Grayson Highlands Route Planning – Solo Winter Backpacking Trip Pt 3

Creating a Backpacking Loop for my upcoming winter solo camping trip in Virginia’s Grayson Highlands.

For part three of this series, I’ll be going over my specific route selection for my solo backpacking loop, including trails used, potential parking / starting points, and expected camping areas for each night.  The map I chose to purchase for this trip, based on viewer feedback, was National Geographic’s Map #318 for the Mount Rogers High Country Grayson Highlands State Park region of Virginia.

A good portion of this loop will utilizing the Appalachian Trail, within the Mt Rogers National Recreation Area, as well as several other connecting trails within the Lewis Fork Wilderness and Little Wilson Creek Wilderness areas.

I will be doing continued updates throughout the whole process of planning this winter hiking trip. All the way from location selection, specific route planning, packing, food choices, getting there, doing the actual trip, and whatever else may come up in between, so check back for updates!

Location Selected! – Solo Winter Backpacking Trip (Pt 2)

Based on Viewer Feedback I’ve Chosen the Location for my Solo Winter Backpacking Trip!

For the second installment of this series, I’ll be talking about my final choice for the location of the upcoming backpacking trip that I’ve been planning.  How did I make my decision on the final location for my winter camping trip?  You told me!

A very big thanks is in order for all of the super helpful viewers and subscribers that shared their feedback on the previous trip planning video.  Obviously, i had to narrow it down to just one area out of the hundred of backpacking routes that we shared, but I definitely learned a ton of useful info on areas for future trips as well.

For now though, I’m going to focus on the spot chosen for this trip.  Which is, of course, – Oh, come on, you didn’t think I’d really ruin the surprise by typing it here, did you?  🙂


I plan to do continued updates throughout the whole process of planning this winter hiking trip. All the way from location selection, specific route planning, getting there, doing the actual trip, and whatever else may come up in between, so check back for updates!

 

Hiking the Great Smoky Mountains – Backpacking Trip – 3 Days

Join me for a 3 day, 57 mile backpacking loop through the Smokies.

Trailhead: Lakeview Drive,  +35° 27′ 26.32″, -83° 31′ 35.75″

Trails Used, in order:

Day 1  (20.5 miles)
Begin at Lakeview Tunnel at the end of the “Road to Nowhere”
Benton MacKaye Trail / Lakeshore Trail
Bear Creek Trail
Welch Ridge Trail
High Rocks Vista – Great views of Fontana Lake!
Cold Spring Gap Trail
Hazel Creek Trail
End at Backcountry Campsite 82

Day 2  (24.5 Miles)
Hazel Creek Trail
Lakeshore Trail / Benton MacKaye Trail
End at Backcountry Campsite 76

Day 3  (12 Miles)
Lake Shore Trail / Benton MacKaye Trail
End at Lakeview Drive (Road to Nowhere) Trailhead and the Car!

Downloadable GPS Data

Season: Early Summer (First week of June)

Detailed Gear List to follow in separate video,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9p6bCC8RuE
but here’s the major items:

Osprey Hornet 46 Backpack
Hennessey Hammock – Expedition A-Sym
Sea to Summit Toaster – Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner (used as primary bag)
Klymit Inertia X-Frame Sleeping Pad

11 pounds Base Weight + extra filming gear and electronics that the average person probably won’t need.  I was actually carrying closer to 13 lbs while filming.  See the full Ultralight Gear List Video for a detailed look at the 11 pound system, plus tips for going sub-10-pounds if desired.

Link to official trail map from National Parks Service, as seen in video: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/upload/GSMNP-Map_JUNE14-complete4-2.pdf

All content, including video, music and sound effects, are original works created by myself, Sintax77.

Backpacking Tips – Easy Route Planning – The String Method

In this video, we’ll take a look at how to find custom Backpacking loop hikes… fast.

There are plenty of high tech route planning methods out there for hiking and backpacking, and trust me, I love them. But sometimes it’s nice to just keep things simple.

In preparation for an upcoming overnight trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I began tinkering with various methods to find an ideal 3 day, 2 night loop. Several futile afternoons later, I was less than successful in my pursuit of Tennessee adventure. But then I broke out the method seen in the video. Within a short amount of time I suddenly had a loop hike that I was excited about. Score 1 for low tech.