NC Piedmont/CLT Meet-Up Planning

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Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Navigator I

3,595
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

Here is the email I got back from Gorges State Park - they are always so nice when you take the time to reach out to them.
Trey,​
The Chestnut Mtn Rd Trail is currently open, but it no longer connects to the Musterground Road.​
The entrance to Chestnut Mountain Road is located in our park at the Rainbow Falls Trailhead. It sounds like you will be prepared enough, but note that all the vehicles that go down must have 4x4, at least 8 in of clearance and though it is not required, it would also be a good idea to bring a chainsaw.​
Chestnut Mtn Road is open to Turkey Pen Gap, which is about 3 miles down, from then the road changes to the Auger Hole Road, which will take you to the Toxaway Game Lands. Then you will come to a fork, and either go down Bear Camp Rd, or continue on the Auger Hole Road.​
If you continue on the Auger Hole Road, you will have 2 gates, depending on the time of year that you decide to go, the first one may be open. This gate is controlled by NC Wildlife, and they control it based on the current hunting seasons. If it is open, you can continue until you come to a second gate located at the Iron Bridge at the Horsepasture River. As far as I know, this gate will no longer be open to the public regardless of the season. This is the trail that would of lead on to connect to Musterground Road.​
If you turn left onto Bear Camp Road it will take you down an extremely rough off roading trail into South Carolina that leads another gate that has some campsites close to Lake Jocassee.​
Either way both trails will be an out and back road, meaning you will not be able to come out on the other end.​
If you have any further questions, feel free to call the park office (828) 966-9099 or stop in the visitor center.​
Thanks,​
Trisha Riddle

So it looks good for Gorges. I'll get a Rally Point active shortly.
 

Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Navigator I

3,595
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

I know some of us talked about Ham in here before - but is anyone in the know for GMRS? It’s simplicity compared to Ham & the bonus you can communicate with FRS radios on some frequencies, no test - just the FCC licensing fee - all makes it really appealing. Like someone said earlier, the most you will need the Ham is in a SHTF scenario - like you have 4 flat tires. My thinking is that if that happened to me, I would just consult the maps & either head for pavement or higher elevation on foot until I get cell service. If it’s a medical emergency, I have a PLB that years ago when I was on the Appalachian Trail, my parents got it for me. That was a time before smartphones. I have to send it off to get new batteries every 5 years & it’s been replaced with a newer model once. I always have it in my go-bag that is always w/ me. You pull the safety pin & hold the trigger for 5 seconds & it transmits for 35 hours that pinpoints your position anywhere on the planet & also transmits a homing signal for when help arrives in the area.
Okay... someone talk me out of the usefulness of GMRS now.
 

Jeffrey Dill

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,299
Greenville, SC, USA
First Name
Jeffrey
Last Name
Dill
Member #

15578

Ham Callsign
W4FOZ
I know some of us talked about Ham in here before - but is anyone in the know for GMRS? It’s simplicity compared to Ham & the bonus you can communicate with FRS radios on some frequencies, no test - just the FCC licensing fee - all makes it really appealing. Like someone said earlier, the most you will need the Ham is in a SHTF scenario - like you have 4 flat tires. My thinking is that if that happened to me, I would just consult the maps & either head for pavement or higher elevation on foot until I get cell service. If it’s a medical emergency, I have a PLB that years ago when I was on the Appalachian Trail, my parents got it for me. That was a time before smartphones. I have to send it off to get new batteries every 5 years & it’s been replaced with a newer model once. I always have it in my go-bag that is always w/ me. You pull the safety pin & hold the trigger for 5 seconds & it transmits for 35 hours that pinpoints your position anywhere on the planet & also transmits a homing signal for when help arrives in the area.
Okay... someone talk me out of the usefulness of GMRS now.
As with any radio service, it's only as useful as its general adoption rate – i.e. whether it's Ham, CB, FRS, or GMRS, a transceiver only provides value if there's someone within your transmitting range on the same service.

The problem with GMRS, in my opinion, is that its adoption rate is just not high enough to be useful.

CB has a much higher adoption rate, which makes it well-suited for trail comms, but it's transmitting distance and frequency range is limited, which means it's not necessarily well-suited for emergency comms.

Ham, on the other hand, kind of ticks all the boxes (for me, at least). It has a higher adoption rate than GMRS while also providing much greater transmitting distances and frequency ranges than CB.

Personally, I'd like to see more trail comms move over to strictly Ham. Until that day, which may never come, I'll always have both Ham and CB in my vehicle. :grinning:
 
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BlazingArmoury

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast I

1,573
Manning, SC
First Name
Jason
Last Name
Kolp
Member #

12037

Ham Callsign
KN4TLR
GMRS is like the middle ground: its more complicated than CB, but easier than HAM. It can have a long range like HAM (I think the max is like 20 miles with repeaters), but has the limited frequencies like CB. HAM is popular because once you get a license, you can setup nearly whatever comms system you want. Voice? Yes. Data? Yes. Video? Yes. It just depends on your skill level and what your goal is. The sky is the limit (unless you want to transmit into space, or listen to astronauts on the ISS).

For us, being explorers/adventurers, that goal is mostly local and emergency communication. Since HAM is very popular, there are repeaters set up everywhere. As long as a handheld or mobile unit can reach one of those repeaters (which most of them can, especially with the right antenna), I can call out to other operators and get weather information or report my position to call for help. Of course, knowing what frequencies those repeaters and stations are on would be helpful, so there's an app/website called "RepeaterBook" which can help you find stations/repeaters to connect to. I'm not sure how many GMRS repeaters are set up, but I know the HAM network is quite extensive.

Of course, the learning curve is much higher with HAM, since you're not limited to channels and have (depending on your license level) access to nearly the entire radio spectrum. But its really only as complex as you're willing to dive into it. For vehicle communication? Very easy. For communicating across the continent? Much harder. Last year I was thinking about having one of each radio in my vehicle (CB, FRS, GMRS, and HAM), but I now think I have all my bases covered with the CB, HAM, and FRS.
 

Contributor I

I know very little about comms but in my opinion GMRS is the best of both world the place that the overland/4WD community fits in but like said before adoption rates of it are very low. Most 4WD community’s require at least having a cb I agree with this but if out with a group someone should have at least one way besides cellphones to communicate. I feel that as long as you have a bob and know what environment your driving in east of the Mississippi I feel there’s nothing to worry about your never more than a days walk from anything. Always be prepared, one way or another.
 
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NC-Trooper

US SouthEast Region Member Rep
Member

Influencer I

3,597
Charlotte
First Name
John
Last Name
Holland
Member #

4197

Hey everyone I just want to take a moment and thank all the guys who have been keeping our group meet ups and trip going while I am still grounded with an infant.

When I spoke with Michael, and Corrie at last year’s Overland Expo East I was frustrated with the lack of consistency in turn out but you guys have really started a community of awesome people.

Here’s to keeping this going and my son getting old enough to come along!
 

Sasquatch SC

Rank VI
Member

Navigator I

3,595
Spartanburg, SC, USA
First Name
Trey
Last Name
Hayes
Member #

17253

Hey everyone I just want to take a moment and thank all the guys who have been keeping our group meet ups and trip going while I am still grounded with an infant.

When I spoke with Michael, and Corrie at last year’s Overland Expo East I was frustrated with the lack of consistency in turn out but you guys have really started a community of awesome people.

Here’s to keeping this going and my son getting old enough to come along!
Somebody has to raise the next generation of trail riders!