Florida summer backpacking

12:20 p.m. on July 10, 2008 (EDT)
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OK, I'm a native Floridian, and know about the heat, humidity, rain, mosquitos, hurricanes, lightning, etc, but I would appreciate any suggestions for a short 2 day packpacking trip, 10 miles tops, anywhere in central/south Florida. So I'm crazy.... but any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

9:05 a.m. on July 11, 2008 (EDT)
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Well, there's the ten mile East Loop trail in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. It's about a 9 mile loop, but halfway around there is an extension for a few miles that goes to a primitive camp ground.

There is of course options in Everglades National Park. There might be some good options in Big Cypress off of Tamiami Trail as well. I'm going to do a day hike there this weekend. If you are serious about backpacking in Florida, check out the Florida Trail (http://floridatrail.org).

Have fun.

2:07 p.m. on July 11, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for info, I car camped there about 6 years ago, but didn't hit the trails. The canoe run was great.

Take care.

9:55 a.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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you mean we have trails here?!?!

not sure i'd want to risk hiking in hurricane season.. especially with the popcorn thunderstorms we get down here in SoFla

11:00 a.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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My grandfather used to say: "If your scared of a little thundershower, take a bar of soap, and just call it a shower."
Cute saying but not always applicable is it.

3:13 p.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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i'll remember that while hiking along the canals, with a gator sittin in the water staring at me going "ooo yummy"

Which makes me wonder.. do we need to hang our food from the gators?!?

9:12 a.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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Im a fan of Ocala National Forest

12:36 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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Ocala NF is great, I'm checking the Florida Trail also. Maybe the many years of sun have effected my brain, perhaps a virtual cerebral backing trip is better until the fall. Any suggestions of places you'd recommend will be appreciated. Thanks for input!

8:45 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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I camp on the many Islands we have on Lake Moultrie, here in SC.
WE have plenty of gators, some big as trash cans in the middle. I think they are runaways from Florida, wish you guys would come & take a few back with you. HA-HA

travelnate,
You need to hang your food about 6 feet off the ground to keep the gators from getting it. The racoons of course will have no problem getting to it, but with it that low you can have fun with the racoons by playing "pinata". Won't help the food any, but it will keep you entertained.
You guys probably already know this, but my summer plan is always: Head to NC or TN & find a mountain cove or ravine, you will experience a 20* temp difference with a lot less humidity.

Never let the skinny guy make the sandwiches!

10:23 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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I never thought of annoying animals while hiking.. i've been ssssooo obsessed with scaring the new hikers & tourists, especially the newbies on the AT that start at Newfound gap and end up at Pecks Corner :-P

One time, my friend did a lil scare using a cliff as bait.. hikers would come by and go "ooo, aaa.. ooo, get out the camera" and as they'd approach the ledge, my friend would be on a lil ravine below, jump up and grab them :-)

*sigh*

and I never thought of putting rocks in my friends backpacks, as discussed on another thread. I've only done dead critters and honey.

10:42 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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HA-HA, I love people with a sense of humor, some people are just so uptight that you can't even joke without offending them. Dead critters, honey! Good stuff.
Of course it works much better when your mates enjoy it too. I mean as a group entertainment thing. Somebody once hot glued my sleeping bag zipper shut. I still don't know who, so I just had to punish them all!
Maybe scaring tourists is a bit too much, we need their money. HA-HA

10:53 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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nothing beats farting in a tent in the middle of a downpour.

i think we hijacked the thread, what was the topic again?

10:56 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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We used to call that playing turtle. We'll ask blind and lost if he minds, oops where is he?
We are supposed to keep our posts clean though.
Jump in here blind and lost!

11:00 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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i think the worst we've done is swap out equipment while people were sleeping.. the joys of Kelty & Arc Teryx.. nothing like putting mega small straps on a pack for a guy my size or bigger :P *heh* or a hip belt that barely reaches, and mis-matched tent poles & tents.

although one time, we did trash our friends bear bags to make it look like a varmit came thru and ate all their food, the look on their faces was priceless while we all ate "sorry, no extras.. oh wait, here's a crumb"

an hour later, while hiking, they "came across" their food, in a tree, about 100 feet off the ground. To this day I don't remember how we got it that high, let alone in a Douglas fir.

xD

11:06 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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so where are your fav. places to go?

11:10 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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belize, but you can't annoy the iguanas there, they will chase you. I learned that the hard way. Also St. John, but that's not "real" backpacking, but its always nice to pretend! (cinnamon bay)

lately its been the GSMNP because Allegiant flies nonstop from Ft. Lauderdale to Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Tri-Cities. No more Atlanta! (bless their hearts though..)

11:19 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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GSMNP and surrounding areas are underated if you are willing to get off the WELL beaten path.
I used to live in Chattanoogy TN

You live SO FL right? FT LAUDERDALE?

1:21 a.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for the prank ideas, folks... will keep those in mind. He he he.

8:47 a.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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NLees,

If you decide to do the 'fake attack' on food & hide your friends stash, make sure to tie a few bells to the rope so that YOU can find it too.

And also, its not wise to replace one's water with vodka, especially if they're mormon. Only takes 2 drinks to get'em trashed.

Back to Florida Summer Hiking, I'm wondering who on earth would go hiking in the summer down here. I can barely stand the walk across the street to the beach, and even then, I'm only weighed down with a 10 pound daypack with all my goodies!

And yes, I'm in Ft. Lauderdale, you can see my condo if you watch the opening credits of the Golden Girls (not sure how many fellow gay hikers exist, i doubt 80% of you have seen the show)... its a line of Condos in Ft. Laud, i'm on the one in the very very very bottom right.

1:07 p.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Ever see the hiking trail that crosses over I-75 around the Ocala area?

It's the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway.

It's a hiking trail that runs from Tampa to Jacksonville.

It's very nice.

Ed G
Clermont, Fl

2:03 p.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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just keep trouthunter and the alligators away from me & it could be fun :-)

6:57 p.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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Never knew what that overpass was for but thought it was cool. In college once I put about 20lbs of rocks in a female hikers pack who was "showing us up", sure slowed her down.

8:51 p.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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i thought the over pass was for horses. I'm not sure I want to hike around Ocala... stepping in horse dung is not something I feel like doing every 250 feet.

Oh trout, btw, the honey prank only works if you have a way to keep the bees away from you. I've found that dryer sheets do very well at keeping everything obnoxious with wings away. It also forces your hiking partner to hang his backpack with the foodstuffs :-)

9:02 p.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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I'll keep that in mind, you guys have more than your fair share of bugs.

9:23 p.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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they're dinosaurs down here. Rather play in the smokeys or blue ridge mtns.

as long as i don't bump into any bears :-)

11:15 p.m. on July 17, 2008 (EDT)
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FYI...It is up to a $5000 fine to feed a bear, and illegal to get within 50 yrds. of a blackie in GSMNP. You can even do jail time. There are about 1500 blacks in the park alone, or about two per sq. mile. But they tend to be concentrated in areas that are more pristine and have protective terrain.

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