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“Hi! My name is Angel and I am newer than new.I did live primitively in the Tenessee Mountains,but I had a permanent camp site.My husband has camped with me overnight twice.It will be my husband , myself and our boys. One will soon be 9 the other is almost 10.We thought about Arkansas but I have been in that area so we want to see something new to both of us. So we are shooting for Virginia but are open to suggestions.Virginia seems to offer what we are looking for.We are planning on five to 6 days of hiking and camping. We would like to set up camp in a new place each day.We want to stay near water and away from people as much as possible.We want to be in the Mountains and would like to visit some water falls. We also want to go see some caves.I have read the beginners information and am following up on what I am learning.Each nite I share with my husband what I have learned that day.We don't even know how to read a compass :).....We are very excited about this trip but don't want to end up on the news! Is this a realistic vacation? I welcome and appreciate any advice or insite.”
“Maybe you should consider Big South Fork.”
“Angel, how about the Red River Gorge, area is good and would fit your skill level well.”
“Welcome. Troll :)”
“Welcome Angel. Here's a good thread on compass use:
If you can enjoy or put up with our antics, you will also get some useful information here.
last edited: 4/15/11 12:05:26 PM”
“So how did you get your trail name?
“I suggest Shenandoah National Park, Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area, and Hungry Mother State Park in VA. Cumberland Gap National Historic Park in KY.
Got my fill of caves years ago but you can't beat Mammoth Cave National Park in KY IMHO.”
“I would suggest Shenandoah National Park...
You really dont need a compass, there is water everywhere, beer every 20 miles, and park rangers to assist you..
As for compass skills, you dont need them.. just keep hiking down hill and you will come to a road eventually... (of course, all you really have to do is be able to follow a trail and read the metal plates on the cement posts)..
Ill be section hiking the whole thing in June, and you all are welcome to tag along, 6 days is a little long though, probably more like 5 days with a few 20+ mile days thrown in...
“What an Amazing response!Crash Bang I loved the funny!Scorchfire, I had to google troll.I sure hope I have better luck learning to read a compass......;)Pedxing, I LOVE Antics so keep them coming!32 oz. I am an artist and I do alot of art called glass splash.Angel is my real name.( If you want to see I do have a web site) I am about to researchChilie muddy stix and 32 oz.'s suggestions. I really Appreciate this!”
“~Watching through binoculars from the Home Depot parking lot~”
“Chili, I thought Big South Fork was beautifull.They have some Issues with the water right now though.And Muddy....Ha ha.Rock climbing.Maybe I'll just shelf that till next year but thanks any ways the pics were of this area was awsome.”
“1camper it says that page is not there.”
“I got it and I love It!!! Thank You! Just what I needed!
last edited: 4/15/11 2:30:08 PM”
“Welcome Splashangel. Birch and I have a 10 yr old daughter and have had many great trips with her. She's been to the above suggested Red River Gorge in KY a bunch of times and loved it. It's a gorgeous place.”
“Thank you.I don't intimidate easily but rock climbing? I will take another peek at it though.You know, My husband's never been out of the town we live in.So I get tickled thinking of telling him I have now added rock climbing to his big adventure.”
Seems to work now. If you have six days to spend, I'd also recommend SNP. On clear days do the peaks and cloudy days do the waterfalls. Whiteoak canyon, falls hike, and Old Rag, ridgeline rock scramble are about the two most popular hikes in the park. If you do them, hike them in the middle of the week and start kinda early to avoid crowds.”
“I stayed at that site for hours after you gave it to me and it helped alot. Crowds are our main concern.We really want to be alone as much as possible.I have put alot of research into this and feel like I don't know anymore than I did A week ago.But I KNOW, this is going to be fun and I am very excited.”
“It's going to be difficult to completely get away from people on trails in VA in June. I saw you will be hiking with boys. This is another reason, imo, to go with SNP. There are so many short hikes. Bearfence mountain is one my kids like. It's short, great rock scramble, downhill back to the car. Less than two hours.
As much as we want them to, kids just don't dig long hikes carrying lots of stuff. Make it fun in short burst. You can still backcountry camp (get a permit), you just can't leave your tent up. You have to move to a different spot every night. Or you could stay in a campground..I know, me neither..
One other place not far from SNP is Pleasant Mountain loop. Established sites at the summit and looking north you will see no lights, maybe another campfire straight across the valley. That's in GWNF, its on that link.”
“Back Country Camp? Really. I even like the way the word sounds.You are a wealth of information, and I get the feeling you are truely interested in us enjoying this time together. The boys will be taking light back packs.My husband is 6'3 and powerfull, he will carry our tent. I am 6' and so-so. I will carry the boys. I think I will put the food in the boys packs in case of a bear,They can run faster than us;)(JOKING).I am planning a few daytrips in our area for practice. We are 20 min. from beaches and I always make my kids tote in a back pack what they want. If they cann't tote it they cann't have it.Food,drinks,toys,floats,etc.Thank You for taking the time to help.(Every one) I plan to go over all the suggestions with a fine tooth comb.I love the compass site also.Off to internet explore!!!!!”
“One thing you may consider is splitting the tent up. One person carry poles, one the tent body, one the fly. Takes some of the load off your husband and makes the kids know they are carrying something very important.
Just hard to find backcountry sites with five man tents..trust me.”
“For sure.We were planning on 2 tents. My husband taking ours and me toting the boys.I have found some very light weight tents. Some even without floors.Thinking, we can go with little of nothing and hove up with boys if weather gets bads.I have checked out all the places and I loved Old Rag and White Oak.Thinking now maybe we should set aside a couple of days at a permenant camp to hike appealing trails and then maybe 3 or 4 days to back country camp.Do you think this is do-able?Putting the boys in their on tent? The only other tent I saw that I liked had room dividers but weighed a ton.Sharing your insight now with my husband and showing him pics of White Oak and Old Rag. What has been the best trip for you if you don't mind my asking?”
“There is this place in middle tennesse that I visit, you could camp in a different campsite 4 different nights and park your car nearby, and also see three or four water falls. Then if you still wanted more you could hike into the back country to a couple more that were within a hour or so hike from the parking lot.”
“I love Old Rag, I did it about three weeks ago and I'm doing it again next weekend. There's not much level ground and you don't want to carry a lot of stuff. It's kinda long for kids. I would suggest having your husband drop you and the kids off at the trailhead, drive the car to Berry Hollow trailhead and walk back to you down the fire rd. It will cut off 2.5 mi. of fire rd. After the summit it's not to far back to Berry Hollow all down hill. It'll probably take him an hour or more to make the shuttle but it'll be much faster than making them walk that distance after the climb. Start early, on a weekday to insure parking is available.
If you want to do White oak, the trailhead isn't far from Old Rag. Maybe you could find a place to camp nearby..
Best to start White oak from the bottom, hike up back is downhill.
As far as tents go, I've done two tents but far prefer one. Don't be scared of a heavy tent. 8lbs split up four ways is still pretty light. It's VA in the summer, don't even think of going floorless! Nothing will turn a kid off camping forever like waking up with a centepede in his ear! If it's privacy you want hike 'em hard and put 'em to bed early.”
“Thanks Muddy. I traveled Tn. pretty hard with my artwork so we decided to check out new area.However, it was amazing. I tried to post,no luck, a pic of the land I lived on with no electricity or running water(Well, there was a stream part of the year;)Tn. is beautifull.1camper,funny.....and dead on.Privacy. But we were not going floorless for the boys, just us.In Tn I often slept outside and we have done the same here twice while camping.You are right though,it will be light to split it.So, I will take your advice and get one tent instead of 2.We can always lay out side and star gaze ,huh?(Hee-hee wink,wink.)Thanks for the tip on Old Rag also.These are the types of things if overlooked could really put a damper on our trip.”
“Hi Spirit Coyote.Takes one ta know one;)”
“A troll with attitude!”
“Looking up the scramble at Old Rag
Looking back down the scramble (hiking the loop clockwise)
Take lots of water! None up there and not a lot of shade. There are some cool slots you can get out of the heat in, but they are pretty narrow. Took these shots the last time I hiked it.[img]
last edited: 4/16/11 7:00:31 PM”
“Great pic, 1camper.”
“See how failure is so totally celebrated here? Lol
Looking up the scramble
Looking down the scramble (hiking clockwise)”
“Wow! The first pic I was thinking maybe not.But the next one makes me want to leave tomorrow.That is an amazing picture.There has been a couple of changes. The boys are not going and We will be leaving later.Joe, wants to do it alone and get a feel for it then take them later.We now will be leaving June 17.This really changes everything.You mentioned you go pretty often to this spot,do you go alone?”
“Angel there are a lot of people that go on trips solo here...we are our best partners.”
“Yup, doing it solo is best sometimes. You can get a lot of satisfaction going solo. But with a group is good too, just diffrent.”
“The last two times I hiked solo. I live at the beach and usually arrive late afternoon, hike in, sleep in my hammock, and get back to my ride by noon. Avoids crowds.
This weekend I'm going with my daughter, same plan. There are two Old Rag parking areas. One at the trailhead, one .8 down the mountain in a field. It's unlikely you will get to park at the upper lot. That is why I started parking at Berry Hollow. Knock the fire road out in the evening and hike up a little way. It is also .8 from Berry Hollow to the loop so its the same as parking in the lower lot, less people know about it, until now.”
“Wow! I just put together the cost.Yikes!It is expensive getting the gear.The up side? I Love shopping.At any rate, once it is bought it looks like future trips will be light on the pocket.Problem is,there are not alot of Trails here. But,there are a few,Bristol offers one maybe 2.Chiply has falling waters and Marianna the Caverns.Other than that I have swamp land and beaches. I am planning a trip to one of these for this coming Sat.”
“Start cheap, angel - rent first.”
“Even better, borrow.”
Go to REI Outlet, watch llbean sale and closeout, Eastern Mountain Sports, Backcountry.com, Backcountry Gear.com, and check sale and close outs.
Check out Craigs list. Find your local retail outfitter store and see what gear they rent and watch for sales, talk to the people there. They will know people that have gear they want to get rid of.”
“seriously, don't buy anything you can borrow or rent on your first outings. You have no ideas what you will like in gear, and there is no one anywhere who can tell you what exactly will suit you better than you can tell yourself after a few adventures. You can see what other people use and compare to what you are using.”
“Imagine my surprise,after returning home with all my new gear minus $ 3,849 bucks,to find all the helpfull suggestions posted on here......NAAAAAW,JUS KIDDING!!! I am very frugal.Thanks for all the tips.Scorchfire, I had no idea you could rent.Pedxing, I don't think I know anyone to borrow from.Stix, I will check the places out that you gave me. I want to get the tent our boots and back packs pretty soon though so that I can try them out on a few Sat. trips before the BIG one.I am so excited.Thanks hyway.And by the way,I love the pic with the face in the back.And 1camper, I have your picture of old rag now as my desk top background.”
“Dang, I'm honored...took that pic with my phone. Here's one of my boy on Bearfence.
“Thanks hyway.And by the way,I love the pic with the face in the back.
Umm, what pic is that?”
“Your album. Whateva was the title I think. It appears to be a face but is the back of somebodies head.Really kinda nifty I thought.”
“Awww Man....That makes me want to take the boys.I still love the pic though.My phone is a headache taking pics. I am buying a camera for the trip.I need one anyways for work.Also,I checked Craigs list.Found a lady has 2 packs(Jans sport)She said paid 175 a pc for,selling for 50 pc.Used to hike in Tn.several times.Quit hiking.Aluminum frames.She said they stayed 2 to 4 days at a time.I am going to look at them this week if they are still there.You guys NEVER say the word walmart on here.....Should I stay out of there looking for stuff?And the compass......Ugh!”
“Borrow or rent gear first! Otherwise in five years you'll have 15 packs.. Don't buy a pack at Wal-Mart put it that way....their batteries are fine.”
“Ha Ha.Got cha.The backpacks this woman has is Target brand so I am leary of them even.There isn't anyone to borrow from and I really have no idea where to rent from.The closest "Big" town to me is 45 min. away. I WILL figure this all out and I WILL get my own cool pictures!”
“buying at walmart or target is buying heavy. heavy sucks. buy a little bit at a time but buy light light light light light”
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