View Full Version : crowds,packs,and hordes

08-13-2006, 14:56
how do you feel about the rush to hike in spring and the crowds? do you love the crowd and leave on march 4th or hate them and leave feb 1st or what?
i like to have the crowd behind me at the start by a week and walk even further out in front of them if i can . i also like to take zeros and see whos chaseing me.but generaly im an out first ,stay away guy.i belive feb 18th gives me this .
where do you like to nobo thruhike in comparison to the hordes?

08-13-2006, 17:51
i am phobic of crowds any were,thats why i never go to trail days
i have anxiety attacks in crowds:cool: neo

08-13-2006, 18:07
Part of the AT hiking experience is the Community.

I've read a couple books lately by recent Thru Hikers. In one, the hiker never really left "home" and was constantly calling home to check on things, having family come to hike with, and totally missed the hiking community that is an important part of a Thru Hike.

You say "I hate crowds" but you're planning to hike on the Appalachian Highway? If you hate crowds, the Continental Divide Trail is probably where you'll find your niche.

The "crowds" are part of the AT -- But they can be avoided with just a little planning, no matter when you start.

And REMEMBER that if you start early, you're setting yourself up for a long stay in a motel while the snow melts enough to return to your hike. It happens. You may not be lucky enough to avoid being 'snowed in' and watching the $$$$$$$ disappear at a motel.

If you wish to avoid most of the crowds, do NOT plan to spend any nights in a shelter (unless you have to or are too afraid to stealth camp with the bears in the Smokys). Carry a tarp or tent that will blend in with the scenery and camp far enough away from the Trail so as not to be seen. Don't plan to stay in a Trail Town overnight because you'll find crowds at the AYCE restaurants. And you may find that the motel rooms have more hikers in them than bedspace.

After about mid-way, you shouldn't have too much trouble with the crowds, because the majority of hikers who are going to drop out have done so. Don't know how you'll handle Katahdin. I understand that many locals trek up to the top most days of the week. Maybe you can call ahead and find out which day of the week has the least day-hikers hiking up to Katahdin.

:D Yeah, some of it is sarcasm. But not all of it. Go with the flow, get with the program, just allow the Trail Community to count you as one of us.

Time To Fly 97
08-14-2006, 11:01
Without people, you have little opportunity for random acts of kindness. I found that the giving and receiving of kindness among hikers I thru-ed with was a big part of what I learned from hiking.

I don't mind the crowds as long as I can hike alone if I want to.

Happy hiking!


08-14-2006, 13:12
If you don't like hiking among the crowds, hike SOBO.

If you like competing for hostel, hotel, and shelter space, hike North.

08-14-2006, 13:28
I am going to sleep all day and hike at night making huffing and growling sounds and stealing food bags so I do not have to resupply.

08-14-2006, 18:26
thats about the way i feel.i like to be in control of the distance between me and crowds. i like to be just close enough to hear all about them. like being at fontana dam and hearing theirs a hundred thrubees on springer. for some reason that gives me a feeling of being on my private uncrowded trail . and later hearind theres a crowd just a week behind makes me feel there nipping at my heels. and then later ,..say southern va,..i like to let the serious ones who have made it that far start to catch up to me for company. and then ..,..... oh,... yeah,.... i ,.. uh,.... never got further than that. anyway i like to gamble with a feb start. heres the inside scoop.
a,....global warming means no winter anymore!
b,....risking getting snowed in is fun and you can luck out more than crap out cause most places are great on trail and off.
c,....i got snowed in this year at miss janets! thats like the best place what with the cheesy bread and the grits and the bacon and the eggs and the woman named janet whos nice .
and as far as cost,...we all pack snowed in money,...so its way way cool to start as early as you like.after me of course!

08-14-2006, 19:40
I don't know - I've read journals from those who started March first (when I plan to go) and didn't seem to have problems with crowds - esp the spaces at hostels. But around March 20th, that was a different story.

But I agree - if you like solitude, tent.

08-15-2006, 13:01
don't like the crowds? take the Benton from springer through the smokeys.

08-16-2006, 16:37
i was jelouse of the girl who hiked into the smokes on it. she worked in the park and walked trails on her time off. i wish i remembered her name. im so writing shi* down next thru.