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Help in Planning a Thru-Hike
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Jon Priest
(jwetzelp) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Help in Planning a Thru-Hike on 07/10/2006 12:57:19 MDT Print View

A friend of mine (Ryan Corder on this forum) and I are planning on doing the Ozark Highlands Trail this spring (~165 miles). Although this isn't an epic distance, we've never planned for this long of a trek.

So please share any kernel of knowledge about any aspect of planning such a trip with us. Aside from deciding that we'll be resupplied halfway through, the planning hasn't even begun.

Thanks in advance for all your help.


Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Re: Help in Planning a Thru-Hike on 07/10/2006 13:14:19 MDT Print View

Give us expected weather conditions and a proposed gear list, planned mileage per day, expected menu according to estimated trip length...and we'll go from there.

Jon Priest
(jwetzelp) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Re: Re: Help in Planning a Thru-Hike on 07/10/2006 13:48:06 MDT Print View

Spring in Arkansas around the time we expect to go usually sees around 40-50 at night and 60-70 during the day. We are planning on completing the hike in 12 days but are allowing 2 days buffer for a total of 14 days. This will put us at 12-14 miles/day. We both have base weights, less food, water, and fuel, of about 12-14 pounds so weight won't be much of an issue although it is always a consideration (if you catch the discrepancy between the terms).

As far as being any more specific than that, I was hoping to get broader tips from people experienced in this type of trek that have helped them in a variety of situations. An example would be: "If you sleep cold, cover the foot of your sleeping bag with your rain jacket."

I hope I haven't confused the inquiry, but I think this clarifies my needs a bit.

Thanks alot for your willingness to help!


Edited by jwetzelp on 07/10/2006 13:50:53 MDT.

Gary McDaniel
(gmrv4) - F
Ozark Highland Trail on 08/21/2006 19:22:50 MDT Print View

I have hiked sections of the Ozark Highland Trail and I too hope to thru hike the whole trail someday.

The western section in Ft Smith has been closed due to the raising of the Ft Smith Lake by 84'! So plan to work around the beginning section somehow.

The typical resupply places, Ozone store and Pelson store have been closed and currently can't be counted on for resupply, unless things have changed in recent months.

Sections of the trail has lots of 'marbles' as in round rocks of various sizes that will bug you after a few days, but the wonders of this trail will more than offset any footing issues.

Have fun out there and I hope to follow in your footsteps someday.

Jon Priest
(jwetzelp) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Re: Ozark Highland Trail on 08/21/2006 19:46:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for the useful info., Gary. Ive done almost half of it in sections but am looking forward to seeing it in its entirety, uninterrupted.

We plan on having our wives meet us at about half-way (FR 1003) for resupply so I don't think the stores will be an issue.

However, I have heard that Woolum is all but inccessible. Any info. on connecting to the Buffalo River Trail at Hwy. 65?

Thanks Again!

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Ozark Highlands Trail on 08/23/2006 21:52:35 MDT Print View

Jon, have you checked the info at the Ozark Highlands Trail Assoc. website?

The OHTA maintains a list of alerts on trail status there. When I'm home next week, I'll also check my copy of Tim Ernst's guidebook about Woolum. I just can't remember how accessible it is. If you don't have it, the OHT Guidebook is a great resource. It's available on the OHTA website.

You should have a great hike. Arkansas is beautiful in the springtime!


James Ennis
(JimEnnis) - F

Locale: South
Woolum on 10/03/2006 20:50:53 MDT Print View

Woolum is usually quite accessible from Hwy. 65 at St. Joe. The problem is that you come into Woolum on the OHT from the south. Vehicle access to Woolum is from the north. The problem arises if the river is up. It can be very difficult to cross the river, especially in the spring when you are planning to hike. I have seen the river at flood stage as late as early May, which would make it impossible and extremely dangerous to try to cross.
By the way, I'm thinking of thru-hiking the OHT in March, 2007. Let me know when you are going. My base weight is similar to yours, in the 12-13 pound range. I was hoping to hike it in 9-10 days, starting at the 10.5 mile marker since the first part is still screwed up by the lake.