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Paul johnson
04-18-2017, 16:34
I plan on a 2018 thru hike. I am needing to get the ball rolling. I would like some help with gear selection and doing a 2-3 day hike. in other words a teacher. I have set up a year off starting in February 2018
I live about 5 miles from blood mountain in Blairsville

orthofingers
04-18-2017, 17:36
I think the folks at Mountain Crossings at Neel Gap would be the most knowledgable advisors around. They see a few thousand hikers every year with the entire spectrum of hiking experience . . . First timers to triple crowners.

I would think that while their prices might not be the best around, their knowledge certainly is. Even with their prices what they are, I think they could get you started right so that you wouldn't have to buy things two or three times like most of us have while we were figuring things out on our own.

illabelle
04-18-2017, 17:55
It's good to have an experienced companion to learn from, but plenty of people manage to start with zero experience and just learn as they go. No, they're not geniuses, or especially lucky. They learn by watching others on the trail, asking questions, making mistakes, asking more questions. Some things you can learn only by doing, meaning on the trail. There's a whole lot you can learn by reading, by asking questions here on WB, by watching/reading trail journals/blogs, by studying maps and trail guides.

Examples:
How do I find water? Get a trail guide, www.theatguide.com is the most common used. It shows where the shelters, water sources, road crossings, campsites, resupply points, viewpoints, big hills, swamps - where all of them are.
How do I treat water? Google it for a description of options.
What's the "best" water filter? Ask a question on WB. You'll get plenty of conflicting opinions. Just pick one and go with it.
(On the trail) I can't figure out how this water filter works. Ask a fellow hiker to show you. Most of us are nice.

Zea
04-18-2017, 18:05
I plan on a 2018 thru hike. I am needing to get the ball rolling. I would like some help with gear selection and doing a 2-3 day hike. in other words a teacher. I have set up a year off starting in February 2018
I live about 5 miles from blood mountain in Blairsville

Not sure if there's an REI in your area, but the one near me offers lots of free classes on hiking and backpacking for beginners. I went to a winter backpacking one and it was extremely well done.

If possible, rent your gear first. If you decide you really like backpacking, you may notice rather quickly your gear preference is very different from what you bought the first time out. I know I did, hundreds of dollars later. If you're going to buy, try to buy second hand and definitely do your research while keeping in mind the type of hiker you are. Youtube has lots of product reviews.

Start small. I started by spending a night in the yard with all the gear, then practiced at a car-camping spot. I used the area as a base camp for a couple days, while still breaking camp in the morning and carrying my pack for hikes I did. On these shorter hikes I also experimented with using my stove, filtering water, placement of gear in the pack, etc. It only really took a day or two to have everything pretty much dialed in and to already notice I wanted some changes in my gear(didn't need a 60L pack, didn't need a big heavy rope, preferred bottles over hydration bladder).

As long as you have the basics covered, the rest will come to you pretty quickly.

Zea
04-18-2017, 18:15
It's good to have an experienced companion to learn from, but plenty of people manage to start with zero experience and just learn as they go. No, they're not geniuses, or especially lucky. They learn by watching others on the trail, asking questions, making mistakes, asking more questions. Some things you can learn only by doing, meaning on the trail. There's a whole lot you can learn by reading, by asking questions here on WB, by watching/reading trail journals/blogs, by studying maps and trail guides.

Examples:
How do I find water? Get a trail guide, www.theatguide.com is the most common used. It shows where the shelters, water sources, road crossings, campsites, resupply points, viewpoints, big hills, swamps - where all of them are.
How do I treat water? Google it for a description of options.
What's the "best" water filter? Ask a question on WB. You'll get plenty of conflicting opinions. Just pick one and go with it.
(On the trail) I can't figure out how this water filter works. Ask a fellow hiker to show you. Most of us are nice.

Very true. Doing research before-hand is vital, but you're going to learn mostly just by getting out there and doing it. Little situations will always come up where you don't know exactly what to do and may need to improvise, but that's part of the experience. Having a guide or a teacher is nice, but it's really not necessary and may even hinder your learning experience. As illabelle said you can read and watch all different material on life on the trail, and you'll pick up a bunch from that. Backpackers that document their trips (Sintax77 on YT is my favorite) typically go through their gear selections and their day to day routine. Watching videos of a few different hikers and seeing what works for them will help with your gear choices, possibly more than a guide or one hiking partner would.

skater
04-18-2017, 21:15
I live nearby (just west of Blairsville). NOT a throughout but have covered all of the GA AT. I can also recommend the folks at Mountain Crossing for solid gear advice. Depending on what gear you have/need/want, I might be able to loan you some stuff. Perhaps we could do a practice hike sometime.

skater
04-18-2017, 21:16
Meant "not a throughhiker".

PennyPincher
04-18-2017, 21:17
If you live so close I would just go out every single weekend or whatever days you have off. Especially RIGHT NOW! There are plenty of people out there of various skill levels that you can learn from - either things to do or things to avoid. The best way is to get out and practice and observe what works for you and others.

MuddyWaters
04-18-2017, 21:35
Can you walk?
eat?
sleep?
Poop?


You got this. No teacher needed.

eggymane
04-18-2017, 21:40
I'm out backpacking a lot of different places around the area now, so depending on when you wanted to go it would be easy to make that a destination. Let me know

Mountain Crossings is great, but I couldn't imagine buying something there unless you were on Trail and that was your only option. You're paying for the convenience of them being on trail, but their knowledge is very good as well.

Uncle Joe
04-18-2017, 21:44
I'm in GA too. Section hiker like skater. Sectioning the AT now. Always interested in having someone come along.

rafe
04-18-2017, 22:04
Find a hiking meetup near you. Maybe contact someone at the Georgia ATC: https://georgia-atclub.org/ and explain what you're up to. I'll bet they'll try to be helpful.

Renting gear is one option. The other is yard sales, thrift shops, and so on.

There are plenty of web resources and books that will show you the basics. Check out Google, your local library, bookstore, or Amazon... or the ATC store, online. Or just hang out here on Whiteblaze and glean what you can from the chit-chat.

Paul johnson
04-19-2017, 09:38
Thank you
I will check out Mountain crossing. I would like to
Pick up my pack,tent,sleeping bag before the end of the
Month. Maybe take a 2 day first week of May? I will
Check in and keep you updated

Paul johnson
04-19-2017, 09:43
Thanks for the advice
Do you have any suggestions regarding where
To shop for gear. I am 6'4 so I probably need to
Look in person to make sure things fit right
I weigh 195 so tall not big lol

Paul johnson
04-19-2017, 09:45
Thank you
As I mentioned to a few other hikers
I am going to shop around for my
Essential equipment this week. And would like to
Hit the trail for a day or two first week of May
Super excited

Paul johnson
04-19-2017, 09:50
Got it �� I'll keep you posted. I'm open to any help
With buying gear best bang for the buck.
There are way to many choices

mountain squid
04-19-2017, 10:09
I'm open to any help With buying gear best bang for the buck.
There are way to many choicesBest bang for the buck might not be good quality gear (and probably not lightweight...). Suggest going to TrailDays (http://www.traildays.us/) next month in Damascus, VA. Lots of gear vendors will be plying their wares. There'll probably be a 'thru-hiker' or two there willing to give advice ...

See you on the trail,
mt squid

some observations (https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?14493-observations-from-fs42-(advice-for-first-week-on-trail)&highlight=)
how to hike (https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?73587-how-to-hike)

twitter (https://twitter.com/mountainsquid04)

Maineiac64
04-19-2017, 10:20
There is a lot of sage advice here on WB and in the backpacking and ultralight areas of reddit. The best teacher is the trail itself as you get to know what works and what doesnt. I read one article where the author had changed out most of his gear 3 or 4 times which I can relate to even as a weekend warrior. The problem with stores is they ste selling what they have which may or may not be a good alignment for you and the cottage guys that you must take a leap if faith with. Im in GA too, glad to go out any weekend.

Trailweaver
04-19-2017, 12:04
The only problem I see here is just a lack of confidence. As others have said, make a few gear purchases (or borrow or rent), & then go out for a weekend on the trail that is in your doorstep (literally)! Sure you will make a few mistakes, but it will help you make adjustments in your overall plan & gear, & that is what you really need. As you gain more confidence, you make longer trips. You can do this - just make that first leap of faith. And after you do? You will be sooooo glad you did, & you will keep going back! And there are always (this time of year) ppl on the trail to help you if you run into a problem.

rocketsocks
04-19-2017, 12:46
I plan on a 2018 thru hike. I am needing to get the ball rolling. I would like some help with gear selection and doing a 2-3 day hike. in other words a teacher. I have set up a year off starting in February 2018
I live about 5 miles from blood mountain in Blairsville
on the home page is a block called departments, read through, ask a specific question or...go online and find a used copy of a book call "the complete walker"~Colin Fletcher, just about everything ya wanna know about hiking will be in that book.

https://whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php

Paul johnson
04-19-2017, 14:40
😊 Thank you

gbolt
04-20-2017, 20:12
Your a year younger than me so you remember pencil and paper along with updated technology to get on You Tube. Type in 2017 AT Gear List or 2016 Gear List. Watch three to four videos and any time the same item is mentioned - write it down. One of the first will be Sawyer Squeeze water filter system. Another one will be pocket rocket stove or Alcohol Stove. Down Jacket and Fleece Layer will be mentioned a lot. Start Building your Gear List. As mentioned, search this website for one item vs another. Also type in 2016 Post Hike Gear List to see what the Thru Hiker Finished with. This is the way I created my "Gear List" and then I started to purchase items for the first time, or to replace items I have used for many years backpacking. However, thru hiking gear is different gear that what you can get comfortable with for short hike backpacking.

On top of that, I will give you my final product. Here is my Gear List of Items I am ready to start my Thru Hike with: https://docs.google.com/a/northmontschools.net/spreadsheets/d/1jmv6qwi4Wvi7ssXYSU4H79iUhW6okyxmD2pwpVYJtKk/edit?usp=sharing

Feel free to copy and use if it helps.

Hypno_Guru
04-21-2017, 20:40
I would also offer to use youtube to see what equipment & food people are starting out with. Since I was on a limited budget, I also used youtube to make light weight equipment to save money (i.e. a penny can stove & koozie made from windshield reflector). I also made a few meals on my gear to figure out how much alcohol would be needed for each meal. To keep costs down, visit yur local Salvation Army/Goodwill/Resale shops and be creative with the items you find there.

As stated above, get the guide to figure out possible water sources and camping. Although I knew that things were fluid on the trail, I created a spreadsheet detailing the stops (water, camping and restocking) I would make on my hike.

Best of luck!

Stitches
03-25-2019, 21:17
I live in Dahlonega, GA and will be retiring from teaching in a few short weeks. I am thinking about starting a business to be a teacher and guide for inexperienced women planning to through-hike or do their first long-haul. I could pick up from the airport, provide lodging and a pack shakedown the night before we leave, have my husband drop us off at FS 42 and hike with them to Dick's Creek Gap. From there, I would send them on their way after 5-6 days of instruction on the trail about safety, setting up camp, trail cooking, wilderness first aid, dealing with weather, woodland creatures and critters, and other trail wisdom. Do you think there might be a market for that?

MuddyWaters
03-25-2019, 21:34
I find it very sad, but yeah, there probably is.

Theres people at my gym that pay "trainers" $25/hr to basically talk to them while they work out.

Some people, cant be bothered to research and read. They want to be spoon-fed. They have the money and they don't mind paying for someone to show them or hold their hand

Dogwood
03-25-2019, 22:57
Usually a personal trainer does more than simply talk about the weather. They motivate, inspire, instruct, teach, train, etc

PennyPincher
03-25-2019, 23:03
I find it very sad, but yeah, there probably is.

Theres people at my gym that pay "trainers" $25/hr to basically talk to them while they work out.

Some people, cant be bothered to research and read. They want to be spoon-fed. They have the money and they don't mind paying for someone to show them or hold their hand


Usually a personal trainer does more than simply talk about the weather. They motivate, inspire, instruct, teach, train, etc

I used to charge up to 5 times that amount per hour. Clients paid me for my knowledge. I worked a lot with correcting movement issues i.e. muscular imbalances that created injuries. I had high school athletes, CEO's, first time marathoners (for "fun") and "ordinary people." There is a lot that goes into devising a program to help achieve specific goals for individuals who sit 90% of the time.

MuddyWaters
03-26-2019, 00:28
Usually a personal trainer does more than simply talk about the weather. They motivate, inspire, instruct, teach, train, etc
They can.
But im talking about paying for a workout friend. 3 days a week. Been observing a few for years, 4:30-6 am.. One is my wifes OB, delivered both my kids. Yeah, they probably got a little instruction the first few times. Older folks with plenty of money.

RangerZ
03-26-2019, 07:30
All good advice, there is a ton of info here and on YT. Read all the books. The folks at REI got used to seeing me drool over gear before I finally bought stuff.

The first time time that I set up my tent outside was on the local little league field. I had a nice discussion with a cop that I wasn’t homeless.

I used a local state park to gain experience - easy trails, close if I wanted to bail, etc.

beefsmack
03-26-2019, 12:18
I also think there would be a market for such a thing. With more vloggers and movies about hiking....its become more of a mainstream thing and with that comes more people that are looking for help on the subject.

4eyedbuzzard
03-26-2019, 20:15
I live in Dahlonega, GA and will be retiring from teaching in a few short weeks. I am thinking about starting a business to be a teacher and guide for inexperienced women planning to through-hike or do their first long-haul. I could pick up from the airport, provide lodging and a pack shakedown the night before we leave, have my husband drop us off at FS 42 and hike with them to Dick's Creek Gap. From there, I would send them on their way after 5-6 days of instruction on the trail about safety, setting up camp, trail cooking, wilderness first aid, dealing with weather, woodland creatures and critters, and other trail wisdom. Do you think there might be a market for that?Stuff you may not want to hear... Not being mean-spirited, but as you are a professional teacher, objectively speaking there are questions as to what qualifies you to do this professionally and for profit, which is different than doing it as a friend or acquaintance. What qualifies you to be a hiking "teacher and guide", teaching "safety, setting up camp, trail cooking, wilderness first aid, dealing with weather, woodland creatures and critters, and other trail wisdom", beyond just having personal hiking experience? Especially wilderness first aide? Do you have any certifications in outdoor leadership and/or wilderness first aid from acknowledged organizations like NOLS, OB, WMAI, USCG, etc? What qualifies you as a subject matter expert? 1000's of trail miles? Thru-hikes? Prospective paying customers may - actually they honestly should - want to know.

There are also some business considerations. Can you get liability insurance for a business such as this without those certifications? Doing this for profit means you are liable to your customer should something happen to them while under your guidance/control and you are judged to be even partially responsible, and worse if you are judged negligent [Why did my expert hiking teacher and guide lead me into this dangerous situation and/or not prevent me from getting injured? Your Honor, I got injured when their car was involved in an accident on the way to AF...]

Again, not trying to cast doubt on your personal knowledge. You may be a very knowledgeable hiker. But there are a lot of hikers with extensive personal knowledge - that doesn't necessarily qualify them to be a teacher and guide professionally. There are lots of well known and respected organizations out there running outdoor/wilderness schools. NOLS, OB, AMC, NOC - it's a pretty big list. And pretty much all instructors have formal training and certifications, etc. Most of the "AT Hiking Gurus" like Warren Doyle and Jennifer Pharr-Davis have extensive thru-hiking resumes to their credit.

Now perhaps there is a niche market for a 4-5 day hand-hold hike. But I honestly think it's a tough sell if people do their research. Because the very best advice as a teacher and guide you could give to any prospective thru-hiker is to hone their backcountry and hiking skills on some overnights, weekends, and then at least one section hike before ever considering setting off on an AT thru-hike. Without that experience, they don't even know if they will enjoy it - and that's before it starts raining...

fastfoxengineering
03-26-2019, 22:48
Usually a personal trainer does more than simply talk about the weather. They motivate, inspire, instruct, teach, train, etc

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