SWAMP THING (Jan 27-28, 2018)



ADVENTURE
4.0  (INTENSE)
EXTREME
4.0 (Double Pts)
$59+

SWAMP THING Everglades Backpacking Trip
Jan 27-28, 2018 (Sat-Sun) - Big Cypress Preserve east of Naples, FL








SWAMP THING - Select Your Option
(3% "Tax" added when paying online to cover PayPal fees)



- EVENT SUMMARY -
The Gist


SWAMP THING BACKPACKING TRIP

Swamp Thing is a weekend Christ-centered backpacking journey into one of North America's unsung wild places - the Everglades of south Florida. The Big Cypress Swamp is a spectacular, rugged, rare, subtropical landscape experienced by very few adventurous souls each year. It is hauntingly beautiful. And it is enormous, covering 2400 square miles.

GTD's Swamp Thing is a 8 mile out-and-back (4 miles each way) hike through the fresh water swamp that flows into the Everglades. We will trek in 4 miles and camp for 1 night on a small pineland island which is surrounded by an endless river of grass, cypress trees, and marsh swamps. During our time we will explore some of the rarest terrain in the world. About 75% of our hiking trail is through swamp water measuring from ankle to knee deep.

This is an adventurous and challenging hike that will cause a sense of wonder and praise deep within your soul as you see the creative genius of an Almighty God. Each day we will start the morning with personal devotions and at night we will spend some time focusing on a Biblical topic. Only through God's amazing power can the grunge of a swamp be used to refresh your soul. Come and see why adventurers haven't experienced anything until they've experienced The Swamp Thing.

POISON IVY WARNING: Some poison ivy has been encountered at the campsite. Learn what it looks like and avoid touching it. Not everyone is allergic to poison ivy, but some people are very allergic to it.


- HIGHLIGHT VIDEO -
Get A Glimpse Of Our Adventures!





- EVENT DETAILS -
The Specifics


 EVENT: 
  • SWAMP THING Everglades Backpacking Trip - Big Cypress Preserves (east of Naples, FL)
 DATE(S): 
  • Jan 27-28, 2018 (Sat-Sun)
  • 2 Days / 1 Night
 AGE RANGE: 
  • 18 and older (17 and under must be accompanied by an adult)
 ACTIVITIES: 
  • Backpacking approx 8 miles total
  • Optional expedition hike through nearby Gator Hole (near base camp)
 COST: 
  • $59/person (and bring your own meals)
  • Optional: 6 Backpacking Meals + Trail Snacks = $25/person
  • Optional: Transportation (round-trip from Tampa Bay area) = $25/person
BUY NOW; PAY LATER! 6 MONTHS SAME AS CASH!
While we don't encourage debt we do encourage wise budgeting. PayPal Credit (formerly known as Bill Me Later) allows you to buy your trip today (if the total cost is $99 or more) and then gives you 6 months to pay it off with NO interest. But make sure you pay it off by the deadline or else you will get charged with 6 months of back interest! This option is only available when you pay online through PayPal.

 TO REGISTER (2 STEP PROCESS): 
  • STEP 1: ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST REGISTER!! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!
  • STEP 2: PAY FOR THE EVENT. Select one of our payment options to lock in your spot.
 STARTING TIME: 
 ENDING TIME: 
  • Sunday around 4pm (Ending at the Collier County Rest Area)
 LOCATION, MAP, GPS COORDINATES: 
  • Big Cypress Preserves (Everglades) - east of Naples, FL
  • GPS: 26°10.066'N, 81°4.665'W
 ACCOMMODATIONS: 
  • Backpacking: 2-man tents or cocoon hammocks.
  • NO restrooms available during backpacking trip. "Cat holes" will be used.
  • NO showers available during backpacking trip.
 MIN. PEOPLE: 
  • 4
 MAX. PEOPLE: 
  • 15
 CANCEL DATE (if minimum amt of people do not register for this event): 
  • 5 days prior to the first day of the trip
 TRANSPORTATION: 
  • Carpool
 OPTIONAL ALTERNATIVE MEET-UP SPOT(S): 
  • If you live in the Tampa Bay area and want to drive behind a few vehicles going down to the starting point then let us know ahead of time and plan to meet here: MEET-UP SPOT: GTD Office in Largo, FL at 6am
  • Park at own risk! GTD CAN NOT GUARANTEE VEHICLE SAFETY AT ANY LOCATION!
 SAMPLE AGENDA OVERVIEW (subject to change): 

SATURDAYSUNDAY
Arrive at Rest Area
Welcome
Introductions
Pack Backpacks
3.5 Mile Hike to Base Camp
Eat Lunch (Backpacker Meal)
Set-Up Base Camp
Relax @ Base Camp
Dinner (Backpacker Meal)
Campfire
Impact Point
Sleep
Wake Up
Breakfast (Backpacker Meal)
Morning Devos
Explore Everglades (or Relax)
Break Camp
Hike Out 3.5 Miles
Eat Lunch (Backpacker Meal)
Change Clothes
Return Gear
Load Vehicles
Depart
Optional Celebration Dinner


 MEALS: 
  • OPTION: Upgrade your trip for $25 more and GTD will supply your meals & trail snacks.
  • WHERE TO PURCHASE: Most grocery stores such as Publix have great selections at low costs. Sporting good stores carry specialty backpacking meals that usually cost a little bit more.
  • AMOUNT: Bring plenty of trail snacks for 3 days and enough food for 6 camping meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners).
  • SIZE, WEIGHT, & PACKAGING: Food should be lightweight & waterproof. Seal it in zip-lock bags. Try not to bring heavy canned foods.
  • STOVE & COOKWARE: GTD will supply camp stoves, utensils, mess kits, and cooking pots.
  • BACKPACKING MEAL EXAMPLES: "Mountain House" makes a large variety of dehydrated meals that are delicious and simple to prepare. Mountain House backpacking meals can be found at sporting good stores, online, and a small varoety at Walmart. Other examples of backpacking meals that can be found at any grocery store are instant mashed potatoes & instant gravy, tortillas with pepperoni (or salami) with sealed cheese, Ramen noodles, Knorr pasta packets, vacuum-sealed tuna fish, vacuum-sealed salmon, vacuum-sealed chicken breast, granola/breakfast bars, pop tarts, freeze dried foods, oatmeal, dried fruits, peanut butter, jelly packets, hard rolls, nuts, M&M's, raisins, sunflower seeds, trail mix, etc. 
  • MEALS DURING TRANSIT: You will probably want to bring money for meals during your drive. After the hike the GTD crew will be stopping along I-75 for dinner during our ride back to Largo if anyone would like to join us for a celebration meal. We will be eating at a restaurants such as Cracker Barrel, Sonny's, etc.
 WHAT IS INCLUDED: 
  • Full time guides, all backpacking gear (including backpacks, cocoon jungle hammock or tent, sleeping bag, water bottles, cooking supplies), devotions & spiritual emphasis, a God-awesome lifelong memory!
 WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: 
  • Transportation, snacks / backpacking food (optional upgrade), meals during transit, any items listed on checklist (see below).
 REQUIRED WAIVERS: 
  • GTD Waiver (please print & complete prior to arrival). *Note: Any participant under 18 must also have parent/ guardian sign each waiver.
  • Big Cypress Backcountry Permit (These are free permits that must be printed, filled out, and turned in along with the GTD Waiver upon arrival. Permits are found on the NPS website)
 PAYMENT INFO: 
  • GTD events can be paid for with cash, checks, or debit / credit cards.
  • To pay online with a debit or credit card scroll to the Pay Now button on this link (3% "Tax" added when paying online to cover PayPal fees).
  • Send checks to the mailing address on the Contact link.
  • Bring cash payments to the GTD office (call ahead before coming).
 EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS: 
  • GTD: 727-692-5296 (GTD cell phone - Doug Garner)
  • BIG CYPRESS RANGER STATION 239-695-2000 or 239-695-1201


- ABOUT THE SWAMP TRAIL -
This Is Part Of The FT (Florida Trail)


A ROMP IN THE SWAMP
Part Of The Florida Trail

TRAIL LENGTH: 8 miles total (round-tip)
DIFFICULTY LEVEL:  Strenuous
TRAIL CONDITIONS: Dry land = 25%. Swamp (ankle deep to knee deep) = 50%. Sludge = 25%
TRAIL BLAZES: This hike is part of the Florida Trail and is marked with orange blazes on trees.
HIKING PACE: Expect to hike at approx 1 mph (4 hrs each way)


WILL YOU DO THE SWAMP ROMP?!?!
ON YOUR MARK. GET SET. GOOOOOOOOOO! 


Below is a cheesie, but somewhat informative video from the National Park Service about going on a swamp hike.


FAQ
- PYTHON vs GATOR -
In this photo provided by the Everglades National Park, the carcass of a six-foot American alligator is shown protruding from the mid-section of a 13-foot Burmese python Monday, Sept. 26, 2005 in Everglades National Park, FL, after the snake apparently swallowed the alligator resulting in the deaths of both animals. Pythons have become a problem in the Everglades, but none have been reported in the area we will be hiking.



- ABOUT THE BASE CAMP -
Our Home In The Swamp


POISON IVY WARNING: There is some poison ivy at this camp. Learn what it looks like and avoid touching it. Not everyone is allergic to poison ivy.
BASE CAMP TERRAIN: Pineland Island - Dry
BASE CAMP SIZE: Small (15-20 people max)
BASE CAMP CONDITION: Sometimes overgrown. Each year we spend the first two hours setting up our base camp by chopping down any overgrown weeds, etc & building our fire pit.
ACCOMMODATIONS:  Select from a Hennessy Cocoon Hammock (bug-proof & rainproof) or a 1-2 person Eureka tent.




- ABOUT THE REST AREA / PARKING LOT -
How To Find The Trailhead




STARTING LOCATION:  Collier County Rest Area about 30 miles east of Naples on I-75 "Alligator Alley" (Mile Marker 63).

TRAILHEAD FACILITIES: Restrooms, vending machines, picnic shelters, free drinking water, water hose, trash cans, cell phone tower, electricity. This will be available at the start & finish of the trip.

PARKING: We will be parking in the designated recreational parking area. If you are meeting at the trailhead you need to consider this: GTD can not guarantee the safety of your vehicle. Park at your own risk!


- CHECKLIST -
What We Supply AND What You Should Bring

NOTE: The more weight you carry the less fun you will have. Try to only bring what you need. Luxury items may seem like a good idea until the 2nd mile of your hike.

 GEAR PROVIDED BY GTD: 
*GTD will supply the following gear for you on this trip.
You may elect to supply your own gear instead of using GTD's gear.
[  ]  Backpack
[  ]  Trekking Poles (Not recommended for this trip)
[  ]  Cocoon Hammock or Small Tent
[  ]  Sleeping Pad
[  ]  Sleeping Bag
[  ]  Miniature Backpacker's Pillow
[  ]  2 Lg Water Bottles (1-2 liters)
[  ]  Water (fill up prior to trailhead)
[  ]  Backpacker Stove / Fuel / Cookware / Utensils
[  ]  Optional: Snacks & 4 Backpacking Meals (add $25 for GTD to supply your meals)
[  ]  First Aid Kit
[  ]  P-Cord (Parachute Cord) (small amt)
[  ]  Duct Tape (small amt)
[  ]  Small LED Flashlight and/or Headlamp w/ Batteries
[  ]  Small Roll of Toilet Paper
[  ]  Wet Wipes (small amt: travel size)
[  ]  Emergency Whistle
[  ]  Signaling Devices
[  ]  Poncho
[  ]  Small Plastic Bags (2) (for wet/dirty clothes)
[  ]  Zip Lock Bags (3) (Gallon Size)
[  ]  Insect Repellent (small amt: travel size)
[  ]  Sunscreen
[  ]  Travel Bible and/or Daily Devotional
[  ]  GTD WAIVER (Filled out and SIGNED prior to participating!)

 OPTIONAL GEAR NOT SUPPLIED BY GTD: 
[  ]  Hiking Gloves (Optional use with trekking poles)
[  ]  Hydration Pack / CamelBak (1-2 liters)
[  ]  Pocket Knife (put this in your checked luggage if flying)
[  ]  Sunglasses
[  ]  Lip Balm (small amt: travel size)

 RECOMMENDED ITEMS, BUT NOT REQUIRED AND NOT SUPPLIED BY GTD: 
[  ]  Cell Phone (in case of emergency) (fully charged)
[  ]  Camera w/ SD Card (fully charged)
[  ]  Money / Credit Card (snack stops, etc)
[  ]  Favorite Snack(s)
[  ]  Gatorade Mix, Caffeine Drink Mix, etc
[  ]  Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Meds (small amt: travel size)
[  ]  Anti-Chafe Cream / Vaseline
[  ]  Additional or Specialty Insect Repellent (if you are more susceptible to insect bites or have sensitivities / allergies to standard repellents)

 PERSONAL ITEMS NOT SUPPLIED BY GTD
[  ]  Eyeglasses / Contacts (if applicable)
[  ]  Any Necessary Meds (if applicable)
[  ]  Travel Size Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, liquid biodegradable soap & shampoo, mini towel, razor, shaving cream, deodorant, brush/comb, hair care)
[  ]  Big Cypress Backcountry Permit (These are free permits that must be printed, filled out, and turned in along with the GTD Waiver upon arrival. Permits are found on the NPS website)

==============================================

ABOUT CLOTHING: Each backpacker determines the quantity of clothing he or she will bring. To keep your pack weight down it is recommended that you bring lightweight clothing (usually synthetic materials) that can be used more than once & when possible has more than 1 use.

*NOTE: Your shoes will get trashed (wet, muddy, scratched, etc). It's a good idea to bring a pair of old tennis shoes that you can dispose of after the trip.

 RECOMMENDED HIKING CLOTHING: 
==============================================
*Everglades avg temps in Jan = Low 50's at night; Low 80's during the day
*Pack according to up-to-date weather forecast. Rain is a possibility.
==============================================
[  ]  Quick Drying Cargo/Activity Shorts
[  ]  Quick Drying Activity Shirts
[  ]  Shade Hat
[  ]  Underwear (1 per day)
[  ]  Hiking Socks (1-2 per day)
[  ]  Hiking Shoes (DON'T USE NEW SHOES; USE OLD TENNIS SHOES FOR THIS HIKE!!)
        (Break in your shoes well in advance of the trip)
[  ]  Gel Insoles (for inside the shoes) (optional)
[  ]  Flip Flops or Sandals (to use at base camp after each day’s hike)
[  ]  Modest Swimsuit (possible swimming opportunities)
[  ]  Long Sleeve Shirt / Sweatshirt
[  ]  Lightweight Activity Pants
[  ]  Lightweight or Seasonal Jacket
[  ]  Thermal / Long Underwear (if cold is forecasted)
[  ]  Knit Cap
[  ]  Complete Change of Clothes Including Footwear (for drive back home)
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**DON'T BRING: Jewelry - or - Valuables**
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NOTE: The following gear will be hiked in w/our guides.
>>>  Fire Starter & Igniters
>>>  Guide's First Aid Kit
>>>  SPOT (GPS Emergency Signaling Device)
>>>  GPS

We look forward to all that God has in store as we embark together on a God-awesome adventure! Come and see why we are love’n life because of Jesus Christ!

*We reserve the right to amend this checklist as needed
.