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View Full Version : can you stand anotehr newbie? i got questions.....



jettjames
02-15-2007, 21:53
So, looks like I am going to start a thru-hike NOBO between march 5-10. I have not planned yet. Things just worked out this way, opportunity meeting luck. So, of course I have MANY questions. I will probably be peppering the forums in the next couple of weeks. I have the basic gear, pack, tent, bag, sleeping pad, jetboil, got new boots for Christmas, etc....
I have been reading the forums and the articles and they are helping. I have done some searching of the forums, but jeez 11 pages of posts on some of em. Thanks all in advance for the info.
first round of questions

I am a big fisherman. any opportunities to fish along the trail? are there many or just a few? too few to justify carrying a fly rod and gear?

The jetboil? I am open to getting a new stove as I have heard of rumors that the jetboil canisters are hard to come by. is that true or over stated?

I obviously have not much time to get this together so dehydrating my own food is not going to happen.
so food. mail drops ( i will have support from home so calling in mail drops is going to happen)? pick it up? start packing FBC meals now for mail drops? I don't eat tuna or fish ( yes i do see the contradiction since I love to fish) is canned chicken workable? should I go to sam's club and buy 5 box's of snickers to have mailed out?

that is a fine start for the many many questions I have/will have. thanks again.

any other advice for a quickly planned trip?

Pt

Ps - I spell checked this post, but probably wonít again. Plz donít be mad at my awful typing and spelling. Ty.

jettjames
02-15-2007, 21:56
ah yes, I am planning on hiking the AT.

also I saw many mentions of wingfoot's book, but i could only find a 2001 version on amazon. what is the newest and where might I look for it?

pt

hopefulhiker
02-15-2007, 21:58
Jet boil compatible cannisters are not hard to come by, you may have to use a bigger one or carry two of them..

There are fish along the trail but you have to have a license. I only saw one fishing pole on the trail..

Check Jack Tarlin's ressuply report for mail drop info...

Good luck with your trip...

Jack Tarlin
02-15-2007, 21:58
Check the "Articles" section of this website.

Lots of info there on getting mail; planning an itinerary; where to shop, etc.

Best of luck, keep the questions coming!

jettjames
02-15-2007, 23:00
thanks guys. I am readign the articles. they are a wealth of info.

so, how do you recharge the ipod on the trail? use the AA adapter?

i have more, they are coming.

pt

Singe03
02-16-2007, 01:51
No idea about the ipod, I specifically bought an MP3 player that takes AA batteries for that reason. I'm very far from anti-tech on the trail and music is an awesome companion on boring stretches, but sounds are a major source of information about your surroundings, you can miss alot of good stuff if you tune out the sounds around you. I saw my first bear because I heard him crash through the bushes, was thrilling but I'd have never seen him if I hadn't heard the noise and looked for it's source.

Also, just a lil heads up, until you've been on the AT you'll think this is a joke and you may never actually see one but rattlesnakes are present on virtually the entire AT and blissfully heading down the trail jamming out with an MP3 player could make you miss a warning rattle. They will seek out sunny spots or warm rocks to bask and warm up and the trail is often the perfect place to sunbathe if your a snake.

attroll
02-16-2007, 01:57
ah yes, I am planning on hiking the AT.

also I saw many mentions of wingfoot's book, but i could only find a 2001 version on amazon. what is the newest and where might I look for it?

pt
The only way to get Wingfoots book is directly through his web site.

rafe
02-16-2007, 09:17
Also, just a lil heads up, until you've been on the AT you'll think this is a joke and you may never actually see one but rattlesnakes are present on virtually the entire AT and blissfully heading down the trail jamming out with an MP3 player could make you miss a warning rattle. They will seek out sunny spots or warm rocks to bask and warm up and the trail is often the perfect place to sunbathe if your a snake.

Ayup. I've yet to actually see a rattler on the trail. But I've heard 'em.

jettjames
02-16-2007, 12:14
thanks again guys. the ipod would be more for camp use and falling asleep/sitting in the tent. I am a big believer in hearing what the woods/trail is saying to you.

As for snakes, I know snakes. I've run into more than my share of cooperheads fishing in the potomac and hiking along it's banks as well as water mocs while in the south. I've seen fer de lances in Panama, i think. didn't stop too long to completly identify ws tripping over myself backing up! lol

thanks troll, i stumbled into wingfoots site last nite after posting this. Is the book worth it. doi need another book along with the companion? is it full of differnt/additional info?

anyone a profesional photographer or serious amatuer? I am a pro and am trying to figure out exactly what gear i will want to bring along. It is coming. I am ready for the extra weight, no way around it. just curious what others have brought and what they didn't use and what they wished they had. I am a pro, btw.

pt

rafe
02-16-2007, 12:21
anyone a profesional photographer or serious amatuer? I am a pro and am trying to figure out exactly what gear i will want to bring along. It is coming. I am ready for the extra weight, no way around it. just curious what others have brought and what they didn't use and what they wished they had. I am a pro, btw.

I'm somewhat serious about my photography. In '90 I carried a 35 mm SLR on my hike. But since 2002 I've been carrying small digicams on my hikes. I started with a Canon G2, and have "upgraded" to a Canon A620. There are lighter cameras, for sure -- the Canon is 11 oz with its batteries, but takes very nice photos.

Jack Tarlin
02-16-2007, 12:22
The Companion and the Handbook are very similar works; you certainly don't need both.

I hope you're considering maps.

The place to get them, as well as all sorts of other A.T. related stuff, is at the Ultimate Trail Store section of the ATC website, www.appalachiantrail.org

max patch
02-16-2007, 12:33
I use a nano when I run.

I wouldn't take an mp3 player on a thru. But if I was I would certainly look into purchasing a non apple player for the trip. The cost of the adaptor plus 4 AA batteries for 15 hours or so of music would probably be more than the cost of a player that is designed to use batteries. Plus, I don't know how you would easily add music to your player during the hike.

jettjames
02-16-2007, 13:05
ok here is another question. how available is internet access? how easy it it to get to. I see people posting along the trail and keeping trail journals online. is it that readily available? daily? 3-4 days? long hikes into town or right at trails?

thanks max. i had not checked the price yet of the AA adapter, just know tha thtey are available. as for adding, i got lotsa music already, so that wouldn't be a problem.

pt

Blissful
02-16-2007, 13:10
We're going to use a solar charger for our batteries - it will do both AA and AAA. Works good so far. We will probably bounce our cell phone charger to a few spots. We are using MP3 players.

As for Internet, if you get the "Companion" guide (an excellent resource, IMO) - it shows the "mouse" for Internet availability at nearby towns. Some also transmit to their journals via their cell phone or pocketmail or snail mail it back to a transcriber at home.

Rain Man
02-16-2007, 13:17
Have you been in touch with the ATC itself? It has trail guides, maps, books, not to mention plain ol advice.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/

Also, don't forget the trail clubs up and down the AT. They are a warm, wonderful source of up-to-date info on the trail in their sections. I've yet to find a one that didn't make me feel I was doing them a favor by going to them for info. Most have web sites you can Google, or just ask here and we'll tell you what we know about contacting them.

Best to you!

Rain:sunMan

.

Jack Tarlin
02-16-2007, 13:18
Most, but not all Trail hostels have Internet service, and most of the larger towns have free public access machines in their Public Libraries. Other machines can be found on school campuses (Hanover), or in churches (Duncannon) and in some restaurants, motels, bookstores, outfitters,etc. (Damascus, Duncannon, Franklin,Manchester Center, Hot Springs. Most often, tho, you'll be using public libraries. Computers along the Trail are generally free or they have a small fee for use. In most cases, you'll see a computer every week to ten days, tho there a few places (like Virginia) where the distances are greater. And in some places, they are closer together, for example, there are computers in Franklin, Gatlinburg, Standing Bear Farm Hostel,Hot Springs, Erwin, and Damascus, which are all just a few days apart.

bigcranky
02-16-2007, 13:45
This is sort of a rambling answer, stream of conciousness style -- apologies in advance. I shoot pictures for a living. When I go hiking, it's partly to get away from work, so I don't carry a lot of photo gear. I've used both film and digital compacts (Olympus XA, Nikon 3100 and 8400). The film is better quality, but the digital is waaaaay easier. All those images on one or two tiny cards that don't even register on my scale -- very different from carrying 20 rolls of film a week.

That said, I did a job last summer that required backpacking with 'real' camera gear, and it worked out pretty well. I just carried the cameras over my shoulders, like I was at work, and left my extra batteries, flashes, etc., inside my pack until I needed them. Those cameras were weather sealed, though (Canon EOS 1D2) -- I'm not sure I'd do that with a consumer digital SLR without some sort of waterproof pouch. (Then you can't make pictures half the time.)

If I had to bring a real digital camera on a hike, I'd probably choose one of the smaller SLRs, like the 30D, and a good zoom, like the 17-55/2.8. Carry a couple of extra batteries and the smallest charger I could find. Work out a way of sending my cards home when they are full, get them downloaded *and backed up*, then sent back to me. I suppose you could bounce a laptop up the trail, too. Then download and edit in town, and burn two sets of DVDs to mail home separately with the raw files. You *might* be able to do this at a library or internet cafe in town, if you carry a card reader. Just bring a lot of cards.

I'd also carry a small tripod, like the Unipod or the mid-size Gorillapod. Maybe an external flash and an off-camera cord, but that's getting complicated and heavy. I'd definitely want some sort of water resistant bag or case for the camera, where I could still get to it for photos even in bad weather. If it's jammed down in your pack, you won't use it.

(You could carry one of the Pentax w10 or w20 cameras for rainy days -- these are totally waterproof tiny digicams. My wife and daughter each have a w10, and they are great. Not 'serious' cameras, but tiny, light, and take good photos. But then you have a second battery and charger to keep track of, and separate cards. Oh well.)

There aren't that many serious compact digitals out there any more. I just got a new Canon G-7 as my pocket camera, which has many features that I like, and several that are, um, suboptimal. I'm probably going to give it a shot on our spring break hike next month, and see how it does. The G-7 does give me much more control than the usual P&S, and it has a (mediocre) optical viewfinder which extends battery life, but of course the files are noisy at high ISOs, like any small-sensor camera.

Like I said above, this is a long, rambling post. Hope it gives you something to think about, though. Good luck on your hike. Just head out there and do it.

--Ken