So I'm sure this has been done before and if there's already a thread to this effect, please point me to it. I read the article on average section times but the times listed were much slower than what I and my family typically hike so I fear the estimates for the whites will be off. In order to answer my question (forthcoming) a little background is probably in order...
My family and I (me, wife, kids - 12, 10, 7, and the dog (Husky)) have completed about 750 miles of trail. Our average daily mileage through all of it has been between 18-20 miles with several days around 25. And, in case you're wondering, the 7 year old still runs around camp giggling when we're done with those 25s . The rest of us just want to eat and go to bed.
Another background tidbit is that we try to minimize lodging costs on hikes since there are 5 of us and it adds up quickly. $90 a night per person at an AMC hut is just not doable for us. Work for stay won't work either. Campsites are better but still expensive. Don't get me wrong, we're willing to pay where appropriate and always donate at hostels.
We are on a 4 year plan to finish the AT and are due to hit the whites in 2014 as we do the final push to Katahdin. But I'm thinking of bumping the whites to the end of next year depending on how much time it will take to complete them, PTO available, etc. and our expected fitness level at that point in the season. This impacts our current year of hiking in a cascade effect. So, here are my two questions:
- If we're used to doing 18-20 through VA, PA, NJ, NY what should we expect in the whites?
- What are our lodging options besides huts and campsites?