View Full Version : When can I start ?

08-04-2006, 16:33
This is my situation. Im a limited experienced backpacker (not the issue). & I am looking to start from Georgia & finish in Pa just over the MD/PA boarder. I need to get to that area because my sister will be graduating from college in the shippensburg/mechanicsburg area on May 12th. I would love to do a thru-hike but I will be hopefully teaching at a camp next summer & then starting grad school in aug. So Pa is the end of the line (for now)

My question is... what is the earliest I should/can start to get to Pa by May 10th-ish. Factoring in that im not a pro (in good shape with some experience) & with the possiblity of zero days, etc etc.

Thanks for everyone's help.


Daddy Longlegs
08-04-2006, 18:57
I am not a pro but after looking at a few journals I see that some hikers starting at the begining of March make it there by the end of May. Some of these hikers may take as many as 7 to 10 zero days before reaching MD/PA. Also if you already are in great shape before you hit the trail you may be able to put in some bigger miles earlier on then a lot of other hikers allowing you to shorten the time that most take. Hope this helps.

08-04-2006, 22:34
sometime in early jan. you're hiking through the end of winter and early spring. slow go. start early with plenty of winter gear and give yourself some extra time.

08-05-2006, 10:14
For what it's worth ...I left on March 29th and it took me about 45 days to get from Springer to Damascus and another 5 weeks or so to get to the MD/PA border. So ...to be on the safe side if you need to be there by May 10 I would tell you to be hiking by mid February at the latest. Plus, if you run into some bad weather that might not be enough time.


08-05-2006, 23:45
You can start whenever you like. There are no limits to this game. Not too many rules either. have fun.

The Solemates
08-07-2006, 16:43
We started Feb 1, NOBO from Springer. We were at the PA/MD border April 16th. With a normal March 1st start date like everyone else, you can easily be to the PA/MD border by May 10th.