Since I have reviewed many of the backpacking routes in the Cheaha area I would first recommend taking a look at some of the other campground reviews in this area. This shelter is actually along a new trail for me where the Pinhoti heads North from the Cheaha Trailhead on 281. The parking lot has a beautiful entrance archway then heads away from the road before splitting. Take your first right then when the trail splits again take another right. I have a video attached showing the turns. You then continue for about .5 miles before crossing back over the road and following the ridge for a while. After going a little more than 2 miles you will reach a sign that directs you to the shelter. You can’t miss the wooden structure a few yards down the path.
Most of the camping along the Pinhoti is classic semi-flat backcountry sites with a small fire pit and not much else. So when we came across this amazing shelter we were thoroughly impressed. It has a large area on the first floor where you could set up several sleeping bags and then there is an additional closed off area in the loft that is dark and dingy but very clean and perfect if the weather is ugly. The site also has a HUGE firepit which seemed a little overkill but could be nice if you have a large group. Finishing off the amenities is a picnic table and several cleared out tent areas. Make sure to check out my video to get a full idea of how this site is set up and if it would be a good place for you to stay.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to try out new and interesting products at campgrounds I visit. On this trip, I tried out the RoM Pack. My takeaways from using the combo backpack, poncho, picnic blanket are:
- The backpack works incredibly well for what it is designed to do. If you are going to be carrying your things somewhere where you will then unpack and hang out for a while this piece of gear does exactly what you need. It held all the items we needed for the day of hiking including a hammock, water bottles, food, and small items (phone, wallet, keys, etc.) and still had plenty of internal space to spare. When we arrived at the campground we set up and unpacked then took apart the backpack so that we could use the blanket to sit on. I can imagine in the future this pack also being very useful for keeping in the car when any one of its uses might come up.
- It is very comfortable to hike with. I found the strap design and layout to fit comfortably on my chest. They are highly adjustable for different sized individuals. The one criticism I had of the straps is that the cross chest straps are a little too long and I had trouble getting it tight enough since I am a relatively small person. Overall though I didn’t have much shifting around while hiking.
- Included with a backpack was a small drawstring bag that is designed to fit inside the larger pack and hold your gear when using the pack as a poncho or blanket. I found this to work ok but felt it was a little unnecessary since anytime I would plan to take about the pack I would want to be at my final destination where I would be ok just taking out my gear.
Overall, I would say this pack has a few very specific applications and it performs really well for all those situations. Worth checking out if you want to have a multipurpose backup bag in the car or are often in a situation where you are hiking in to picnic locations.