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Camping, Hiking, and Climbing Talk They don't call it the "Great Outdoors" for nothing - trail talk, camping tips, mountaineering, etc.

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Old 02-26-2006, 10:18 AM   #1
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Hey guys!

I'm going with a group of friends to Asheville in a couple of weeks. March 13-18, Spring Break!!!
We're planning on staying a couple nights ata Bon Paul and Sharky's Hostel so we can explore the town, but then we'd like to do some camping.

I don't know if all of them are hardcore campers, in fact I'm sure a couple of them are going to be pussys about the whole thing. So I was wondering if anyone knew any cheap/free campsites in Asheville. I'd love to do some backcountry camping, but we'd probably do better on a plain old campsite.

Also, we just watched the documentary Grizzly Man so we've got an unhealthy fear of getting eaten by bear, and I've never really camped in an area with bears. Any tips on that as well? I think many of the camps have containers, but if not what should we put our food in before hanging it from a tree? And other such forms of protection.

Any help at all would be helpful actually. Thanks!!!!
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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I don't think you have to worry about grizzly bears in Carolina (I'm assuming that's the Asheville you're talking about...). The most common bear is the black bear, though it can be of any color, and camping in areas where they live is no big deal. Over here in California, almost every area has the potential for visiting bears, but it's rare.

Guidelines:

Keep your food in the provided bear lockers. Also keep anything else that might have a scent in there. Toothpaste, soap, chewing gum, kleenex. Whatever. Never keep any of that stuff in your car:



If the area you're going to doesn't have lockers or decide to go into the backcountry, get a bear canister. These can be purchased (or more conveniently, rented) from sporting goods/outdoors stores. You put all your food and anything with a scent in there, lock it up, and keep it at least 50 yards away from your camp. If a bear finds it, it'll bat it around for a while until it realizes it won't get in.

Alternately, you could hang your stuff in a bag from a tree branch, but it has to be a VERY high branch, so you need a lot of rope to sling the bag over. It's not the most effective way because throwing a bag of food 50 feet in the air isn't always easy, and many bears are smart enough to figure this one out and simply cut the rope. They're pretty damn smart!

Overall, you have nothing to worry about. As long as you don't store any of your food/scented items on you or in your tents, you'll be fine. I've had my food raided by bears twice and while it was a bit nerve wracking, they never came near us. I did have a friend who got his tent rolled by a bear in the Sierras once... he forgot he had beef jerky in his jacket pocket. Oops!
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:16 PM   #3
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^ what Omi said about bears, and add this... Go to the Smokey Mountains (National Park). Its only an hour drive from Ashville, and well worth it. Another AWESOME option is to drive South from Ashville to a little town called Saluda. Its only about 35 miles. Just outside of Saluda are the "Big Bradley Falls" or "Saluda Falls" One of the best hikes/camps I've ever done. Its only about a 1 hour hike to the top of the falls or a 2 hour hike to the botom of the falls. I camped down near the botom of the falls for about a week once, and it was fabulous. I am sure you could find info on that hike quite easily. It is seriously worth your while



Yes, I lived in the Carolinas for a spell.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:30 PM   #4
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That sounds a like an awesome hike, and perfect for our group.

I'm so excited about the trip, Asheville is one of my favorite towns to visit.
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by NitemareHippieGirl@Feb 28 2006, 03:30 PM
That sounds a like an awesome hike, and perfect for our group.

I'm so excited about the trip, Asheville is one of my favorite towns to visit.
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Old 03-03-2006, 11:57 AM   #6
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Asheville is okay. I used to live a few minutes away in Brevard.

Blue Ridge mtns should be fun, I've camped a good bit there. There is a fucking fantastic bluegrass barn that holds shows every Fri/Sat. Definitely go if you can. And be ready for the worlds sweetest couple, these 80+ yr olds who slow dance every night to "Rose of my Heart" (amazing since the guy is hooked up to a breathing machine that he carries with him). I wish I could give you directions but I could only do so off landmarks and that wouldn't really help. But if you ask around, you'll probably find out eventually. But it's really great if you're into bluegrass in the least.

As for bears, in all my camping they only came once and that was while we were gone at the barn. We came back and our stuff was all eaten and tossed around so we took the sissy route and left and came back in the morning for our stuff. Better that then be bear food.
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