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Thread: Maps

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    Registered User writeronthestorm's Avatar
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    Hi. I am considering a thru-hike for next Spring and I had a general map question that I couldn't find an answer too while browsing previous threads. I've noticed everyone gets the National Geographic maps but I also saw on the Benton MacKaye Trail Association site that they sell a set of pocket sized maps made by Anti-Gravity Gear http://www.bmta.org/Store-Maps.html... I was wondering if anyone had experience with these maps, and if they can be used in place of the larger/bulkier National Geographic maps. Thanks.

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    Check out Awols guide for a guidebook. Or the ATC website which has a guidebook and map sets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasty View Post
    Check out Awols guide for a guidebook. Or the ATC website which has a guidebook and map sets.
    BMT question not AT Rasty. Local expert on BMT is Sgt. Rock or check out his website. http://www.hikinghq.net/ He wrote the book on BMT, literary. He wrote the thru hiker guidebook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Mike:1330027
    Quote Originally Posted by Rasty View Post
    Check out Awols guide for a guidebook. Or the ATC website which has a guidebook and map sets.
    BMT question not AT Rasty. Local expert on BMT is Sgt. Rock or check out his website. http://www.hikinghq.net/ He wrote the book on BMT, literary. He wrote the thru hiker guidebook.
    Sorry missed that. It's getting late.

    The National Geo maps of the BMT are really good also. Don't forget reservations in GSMNP. Almost stepped on a 6' timber rattlesnake on the BMT / Lakeshore trail last year. Screamed like a little girl. Went from 3 miles per hour down to 1 mile an hour for about three hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by writeronthestorm View Post
    Hi. I am considering a thru-hike for next Spring and I had a general map question that I couldn't find an answer too while browsing previous threads. I've noticed everyone gets the National Geographic maps but I also saw on the Benton MacKaye Trail Association site that they sell a set of pocket sized maps made by Anti-Gravity Gear http://www.bmta.org/Store-Maps.html... I was wondering if anyone had experience with these maps, and if they can be used in place of the larger/bulkier National Geographic maps. Thanks.
    I've got experience with all the above. You don't want to replace the maps with the pocket profiles. The pocket profiles are made to be a mileage and elevation guide you can look at as a quick reference while hiking, so you can tell how much further it is to the campsite you plan to use, the next water source, or next town stop you plan to use; and so you can know if you are going to have a bad climb on the way there. As a navigation aid to reference your true location it doesn't work at all.

    The main issue with the BMT is the lack of blazing in areas where we (the BMTA) are not allowed to blaze. With the AT, when you get to a confusing trail intersection you can check down each possible route a few feet and find that next blaze. With the BMT there are places where you will not see blazes for over 10 miles, and that includes through trail intersections. You really need a map that shows the terrain and other trails in the area so you can orient the map and figure out which one is right. We have stories of hikers ever year going the wrong way or accidentally backtracking for many miles. The usual story is an experienced hiker that got separated from hi/her group and didn't have their own maps. Many highly experienced hikers with thousands of miles on trails have gotten disoriented on the BMT, and it is always at an intersection.
    SGT Rock
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    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

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    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Maps for sure.

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    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    There are these free maps (plus cost of printing) as well:

    http://parkaymaps.110mb.com/BMTMaps/BMTMapsIndex.html

    I am a reasonably experienced backpacker and I missed an intersection on the BMT (lost 15-20 minutes one way or about 30-40 minutes total).

    Bring the maps.
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    Registered User writeronthestorm's Avatar
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    Yeah, I am definitely taking maps. Hence the question about which ones were better. Thanks everyone... So another question. Which way is the best to go? NOBO or SOBO?

    @Mags - I totally just friended you on Facebook.

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    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    I hiked it NOBO but I think it might be easier in terms of elevation gain and loss SOBO.

    Either direction that you hike it will be easier than the AT from Springer to Davenport Gap.

    I think that is because the people who designed the BMT weren't nuts about going out of the way to make it harder than necessary. One of the very first things I noticed about the BMT was that it was a smart trail in terms of route selection.

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    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Oh, take the Nat Geo maps for sure. Sgt Rocks trail guide is another must.

    Each of the 3 trail guides (one for GA, one for NC/TN and the other for GSMNP) are very nice to have but they're not waterproof and are designed to be consulted frequently so beware of that.

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    Cool. Thanks 10-K.

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    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I've hiked it in both directions, Some places are harder than others depending on direction of travel. I think the absolute worst hill on the whole BMT is the north side of Sassafras Gap. Going north is easier than going south there, but not by much. The next worse booger of a hill would be in my section but it is only about .25 miles long so it doesn't last long. Both of these hills are best done Northbound IMO.
    SGT Rock
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    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

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    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    There was one day that I distinctly remember hiking uphill most of the day. Not long, steep climbs - just "up". I forget exactly where it was but it was the only other time I passed someone else wearing a pack.

    Also, there is the long uphill after the bridge to nowhere and that pretty long, steep hill that's part of a roadwalk somewhere.... (after doing a roadwalk down a state road you turn right on a secondary road and then it's up up up.

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    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    There are some long ones, like if you are going SoBo then the first thing you do is climb for 6 miles straight up without a break. But I find that if you just get your groove and take rests every once in a while it isn't bad. The one you may be talking about is if you are NoBo you do the long road walk past where the Toccoa Riverside Restaurant use to be and after about a mile of gravel road you hang a right and start to climb - soon after you start, you will pass Fall Creek Falls. But anyway, that climb eventually takes you over Rocky Mountain.
    SGT Rock
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    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

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    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    I forgot about Fall Creek Falls but seems like I remember that was mercifully short.

    There's another road walk - a pretty long one and I can't remember where it was but eventually you make a right onto a secondary road and after a bit it gets very steep for quite a ways. One thing I remember about it is that it seemed like every piece of property, house and farm was for sale that was on that road.

    When I hike it again I'm definitely going to do it SOBO...

    BTW, did that hostel open where the store used to be?

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    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    But.. a bad day on the BMT is better than a good day on the AT as the actual mechanics of hiking go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post
    I forgot about Fall Creek Falls but seems like I remember that was mercifully short.

    There's another road walk - a pretty long one and I can't remember where it was but eventually you make a right onto a secondary road and after a bit it gets very steep for quite a ways. One thing I remember about it is that it seemed like every piece of property, house and farm was for sale that was on that road.
    you are talking about the section from Weaver Creek Road (if you can really call it a road) through the US76 and Cherry Log section, until it gets to Brushyhead Gap. There isn't a long climb in that section anywhere, unless you are going SoBo, but that is going up Rocky Mountain as well - and it is only about 3 miles up it. NoBo out of Brushy Head I've not found to be bad and it is only a mile of climbing. That sections through Cherry Log sucks IMO. When the BMT was built through there it was privately owned land all held by one person. But now it is full of vacation homes for people living in Atlanta, and with the economy I bet most of them are for sale cheap.

    The hostel opened this year. I have talked to them over the phone but haven't had a chance to visit it yet.

    When I hike it again I'm definitely going to do it SOBO...

    BTW, did that hostel open where the store used to be?
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

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