Through the end of the year, we'll be keeping you updated in this weekly enewsletter on two main events celebrating our 40th Anniversary: MST in a Day and Jennifer Pharr Davis Hikes the MST. 

If you have friends who love to hike, please forward this enewsletter and encourage them to sign up and get involved.
40th Anniversary Weekly Coverage

No. 15, October 11, 2017

Join Jennifer Pharr Davis this Saturday at the finish!

On Saturday, November 18, Jennifer Pharr Davis finishes what she started back on August 15: her 1,175-mile trek across North Carolina on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. 

It's a climatic event in more ways than one: she's completing her three-month journey, and she'll have to summit a sand dune at Jockey's Ridge State Park that could be as tall as 100 feet (the height - and location - fluctuates, depending upon the wind) to do it.

While Jen initially made a name by being a speed hiker - she once held the record for hiking the Appalachian Trail in a record 46 days - she plans to savor her last day on the trail.

And that's good news for you, because she'd like you to join her.

Read more about how you can be a part of Jen's final day on the trail on our website, here.

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Follow Jen! Get the latest news from Jen about her journey: 

What's Brewin' off the trail?

While Jennifer Pharr Davis makes her way across the state on the MST, her support crew - hubby Brew, 5-year-old daughter Charley and 1-year-old son Gus - join her when they can.

One occasion when the family was definitely all together was this past Monday - Charley's 5th birthday. And could there possibly be a better place to celebrate a birthday (especially the Big 5!) than on the MST - on the beach?

See additional photos from Charley's birthday bash on Brew's Facebook page, here.
The view from Beacon Heights, Segment 4 (photo by Ben Trotter)
MST in a Day: Relive it in photos

Who would have guessed that the same day we elected to hike the entire MST would be the same day that the weather was perfect across the entire state!

Lucky for all of us, that translates to reliving the day over and over in pictures. Fortunately, our MST in a Day hikers savored the day with cameras in hand. The result: a virtual return to September 9 on our Flickr page.

Take a minute to appreciate the trail over and over again, here.

Hike the MST this weekend: Grandfather Mountain

Making connections is a big part of what the MST is about. Most obviously, connecting the western part of the state (Clingmans Dome) with the eastern part (Jockey's Ridge State Park). But also connecting you with nature, connecting with other hikers, connecting communities. 

It's also about connecting with other trails. And that's the focus of Sunday's GetHiking! Charlotte hike at Grandfather Mountain. The hike begins on the Tanawha portion of the MST, then works its way up the mountain on the Nuwati, Daniel Boone and Craggy trails. Fall color may be all but gone, but the views this time of year are typically crisp and distant.

Learn more about the hike and sign up here.
Gear:  $5 (or less) gloves

A while back, a hiker arrived at the trailhead and apologized for her gloves. "I'm not sure where my real gloves are, so I just grabbed these." 

"These" were a pair of cotton gloves, the kind you can pick up for less than $5 a pair (I've seen them online for $11.95 for a dozen). Au contraire, I said. Aside from the fact they're cotton (if they get wet, they stay wet), they're not only great at keeping your fingers warm, they permit digital dexterity to perform a variety of functions, from grabbing a snack and unwrapping it to taking pictures with your point-and-shoot. 

Granted, they lose their effectiveness when the temperature gets much below 20. But how often are you out when it's that cold anyway?

A good base layer is the foundation of a warm winter hike. 
Cold weather tip: Peel a layer before hitting the trail

Hiking in the cold has a Goldilocks element to it: one minute you're too cold, the next too warm. How do you get it just right? 

The problem generally starts at the trailhead: You get out of the car, take five minutes to get your stuff together, maybe another couple waiting for your buddies to get their act together. You're standing around, it's cold, so you're bundled up with a fleece, maybe a down parka. When everyone's ready, you throw on your pack and immediately head down the trail, still bundled. Within a couple minutes, you're sweating.

Avoid this by shedding that extra layer before you hit the trail. You may be cool for a minute or two, but your hiking body will quickly warm. When you stop for a break of more than a couple minutes, get that fleece or down out of your pack and put it on immediately: you'll retain your body heat and ward off any chill. If you don't like the idea of starting cool, a hat and gloves keep heat from escaping and can be easily shed once you're warm.


Thanks to our sponsors!

There would be no Mountains-to-Sea Trail, no reason to celebrate a 40th anniversary, without the generous support of our many sponsors, including  BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, Great Outdoor Provision Co., REI, Duke Energy, Farm to Feet, First Citizens Bank, Mast General Store, Rostan Family Foundation, New Morning Gallery, AntiGravity Gear, Prestage Farms and Wyrick Robbins.