View Full Version : Trying to plan a through hike and need some advice!!
okay so im 17 years old, im a senior in high school, and im trying to plan a thru-hike for after my first year in college. i would love any advice any body has as far as gear goes, moneywise, or anything else. Thanks so much guys!
Welcome to Whiteblaze!
You could start by looking in the Articles section. A number of different hikers have compiled their advice on a lot of these subjects, including how to have an inexpensive thru-hike and how to accumulate gear cheaply. Beyond the articles, you can use the Search function to check out existing threads on a lot of common concerns, such as "Which stove would be best?" and "Has anyone used XXX tent?"
My main advice is to do as much hiking and backpacking between now and then as possible, on weekends and during holidays.
Marta offered some excellent suggestions. Best to check out these articles, then ask specific questions if you get confused.
Keep in mind that there are MANY choices out there for gear and techniques. All work, none are necessarily better than the other. Also keep in mind, the gear you choose will not make or break your hike. Successful thru-hikes have been done with what many would consider totally inadequate gear and people have dropped off the trail early with the latest and most expensive gear available. You will be more comfortable and safer if you spend the time to research and accumulate adequate gear. This definitely does not mean most expensive.
Other than this, the most important item you will take with you, both planning and on your hike, will be your attitude:
ALWAYS remain flexible - nothing is written in stone, particularly a schedule.
Expect to be uncomfortable often, especially at the beginning when you are not sure what to expect.
Know that however bad it is right now, it will get just as good in another hour, half a day, two days, week. Never make a hasty decision about ending a hike.
Understand that you will meet a great variety of folks out there. Observe, respect and learn from them, but do what seems right to you. In other words, follow the old advice Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH), and allow others to hike their's.
Guess this gives you enough "philosophy" for now. You are attempting something that I greatly admire and wish that I had been exposed to at your age. Best of Luck.
By the way, Welcome to WhiteBlaze!!! Ask away whenever you have a question, folks here love to explain their choices.
Also one more thing that is important early on in your planning.
You will notice that many future thru-hikers will post their gear list and have folks here pick it apart for them. This is very beneficial, but also very expensive if you accumulate your gear then post your list.
You will probably be more happy and save a bunch of money if you do your research, create a "hypothetical" gear list using what you learned and what you may already have at home, then post it for opinions. Again, keep in mind, just because someone says there is something better, it doesn't mean what you picked won't work. My goal for each item, in order of importance, is:
1) adequate to meet a need
2) light weight!!!!
3) reasonably durable
Number one should always stay number one, but the rest can be re-arranged in order based on your personal and financial situation.
Planning and more planning. Remember $ start an account and put $10 a week in it,adds up fasf if you leav it alone. Do your home work before you buy anything. Have fun learnig.
I'd really encourage you to check out using a hammock. Have fun.