View Full Version : Outfitters North of Springer
Could someone list the "best" outfitters as one hikes NOBO from Springer Mountain. Obviously Walasi-Yi at Neels Gap is first on the list. But if one needs to make additional gear changes further down the trail, who is available that you can TRUST??
The outfitter at Wesser NOC, The Happy Hiker in Gatlinburg, Bluff Mtn Outfitters in Hot Springs, Mt. Rogers Outfitters in Damascus.
Franklin, NC has a good outfitter, too.
We went into practically every outfitter, can't resist the allure of new, shiny gear :)
The ones that stood out in my mind were:
-Walasi-Yi, Neels Gap
-The NOC ,NC
-The Happy Hiker, Gatlinburg, TN
-Bluff Mtn Outiftters in Hot Springs, NC
-(there is one in Johnson City, near Erwin TN but I haven't visited it; several hikers we spent time with said it was a great outfitter)
-Mt Rogers outfitter in Damascus, VA
-There is one in Daleville, VA, new in 2002, don't recall the name of the place, and they were outstanding. Lots of great stuff, reasonably priced. It's in the same plaza as the Kroger).
-I was unhappy with my exerience at RockFish Gap Outfitters (Waynesboro, VA) but others foudn what they needed here...
-The Outfitter at Harpers Ferry, WVa
-Port Clinton, PA also has a new place as of 2002. Supplies were scarce when we went through, but as of '02 it was the only place in town with a telephone, and the owner was super-nice.
-Delaware Water Gap, PA also has a small, camping-store type shop
-the EMS in New York City was great (but this was a special trip, and a zero day to NYC)
-The Mountain Goat in Manchetser Center was extremely helpful, but pricey. There is also a big EMS in town here.
We spent most of the rest of our trip from NH through Maine doing a series of dayhikes, so after that, we used our hometown outfitters. Once you hit Franconia Notch, NH there are a few outfitters for small stuff in Lincoln, NH, which is a fairly easy hitch, but it was mostly camping supplies.
Uncle Johnny's in Erwin has some supplies, like white gas and some other things you might need. It is a 10 yard or so detour off the trail, which is a road at that point.
There are numerous other places along the way that offer some supplies, but not enough to be considered an outfitter. Even various motels have white gas for thur-hikers.
In 2001 we hit a great little shop in Hiawassee called "Wildwood Outfitters". We called from our motel and the guy actually came and picked us up and then drove us to his store. The owner was named Eric and he thru-hiked the AT in 1995. The shop is in a little strip mall on the south side of Rt 76 on the way into town from Dicks Creek Gap. Not a huge selection but he had everything we needed and his friendliness made up for any lack of gear in the store. After we made our purchases he locked up the shop and drove us back to our motel. I plan on passing through Hiawassee again on my hike this year and hope to visit his little shop again.
There is not an outfitter in Hiawassee anymore, at least it wasn't there when I went through last year. I would have found it too, I'm like jumpstart, always wanting to touch the shiny new gear!
Last year there was a fishing shop in Hiawasee near the Holiday Inn, they sold a few usefull items and alluded that they may get more hiking gear. Very freindly.
Early hikers put your exrtra alcohol fuel there, I did last year, the holiday inn doesn't wnt it there hiker box but they do have one.
Just a tad off topic but ...speaking of the Holiday Inn, what can some of you 2002 hikers say about the places to stay in Hiawassee ?
Stayed at Mulls's in 2001. Not exactly worth what they charge but it got the job done. Thinking of trying out a new place on this year's thru
10 days ...really Easy ?? You're on a more relaxed schedule than I am for sure. Do you remember the rate you paid at the Holiday Inn ??
Holiday inn express was $50 last year (give or take a few) If you don't get into town early, the cheaper hotels will probably be full. The HI has two beds, a bathroom the size of some hotel rooms, microwave, fridge, and no shag carpet from 1965. I'm pretty sure they have relaxed rates for packing hikers in the same room as well. They also have Cartoon network:D
Cartoon network you say ?? ...well that does it then !! Heck I think I paid something in the $40's at Mull's in 2001 so that's not so bad, all things considered.
If I remember correctly, the Holiday Inn is pretty convenient to everything too.
Try the Blueberry Patch. Get a ride into town.
I stayed at the Hiawassee Inn last year.
It was OK, no great shakes.
I think it was $50.
Easy to hitch into town, tough to hitch out.
We stayed in Hiawassee last year at the Holiday Inn (all suites, free continental breakfast, and a register and hiker box in the lobby). We also stayed a zero day at the Blueberry Patch. they were both wonderful in their own way.
I complelty forgot about the fishing store next to the Holiday Inn, but we actually bought our PUR hiker filter from them when our stupid Sweetwater broke and the company gave us a hard time about fixing it (another story). They have a lot of the small basics, they had Polar pure , a couple filter replacements, and then mostly fishing gear, but lots of emergency replacemnt stuff. Better than nothing in a pinch.
I always stay at Mull's. That was THE place to stay not so long ago. Then the big mega chain HI came in. A clean , dry, basic room isn't good enough for today's hiker. It's gotta have HUGE beds, HUGE t.v.s with 100 channels, fridgerators, hair dryers. It seems town stops are becoming more important than the actual hiking. Nobody takes "0" days in the woods. Folks are always hurrying thru the woods to get to towns. I always like to help out the hard working local motel owners who provide services.
100 channels not necasary, just cartoon network. All the hikers (as I went through town) went to Mulls and the other place, they were full by mid morning I believe. I have to admit I did appreciate the microwave...
That's cool. It's just hard for me to break old habits. And I really like the old gal that runs Mull's. Known her for years.
I know that the outfitter in Great Barrington, Ma. SUCKS!!
Mahoney's Outfitters is 15 minutes from Erwin and they give a Thruhiker discount. Great store and many of the sales people are alumni Thrukhikers. We usually make a trip to Johnson City every day or so during the busy part of the season.