Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

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JPH
 
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Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby JPH » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:09 am

Sometimes the first step in acheiving a goal is to express it publicly, so here goes. I intend to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in my lifetime.
 
Now there are several catches. For one, I live about 1,000 miles from it and have limited time. For another, I've never stepped foot on it and know very little about the specifics of it. And last of all, I'm not an experienced backpacker. The only things I actually bring with me into this endevor are a strong back, legs and a tremendous stubborness.
 
The reason I am coming here is that I suspect that some of you may have done it, at least in part. I'd love to hear what advice you have to offer. Where can i go to plan my hike? How long might it take? If I do it in stages, how might I break them down? What to bring? What not to bring? Whatever!
 

techmann
 
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RE: Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby techmann » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:37 pm

You say you have limited time, how much time do you have? If you have a few weeks per year, you can do sections each year. I too am traiig to it a little at a time. This year, I plan on doing Virginia two weeks at a time (six weeks total). I believe the key to hiking the AT is to travel light. A very good book to get is The Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike Planner. It is availible from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Check out their website: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c. ... 3/Home.htm

If you are going to do sections, pick a distance that you think you can do then find a section that has a good starting and stopping point that you will be able to fly to and get back from. One possible example would be flying to Roanoke, VA. Take a shuttle ride to the trail & hike north. Hike to Harpers Ferry, WV then take the train to Washington, DC where you can fly back home. This might take three to four weeks depending on your pace.

As far as what to bring, you will need the basics (pack, sleeping bag, tent, pad food water rain gear etc.) but some things may be needed to obtained after you arrive. Stove fuel may be prohbited on the plane. One thing you will definitely want is a camera. Pick a small lightweight digital camera.

I hope this helps.

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Rutnut
 
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RE: Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby Rutnut » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:23 am

I have hiked some of the AT. I have done all of CT and VT, and some of MA and NY. It’s great. I am fortunate to live within a short drive to some access points to the AT. I learned from doing weekend trips, but my advice to someone who has a long journey just to get to the trail is be prepared way in advance (which you are obviously are starting to do).
There are a ton of resources for which you can get info. Unless you sit down with a person who has heavy experience, you have to do your research homework and build upon that….maps, supplies list, Emergency preparedness..etc.
the AT site http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c. ... 3/Home.htm
This site may also help http://www.fred.net/kathy/at.html . They have good resources to start with.

The trail has many entrance/exit points. This gives you the opportunity to plan between points, and be able to get more supplies etc. Some people locate post offices along route and have supplies waiting, some people plan on going to designated stores on certain exits….and on and on.. Again, there is way to much to list here.

One thing I will say is you will meet some VERY nice people. Some days you will see NO ONE. You can obtain a map that locates lean-tos along route. In the shelters, there is generally a log book, and it is very interesting to read some of the stories at night. I read one where a guy broke his leg, and he was waiting for days until a trail monitor (volunteer) came upon him, most stories are more positive though. When you meet someone, you will know right away if they are new or a veteran of the trail. Either way, they always have advice.
You will really enjoy your time. Just plan way in advance. There is really a lot of specific information for people like you. Dig and you’ll find it. Hope you enjoy it, stay safe.

msbadger
 
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RE: Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby msbadger » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:46 am

There are  a lot of blogs on it... here's one you may find interesting

www.bucktrack.com/?Thru-hiking_the_?Appalachian_?Trail.html

msbadger
 
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RE: Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby msbadger » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:49 am

Hhhmm that worked a minute ago...sorry
Google...... blogs on hiking the Appalachian trial....click on it from there

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Cut N Run
 
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RE: Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby Cut N Run » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:41 pm

I hiked part of it in Va. years ago. We didn't get as far as predicted because a surprise snow storm added 9 inches of snow and made the going more difficult. Make sure you're prepared & have fun.

Jim
Luck Counts, good or bad

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JPH
 
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RE: Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby JPH » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:24 pm

As a bit of an update, I have decided that I need to be in this for the long haul. I have a very limited budget and little free time outside of work, family and hunting. I suspect the best I can do is chip away at it from now until retirement (16 years as a best case scenario). Maybe a 7-10 day trip every few years. Then I will assess how much I have left to do and try to through hike that.

I am going to buy the best pack I can get as soon as possible. This way I can begin to train in it and add gear as I have time to evaluate it. I'm leaning toward the Osprey Atmos 65 because of the reputation and lifetime guarantee.

Your thoughts and recommendations?

gatodoc
 
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Re: Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby gatodoc » Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:43 pm

Read "A Walk In The Woods" by Bill Bryson...

Entertaining, comical and it might help you get some ideas and avoid some mistakes... :x

convict charlie
 
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Re: Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Postby convict charlie » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:29 am

I was best man in my friends wedding this past October. There was an uncle of the bride he arrived four days before the wedding hiking the Appalachian trail. He did it in one shot it took him about six months. He went if I remember correctly from Georgia all the way up until Maine. Had it planned out pretty well. It was his goal to be back for the wedding.

I'm sure I can get you his contact information of you wanted it. He said the companies that he had products for we're pretty helpful in his endeavor. He broke a few things along the way like a walking stick. He called the company that had a lifetime warranty on it and they would deliver it to him on the trail. Just said where he would be in a few days and they shipped it to him free of charge. Even sent him some free stuff on top of it. Didn't want bad publicity.

He said sometimes he would be off on his own for a few days while other times he would be with a few others. Depending on where he would meet others and where they were going.


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