View Full Version : Pace in GA

09-07-2003, 23:33
I know it depends on a bunch of things but I am trying to figure a resonable pace for Georgia heading north. At high alitude (8K+) I usually plan to do 1.5 miles per hour plus one hour for each 1000 foot gain or loss. I have been able to sustain 10 to 15 miles per day even hitting some pretty good peaks or passes.

Mama-san says that if I am a good boy I can do a section in Georgia next summer.

How do YOU plan your daily distance?

Thanks in advance!

SGT Rock
09-08-2003, 01:11
I figure a short day on my first day out just to get back into the swing of things, like a 1/2 day of 4-6 miles just to get the legs going again.

Then start raising the daily mileage a couple miles or so a day until you hit where you want to be for daily mileage. For me in Georgia 15 miles was very doable, but I like to leave myself some play time so 10 mile days with a catch up plan if needed were set for areas like the section around Long Creek Falls. If it is a section hike don't try to kill yourself with miles, go for the cool places an spend time enjoying them.

09-08-2003, 07:52
Georgia is about 75 miles. 9 more if you start at the bottom of the falls.

I'd allow 6 to 8 days, depending on your pace. Certainly one factor depends on when and where you start. If you start at the base of the falls, then you have a good half day hike to get to the summit of Springer Mountain. Likewise, unless you spend the night at Amicola Falls, you will probably not get an early start on the first day. So, maybe your goal for the first day is just to get to the top of Springer.

09-08-2003, 09:25
I've found that, for most section hikes, starting with moderate 10-12 mile days for the first 3 days helps to get into an initial stage of "backpacking shape". I typically like a low-mileage, "goof off" day mid-week, and I may pump out a 15-20 mile day or two by the end of the week. Regardless, I try to give myself a bunch of options so I can adjust depending on conditions. With a section hike, the hardest part becomes coordinating the pick-up.

Let me know when you're planning to go, Jim, as I still have to pick up this section.

Rain Man
09-08-2003, 09:51
Jim, I just did Springer Mtn to Neels Gap last month, about 32 miles. I started from the USFS #42 parking lot near the top of Springer, so I did not have the 8 mile approach hike up Springer.

I planned my days based on shelters. The first day was about 8 miles to Hawk Mtn Shelter, mostly downhill from the top of Springer.

The second day was another 8 miles, more or less, to Gooch Mtn Shelter, with lots of "uphill."

The third day was about 12 miles to Wood's Hole Shelter (which is half a mile off the trail), with plenty of up-and-down.

Then the fourth day was about 6 miles up and over Blood Mtn.

The days ran approximately 9:30-4:30, 10:30-4:30, 7:30-4:30, and 9:30-1:00 (or so).

I had practiced on local trails with 200 foot ridges only, about 4.5 miles, with a 35-40 lb pack. On the AT my pack was about 25-28 lbs total.

Oh, the weather was about 70-74 degrees, with nice daily showers.

Anyway, my "section hike" was fun and easy. No pushing the limits, no blisters, no sore muscles.

You'll have a great time if you prepare.

Rain Man

09-08-2003, 10:18
Most people will tell you 10-12 miles a day is a pretty good pace for starting out in Georgia. I would do 20-25 miles and enjoy the hike, but that is my own style. 20 mile, enjoyable days in Georgia are very possible. It depends on how much you are carrying, your fitness level, and your style (do you like to get into camp at 3 or 8?). Last summer, doing 12-15 mile days in GA wasn't very hard, but I wanted to give my body a chance to break in before moving faster.

09-08-2003, 22:37
Go with the flow. Hike short days when you feel like it, long days too, take a day off, it's a time of great joy and freedom! Georgia is a great place for hiking. Don't worry about the guys who blow past you, they are doing their thing too and you can talk to them at the next town stop where they can usually be found at the nearest pub! Enjoy!