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Thread: First Time Smokies Trip

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Mooresville, NC
    Posts
    458

    Default First Time Smokies Trip

    Hello, I am planning a back camping trip in the next few weeks to Cataloochee. I am planning to stay at #39 and fish for 3-4 days.

    I have never been there and this will be my first solo trip. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for me.

    I was also wondering about how clean the water is in that area. I do plan to use my filter.

    I am new here at this site, but it seems to be a really cool place with plenty of fishing and camping talk.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    338

    Default

    Welcome, amigo. I hope your first trip is fun, safe, and successful. The water won't make you sick if you wash your dishes with it or anything like that, although there may be some sediment due to recent rains and snow melt, depending on how soon you intend to go.

    What kind of advice are you looking for? A word of caution... you are likely to get more advice than you need
    I got no style, I'm strictly roots.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Mooresville, NC
    Posts
    458

    Default

    Just wondering about drinking the water, where to fish, bears, general safety, etc.

    I'm planning on going in about 3 weeks. Plan to fish all the tributaries in the area.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Kannapolis, NC
    Posts
    255

    Default

    If your going to drink water from a stream, make sure you purify it with purification tablets (or boiling it). It's also a good idea to scoop water up into a towel or shirt to filter out any loose sediment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Take your time driving into Cataloochee, because the road engineer's philosophy was one good turn deserves another. There is not a lot of room for error on the gravel portion of the road. If you're planning on going in three weeks, keep an eye on the weather. I hate to even mention the word snow, but it is not out of the possibility that time of the year. I camped there during the last week of April a few years ago in the snow. Cool or even cold nights (as in the 20's) are highly possible.

    Bear, elk, and a few boar are in Cataloochee. The bear won't bother you if you don't bother them or inadvertently invite them over for snacks. Hang your food supply. Snakes shouldn't be an issue that early in the year. However timber rattlers and copperheads are present. As for planning on fishing all the tributaries in Cataloochee, you'll never do it in 3-4 days. You should have a large time on your trip, it's one of my favorite locations in the park.
    Dave







  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    223

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    Definitely treat the water. Smokies streams are amazingly clear (barring recent rains) but I still wouldn't drink it. "beaver fever" could ruin an otherwise great trip.

    I like Aquamira. It's easy to use, lighter than a filter and doesn't mess up the flavor of the water, as far as I can tell.

    Be prepared to "bear bag" your food, toothpaste, etc. Smokies campsites have bear hangs. If possible do your cooking away from your campsite (far enough away so that any spills won't draw them to your camp).

    --Matt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Mooresville, NC
    Posts
    458

    Default

    Thanks for all the responses. As I stated, this forum is great.

    I do plan to filter my water. I have a Hiker Pro. Do y'all suggest chemical treatment in addition to the filter?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    117

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifish4wildtrout View Post
    I do plan to filter my water. I have a Hiker Pro. Do y'all suggest chemical treatment in addition to the filter?
    I have used an old Sweetwater Guardian (now called a MSR Sweetwater) Filter in Cataloochee and elsewhere in the Smokies, and I've never had any problems. I personally don't think chemical treatment in addition to filtration is necessary, but that's just my opinion.
    Dave







  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Andersonville, TN
    Posts
    682

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speck Lover View Post
    . I personally don't think chemical treatment in addition to filtration is necessary, but that's just my opinion.
    I use a Katadyn Vario and love it. I can fill a 32 oz. in about half the time that it takes my buddies. Also agree that a chemical treatment is not needed.
    Jason

    jasonkelkins at yahoo dot com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alabama Gulf Coast
    Posts
    31

    Default

    I have a MSR Sweetwater to, and you can drink from just about any watering hole.

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