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250 mile trek in South Dakota; general tips appreciated
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Benjamin Hyde
(Avitus) - F
250 mile trek in South Dakota; general tips appreciated on 10/11/2008 13:20:37 MDT Print View

Hello there strangers.
I've had huge pangs of wanderlust for years, and now that I'm done with school my friend and I can begin planning what will surely be the first of many treks.
I've lived in South Dakota for most of my life, so I know the terrain and the route is planned. The great plains mean covering ground will be relatively easy, the primary purpose is to simply get out there instead of talking about it.
What would be most helpful to me is little things that we may not anticipate.
We'll be in rural areas almost the entire way, so we'll need to stock food at least a few days at a time. Have any experiences that might help?
I haven't checked the forums to see if there's any sort of "basic necessity" list, but anything of the sort would be appreciated.
I imagine there are a lot of folks who come in with questions like this, I saw a few already.
I'm considering this trip a sort of test run. My next journey is to end at the west coast, but something like that requires experience that I have to earn first.
Basic advice, unexpected things that may pop up, a good lightweight pack, a good little tent, etc, these are the things I need info on.
I'm not asking anyone to do the work for me, but my lack of knowledge suggests there will be things I may need that won't even cross my mind.
The trek isn't until next May, so I have time to iron out the wrinkles in my plans. I don't want travel to be a hobby for me, I want to be a way of life.

thanks for anything and everything,


Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Route? on 10/11/2008 15:22:10 MDT Print View

Are you going through the prairies or the Black Hills? I love grasslands, and I've always dreamed about doing a long hike someplace that's mostly flat and open. Care to share your route?

Benjamin Hyde
(Avitus) - F
route on 10/13/2008 14:51:50 MDT Print View

We will be starting in eastern south dakota right along the minnesota border, heading south/southwest and aside from a few checkpoints for supplies the way will be improvised. South Dakota people are pretty friendly and if nothing else curious, we'll be able to get water and advice from local farmers as we go (as well as permission to pop tents when we can). That will comprise the first third of the walk, after which we'll turn west about fifty miles from the Nebraska border. After meandering west we will cross the missouri river near Platte, SD and take the last leg of the trip in the river hills, which are stunning any time of the year. I'll have to thank the glaciers for not stopping at the Black Hills. The path through the hills we intend to take winds for about 45 miles. Afterwards, we plan to celebrate our success at this great little saloon in the middle of nowhere. It's on an intersection between east and west, the local farmers tend to head down for a beer after the days work. A big stone fireplace, homemade pheasant, and a cold beer seems like a cozy end. In any case, that's the route we plan to take. We will be crossing grasslands for the better part of the trip, but even the praire has a way of egging you on. There are many buttes with histories sacred to the former tribes that lived here before. We'll have to make sure and be informed as to which we are welcome to visit. I have a lot of planning to do, but I'm excited. This trip is the light at the end of a dingy little tunnel.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
water is an issue on 10/16/2008 11:27:08 MDT Print View

You'll need to work out where and when you'll be getting your water from.

I've been through much of South Dakota and the route you're describing can be incredibly dry. I'd plan on carrying a 3L hydration bladder. Typically your water sources will be 15 to 25 miles apart to plan accordingly.

Also be sure you are able to properly treat and or filter your water as much of it will have come in contact with various animal dung and pesticides.

Good luck on your trip.