View Full Version : Possible 2018 NOBO Hike

06-06-2017, 01:01
Hey everyone!

I'm just getting started on the forum! Loving what I've read so far.

I've been thinking about hiking the AT for about 8 years now. I had a high school teacher go on sabbatical to do it, and it just seemed like such an amazing experience. I'm hoping that 2018 will be the year it actually happens for me - I'm applying to law school in the fall, and if, fingers crossed, I get accepted on the early side of things (it's rolling admission), I might be able to quit my job in time to get a thru hike done before I start school the following year.

I've been poking my head in and out of random threads. I see mentions of AT guides. I've read info on the ATC website. Does anyone have a recommendation of where to start? Where would you direct a beginner? I'm looking for anything that will help me learn - good ideas for practice hikes before I go, suggestions for gear to try out, information on the route, whatever!

I hope this isn't too broad! Thanks for the help.


06-06-2017, 03:35
There's a woman who hiked the AT as a beginner a couple of years ago (and is hiking the PCT now). She did a bunch of videos covering lots of through-hike-related topics (gear, clothing, hygiene, ...), plus individual trail videos throughout her hike; there's even an e-book available at Amazon.com. Her YouTube channel is Homemade Wanderlust (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQhqmV26773qZhzqJz4VFcw).

06-06-2017, 07:38
Homemade Wanderlust is fun. You might be persuaded to go West first.
I'm having a hard time getting thru hike budget and law school budget in the same paragraph.
Realistically, get your budget ready. While you're doing that get in shape.
Seriously, the AT is not the only place to hike.

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Indigo Hawk
06-06-2017, 17:40
Definitely watch Dixie on Homemade Wanderlust. She's got some good videos on tips and things too.

A budget is a must. Start there and see what you've got to work with.

I'm hiking the AT 2018 with an April-ish start date, myself.

06-06-2017, 18:44
The latest Homemade Wanderlust.

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06-07-2017, 00:20
Yeah, she got me hooked on wanting to do the AT. I've been pouring over her channel as well as Darwin, Sintax77, Outdoor Adventure, and others to help me prep and plan.

06-07-2017, 01:36
Awesome! Thanks for the tips. I'll be sure to check out her videos.

On the budget issue: I've saved up a decent amount from working the last few years. On the law school thing - well, luckily law schools provide scholarships based off of test scores.

On the fitness/hiking issue: I've hiked a fair amount (I did 16 miles on Sunday), just not extensive backpacking trips. And I'm generally in good shape. I run multiple times a week, up to 8 miles at a time.

06-07-2017, 06:07
Your enthusiasm makes me smile. :D
Get your AT guide here (http://theatguide.com/). Your AT guide will tell you where to find water, shelter, food, etc.
Sounds like your schedule (rolling admission, might be able to quit your job in time ... ) is a little iffy. Couple of things to consider: doing the thru-hike as a flip-flop. Many alternatives (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/thru-hiking/alternative)to do this. Gives you some flexibility as to where/when you start, options to avoid extremes of hot/cold weather, bugs, mud, crowds. The other option is probably less attractive to you - section hiking. If you don't have time for a thru, or if circumstances interrupt your thru, just do what you can, and come back later to finish up. Section hiking has its down sides, but some advantages as well.
If you haven't visited the Appalachians before, prepare for some adjustments from Los Angeles. The AT is GREEN, REALLY GREEN! We have lots and lots of trees, many varieties of trees, taller trees. The AT is humid. A quick little search tells me that annual rainfall in LA is about 13". Compare that to Atlanta at 50". Of course the humidity is why the AT is so green. Water is abundant on most of the Trail, but there are a few areas that dry up in midsummer - Pennsylvania is one of those.
I hope things line up for you to take your hike. There are so many beautiful things to see, so many vistas, bugs, leaves, squirrels, creeks, rocks, people, so many parts of America that aren't made of asphalt, concrete, or plastic. Someday you'll fill your head up with law school. The AT will fill up your soul.

06-07-2017, 23:51
Hi illabelle!

Thanks so much for the kind words and advice!

I can't wait to read the guide. I've definitely thought about flip-flopping/section hiking. Doesn't have the romance of a full thru-hike starting at point A and ending at point B :).

Also, I'm in LA this year, but I grew up in PA! I've hiked sections of the AT before (so I know the GREEN). And rain - I lived in HK for a year. Check out their annual rainfall (http://www.weather.gov.hk/cis/climahk_e.htm). 55-120'' depending on where!

"Someday you'll fill your head up with law school. The AT will fill up your soul." This motivates me more than anything else!