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Mutilated1

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I've been hiking/backpacking almost every weekend since the end of deer season. Usually take my son (12) and daughter (9) with me. Today, only took my daughter, we went a shorter trip than we usually do, but we got a late start and the hiking was in a no-trace wilderness area that my daughter thought looked "a little spooky" so we decided to come on back after only about 2 miles, 4 miles in and out.

It was a lucky day though. I've been wanting to buy some kind of water filter or water treatment device so we wouldn't have to pack water in with us, and when we got to the first water crossing I found this: MSR Mountain Safety Research : Water Treatment : MIOX® Purifier Apparently it was brand new, found it in its travel bag complete with a spare set of batteries. I figured we would run into someone on the trail and find who it belonged to, but it appears we were the only ones out there today so "finder's keepers".

Didn't really know what it was at first, just assumed that it was some kind of water treatment device. As it turns out, its the most expensive one that they sell at Bass Pro Shops and we got it for free. Pretty cool huh ?

Had a very nice hike even without finding some treasure, and we're working our way up to hopefully do a few over nighters and maybe even one big 2-3 day 20 mile trip before it gets too hot. Summertime you just can't do big hiking trips because it gets up into the 100s in the shade.

Next weekend, weather permitting we're going to try a 6 mile overnight.

Here's a picture of where the trail splits, up the creek to the left side of the water is the Chinnabee silent trail. Thats where we've hiked the last few weeks. To the right is the Skyway Loop trail, thats where we're planning on hiking overnight next weekend.

IMG_0149r.jpg
 

Ceedubya

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Nice find. You could check to classifieds to see if anyone claims to have lost one (if you feel like being that nice) and then keep it if not. Or just keep it, and forget to check!

I was hiking a lot last year leading up to hunting season. Living in Helena Montana, we are surrounded by some great mountain trails. Mt. Helena is a favorite local one, as its basically right in town. There are many trails to try.

I think its one of the best conditioning excercises around. I got my kids to go a few times, but I enjoy the peace of running it by myself. I was strapping on a pack with some weight and a camelback to prep for hunting last year.

I can't wait till it warms up enought to get back on the mountain. The damned treadmill is a real bore.
 

SowegaBrews

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I do! Day hikes are the best. Great way to clear your head. Sadly, we have no mountains near us, but we do have a beautiful river with a few trails.




I've hiked a good bit of the southern appalachian trail. I'm doing another short hike (24ish miles) in the GA section of the trail in late april.

Here are some pics from a previous hike in the NC/TN area of the AT... it was COLD!






lucky find on that water purifier! i must say i am jealous. we always carry our water, and water for 2-3 days is HEAVY.
 

david_42

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That first picture looks like my driveway during a heavy rain.

I don't hike any more, other than walking the greyhounds out to the mailbox twice a day (3 miles) or taking them for a loop around my neighbor's field.
 

Edcculus

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I do a ton of backpacking. Well, I haven't since I moved to Ohio, but I did a lot in college. We would try to knock out the Foothills Trail (upper SC/lower NC area) once a year. Day hikes are fun. We usually did 15-20 miles in a weekend.

As for filters, I use the Katadyn hand pump model. Those batter operated ones are nice. I'm not going to trust batteries when I'm in the backcountry though.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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The MIOX is a great purifier. It is crazy lightweight and easy to use. The only complaint is that it does affect the taste of the water. It will give the water a slightly chlorinated taste (because that's how it kills bacteria etc.) but once you get the dosing down it isn't a very strong taste at all. Simple to use and great for groups because you can purify LARGE amounts of water with minimal effort.

I don't hike nearly as much as I would like to. :(
 

menschmaschine

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I used to hike a lot. Hiked most of the Appalachian in PA. Now I live in coastal flat land and hiking is just not as fun.

And for filters... I just don't know if I trust them anymore. I had a pretty good one (don't remember brand/model) that filtered down to a very small size range. Only very small bacteria could get through it. Having a biology background and knowing the sizes of various protozoa and bacteria, I thought I was covered. Took it on the Appalachian and filtered water from a clean looking mountain stream. The day after I finished the hike I came down with an illness that took me out for a few days... fever, diarrhea, etc. Don't know what it was... possibly a virus that made it through the filter.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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That's why the MIOX is so nice. It isn't a filter, it is a chemical reaction that kills everything. It was developed for the army for oversees and extreme outpost situations. It literally kills everything with a contact time of 4 hours. 99.999% clean after 10 minutes (or something like that).
 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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Would you mind telling me how to operate the MIOX ? I didn't find an instruction book - lol
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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sure

1. unscrew and fill the big bottom part with rock salt
2. screw that part back together
3. unscrew the top small part and fill with water
4. screw the top part back on
5. shake water filled pen for 30 seconds
6. unscrew top small part while holding the pen vertical (i.e., don't spill the now salty water)
7. press the button the number of time corresponding to the amount of water you intend to purify
8. You will see the water at the surface fizz and bubble, when it is done pour the solution into your water container.
9. Let sit for the desired amount of time for purification, in anywhere normal just 10 minutes is fine.

They have indicator strips you are supposed to use to verify the proper concentration of ions for purification, they aren't necessary but are good to get a feel for the thing.... I'll do some digging.
 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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Here's another pic from where we usually hike. This is "The Devil's Den" - First stop on the Chinnabe Silent Trail, right about 1 mile from the trail head. Even though I took a picture of the water fall, this spot is more well known for the large pool of water under the falls. Its a popular swimming place in the summer. But in the spring time when the streams are really flowing the falls are nice too look at, much too cold for swimming though.

IMG_0170r.jpg
 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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sure

1. unscrew and fill the big bottom part with rock salt
2. screw that part back together
3. unscrew the top small part and fill with water
4. screw the top part back on
5. shake water filled pen for 30 seconds
6. unscrew top small part while holding the pen vertical (i.e., don't spill the now salty water)
7. press the button the number of time corresponding to the amount of water you intend to purify
8. You will see the water at the surface fizz and bubble, when it is done pour the solution into your water container.
9. Let sit for the desired amount of time for purification, in anywhere normal just 10 minutes is fine.

They have indicator strips you are supposed to use to verify the proper concentration of ions for purification, they aren't necessary but are good to get a feel for the thing.... I'll do some digging.
Ah cool. Thats kind of what I thought you were supposed to do, but I was having a hard time believing that it would really get the water clean that way.
 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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Here's some more hiking pics from this weekend...

this is my son and I near little caney head in the cheha wilderness

elevation 1877ft - right up there in the clouds, where we were it was like standing in the bathroom with the door closed while someone was taking a shower - it didn't actually "rain" on us, but we pretty much got soaked anyway

IMG_0189r.jpg
 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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pics were taken on the Pinhoti trail. Pinhoti is creek indian for "Turkey Home" because Turkeys are commonly seen in the area.

Hard to see Turkey with a couple of noisey kids in tow...

here's the only interesting wildlife we saw other than they typical squirells

IMG_0198r.jpg
 

McKBrew

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I need to quit talking about doing this and actually do it.

I have three teenage boys who are fairly active in the neighborhood (basketball and bike riding), but we do not do as much together as I would like. Hiking is definitely a low cost solution that would get me moving as well. I hate the gym and traditional exercising. When I was younger I used to walk 4-5 miles a day just because, now I drive the mile to work.

Thanks for the inspiration, hopefully I'll do something with it.

Any recommendations on basic equipment to take on every hike?
 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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Basic equipment for us for a hiking trip is:

* Extra pair of socks in case feet get wet
* snacks, trail mix, beef jerkey, fruit
* bottles of water
* pack of playing cards - used to distract tired kids when they start to complain, we stop and deal a hand of go-fish
* GMRS radios, Digital Camera, GPS unit, cell phone, batteries
* first aid-kit, aspirin, bee-sting treatment, etc..
* emergency rain ponchos
* water-proof box with matches, fire starter
* tarp and chord for quick rain shelter - tent if needed
* plastic garbage bag - we practice "Leave No Trace" and pack any mess we make out with us, and pick up other people's mess when we can

We could get along with a lot less, I probably carry too much actually. Basically everything we carry is in one daypack and a fanny pack.

I err on the side of carrying too much and I always carry a pack of cards, or a small game, or a craft of some kind - you have to have some kind of distraction when hiking with kids because if you don't they will start to complain and ruin the trip for everyone.

The thing that is really "essential" in my view is a change of socks, especially with kids. Someone will get their feet wet, its a sure thing - and little feet in wet shoes get blisters quickly.

Here's the kids right about to cross the creek from the wilderness back into the state park - this was 2 minutes before the daughter slipped off the rock and stepped in the water over the top of her waterproof hiking boot - obviously the extra socks came in handy.

IMG_0230r.jpg
 

Bedlam

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Here are some pics from a previous hike in the NC/TN area of the AT... it was COLD!


.


Hey! That's my house right there! ;)

Seriously, we live in a mountain cabin nestled in the nat'l forest, about a 15 min walk to the AT...not far from Red Fork Falls. Next time, drop in for a brew...:mug:

Beautiful pic...matter of fact, it is snowing right now...
 

JesseRC

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well i dont hike regularly , but I just got into Geocaching. I heard about it years ago and finally the kids are old enough to enjoy. I guess some of the caches require some hiking;)
 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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we do a good bit of geocaching as well, never placed any caches but I've searched for and found a few
 

GilaMinumBeer

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I hiked up a skirt once or twice.

I used to nature hike a lot a long time ago. Barebones stuff too. Been way to long since and I dunno if my beer gut could tolerate it these days. the great outdoors for me anymore means a swing and a beer on the back patio. Sad really.
 

Coastarine

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I love hiking too, although I haven't gone anywhere in a while (at least without being forced). I've been meaning to get out soon. My wife has never been but she's game. Here's a few pictures from a trip a few years back:


Filtering some water to drink:


Making use of a lean-to on a cold fall night:
 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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Hey guys look what I'm doing tomorrow morning:

PTA South Cheaha Loop

Hoping to do the whole 16.8 miles, but I'm parking my car near the half way point and someone is dropping us off at the start of the loop - that way if there is an incident or we get tired, it won't be more than 4-5 miles to the car.
 

jgln

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That first picture looks like my driveway during a heavy rain.

I don't hike any more, other than walking the greyhounds out to the mailbox twice a day (3 miles) or taking them for a loop around my neighbor's field.
That makes my 800' walk to my mailbox a walk in the park. (pun, but true)
 

jgln

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I have often been told to go take one. :D

Used to when I lived in an apartment but spend most of my free time now doing other things. Once in a while we will "explore".
 
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Mutilated1

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We hiked the Chinnabee a couple of times last summer but in Alabama its much too hot to be much fun in the summer months, so we've been doing a lot of hiking in the spring. We hiked the Chinnabe part of the trail four times so far this spring. But yesterday was the first time we've done the Southern part of the Pinhoti, so basically the first 6 miles of the hike was new territory we haven't covered before and then then last 6 would be down the mountain on the same trails we usually hike, just going the oppostite directions.

Pinhoti means "turkey home" in Creek Indian language because there are supposed to be a lot of wild turkey that live there, so as we walked along trying to be quiet and look I was hoping to see a turkey. When we got to the first water crossing I could hear some kind of animal up ahead so we tried to be quiet and walked slowly up ahead expecting to see a turkey or maybe a deer - but we walked right up on top of a big bobcat! He ran away before it occurred to me to try and take his picture.

After the bobcat incident we were both pretty excited so there was a lot of talking and not much chance to see anymore animals for the next couple of miles.

Trail started to get kind of steep and rocky, and we were looking for something called the "Stairway to Heaven", but I didn't really know what it looked like beyond some descriptions I read online. I saw a few places with lots of rocks that looked more like the cover of "Houses of the Holy" so I was kind of wondering if we hadn't already passed it or something - but when we got there there was no mistaking it. 1/2 mile up the mountain at a 60 degree incline climbing over and in between rocks the size of car. The trail cut back and forth so even though it was a 60 degree incline up, you were never going straight up, which made it more like a mile of walking. Actually it was more like rock climbing. Not a problem for my 12 year old son, but a very difficult climb for me - I had to stop and catch my breath 4-5 times before we got to the top.

Near the top the boulders got huge, like the size of house - I suppose that was what the called the "pearly gates", and the view from the top "heaven" was amazing - could have sat there and looked around for a lot longer but I was afraid we were getting behind schedule and it was very windy and chilly, so we treked on. Somewhere around here we smelled a skunk a couple of times but never saw the skunk.

After only another 30-40 minutes we reached the campground above little caney head which was where we were supposed to turn on the Chinnabee trail and go down the mountain the way that we usually hiked before. It was about 11:00 am and we were making really good time, about two hours ahead of schedule. Unfortunately the Chinnabee is not well blazed there and even though there is a sign that points to the trail we missed the turn. I had my Garmin GPS with me so I could see the way point I set at little caney head was not far away, and the pinhoti continues in that direction so we followed the easy blazes of the pinhoti until we came to the Nubbin creek trail and realized we missed our turn about 2 miles back.

So we back tracked 2 miles and searched around for the Chinnabbe trail, it was kind of hard to find the trail with no blazes even with the waypoint marked on the GPS because even though I could see we were only a few hundred feet from the waypoint the way we appeared to have to go according to the GPS involved climbing down a cliff and I was sure that wasn't the way.

Finally we noticed a cane-break and after we climbed up on some big rocks we could see a trail so we followed it for about 1/4 mile till we got to some landmarks that we recognized and were confident we were back on the trail. So because of loosing the trail and having to back track to look for it we used up the time we saved earlier.

So back down the mountain on the Chinnabee we go, and right about that time we finally saw a turkey! Great big Tom turkey running along through the woods more or less parallel to the trail up ahead of us. He would see us coming and run and then as we walked along more we catch up, and he'd run again. Saw him 3 times before he took to roost and we passed.

We got to the bottom of the mountain and the terrain flattens out a lot and its not nearly so rocky. My feet were glad to have nice soft pine straw to walk on instead of boulders and rocks, so we walked another hour till we crossed the Cheaha creek out of the wilderness and back into the state park - got to the turnipseed camp - took a break and ate some sandwhiches, dumped our trash we picked up at the trash cans at the campground, put on some clean socks and tended the blisters on my feet - lol

Then after havign some clean socks and something to eat, we took off down the rest of the Chinnabee. This part of the Chinnabee has a lot more foot traffic and you run into hikers a lot, and its not nearly so steep and rocky. We kept on, crossed the falls and hiked up to the top of the hill where there is a shelter and picnic table. So by now I was getting pretty tired and I could tell by how hard it was for me to get started moving again that this was going to have to be the last rest-stop other wise my legs were going to refuse to start going again.

So we got going and I was having a harder and harder time keeping up with my nuclear powered 12 year old, so I got out my GMRS radios and gave him one and let him go on ahead by himself since he's hiked this trail several times already. Just kept in touch by radio and I'd tell him to hold up and wait for me if he was getting to far ahead.

Took me almost 2 hours to cover the last 3 and 1/2 miles. We parked a car earlier that day at a recreation area parking lot about a mile from the 11.4 mile mark ( TRAIL SIGN / SKYWAY LOOP TRAIL INTERSECTION ) and got someone to drop us off at Adams gap to start the hike.

So all together, including the 2 miles out of the way off the trail and 2 miles back to pick up the trail, I figure we hiked right about 16 miles. It was 7:15 when we were dropped off at the trail head near Adams Gap, and it was 5:00 when we got to where our car was parked.

My body was so glad to sit down in the car - you can't imagine.

Came home and got out of our stinky clothes - I smelled like I had been in a wrestling match with that skunk and got a nice hot shower.

This morning I'm stiff and sore and I have blisters on top of blisters - lol Age is catching up with me I guess.

I'll have pictures later, but I left the camera over at my parents house last night when I dropped my kids off to stay at grandma and grandpa's house.
 

SowegaBrews

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I'll be doing 22 miles in north GA this weekend. Going over Blood Mountain, the highest peak on the Appalachian Trail in GA! :rockin:

 
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Mutilated1

Mutilated1

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I'll be doing 22 miles in north GA this weekend. Going over Blood Mountain, the highest peak on the Appalachian Trail in GA! :rockin:

Nice. I've been wanting to do that, but it will probably be next summer before I get a chance to do it.

You going to do it in what - two, three days ?
 

Ceedubya

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weather has been beautiful this week, and the snow is (mostly) melted. So, its time to take on the mountain :rockin:

I'm gonna hit Mount Helena this week a couple of times I think.

Last year I bought myself a GPS unit for hunting. I'm gonna try geocaching this summer to get used to it, and for an excuse to get out and hike.
 

SowegaBrews

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Nice. I've been wanting to do that, but it will probably be next summer before I get a chance to do it.

You going to do it in what - two, three days ?
two days really... starting friday morning, ending sunday morning. we'll be staying on top of blood mountain the last night, so we'll hike about 2 miles down the mountain on the 3rd day. i hate how expensive the first hike of the season is! re-buying worn gear pisses me off!
 
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