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  1. #1

    Default Counting down for 2015

    The planning begins in earnest. Approximately 1 year and 21 days from now (based on when the 2015 ATKO is scheduled) I will be at the arch, pack on my back, ready to start one of greatest adventures of my life! It has long been a secret desire of mine. You know, the kind you keep to yourself for fear that everyone will think you are crazy (I have also heard nuts and insane) So I kept silent and dreamed. Then one day the dream manifested itself right out of my mouth to my youngest daughter "I am going to hike the Appalachian Trail" "sounds like a nice thing to do this weekend" "No, I'm going to hike the whole thing - at one time" "how long is it?" "2176, give or take a few" "mom, you're so crazy!" "That's probably true" And it probably is crazy for someone who has never really hiked more than 12 miles in her entire life much less backpacked. Now I have my backpack ( fitted by the great folks at REI in Richmond) my sleeping bag, and my tent. Next is my stove, trail wear and odds and ends. In the meanwhile I'll read and learn and plan. And ask lots of questions I am sure. Waiting is going to be the hard part....

  2. #2
    Registered User Damn Yankee's Avatar
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    01-16-2014
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    Staunton, VA.
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    I too am hoping to thru-hike in 2015 and have wanted to do it all my life. I wish I would have done it while I was younger but, perhaps the thought of doing it and not having the dream prevented me. I am hoping that I am one of a dozen veterans chosen through a program called "Warrior Hike" Walking off the war. Maybe we'll pass on the trail. Have fun with your planning and keep us informed on your progress.

  3. #3

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    Hey, Damn Yankee, you live in Staunton! I've been there a time or two. I usually hang out in Waynesboro, Stuarts Draft, Vesuvius area when I am up that way. In fact, was up there for New Years to get a "fix". It's where I fell in love with the mountains and the dream took root ( at a campground off 56 to be exact).


    I certainly hope you get a slot for the "warrior hike". I think it is a wonderful idea. When I'm up there all my worries and stress go away and I can just be :-) I am certain I will be on here often with questions and seeking advice because I have a lot to learn so I'll be looking for news that you got a slot.

  4. #4
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    12-13-2013
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    Chattanooga, TN
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    Hi! I wish you well..I'm starting Mar 01 or 02. Just now really deciding 'I'm gonna do it'. I've decided to use the Sawyer Syst gravity water filter w/2liter reservoir in the backpack. When we get close to a long dry area we can just add some Gatorade bottles. One thing I never leave w/out is a SPACE BLANKET. (You can probably tell I'm pretty hyper about it ) There is nothing better for emer cold weather. From reading journals I've about decided to bring2! You are so far ahead on your gear purchases! Wow.
    Now comes the nosy question: is your gear more for camping or for hiking? I just came across the idea last month and it fascinated me. So what is your gear idea? hiking or camping?
    Take care and God bless..

  5. #5

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    Hey Rock Steady! So glad you are deciding to "just do it". Like I said I am planning to get started after the ATKO (this may be a once in a life time experience so I want the total package) so depending on when that is I could be starting around then as well. For water purification I am going with a Sawyer water filter too. Along with a 2L platypus and a couple of 1 liter squeeze bottles, although I have read a couple of times about the benefits of using gatorade bottles. Planning a back-up as well. What do you know about Aquamire. I do have one space blanket. They are so small and light it doesn't make sense not to take at least one. I figured if it gets real cold it can't hurt to have one to lie on the floor of tent to reflect body heat back up. As far as my gear goes, I do have straight up camping gear. You know, regular size/weight tent, coleman dual fuel camp stove and what everyone refers to as my "magic yellow boxes" full of things useful to have been you are camping and don't want to have to run to town to get them. Been camping for about 15 years now. The gear I am accumulating now is for the "big walk". I have a Big Anges Copper Spur UL1, (although the new MSR Hubba Hubba is tempting. I could have twice the space for almost the same weight), a Zissou 17 degree down sleeping bag, a Ridgecrest backpack by REI ( had to go with that one for a proper fit because I am "short in the torso") a Thermarest sleeping pad and my Sawyer filter. i am planning to get a Caldera Stove for cooking. Haven't decided on cookware yet but it sounds like I should plan to get a long titanium spork from all the posts I read about them! I have a solar charger I can attach to my backpack but I am undecided about the electronics thing as of yet. Def plan to bring a decent small camera - which means I will be leaving behind my Canon 7D but it is rather heavy. Probably bring something for music and maybe reading. Got a decent Black Diamond head lamp. And then like I said trail wear and odd and ends. Oh, wow, and shoes/boots. Can't forget them. I still have to choose footwear. Keen seems to work best with my feet. But I haven't decided on hikers or trail-runners or a combination of both. Need to get out to a couple of outfitters and start trying some on. Well, I've "talked" your ear off and probably told you way more than you wanted to know. Look forward to comparing notes and ideas over the next week. Peace be with you
    ““Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees....” ― John Muir

  6. #6

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    Have you done a spreadsheet for weights?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra2015 View Post
    Have you done a spreadsheet for weights?
    No. Should I?
    ““Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees....” ― John Muir

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    12-13-2013
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    Hi Ladt Thru--I've never used the aquamira but it looks great. Chlorine is our special friend with water. My wife and I are fanatics about water trtmt.I prob won't take a back-up treatment. Guess my main adjustmt will be 'camel up' a liter of water before walking. "The best place to carry water is in your stomach" That's gonna be an adjustment. Tent will prob be copper spur ul2 so you are 9oz lighter than me already.Not sure re pack-maybe Osprey-Travis at N. Ga, Outfitters is going to have to explain and help on that.The jetboil with freeze bags will prob be my cook set. got to run--thanks for all the info! God bless..

  9. #9
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    02-19-2014
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    Homewood, Alabama, United States
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    I will be joining the ranks in 2015 as well! Can't wait!

  10. #10
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    Homewood, Alabama, United States
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    I swear by MSR's Hubba Hubba. I have a 2 person that is fit for myself. I call it the queen's quarters. I will be using it on my thru hike in 2015.

  11. #11

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    My concern with new Hubba hubba 1 person is I lose length-wise over the copper spur 1 person and, while the extra space is tempting,for I think an extra 8 ounces, with the 2 person, the gain in wt. since I am hiking solo. I do want to be as comfortable as possible but I worry that if I start developing the mind-set of "well, it's only a few more ounces" that those ounces will start to add up. Aiming for somewhere in the middle of comfort and weight I can reasonably carry. Are there other areas you are choosing to cut back on to compensate for the difference in wt.
    ““Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees....” ― John Muir

  12. #12
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    Hey, I'll be thru-hiking in 2015 as well. I don't know if you've made a spreadsheet since the comment about it earlier, but having something that shows the weight of each item in your pack makes it much easier to figure out where to cut back to compensate for weight elsewhere. I'm trying to find places to cut back so I can bring a hammock instead of a tent, and I was surprised to see that my insulating clothing is actually the second heaviest system in my pack.

  13. #13

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    Hey turgaer, I haven't made one yet but it does seem like a good idea. Sierra 2015 recommended it too. I am going to start working on it this week.
    ““Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees....” ― John Muir

  14. #14
    Registered User
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    I smile every time I see 2015 planned thru hike on the AT. We should have a great class.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnbones View Post
    I smile every time I see 2015 planned thru hike on the AT. We should have a great class.
    Same here skinnbones! Every time I see someone new committing to 2015 adds to my anticipation! And while it never really occurred to me to be nervous about going solo - in fact, never thought to do it any other way - it is comforting to know that not everyone will be total strangers. What fun it will be to look for names on the registers and perhaps get to meet some of you over the course of the trail :-)
    ““Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees....” ― John Muir

  16. #16
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    I intend to be out there as well, though haven't started planning the details. Hope to see you all!

  17. #17

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    Hey Sidd, nice to meet you :-) My job is getting ready to bring me to NY in just 2 weeks in the Middleton area. Hoping to get on the trail a little bit while I am there. I am looking forward to hearing how everyone's planning is going over the next year and share information and tips and tricks. But most of all maybe getting to put faces with names.
    ““Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees....” ― John Muir

  18. #18

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    I'm planning a thru for 2015 as well. Also planning a Long Trail e2e hike this summer in part to make sure a long hike is something I'm going to have fun doing. Hiked all of Pennsylvania in one continuous trip while in High School, many years ago now, but have only done long weekend hikes since then. Suggest everyone get out there and hike as much as possible in preparation, particularly if you don't have a lot of experience.

  19. #19
    Registered User Mane's Avatar
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    02-22-2014
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    Batesville, Mississippi, United States
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    Excited to hike SOBO in 2015!

  20. #20
    Registered User
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    Hi LTH- I'm sorry I will miss you (I'm currently working out of the country). There are some good day hikes in the area for sure (though it's been years for me since I've hiked in the area). Have fun and I hope the weather is on your side!
    -Sidd

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