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Post-Turkey Day calorie burner: Backpacking on Siler Bald, NC

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Winding Stair Gap - 8 mi West of Franklin NC on US 64
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Nov 23 2012  9:45 am >> Sat, Nov 24 2012 2:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 10:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Nov 1 2012 7:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Tue, Nov 20 2012 12:00 pm
Event Duration:1 Days 4 Hours 15 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:8 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


Had enough turkey and need to burn a few calories? This is an intermediate backpacking trip but beginners are welcome. However, everybody is responsible for their own gear and food.

Siler Bald (5,161 feet) offers a sweeping 360 degree view of the surrounding valleys. We will start our event at Winding Stairs Gap and hike up the 4 mile distance to the summit, gradually gaining ~1500 ft feet in elevation. There are two possible campsites -- one right near the summit and a second one further down in a nice protected opening near the summit bald.

If all goes well, we should reach the summit area around 3 pm, giving us plenty of time to pitch the tents and visit the summit before darkness. Please be aware that it is November and you will be camping at over 5000 ft elevation. Temperatures will likely drop below freezing, so be prepared (see gear list below and do not hesitate to contact the event coordinator if you have questions)!

On Saturday morning, we will leave camp after breakfast to be back at the cars by noon. The total distance hiked over two days will be a little over eight miles.
Although the total driving distance is close to 240 miles round trip, all of it is over major highways. So driving time should be no more than 2-2 ½ hours each way.

Required Items to Bring:

Please bring plenty of water (I will also have a water filter to share with the group), food for Friday night and Saturday morning, utensils, cups and plates, cooking stove or we can share mine, tarp, backpacking sized tent, sleeping bag, flash light, change of cloths, rain gear, warm clothes , etc.
If you bring your dog: food and treats, water bowl, etc. Please consider a sleeping pad or blanket for your pooch -- the ground is cold this time of the year.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad: most of these items can be rented at REI. ***Reminder – keep it simple and as lightweight as possible*** 1 lunch, 1 Dinner, 1 Breakfast, and snacks: Dehydrated dinners can be purchased at REI, and you only need to add hot water. For breakfast, pop tarts or instant oatmeal and coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc work great. Good lunches are usually those foil packets of tuna or chicken on either peta bread or tortillas... things that won't get squished in a backpack. Good snacks are trail mix, healthy energy bars or even plain ol Snickers. At the grocery store, be creative but keep it simple and lightweight. You will also need appropriate clothing. Synthetic hiking clothes are perfect. Please remember the saying: "cotton kills!" I strongly discourage wearing cotton or denim for hiking because if it rains you can get very wet and it doesn’t dry quickly, and therefore you can get very cold. For sleeping clothes bring whatever is comfortable.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

North on I-85. Take I-985 near Mall of Georgia. Continue on I-985. After 26 miles this intersate will become US 23. Continue on US 23 through Clayton GA and into North Carolina. At Franklin NC take exit to US 64 West. Continue eight miles until Winding Stairs Gap parking lot.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):240Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 10:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $96.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.