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Thread: Thru Hike 2013

  1. #1

    Default Thru Hike 2013

    Hey guys. I really want to thru hike the MTST in 2013, but the logistics of where to camp worries me a bit. According to their site you are not allowed to camp for 40 or more miles at a time and I really dont want to have to rent a hotel every other night. Any thru hikers have advice? Any reliable resources on how to plan my trip? Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Registered User gunner76's Avatar
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    Check TABA's book on hiking the trail. I think at last count he has hiked it 5 times.

    I live off of Hwy 70 in Otway heading down east toward Cedar Island and if you (or any one else hiking the trail) need a place to camp out I have a large backyard suitable for tent or hammock camping. Just let me know.


    As for camping along the Nuesiok Trail section of the MST trail, check my web site www.neusioktrail.org for information.
    Hammock Hanger by choice

    Warbonnet BlackBird 1.7 dbl


    www.neusioktrail.org

    Bears love people, they say we taste just like chicken.

  3. #3

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    Thanks gunner, I will keep you in mind as I plan. I will order Taba's book this summer and give it a good read. I am also a hammock user. Is the trail pretty friendly for hangs?

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    Registered User Des's Avatar
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    Flexibility is KEY. Taba has a decent listing of churches and such that are willing to let you camp there. Worst comes to worst, don't be too afraid to ask folks if you can camp in their yard. Once they know what you are doing and you're not just a bum, they are usually pretty friendly. In fact, the best stays of my hike were the unplanned stays with random folks along the way.

    My general policy which I stated upfront was that I would certainly accept their generosity when offered, but if they ever felt uncomfortable about the arrangement, they merely had to tell me and I would do all in my power to correct it, even if that meant leaving in the middle of the night. I never had any problems, and this way they felt it was okay to offer me a shower, meal or laundry, etc. It worked well for me and meant I could avoid a lot of the bad neighbor issues that can arise from stealth camping. As always, YMMV.

    In regards to the guide, it is a useful resource, BUT check the NCSMT site, NPS, and local trail sites for more details. Being a younger trail it has in places moved from where the guide, even with the updates, has it going. This also means that there are LARGE swaths of it that are unmarked. I have more fingers than I saw blazes/signs on the whole section from Jockey's Ridge to Croatan NF. Also there are fair number of resources that go unlisted in the guide. However, you are in civilization for most of the trail, so you can always ask for water, directions to a resupply, etc.

    Be forewarned, I'm not a hammocker, but I think it will be difficult. All the roadwalking means that it is hit or miss whether the place you stay at will have trees on their property and except for down by Buxton, the outer banks is mostly beach, dunes, mire and road.
    KBO
    -Ducky

  5. #5

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    I try not to disturb the neighbors and their private properties unless in an emergency situation. IE: desperately out of water.

    Ducky, you mentioned that there are a fair number of resources not listed in the Manual. What are those resources that are left out?

  6. #6

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    Hey Ducky, I am just curious as to those resources because i have tried to include every resource available to hikers on the trail. If I have left some out I would like to know what they are so I can include them in the next edition.
    Thank you,
    Taba

  7. #7
    Registered User Des's Avatar
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    I could not tell you all the resources that are missing but here are the basic problem areas:

    Off-Trail Resupply-
    In some places I found it useful to go a bit off the trail to go to resupply such as the Dollar General in Lucama and TJs Discounts (officially in Marion, but actually only 1.5 miles north on US 221 from the crossing). The latter being the egregious example since there are no other options nearby along the way.

    Unmarked Resupply-
    Quite a few resupply stores that are in the guide are not marked resupply such as The Community Store in Ocracoke, the Dollar General in Smyrna, or Run-in groceries in West Jefferson. This makes planning difficult since it becomes all too easy to miss them.

    Lack of Detail-
    The guide is sometimes vexingly lacking in detail. In La Grange, for instance, the town is marked as a resupply, and the Food Lion there is listed in the back directory, but it is unmarked on the map as well as in the directions. Moreover, the library there is completely left out.

    Closed or Moved-
    Speaking of La Grange, a number of establishments have closed or moved. In La Grange, the Last Resort is now closed, which frustrated me on a particularly cold, wet and windy day. However, I was offered a dry spot in a barn from a local family.

    The guide certainly offers a good deal of useful information, but I still found it quite useful to prepare a resupply list beforehand, going along the trail in google maps looking for groceries, etc. This is especially necessary in those sections not yet covered by the guide.
    KBO
    -Ducky

  8. #8

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    Thank you Ducky,
    The trail changes every year. This means that new stores open and old ones close. I wrote the guide as a thru-hiker and limited myself to walking no more then 1/2 mile off trail to find resources for the majority of the trail.
    Some of the business you mentioned are actually in the book. Like the Community Store in Ocracoke is listed as a gas station in the business directory and is at mile point 832.83 in the East-bound version. The Dollar General in Smyrna is at 804.04 and Run-In Groceries is at the end of Section 15 at 309.56. These 2 business did not make he business directory but will have a listing in the new edition.
    I will remove The Last Resort from La Grange as a lodging option in La Grange but found a connection of a local couple there that will open their home to hikers. I am hoping to add them to the La Grange area

    On US-221 There is the Samir's Gas Station 1 mile from the Woodlawn Park road crossing just past a church where I had once slept on the front porch during a rain storm. The Gas Station is a light resupply option.

    I did neglect the Library in La Grange but have it documented for the next edition.

    I appreciate your time in describing these resources and will make a note of them. As the trail gets better so will the Manual.

    I am also here to answer any questions about hiking the MST. In fact my personal cell phone number is in the Manual. Please feel free to ask me anything. If I don't know the answer I will find it.

    Taba

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    I have a place 500 yards off of the trail between highway 16 and highway 18 up in Laurel Springs. (Section 16) I'll let people camp out for free. I have a barn or my porch people can sleep in / on for free. (welcome to donate towards getting the barn fixed up for backpackers if you want :-) It's about 4 miles south of Highway 18. Email me at mark @ ronininvestments.com (get rid of the spaces around the @)

    There's also a good gas station with some regular grocery stuff about 3 miles down the road from me if you need it.

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    I am planning an 'interupted' thru-hike this year.. I went to the Friends of the Mountain to Sea Trail meeting last a few weeks ago and had people coming up after the meeting giving me their names and numbers and offering shuttles and shelter... It seems like more and more people are offering aid to thru-hikers..

  11. #11
    Registered User gunner76's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Is the trail pretty friendly for hangs? [QUOTE]

    The Neusiok trail is very hanger friendly . There are some areas where the underbrush is too thick. There are 3 shelters that have trees suitable for hanging and many others places along the trail.
    Hammock Hanger by choice

    Warbonnet BlackBird 1.7 dbl


    www.neusioktrail.org

    Bears love people, they say we taste just like chicken.

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the response. Any tips or ideas to help my planning would be great. I am planning to start my hike in may... Yep its going to be hot. Is water plentiful or should I carry a large reservoir?

  13. #13
    Registered User Des's Avatar
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    Water should not be a problem. I carried the same stuff as on the AT- a Gatorade bottle and a nalgene canteen with the latter being mainly there to use in camp.

    In the roadwalk sections, it is particularly easy since you don't even need to treat- you can fill up at bathrooms, church spigots, or look for someone who is home and ask to fill up from their spigot. Oftentimes when I asked folks for water, especially at churches, they would bring me inside and start handing me bottles of water. They will try to give you a half dozen bottles or more, so be prepared with a polite way to explain that you don't need to haul all that weight. As an aside, I did this in winter, so you may need a bit more in the open sections than I did, but Taba's guide notes these stretches so you shouldn't be caught off guard.
    KBO
    -Ducky

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    Registered User tomsawyer222's Avatar
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    hey des did you thru hike the MST ? was info missing the whole length?

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