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Author: Traveler

MERCHANTS MILLPOND STATE PARK

MERCHANTS MILLPOND STATE PARK

Why we like it: I was looking for a winter camping site and was surprised to learn that North Carolina has its own little bayou known as Merchants Millpond State Park in Gates County, about three hours from the Raleigh-Durham area.  Merchants Millpond is comprised of the millpond itself and Lassiter swamp which sits at the head of the millpond.  It is like no other State Park I’ve visited.  When I first arrived, I was greeted by dense, murky water…

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QUILTS FOR TENT CAMPERS

QUILTS FOR TENT CAMPERS

Quilt vs Sleeping Bag: I had this great idea to write an article where I would do a section on the benefits of a quilt, and a friend who prefers a sleeping bag would write about the great offerings of the bag.  The plan hit a snag when I couldn’t find anyone that really loves their sleeping bag and would never consider a quilt.  I’m sure these people exist, I just couldn’t find one.  Change of plans and now I’m…

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CARVER’S GAP TO 19E

CARVER’S GAP TO 19E

Why we like it: Carver’s Gap to US 19 East (19E) is an approximate 14 mile section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) that winds through North Carolina and Tennessee.  Most AT guide books refer to it as the “most scenic section of trail”.  Flirting with elevations around 6000 feet, there are five balds with almost 360 degree views of nearby mountain ranges.  While the daily mileage is low on this trip if you do it as a three day hike,…

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SOUTH MOUNTAINS STATE PARK

SOUTH MOUNTAINS STATE PARK

Why we like it: South Mountains State Park is a great option for new backpackers and anyone wanting a quick weekend getaway.  I may be biased because this is where I went for my first ever weekend backpacking trip and now I take new backpackers here on their first trip.  One of the things that makes it great for beginners is the park’s 24 primitive backpacking sites require reservations, so we can pull into camp and not worry about finding…

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GETTING FITTED FOR A BACKPACK

GETTING FITTED FOR A BACKPACK

Self-acceptance: Trying on bathing suits in ill-lit dressing rooms no longer bruised my ego because I had finally achieved acceptance of my body as it is, or so I thought.  Then I tried to get fitted for a backpack and came to the crushing realization that I’m apparently a freak according to backpack manufacturer standards. Two months of searching, multiple stores, and random employees telling me the pack “looked fine so how could it possibly be killing my back?” and…

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