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4 day backpacking in the green swamp ( thanksgiving )

ok  so i have done this 3 night 4 day hike 3 times . we will meet at the richloam firetower at 8:00 am. we will shuttle to rock ridge rd at the entrance to green swamp east. over 4 days will hike about 40 miles. its an easy hike and lots of fun. ( if your not fun do not sign up) yes its hunting season in GSE if that bothers you do not sign up. we will hike 12 miles on thanksgiving and camp at trial ford camp for the night. we will leave the GSE in the morning and cross 471 into GSW ( no hunting allowed ) we will hike about 10 miles to concession stand camp. next day we will hike to highbluff to camp. this is on the river. a nice camp. on the last day we will hike back to the fire tower. please join us after the hike at cracker barrel to celebrate.

we ill be filtering water from streams rivers and lakes all weekend. for those of you interested in hiking sections of the western corridor of the florida national scenic trail then this is the hike for you. space is not limited. however we will need shuttle drivers (my wife will be 1 of them, we will have room for 3 more ) so please ask around or volunteer. please tip your drivers. if you have any questions ask them here and i will do my best to answer them rite away

if you aren't going to go no need to RSVP NO.........................

my # day of hike only. [masked]    we will be leaving the parking lot at 8:30 sharp do not be late or you will be left on your own........


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  • Darren M.

    Sorry for any confusion to Kevin and those on the hike. Kevin did not receive my emails that I would not make it with finals.

    1 · December 3, 2013

  • Elizabeth P

    Orange was the color of the day but the only hunter we encountered was a friendly deliverer of friends. Weather was perfect and hiking along the With was gorgeous. Backpacking companions were great. Thanks Kevin, for keeping us all in line!

    1 · December 2, 2013

    • Kate and Brian M.

      Brian and I had such a great time too and really enjoyed meeting you all. Thanks for all the treats and good times. We have some good pictures and will get them posted probably tonight. Thanks for being patient while we practiced our photography skills:)

      1 · December 2, 2013

    • Elizabeth P

      The wonderful thing about hiking with photographers is that they see nature through different eyes...lighting, shading, shapes, reflections...and many hikers don't stop to notice the subtle beauty. Thank you both for adding this experience to the trip.

      1 · December 2, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    GREAT BUT ONLY DID 1 DAY ... DARM

    1 · November 30, 2013

    • JUSTIN S.

      I'm sure we will see a lot more of each other

      December 1, 2013

    • Elizabeth P

      Let's get out to Serenova soon!

      1 · December 2, 2013

  • Tom

    Thank you to Mike and Elizabeth for hiking out trail goodies and fellowship. : )

    2 · December 2, 2013

  • Tracy H.

    What a great weekend! Tradition! Much thanks to Kevin for organizing this as usual. Special thanks to Pyro (Brian) for his Firecraft, Amanda for humping and sharing the pie and mallows and always staying positive, Kevin for being Kevin, Elizabeth for letting me use her air bag, Tree house for hiking out in the dark and bringing the holiday cheer, Brian Loyde for being such an inspiration, my kids who put up with me and my crazy hobbies, Tom for all his wisdom (which makes me laugh) Arlene and Justin who got in the ring when others would not, and to everyone else who helped keep this tradition alive. THANK YOU!

    1 · December 2, 2013

  • Ben B.

    Hope I can do the whole trip with ya all next year.

    1 · December 1, 2013

  • Tom

    Great time!!!

    1 · December 1, 2013

  • Brian L.

    great company, perfect hiking weather, good to spend time outdoors with likeminded people, great fires.

    1 · December 1, 2013

  • Amanda

    OMG, what a super fun 4 days! ALL YOU GUYS ARE WONDERFUL AND SO MUCH FUN!!!!! Thank you Kevin for organizing this - again. I don't want to be home.....boo hoo........

    1 · December 1, 2013

  • Gerry

    Perfect

    1 · December 1, 2013

  • kevin

    it was awesome cause i lead it lol. no really you all made it great. love u guys ( no homo )

    December 1, 2013

  • Kate and Brian M.

    Is the fire tower easy to find. I have the address. Hopefully Google maps will get us there. Please let us know if there are any tips for finding it.

    November 27, 2013

    • Tom

      I just used the address on meetup on my I phone and it got me here in the dark.

      1 · November 27, 2013

    • kevin

      Tom u could have stayed here with us

      November 27, 2013

  • Bob R.

    Does anyone have any carpool suggestions from Tampa or parts south? Thank You
    Bob

    November 27, 2013

    • kevin

      hey bob please make sure you have a ride to the start and at the end on sunday as all shuttles are full.

      November 27, 2013

  • Amanda

    Without food & water, but WITH stove & fuel, and everything I think I need, in my pack, I am at 11.2 lbs. Now if I can just figure out how to get food weight to practically nothing, I'd be a happy camper! And I'm sure I will find things I forgot! In fact I just remembered something - rats! There goes the lightness!!!

    November 25, 2013

    • kevin

      Warm

      November 27, 2013

    • Amanda

      okay, with pie and a big bag of marshmallows, my pack weight just more than doubled! aargh. Oh yeah, water alos.

      November 27, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Kevin, please be at our place 6am. Justin is joining us. Need extra time for DD coffee & donuts. Please confirm.

    November 27, 2013

  • JUSTIN S.

    Hey kevin, did you get the email from lenny about me going thru the leaders training? I'll talk to you about it in the morning when we get to arlene's

    November 27, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Just returned from 2 day 1 nite backpack @ Starkey Park. Marty biked & I hiked 5 mi each way to Primitive site #2. Cooked dinner & had to break camp after morning rain. Great fun can't wait for Thursday ...Taking next 2 days off as I've practiced backpacked 78 miles in 33.5 hours all this month. Hopefully it will be a lot COOLER. arlene

    1 · November 26, 2013

    • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

      Justin our address: Orchid Lake RV Park, 8225 Arevee Drive, Lot 541, New Port Richey, 34653. See you at 6am. Our phone #[masked] in case you need.

      November 26, 2013

    • JUSTIN S.

      Ok thanks, see you then

      November 26, 2013

  • Tom

    After this weekend, I'm just planning on nut wacking for my food mmmm hickory nuts i know i can find the zipper with practice and i will be eat good

    2 · November 18, 2013

    • kevin

      i gotta find my nut. i lost it in the house

      November 25, 2013

  • Jim E.

    Kevin... if you need anyone else to shuttle on Thanksgiving, let me know. I'll be glad to drive up and shuttle if needed. I can squeeze 4 - 5 hikers in my truck, plus haul stuff.

    November 23, 2013

    • kevin

      rsvp is closed for this hike.

      November 24, 2013

    • Mandy S.

      I'll hold my breath and wait for an opening.

      November 25, 2013

  • kevin

    Rsvp is closed. If u r not on the list please do not come to the start as all shuttles are full. We will this trip again next Nov. See everyone at the tower.

    November 25, 2013

  • Amanda

    ooh, I'm getting excited! gonna pack & re-pack & re-pack in anticipation!

    November 25, 2013

    • Darren M.

      Or you can pack, unpack, cut off the tag from your extra layer, repack and see how much weight you saved.

      2 · November 25, 2013

    • kevin

      When ur done u can pack/unpack mine

      November 25, 2013

  • Joe D.

    Java Joe here; would love to do this, but will need a shuttle for me and my two Goldens (Pumpkin & Riley) as wife (Kava Kathy) is away for the week. Jim E., does your truck have a cap on it for Pumpkin & Riley? Pumpkin & Riley were along on Darren's backpack overnighter several weeks ago; they are very well behaved and carry much of my stuff. Very happy to compensate for shuttle.

    November 23, 2013

    • Tom

      What does the statement about non hunting times mean?

      November 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Joe, it's good to be worried about the gators. I would NEVER let a dog swim in any body of water in Florida. It takes a gator about 10 seconds to pull a Golden Retriever under the water for good and there's nothing you can do about it.

      November 25, 2013

  • kevin

    remember its hunting season. hang something orange on ur pack. orange hat if you like. or do like tracy does and just tape the shit out of ur pack with orange duct tape.

    1 · November 24, 2013

    • Tracy H.

      Just bought a fresh roll at Home Depot yesterday. I will bring it with me to trail head if anyone needs some. Can't wait to get into the woods and away from traffic and all the other .... which I have to deal every day. Tom are you still gonna carry my tent and sleeping bag as discussed?

      1 · November 25, 2013

    • Tom

      No I do not know how to backpack. It was you Tracy that was going to show me how to carry. Oh, do not worry. My tent is already set up in the best location. I left a little candle on so I will be able to find it late at night. I do have a can of orange spray paint. I really like to clip I white furry tail to my brown pack !!!!

      1 · November 25, 2013

  • Elizabeth P

    Kevin, I have figured out the following: Thurs 12 miles, Fri 10 miles. How many miles on Sat and Sun? Trying to figure out if my Sunday commitment is going to work out. Thanks!

    November 24, 2013

  • Jim B.

    It sure sounds like y'all are going to have a great time! Cindy and I will join you on one of these adventures soon. I wish we could make this one! Q: do you think this particular hike would be suited to Hammocks? Are any "hangers" attending?

    November 23, 2013

    • kevin

      Yes and Yes

      November 23, 2013

    • Tom

      Lots of trees at all the camp sites

      November 24, 2013

  • Mandy S.

    Sorry to be a late joiner and a message sender but would any one want to combine meals? Like I cook for two one night and you cook for two the next?

    November 24, 2013

  • Mandy S.

    I didn't RSVP but I do want to go and would like to shuttle with someone. Is it too late to commit?
    I am a new member and have all my gear. I have a nice 3 season REI two man tent. Can I share a tent with someone or someone with me? I haven't packed in a few years and would like to share the weight.

    November 24, 2013

  • Kate and Brian M.

    Hi all, we couldn't make it to the Little Manatee River clean up weekend. Did you all have a little pre-green swamp hike pow wow? If so, any new info we should know before the Thanksgiving hike? Also, by sheer coincidence we have a camp site at Little Manatee River St. pk. this Saturday (we booked it a few months ago actually) and we were going to do the loop out there Sunday morning. Thanks to all those who helped clear it out. We will certainly be there to help out next time. This year it just happen to fall during opening day of rifle/deer season for Brian up in MI, which is why we couldn't help out this time around:( -Kate

    November 20, 2013

    • Kate and Brian M.

      Lenny, thanks for letting me know. We will bring some loppers with us and do what we can while we are out there. I'll let you know what we are able to accomplish:)

      November 22, 2013

    • Jim E.

      Now that's real team work....post maintenance maintenance!

      November 22, 2013

  • Mandy S.

    I would like to go. I haven't packed in a few years, so if I'm slow, I don't want people to wait for me. Is that possible?

    November 22, 2013

    • JUSTIN S.

      That's fine Mandy, we will have plenty of people to walk with you

      November 22, 2013

  • Tom

    Chilly !!!

    1 · November 20, 2013

  • kevin

    Check weather underground . Polk city florida . Extended forecast .gonna be perfect

    1 · November 20, 2013

  • Amanda

    I am planning to arrive later today (Friday). Party on!!!!!

    November 15, 2013

  • Brian L.

    Hi there-I have not yet arranged a shuttle-I am on my own-can anyone offer a ride plse?

    November 11, 2013

    • kevin

      Make room for daddy:-)

      November 13, 2013

    • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

      Kevin, contact Alex he mentioned he might not be going so you could take his spot with us. arl

      1 · November 13, 2013

  • Tom

    Hey HELP. We need a ride for one person to the start. If you have room for one person we can get 7 people to the start.

    If you are in Arlene and Marty's car and would be willing to ride down early (to the start) that would free up that one spot of Kevin. We then can shuttle Tom, Amanda, Brian and 3 other people to the start and Kevin can drive back to the fire tower, welcome people and ride back to the start.

    November 11, 2013

  • Kate and Brian M.

    Does anyone know if the camp sites have places to sit or are they just clearings...wondering whether or not to bring camp stools.

    November 4, 2013

    • Tracy H.

      Kate I would bring them, they are very light. Worth the weight, were not hiking big miles or tough terrain

      November 7, 2013

    • Elizabeth P

      I'm bringing my REI chair, a little more than 1 pound

      November 7, 2013

  • kevin

    seems i do not havea shuttle as of now. my wife is going out of town. so do u have room?

    November 7, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Hey to all coming ... I know that we are shuttling 5 people but other that Justin I just can't remember who. So please let me know. Thanks, arlene

    October 29, 2013

  • Tom

    I'm ready to hike. I have been trying on different color shoe strings. I think the orange is what will work best? If I can match my shirt color.

    October 29, 2013

  • Tracy H.

    This trip is the best! I'm so glad to see Kevin is doing it again. It's becoming tradition. I am able to help any beginners or first time backpackers prepare for and be successful on this trip. Please let me know if I can help.

    1 · August 2, 2013

    • Amanda

      Pb&j = no cook

      August 6, 2013

    • Tom

      Tracy, I see you offered to help. Could you show me how to carry my backpack? I'm a slow learner so maybe the first 3 days you carry and I would have it all figured out!

      2 · October 29, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Hi Kevin,
    On the first day if we are NOT leaving our car, couldn't we just meet on Rock Ridge Road/entrance to green swamp east rather than at the Fire Tower? Would save on gas. arl

    October 27, 2013

    • kevin

      if you do not meet at the fire tower, then on suday how do you get back to your car from the fire tower?

      October 29, 2013

    • kevin

      we have done this hike 3 years in a row and it has worked flawlessly

      October 29, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Ok, once I know the 5 coming that we originally are shuttling supposedly from Fire tower to Rock Ridge entrance I had another thought (Kevin please comment also),,,what if we met them somewhere south of the Rock Ridge entrance at a place where they could leave their cars (we'd have to find a spot-plaza or ????) then we could have an easy drive to the start of the hike. After of course we'll take them back. So everyone what do you think of this? arlene

    October 29, 2013

    • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

      OK see you end of the month. What trip has a VIP invite? Vegas, Hawaii, Bali???

      October 29, 2013

    • kevin

      since we finish our hike at the fire tower that is where you would want you car to be on sunday. the idea is to hike back to your car. the drive from the fire tower to rockridge rd is about 40 minutes

      October 29, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Hey Kevin, assuming I can get all the necessary equipment I need then Marty will be happy to shuttle. He can take an additional 5 people in the van. We can talk later when we get down. arl

    1 · October 4, 2013

    • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

      You are welcome. So am I. arl

      October 10, 2013

    • kevin

      Your my ride please

      October 14, 2013

  • Sig O.

    I was out hiking in green swamp west earlier today and it all looks dry where I was at. I put in off river road entrance. The area between concession and foster bridge I checked. Usually where the trail runs along side the main road before crossing is wet last. It was dry today. The river is high still though. Here is a picture of a nice area you will be walking through that I took earlier today. I cannot seem to just post it in here.

    http://i957.photobucket.com/albums/ae59/sigsterrr/Outdoor%20stuff/GreenSwampWest10-14-13078_tonemapped_zps2a42dc17.jpg

    October 14, 2013

    • kevin

      There's plenty of water. U just need to know where to look

      October 14, 2013

  • Kate and Brian M.

    We live in Bradenton, and can't think of anyone who would be willing to drop us (my husband and myself) off at the starting point We will keep working on it though. We would be more than willing to pay some one to take us to where we need to be.

    October 9, 2013

    • JUSTIN S.

      Hey Kate, you might get in touch with Arlene, I think she might have a couple of seats left but I'm not sure!

      October 9, 2013

    • SunAnnie

      Kate- i have a friend who will be shuttling me. He has room for three more.

      October 12, 2013

  • Amanda

    Arlene, I will bring my extra backpack to Potts for you to examine & possibly use. If I have other extra equipment to lend, I will bring that also for you or anyone else to look over for a possible borrow.

    October 4, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    Hey maybe Marty can be a shuttle driver? Ii's only on the first day, right?

    1 · August 5, 2013

    • kevin

      yes shuttles is only 1 time on thanksgiving morning

      October 4, 2013

    • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

      Yah Tracy, I get it now ... the kind of magic I'd like ... an all over massage. LOL (what were you thinking?) arlene

      1 · October 4, 2013

  • kevin

    ok thanksgiving is fast approaching. just a reminder. please start securing a shuttle from the fire tower to rockridge road.

    October 1, 2013

    • Hector

      I have the same question. How do we secure a shuttle? I it would be easier to sort that out when meet at firetower parking lot. Well, i drive a 4 door honda civic i can drive 3 others from the tower assuming someone can later take me to get my car.

      October 2, 2013

    • kevin

      you can not park a car at rockridge rd. A shuttle driver is a friend,family member who is not going on the backpacking trip but is willing to get up early and drive you to the start. you will leave your car at the fire tower and that way it will be there when you return 4 days later. all of you need to talk with each other and put groups together in cars. if you can not secure a shuttle you will not have a ride to the start. remember this is a linear hike over 4 days. not a loop trail.

      October 3, 2013

  • JUSTIN S.

    Is it about 40 miles one way or round trip?

    September 29, 2013

    • JUSTIN S.

      Disregard my last post, I just realized the route we are taking.

      September 30, 2013

    • kevin

      lol justin

      October 1, 2013

  • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

    I am most concerned with purifying my water. What do you all think of SteriPEN Traveler 3-in-1 Water Purifier? What do the rest of you use & why? arl

    1 · August 13, 2013

    • Arlene/Marty Winick-DYNAMIC D.

      Hi Ben, Arlene here. Marty sends regards. What system will you be bringing with you? I myself drink at least 2-3 litres on a 10 mile hike-that's about 3-4 bottles full. If its real hot with a big crowd we'll need a lot of water. What do you think?

      August 13, 2013

    • Ben B.

      Arlene, I will likely bring my Sweetwater pump filter, although I could bring my Sawyer squeeze/gravity filter. I prefer the Sweetwater for poor water situations like me may encounter (tanic water with plant/silt) because it is field cleanable with dirty water. It's my favorite for any time the water is not clear spring water. The Sawyer is light, effective, and easy to use, except for filling the water bag from shallow ponds, but if it gets clogged you have greater problems. In any case I bring some flavored drink (crystal light) to cover any residual taste or off-colors.

      September 30, 2013

  • Tom

    If you want scientific reference based information about water treatment checkout

    http://www.lightandmatter.com/article/hiking_water.html
    Drinking Water for Hiking: Myths and Facts by Ben Crowell

    I like to add ice to my water. Makes it so much better. Anyone willing to carry some for me?

    September 29, 2013

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