Foothills Trail SC - 1st thru hike

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by DadmanSC, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    I often hear people say how they wish they had done x,y, or z. I hear people talk about how I should hold on to certain things while I'm young, like my children's youth. But I can't help but think, What if I was excited about the future, even when I'm older.

    The future and looking forward to things starts with action and so I'm taking my first steps. I'm 31 with 2 kids. I'm going to go on my first thru hike this year on the 76 mile Foothills Trail in Oconee, SC.

    I've camped in the woods with my hammock only a few handful of times. Never hiked more then 5 miles and I'm not in perfect shape. I know I'll struggle, but I know I won't quit.

    I could train and start smaller and all the other things but they seem like excuses at this point.

    Just wanted to share what I'm doing. If you've got any tips or suggestions (outside of safety - I got that - not a thing to mess with) I'd love you hear em. Encouragement and stories welcome too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  2. martin9700

    martin9700 Tracker

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    Fantastic! The only thing really stopping us is us. Tell us more about the hike? How many days? Base weight, etc. All the goodies! Sounds like about a week/10 days?
     
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  3. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Way to go. Best of luck.

    My excuses are numerous some is just that excuses some are true reasons to wait. But 1 day I will disappear on a long hike and not come back until I want to
     
  4. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    It looks like I might be able to do it in 6 days. Its nothing too crazy but it has the high point in SC too. I've started building a list of my itemized weight. I'm hoping to have a base weight of less then 30lb.
    My stuff is cheap and I'm hammock camping.
    Lugging around a $8 academy sleeping bag too, hoping to keep it dry.
    I'll have my wife and kids come meet me at a few points on the trail and will use that for shedding and adding things that I may need.

    Might have the wife meet me with food as well so I don't have to carry the whole week with me.

    Lots of waterfalls!
     
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  5. gasmandave

    gasmandave Supporter Supporter

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    I have a close friend who has hiked it several times. I planned on hiking it the year of the pinicle (sp?) Mountain fire that closed the trail. Maybe we can do it together. But you'd have to hike slow...I'm over twice your age. :14:
     
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  6. martin9700

    martin9700 Tracker

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    30 is high for a base weight, are you including water and food (not normally considered part of the base weight)? Problem is light gear is so expensive. I have a 3 year plan to lighten my base weight, but a lot of that is dependent on me lightening myself!! Want a light pack? Lower your own weight, kiddo! haha

    I have not hammock camped yet either, but have a new hammock to try, it's heavy but ground sleeping didn't work too well for me. Going with a bridge hammock because the gathered end ones seem way to cacoony for me, and I'm a restless side/stomach sleeper.

    Six days sounds really awesome, I will have to look that trail up! I'm way up in New England though so that'd be a good trip.
     
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  7. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Dave would be a good man to have with you. If I could do it now, I would also offer. Hope you have a good time. joe
     
  8. gasmandave

    gasmandave Supporter Supporter

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    Are you going from Oconee State Park to Table Rock or Ceasers Head? If you start at Table Rock and head to Oconee it's more of a down hill shot. You will have about a 32 mile section called "The big middle" or Laurel valley that resupply isn't an option. There are some pretty steep sections but all are do-able if you take your time. Planning 6 days to do 75 miles is a bit of a push if you're a little bit out of shape. I was planning on 6 but taking food for more just in case.
     
  9. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    I was thinking about starting from Oconee, but only because I had read it was easier somewhere. I'll have to look at the other route. I know there's a chance I still don't finish it in six, but I may just have to go back and finish it off another day. I'll have to be back at work. Im working through the guide book trying to plan out mileage and access points for the family. Good to know about "the big middle"!

    I'm going to drive to some of the access points in the next few weeks too so I can have an idea of things.
     
  10. gasmandave

    gasmandave Supporter Supporter

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    What guide book are you using? If it's the official Foothills Trail Conference guide there is a better one than that. I'll find my copy and let you know the title and author.
     
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  11. gasmandave

    gasmandave Supporter Supporter

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    These three are what you need for planning. The pocket guide on the right and map are the best. Pocket guide does well with #/days compared to #/miles IMG_20180207_201041.jpg
     
  12. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    Nice! Ya I bought the guide book from Oconee state park on the left. I didn't know there was a pocket guide. The miles and days are definitely the tough part to nail down. Plus where I should be camping and when Does it have West to east specifics in it too? Any idea where I can grab one?
     
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  13. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    Alright martin, you challenged me to get my life together haha so I've got my pack spread out on the coffee table and I'm going to try to get a closer idea. Still have a few small things to buy. You are right though this stuff can get crazy expensive. Especially all the down stuff that people use. I'm banking on that south carolina weather helping me out from getting cold enough to need down.

    Biggest problem is how to get this sleeping bag attached to my pack since it's too big to go inside it .
     
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  14. gasmandave

    gasmandave Supporter Supporter

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    It also has camping spot, watering spots, access spots...a lot of useful information as well as both East to west and west to east information. I got mine at Oconee State Park.
     
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  15. Alphaholic

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    I was actually looking at that trail today, I have camped down in Francis Marion and they have a 49mile trail there I think I am going to try before the foothills. Keep me posted because this is on my list
     
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  16. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    Will do. From what I've read it is very well maintained with the main attraction being waterfalls. Sassafras mtn has a great view from the top too.
     
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  17. Pharmer

    Pharmer Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    This is exciting. I cant wait to hear the trip report. Best of luck. Good for you for even trying it. I bet you'll get a bug and this won't be the last.
     
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  18. martin9700

    martin9700 Tracker

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    It gets bad, I ended up getting a scale and putting each piece of gear into geargrams.com. It lets you mix and match gear and see the overall weight. Good for seeing where the weight is. If you're hammock camping you might want to go with a quilt instead of a bag. Upper end would be Katabatic or Enlightened equipment, but apparently Costco has a pretty good quilt for like $30 and if the weather is warm that might be all you need! Hammockgear.com has a Burrow 40 and 50 which aren't TOO bad. They should pack down too so maybe space in the pack wouldn't be too bad.
     
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  19. martin9700

    martin9700 Tracker

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  20. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    That sounds awesome. Nice distance, long enough to stretch your legs, but short enough where you can see the finish line. Don't worry too much about being out of shape, just set a nice easy pace and everything will be fine.

    Longbeard
    AT 2015, 2018
    PCT 2016
     
  21. ra2bach

    ra2bach Guide

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    I've got a section of the AT that I was wanting to do this year but this is on my list this spring. when did you think you were going?..
     
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  22. longhunter

    longhunter Northman Supporter

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    I'm sure you can do it young man, I did a roughly 50 mile circuit trip in the Adirondaks at 73 y.o. took me about 7 days totals I dallied along the way but, I did it.
     
  23. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    sounds fantastic,
    get out and do it, enjoy it,
    wish I did such things when younger,
    my current endeavor is to do a 50 mile hike before i'm 50,
     
  24. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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  25. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    Right now it's looking like late April. That's the plan.
     
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  26. SC864

    SC864 Tracker

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    I've completed from Oconee state park to the Gorges section at Bad Creek . My hiking friends are slacking lately. I'd love to thru hike it if my schedule allows , shoot me a PM if you want .
     
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  27. ra2bach

    ra2bach Guide

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    late April fits with my plans. it looks like you're getting quite a crew together. I usually hike alone but I wouldn't mind sharing a campsite at night with 1 or 2 people...
     
  28. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Guide

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    Way to go brother never stop exploring !
     
  29. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    Update: Didn't expect so many people be close by and ready to hike! Sweet! I'm still trying to figure out if a few of my friends are going to go or not, but excited to make a few friends with you guys.

    I want to try and iron out the details with the people that I'm talking to but, it might be fun to get to hike with some brand new people too. Planning on the week of April 22. I may start as late as the 24th to be able to finish the hike with friends or family.

    I tried to weigh out everything I have the other night and it looks like I'm hovering around 20 lbs base weight.

    I'm going to try and do the Kohl's UQ and TQ to drop some significant weight. But also adding some necessities that I didn't have yet.

    Next step is to figure out how much food I need and what weight I should expect to carry with food and water. Any tips or packlist are welcome. 5 nights 6 days is what I'm planning on.
     
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  30. Bosco

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    Oh my heart yearns to hike that trail again. Especially in early spring when the Oconee Bells are in bloom and the wild Iris push up through the leaf litter. You can't go wrong walking this trail. Have a great experience.
     
  31. ra2bach

    ra2bach Guide

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    keep going! it would help to get your base weight (less consumables like food, water, fuel) down below 15lbs if you can. the "big 3" (pack, shelter, and sleep system) should be 10lbs or less...

    don't worry if you're not there though, we can work on that in this thread and I have plenty of equipment to loan if you need it...
     
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  32. Alex Blain-Laider

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  33. 95YJRio

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    I am currently section hiking the FHT when time allows. I started at Oconee State Park and working my way to Table Rock. I am about half way through. Living outside of Charleston makes it tough to get up there as often as I would like to. I would like to through hike be I hit 40. Keep up the positive thoughts and I hope that you will post a trip report once done. If I was not so short on PTO with work I would just might have to join you for a leg or two. My ultimate goal is to live in the upstate of SC to be closer to all that is offered up there. I have never been a beach person, give me the mountains and the rivers to call home.

    Cheers!
    Torry
     
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  34. DadmanSC

    DadmanSC Tracker

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    Alright I am officially head first into the DIY UQ and TQ. It took all day to de thread this thing. Going to try and sew in some loops along the side to run some shock cord. Hoping to take it out in the next week to see how it will hold up. I've got basically all my gear lined up and weighing in right under 20lbs including trekking poles.

    I'm thinking I'll be close to 30 lbs with water and food. Or hoping at least.
     

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