Last Minute Thru-Hike Questions!

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Last Minute Thru-Hike Questions!

Postby CoMoHikerTrash » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:06 am

Howdy Folks!
Very soon I will be leaving on a chilly OT thru hike (Onondaga to Eleven Point western trail head, a "true thru"). I have a few questions I would love to have answered if you can!

1.Parking: while I already have plans other than leaving my car at the trail head, If I did, how safe would it be? what are some other alternatives? where did you leave your car?

2.Coverage (I have T-Mobile): How often should I plan on have enough signal to send/receive text? I have done some of the trail before and never had an issue, but I'm not sure about the entire trail. I would especially like to know about the last 50 miles or so because I will have to contact my ride towards the end.

3. Power: keeping in the theme of my phone, will their be any power sources along the way? I assume bushy creek will have it (I don't plan on staying there, but maybe just stopping by) are there powers sources at any of the campgrounds such as Berryman, Hazel Creek, McCormick etc? Also what do you guys do to save battery on the trail. I put my phone on airplane mode and only turn it on when I think I will have signal, it has lasted on trips up to 4 days like this (iPhone 5). what do you guys do?

4. Showers at Sutton bluff or Wild Boar: Sutton will be free camping when I get there so I'm not sure if the showers will still be available. Wild Boar says it's open year round but showers are only May-Labor day, is this right? Are there any other showers along the trail I could use without a room reservation?

5. *My biggest concern* Caches: I will be using 2 caches in my two week hike, I have never used caches before and am extremely nervous. I am confident that my boxes are Water/Weather/Raccoon/Bear/Bigfoot proof but I am very worried about two things 1. not being able to find my cache once I get their 2. someone finding my cache and taking it or throwing it away. I plan on burying/hiding my box instead of hanging it in fear of it being noticeable to folks walking by. So any advise on a safe cache find-able by me and no one else? like I said, I have never used caches before, so I would love to hear anything you have to say! :)

Thanks! :)
CoMoHikerTrash
 
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Re: Last Minute Thru-Hike Questions!

Postby Jim » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:22 pm

CoMoHikerTrash wrote:Howdy Folks!
Very soon I will be leaving on a chilly OT thru hike (Onondaga to Eleven Point western trail head, a "true thru"). I have a few questions I would love to have answered if you can!

1.Parking: while I already have plans other than leaving my car at the trail head, If I did, how safe would it be? what are some other alternatives? where did you leave your car?
The location is safe, but just around the corner is Ozark Outdoors Resort - Most times they allow for parking. Call their office or stop in day of depart
Address: 200 Ozark Outdoor Ln, Leasburg, MO 65535
Phone: (800) 888-0023


2.Coverage (I have T-Mobile): How often should I plan on have enough signal to send/receive text? I have done some of the trail before and never had an issue, but I'm not sure about the entire trail. I would especially like to know about the last 50 miles or so because I will have to contact my ride towards the end.
Good luck. Best service I am aware of is ATT and it is spotty at best. Tmobile may or may not have any range.

3. Power: keeping in the theme of my phone, will their be any power sources along the way? I assume bushy creek will have it (I don't plan on staying there, but maybe just stopping by) are there powers sources at any of the campgrounds such as Berryman, Hazel Creek, McCormick etc? Also what do you guys do to save battery on the trail. I put my phone on airplane mode and only turn it on when I think I will have signal, it has lasted on trips up to 4 days like this (iPhone 5). what do you guys do?
Carry a couple small power packs. The size of a roll of quarters, usually enough for one charge. Ridgetops are your best bets and most often only text services.
No electric service at any location other than Brushy Creek and or Bass River resort. No other services exist. The USFS campgrounds are primitive at best. vault toilet, firepit.


4. Showers at Sutton bluff or Wild Boar: Sutton will be free camping when I get there so I'm not sure if the showers will still be available. Wild Boar says it's open year round but showers are only May-Labor day, is this right? Are there any other showers along the trail I could use without a room reservation?
All campground waters have been shut off to the best of my knowledge. Wild boar - closed for sure. I was there Saturday. Cold showers unless you stop in @ Brushy or Bass. Brushy is a couple miles off the Karkahgnee section. Bass River the trail goes through the resort at mile 12.
Sutton may have some electric but I highly doubt it. Brushy Creek has warm shower, and good food, great spot for splurge and hit a mattress.

5. *My biggest concern* Caches: I will be using 2 caches in my two week hike, I have never used caches before and am extremely nervous. I am confident that my boxes are Water/Weather/Raccoon/Bear/Bigfoot proof but I am very worried about two things 1. not being able to find my cache once I get their 2. someone finding my cache and taking it or throwing it away. I plan on burying/hiding my box instead of hanging it in fear of it being noticeable to folks walking by. So any advise on a safe cache find-able by me and no one else? like I said, I have never used caches before, so I would love to hear anything you have to say! :)
Cache - I think if you place them on the North side of major road crossings off trail you will be able to find them and doubtful anyone goes looking....however, deer season is upon us...so there will be lots of extras in the woodlands Nov 11-25ish... Wear an Orange vest and hat is highly advised....should be mandatory.
Thanks! :)


Note - The Western terminus of the 11point - Is remote...very. last half mile of access road is high clearance vehicle type rough road.

Hope this all helps! Happy Trail!
Jim
 
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Location: O'Fallon, MO

Re: Last Minute Thru-Hike Questions!

Postby RobLangellier » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:02 am

Looks like Jim has you pretty well covered. I just finished a thru. Hopefully with the cold weather you won't need a shower. My last week was cold and I didn't sweat a drop. I didn't carry any portable chargers, and using airplane mode and only turning the phone on every few days, I was able to finish the thru hike with 20% battery left. That being said, the phone's only about 5 months old so the battery's good. I didn't cache (mailed resupplies to Brushy Creek and Van Buren post office), but I've heard tell of people using it without problems on the OT. Ran into a thru hiker who was doing it herself. Best of luck!
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Re: Last Minute Thru-Hike Questions!

Postby runners_low » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:18 am

Showers: I was through Sutton Bluff on Saturday evening and used the rest room which had no showers. That campground is heavily used by off road wheelers who have campers. It may still be open.

Cell service: My routine was to have my wife text me every morning. When I got within a signal my phone reported the message. Service in nonexistent off the ridges and not all hills have signals. I had no service anywhere in the Blair Creek section. On the six days I was on the trail (between Hazel Creek and Powder Mill) I had service at least once daily, except on the last day at Blair. I never had service anywhere I camped.

I contacted Brushy Creek Lodge and they approved leaving my car there. I parked it in front of the office and stayed the night in a cabin. They were OK with that even though my first plan was to camp in their campground ($10 fee). I left my resupply in my car. You can also get meals there.

There is no water at Grasshopper Hollow. You will have a 10 mile section there without water, so carry enough to get you through.

GPS capabilities will be needed in some sections. As more leaves fall the trail will become indiscernible in spots.

Joe
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Re: Last Minute Thru-Hike Questions!

Postby RobLangellier » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:49 am

I must disagree about GPS being needed. Most of Between the Rivers is decked out in fallen leaves, and the trail is often beautifully faint, but your body will naturally follow the path of least resistance and you should be fine.
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