AT section: Springer to NOC
- We cut the trip short by 30 miles due to looming bad weather on day
7. It was supposed to be socked in for about 4 days starting on
april 30.... Couldn't see hiking any more in the rain/fog/wind. We
had 5 days of great weather, 1 quite bad day (day 3) and one misty,
foggy day (day 7).
day 0: April 23, 2004
Day Site miles from Springer segment
0 Stover Creek 2.5 2.5
1 Goock Mountain 14.7 12.2
2 Blood Mountain 28.3 13.6
3 Low Gap 41.3 13.0
4 Tray Mountain 56.2 14.9
5 Plum Orchard Gap 71.1 14.9
6 Carter Gap 90.9 19.8
7 Rock Gap Shelter 103.0 12.1
New things this time:
Pedometer: I attached an inexpensive pedometer to my pack to see
how accurate it might be for trail use. The short story is that
works ok. Just set a pace length that is 10-11% shorter than your
pace length for neighborhood walking and you'll be pretty close.
Also, the cheap pedometers need to be positioned very close to
vertical, otherwise they will miss steps.
Water treatment: Usually a water pump guy, I decided to try
household bleach as a disinfectant. Although this gets a lot of
negative coverage, the CDC, Red Cross, EPA and many emergency
management groups recommend it as an emergency water treatment
technique. It is safe and certainly not poisonous despite what you
may read on the internet. Also, there are a couple of authoritative
references that say bleach is more effective against giardia than
iodine; however, both are marginal against crypto. Miox and
chlorine dioxide (aqua mira) are supposedly better against giardia
and crypto but require long waits for effectiveness vs crypto. The
short of it is, I felt comfortable with bleach treatment w/30
minute wait IF the water source was a good one. Low-in-the-water-
shed streams or cloudy water sources made me wish I had my pump.
Saw lots of aqua mira in use this year.
Water bags: Before I left, I saw a recommendation for stand up zip
locks when working with water. A very good idea. What you do is
grab a couple of zip-locks full of water from the stream, then
retreat to a comfortable location to pump & or treat the water.
This also helps if the water source is such that you can't get your
platypus under the pipe, spout or in the shallow spring head. I
couldn't find the standup zip locks, so I got some hefty zip locks
and added a strip of duct tape around the circumference near the zip
mechanism. I then taped a short length of rope that could be hooked
or held to stabilize the opening during pumping.
Moonbow gearskin: With some training, I ended up liking this for
loads less than about 30 pounds. I think it is marginal for long
hikes and 35 to 40 pounds. I fashioned a large snake skin that
would encompass most of my hammock, GI shell, insulator bag of
feathers, sleeping bag, and 100 weight fleece hat, top, bottom &
socks. In the morning, I'd pull the snakeskin over one end of the
hammock, then stuff everything up into it. I'd then place this
assembly on the gearskin, place the stuff sacks on top, fold the
bottom of the hammock (with respect to the gearskin) up, then the
top of the hammock down, buckle everything up and then compress
the straps. Once I got used to it, packing was fast, unpacking was
faster and I could get to everything pretty fast (if I remembered
where I put it).
Record keeping: I started writing down times as I passed landmarks
along the trail (e.g. gaps, peaks, crossing trails, etc). It is
pretty easy, and helps greatly in remembering when & where things
happened, however, when the weather got wet, the mere fact that the
notepad was inside a plasic bag, made me forgo record keeping
duties. Once I got out of the habit, I didn't restart even when the
weather cleared. Perhaps hiking and self discipline are inversely
I have a few of the pictures I took here (for a short time):
Let me know if you have questions.
- --- In email@example.com, "Ray Garlington"
> New things this time:[...]
> Water bags: Before I left, I saw a recommendation for stand up zipzip
> locks when working with water. A very good idea. What you do is
> grab a couple of zip-locks full of water from the stream, then
> retreat to a comfortable location to pump & or treat the water.
> This also helps if the water source is such that you can't get your
> platypus under the pipe, spout or in the shallow spring head. I
> couldn't find the standup zip locks, so I got some hefty zip locks
> and added a strip of duct tape around the circumference near the
> mechanism. I then taped a short length of rope that could behooked
> or held to stabilize the opening during pumping.[...]
> I have a few of the pictures I took here (for a short time):ZipLoc used to sell pleated-bottom versions of their freezer bags in
> Let me know if you have questions.
half-gallon and gallon sizes. These were perfect for backpacking.
Haven't been able to find them lately though. :-/
One of the things that's on my Try This Out List is using the
packcover garbage bag (which normally covers the pack when hung up at
night) to carry water by laying it out flat, gathering it up into a
sack, and tying it together with a constrictor knot or two. (Just
pouring water in probably won't work as the seams will start leaking
and tear the bag up.) You could get a gallon or two into that for
filtering, bathing or laundering purposes.
Enjoyed the pics, BTW.