This post is kind of a wrap up of the BMT by the numbers. I'll be publishing a post over on my Appalachian Trials blog very soon and will post a link to that when it's live. For now, here's a breakdown of the statistics from our thru hike of the Benton MacKaye Trail.
Benton MacKaye Trail Facts:
-The trail is pronounced Benton "Mac-Eye", not "Mc Kay" as many people think.
-The length of the trail is different now. In 2012, the trail terminus was moved from Davenport Gap to Big Creek Campground since it's kind of dumb to walk through the campground, up to Davenport Gap, and then right back down to the campground to get a ride since there is very little traffic at Davenport Gap. It was 286 miles, then 283, and now it's about 290 due to a reroute. More reroutes have been completed, but not signed or made official as of yet. The trail will be closer to 300 in the near future.
-You can do a loop hike of this trail with the Appalachian Trail. If you hike the AT/BMT loop, it is 500 miles. We technically are 500 Milers since we have done both trails. I thought this was pretty cool!
Our Hike - By the Numbers
-Days hiking: 20
-Zero days (days not hiking during the 20) taken: 1
-Nights spent sleeping indoors: 4 - Days Inn of Blue Ridge, GA; two nights at Green Cove Motel; one night at Tapoco Lodge
-Nights camping: 16
-Nights camping alone: 13
-Days walking in the rain: 1
-Nights camped in the rain: 4
-Biggest Crowds: 15 people at campsite 81 and 12 people at Laurel Gap Shelter in the Smokies (Memorial Day Weekend)
-Days we saw people: 20 - this is not common on the BMT. Many trail journals I read most people went days without seeing a single soul.
-Miles per day hiked (on average): 15.26 (not including our zero day)
-Pack weight: Sprinkles ~20 lb fully loaded; NoKey ~ 24 lb fully loaded
-Body weight lost: Sprinkles - 6 lb, NoKey - 20 lb.
Gear to Change
For both of us, most of our gear worked incredibly well! For NoKey, we are going to switch him to a full length sleeping pad, as he was using a 3/4 length Thermarest Prolite and had quite a few uncomfortable nights. He also splurged on a luxury item yesterday - an inflatable pillow. By swapping out his bug net for the pillow, he'll never even know he's carrying it! For me, my MSR Seagull pot was just too small for the homemade meals I assembled before leaving. The meals and water would completely fill the 750 mL pot and stirring them was nearly impossible. I have upgraded to the GSI Pinnacle Soloist, which has a great nesting system that includes a stove bag, room for a fuel canister up to 220 grams, a cup/cozy, room for a lighter, my Swiss Army Knife, lid, and dual purpose bag to store it in. I'm pretty excited since now I have a capacity of 1 liter. The extra 250 mL will make a huge difference! I will also add some clothing to my bag and carry a pair of capri pants, as there were three nights on the BMT that I was absolutely freezing in my 36-degree down bag.
As I mentioned above, my summary of the BMT will be coming over on my Appalachian Trials blog and I will be sharing the link with you all soon. We are really looking forward to hitting the Finger Lakes Trail very soon!