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Winter Hike 2012

Jan 14 & 15th
6:00 AM – Meet at UMC Parking Lot
6:30 AM – Departure for Withlacoochee State Forest

We begin our 2012 camping season with our Winter Hike. If you don’t know, our destination is the Withlacoochee State Forest a bit north of here. We have hiked there the last couple of years and enjoy the varied terrain in a pristine Florida ecosystem.

While it has many positive attributes, water is not one of them! Scouts need to Be Prepared with ample water in a packable container for their needs on Saturday. We will cache water at our camp to provide all the water needed for the return trip on Sunday. While on the subject of gear, this is not your garden variety camp out for our troop! We’ll be covering around 10 miles on Saturday and at least another 5 on Sunday so you’ll want gear that is easy to carry and not terribly heavy. One critical issue is footwear. We have a standing rule against sandals while in the woods and that certainly is the case here. Hiking boots or sturdy shoes are your best bet for this activity. Without the proper footwear and other gear, we can’t allow you to participate in this event. To make sure you have a solid understanding of what is needed, we will be covering this information at the next two troop meetings. In addition, you can find copies of our Gear List and How to Pack a Backpack by clicking on the “scout resources” page of this site.

In addition, Leon Watts of Adventure Outfitters in Tampa will be present at our Jan. 9 troop meeting to share his expertise on the gear required for this kind of event. While gear is available at a multitude of stores in Tampa and on the Internet, Adventure Outfitters is a friend to the Scouting community and offers a 10% discount on purchases in his store.

Permission Slip should be downloaded here. Bring filled out and give to Mr. Friedlander at next troop meeting.
Mr. Friedlander is this event’s coordinator. He can be reached at either or 727-434-0936

Look for outdoor survival skills training during the hike and specialty wilderness games at base camp

Driving Directions:
Proceed north on Veterans Expressway/Florida 589 to US Highway 98. Make right turn at exit and follow Hwy 98 South 3.7 miles to County Road 491. Make left turn at CR 491 heading 3.1 miles north to CR 480 (a/k/a Stage Coach Road). Make right turn on CR 480 heading east 5.6 miles to State Road 581. Make left turn onto SR 581 heading north 4.3 miles. Look for signs to Mutual Mine Campground on left. Total travel time will be approximately 85-90 minutes.

Start: Mutual Mine Recreation Area (N28 deg 45’3094″, W82 deg 21’1053″)
Finish: the intersection of FR 22 and South Lecanto Hwy (CR 491). (N28 deg 42’5519″, W82 deg 27’0859″)

The water car cache site will be at the intersection of Loop D and Brittle Rd (approx. 400 meters to the west of Taylor Camp) (N 28 deg 41′ 3642″, W 82 deg 25′ 3453″) (intersection of Brittle Rd and Loop D)

Saturday AM Start: From Mutual Mine Campground parking area (directly east of Loop C), proceed 1.6 miles west, then 1.4 miles south, then straight the 4.8 miles to the “tent” symbol (Camp Taylor), which will be our primitive campsite. We leave our gear at the campsite, continue west to the “P” site where the replenish water will be stored in a vehicle and taken back to the campsite. That completes Saturday and will total approx. 9.8. For Scouts interested in earning credit towards their Hiking Merit Badge, we will ensure you complete the necessary distance to get credit for a full 10.0 miles.

Sunday: Head clockwise (generally northwest) on Loop D for about 3.0 miles and then cutoff-trail west again to the caves that are in the area. From the caves we continue west until we reach South Lecanto Rd (on the map indicated as “CR 491″) where the vehicles will be parked at the forest road entrance gate. The day-two hike distance should be approximately 5.0 miles.

Cave No. 1:

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N28 deg 42’5528″, W82 deg 27’0860″
Cave No. 2: N28 deg 42’5522″, W82 deg 26’4031″
Cave No. 3: N28 deg 42’5622″, W82 deg 26’4077″

You can view a suggested gear list for this event here. Remember, this is contains

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suggestions only. Prepare your gear and clothing based on the conditions forecast (paying attention to the weather as we approach the event). Camelbacks type water bladder devices not recommended for

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those who need intake monitoring. Please use regular Nalgene type bottles.

Other Gear Links:

Also, Walmart has a surprising great selection of hiking stoves and Mountain House brand dehydrated foods.

There is some great information from a Backpacker Magazine hiking seminar held at Bill Jackson’s (12/4/2010) audio here. Be patient while file loads in browser. At that point, you should be able save the files off to your computer if you wish.

Clicking on the map below will download a larger PDF version.

Winter Hike 2011 map

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