View Full Version : BMT Thru-Hike...Need Advice

03-11-2012, 17:11
I am an experienced backpacker and have recently decided to thru-hike the BMT this year. I am wondering if there is anything in particular I should know about the trail, i.e special things to bring, places to re-ration, average miles per day most people do, etc. Anything is helpful. Thanks!

03-11-2012, 17:17
Make sure you get a copy of SGT Rock's 2012-2013 BMT Thru-Hiker's Guide (http://bmtguide.com/).

03-11-2012, 19:12
Those are pretty broad questions. But to get you started, our journal (http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=10946) discusses our resupply strategy as well as which maps we used in addition to SGT Rock's excellent guide, which is a must. See our first journal entry and conclusion entries for more details. We actually did the AT-BMT Loop so we added a comparison of the 2 trails...so if you have AT experience, that might help give you some perspective. It's a great trail with very little traffic, which we loved. Parts of the trail are in the wilderness, so it's not a "connect the dots" type navigation like the AT...it does (or may) require some additional maps and compass work. In addition, some of the trail is in the GSMNP, which means you'll need permit reservations. Hopefully that gets you started.

03-11-2012, 19:50
Is this a dangerous trail to do alone? I know it's much less marked and busy than the AT.

03-11-2012, 19:53
Is this a dangerous trail to do alone? I know it's much less marked and busy than the AT.

No, not at all. You may need to consult a map and use your compass a few times, but in the past year it has been solo'ed by both males (ex, 10-K) and females (can't remember the trail name, but after finishing the BMT, she did a "speedy" thru-hike of the AT).

03-11-2012, 22:15
the big dangers of doing it alone are:

1) you have to trust your own judgment if any of the 3 fords are bad, which depends on the rain. No one can pull you out or help you warm up if you lose your footing (not they could necessarily help if you do have companions). If you don't have heavy rains, the fords won't be a problem.

2) if you miss a turn or can't figure out which trail is correct, you can't split up with your partner and double the effort of looking for the right way.

3) if you're extremely extroverted, you might go stir crazy when you find yourself staying alone at a campsite in the Smokies (in season). But it's really not that isolated, as you cross roads and hit towns fairly often, so anyone seeking some solitude should be fine.

So basically, no worries. You'll have far fewer bear problems in Georgia because they haven't been trained to associate hikers with food like they have on the AT.

SGT Rock
03-12-2012, 09:10
Plan about three weeks give or take. The best time IMO to hike it is probably spring and fall because the rafting crowds aren't as bad but the resupply stuff is generally going to be open. Hiking it alone isn't an issue unless you do not like being alone, then that may be a problem. Bring maps.

03-15-2012, 14:39
I'm thru hiking it this spring with a fellow WBer and a couple others who are going out for a week. Can't wait!

SGT Rock
03-15-2012, 14:53
You should have a great time. Water is running great on all the springs I have seen so far. In fact a few places I haven't seen water at in a long time are running.

03-15-2012, 20:46
Good news. Thanks. We have a trail angel who is going to leave us some water early on.

04-30-2012, 06:44
The BMT is very nearly the perfect trail to hike alone, go for it. Do be sure to get Sgt Rock's guide and just pay attention in the wilderness areas when you come to trail junctions and you won't have any problems.

The first 90ish miles (correct me if I'm wrong SR) is blazed as well as the AT. In fact, when not in a wilderness area the trail is blazed as good or better (well... as many) as the AT and as easy to follow.

SGT Rock
05-01-2012, 22:24
Yep. The blazing outside of designated wilderness is very good.