View Full Version : Seeking general advice for my section hike. Springer Mountain to Big Bald.

05-12-2015, 11:29
This will be my first backpacking trip that will exceed 5 days. It will also be my FIRST time on the AT. I am hoping to average in total, 10-15 miles per day without any zeros. I plan on this hike to take anywhere between 21-24 days. I am in decent shape and have hiked the mountains of western North Carolina every summer since I can remember. Are these realistic expectations? I plan on beginning my journey in mid June or early July, depending on my schedule situation. I am open to any advice or knowledge that you wish to inform me of for this leg of the AT.


Rain Man
05-12-2015, 11:44
You are in flat Florida, which often spells a strenuous adjustment period on the AT, but if you've been hiking in the other mountains of western NC, you should have a good idea about what it takes to hike the AT. Taking zero days is very individualistic, but I'd recommend planning two, one roughly at the end of each week in other words. Plan them, then if you don't want 'em, keep hiking. Better that way than the other way around, failing to plan for any rest or relaxation, then needing/wanting some and feeling bad for taking it.

June/July can be quite cool in the mountains, or quite warm, the latter of which can really slow you down. I think 10-15 mile days for your age and experience is right on target.

Plan on some ticks and gnats. Treat your clothing and gear with Permethrin for the ticks. Take a head net for the latter.

I recommend hiking poles. And even if you plan to stay in shelters, take something for your own shelter just in case.

Take lots of photos. Have a great hike!

05-12-2015, 20:03
Plan some zeros.
They naturally happen when you go into town to resupply, shower, and eat.
One every other resupply is good if you resupply 3-5 days.

05-13-2015, 08:44
Thank you sir! I will definitely plan ahead for a day or two off.