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Sunday, October 17, 2010

The First Step

Seeing as how the majority of us do not have pristine back country right outside of our porch and most of them are a number of hours away we drive. Well my personal means of conveyance is my 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, 4-door, 4x4, 6speed manual transmission. Of course, if any of you have either owned or seen a new base-line jeep the tires are pitiful and not very adequate for getting from point-A to point-B if it entails any off the beaten path driving. When I got mine the first upgrade that I did was to get as big of a tire on there without having to lift, cut, or pry any part of the Jeep so I went with a 33x9.5 A/T tire and in doing so I lost between 2 and 3 mpg.

Well, I told you that to tell you this. Last weekend I went out and purchased the aFe Mach Force-xp high truck exhaust, stage 2 cold air intake, and throttle body spacer (all aFe products) for a pretty penny. Well in doing so I went from getting an average of 13mpg in the city to 17mpg in the city. Before the upgrade 17 was typically on the low end of my highway average mpg.

Why is this pertinent to what this site is about? Well.... you can't exactly take your buddy's honda civic 10 miles into the mountains to get to the start of the trail head or where you're about to make the trail head and expect to not be walking back down to the road. =] No matter what takes you from your door to the great outdoors be environmentally conscientious as possible. And the best way to do that and in the long run save some Federal Reserve Notes for your wallet is to get your vehicle running further on the same amount of fuel.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Appalachian Trail (Spring 2011)

So I'm currengtly in the beginning stages of planning a 32.5 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail from Fontana Dam to Clingman's Dome. There will be a total elevation gain of roughly 4,868 feet from the start. The plan is as it stands right now to have friends/family drop myself and whoever ends up coming with me off at Fontana Dam early in the day and hiking to the Russell Field Shelter. From there we will hike to the Cold Spring Knob Shelter. The last day we will hike the remaining way to Clingman's Dome where I intend to have a ride waiting for us to go back into town and complete my first portion of the A/T.

Start: Fontana Dam, Elevation: 1775'

Day 1: Fontana Dam to Russell Field Shelter, Distance: 13.2mi, Elevation 4,364', Gain in Elevation: 2,589', Estimated Time: 5-6hrs.

Day 2: Russell Field Shelter to Derrick Knob Shelter, Distance 7.7mi, Ele...vation: 4,868, Gain in Elevation: 504', Estimated Time: 3-4hrs.

Day 3: Derrick Knob Shelter to Clingman's Dome, Distance: 11.5mi, Elevation: 6,643', Gain in Elevation: 1775', Estimated Time: 4-5hrs

Total Distance: 32.4
Total Gain in Elevation: 4,868'

As far as gear, I am a huge fan of packing as light as possible. However, "Pack light, Freeze at night." I will update this with what I will be taking and feel free to offer up any suggestions that you may have. My max pack weight will end up being no more than 20lbs or so I hope.