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Begins: Mar 16, 2012
Date: Mon, Mar 5th, 2012
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Bigfoot Trail Map
The amount of work that goes into building a long distance trail is just crazy.
Though the BFT already technically exists taking it to the next stage is an unbelievable amount of work.
For me that work involves section hiking every section multiple times with a GPS in order to acquire near perfect gps data for future hikers.
What makes it really hard is because of the remoteness of this trail I often find myself having to turn around after each section in order to get back to my truck.
So instead of a section taking 4 days it takes 8 days. A few places I am able to cache food at different locations but other times it is just not possible.
This has resulted in me having an even harder time because I have to carry twice the amount of weight that I normally do, and even harder than carrying a bunch of food is being able to get away from the house/office/pets for twice as long.
There is also a massive amount of time spent looking at maps to make sure that the existing guide is somewhat close to what the actual trail is. I easily spend five times more hours looking at google maps and google earth and topo maps than a normal hiker does because in the process of building gps data for a new trail, I have to make absolute certainty that the trails I am going to be hiking is actually the correct trails.
Another aspect I think most folks do not understand about what is involved in building a new trail is the amount of power needed to supply all the GPS and other gear used for putting together data points. I am easily carrying an additional pound-plus worth of gear from what I normally would. Right now I am testing out a solar panel that is about the size of my backpack, and I am thinking of just hanging the solar panel from the backpack all day long to charge a couple of battery devices. Just one of the many aspects of building a trail I never considered before I started this endeavor.
For the BFT I think the two hardest sections, from a logistical perspective, are the first few sections and the last few sections. The utter remoteness of the first few sections makes it hard and the knowledge that no maintained trails exists for much of the last few sections of the trail.