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  1. Id suggest parking just beyond the Swift Run...

    Id suggest parking just beyond the Swift Run Entrance Station as that area has good lighting after dark.
    This section is an easy piece of trail to cut your teeth on for a first multi-day hike....
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    I find for me two most common culprits; 1) Trying...

    I find for me two most common culprits; 1) Trying to do too much glancing ahead while walking briskly. 2) At the end of a high mileage day when Im tired and not mentally as focused.
    Like my last...
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    The often overlooked mental fitness aspect is...

    The often overlooked mental fitness aspect is worth a mention when training for a long distance hike. The human psyche is a fickle thingit feeds off of emotions. Try keeping a daily journal on your...
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    Irwin to 19E . Get shuttled from Mountain...

    Irwin to 19E . Get shuttled from Mountain Harbour.
    On SNP milkshakes-- stay tuned-- renovations of Big Meadows Wayside still ongoing.
  5. One of my memories as a child visiting GSMNP was...

    One of my memories as a child visiting GSMNP was us kids loading up in the back of our station wagon and going to the trash dumps to watch the bears saunter out of the woods at dusk.
    There were...
  6. I would do loops that have you very near your car...

    I would do loops that have you very near your car every second day. Two separate interlocking loop hikes would keep it simple while testing your gear and enjoying your walk without a heavy payload....
  7. The sheer size of your group makes me believe...

    The sheer size of your group makes me believe Shenandoah National Park might be your best bet. Also the road crossings criteria would be another reason to consider SNP.
    You can either stay on the AT...
  8. Clark Jungle Hammocks have pouches underneath for...

    Clark Jungle Hammocks have pouches underneath for gear storage . The Jungle Hammocks aren't the lightest but do provide those sizable storage pouches.
  9. Using a caribiner hang your backpack from your...

    Using a caribiner hang your backpack from your suspension with rain cover over top of it.
    Boots on the ground turned inward on their sides to keep insects and critters from crawling inside. ...
  10. Using a caribiner hang your backpack from your...

    Using a caribiner hang your backpack from your suspension with rain cover over top of it.
    Boots on the ground turned inward on their sides to keep insects and critters from crawling inside. ...
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    Really !! That's news to me . All huts have...

    Really !! That's news to me . All huts have bear poles to hang food bags, but most ​do not have vault style bear boxes.
  12. Physical limitations may have been exceeded for...

    Physical limitations may have been exceeded for the day, hence the desire to head back to the parking lot. Add mental fatigue, ( foggy brain as I call it ) and a dash of unpreparedness ,...
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    While not the typical late March sees snow all...

    While not the typical late March sees snow all winter forecast models I've seen show an active and cold Virginia in early 2019. What's worse is precipatation in March tends to be a mixture of snow...
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    Shenandoah National Park will close noon...

    Shenandoah National Park will close noon Thursday.
    All backcountry hikers must leave the backcountry tomorrow in advance of what is sure to be deteriorating weather conditions. The Skyline Drive...
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    There are two climatological weather data models...

    There are two climatological weather data models used to predict storm tracks for hurricanes. One is the European model and the other is the U.S. data model.
    The Euro model has the track more...
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    Indian Grave Gap north to 19E., TN. Tough but...

    Indian Grave Gap north to 19E., TN.
    Tough but rewarding 40 mile stretch, includes long pulls up Unaka Mtn and Roan Mtn. switchbacks.
    Get shuttled by Mountain Harbor Hostel to the trailhead.
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    I've had a few close calls with venmous snakes,...

    I've had a few close calls with venmous snakes, im sure like many here with years hiking have had. The usual cautionary tidbits have already been mentioned but sometimes it boils down to pure...
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    [QUOTE=Pringles;2218646]When rafting, I use a PB...

    [QUOTE=Pringles;2218646]When rafting, I use a PB headlamp (for backpacking I use a sliding Petzl). I put the PB headlamp in a small yogurt cup with a lid. Most yogurt brands have gone to sealed...
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    Maybe once had this happen with Wal-Mart brand...

    Maybe once had this happen with Wal-Mart brand headlamp years ago. I have a petzl with the thick membrane which requires a firm press to activate. The BD Spot has a locking mechanism function for...
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    Picture perfect !

    Picture perfect !
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    Cardiac sustainability is also a key element...

    Cardiac sustainability is also a key element which goes back to walking briskly as a daily routine. I too get impatient with the younger people that walk so slow with no purpose of getting anywhere...
  22. Blackburn years ago used to have a pig roast...

    Blackburn years ago used to have a pig roast every year, sometime in the fall ... just like anything else, timing is everything .
  23. Blackburn has a full kitchen for hikers to cook...

    Blackburn has a full kitchen for hikers to cook meals they bring in with them. Only time I actually stayed there the caretaker served spaghetti and salad for the evening meal. Overall it's a relaxing...
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    Vehwee intuuhwesting, (My best Elmer Fudd voice)

    Vehwee intuuhwesting, (My best Elmer Fudd voice)
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    "No rose without a thorn , French proverb"...

    "No rose without a thorn , French proverb" sometimes also means a rose with a suddenly agitated stinging bee . Ironically enough, this guy has gaiters like mine, except mine are black with white...
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