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Backpacking Trip Planning Part 2

January 14, 2020

getting these guidebooks like the Superior
hiking trail guidebook it tells you the distance between campsites and you can
estimate that on a lot of maps a lot of trails have a website but one thing you
might want to find is your distance between campsites a lot of places you’re
required to use the designated campsites such as the superior hiking trail
because it runs through private property in a lot of places and they get those
easement rights under the stipulation that people just don’t go out camping
into those woods willy-nilly and if you get to a designated site like disappear
hiking trail it’s like the 80 now if somebody’s there you know you don’t get
to have the site to yourself you have to share them when we did the Vermont long
trail there aren’t a lot of water sources where we were and the water
sources were sort of at the sites and they have these shelters now we were in
hammocks so we were able to hang every night because we didn’t want to stay in
the shelters of people and that’s another thing to consider if you’re a
hammock hanger are there trees are there going to be trees at the site it’s a
dice roll sometimes no the reason to have these Maps or go on a forum or if
you can find anybody that’s hiked that trail before or go online and search it
and a lot of time you find these people that have these blogs or they’ve just
written a report about their trip and they might talk about the water sources
and that’s an important thing a lot of trails don’t have great water sources
meaning where you can stop and fill up and get water now spear hiking trail has
great water sources so I don’t have to carry a lot in the day other trails are
gonna require you to carry a lot of water or maybe find somewhere that you
can stash some water up ahead so check those water sources are there creeks
rivers ponds lakes streams Springs whatever there may be so check that
because that can make a huge difference in the comfort of your trip you don’t
want to go around it being super thirsty that’s the worst rather be hungry than
thirsty now one thing to consider is places where you can do dispersed
camping and here in Minnesota that is usually not your state parks but your
state forests and the state forests now that you know
have your fancy campgrounds and the the trails may be kind of rambling and not
that maintained if they have a trail at all but you’re allowed to if as long as
you’re 200 feet away from water from a road from things like that you’re
allowed to go out and do what’s called dispersed camping so check and see if
it’s dispersed camping or camping has to be specific in a site
all right look at all the trail heads and see how far you are from big roads
check online join a club go to the website go on a forum I’m on hammock
forums a lot you could ask a question like are is you know people have asked
it there is parking safe at the such-and-such trailhead on the superior
hiking trail and I can chime in and go never have my car broken into other
places have a lot of problems with break-ins so check your trail heads see
where they are see how lonely they are are they near things like when you come
out you want to make sure you can go eat somewhere quickly some of the look at a
lot of trails have a lot of trail heads so you can shuttle your cars if you’re
going with a few people or you know put 30 miles between which is like what
Hickory and I did on the Vermont long trail but if you’re gonna do a two-car
shuttle keep in mind you eat up a lot of your day cuz the two of you have to
drive down to one end of the trail park one person’s car they got to grab their
stuff put it in your car if you’re us you’re totally never prepared even
though you think you are and you’re rooting around for this or taking that
out put everything back in the car drive back up again to where you’re gonna
start and then go your I thought I’m gonna put this in here now and I thought
I wasn’t gonna take that but now I’m gonna take this or I don’t want those
kind of pop-tarts I’m gonna put these kind of pop-tarts in so you got a factor
in that shuttle time of switching your cars particularly if you’re doing like
30 miles at a time if you’re doing a long trail you know one person’s at this
end and the other person’s at this end is 250 miles well you don’t have to
worry about it so much but you still got to make that drive and go back another
thing to think about and people on the spear hiking trail do that they have the
superior shuttle which doesn’t really run in the winter but during the summer
or Monday through Friday not all the way to the north end of the trail but about
as far as Grand Marais that shuttle goes up and down that trail at
times and they’re pretty good they’ll sit at that trailhead for two minutes if
you’re not there they’re gonna leave you you can reserve a place but look at
shuttles in your area a lot of time it’s local people like down in the southeast
it’s just some guy that lives up there near Damascus and he’ll drive you from
here to here now he’ll charge you you know you got to pay a little bit cuz
that’s a person’s time and gas and they’re driving you a long distance to
get there so try to find that information if you need a shuttle you’re
a person that maybe you’re gonna park your car down here and you want to get a
shuttle ride way up here because you’re doing a solo or it’s just two of you and
you’re both gonna walk back down to the car a lot of times the hotels or resorts
is a places like that might provide shuttle service it’s worth looking into
that’s another thing to think about planning your trip there’s a lot of
things to think about give me up last night once I started thinking about all
these things going I guess I never think about them even though I do it another
important thing to look at is for a bailout now let’s say you get on the
trail you’re 70 miles in your friend turns their ankle you get hurt you’re
not feeling good some trails you have no bailouts you’re gonna have to turn
around and walk back you know you’re in a wilderness area other trails you might
be somewhere pretty close to a road or another trailhead that you can get off
the trail and hike three or four miles out to a trailhead and maybe you’ve got
phone reception and get yourself off the trail or call somebody there’s another
good reason to carry I carry the inReach Explorer so I can I can send the text
even if I don’t have reception out there and that said there’s another thing to
look at in these modern times everybody with their cell phones check in the area
and see is there cell reception out there and what what carrier has better
reception you know is that AT&T is it Sprint is it Verizon something to
consider and you can usually find that on blogs and forums or call a ranger
stations they sometimes know you know wherever you’re going look at search the
local ranger stations and call them and see if you can get some information or
local Outfitters now my buddy Hickory one thing he loves to do he loves to do
a food water cash and and it’s kind of fun you
know so let’s say you don’t want to carry six days of food but there’s a
place on the trail and well you know him and I when we get together part of our
fun is driving around in the car listening to Frank Zappa and weird music
from our youth and just pretending that we’re 17 years old again instead of
being 61 like we are we’ll drive to a place and he brings a couple of ammo
boxes and some chain and a lock and we go out somewhere and we put some extra
meals some extra fuel he’ll put a little bit of whiskey for himself I might put
an extra candy bar we might stash some water and it’s kind of fun because you
sort of have something to look forward to because you know even three days in
you can just say man I am sick of oatmeal and he was on a real health kick
eating all this Kashi stuff and one time he’s going around I’ll trade you ten
cash he’s for one pop-tart this is a sick Akash he’s some trails or some
areas don’t like you to do that others there’s no rules on it at all but we put
it in the ammo things we cover it and hickory always locks it up with like a
bike chain just so an animal doesn’t drag it off and it’s fun to get there
and kind of go you know put this back in I’m gonna grab this meal cuz I don’t
want that one and then but the thing is when we finish our trip we got to go
back and pick all that up but that just adds to our enjoyment he taught me that
the end of a trip don’t rush home take your time stop
somewhere and cook a chicken where they got some barbecue grills animals when
you go to a trail maybe it’s not your area Minnesota here we have black bear
moose wolf Sasquatch red squirrels so you know you’re gonna go somewhere else
that maybe doesn’t have black bears and it’s you know or you might be going
somewhere that has brown bears grizzly bears a womans or you might be attacked
by a badger look forward to seeing that wildlife safely if you can but also be
prepared don’t be worried don’t hike with worry but be vigilant and it’s good
to know do you need a do you need a bear vault or an earth sack or how do I want
to hang my food or if we’re in grizzly country we really might want to cook
somewhere other than where we sleep snakes or another thing we don’t have a
lot of snakes here in Minnesota southeaster I go
the snakes so I got to kind of think about my footing or stepping over logs
again going there it could be a snake right over there and won’t be here in
Minnesota they’ll just be that red squirrel maybe
sasquatch leaning in on me

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  • Reply Living Survival January 12, 2020 at 2:13 pm


  • Reply Martyn J. Pass January 12, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Shame we just don’t have all these great parks and trails in the UK

  • Reply shawn Z January 12, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Good morning Shug happy new year.

  • Reply Paul B January 12, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Here in Ontario Canada, we have what's called crown land and is similar to your state forests. Thank you for sharing Shug!

  • Reply Mark Cummings January 12, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Mo good stuff.
    You’re the best.

  • Reply b5maddog January 12, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    What a start to my Sunday morning. Thanks Shug!

  • Reply geneo * January 12, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Lots of good information shug ! Thanks all clear in sector 7 woooobuddy !!

  • Reply MattO Photo Chattanooga January 12, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Frank Zappa! It's those Catholic Girls! LOL

  • Reply Lefty's Adventures George Cuthbert January 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    SHug of the North Watch out where the huskies go , and don't you eat that yellow snow !!

  • Reply JP Stone January 12, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    I'm quite thankful for the lack of serpents in the central and northern part of Minnesota.

  • Reply waitwatlol January 12, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    I can deal with grizz and black bears, but squatch and red squirrels….

  • Reply Grumpy Grunt January 12, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    I'd love to see a time lapse video of you and Hickery running around stashing stuff for your trip like chipmunks before winter. Maybe some "Yakkity Sax" on mando to accompany? 😎 Thanks for more tips, Shug.

  • Reply Tracey Allen January 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    If I'm in grizzly country, I don't even keep the close I cook in around me. Grizzlies got good noses.

  • Reply JD Smith January 12, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve got a couple Shug shirts now, any chance I can soon add a Hickery Brothers shirt to the collection?

  • Reply David Stillman January 12, 2020 at 3:15 pm


  • Reply J.T. Minnesota January 12, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Parking can be tricky, especially during winter when trailhead lots aren't plowed and parking on the side of the road is dangerous with plow service and lots of snow.

  • Reply Mark LeBlanc January 12, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Great stuff! You mentioned the Long Trail in VT. Have you ever been to New Hampshire hiking? Great trails in the White mountains and throughout the state.

  • Reply rich hufnagle January 12, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Look out for the Zombie wolf!
    And the baby snakes!!
    On the bus..
    With leather…
    That thing looks like it let's freckles out once a month…
    Love me some Zappa!!

  • Reply Hangs4Fun January 12, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    WHOOOOOOOOO BUDDY, Its bonus Sunday with another Shug to watch with my coffee 🙂
    Love the cache concept, anything that adds enjoyment to a good trip is something I'm interested in

  • Reply jaydavee January 12, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    There is a lot to it. Thanks. That's why I don't get around to it. I'm a night person, so I'd be sitting out there awake all night. I have the hammock hung in my attic. Here in Georgia, it's a good mild temp in there in winter. It's way too hot for that in spring & summer. I haven't been able to fall asleep for more than a few minutes in the hammock. I think it's because of 22 years (1998 to present) of sleeping in a queen sized bed.

  • Reply cgriggsiv January 12, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Another great video 👌👍👏 lots of information and different ways of making you trip an awesome time
    And I see you are painting looking good too is that acrylic, oil or water

  • Reply Fastcircuit January 12, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Two Shug videos in one week, well that's worth me getting up Early!

    Hey Shug, do you stuff sack your quilts, or pet them just sort of feel up the bottom of your pack? I've been recently trying no stuff sacks, makes the pack feel nice and round.

  • Reply buford guber January 12, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Nice one .

  • Reply Anand S. January 12, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    The dude who casually drops in a reference of Frank Zappa. 👍🏾👍🏾

  • Reply Erik Giggey January 12, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    OMG you hike without red squirrel spray, how many innocent hikers are lost each year to the feared red squirrel,

  • Reply Anand S. January 12, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Shug, what’s a cashy? Cashews? Kashi bars (Kaashi)?

  • Reply Brian K January 12, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    I always need to worry about poison ivy! I'm so allergic to it! Any advice is appreciated.

    Got a really bad case a few weeks ago at Lance creek on the AT.

    Great info in this and the first video!

  • Reply L Rolfzen January 12, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    No one could make a trip planning video and make it seem so fun and add to the adventure as you Shug.

  • Reply Canoehound Adventures January 12, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Hey Sean… I'm coming to Minnesota to see Sasquatch… You said he was there and I believe everything I see on YouTube… Thank Shug… Dennis, Canoehound Adventures

  • Reply John Rossetti January 12, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Sasquatch, we got them here too. Heheha.

  • Reply David C January 12, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Having an inreach is critical… Great tip. Saves lives.

  • Reply Brad Junnila January 12, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Love me some Zappa. Good tips, Shug!

  • Reply galerienature January 12, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Again, thanks for the tips! But pardon my ignorance (and language difference) : what are "cachees" (that Hick wanted to trade for Pap-Tarts)?

  • Reply galerienature January 12, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    And I also believe in Sasquatch 😉

  • Reply Brian Hetrick January 12, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Now that was some good "Shug-formation" sir! Pure entertainment bliss!

  • Reply Walt Quandt January 12, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    More great tips from the master! I went a few rounds with a rather determined raccoon on my last trip in the Manistee National Forest of Michigan. The critter had my 30 pound backpack half way pulled out from the tent vestibule until I woke up and scared it off. I found out when I got home that it also scratched through the pocket containing my snacks. I'm a newbe and filed that under the "lesson learned" category. Love the videos – don't worry about running out of material – talk about anything outdoor related and we'll tune in!

  • Reply JW G January 12, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Good topic, glad you made a few vids on it. I heard you say you were running out of ideas for videos, I personally enjoy kayak camping vids. Not sure if you are a big kayaker or not but just an idea 🙂

  • Reply Ty Reynolds January 12, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks again Mr. Shug …… whoooaaa Buuuddyyy !!

  • Reply Supa Mat January 12, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Top words of wisdom

  • Reply RatdogDRB January 12, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    All good pointers. Now… share your best Sasquatch encounter tale. Us'n nosey types wanna know.

  • Reply tree feller January 12, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    I like that food cache idea Shug, never thought of that one. Thank the maple King for me please.

  • Reply ytrbou812 January 12, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for another great informative video. I recently introduced a co-worked to backpacking and hammock camping (he is 62 years young). I recommended your videos for him to watch and learn.

  • Reply Tinkerer January 12, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Had to lol at your Sasquatch comment tee hee … ya never know what you'll find in the north woods. Don't remember which trail we were on but when the boy's were young my husband would be in front and I'd have the back with the boy's in between. One time I kept hearing something in the woods going parallel to us that went on for quite a long time then just stopped hearing it. Always good to be aware of what's around you and use all your senses and not to forget to enjoy and appreciate what your walking through. Precious planet we are living on. You had good ideas as usual. Camped in a tent my entire 70+ years but I think I'd like to try the hammock first in my back yard. Seem's the smart way to go and no sleeping on that one missed rock when the tent was set up.

  • Reply A B January 12, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Hey Shug if you get a chance you should take a look at the Bush Tucker Mans videos. The Major inspired me as a kid to get out and enjoy nature in my neck of the woods just like your videos have done. Thanks for the great content.

  • Reply J K January 12, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Shug, I'm going to rewatch your vids to see if its answered but how do you like to store your sleeping bags/quilts etc? And if hanging them how do I go about doing it? Could be a good vid idea..

  • Reply K.G. Thornburg January 13, 2020 at 12:12 am

    We have the zombie wolf… his cry is “Here I is, the zombie wolf” Scary.

  • Reply ergot57 January 13, 2020 at 12:12 am

    A double shot of Shug. Thanks.

  • Reply Quetico Moe January 13, 2020 at 12:20 am

    I'd like to get my hands on a shirt like the one you're wearing Shug! Do you have any for sale?

  • Reply Bernie Goodman January 13, 2020 at 12:21 am

    We call him(is there more than one) yeti monster; way on down south.

  • Reply Myn6211 January 13, 2020 at 12:38 am

    Enjoying this series Shug. I am curious though about one thing. The painting behind you, did you do that? It's very well done.

  • Reply Michael Smith January 13, 2020 at 1:06 am

    Love the shirt. 🙂

    Recently checked out Hickery's site,, but sadly the merchandise links didn''t work.

    I love all your outdoorsy tips mixed with your personality. Take care.

  • Reply John Bruneau January 13, 2020 at 1:06 am

    Just a note on cell phone coverage. I was sunk to the axles in my car in a wilderness swamp in South Carolina with no coverage. I pitched my tent in the middle of the mud road to spend the night. In a thunderstorm I noticed I had some bars, enough to text my daughter about my predicament. The bars then disappeared. I got pulled out the next day for $250 but well worth it! Use text even if you see no bars. For some reason this sometimes connects.

  • Reply Robbie Pike January 13, 2020 at 1:54 am

    Zappa for prez 2020 😉

  • Reply Milk Money January 13, 2020 at 2:28 am

    Ah, the dreaded wombat! I need to get some wombat-spray! All secure in sector Montana.

  • Reply Reagan L. January 13, 2020 at 2:59 am

    LOL Yea Frank Zappa! Zoot Allures! I knew we had more than hammocks in common!

  • Reply Mark Evans January 13, 2020 at 3:43 am

    Ha ha, I’m more words about Humans than wild animals! 😬

  • Reply J. Morris January 13, 2020 at 5:54 am

    I'll stick to city parks, I'm not gettin' drug off by a red squirrel… No sir.

  • Reply Ming Mongo January 13, 2020 at 6:47 am

    Two car leapfrog.

    Leave one car at trailhead A. Drive other car to trailhead B. Hike back to A.

    Drive to C. Hike back to B.

    Drive to D. Hike back to C.

    Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • Reply Kent Hicks January 13, 2020 at 11:12 am


  • Reply Kent Hicks January 13, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Oh yea, best pop tart I ever ate !

  • Reply Trey Kilgore January 13, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Love the info Shug! You are the best! Quick question. Do you have a video already, or can you do one on what you do at a back country camp site when there is not any trees to hang from, and you weren't expecting it? Thanks again!!! You da man! Woo Buddy!!!!!

  • Reply Sidney Hornblower January 13, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    The advice to see if the trail has a website devoted to it needs to be emphasized. Many trails have a dedicated and passionate group of supporters. One example: The Foothills Trail. Their website is a gold mine and the members of that community will answer questions, put up how-to videos, provide shuttle services and in general support the trail and the people who hike it.

  • Reply 281 Covfefe January 13, 2020 at 4:18 pm


  • Reply The Lovely Lover Lisa Page January 13, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Verizon in the SE

  • Reply Jacob Poucher January 13, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Great vid shug! Only thing better wold have been Karl making a appearance!

  • Reply Pack Mule January 13, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    How boring is it being prepared. It's more of an adventure if you have no idea of what's going to happen. Buhahahahahahahahahahahaha… Just kidding

  • Reply Elizabeth Long January 14, 2020 at 12:57 am

    C◔ ◔L'¨ *

  • Reply Penntucky Survivalists January 14, 2020 at 1:55 am

    Dude. Lol. Most excellent video. Tons of great tips good editing awesome background

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