View Full Version : Thru Hike with Grandson

02-01-2015, 10:39
I am looking at my grandson joining me next year during my NOBO thru hike. The plan is for him to join me after HS Graduation, complete my thru then flip-flop back to where he joined me so he can finish his thru hike at Springer. If I am looking at a 1st week of March start and plan on 15mi per day, where would be most likely place be for him to join me? I am thinking the CT/MA line. This will be my 1st thru hike, so how much am I biting off?

map man
02-01-2015, 11:39
Assuming you meet up with your grandson the first week of June -- after you've been on the trail three months -- the average completing thru-hiker would be somewhere in Pennsylvania after that much time on the trail. That estimate is based on Table 1 in this article:


The "average" does cover a broad range, though. It's safer to say a three month hiker would most likely be anywhere between northern VA and CT. Many people on their first long distance hike overestimate how many miles they will cover per day. Also, joining you post graduation could mean starting anywhere from mid-May to mid-June, so it would be helpful to know just when the grandson would join you.

Edit: I see you live just south of D.C. If your grandson lives in the same area, anywhere between Front Royal VA (via I-66) and Duncannon PA (via I-83) would make for fairly simple logistics for a join-up.

Further edit: If you and your grandson can wait until less than a month beforehand to pin down where you want to meet (by then you'll have a much better idea of YOUR preferred pace), that is preferable to trying to establish that before the hike starts. Thru-hikers often cause themselves undue stress either having to slow down or speed up their hike in order to make a pre-arranged rendezvous with family and friends.

Cotton Terry
02-01-2015, 11:55
FWIW, according to the AWOL Hike Planning Guide (http://theatguide.com/PlanNobo2010-15.html) with a 15 mile per day average after 91 days you would find yourself in the general area of Vernon, NJ.

02-01-2015, 12:04
Hum, your biting off a lot. Even if your in great shape and an experienced hiker/backpacker, starting off with a 15 MPD average March 1st is hard to pull off. You'll also likely have a fair number of zero days due to weather which really cut into your average. There are so many variables (primarily weather) it's tough to predict. My guess would be somewhere in Northern VA, depending on exactly when the grandson can meet you.

Keep in mind that by the time the kid joins you, you might be in better shape then he is and will have to slow down again for a while.

02-01-2015, 12:28
Or you could do a southbound thru......or a flipflop...........or even a cool breeze thru...you have many options if you and your grandson wish to hike the trail together

02-01-2015, 17:55
For sure I will be waiting to nail down where I will pick him up and reviewing some charts NJ look much more doable than the CT/MA border. I expect it to take a few weeks before averaging 15 miles per day and expect that to drop back down for a couple of weeks after hooking up with him. He wants to do the PCT and I think it would be best for him (nee too) to spend a few months on the AT first. I will probably talk him out of a flip-flop and just do the northern 800 or so miles. He can come back to thru hike the AT after the PCT when we don't need to worry about high school. He is 6'8 right now, so I suspect it won't take long for hime to get up to speed. Oh, in 4 years my granddaughter wants to do the same. I am either going to be in dam good shape by the time I am 70 or flat worn out...

02-01-2015, 19:09
FWIW, I'm planning to hike the PCT with my grandsons when I'm 80, that's why I'm keeping in shape by hiking about 1000 miles every year. It's use it or lose it. I do think it's a good idea for your grandson to have some thru hiking experience before tackling the PCT on his own, but he'll have to do that another year since the thru hiking window for the PCT requires a start from mid-April thru mid-May. In June it is too hot in the desert and too soon to start the PCT sobo, and it might be difficult to hook up with public transport to do a flip-flop of the PCT. On the AT, it took me 80 hiking days, including zeros, to reach Harpers Ferry on my first thru hike when I was your age. You might want to consider delaying your start to try to meet up at Harpers Ferry. Plus I wouldn't talk him out of the flip-flop. Hiking sobo from HF starting around mid-Sep he'll get to enjoy the fall colors.

02-01-2015, 21:12
I was 58 when I hiked in 2013. I averaged 14.4 mpd. My signature has my schedule on it. Adjusting to your planned start date, I think you'd be around Vernon, NJ as well.

Have fun on your hike & I wish you & your grandson the best of luck.

02-02-2015, 12:52
Handlebar....you make me sound like a spring chicken being only in my early 60's...I was planning on staying with him during how whole time on the AT....and the PCT would be the both of use and thought that atleast one of us should have a thur hike under our belt. Knocking off a 1,000 miles a year is outstanding!

02-02-2015, 12:56
Handlebar, you make me feel like a spring chicken being only in my early 60's! Anyway, if he wants to complet the flip-flop I will stick it out with him. As for the PCT, this will be a he we do together and I figured at least one of should have a thru hike under our beltsa

02-02-2015, 13:01
CarlZ993...that is a great worksheet you have....think I might model my planning using it....

02-02-2015, 20:57
If your grandson is in good enough shape to start in Maine, graduates say the 1st week of June, a few days to pull gear together, travel, etc, could be a June 10-15 start from Maine I think I've heard that's doable. So he does a SOBO you do a flip-flop. About the time you would change to summer gear you'll need it for Maine, saves you from trading gear. And you have the option of staying with his SOBO and do a 1 1/2
Just thinking!!