View Full Version : Broke down
Just got offline with WalkaboutCharlie. He is broken down at Neel's Gap. He has alot of knee pain and is going to see the doc Friday. I was so sorry to hear this. The guy is young (20 yrs old). So I started to ask him what happened, if he was hiking too fast or too far. He said he was hiking only 8 miles to start off, then was up to 12 miles a day (not bad). Then I asked what his pack weight was. He said it was around 45lbs when he got to Neel's Gap. So what happened was pack weight.
I've got my pack down to 30 lbs. and for the last 8 months, I've been doing weight training 6 times a week. What do you do to get your weight down and get yourself ready for the trail?
45 pounds is not an unusual load; I certainly wouldn't consider it "heavy."
What have trail conditions been like during his hike?
Don't be quick to judge it as pack weight. Left Springer with 44 lbs and without "training" beforehand.
His body isn't used to this and everyone has different reactions when the hike begins.
There's probably nothing wrong with his knees unless he has a prior existing condition. It takes time and many miles to build up the muscles around the ligaments in the knee. Pain is something he's gonna have to deal with for a while. Injury is another thing. I bet the doctor will find nothing wrong except some swelling and will prescribe some high dollar anti-inflammatories.
Hurt is not injured. You can play hurt, but once you are injured it is time to stop. This is one reason I don't reccomend waiting until you hit the trail to get into shape unless it is totally unavoidable. Better to go through this while you can still see your doc in the comfort of you own neighborhood and rest in your own home than at a strange hospital and at an expensive motel.
45 lbs ain't that heavy...I've carrried more over the smokies and i'm a ole balded headed guy ...
That's because you didn't have your hair weighing you down.:p
Something for the newbies to watch out for...
When you start the AT, don't fall into the trap about having to hike 12-14 miles a day, or whatever sort of schedule you put on paper at home during the winter. Similarly, don't try and keep up with the group that you meet your first day or two on the trail. Whatever group you fall in with initially will in all likelyhood fall apart sooner or later anyway as people take zero days or drop off of the trail.
Take it easy early on. Don't hike like a maniac. Let your body get into shape. Enjoy the beauty of the trail. Take a side trail or three each day. You can make up any miles later on in your hike if you remain on the trail.
I met a hiker named Nomad ('98 or '99) who said something that I still remember. He said "you know, whatever group I find myself hiking with/near on the AT is as nice or nicer than the ones I was around previously. " Words of wisdom.
I carried over 50lbs up to Damascus. Just out of Fontana Dam my left knee locked up and stayed that way untill I got to Gatlinburg. Never had a knee injury before. Took two days off and it seemed to be ok. From then on if I walked over 18 miles or so, it would get all stiff when I sat down for a break. Started taking a supplement for Arthritis, but I can't come up with the name at the moment:rolleyes:
I'm with ya man....all those "Long Haired" types have to shave oz's here-n-there....we let nature do it for us! :cool: