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  1. #1

    Question New Outdoors Store in Hiawassee, GA - Looking for supply advice!

    I am new to posting on this site so bare with me. I am in the process of opening a new outdoors store in Hiawassee, GA. It is right next to the Going Postal shipping store and Rib Country BBQ across the road from the Chatuge Regional Hospital. Also, less than a quarter mile from the grocery store and post office so the location is perfect. We are aiming to open our doors February 1, 2017 and am looking for some recommendations from hikers of what type of supplies would be beneficial for hikers at this point in their trip. We will definitely be carrying freeze dried meals, fuel, etc but any suggestions would greatly be appreciated. I know this isn't way too far into the trip overall but would love to be a top resupply spot for hikers. Please send me any and all information you have and we will stock as much as possible. Also, please send out the word to other hikers that we will be opening in February. Thank you in advance!!

    Southern Crossroads Outdoors
    [email protected]

  2. #2

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    What equipment brands are you looking at dealing?

  3. #3

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    Would try to get a few high/end lightweight gear options. At that point in the trip some will realize they need to shed pack weight and/or swap out some items with lighter options. Or maybe want to go to trail runners from starting in boots. You probably won't be able to beat the grocery store resupply prices so I'd think lightweight gear would be a good focus.
    Good luck with your business!!


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  4. #4

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    Thats a good location. I realize you're next to Going Postal but let's be honest, their hours suck. If you offer shipping and receiving packages, that would entice more people. I came into Hiawassee just as Going Postal closed and I left the next morning before they opened.

    Also- I really don't mean to come off as rude, but if you are close to opening an outfitter on Feb 1, shouldn't you already know what AT thru hikers need? Wouldn't that be part of the planning phase? Again, not trying to stir the pot. I'll definitely swing by in the spring.

  5. #5
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    Bus tickets
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  6. #6

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    Thank you for your responses. Capehiker, I completely understand where your question is coming from. Let me clarify. We aren't aiming to be a full outfitters store with hiking supplies as our main focus. We will have outdoor brand clothing, gifts, and southern related items. With that being said, we do hope to eventually move towards having a lot more outdoor gear but as a new store just lifting off, that can't be our main focus, as it is hard to compete with our local Ingles for food items. Plus, since we aren't in a big town or near the start of the trail on either end, we won't be carrying every single thing a hiker needs, simply because once people get to our town, they basically have all their main, expensive items. We want to be a good place for hikers to go to resupply fuel, food, socks, blister relief items, water purification, cooking systems, ground sheets, sleeping mats, rain gear, etc., etc. I am looking for any specifics that hikers may want whether it be just what items or even specific brands to see if I can get those in. I will check to see if we are capable of offering shipping and receiving. I would completely be open to that if it isn't an issue with our non-compete clause being in the same shopping center as Going Postal. Again, we hope to have a lot more outdoor supplies after we get up and running but our little town in Hiawassee, and our location on the trail just doesn't warrant carrying a ton of expensive gear of what hikers would usually already have when they get to us. We will be placing the orders for the hiking items the first week of January so that we will have what supplies are best recommended in February when we officially open. Thanks again for all the responses! Any more recommendations will be greatly appreciated!

    Southern Crossroads Outdoors
    [email protected]

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by southerncrossroads View Post
    I am looking for any specifics that hikers may want whether it be just what items or even specific brands to see if I can get those in
    Southern Crossroads Outdoors
    [email protected]
    Darn Tough
    Evernew
    Sawyer
    Salomon
    Brooks
    Buff
    Dr. Bronners
    generic ibuprofen
    bic lighters
    HEET/denatured alcohol/iso-bu canister fuel
    esbit
    Pizza/hot dogs hot and ready!

    Just a few off the top of my head!

  8. #8

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    Thanks so much for all your great responses trailmercury! I am researching these now. We would like to be a place the hiker's are excited to stop at and want to serve each of you as much as possible. Excited to meet so many awesome people!

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    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    Yellow heet gas treatment not really hiking but lots use it as their main stove fuel.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  10. #10

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    Thank you for your response AfterParty!

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    Thanks for the follow up and clarification. I found Hiawassee to be charming and will be staying there again this spring.

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    Sounds great capehiker! Definitely stop in and introduce yourself!

  13. #13
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Go through Ingles with an eye to hiker's needs: mega calories, weightless and free. LOL. Stock things that Ingles doesn't sell. International isobutane gas canisters. The small ones seem to be the most popular with thru hikers.
    Quart (or liter) size cans of white gas stove fuel.
    Hikers with serious money looking for serious gear will have already been re supplied at Mountain Crossings.
    Good luck!
    Wayne


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  14. #14

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    Thank you for your input Venchka!!

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    Don't know the layout but somewhere to sit while eating those hotdogs, and drinking a cold beer, would be nice.
    "He was a wise man who invented beer." Plato

  16. #16
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    Ingles may not have economy traveler size hygiene products like:

    2 oz Dr Bronner's Peppermint liquid soap, 1 oz bottles of shampoo, single shaving razors, 1 oz tubes of toothpaste, Colgate WISP mini toothbrushes, SMALL spools of floss, 10 -20 size economy packs of Wet Wipes, 1-2 oz tubes of skin moisturizer, tiny 1/2 oz bars of hand soap like complimentary at hotels

    Don't rely solely on sales from the AT thru-hiker crowd as that is a narrowed seasonal market. And many a AT thru-hiker is a tight wad.

    Get folks in the door possibly providing assistance such as packaging or receiving boxes as said. Have some extra boxes on hand flattened ready fpor hiker use.

    Instead of offering Ibuprofen drugs on demand(offer in small packages) alternatively offer SMALL travelers size amounts of Tiger Balm, Arnica, or Capsaicin topical creams/topical analgesics.

    SMALL bottles of bug juice like 4 oz Repel Lemon Eucalyptus or 1 oz Natrapel Picaridin Pump Spray or .5 oz personal size Sawyer Picaridin Spritzer

    Offer an alternative poison ivy treatment than what other Hiawassee establishments are offering.

    Platypus bladders(the 2 L Platy Bottle is perhaps one of the most popular)
    Body Glide LIQUIFIED Powder Skin Lubricant 1.6 oz size (helps reduce risks of blisters) I'd also carry .35 oz BodyGlide AntiChafing stick
    Darn Tough Socks(good one)
    Two varieties of ProBars
    Loose packages of PopTarts and oatmeal
    Small 2/ $1 peanuts with a few hooks that lead to other hiker priced nut/food options.
    Hook up with a local food dehydrating company carrying low-mid range cost selections
    1-2 oz Pecam Logs
    Big container of loose Sesame Honey Chews
    Bite size loose chocolates sold in build loose.
    Carry two head lamps maybe a BD Spot and Petzyl e+Lite. Have nearby loose AAA batteries and packaged Li CR 2032 batteries.
    Offer fuel by the oz distilled from larger cans. Not every hiker or camper wants to buy qt size anything(maybe beer and alcohol though). Bottles of yellow HEET though.
    BUFFS are trendy but offer a lower price alternative such as AT logoed $5-6 bandanas. Bandanas that say on one side 'Hiker To Town' and on the reverse an overview of the entire AT saying 'Hiker To Trail' are popular items. Bandannas like this can get people into the store!
    Offer a CHEAP version of trekking poles. Many a folk quit their thru-hikes in Hiawassee as a result of lower body(feet ankle, knee, joint issues!) and already have developed blister issues;sell leucotape and if Ingles doesn't carry it New Skin. Learn how to treat and prevent blisters and carry products that address proactively and post the CAUSES of blisters. Learn how to identify and address common causes of hiker's joint pain by carrying such products that aim to address not just symptoms but also the cause.
    Carry AT regional section maps as well as Bartram and BMT Tr Maps. I'd have the Nat Geo TI Maps that cover these trails on hand in some quantity.
    Have people in the store that understand all these trails. If you employ such people that can offer sound personal advise and experience this will be a draw to your establishment.

  17. #17

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    Have some safe parking for sectioners
    Offer shuttles in ga/nc or be middle man
    Maybe pickup/dropoffs in thruhike season 2x per day or so for small nominal fee to just cover costs
    Hold maildrops
    Advertise those services on website, awols, atc site

    Honestly, im not resupplying at an outfitter unless want a few mountainhouse type and thats only place to get. Im going to grocery store or dollar general if those options are available and close. But....tortillas, bagels, peanut butter, nutella, jerky, tuna, candy bars, peanut mms, trail mixes, ziplock bags, granola, milk powder, jelly and mayo , mustard, and tabasco and olive oil condiment packets, little debbie snacks, pop tarts, cheese sticks, beef sticks, pepperoni, salami , lipton sides,ricearoni, ramen

    Small sizes, but not over priced. People need only enough to get to NOC. 5 days .some just franklin, 3 days away.

    Lots of people still discarding heavy gear and buying lighter all way to trail days. Have what they want/need. Hiawassee is when many nobo are having bad blister problems and take a break. Good trail runner selection might sell itself. For sure foot care products and info.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 12-15-2016 at 04:52.

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    No one has mentioned those hand warmer thingies. I use those in cold weather a lot. The ones you crush to make chemical heat.

    i agree about trail runners, hiking sticks, & a selection of ready to eat (& hot/microwaveable) food. I'd also add some of the lightweight/breathable fabric shirts with good quotes/logos. People besides hikers will be coming in & I think they would buy them. That area has a lot of water (lake). I'd stock some water-related items too. Check with your kayak/fishing friends on that.

  19. #19

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    I have nothing to add other than to say good luck. Also, you mention Rib Country. That place is awesome. Great food! I dated a girl back during college who's family lived in Hayesville, NC. Hard to believe that has been 20 years! That entire area is a beautiful place. Best Wishes on your new store.

  20. #20

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    Thanks for the good luck wishes Pondjumpr! We are very excited about the store! If you're ever in the area again, stop by and check us out.

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