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Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:20 pm
i know i haven't been around here that long but any advice you can offer i would appreciate. the longest backpacking trip i have taken is 5 days. i know i have to really go through all my gear and start pinching grams but i have a goal. in 2012 i will be 32yrs. old and that year i am planing on a total thru-hike of the AT. i know the whole thing is something like 2200 mi. so i am going to take the time to prepare as much as i can and get into shape. and 2012 is a ways off but i should have everything in order so i can be gone that long by then. i checked out the whiteblaze site and did get some info but i don't really like that site and i can't tell you why. so any info or pushes in the right direction i could use. i want to take my dog but by then she would be too old and i just can't see a beagle doing that much. i have a book "long-distance hiking" and i know i need to read more but don't really know where to start. i was thinking about reading on the history of the AT and a couple personal accounts to get a rough idea but again do you recommend any. and before it is said i know nothing i can do will completely prepare me for it until i do it myself.
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:53 am
Never done it but envy all that can! There is a sister site to White Blaze called Hammockforrums.net very nice people and there are some thru hikers on there that could give you some good advice. I know what your talking about on White Blaze, it's the people the bad apples ruin it!!! But it has pointed me in some really good directions including here! Also try Sgt.Rock's Page he has a lot of great articles. Best thing I could tell you from what I've read is to know all your gear and be sure you're doing it for you! Hike your own hike!!!! Good luck on the Preps. Any idea what you're going to be using for a sleep system?
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:04 am
i have to get something else what i'm using is too heavy for that much hiking. i like hammocks but in a bad storm they can be a real morale drag. so i'm thinking a tent and my sleeping bag weighs 5lbs. which now its not a problem but it will be. i was thinking about using two bags one to start out with and have the wife meet me at some point for a resupply and switch to a lighter one.
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:38 am
I think that Resupply would be vital to the success of a Thru-Hike.
Check out the videos of this AT thru-hiker. He hikes with His Dog. Here's His channel page:
This video shows what He eats in one week:
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:57 pm
I haven't had the chance to do a big hike like that yet. I'm also rather new to this hiking thing so that's a part of it.
What I can say though, is that a thru-hike requires a lot of planning. My friend Sam thru-hiked the PNT
and spent a lot of time planning for it. I think he spent the year prior just preparing and getting everything together. He had strategic points where supply packages where waiting for him at post offices in small towns. The one thing that stood out most in my mind was the new pair of shoes he needed partway through the hike. It had never occurred to me that a pair of shoes could wear out over 1200 or so miles. The backpacking
portion of his website has info on his different trips and I'm sure he could provide some great info here on bplite if he sees the thread.
In regards to gear weight, backpackinglight.com has a lot of info about lightweight gear. I think switching out your sleeping bag and perhaps some other gear along the AT is a good idea and could be part of your resupply plan. It seems that gear changes are pretty common on certain trails, especially the PCT where there is a large range of different conditions. I'm working on getting my base pack weight below 10 lbs for short trips but a long thru-hike would certainly had more back onto that. With careful selection and planning I think you could keep your pack at or below 35 lbs with food no problem.
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:52 pm
IRA, there are so many books with people's personal accounts of hiking the AT that are good reads. Backpacker Magazine buts out a Handbook for hiking the AT that has a lot uf very informative information. I read at least a dozen books on the subject and will try to get you a list of some interesting reads. Like dlarson said, it requires a lot of planning and preparation along with about $2000, more or less, for the actual hike.
Posted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:15 pm
I was wondering about the cost.
Going 6 months or so without income would be tough.
Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:34 am
ridgerunner i would appreciate the info.
Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:47 am
dlarson thanks for the site link. i've been reading it and there is a lot of good info i can learn a lot from it.
Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:33 pm
There is also the AT Companion Handbook that is printed every year with mileages and shelter locations and all kinds of useful information. You will miss one highlight that I was lucky to have taken in 3 times and that was Mountain Momma's, located in the Smokies. She made one heck of a hamburger(I saw references to it by highly anticipating thru hikes in shelter journals) and you could get a shower, cabin, and mail drop at her place. She has since retired and moved and the new owner is not continuing the business. There is another campground just down the trail that also has good accomadations.