View Full Version : 30 days north bound

02-02-2016, 23:05
Me and my son have an idea to hike 30 days a year till we complete it. Basically a LASH (long ass section hike. Taking off from work for longer isn't an option.
What's a reasonable distance to make in 30 days if we start at Springer? We are both in good shape. Think we can make it through the Great Smokies?
I'm trying to figure out a good extraction point to fly home.

Lone Wolf
02-02-2016, 23:15
you can make it to Erwin in 30 days and fly out of Tri-Cities airport

02-02-2016, 23:32
Depends on what kind of hiker you are.

25% of prospective thru hikers even, dont make it out of GA, a mere 6-7 days. Do you know your not one of these? How do you know?

Ive encountered many, many people on trails Ive been on whose months of anticipation and plans were being cut short by the reality that their body, mostly knees, sometimes ankles, but almost always lower leg/feet, wasnt up to what they planned.

I have no problem averaging 100-120 miles per week.

Ive encountered thru hikers as far north as Damascus, that never hiked more than 13 miles in a day so far on their nobo, and they were average and in decent shape by then. That would limit them to about 75 miles per week. Those that hit every town, will average even less. Of course they are having more fun .

If you dont have a fair amt of previous hiking to know how you hold up, I would leave the return open ended. You can get a shuttle from any town to take you to airport, etc when needed. Trying to save money with prepurchased return ticket, has a high likelihood of not saving anything when you need to change it. You can easily grab shuttle from standing bear, hot springs, erwin, etc at any time with minimal notice.

Rain Man
02-02-2016, 23:48
What's a reasonable distance to make in 30 days if we start at Springer? We are both in good shape. Think we can make it through the Great Smokies?
I'm trying to figure out a good extraction point to fly home.

Definitely can make it through the GSMNP in 30 days, since you're in good shape. I started section hiking the AT in GA at 8 miles a day, a couple of years older than you are. Quickly bumped it up to 15 miles a day on next sections, but those were summer-time long-hour days. If you're in good shape, I'd recommend you start a week with 8-10 miles, then a week 10-12 miles, then go to 15 or more, IF your joints can take the unusual stress that quickly.

Lone Wolf has suggested a logical airport, though Knoxville or Asheville might be alternatives if you don't get far.

Have a great time with your son!

02-02-2016, 23:58
The Springer - Erwin run is doable in 30 days. The Tri-city airport is small. You can rent a car drive to Knoxville or Atlanta to fly back to Texas.
The changing of planes from small airport to big airport gets expensive.
My Feb/Mar section hike last year:
Southwest---first oneway flight Dallas to Atlanta - $48
Shuttle Atlanta to Springer ----- $120
Shuttle Erwin the Tri-City airport --- $50
Rent car to return DFW airport 48 hours ---- $ 225 plus gas along the way.

This is how I did it the airlines catch ya going to smaller airports not all airlines do.

02-03-2016, 00:54
Georgia is in fact fairly strenuous hiking, and the Stecoah section is no slouch either. Even so, I think most experienced hikers can manage 10-12 miles per day in that neighborhood, more if you're fit, young and traveling light.

10 miles per day will easily get you to Hot Springs. A bit faster and you can make it to Erwin.

02-03-2016, 10:54
Thanks for the info....I appreciate it. We are getting excited as the time draws near.

02-03-2016, 11:24
If you haven't done a long hike before -- longer than, say, two or three days in the woods -- consider that you may need or want a town stop every now and then. So your average miles per day depends strongly on the number and duration of such diversions.

Eg., 10 miles a day gives you 70 miles per week. If you take a day off every week, you need to walk 11.7 miles (avg.) on each of the other six days. If you give yourself two days off every week (like in "real life", maybe) then you'll be walking 14 miles (avg.) on each of the remaining five days.

It's not a trivial matter. Averages are deceiving.