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  1. GSMNP to allow tenting at backcountry shelters

    I just saw on the local Knoxville news that GSMNP is temporarily changing their policy for backcountry shelters to allow visitors to set up a tent around the shelter. Due to the Carona Virus, they...
  2. Knorr pasta sides and a pack of chicken or tuna...

    Knorr pasta sides and a pack of chicken or tuna are my new go to instead of MH meals. They are a fraction of the cost and I think the volume of food is just right. Just enough to still have some room...
  3. I second Charlie's Bunion, with a side trip to...

    I second Charlie's Bunion, with a side trip to The Jumpoff
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    Check out the Tapoco Lodge. Keep going up the...

    Check out the Tapoco Lodge. Keep going up the road past Fontana, then turn left at the tee intersection and go about 5 more miles.

    They have cabins and hotel rooms available. It's on the bank of...
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    You should check the gsmnp closure page just...

    You should check the gsmnp closure page just before you leave and make sure your shelters are open. You should also get an email if they do close one. If they do close one, you'll need to call the...
  6. I kayak in the park and frequently hitch hike for...

    I kayak in the park and frequently hitch hike for shuttle, and have never had a problem. People pick me up in spite of being wet and smelly.

    I have found that if you look like you are doing...
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    I hiked up to Spence and Russell shelters last...

    I hiked up to Spence and Russell shelters last weekend. I didn't go look at the Spence source, but I passed someone who did and they said it was dlowing, but very slowly.

    I walked past the...
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    Take one of those really flimsy water bottles and...

    Take one of those really flimsy water bottles and cut the top off. It can be flattened out and folded up, then unfolded when needed. Takes up very little room and weighs a few grams.

    But my...
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    I recently bought a sil-poly tarp from Borah...

    I recently bought a sil-poly tarp from Borah Gear, and so far have been pretty happy with it. It's an 8x10, but they are really great about custom orders. I don't think they offer an 8x10 on their...
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    Before heading out, I usually put a light coat of...

    Before heading out, I usually put a light coat of oil around the threads of my canister stove. I feel like it helps protects the stove threads, and helps to make a better seal.
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    When I have REI dividends left over, and I'm...

    When I have REI dividends left over, and I'm looking for something to buy, I usually stock up on a couple canisters.
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    A couple months ago I was on Rough Creek Tr in...

    A couple months ago I was on Rough Creek Tr in GSMNP, which is where the fire came thru a few years ago. The upper half of the trail was completely burned out, and the only things to grow back is 3'...
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    Caltopo is awesome. One of the best features is...

    Caltopo is awesome. One of the best features is to be able to draw your map then save it to a .pdf file. This file is geo-referenced, so you can import it into an app like Avenza, or Gaia, and when...
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    Ha, you got me. Not sure what I was even trying...

    Ha, you got me. Not sure what I was even trying to say now. I was using my cell, and spell check helped me out. Sorry about that.
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    One of the problems with hurricanes is the storm...

    One of the problems with hurricanes is the storm surge. If the water rises above your pool, or your bathtub, it gets contaminated with sewage, and chemicals like motor oil from flooded cars. Most of...
  16. I found that the height recommended for my...

    I found that the height recommended for my TarpTent Notch is comfortable for me when hiking. You may not be too far off. If yours are taller, you can just dig a small hole to drop the height down a...
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    Starting at Big Creek campground, you can take...

    Starting at Big Creek campground, you can take the Big Creek trail to camp site 37. That's only 5 miles, but it is reasonably flat, and two people can walk side by side there. It follows the creek...
  18. Look at the 2L Cnoc Vecto for a dirty water bag,...

    Look at the 2L Cnoc Vecto for a dirty water bag, and carry two Smart Water bottles. You can filter what you need during the day into one or two of the bottles, and gives you the option for carrying a...
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    Or, if it's on your way home, look at the Big...

    Or, if it's on your way home, look at the Big South Fork. The John Muir and Sheltowee trace trails go thru there and offer some spectacular scenery. They do require a permit, but you can camp just...
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    Definitely get a permit. The permit system is...

    Definitely get a permit. The permit system is there for a reason, and people skirting around it will ruin it for the rest of us.

    Weekday reservations are easy to come by. Big Creek / Mr Sterling...
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    I called both of the ones listed above to go from...

    I called both of the ones listed above to go from Cades Cove to NFG, which is considerably shorter, and they wanted in the neighborhood of $150. For that section I seriously considered hitchhiking...
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    If you go to the CalTopo web site, and turn on...

    If you go to the CalTopo web site, and turn on other people's maps, there are a couple of maps with the line and Mike markers. You can export them and import into your own map.

    Also, Google TN...
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    I never have a problem when I'm by myself in a...

    I never have a problem when I'm by myself in a tent, but sleep really bad when in a shelter. I always wake up around midnight having to pee, or with bad gas from dinner, and worry about disturbing...
  24. I use www.caltopo.com to create.my maps. You can...

    I use www.caltopo.com to create.my maps. You can create routes by tracing trails, or just make your own route. Then I print out a .pdf file. This .pdf is geo referenced, so an app like Gaia or Avenza...
  25. I met two young ladies on the AT in the GSMNP...

    I met two young ladies on the AT in the GSMNP last month that did Fontana to Newfound Gap in a day, got picked up to stay in Gatlinburg over night, then bright and early the next morning did NFG to...
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