It is that time again fellas. I have decided to change things up a bit. No we arent gonna plan on a 150f in the summer hike this year.
We are however gonna do one during a time when the weather is all nice a perfect for those who are climate control challenged.
Here is the gory details and then some....
Dates- March 20-21st
Florida trail, Ocala north section , Ocala national forest,Florida. Start point Juniper springs 9am .
Distance- total distance will equal to about 20 miles over a two day period.
support- as always we will have some sort of "base" camp for those wanting to camp with the creature comforts and to be our safety net.This normally is on a half way point or our end point for sat nights camp. The base camp will be located in an area that allows people to just show up Sat. mid day and mingle with other base campers or hikers as they come off the trail. As well as let those not wanting to hike to just camp and network. Folks may also set up at base camp and hike towards the main hiking group,making for a short 2-4 mile day hike vs the 8-10 miles.There is a rather large number of "preparedness" types in central florida, This would be a great time to network with those who are active in this area.
Now about the hike for those that have never been or want more info.
I have been hosting and co-hosting hikes on and off the web in the ONF since early 2003. Over the years we have grown from 2-5 core hikers to over 20 at one point. We have a well established base camp/support structure in place to keep track of us,pick up those wanting to day hike and or to ferry us all back at trips end and worse case rescue us from zombies.
There is no requirements for these hikes. You dont need fancy gear, you dont need to go the whole distance. day hikers are welcome as always.
Our goal for this hike is a little different than our previous ones. Normally we would aim for only going 5-6 miles the 1st day, 3 the next to be ferried back to the springs.
To be honest,while that is a nice walk it hinders the majority while catering to the minority. Our goal is to reach a pre assigned point, hook up with base camp, stay the night and hike back to our starting point on Sunday.To do this we will need to walk at the minimum 8 miles the 1st day. The positive of this is our position to a trail head. This will allow day hikers that only wish to walk a few hundred yards to meet/greet and network the chance to do so with the hikers and the base camp. This will also allow those not willing to hike the chance to camp out with everyone as well. There is a well known educational loop trail near by that connects to the FT close to where base camp will be for those wanting to shake down gear on their own or to just kill time until hikers arrive.
This will be a skill based hike. Meaning you will be on your own for the most part, or with others that can hold your pace or vice versa. Those that have backpacked know we all have a different pace. In hikes past this has caused issues. So to curb that.
People will all be given a map of the trail. I do however feel that you should have your own anyway ( you know being prepared and all) directions on where base camp should be, the chosen radio freqs for this event ( we will have both a HAM and frs/grms radio net up). This will let those with faster paces or lighter packs to continue without feeling bogged down by "slower" hikers. This will also let the non runners the chance to learn their pace,walk at their own speed and in general not feel pushed to "go so fast" . So as i said, it will be up to you to get to the base camp.This means if you haven't hiked before or walked farther than a mile you need to start preparing for it, but working out,pre testing your gear etc.
Of course as always we take safety precautions and will have runners, the radio net up, and more than likely there will be others that know the area mixed in with each pace group to help guide the way.
The terrain/trail. The above makes it sound harsh. But in reality it is not. This section of trail is the most maintained and used. Due to its closeness to trail heads, spurr trails and natural springs. Water sources are everywhere, and with the weather during that time of year. Dehydration issues should be a NON issue if folks are staying hydrated. expect typical Florida sand scrub habitat, the ever so dreaded sugar sand we cry about, wide open clear cuts/burn outs, deep lush oak hammocks and open pine flats. This is a nice hike for experienced hikers as well as new folks wanting to network or shake down their kits.
To make it easier and help me plan with the support side of this event. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org any questions you may have.
further details will be posted as time goes on. Start prepping now if you plan to make this your 1st BOB shake down.This is the trip to do it while netwokring some of the most active people in the south east.
day hikers/base campers.
Please email me to confirm( head count reasons) if you are going to show.
Due to the closeness of the base camp to a trail head ,the general location of the base camp/actual trail head will only be emailed to those that confirm with me via email!
If you do not email me i will not be able to give you the information you will need to locate camp.
While some may take offense to this it is for the security of the base camp and our privacy- we are all survivalist and should all recognize the need for this step!!