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Fenrir
07-05-2007, 00:24
OK as the title says, I'm wondering when to leave. I've read a bit about the downsides of leaving too early, but not entirely sure what too early is. Also too late means snow at Katahdin right? Well my dilema is that I was thinking of leaving around 1st week in April, but that means I'd have to take spring off from college because the semester ends April 30th. So what I'm wondering is, is 1st week in April too late already? If so I guess I'll take spring off regardless, if not how about beginning of May, too late? :confused: Thanks for the input!

Jack Tarlin
07-05-2007, 00:38
April Fool's Day is a perfect time to start. For most folks, it'd mean a late-September finish,which Ithinkis the BEST time to be hiking in Maine.

May first is a bit late, but you'd stiill have timefor a complete hike, assuming you don't mind hiking a bit faster than most folks and limit your town stays.

Advantages to May start:

*No crowds as just about everyone will be well ahead of you.
*Better chance to get shelter space when you needed it
*Less chance of severe cold weather at beginning of your trip
*Lighter pack as you could probably start with lighter (or fewer) warm
clothes
*You'll be starting in Springlike conditions, not wintry ones

Dis-Advantages to May start:

*Less time to hike; you'd have to be done in five and a half months or less.
*A less "social" trip as just about everyone will be ahead of you
*Less timeoff; town time, etc.
*Not much on an "envelope" ofextratime if you get hurt, need personal
time off, etc.

To sum it up:

Don't wait til May unless you're prepared to hike at a faster rate than most folks, and are sure you can be disciplined about your town time and days off.

My advice: Take a full semester off from school, either in the spring or in the fall, so you can havethe trip you want with no time pressure to worry about.

Most people make this trip ONCE; take whatever time you need to get the most out of it. Lots of hikers look back on their trips in later years and wish they'd gone SLOWER. Very, very few regret that they didn't move FASTER.

hammock engineer
07-05-2007, 01:02
Or wait until June, or in my case july, and go sobo.

oldbear
07-05-2007, 01:13
Snow on Katahdin is not really the issue almost any mountain can be climbed in snow.^^^^^ .The issue is Baxter Sate Park winter climbing regulations which take effect after 10/15/. Winter climbing requirements are very specific as to the equipment and personel needed in order to be issued a winter climbing permit. Assuming that you qualify , the process of actually getting one takes a while.That whole process makes it impractical to do at the end of a thru -hike

Panzer1
07-05-2007, 01:39
Your a fool if you skip a semister of college to go hiking. You should finish college first and then go hiking.

Panzer

jrwiesz
07-05-2007, 01:56
Your a fool if you skip a semister of college to go hiking. You should finish college first and then go hiking.

Panzer
I'll second that! School first, hiking second; the trail will be there.:sun

oldbear
07-05-2007, 01:57
Your a fool if you skip a semister of college to go hiking. You should finish college first and then go hiking.

Panzer
Panzer is right .The reality is that you will not be taking off on semester but rather two semesters. To just take the Spring semester off would mean that you would have to finish the Trail by late August which means that you have to star early

tekiechick
07-05-2007, 08:15
I've found that profs are sometimes willing to work with good students. Is it possible to work with your professors in order to satisfy the Spring semester's requirements early? You'd still have to finish by late August in order to start the fall semester - but it's another option, I suppose.

Appalachian Tater
07-05-2007, 10:22
Your a fool if you skip a semister of college to go hiking. You should finish college first and then go hiking.

Panzer

Not necessarily. College is different than it was 35 years ago. You don't have to start undergraduate studies at 18 right out of high school and finish at 22. In many programs, taking a semester off is no more remarkable than making an "A" in English 201.

Certainly it would be better to take a semester off college to thru-hike the A.T. than to wait 20 years.

TJ aka Teej
07-05-2007, 10:30
Snow on Katahdin is not really the issue almost any mountain can be climbed in snow.^^^^^ .The issue is Baxter Sate Park winter climbing regulations which take effect after 10/15/
No, and no.
Snow on Katahdin certainly is an issue for ATers. Snow on the Tableland can cause the trails on Katahdin to be closed at the trailhead and blizzard conditions can (and have) occured the first week of October in recent years. Plan to get to Baxter by October 1st. The issue with the October 15th date isn't winter climbing rules: Winter rules are not in effect until December 1st. The Oct 15th date is important to ATers because it is the end of the overnight camping season, and climbing out of Katahdin Stream after a campfire and a good night's sleep is much easier than trying to summit from Abol Bridge.

Lone Wolf
07-05-2007, 10:34
The Oct 15th date is important to ATers because it is the end of the overnight camping season, and climbing out of Katahdin Stream after a campfire and a good night's sleep is much easier than trying to summit from Abol Bridge.

just stealth in the woods between daicey pond and katahdin stream

TJ aka Teej
07-05-2007, 11:08
just stealth in the woods between daicey pond and katahdin stream
L. Wolf doesn't care if you get caught by the Trail Runner or Rangers and are thrown out of the Park for the rest of the year. If you want to risk having your AT hike end in the back of a police car 5.2 miles from Baxter Peak, go right ahead and take his advice.
---
http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/rules/allrules.html
7. CAMPING: Camping is permitted only in authorized campgrounds and campsites May 15 through October 15 and December 1 through March 31.
30. VIOLATIONS: All persons violating these rules may be punished in accordance with 12 M.R.S.A. Sec. 903. Persons violating other applicable laws within the Park may also be punished in accordance with the provisions of those laws. In addition, persons violating these rules may be required immediately to leave the Park, and the Authority may revoke the privilege of any person who violates these rules to enter the Park for a specified period.
---

Lone Wolf
07-05-2007, 11:13
just stealth in the woods between daicey pond and katahdin stream

by stealth i mean no tenting, fires, etc. just lay out on the ground like a moose or deer. no damage done

taildragger
07-05-2007, 12:00
Some other things to think about

1) what semester are you graduating, it might be easier just to thru hike after graduation before you get a real job

2) What about other trails. You might be able to get away with hiking part of the CDT (which I would personally rather do)

Just look at your choices, I know that I personally don't want to do the AT unless I can thru hike it just to get the experience, and due to time constraints and the fact that I am now graduating in the spring, I will be thru hiking the JMT and possibly the Colorado Trail over the summer before I start work or grad school.

BTW, taking a semester off isnt that bad. Its going to take me 5-5.5 years to graduate (depends on whether I get all my degrees or just one) since I have taken time off to work in industry and try to gain experience to see if what I will do post graduation is what I really want to do.

Lastly, take your time off now, you're young, isn't this the time when you're supposed to be adventuring and being what most people would call wild and stupid instead of sitting in a class and slowly becoming a desk jockey.

Johnny Swank
07-05-2007, 12:06
Your a fool if you skip a semister of college to go hiking. You should finish college first and then go hiking.

Panzer

I respectfully disagree. I wish that I had the guts way back when to admit that I didn't know what the hell I was doing in college and take time off to thru-hike. I was much more focused on what I wanted to ACCOMPLISH in life after my thru-hike, and in hindsight, would have been much farther ahead had I taken a chance and gone for the long walk. Turns out, I failed out of undergrad, and it ended up taking me over 12 years to finish.

To each his own, but my hike certainly help me get my head screwed on straight.

Lone Wolf
07-05-2007, 12:16
i'll never understand why kids go directly to college right out of high school. probably pressure from parents.

Wonder
07-05-2007, 12:23
I should have taken a year in between.....probably would have figured out that I didn't really want to be a band director......

Jack Tarlin
07-05-2007, 12:26
I'm reminded of Mark Twain, who famously said "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."

Missing, or postponing three or four months (or longer) in the classroom isn't going to hurt you.

Last time I checked, colleges and campuses were pretty set entities,i.e., they're not going anywhere. You should be there when you WANT to be and when it's going to be most productive for you. If you decide there are other places you need or want to be for awhile, well that's fine. When you're ready to hit the books, your college will be there waiting for you. Getting your degree four months later than you originally planned back when you started school effectively means nothing. When you're ready, the college will be there.

In retrospect, looking back, my time and money at 18 would've much more productively spent in the woods or on theTrail than on campus. Finishing college a few months later than your high school buddies wil not harm you in the slightest.

bigcranky
07-05-2007, 12:38
I'm in total agreement with Johnny Swank and Jack on this one. College will still be there when you get back. It took me seven years to finally get through school, but I finished, and that's the important part. (A thru-hike would have been a much better use of my time while I was out of school, too.)

Just plan the hike so you only miss one semester. You can start very early and finish before the end of August, or start late, head southbound, and finish some time in the fall in Georgia.

amigo
07-05-2007, 14:26
Take whatever time you need now to go hiking. Five years after you graduate, no employer is going to wonder why it took you 4 1/2 years to get your bachelors, rather than 3 3/4.

I got my bachelors in 3 1/4 years, ahead of my peers by 2 quarters. I should have hiked the AT. Or, I could have taken time before starting grad school a few year later to do it, but didn't. Now, it's 31 years later and I don't know when I can take 4 1/2 months (I think that 6 months would be too long for me) to hike the AT.

You will never the flexibility with your time than you do now, except when (and if) you retire, and there's no way to know what your health will be like then. So just go.

Lone Wolf
07-05-2007, 14:26
L. Wolf doesn't care if you get caught by the Trail Runner or Rangers and are thrown out of the Park for the rest of the year. If you want to risk having your AT hike end in the back of a police car 5.2 miles from Baxter Peak, go right ahead and take his advice.
---
http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/rules/allrules.html
7. CAMPING: Camping is permitted only in authorized campgrounds and campsites May 15 through October 15 and December 1 through March 31.
30. VIOLATIONS: All persons violating these rules may be punished in accordance with 12 M.R.S.A. Sec. 903. Persons violating other applicable laws within the Park may also be punished in accordance with the provisions of those laws. In addition, persons violating these rules may be required immediately to leave the Park, and the Authority may revoke the privilege of any person who violates these rules to enter the Park for a specified period.
---

i've seen people use cell phones and drink alcohol in the park. both against park law/rules. minor infractions is all

maxNcathy
07-05-2007, 16:36
Hike and hike and hike until you no longer want to hike then go to college if you have time.

Papaw John
07-05-2007, 16:37
Hey!!!

It'd be interesting to learn a bit more about the responders than internet chatter rooms allow. How far along in life & career are the people giving you answers? I bet that the old farts (my cohort) would be saying--go ahead, hike!!! And the younger set (say under 40 or 35?) would be worrying about the possible effect on your future. Both prob'ly have good points.

If one of my kids (or--god help me--grandkids) had asked me the question, I'd have had a bit of a parental pep-talk about the importance of College Degree and Not Taking Your Eye Off The Ball...then asked where I could join in part of your hike.

Papaw John

maxNcathy
07-05-2007, 16:40
Hike and hike and hike until you no longer want to hike then go to college if you feel so inclined.

I took 2 years off between high school and university and did better in school than before.

Johnny Swank
07-05-2007, 16:53
I took 2 years off between high school and university and did better in school than before.

I should have - there was no way that I was mature enough to handle college when I went in at 18.

Peaks
07-05-2007, 17:44
I'm reminded of Mark Twain, who famously said "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."


In retrospect, looking back, my time and money at 18 would've much more productively spent in the woods or on theTrail than on campus. Finishing college a few months later than your high school buddies wil not harm you in the slightest.

Times are different (Thank God.) If I took time off when I was 18, Uncle Sam had plans for me.

Marta
07-05-2007, 18:49
i'll never understand why kids go directly to college right out of high school. probably pressure from parents.

Health insurance. I kid you not. When my kids were getting ready to graduate from high school, a number a parents expressed to me the thought that their children would benefit from taking a year off to figure out what they should study before they wasted their parents' money and their own time studying some randomly-chosen subject. A common reason for opposing this was that the kids would not be covered by their parents' health insurance unless they were in school.

Marta/Five-Leaf

Fenrir
07-05-2007, 19:33
Let me start off just by saying thanks again for all the opinions and support offered here, its really good to know that I have a place to ask these questions. Next, Marta, I'm so glad you brought that up, I wasn't going to go to college right after highschool, but I would have lost my health insurance which I needed badly at the time time, my glaucoma was acting up, etc... The thing is for me, is that if I need to take time off for the trail I will. At this point its more important to me. I'm 20, I think I'm still considered a freshman, I'd be farther along, but I got hit by a car biking off of campus, but I'm able now, so banana time: :banana. So assuming I don't even consider school (willing to take time off, etc..) When do you guys recommend leaving? Jack Tarlin, I appreciate the advice, April fools seems like it'd be a good day based on your input. I hate to sound like a noob, but when do most people start, just so I can get an idea of what early/late means. Thanks again for all the help

Lone Wolf
07-05-2007, 19:46
When do you guys recommend leaving? Jack Tarlin, I appreciate the advice, April fools seems like it'd be a good day based on your input. I hate to sound like a noob, but when do most people start, just so I can get an idea of what early/late means. Thanks again for all the help

3rd week of March till mid-April.

bigcranky
07-05-2007, 19:57
Historically, hikers started in early to mid-April. Now a lot of people start in March for northbound hikes. March 4th is a popular date (say it out loud...), as is March 21st. There are growing numbers of hikers who start in mid-February, and even a few who start on January 1. But I would guess that most people start on a weekend in March.

Lone Wolf
07-05-2007, 20:26
Historically, hikers started in early to mid-April. Now a lot of people start in March for northbound hikes. March 4th is a popular date (say it out loud...), as is March 21st. There are growing numbers of hikers who start in mid-February, and even a few who start on January 1. But I would guess that most people start on a weekend in March.

but 3rd week of march till mid-april is when most start

bigcranky
07-05-2007, 20:56
LW, I believe you. Our posts crossed in the mail, as it were.

josiblue
07-06-2007, 11:31
okay, i think i actually have something to contribute here...
full disclosure: my thru starts march 1, 2008. this has more to do with the school issue.
i am 24, will be graduating undergrad in december the same week i turn 25. i have been in college since i was 18. i shouldn't have been. my gpa would be much higher if i had done what i knew i needed to do and take some time and travel first. instead i enrolled, rebelled, went on phish tour, failed a lot of classes, made piss-poor progress toward my degree and have somehow learned something along the way. so here is my new plan. i am hiking the trail, life-long dream, no better time than now kinda thing, also, i need a break between undergrad and law school. not making the same mistake twice, i know i need this, i know myself better than others, i know that i get restless if i don't get to wander. so my advice, ignore people who tell you how to live YOUR life, you know what feels right for you and if you are honest with yourself you will make the right choice. A customer at the restaurant where i serve told me the other day "if you were my kid you would have finished both degrees in four years and already be in law school." to which i replied "if i was your kid i would have more than just tried to kill myself." almost got in trouble, but the guy is notorious and it was worth it. i love how people from previous generations act like we must live like they did, even though it is they who are delaying us from graduating and working like them. the baby-boomers aren't retiring and are working later in life for many reasons, couple that with an amazingly slow economy since about oh, 2001, and you realize that you may as well take as long as like with school, there aren't any jobs waiting for you in your career anyway. that's why i study philosophy, every degree is useless right now, why not get the fun one? obviously, a lot of this is jest, but with a barb of truth. take all the time you need, a college would rather have a student there who knows they want to be there than one who thinks they do... also if health insurance is a big issue, and you are at least somewhat underway in school, you could always register for a full load and then audit all the courses, you will still be enrolled, technically, but won't be getting graded, so you could skip the last half of the semester pretty much without penalty (except for the cost of tuition) and then take the same schedule when you get back and already be ahead of the curve. just my thoughts on the matter. 1 march 2008, springer mountain, georgia, see ya there?
~josiah

"think of it this way/you could either be successful or be us/with our winning smiles, and us/with our catchy tunes, and us/now we're photogenic/you know, we don't stand a chance" --belle & sebastian

Lone Wolf
07-06-2007, 11:34
good for you josiblue.

Heater
07-06-2007, 11:53
the baby-boomers aren't retiring and are working later in life for many reasons, couple that with an amazingly slow economy since about oh, 2001, and you realize that you may as well take as long as like with school, there aren't any jobs waiting for you in your career anyway. that's why i study philosophy, every degree is useless right now, why not get the fun one?

The overall emoployment situation is not real bad right now. IMO, If you don't have a job, you aren't looking real hard for one.

Obtaining a degree (any degree) is a big plus to employers. It shows drive and initiative. Determination. Even a degree in Philosophy! :D

Fenrir
07-06-2007, 13:44
OK, how about weather wise? If do march forth on march 4th I'm looking at snow and such right? How do I go about figuring out weather for different dates? Thanks again for all the advice.

scope
07-06-2007, 14:35
i'll never understand why kids go directly to college right out of high school. probably pressure from parents.

Depends, but I mostly agree with you. If you go to college, do the 4 years straight in something you know you want to do, do well at it in school, then you're pretty much set for a career when you get out... you're on the fasttrack. I know lots of folks like this who are WAY better off than they would have been had they not started their careers as early as they did.

If you're having to do some figuring out AFTER college (as I did), then its fair to say I think that it probably could have been done more efficiently BEFORE college when all that expense and effort for college would have been better directed and utilized after having figured some stuff out.

But then, isn't that what Grad School is for? :rolleyes:

Appalachian Tater
07-06-2007, 14:46
okay, i think i actually have something to contribute here...
full disclosure: my thru starts march 1, 2008. this has more to do with the school issue.
i am 24, will be graduating undergrad in december the same week i turn 25. i have been in college since i was 18. i shouldn't have been. my gpa would be much higher if i had done what i knew i needed to do and take some time and travel first. instead i enrolled, rebelled, went on phish tour, failed a lot of classes, made piss-poor progress toward my degree and have somehow learned something along the way. so here is my new plan. i am hiking the trail, life-long dream, no better time than now kinda thing, also, i need a break between undergrad and law school. not making the same mistake twice, i know i need this, i know myself better than others, i know that i get restless if i don't get to wander. so my advice, ignore people who tell you how to live YOUR life, you know what feels right for you and if you are honest with yourself you will make the right choice. A customer at the restaurant where i serve told me the other day "if you were my kid you would have finished both degrees in four years and already be in law school." to which i replied "if i was your kid i would have more than just tried to kill myself." almost got in trouble, but the guy is notorious and it was worth it. i love how people from previous generations act like we must live like they did, even though it is they who are delaying us from graduating and working like them. the baby-boomers aren't retiring and are working later in life for many reasons, couple that with an amazingly slow economy since about oh, 2001, and you realize that you may as well take as long as like with school, there aren't any jobs waiting for you in your career anyway. that's why i study philosophy, every degree is useless right now, why not get the fun one? obviously, a lot of this is jest, but with a barb of truth. take all the time you need, a college would rather have a student there who knows they want to be there than one who thinks they do... also if health insurance is a big issue, and you are at least somewhat underway in school, you could always register for a full load and then audit all the courses, you will still be enrolled, technically, but won't be getting graded, so you could skip the last half of the semester pretty much without penalty (except for the cost of tuition) and then take the same schedule when you get back and already be ahead of the curve. just my thoughts on the matter. 1 march 2008, springer mountain, georgia, see ya there?
~josiah

"think of it this way/you could either be successful or be us/with our winning smiles, and us/with our catchy tunes, and us/now we're photogenic/you know, we don't stand a chance" --belle & sebastian

If someone is serioiusly trying to decide whether they should be in school vs. doing "X", they probably should be doing "X" until they're ready for school.

If you thru-hike the AT, potential employers will be a lot more interested in discussing your hike than what you studied in school.

Good luck on your hike and don't let all the ex-hippies who sold out to the man get you down.

Panzer1
07-06-2007, 20:15
i'll never understand why kids go directly to college right out of high school. probably pressure from parents.

Many people choose to go to college right after high school because of pressure from parents. There is nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong at all. Many of the "right" things we do at a young age is because of "pressure" from our parents. Since most kids who start college will start at age 18 or even 17 they sometimes lack the wisdom to go to college on their own initiative. That's why we have parents. That's what good parents do. They "pressure" us to do the right thing with our lives.

Panzer

saimyoji
07-06-2007, 20:55
If you thru-hike the AT, potential employers will be a lot more interested in discussing your hike than what you studied in school.


That would only be after they were convinced you could do the job they needed you to do. Get hired because you hiked the trail? Not unless they're paying to hike, or teach others how to hike. :rolleyes:

Appalachian Tater
07-06-2007, 21:05
That would only be after they were convinced you could do the job they needed you to do. Get hired because you hiked the trail? Not unless they're paying to hike, or teach others how to hike. :rolleyes:

Of course not. That's not what I said. I said potential employers will be more interested in discussing your hike than what you studied in school. Actually, I never had any potential employer the least bit interested in what I studied in school, they just want to see the degrees on the C.V.

Last time I talked to a potential employer, they wanted to know what I had done since my last employment. One of those things was my hike, and we talked about that for several minutes, including me answering many questions, like, "What did you learn on your hike?". I have been surprised at how interested some people are in hiking, which is basically walking, which most everyone does everyday, just not all day, every day, for five months.

Panzer1
07-08-2007, 18:22
A common reason for opposing this was that the kids would not be covered by their parents' health insurance unless they were in school.
Marta/Five-Leaf


Most health insurance will cover your kids as long as they are in school but some have a max age of 25 depending on the state of parents residence.(acutally the parents state of issue) except in most states handicaped children can be covered as long as you live. You have to watch your particular situation.

Panzer

modiyooch
07-08-2007, 18:32
School can wait. Trail tends to clear your head and direct your priorities. April 1 is a good time. I think there is a risk starting earlier. Not only is Katahdin risky in late fall, but so are the mountains in NC in the Spring.

I read in a book where students got college credit for hiking the trail. Can't remember the school. Good Luck to you on and off the trail.

modiyooch
07-08-2007, 18:33
Most health insurance will cover your kids as long as they are in school but some have a max age of 25 depending on the state of parents residence.(acutally the parents state of issue) except in most states handicaped children can be covered as long as you live. You have to watch your particular situation.

Panzer
My son was allowed to miss one semester and keep his insurance coverage.

Panzer1
07-08-2007, 18:38
Last time I talked to a potential employer, they wanted to know what I had done since my last employment. One of those things was my hike, and we talked about that for several minutes, including me answering many questions, like, "What did you learn on your hike?".

Ever since I have been on this web site I too have been interested in what people have learned on their hike. That's why I am here. But I have never been on an job interview where they cared a "rats ass" about what I learned from hiking.

When they ask me what I have done since my last employment everything I tell them is something that in some way qualifies me for the particular job I am interviewing for, otherwise I don't mention it.

Panzer

Panzer1
07-08-2007, 18:47
School can wait. Trail tends to clear your head and direct your priorities.

Acutally in post #33 this kid says he has been in school since 18 and is going to be 25 in december. Not trying to be judgemental here but when is he ever going to finish if he takes more time off to go hiking. What about mariage and all the other thing he should be thinking about. He needs to finish school and get on with his career.

Panzer

Appalachian Tater
07-08-2007, 18:49
Ever since I have been on this web site I too have been interested in what people have learned on their hike. That's why I am here. But I have never been on an job interview where they cared a "rats ass" about what I learned from hiking.

When they ask me what I have done since my last employment everything I tell them is something that in some way qualifies me for the particular job I am interviewing for, otherwise I don't mention it.

Panzer

They weren't trying determine if I was qualified, they already had my CV and the recruiter had recommended me as qualified or I wouldn't have had an interview in the first place. 'They were trying to determine if they wanted to hire me.

You have to be able to explain gaps in your employment even if whatever you did doesn't qualify you for the job, such as having a baby, taking care of a dying parent, hiking the A.T.

modiyooch
07-08-2007, 18:57
Acutally in post #33 this kid says he has been in school since 18 and is going to be 25 in december. Not trying to be judgemental here but when is he ever going to finish if he takes more time off to go hiking. What about mariage and all the other thing he should be thinking about. He needs to finish school and get on with his career.

Panzer I'm not judging. It took me ten years. After my initial long distance hike, I cranked out 4.0s when I returned to college. 27 years later, after career and raising a family, I am returning to the trail to finish what I started while in college. 27 years later my body isn't as forgiving.

Panzer1
07-08-2007, 18:58
You have to be able to explain gaps in your employment even if whatever you did doesn't qualify you for the job, such as having a baby, taking care of a dying parent, hiking the A.T.

"Having a baby" = good reason
"taking care of dying parent" = very very good reason
"Hiking the A.T." = :-?

I think employers are looking for people who are focused on their careers.

Panzer

Appalachian Tater
07-08-2007, 19:07
"Having a baby" = good reason
"taking care of dying parent" = very very good reason
"Hiking the A.T." = :-?

I think employers are looking for people who are focused on their careers.

Panzer

Some employers are looking for career-oriented people, some will hire anyone who can and will do the job that needs to be done. Other employers will hire anybody who can breathe and show up most of the time.

The same person actually did ask me about my career goals.

Problem is, I haven't any--no desire for advancement, increased responsibility, or additional headaches. When I work in an office I like to work 37.5 hours a week and completely forget about it the minute I hit the sidewalk.

Some of the qualities that are need to complete a thru-hike are useful to some employers.

modiyooch
07-08-2007, 19:15
I work hard. I play hard. I think it is a healthy balance. Oh, and I am career oriented.

Panzer1
07-08-2007, 19:40
School can wait. Trail tends to clear your head and direct your priorities.

Problems occur when you get married, have a kid and your running a house and your still going to college all at the same time. This sometimes happens to people in their mid to late 20's.

This is why in a perfect world most parents would want their kids to start college at 18 and finish in 4 years before they even start to think about marrage, having kids or buying a home.

Panzer

saimyoji
07-08-2007, 19:41
Some of the qualities that are need to complete a thru-hike are useful to some employers.


Absolutely, in fact I would say most employers, if you can explain it the way they want to hear it. ;)

Scaper
07-08-2007, 19:47
In my opinion the first week in May is the best time to start a Thru-hike going northbound . I agree with Post # 2 in most cases. I started on May 5 in 1990. That year about 5 other hikers started that day. That year I would estimate that about 25 hikers started after May 5 and finished there hike. One as late as early June . Howard and his loud small dog max. I was able to take about 22 zero days. Averaging about 12 miles a day at start. 22 miles a day from Cloverdale to Hanover and 14 from Hanover to Katahin finishing on Oct. 9 with about 7 other hikers. I had only 1 day where the temps droped below freezing until New Hampshire. Saw no snow. It was hot from Southern VA. THRU Pa. I dont know if they still do it but it was very crowed in the Whites the first couple weeks of Sept. with Freshman orientation from Darthmouth . Shelter areas were full. The fall colors in Maine were great. I think you are much more likely to see cold weather and snow in March then you will have in Maine in Sept and early Oct.

cutman11
07-08-2007, 22:00
A few random comments : Skipping a semester good or bad? answer : It depends....mostly on what you will put on your resume that you did during that time off. Study abroad, working "internship", and I would imagine, Hiking the AT would all be considered valid use of the time in the corporate working world when considering you for later employ. Current college grad unemployement rate = 2%, High school grad unemployment rate = 4.5% (stats from yesterday's newspaper). If I could have done it 20 yrs ago and had thought of doing a thru hike, I would have tried to arrange it. I would suggest making sure the college would be ok with it, either skip spring and start march northbound, planning to finish by start of fall semester, or start Southbound in June and plan to be off the fall semester, finish by winter.

modiyooch
07-08-2007, 22:14
who is going to notice that you missed a semester? I'm know there are plenty of students that don't finish within 4 years. change of major, lighter loads, work etc.
I say do it now before you have the responsibilities of work and family.

panzer, I think that people are marrying later in life now.

josiblue
07-09-2007, 14:45
Acutally in post #33 this kid says he has been in school since 18 and is going to be 25 in december. Not trying to be judgemental here but when is he ever going to finish if he takes more time off to go hiking. What about mariage and all the other thing he should be thinking about. He needs to finish school and get on with his career.

Panzer

i am that "kid", panzer, and if you read the entire post (what a novel idea) before referencing me out of context you would have known that i am graduating in december, and am hiking the trail AFTER undergrad and BEFORE law school. not trying be judgemental here (ever notice how that comment is always followed by a judgement) but what do you know about my life plans or career goals? why should i be thinking of marriage? and how do you know i am not? i don't believe i ever commented on my personal/sex life... you sure make a lot of assumptions based upon something that you haven't actually read. i was making the point that maybe if i had taken a year off to really figure some things out i might have done better in school and not just drifted through my first few years with no idea of where i wanted this school thing to take me. sorry if this is an afront to your obsolete notions of school-work-marry-die, but some of us are trying to have a good time while we go. why be in a such a hurry to retirement when you can enjoy some of your freedom now before you are too feeble to really live it up? personally, i try to refrain from giving unsolicited advice to strangers in unknown circumstances, if i did i would offer an old british proverb "you should pull your head out of your arse because it is making your breath smell like *****e."
sincerely yours,
~josiah


"look at it this way you could either be successful or be us, with our winning smiles, and us with our catchy tunes, yes us, now we're photogenic. you know, we don't stand a chance" -- belle and sebastion

Johnny Thunder
07-09-2007, 15:38
i am that "kid", panzer, and if you read the entire post (what a novel idea) before referencing me out of context you would have known that i am graduating in december, and am hiking the trail AFTER undergrad and BEFORE law school. not trying be judgemental here (ever notice how that comment is always followed by a judgement) but what do you know about my life plans or career goals? why should i be thinking of marriage? and how do you know i am not? i don't believe i ever commented on my personal/sex life... you sure make a lot of assumptions based upon something that you haven't actually read. i was making the point that maybe if i had taken a year off to really figure some things out i might have done better in school and not just drifted through my first few years with no idea of where i wanted this school thing to take me. sorry if this is an afront to your obsolete notions of school-work-marry-die, but some of us are trying to have a good time while we go. why be in a such a hurry to retirement when you can enjoy some of your freedom now before you are too feeble to really live it up? personally, i try to refrain from giving unsolicited advice to strangers in unknown circumstances, if i did i would offer an old british proverb "you should pull your head out of your arse because it is making your breath smell like *****e."
sincerely yours,
~josiah


"look at it this way you could either be successful or be us, with our winning smiles, and us with our catchy tunes, yes us, now we're photogenic. you know, we don't stand a chance" -- belle and sebastion

Whoah, man, Whoah! Seriously, if you're going to ask for advice then take the advice, internalize it, and make your own decision. Don't make your own decision before asking for advice. That's just plain dumb and wasteful.

For the other poster (forgot the #): As a RECRUITER I NEVER recommend people who have taken significant time off between jobs without explaining what they did and why. So, it is very easy to explain that someone has had an ailing relative, or new child. What's difficult is trying to gussy up the, "my coworkers and I won 4 mil in the lottery so we all took 6 months off." or the, "I started taking time off for school but I realized I didn't want to do that anymore." The issue is accountability. If you had the means to quit your job for 6 months on a whim what's to say that you won't do it again. (Josi, I know that this doesn't pertain to your unique situation)

I'm going to be in this situation in a year and I'll do what every responsible individual should. Think of my options. Make my decision. Protect my interests. If you're concerned about having a job when you come back, line one up before you leave. If you're concerned about having a school to go back to, gain approval for the time off. Need an apartment, reach an agreement with a multiple property landlord.

Johnny

Appalachian Tater
07-09-2007, 15:56
Whoah, man, Whoah! Seriously, if you're going to ask for advice then take the advice, internalize it, and make your own decision. Don't make your own decision before asking for advice. That's just plain dumb and wasteful.

For the other poster (forgot the #): As a RECRUITER I NEVER recommend people who have taken significant time off between jobs without explaining what they did and why. So, it is very easy to explain that someone has had an ailing relative, or new child. What's difficult is trying to gussy up the, "my coworkers and I won 4 mil in the lottery so we all took 6 months off." or the, "I started taking time off for school but I realized I didn't want to do that anymore." The issue is accountability. If you had the means to quit your job for 6 months on a whim what's to say that you won't do it again. (Josi, I know that this doesn't pertain to your unique situation)

I'm going to be in this situation in a year and I'll do what every responsible individual should. Think of my options. Make my decision. Protect my interests. If you're concerned about having a job when you come back, line one up before you leave. If you're concerned about having a school to go back to, gain approval for the time off. Need an apartment, reach an agreement with a multiple property landlord.

Johnny

Do you think it is better for someone who is 20 y.o. with 2 years of general undergraduate courses at a small state school and a C+ average to stay in school, not very happy, doing very mediocre work and graduate in a field they didn't really want to work in or to take a semester off and then come back and change majors to one they were interested in, make As and Bs and finish with a B average?

I took a quarter off from my undergraduate program at an engineering school and took logic and psychology at a liberal arts school. During that time, I decided that it would be better to just go ahead and finish the bachelor's degree just to have it rather than practically start over at another institution. Best academic decision I ever made, but I wish I had hiked the A.T. instead of taking classes at another university.

Johnny Thunder
07-09-2007, 16:14
Do you think it is better for someone who is 20 y.o. with 2 years of general undergraduate courses at a small state school and a C+ average to stay in school, not very happy, doing very mediocre work and graduate in a field they didn't really want to work in or to take a semester off and then come back and change majors to one they were interested in, make As and Bs and finish with a B average?

I took a quarter off from my undergraduate program at an engineering school and took logic and psychology at a liberal arts school. During that time, I decided that it would be better to just go ahead and finish the bachelor's degree just to have it rather than practically start over at another institution. Best academic decision I ever made, but I wish I had hiked the A.T. instead of taking classes at another university.


To answer your question: no it isn't better. Those options cannot be considered using the binary "either/or" logic you've provided. Clearly there are more forces at play. First, are tuition dollars unlimited? Next, what are the field of study and the field of choice? Finally, is it possible to modify the course of study to complete one while working on another?

This doesn't seem like the issue at hand though.

AT, your experience worked for you and the fact that you completed something demonstrates the strength of your resolve. That you did it in an academic capacity also lends creedence to your professional drives and ambition. But, when you went to your first interview did you tell them that you only stayed to course because you were close to finished with your degree? Probably not. (I might have misread you there)

The problem arises when we try to justify non-traditional and intensely personal journeys in a professional sense. Please, go to job interview and explain that you took 6 months off to:

Write a book.
Tour with your band.
Travel to Europe.
Go on a 6 month hike.

These are the things that I wish to do in my life. We all (should) have non-professional work goals. We should also know what we are going to do when it's time to get back into the work-day grind.


I've gotten off topic. My first post was to warn that everything we do after we are 18 can and will reflect our employability. I'll reiterate:

Your ability to drop everything for 6 months will say something about you to a future employer.

So, draw your "T-Chart" and think about yourself and your chosen career. Is this something that should go in the Pro or Con column?

Johnny

Nest
07-09-2007, 19:31
That's why I work at places with a high turnover, and decent pay. My current employer is thrilled that I will atleast work there until next March because that's longer than half of my coworkers. They also offered to rehire me when I get back if I want, knowing that I may only work for a year or two more before going off on another adventure. I had long term plans all my life, but they have all fallen through. Now I just live for the moment. Plan no further than a year ahead. Worse comes to worse I can work at an auto plant. Good pay, great benifits, and I wouldn't regret quitting a few years later to go do something else.

Fenrir
07-10-2007, 13:38
Hey guys, thanks again for all the advice. I'm hearing either beginning of March or begining of april mostly, is that correct? Not hearing much in between or after. Also I think there has been some confusion, as I am the on asking for advice not josiblue ( though I hope he gets some if hes looking :D ). At this point I'm fairly sure I'm going to take spring semester off, its just a matter of finding when to leave and finding another job so I can earn enough money to do it. If anyone has more to add I'd love to hear it. cerberus45acp, might I ask what you do?

Appalachian Tater
07-10-2007, 14:03
Hey guys, thanks again for all the advice. I'm hearing either beginning of March or begining of april mostly, is that correct? Not hearing much in between or after. Also I think there has been some confusion, as I am the on asking for advice not josiblue ( though I hope he gets some if hes looking :D ). At this point I'm fairly sure I'm going to take spring semester off, its just a matter of finding when to leave and finding another job so I can earn enough money to do it. If anyone has more to add I'd love to hear it. cerberus45acp, might I ask what you do?

I think it's more mid-March to beginning of April. The earlier you start, the higher chance of bad weather and the later you start, the less time you have.

Appalachian Tater
07-10-2007, 14:17
To answer your question: no it isn't better. Those options cannot be considered using the binary "either/or" logic you've provided. Clearly there are more forces at play. First, are tuition dollars unlimited? Next, what are the field of study and the field of choice? Finally, is it possible to modify the course of study to complete one while working on another?

This doesn't seem like the issue at hand though.

AT, your experience worked for you and the fact that you completed something demonstrates the strength of your resolve. That you did it in an academic capacity also lends creedence to your professional drives and ambition. But, when you went to your first interview did you tell them that you only stayed to course because you were close to finished with your degree? Probably not. (I might have misread you there)

The problem arises when we try to justify non-traditional and intensely personal journeys in a professional sense. Please, go to job interview and explain that you took 6 months off to:

Write a book.
Tour with your band.
Travel to Europe.
Go on a 6 month hike.

These are the things that I wish to do in my life. We all (should) have non-professional work goals. We should also know what we are going to do when it's time to get back into the work-day grind.


I've gotten off topic. My first post was to warn that everything we do after we are 18 can and will reflect our employability. I'll reiterate:

Your ability to drop everything for 6 months will say something about you to a future employer.

So, draw your "T-Chart" and think about yourself and your chosen career. Is this something that should go in the Pro or Con column?

Johnny

It's strange, I agree with almost all of what you're saying but still completely disagree with your conclusions. Most employers don't expect to hire "employees for life" anymore and don't expect their employees to have lived their lives along a straight, un-interrupted path.

I am always completely honest about my past activities and my reasons for them, especially with prospective employers, and have never had a problem. But in the end, if I tried to get a consulting job with one of the big firms, I probably wouldn't pass the second round of interviews.

Yet, I've never had trouble finding contract or permanent employment. I won't take a permanent position unless I plan to stay in it for at least a year, barring a severe mis-match. That's what I tell potential employers, and that has always been sufficient. Mostly I have found it more beneficial and less stressful to just avoid permanent employment.

Johnny Swank
07-10-2007, 14:34
That would only be after they were convinced you could do the job they needed you to do. Get hired because you hiked the trail? Not unless they're paying to hike, or teach others how to hike. :rolleyes:

I think you'd be in for a surprise about how often networking about larger goals gets you. Have I been hired soley because I've done some big trips? Hardly. Has that come up in conversation during interviews where we talk about goal setting, organization, planning, and the like - Absolutely. Throw on scads of public speaking and writing gigs for communication skills. You better believe that the Thru-hike and Mississippi River Expedition are on my Vitae and resume'.

Panzer1
07-10-2007, 15:09
i am that "kid", panzer, and if you read the entire post (what a novel idea) before referencing me out of context...

Just curious Josh, what was the "out of context" reference. Can you repost it?




...Thanks for the input!




personally, i try to refrain from giving unsolicited advice to strangers in unknown circumstances...

Actually you did solicit advice. Thatís why you posted on this thread. Advice is what we give here. You asked when the best time to start was, and my advice is to not start if starting means skipping a semester of school. This is sound advice. School should come first. I'm guessing that others may have given you the same advice. Maybe your father or advisors at school have said the same things that I have told you.

College/Law School isnít for everyone nor should it be but since you were the one who chose this path, you should finish what you started. Skipping a semester or more of school to go hiking is not in your best interest.


Panzer

Appalachian Tater
07-10-2007, 15:16
Panzer, once josiblue is graduated from law school, will anyone care that that he took a semester off? Will they even know? Why would it matter to them if they did know? How would it make him a less-desirable employee? I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just don't understand. What is the average age of college students these days? At many graduate schools, it's in the 30s...

Panzer1
07-10-2007, 15:30
Education seems to be a "tough sell" on this web site...

Panzer:o

Appalachian Tater
07-10-2007, 15:34
Education seems to be a "tough sell" on this web site...

Panzer:o

Absolutely not. No one here has said "don't go to school" and I suspect that the hiking community is better-educated than the general population. But you are begging the question!

modiyooch
07-10-2007, 17:49
panzer1, you are arguing with the wrong poster. Josiblu did not start the thread.

Education is very important.

Skipping a semester of school was definately in my best interest. The trail and it's solitude was educaton within itself.

saimyoji
07-10-2007, 19:18
I think you'd be in for a surprise about how often networking about larger goals gets you. Have I been hired soley because I've done some big trips? Hardly. Has that come up in conversation during interviews where we talk about goal setting, organization, planning, and the like - Absolutely. Throw on scads of public speaking and writing gigs for communication skills. You better believe that the Thru-hike and Mississippi River Expedition are on my Vitae and resume'.


I think you'd be in for a surprise... No I wouldn't.

Not suggesting it isn't important to an employer, provided you're on the short list already. See my post above about most employers valuing the skill set required to complete a thru..... All I meant is that the hike ain't gonna get you the job...you need the basic reqs first.

Believe me, my "extra skills/qualifications" have been deal-sealers several times. I know how important my life experiences outside of school/work have been. :cool:

Panzer1
07-10-2007, 19:28
panzer1, you are arguing with the wrong poster. Josiblu did not start the thread.

Yes your right. I see that now. Ok, so how did Josiblu get into this???

Panzer (the confused)

Nest
07-10-2007, 20:04
cerberus45acp, might I ask what you do?


I work on an armored truck. It isn't too bad of a job. Pay and benefits are decent, but an extremely high turnover. They don't expect to keep someone my age for over a year.

josiblue
07-14-2007, 04:43
again, i, for the record, will not be skipping any school. i graduate this december and law school starts in the fall so i have time off no matter what. i was trying, unsuccessfully it seems, to make the point that i wish i had taken a semester off early on when i still reasonably could. that way i wouldn't have wasted the first three years of my school, and a lot of my money, wondering around aimlessly finding things to rebel against. would it be prudent for me to take a semester off now if it delayed me graduating for another year thus putting off law school even further? probably not. it's a lot easier to say "i was 18 and didn't know what i wanted to do with my life, so i took some time to find out." than to say "well, i thought i wanted this thing for awhile, then i changed my mind, so at 28 i took sometime to figure things out." one is understandable, the other seems like the person is simply inconsistent. and i realize i am not 28, i just like the decade-difference for ease of comparison.
sorry i snapped back so defensively panzer, you were confused, and i was having a bad day. fenrir, ultimately i say Hike Your Own Hike, and Live Your Own Life. what works for me may not work for you, so try a lot of things out and see what works for you.
~josi

"sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time is" -- the arcade fire

Fenrir
07-24-2007, 14:02
OK, so a big part of when to leave is weather. So I'm looking for a site that gives historical weather data (how cold it was this day last year, the year before, etc...), but what city (or cities) is/(are) closest to the trail for me to get an idea of the weather. Because at this point when I'm warned it will be "cold" I don't know what means. I used to live in Missoula where cold was colder than -10, but now in Vegas cold is below about 80 :D

mikemize
11-10-2007, 05:14
"semister"? what is a semester? if you want to do this, do it like NIKE would!.."just do it"!this is a once in a lifetime opportunity!! i completely agree with "amigo" on this one...i think you'll come back a much better person.think about the people you will meet, think about the sites you will see, think about what you stand to accomplish....in my opinion, you'll learn more about life than any one or two semesters will ever give you!..good luck with your decision....take care,mike

L Tee
11-11-2007, 20:53
school is boring, take time off. Its taken me 7 years to finish college: 2 major changes, getting enganged then unengaged, and random Im tired of school and want to take a semester off. But like someone mentioned if the funds are unlimited for schooling and such then why not take 7 years? I want to do something similar to josi and that is graduate in may, hike, then go to grad school. But dont let school get in the way of something fun, its just like the trail, it aint going no where.

Panzer, you are too old school. Buy an Ipod or something.

MrHappy
11-12-2007, 11:15
Many people choose to go to college right after high school because of pressure from parents. There is nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong at all. Many of the "right" things we do at a young age is because of "pressure" from our parents. Since most kids who start college will start at age 18 or even 17 they sometimes lack the wisdom to go to college on their own initiative. That's why we have parents. That's what good parents do. They "pressure" us to do the right thing with our lives.

Panzer

I'm currently in College, after taking 15 months off with the support of my parents. The people who are here because of "pressure" from their parent's ruin it for people like me who are here because we want to learn something. To them, college is just an extension of high-school -- something you have to do but don't want to. Homework is something to be blown off, class something to be skipped, and weekends are a time for binge drinking and other methods of killing brain cells.

I'm not an ideal student. I skip class, I miss some assignments, and I party on the weekends. But I WANT to be here, and when it comes
down to the really important decisions, that makes all of the difference.

dessertrat
11-12-2007, 12:09
just stealth in the woods between daicey pond and katahdin stream

That's what I would probably do, but remember, you didn't hear it from me.:)

map man
11-12-2007, 23:55
Fenrir, here's an answer to your latest question about weather. Weather.com has information on average highs, average lows, record lows and record highs (for any date) for cities and towns all over the country. Of course, cities and towns tend to be down in valleys and the AT tends to be up on ridges, and elevation can make a big difference in temps. I've seen varying numbers as a rule of thumb, but the most reputable number I've seen is that the temps will be 3 to 4 degrees colder for every increase of 1000 feet in elevation.

So, if you look up the average overnight lows and record lows (and it's best to be prepared for the possibility that temps could approach records while you are hiking) for Toccoa, GA, a town near the trail that is at pretty much 1000 feet above sea level, those temps will be 6 to 10 degrees warmer than what you will likely experience when you are hiking in Georgia. Why that difference? Because the typical trail elevation for the AT in Georgia is between 3000 and 4000 feet (you can look up these elevations by looking at the on-line version of the AT Companion at aldha.org). The shelter on Blood Mountain is at around 4500 feet so that would be even a little colder still.

You get the idea. A standard Rand McNally Road Atlas will show elevations for many cities and towns (or you could google terms like "american towns" and "elevation" and find that info on-line). Note the difference in elevation between the town in the AT vicinity that you look up on weather.com and the AT itself, and subtract 3 to 4 degrees for every 1000 foot increase in elevation. That will be a good rough guide of the temps to expect on the trail.