View Full Version : First thing you'd mention

Former Admin
09-10-2002, 04:44
Whats the first most important thing you would mention ( advice wise ) to a new hiker, considering hiking the AT ?

Hammock Hanger
09-10-2002, 06:28
Remember this is not meant to be a competative sport. Hike the miles you are comfortable with, carry the gear you want, carry the weight you can handle. When the NUMBERS conversation starts in the shelters, how many miles did you do today, how much does your pack weigh... Excuse yourself and take a walk, go get your water, etc. As you hike your miles will increase, your gear will change and you will eventually get your pack weight to a comfortable weight. HH

09-10-2002, 06:59
Some of the best advise I headed was to keep your cold weather gear until after Mt. Rodgers.

09-10-2002, 09:36
I'd probably try to tell them that it's a lot of work to climb those mountains with a backpack. As you sweat, you may wonder why you're putting yourself through all this, but you'll remember the overall experience fondly for a long, long time.

09-10-2002, 14:23
Have fun.

09-10-2002, 14:59
Hike your own hike. Be bold and fear not.

09-10-2002, 16:24
More people quit or drop off the trail because of they ran out of will, find hiking day after day is not what they thought it would be, or don't have sufficient stamina.

So, there should be some good pearls of wisdom about this aspect.

09-11-2002, 17:29
If you enjoy the company of (many) others, hike north. If you enjoy solitude and quiet hike south!!

10-01-2002, 01:28
Have an RV at the end of each section! OK, think about this, the ATC never counts who is carrying a backpack right, and many thru-hikers slack when they can...point is being in the woods, for me its closness to the creator and that is with or without a backpack...I love to slack, I admit it, but dont think you have to carry the entire rig to be and AT hiker.

10-01-2002, 07:14
RE: An RV at either end.

This just shows how many different ways there are to hike the AT. In fact, an older couple we knew from the Philadelphia area did hike the AT in a similar way. All in all, they camped out only a few times.

Now, I'm sure that they had a great hike as hikes go, but they probably missed out on a lot of the strong people interaction that happens at shelters and hostels along the way.

SGT Rock
10-01-2002, 09:16
I sectioned hiked in Virgina and met a couple with the trail name "Vermonsters". They were the first group I saw doing something like this.

One day I'm southbound and ran into a northbound woman without anything gear but headphones. I accidentily scared her, he husband came behind with an external fram pack loaded pretty light. We talked a couple of seconds about the rocks and I moved on.

The next day I'm south bound and run into the same couple. Wierd - I figure they are day hiking sections. We talk again, then move off.

The third day it happens I have to ask them what the heck. Turns out they were doing the entire AT that way. I ended up staying at The Holy Family Hostel in Pearisburg with them. They knew some of the hikers there and like me, preferd going against the flow of thru-hikers (although their system is a little different from normal) so they can meet more of them.

But the point is they were using a couple of cars and lots of heavy, comfortable car camping type stuff to thru-hike.

Hammock Hanger
10-01-2002, 09:26
There is a hiker out there now who is called Easy Reacreational Traveler because his wife picks him up every night in the RV. She is ERTangel. (He carries pack!) He is a very nice guy and we were all envious.

There is a guy from FL, Swamp something, that did the whole Key West to Cape Quesp (sp) that way as well.

Hammock Hanger

Former Admin
10-01-2002, 09:35
Hey I met ERT man and his dog. I think I got a pic of him here somewhere, i'll put it up if I find it.

10-02-2002, 19:35
was that SwampEagle from florida? I met him at the last FTA conference. didnt really get to talk to him much less learn his hiking style.. Real nice guy though..


p.s. I started the trail already named. had to do with my outdoorsyness, stubborness and fondness for wandering through bogs.

10-06-2002, 18:59
I hiked quite a bit with Ertman and Red Dog, and had the pleasure of Ertangel's wonderful trail magic quite a few times as well. They got a LOT of flack from other "real" thru-hikers about the way he was doing his hike, but that's another story.

The best advice has been said so many times already...have fun, but absolutely, defintely do it your way, carry what you want, be with who you want, stop when you want, go when you want, spend what you want, go as fast or as slow as you like, take as many picures as you wish, call home every day if you need to, sleep in your tent, sleep in the shelter, sleep under the stars, eat gorp until it comes out your ears, do maildrops or don't do maildrops, stop often, don't ever stop, visit every town or none of them or some of them, skip sections, don't skip any, carry poles, don't carry them, go with your dog or leave him behind, just make it your own. It will only be the hike you always dreamed it to be if you MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

That's my advice...

12-09-2002, 20:46
My simple advice would be "The worse the weather, the better the story:.

Bandana Man
12-12-2002, 11:39
Take a small spiral notebook and pencil to record your journey. Try to capture your thoughts and emotions as you hike, not just what mountain you climbed or what shelter you stayed at. Write down everyone's name that you meet. Take a small camera and get pictures of people, not just the beautiful scenery. I kept a journal and took lots of scenic pictures of the trail but wish I had taken more pictures of all the great people I met along the way.

Lone Wolf
11-30-2005, 14:31
Have at least $3000 saved for the trip.

11-30-2005, 14:41
Have at least $3000 saved for the trip.

i had spent that by Harpers Ferry. better make it $5000

11-30-2005, 14:48
Use the gear/clothing you're gonna carry several times before heading out.

Leave sufficient time to complete your hike so that you can enjoy it and not feel pressed to rush to the finish line.

Plan out your hike in advance and then once you're feet hit the trail use that plan as a guideline but take each step/day as it comes.


11-30-2005, 17:40
Always put things back in your pack in the exact same place.

11-30-2005, 18:02
"Have fun, be safe, and pay no attention to the nattering nabobs of negativism on the internet - 'cause the 'net ain't like the trail."

11-30-2005, 18:09
is beware the internegators

Lion King
11-30-2005, 18:31
Whats the first most important thing you would mention ( advice wise ) to a new hiker, considering hiking the AT ?

hike your own hike.
Dont worry about being in a group, or following a group, or making your plans around what one person thinks you and five others should do.

Dont worry about folks you like getting ahead or behind you, you will see them again, usually quite a few times, and ALWAYS when you really need to.

Enjoy the days and nights. Stop and see things, take a blue blaze even if it means you have to take an extra day to make up miles, and if you decide to not make up thsoe miles, dont worry about it.

Its YOUR hike.

Do not listen to holier then thou personas who will judge you and others who enjoy the hike differently then they do.

Do not control or determine what is right or wrong for another hiker.
Share your experiances, joke and laugh, tell them what you do, how much you loved it, but do not force them to hike your hike, or be force to hike thiers.

Take time to meet locals in towns, and on the trail

Say thank you. Often.

Be generous and forget about who you may have been at home and allow who you really are to live and experiance life as it is out there.

Spend less time in bars and hostels and towns...although definateyl take time to see some of each of them.

You will be given the oppurtunity to share who you are and what you have, dont be selfish, give freely and you will see just how the trail MORE then pays everyone back for what they do and how they act.


Oh...you said one thing????:D

SGT Rock
11-30-2005, 18:33
It's only hiking

11-30-2005, 18:33
Surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet, but I'd honestly tell them to join Whiteblaze.net and start reading. This site is worth it's weight in silnylon.

SGT Rock
11-30-2005, 18:35
I think they would already know that if they were reading the thread :D

11-30-2005, 18:37
LOL Point taken, however the opening question of, "Whats the first most important thing you would mention ( advice wise ) to a new hiker, considering hiking the AT ?" doesn't mention this new hiker as to being on the forum already.

11-30-2005, 20:01
"Hiking the AT is AWESOME! Just come with me one day...."