improve
        the report (if only its looks). But this should be pointed out to the
        Editor/Monitor in question so they can look at it.
        So - as this is an optional pic we're talking about, sure you can add
        it later - please let me know when you do (I'd prefer a direct email,
        rather than a post to the list).

        > PS your cook kit is that heavy? good grief! =) When I say that my
        pack
        > is lightweight, I mean I use a hammock instead of a tent, and I
        > usually carry about 25-30 pounds, which includes food. I'm actually
        > kidding about your cook kit being heavy, mine weighs somethings like
        > that... I'm not really sure, I've never weighed it.

        #### Hm. I'd say if you've never weighed your gear, you're not a
        lightweight packer. How could you tell? ;-) Go ahead. Make a list of
        *every* item in your pack that you actually took along (*after* an
        actual trip), weigh it and check whether you've used it. And think
        about whether you'd have been okay without it. That'll probably drop
        you a pound of weight, possibly considerably more, right there.

        > Anyway, here goes...
        >
        > HIKING TRAILS OF THE SMOKIES
        > OWNER REVIEW
        > by ELIZABETH DAVIS
        > August 26, 2008
        >
        > TESTER BIO
        > Name: Elizabeth Davis
        > Age: 18
        > Gender: Female
        > Height: 5 ft 4 in ( 1.63 m)
        > Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)
        > Email address: elizrd AT gmail DOT com
        > City, State, Country: Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
        >
        > Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking occasionally since I
        > was about eleven. During the last two years I have been hiking and
        > backpacking every chance I get. I hike about twice a month, and more
        > on holidays. I usually go on short backpacking trips of about
        > two/three days and I enjoy wet, rugged conditions. I'd like to stay
        > out longer in the future. My pack is usually fairly lightweight.

        ### Comment: something like "25-30 lbs, including consumables" might
        go in well here (don't forget the conversions if you choose to
        include this language)

        Most
        > of my trips are in the Southern Appalachians where temperatures
        range
        > from 80 F (27 C) to 0 F (-18 C).
        <snip>

        > FIELD LOCATION/REVIEW
        <snip>
        The book states that Bob Lochbaum, one
        > of the books contributers,

        ### EDIT: book's
        ### EDIT: contributors

        wheeled each trail in the park at least
        > twice prior to the books

        ### EDIT: book's

        publication. While trail signs at either end
        <snip>

        > THINGS I LIKE
        > It is a great size and weight to throw in a backpack
        > It is thorough, and includes all the trails in the Smokies
        > Well-written, informative, narratives
        > Printed with soy ink on recycled paper with a sewn binding!
        > Elevation charts
        >
        > THING I DON'T LIKE
        > No manways or off-trail references

        -------------

        One Last Edit: The website says the book only weighs 11 oz - you say
        you weighed it at 12. That makes them cheaters! (Kidding.) But seeing
        that they advertise it as such, you may be tempted (I'm trying to
        tempt you, right) to weigh the book again on as good a scale as you
        can get your hands on (postal service if you can't get the one in the
        chemistry lab) and point out the discrepancy a bit more clearly (as
        in: list the publisher's given weight, possibly as a quote "weighs
        only 11 ounces" right above your measured weight).

        All right Elizabeth, good work. I hope your other issues are letting
        up a bit - OR show is over, there's gonna be tons of new Test Calls
        in the pipeline (the floodgates are opening). So you should have a
        test series to report on pretty soon if you apply for a while.

        Once you've taken care of the above, please upload to the proper
        folder here: http://tinyurl.com/6e4x6g

        Regards,

        André
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