What we're about

••• BEGINNER WEEKDAY HIKING, PRIMITIVE CAMPING, & EASY EXERCISE GROUP

BREAKDOWN OF INFORMATION
A. What We Are About
B. This Group Is For
C. Day Visits, Car Camping, etc
D. What Do We Mean By Primitive?
E. Legal Stuff
F. Costs
G. Calendar of Events
H. Supplies To Bring
I. Smokers
J drugs & Alcohol
K. Children & Pets

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A.••• WHAT WE ARE ABOUT •••

~~~~~ Stress on the word “beginner”. And on the words “weekday” and “easy”.
~~~~~ This is a group for all you weekend workers!!!
~~~~~ This is a great group for those who want to hike, camp, and do other activities but aren’t comfortable enough to go solo or want company while doing so.
~~~~~ We want to help others learn simple hiking and primitive camping skills while also being a relaxed group for those who want to chill.
----- We will also do other activities such as biking and bowling and anything else that will strengthen our bodies so we increase our comfort while hiking. Having all kinds of activities makes our group more cohesive and gives many a chance to join in on something of interest to them.
~~~~~ Group is open to all levels of hikers, campers, bikers, and bowlers, no experience necessary.
~~~~~ Experienced members are encouraged to help others if needed or requested.
~~~~~ If you have a camping/hiking skill to share with others, please don’t hesitate to do so!
~~~~~ FYI - The hiking this group does will mostly be hiking to the campsite and any nearby trails. Rarely will we do long or difficult hikes (like the AT). If you don’t feel like hiking any trails with the group, that’s cool, you can protect the campsite while others are away. It all works out no matter what! 😉
~~~~~ If you want to make changes to an event in progress, you need to discuss it with the organizer before making firm decisions on your own or behind the organizers back. We’re willing to be flexible but there are timelines and other people to consider.

Along with hiking to campsites, we’ll also hike easy to moderate trails mostly in Tennessee. On occasion a hike will be more difficult but we’ll stop frequently, esp on uphill climbs, to rest so everyone can be successful. One step at a time will get you closer to the end!

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B. ••• THIS GROUP IS FOR •••
••• FUN & LEARNING •••

~~~~~ We can do both, honest!
~~~~~ Have fun learning new stuff!
~~~~~ Have fun teaching others new skills!
~~~~~ Have fun hanging around others with similar endeavors, pastimes, hobbies, etc. We’re here to primitive camp and enjoy the great outdoors without risking life and limb!
~~~~~ Learn new skills without worrying others will scoff or look down upon you for being a newbie. Been there, done that.
~~~~~ When we bike ride, we go at a moderate pace for beginners to intermediate riders on trails that have smallish hills. Don’t be embarrassed if you have to walk up some hills at first, we’ve all had to do that.
~~~~~ Let’s hang out together in an enjoyable atmosphere, help each other, do our own thing while also being part of a group, watch out for each other, and have some fun doing it!

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C. ••• DAY VISITS, CAR CAMPING, ETC •••

~~~~~ You can come sleep over or just visit the group for the day (see note below). We love visitors!

~~~~~ *Please* If you are not sure you can go, do not add yourself until you are sure. There have been times when we had several on the waiting list and 3 no shows.

~~~~~ If you are coming for the day but not sleeping over, let the organizer know but DO NOT add yourself in as going because that takes a spot away from someone who wants to actually camp overnight during the event.

~~~~~ If you plan to sleep in your car, message the organizer but don’t add yourself in as going. Those showing as going are those in a hammock or tent at the site. The rangers want to limit how many people are literally camping onsite. Be aware that some places don’t want people sleeping in their cars so be stealthy if you do decide to do that.

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D. ••• WHAT DO WE MEAN BY “PRIMITIVE”? •••

~~~~~ Primitive camping for this group means using tents, tarps, and hammocks or cowboy camping.

~~~~~ If you are the type who needs a camper then, sorry to say, this isn’t the group for you.

~~~~~ Sleeping in your vehicle is not the goal of this group but if that’s what you want to do then a-ok. Just be aware some events will not be conducive to sleeping in your car.

~~~~~ A vehicle is great for an emergency (such as discovering that your new sleeping bag isn’t as warm as advertised or the tent suddenly started leaking during a rainstorm) but this group is mainly for those who want to learn to traditional camp. For safety sake we will typically car “glamour” camp in the winter (have cars nearby for storage and emergency needs). If you want to sleep in your car, be aware most places don’t allow that. Stealth camp in your car at your own risk.

~~~~~ This is a great group for someone who wants to experiment with new outdoor equipment and techniques.

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E. ••• LEGAL STUFF •••

~~~~~ Oh no! I have to mention some common sense and legality stuff! Forgive me!
•••
~~~~~ Please know your limitations. We’re here for the absolute beginner who is normally a couch potato and wants to get more active (definitely me, the organizer) but make sure you aren’t endangering yourself or others if you have some type of physical, mental, or medical limitations for a particular event. Most events will be just fine for everyone though.
•••
~~~~~ Join the group at YOUR OWN RISK. Many apologies that I have to bring this up but, with this being such a litigious society, it has to be mentioned that when you join this group you agree you won’t hold anyone in the group responsible if there are injuries (or worse). We will, of course, help to the best of our abilities, but kindly don’t go after anyone with the lawyers. There, I said it. I got that out of the way. Now I feel like a dirty bird. Sorry! It had to be said.
•••
~~~~~ Most trips will not be strenuous but accidents can still occur no matter how careful and prepared we are.

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F. ••• COST•••

If there is a fee, it will be stated in an event description.

~~~~~ For camping, our fee is usually FIREWOOD. Bring a bundle or three of kiln dried campfire wood or equivalent, esp in the winter time. You can buy some at Lowes or Home Depot. If you don’t bring any, there’s usually some you can buy at the camp store or from the Ranger. The more firewood the better!

~~~~~ For bowling, your fees will be to pay for lanes, shoes, and food. We will usually play 2 games.

~~~~~ Please, if you say you are going to an event, do everything you can to come. It costs money to rent out some of these sites and it prevents others on the waitlist (if there is one) from going. It’s also terribly disappointing to the organizer and hosts if you join an event and then not show up. I’ve sadly discovered some people think it’s a game to sign up for an event and then back out a day or 2 before the event. Or worse, just not show up without warning. If you do that 3 times, I’m sorry to say, we’ll remove you from the group. We understand if there’s an emergency but it’s doubtful there will be an emergency for every event you sign up for unless you are very unlucky in life. Scary thought!

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G. ••• CALENDAR OF EVENTS •••

Here is a link to our group calendar so you can see at a glance when we have an event planned:
https://www.meetup.com/Mellow-Hiking-and-Camping/events/calendar
~~~~~ Most events will be during the week, including Friday night. This is a great group for those who work weekends!

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H. ••• SUPPLIES TO BRING •••

Below is a link to our groups message board that has a listing of things you may wish to bring. (You may need to sign in to the meetup website before you can see the message board)
https://www.meetup.com/Mellow-Hiking-and-Camping/messages/boards/forum/34381779

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I. ••• SMOKERS •••

~~~~~ Please be courteous of non-smokers.
~~~~~ Smoke away and downwind.
~~~~~ No butts or cigars in the campfire! We cook over that.
~~~~~ Kindly put your butts in a butt can you bring with you.
~~~~~ If you are an inconsiderate or litterbug smoker we’ll remove you from the group.

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J. ••• DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ••••

~~~~~ Nothing illegal! If you bring illegal stuff it creates an uncomfortable atmosphere for those who do not partake. It also risks everyone’s lives if the police get involved. Be considerate and don’t do that to others.
~~~~~ Please be careful about bringing alcoholic beverages/booze. It’s preferred you do not bring booze of any sort. If you do, please be a responsible drinker! No drinking and driving or fights and all that.
~~~~~ Some places do not allow alcohol to begin with so let’s not break rules by bringing the stuff.
~~~~~ Let’s have fun with nature without altering our mental and physical faculties!

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K. ••• CHILDREN & PETS •••

~~~~~ YOU are responsible for them, no one else. We’ll help out as needed though.
~~~~~ Have reasonable expectations of their abilities if we plan on a hike, especially if it requires carrying equipment.
~~~~~ Reminder that animals need to become acclimated to walking distances just as people do. They are not natural long distance walkers. You may need to carry your pup if they normally lay about at home or only romp in the yard.
~~~~YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO PICK UP AFTER YOUR PET! This includes their doggy doo-doo. Bury it or carry it out.
~~~~~If your child is in diapers or pullups, you need to carry the dirty ones out.

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LET’S HAVE FUN!

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Upcoming events (1)

Appalachian Trail Section Hike October 2021

Byron Reece trailhead parking

Hike from Neels Gap, GA to Deep Gap, NC via the Appalachian Trail Approximately 60 miles. This hike is strenuous in parts. Plan to hike @ least 5-6 miles/day. If we make it to a shelter that’s great, if not, we’ll stealth camp along the way practicing leave no trace.

FYI - this is a reupload of this event.

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WHEN: Saturday October 16 12noon
thru
Saturday October 30th or
Sunday October 31st
Date finished depends on how fast we hike.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The app will not let me make the end date the 30th or 31st. It is forcing me to state the 29th. It’s doubtful we’ll get done on the 29th but we could try for it. Again, depends on how fast we hike.

See below about places you can get off trail early (if you need to go back to work, for example)

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HOW FAR WILL WE HIKE?
Approx 60 miles

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WHERE START:
October 16 we will meet at the Byron Reece Trailhead parking lot near the kiosk. Plan to start hiking by 12pm so we can get to the campsite before dark. We are meeting midday because many people will need to drive several hours to get here.

WHERE END:
We will hike over the GA/NC border to Deep Gap.

HOW FAR SHALL WE HIKE?
As said above, approx 5 miles a day in the beginning. You must remember these are trail miles and not street miles - it takes longer to hike on a trail so expect 1 mile/hour hiking. As time goes on we’ll get more comfortable going further per day plus we’ll get faster. If we agree to hike more than 5 miles then we shall. We’ll play it by ear.

We’ll take midday breaks & rest a while as we snack and recoup our energy. Our goal will be to get to our next camp before 5:30pm so we have time to set up camp in daylight.

RESTOCKING FOOD:
We will need to restock our food @ stores in Helen, Ga & possibly Hiawassee, Ga. With luck we’ll only need to resupply at Hiawassee. Those may wind up being zero days due to needing to hitchhike to & from town. You will need to bring money to buy food & snacks.

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GETTING OFF TRAIL EARLY:
There are several places along the way hikers can get off trail if they need to (go back to work, etc). If you need to get off early, you will need to arrange for a pick up either by a family member/friend or via a shuttle service. I will have shuttle phone numbers with me. Their prices range from $60-120 depending upon where you get picked up at.

If you do get off early, maybe you could give the rest of us a ride into town so we don’t have to hitchhike.

The places you can be picked up at are:
(We start at Neels Gap mm 31.3)
Tesnatee Gap (mm 37.3) [1-2 days]
Unicoi Gap (mm 52.5) [approx 5-6 days]
Dick’s Creek Gap (mm 69.2) [approx 8-9 days]

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BEAR SAFE:
Bring a bear bag that you MUST hang up in trees. Bears are seen along this section much more than the previous 30 miles & are known for stealing hiker food.

Better yet would be to bring a bear canister.

Anything smelly must be hung with the food.

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IDEAS ON WHAT TO BRING:

• ALLERY/DISEASE INFO
• EMERGENCY CONTACT INFO
• Drivers license / Identification
• Medications
(Keep the above safe in your backpack)
• Cash and debit/credit card
• Tent or hammock setup
• Sleeping bag for expected temps
(At the very least, use comfort temp rating, not extreme rating)
• Closed cell mat
• Sleep clothes (always stays dry)
• Extra socks, etc
• May need hat/gloves at night
• Poncho / rain coat
• Brick charger & your device wires
• Earbuds
• Food / snacks / spices if needed
• Cooking setup
• Spoon or spork
• Water filter setup
• Containers to carry water in
• Bear bag with rope or canister
• Poop kit (spade, toilet paper)
• Baby wipes are helpful
• Ear plugs are helpful
• Bandaids / neosporin, etc

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I will have my van parked at Deep Gap and will drive everyone back to their cars so we don’t have to use a shuttle.

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Past events (43)

Virgin Falls, TN August 17-20, 2021

2080 Scotts Gulf Rd

Photos (1,677)