Robin Luger of the Suwannee Chapter is leading a series of beginner backpack trips. They are close enough that some of our members might want to tag along. The message below is from Robin Luger:
If, year after year, you think you’ll start backpacking but haven’t because:
1. you still need the exactly right equipment
2. you aren’t quite fit enough
3. the weather won’t cooperate
4. your friends can’t go
5. you can’t fit it in your schedule
6. etc, etc, etc.
A few of us novices in the Suwannee Chapter have decided TO GO ANYWAY!! And have fun! We set up a schedule for the entire winter and will just learn as we go. (Of course, experienced backpackers are encouraged to come and lend their support!) We tried to schedule enough trips so (a) we’ll have incentive to stay fit between times, and (b) if some of us can’t go on every trip, we can at least go on some of them. So if you’d like to learn along with us, please sign up on Suwannee Chapter Meetup for the hikes you would like to attend (at least one full day before the start date of the hike).
Dates & Locations:
Nov. 9-11 meet at Gibson Park at 8:30 a.m. (6884 CR 751, it's called CR 249 north from Live Oak) to I-10 and River Road for pick-up
Dec. 2-31 Ocala National Forest and Cross-Florida Greenway (From Robin: I am completely unfamiliar with the area so am spending the month in and near the Ocala NF to get familiar with it. If you want to go exploring, come any day(s) during that time. I’ll be camping at Rodman Campground Dec. 2-5, Salt Springs Dec. 6-12, Silver Springs State Park Dec. 13-18, Juniper Springs Dec. 19-25, and Alexander Springs Dec. 26-31 and can go on a one night backpacking trip anytime on trails near each of these locations. Also, I could help with shuttle/support if you want to backpack longer. A second tent can stay on the reserved campsite.
Jan. 26-30 Aucilla River section and on into St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
March 10-14 Osceola National Forest from Olustee Battleground to U.S. 441 for pickup.
March 31 to April 5 Bell Springs to U.S.129 for pickup
1. BRING EVERYTHING YOU’LL NEED. Hikes are in isolated areas for the most part.
2. Bring only what you can carry yourself for 8-12 miles over some rough ground. (Strenuous level, so practice!)
3. Hikes are limited to around 10 people and they must be Florida Trail members (from any chapter).
4. Dogs on leashes are welcome.
5. Once you rsvp on the Suwannee chapter Meetup site (everyone needs to sign up on this one site, so you don't get overlooked), you’ll be updated with the exact meeting place and time for each trip and provided any current information on weather conditions or other conditions that would affect the time and location of the trip.
6. Carl Dunnam has volunteered to shuttle us from the end of some of the hikes, but these aren’t the kind of supported hikes where a vehicle will available every day for shuttling or carrying stuff. There are takeout points on some of the longer hikes and we will do our best to work with participants who need to quit or start at these points.
7. If you would like an equipment analysis before your first trip, several Florida Trail experienced backpackers have volunteered to do consultations.
Contact people: Irv Chance[masked], [masked], Robin Luger[masked] [masked]