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What’s up in the GetHiking! and GetExploring! worlds this week and beyond.

GHQ.815GetHiking! on the Palmetto Trail at Lake Brandt
GetHiking! Triad
When: Wednesday, August 17, 6 p.m.
Where: Old Battleground Road, Greensboro

Wind down the day with this 3.2-mile out-and-back on the Palmetto Trail along the banks of Lake Brandt. An easy hike, well-suited to beginners.

Hike leader: Jean Hylton
More info here

GetExploring! Full Moon Paddle Weekend
GetExploring! Greenville
When: Thursday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Town Common, 100 E. 1st St., Greenville

Since last month’s paddle was cancelled due to thunderstorms, we will try again. We’ll meet at Town Common at 7:30 p.m., and run a shuttle to Port Terminal.  We hope to be on the water by 8 so we can see sunset from the water. About half of the paddle will be in the dark; bring a light and whistle on your PFD.  We encourage everyone to bring a glowstick so we can see each other easier. The paddle is 3.5 miles. Kayaks, canoes, SUPs are all welcome! Bugspray and water highly recommended.

Hike leaders: Andrew and Lindsey
More info here.

GetHiking! Southeast’s Classic Hikes: A Smokies Weekend
When: Friday, Aug. 19 – Sunday, Aug. 21
Where: Smokemont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Our August Classic Hike takes us to a nationally recognized Classic: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Saturday, we’ll have two hikes: a 15-mile lollipop loop probing deep into the Smokies, and a 10-mile out-and-back along much of the same trail. Sunday, we’ll hike 5.5 miles on the Smokemont Loop Trail.

This hike is part of our 2016 GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes series, sequel to 2015’s inaugural GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series

Hike leaders: Joe Miller, Anne Triebert
More info here

MR.Walking to Virginia Crest Trail

MR.Walking to Virginia Crest Trail

GetHiking! Southeast’s Classic Hikes: Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (Virginia) Weekend
When: Friday, Sept. 23 – Sunday, Sept. 25
Where: Beartree Campground, Mount Rogers

Partial as we are to North Carolina’s mountains, you can’t have a Southeast Classic Hike Series without including the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area of southwest Virginia. Basecamp for the weekend is the Beartree Group Camp on the north flank of the Mount Rogers massif in the George Washington National Forest.

Saturday, we will hike on the Appalachian Trail from Elk Garden north (east) past Mount Rogers to Rhododendron Gap. From there, we head south and pick up equestrian/hiking trail to return to Elk Garden. This hike will be in the 15-mile range; a shorter option of around 10 miles will also be available.  The terrain is some of the most exposed in the southeast, with open meadows and rock outcrops dominating. It’s a slice of the western U.S. in Appalachia.

Sunday, we will break camp and drive to Scales for about 5 miles of hiking in similar terrain.

This hike is part of our 2016 GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes series, sequel to 2015’s inaugural GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series

Hike leaders: Joe Miller, Anne Triebert
More info here

Max Patch on the AT

Max Patch on the AT

GetHiking! Southeast’s Classic Hikes: Appalachian Trail at Hot Springs Weekend
When: Friday, Nov. 11 – Monday, Nov. 14
Where: Laughing Heart Lodge (basecamp), Hot Springs, NC

Love to hike, but not camp? You’ll be cheered to hear that our last weekend hike of the 2016 Southeast’s Classic Hikes series will be based out of the Laughing Heart Lodge in Hot Springs. We’ve blocked out the lodge for Veterans Day Weekend, for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. First, about Laughing Heart …

You will need to make your own reservations. The main lodge has 7 guest rooms, all with private baths. There’s a cabin with kitchen, and, for the budget minded, there is a hostel with rates starting at $20 per night. Learn more about Laughing Heart, which is on the Appalachian Trail, and make reservations starting here. Mention you are with GetHiking! when making your reservation. Laughing Heat can accommodate about 30 people.

Now, the hiking:

Saturday, we will have two hikes. The longer hike, 14 miles, will begin at Max Patch and head north on the AT to Garenflo Gap. The shorter hike will begin at Lemon Gap and head north on the AT to Garenflo Gap. The Max Patch hike starts atop an impressive bald, meanders downhill and along creeks for 5 miles before a climb up Walter Mountain and a longer climb up Bluff Mountain, from there it’s a 4-mile descent to Garenflo Gap. The shorter hike follows the same path from Lemon Gap to Garenflo Gap.

Sunday, we also have two hikes. The longer, 13 miles, heads north on the AT from Hot Springs up Lovers Leap Ridge (great views of the French Broad River and Hot Springs below), to Rich Mountain, then returns on the Roundtop Ridge Trail. The shorter hike, 6 miles, follows the same AT route up Lovers Leap Ridge and ends at Tanyard Gap, on US 25.

Monday, we will catch a shuttle up to Garenflo Gap on the AT and continue heading north for 7 miles back to the Laughing Heart Lodge.

This hike is part of our 2016 GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes series, sequel to 2015’s inaugural GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series.

Hike leaders: Joe Miller, Anne Triebert
More info here


Shortoff Mountain, looking toward Lake James

Shortoff Mountain, looking toward Lake James

GetBackpacking! 40 Miles in the Virginia Highlands
When: Friday, Aug. 19 thru Sunday,, Aug. 21.
Where: Grayson Highlands/Mount Rogers area

This a classic Southeast backpack trip. After being shuttled from Damascus to the Fox Creek Access to the Appalachian Trail, we will Friday, Saturday and Sunday, taking in Grayson Highlands, Mount Rogers, Elk Garden, Scales, Whitetop Mountain and the Virginia Creeper Trail en route back to Damascus. This is not a beginner trip.

Hike leader: Jimmy Yeager, David Brantley
More info and sign-up here.

GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking (Triad)
GetHiking! Triad
When: Four-week session starts Wednesday, Sept. 7, 6 p.m..
Where: Training is at three locations, tbd, in the Triad

Our Intro to Backpacking course consists of three training sessions focusing on a key skill each week. Week 1: Gear and packing; Week 2: Setting up (and breaking down) camp; Week 3: Rustlin’ up a meal. Each session includes a training hike of increasing length: 2, 4.5 and 6 miles. Then, in Week Four, we take a two-night graduation trip to South Mountains State Park.

Learn more about this fee program here.

Gear, Tips, Resources

GH.Tip.815Tip: Duct Tape

Sunday on the trail, I found myself unexpectedly humming “Maragaritaville.” Not so much because of the “frozen concoction that helps me hang on.” Rather, because of the blown out flip-flop. Then I realized why: Sarah, who was hiking ahead of me, had blown out the sole to her hiking shoe.
Duct tape to the rescue!
People ask about the band of tie-dye duct-tape wrapped around my Nalgene bottle. Decoration? they wonder.
Salvation, I respond. Duct tape can solve so many problems on the trail. Got a blister hotspot developing? Duct tape sticks even to sweaty feet. A rip in your tent? Hole in your pants? A hiking companion who won’t pipe down? Duct tape heals almost all. And on Sunday, it allowed a grateful Sarah to finish her hike.

Resource: Duct Tape: What Else?

Surprised by the uses for duct tape? You’ll be even more so after checking out this collection of duct tape projects on Forgot to bring toys to camp? If you have duct tape, you can fashion a boomerang. Something a bit more cerebral? How about a backgammon board? Shoot, you can even make a duct tape backpack.
Check out your options here.

Gear: Petzel Tikka RXP

GH.Resource.815You’re in camp, it’s dark, someone wheels to ask a question.
Temporary blindness strikes as the inquisitor blinds you with 200 lumens of blaring light. A breach of night etiquette that isn’t intentional, it’s merely a failing of technology. Unless your acquaintance is equipped with a Petzel headlamp employing its Reactive Lightening technology. Petzel’s Reactik, for instance, doles out its 220 lumens based on your needs. Look down the trail, you get a long, steady beam. Stop to read a map, it reacts to offer the appropriate lightening for close-up work. Wheel to address a friend? Said friend is bathed in friendly, ambient lighting.
Employees a battery that can be recharged via micro USB port (or not).
Retails for $84. Read more here.