Uwharrie Camping- Dickey Bell 1

99Yota

Observer
Decided to take a trip out to Uwharrie National Park as I was in Durham visiting my girlfriend. First thing to point out- go to El Dorado Outpost and spend the $5/day for your OHV pass. Not sure if it is a scare tactic or not but being caught without one has a stiff fine- $250 along with possible vehicle impound. Not sure if that was true but peace of mind and support to the park system were worth the cost to me.

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Most of the 4x4 trails are in the lower right corner of the map- they're categorized by difficulty. Since I still haven't swapped out my tires/ wheels for ones with more sidewall, I couldn't attempt trails with large rocks due to potential sidewall/ wheel damage. I did however, lower my tire pressure down to 15psi.

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First creature we saw was a snake. Nice little guy- probably not very pet-worthy though...

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I recently purchased a vehicle fridge and zodi water heater which I wanted to try out so I didn't want to stay at any of the campsites around Badin Lake. They're nice but a little too domestic for me. So off to the trails it was. The location we settled on was Dickey Bell (TR96A). It's labeled as difficult but only on some spots further up which I didn't go - again, because of my sidewall issue. The good news is that there weren't too many others camping- however, as it is an OHV trail, there were guys with old chevy 4x4s and glasspacks. Flashback to high-school... This went on till about midnight but it wasn't that bad.

Here's what the beginning looks like:
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About 1/8 mile up we found a spot which had enough space to set up camp (this spot is about a 5 minute walk to the spot known as little david. Anyone with 4x4 low and 33s should be fine if they pick the right line.)

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99Yota

Observer
20150510_092325.jpgIn this picture, you see the fridge. I've still got some stuff in the back so had to load it up as shown. Its a National Luna Twin 60. (Thanks Paul @ Equipt- this thing is great!) Side note- buying ice cream and going camping normally don't go together but with a fridge like the twin 60- no problem. I plugged mine into a 1000W inverter. The unit constantly indicated low voltage- 9.5 v but I believe this is more function of the inverter not being able to keep up as I have 3 batteries.
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Next step was getting the camp fire going...
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I know it might seem a little extreme but the good news it's quick and gets the job done.

The next day, we spent just hanging about and preparing food and listening to nature but what I really wanted to do was try out the new shower set up.

I found a small stream near the far end of Dutch John Trail and had fun trying to get the zodi privacy tent set up without paying attention to the pictures on the box but finally got everything working.
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After the shower, we took some time looking at some of the other trails- Falls dam but as there were rains in the forecast and we needed to head back, I didn't get too much time to explore. The Nitto Terra Grapplers did fine and not once did I need to lock the rear even with the slippery mud. 15psi really helped alot.

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About to air back up for the trip back to Durham. All in all a fun trip- wish I had tires with more sidewall but that will all be a non-issue in the near future.View attachment 284353
 
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jhberria

Adventurer
Great report, and I love the Copperhead photo. Being a native of Durham, myself (Bahama, actually), I regret never making it to Uwharrie when I still lived in NC. Thanks for the post!
 

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tarditi

Explorer
We used to go to Uwharrie a lot - several times per year to ride and then a few times a year for trail work days with the US Forest Service.
My old 4x4 club has a good write up and maps of the trails there: http://www.cnc4x4.org/trails/uwharrie_tr.htm

Do pay the OHV fee - it goes to maintain the trails and, yes, will result in a fine if the rangers find you.
Also, please be sure to bring your own firewood in, not harvested from the local area. Tread lightly, after all.

Glad you enjoyed it - there are some fun trails out there.
 

Foy

Explorer
Your gear....

I have a "grill lighter" just like yours. It's just about my favorite piece of gear.

Foy
 

99Yota

Observer
Great report, and I love the Copperhead photo. Being a native of Durham, myself (Bahama, actually), I regret never making it to Uwharrie when I still lived in NC. Thanks for the post!
I'm always trying to find good camp spots so I figure if I happen to stumble across a nice spot, why not share the info?

Cheers,

Eric
 

99Yota

Observer
We used to go to Uwharrie a lot - several times per year to ride and then a few times a year for trail work days with the US Forest Service.
My old 4x4 club has a good write up and maps of the trails there: http://www.cnc4x4.org/trails/uwharrie_tr.htm

Do pay the OHV fee - it goes to maintain the trails and, yes, will result in a fine if the rangers find you.
Also, please be sure to bring your own firewood in, not harvested from the local area. Tread lightly, after all.

Glad you enjoyed it - there are some fun trails out there.
Thanks for the link and the pointers. Along the same lines, I found this:http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5398779

Next time I'll know better.

Thanks!

Eric
 

teddyearp

Adventurer
Nice report, thank you. You have in your camping kit something that not many others do; though I do, a chainsaw! I assume that the 'firewood' you were collecting was dead. I am surprised that someone said to bring your own campfire wood and not to collect locally? The link you gave to the NF site talked about actual firewood and not campfire wood.

But there is a big push of late to 'buy it where you burn it' here out west. I do understand the theory behind it, but heck then why should we ship lumber all over the place if that's the case.

I usually build 'injun' fires and finish them with something to cook some meat over. And that means I will sometimes have wood that I did not collect locally, however, I burn it down; all the way down.
 

99Yota

Observer
Nice report, thank you. You have in your camping kit something that not many others do; though I do, a chainsaw! I assume that the 'firewood' you were collecting was dead. I am surprised that someone said to bring your own campfire wood and not to collect locally? The link you gave to the NF site talked about actual firewood and not campfire wood.

But there is a big push of late to 'buy it where you burn it' here out west. I do understand the theory behind it, but heck then why should we ship lumber all over the place if that's the case.

I usually build 'injun' fires and finish them with something to cook some meat over. And that means I will sometimes have wood that I did not collect locally, however, I burn it down; all the way down.
Correct- always dead and always enough out of a way that it isn't visible from any site with a fire ring. While the primary purpose is to get fallen trees out of the way of a trail, it does come in handy from time to time.
 

Yuman Desert Rat

Expedition Leader
You'd have WAY better energy efficiency running the fridge off of 12v directly vice the inverter. 2 batteries should be plenty. Also, your on and off road manners would improve drastically with more tire sidewall. Maybe a 16" rim and less width. Just some friendly suggestions. Nice trip report. Id also suggest losing the lumberjack photo...
 

concretejungle

Adventurer
cool. I live about 1.5 hours from Uwharrie. In the rain, that place is a mess. Even the most aggressive mud tires won't help you.

Also, i have the same JB tent, except in white. There are a few tight trails up there that i get nervous about leaning the tent into a tree, so i usually won't take the RTT if i go to wheel, or if i do take the RTT, i won't wheel and i'll ride with someone else. Do you have any heat issues with the black model?
 

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99Yota

Observer
cool. I live about 1.5 hours from Uwharrie. In the rain, that place is a mess. Even the most aggressive mud tires won't help you.

Also, i have the same JB tent, except in white. There are a few tight trails up there that i get nervous about leaning the tent into a tree, so i usually won't take the RTT if i go to wheel, or if i do take the RTT, i won't wheel and i'll ride with someone else. Do you have any heat issues with the black model?
One side effect, if you can call it that is that I have never had an issue with moisture inside the unit. The high temperatures inside helps dry out humidity. When inside during the day, I've had to open the vents as it does feel warm without out them open but I suspect this would be the case even with the white model in +90F and 75% RH. I have been conscious however to keep it waxed/ polished since I wold imagine the heat would eventually damage the finish.
 

99Yota

Observer
You'd have WAY better energy efficiency running the fridge off of 12v directly vice the inverter. 2 batteries should be plenty. Also, your on and off road manners would improve drastically with more tire sidewall. Maybe a 16" rim and less width. Just some friendly suggestions. Nice trip report. Id also suggest losing the lumberjack photo...
Yep, I just haven't gotten around to wiring up the included harness to 12V and since I already had an inverter wired up... New tires are on the way; just don't see the utility in ditching the current setup with as few miles. I'm likely going to go with 33" km2's when the time comes.
 
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