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Posts posted by ki0eh

  1. It sounds like you live local to the AT so I would recommend finding a local outfitter that caters to AT hikers.


    Not easy to find in southcentral PA (assuming locale from proximity to both the AT and Tuscarora).


    You could try http://www.wildwarebackcountry.com/ but honestly it's a shadow of its former self.


    The thru-hikers typically re-boot at http://www.theoutfitteratharpersferry.com/servlet/StoreFront


    Perhaps http://www.appoutdoors.com/ is convenient to you, they ran EMS out of town in State College, but boot fitting might be luck of the draw too.


    And http://www.wildasaphoutfitters.com/ is owned by two recent women AT thru-hikers, near the Mid State Trail (those who know the "PA rocks" only from the A.T. know nothing until they've done the MST and Tuscarora :) )

  2. Apart from items specific to hunting and fishing, the gear at Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, or Gander Mountain typically is oriented more to car/ATV camping, while the gear at REI or Eastern Mountain Sports is more oriented to bikepacking/backpacking. Those who are really serious hunting/fishing aficionados, as well as the really serious bicyclists and backpackers, often find that local stores cater more closely to their boutique needs.

  3. I like sleeping in a Hennessy hammock and in Rocksylvania it certainly opens up more potential campsites. It is different from a regular hammock for diagonal sleeping vs. a curve. The enclosed bottom entry does bother some folks but not me. The attached bug net bothers some too, but in PA hammock weather is probably bug weather too so the non-separability of the bug net isn't an issue for me either.


    Although I'm a member of Hammock Forums I find the information density over there to be a bit high. Lots of good info but I don't have the time to penetrate it.


    I did have a quality issue with the Hennessy - screen tore off the bottom on the first night due to bad stitching. Seems others have had a similar problem. Two months and an expensive mail-back to Canada later, I got a better stitched replacement that's worked fine since.


    One thing that's worked for me warmth wise hanging in 30 deg overnight is the Wal-Mart blue sleeping pad under a 0 deg bag, wearing my base layer inside I was plenty warm without resorting to the fancy add ons.


    I've been keeping the pack under the hammock. Nothing else to set up or hang. I do carry a BearVault rather than hanging food/smellies. As someone else said the zippers etc. are left hanging open. If the pack has been explored in the night, the explorers don't stick around or leave perceptible evidence.


    My own hammock issue is the set up. I am very very clumsy and the process of tying off is just very difficult for me. (That's also why I carry the BearVault rather than bothering with the food hanging process.) In fact on my next trip I'm trying a newer lighter tent (also anticipating colder weather).


    I've also thought of trying a Speer (USA made) but I just don't get out enough to justify the expense of yet another hammock. Maybe soon!

  4. I think for many folks the attraction of the Appalachian Trail and its shelters is the opportunity to meet new folks -- conversation is a big way to pass the time, especially in areas where there are many thru-hikers. (If you do this they like you even better if you then set up your tent outside the shelter rather than occupying precious room. :ninja: )


    Honestly, the question of "what to do" is why I'm more interested in backpacking with others during the winter. During the summer, use daylight to keep moving and exploring, then get tired and wake up with the dawn to explore some more. Winter darkness hinders exploration so talking and sharing around the campfire then becomes more important.


    After a few more trips, it becomes easier to calibrate oneself and one's backpacking companions to what you want to do. Your answer won't be someone else's, or even mine, but discovering your own capabilities is part of the fun of backpacking.

  5. PENNDOT often considers itself above the administrative process ordained by law. Often they take policy decisions that are embodied in "strike-off letters" with no public notice nor review. Might be worth writing to all of your state rep, state senator, and the Governor's office to ask where the disappearing caches are...

  6. To clarify, I don't need the county border, but to reproject a bunch of old data (hypsography, parcels, land use, etc.) that the county generated a while ago, and it seems too many analysts moved on both here and there so was wondering if someone who had gotten the data elsewhere (it's not on PASDA) might know.


    Like I said, boring geek GIS question... B)

  7. Hi folks, Google didn't work for me so I'll try here just in case there's some overlap between geocachers and GIS users.


    Is there an active discussion forum for GIS (I'm talking ArcGIS, ArcView, that kind of stuff) users in PA?


    I'm looking for a place to post a question like "What projection is Mifflin County shapefile and coverage data from 1999 in?" and hope to get an answer.


    (Although if someone here would like to answer, I'll try it... B) )


    Don't tell me "NAD 1983 PA SPCS south, feet" because that ain't it...



  8. Now all I have to do is convince the wife that I will be ok on the AT for a night or two alone this summer OR find someone to go with-- not easy for a middle aged bloke with no backpacker friends.


    For hooking up with backpackers, try thebackpacker.com and forums.backpacker.com , folks post trips in many areas of the country, and will also value input on the best GPSr. :santa:

  9. In addition to the boxes and the 'net, one might also consider a local outfitter or failing that, REI among the chains. The best of these can size you up pretty well both for what you want to do and what will actually fit.


    Granted, they are a little difficult to find, if the original poster is in eastern WV one of the places along the Appalachian Trail should be rated, up or down, by the folks on whiteblaze.net - or perhaps contact the webmaster of midatlantichikes.com for some pointers (MRHyker is very helpful).


    Also, on the subject of hammocks, I've switched from tenting to using a Hennessy. Their offshore stitcher has varying quality control and I had to mail mine to Canada ($$$) for a replacement that came a couple months later. I've attended a form led by Speers hammock folks and might be inclined to switch to that brand (sewn in U.S.A. to boot) had I not bought Hennessy.

  10. Just discovered the new version of DNR Garmin (download it free from http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mis/gis/tools/a.../DNRGarmin.html ) will take a shapefile (you can get "Arc View shape file" for the A.T. from http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.jkL...d_Agreement.htm ) and save it as a Google Earth .kml file with no Garmin GPSr required.


    There is a trick needed, and that is to "set projection" in the DNR Garmin program to what the projection is of the shapefile (in the case of the A.T. shapefile, it is Decimal Degrees, NAD27) before reading the shapefile into the DNR Garmin program and then saving the file as a .kml.


    But as these programs go, that's a pretty easy configuration.

  11. Hi folks, I'm the volunteer geospatial data coordinator for Mid State Trail Association, the all volunteer organization that cares for Mid State Trail http://www.hike-mst.org, a part of Great Eastern Trail http://www.greateasterntrail.org and Pennsylvania's longest footpath.


    Our group needs improved track location data for both Mid State Trail and other trails/paths nearby in order to communicate better both with hikers through improved maps, and land managers who allow the footpath on their land. We have a couple of volunteers who are using their own GPS units while they hike but it takes a while to cover well over 400 km of paths. We can't just digitize off air photos because our trail is usually well hidden by trees, and is very narrow and often rocky.


    If any of you are nearby to the central Pennsylvania area, and want an excuse to walk in the woods with a GPSr, we could use your help!


    Ideally, we'd like at least two volunteers independently to walk each area, hopefully covering both a part of MST itself, and a loop on a fire road or other feature visible on air photos as a check. For our mapping, the volunteer GIS person would compare your tracks to the existing map and take the best average.


    We'd like to receive electronically track files, and waypoint files of notable features along the path (such as parking lots, benchmarks, view points, waterfalls, marked surveyed boundaries, etc.), and any notes you see of trail conditions.


    You would be welcome to share the information you collect with this or another forum as well.


    The areas where coverage is most needed is between Blackwell and Little Pine State Park, although tracklogs and waypoints for the entire trail is welcome.


    Upon signing up, MSTA would supply you with 2 copies of a single existing trail map for the area, so you can return one with your notes, and keep one. Geospatial volunteers would be eligible to receive a second map after finishing the first one.


    If you are willing and able to purchase maps and guides, or already have them and are willing to make copies to make your notes on, that would be a welcome additional contribution to our non-profit all volunteer work.


    And, within IRS rules you can deduct from your taxes any mileage for a charitable purpose to reach the trailhead, as MSTA is a Federal 501(c )(3) registered and Pennsylvania incorporated non-profit organization. We would also be interested in knowing how many hours you are on the trail, and driving, as well.


    If you are interested, send an E-mail to footpaths@fleszar.org for further details.



  12. Ooo!! OOOO!!


    Did it, all the way, every inch, every blaze in 1990.


    Got eight hours to look at my slides? :unsure: (No joke..)

    Wow...8 hours. :blink: At least they'll be intresting slides, not Aunt Matilda I've never met outside of the museum of thimbles. :unsure:


    One thing I found intresting is the AT leaves out some of the best scenery in the Appalacian range...The Adirondacks.Is there a trail that goes seperately through them,as the Long Trail does for our Green Mountains?There HAS to be...


    Just found this thread... A classic long trail in the Adirondacks is the Northville-Placid Trail, try here to get started: http://www.adk-schenectady.org/northville-placid_trail.html

    There are a number of other long trails in the Northeast. Here is a link that talks about some of them:


  13. Hi folks,


    I'm bumping the topic because the offer of a tax deduction still stands, the data is still needed, and the leaves are coming off soon so you can plan your trips now!


    Most needed section is between Blackwell, PA, and Little Pine State Park, PA.


    Thanks for your patience...

  14. OK, Some caches nearby where we need data, in not much order: GCKR13, GCPJJV, GCWA09, GCN4E4, GCK81R, GCN9RY, GC335D, GCG3X9, GCG1EK, GCZN95, GCG1A3, GCG4GK, GCM9AJ, GCYZTA, GCWT4G, GCWWY9, GCWV9V, GCGB2Q, GCG613, GCG03A, GCGYMP, GCWDRV, GCH3FA, GCV441, GCN9TE, GCJDVW, GC77E0, GCJWVG, GCP2AR, GCMVR8, GCH1DR, GCWGM0

  15. Maybe if you mentioned some of the caches people could grab along the trail, it would inspire them. Smilies might hold more intrigue than tax deductions with this crowd...


    There's definitely caches and benchmarks along the way and nearby. I'll see later on tonight if I can generate a list of zip codes where we need help the most. I know 15522, 15537, 15535, 17211, and 16946 will be on that list...

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