Water needs to be filtered/purified from the stream. This is a very large campground. Bear cables are provided for your food bags.
Is a great location when it's not near the holidays or when everyone is off since the location will fill up quickly. Campsite are first come first serve. Long drive up mountain just outside of Helen. But does have both of Helen's tubing companies right at bottom of Hill.
Low Gap was one of the best and largest camps on the AT that I had seen. Now, to this point, I've only seen about 50 other miles of trail and campsites, but in that 50, I'd say this was one of the best. It was truly a "camp". It had almost everything that you needed, including a shelter and water, and was right on the AT. No side trails to follow to get there! On my way to Low Gap, I had a chance to use my Renogy Portable Outdoor Water Filter and it performed incredibly well!
Most camps that we came across (mind you, we were only on the trail for 6 days) were small and intimate, for the most part. A few had multiple tent pads, some had only one, some had shelters and pads, but this one was the largest we saw in GA. Right off the trail (thank heavens…it had been a LONG day of rocks, ups, downs, more rocks with ups and downs, and lots of sunshine!), we were glad to stop off, drop our packs and chill. We hit the first tent pad we saw (others we knew had saved us a spot), but there were many, many others. The small "camps" were in clusters of several tent pads each, so that even though there may have been lots of people there, you could have a more private "area" to share with a few people. There was a path down about 1/4 mile to where the shelter was. And in front of the shelter was a little stream. Perfect, this time of year, for collecting water. There didn't seem to be a privy, but not all camps have them. You just have to find other means. A very welcome addition to this site was a bear cable!! Some sites have cables strung between large trees with pulleys with clips so that you can attach your food bag and hoist it into the air instead of trying to find a tree that will allow you to string it up properly. What a blessing! Many people shared the cables, but everyone respects each other's things. No one messes with your food, except maybe the mice. A very quiet camp, except for the sounds of nature. And perhaps snoring…
My friend and I failed miserably to take very many photos of the camp. Those I do have are a combination of the ones that we both took (and I have her permission to use them). We were dog tired when we got there, and the sun was setting. All we wanted was food. And the next morning, we were saying good-byes to those that were headed north on their through hikes, so we weren't concentrated on cameras so much as memories. My apologies…
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I have the amazing opportunity to test awesome products in exchange for an honest review. This time, I received the Renogy Portable Outdoor Water Filter for my AT trip!
While hiking, you have a few opportunities here and there to find good water sources to drink from, and since I wasn't sure about a water source at the camp, I found some along the way. That is where I chose to use my new filter. Normally, I use another means to clean my water for drinking, but I was intrigued by the size and potential power of the Renogy Pump. It was small, it looked pretty simple, it was something that could be useful. So I brought it along.
Now, let me first say that this pump will not kill viruses. For that purpose (sometimes you need to kill them), you have to go with a UV type of device or something else that is specific to that need, but to de-bug your water from bacteria, eggs (yes, it takes care of amoebas and eggs) and other nasties, this is your guy. It filters to .1 microns and you can do business with 792 gallons on one filter! It's not the fastest to use, but it does exactly what it's supposed to do.
The instructions aren't complicated, and even someone that's never used a pump like this before can easily put it together and make it work. It does take practice, though, so I tried it in the bathroom sink to get the hang of it. It'll take you a few minutes to pump a liter of water, but unless you are in a race to fill your water bottle the fastest, this really isn't a problem. Long tube on bottom, short tube on top. Weighted end in the water, and pump. If you have the tubes mixed up, don't worry. Nothing will happen, but that just means you have to switch them (speaking from experience). Just make sure not to touch your dirty tube to your clean water once you are done. I found that once you have detached and drained your tubes, if you plug the bottom hole with your finger while you press the plunger in, it helps to release the rest of the water inside the filter. Some water will remain, but doesn't really seem to cause any problems. You want to back-flush with the syringe if it gets hard to filter and won't pump easily (read: dirt gets inside the filter), and then again when you put it away after your trip, but all those details are in the instructions.
Things I liked:
- Pretty easy to use…IF…you read the instructions and practice
- It's fairly small
- Does what it's supposed to do if you use it right
- Seems to have a casing on it that could stand a bit of abuse (metal)
- Comes with a storage pouch
Things I didn't like:
- A bit labor intensive, especially if you are tired and thirsty
- Takes longer to filter a liter of water than some devices
- The storage bag has no divider in it in which to store your dirty and clean tubes. I felt like if I put my dirty tube that still had water on it in with the clean tube, then I was going to contaminate the clean one
Bottom line, it worked really well, and I'd use it again, especially if I knew I needed to have a reliable pump for eggs and worms (think tapeworms….ick). Not pleasant to think about, but really good to know that if I used this pump, I wouldn't have to think about them again.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not a doctor or chemist or biologist or have any degree in water safety. I'm simply reporting on this device as I have interpreted the instructions. I felt very confidant drinking the water I filtered, and have not gotten ill. Please use whatever method makes you feel comfortable to clean your water in the backwoods.