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Dakota Dan
10-14-2007, 23:57
I guess I need to jump in and do an intro of sorts. I've recently Retired and have a nephew(we call him JR) who just graduated high school back in the spring and thinks he is dieing to hike the AT. He knows I did a thruhike back in the 70's with some old college buddies and he has begged me for the last 3 or so years to do it again, only take him. I've been able to put him off saying, "when you graduate high school and I've retired" "we'll see". Well he's turned my "we'll see" into a promise and so here I am doing research on the matter. I did a lot of hiking in the 90's in NC and GA and in years past I've been to Trail Days to meet with old college buddies, the last one was the year Earl Shaffer gave a presentation, back in the 90's. I don't need encouragement to actually do another hike, have an18 yr old on my heels. I would consider letting him go with some of you but I have nothing against any of you.(little humor)
If I actually start this trip thing I know it will be tough, but once started I'll have to save face and show the kid I still got what it takes (by the way this is highly questionable). Right now I'm dusting off the remains of some old gear, which is LEAD, compared to the new lightweight stuff out there. I have a few newer things, but will still start looking at REI, Campmor and other places for new Equipment. This is why I joined WB here to get tips etc, and I'm sure my nephew will join in, without him I would never have gotten to this point, I'm not very computer savvy. Iíve got some choice trail names for him but Iíll resist. I'm also glad a lot of other senior hikers here at WB are still alive to talk trail. I was informed by my nephew my old trail name ďDakota DanĒ is probably a common one in use or used by a lot of hikers. Iíve had this name since my Grand Paw gave it to me when a child (Dan is my first name). His Grandmother, my Great Grandmother, was 100% Sioux and I told JR Iíll just have to share. Anyway, I hope to have some fun planning the proposed trip cause I know what lies across yonder hills, I just hope the rumors of less road walking is true and hope that they havenít been turned into steep hills.

woodsy
10-15-2007, 06:50
This is why I joined WB here to get tips etc
:welcome to the club. Ask away, not speaking for myself but plenty of experience here, i'm just a north woods tramp.

LIhikers
10-15-2007, 06:54
Welcome to White Blaze, feel free to ask questions and make comments as you see fit. There's a lot of good information here already and you can find it by using the search function found near the top of the page. If the info you seek isn't there then ask away. Be glad your nephew wants to hike. I can't get one of mine into the great outdoors.

SteveJ
10-15-2007, 07:51
Welcome, Dan! :welcome

What part of Atlanta are you in? (Gwinnettian here....)

Crazy Larry #1
10-15-2007, 08:36
Just get that old gear on your back and grab the kid a cheap pack and start hiking. You'll figure out what you need once you get out there. I don't know what your finances are but you can get what you need as you go usually at a decent price. Sometimes other hikers are letting go of stuff that you need and sometimes the outfitters might have a deal sitting in the back of the shop.........that's how I got geared out when I was hiking.....

Once I had the money to buy such and such gear I found I didn't need it. My other rule is, if it works don't fix it...........

sonic
10-15-2007, 09:18
:welcome Welcome, Dan. As a fairly newbie myself, I feel you will find most of the info here. Get your nephew on line as well as he may think of questions to ask that you don't. This should be a great time for both of you, not just the hike, but the planning as well. Enjoy!

Fiddler
10-15-2007, 10:18
I've recently Retired and have a nephew . . . If I actually start this trip thing I know it will be tough, but once started I'll have to save face and show the kid I still got what it takes (by the way this is highly questionable . . . I'm also glad a lot of other senior hikers here at WB are still alive to talk trail.
Welcome to WB!! What's all this old folk's stuff? Your profile doesn't show your age, I assume you are 60-65 being recently retired. I turned 65 this past June and I'm going stronger all the time. I also am hopeful for a thru. I made plans for '06, then '07, both times family stuff came up that took priority. I was starting to plan for '08 but now it doesn't look like that will work out due to maybe selling the house and relocating somewhere down south. I'm originally from Alabama and I don't like the cold winters here in northern Illinois. I will now probably do a thru (or at least the attempt) in '09 at age 67. And I will also probably meet quite a few older than myself out there. I've never been out over 2 weeks, but I'm sure I can stretch 2 weeks into 5 or 6 months if I'm determined.

rafe
10-15-2007, 10:20
Fiddler, why not do the trail in sections rather than waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the perfect shot at a thru hike? :-?

Fiddler
10-15-2007, 10:36
Fiddler, why not do the trail in sections rather than waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the perfect shot at a thru hike? :-?
If I don't sell by early summer (wifey biggest problem) that's the plan. Get out by early June for about a month or so and get a good piece of it in. Then maybe a little more Oct. if circumstances permit, otherwise another section, possibly completion, in '09.

Appalachian Tater
10-15-2007, 10:49
If I actually start this trip thing I know it will be tough, but once started I'll have to save face and show the kid I still got what it takes (by the way this is highly questionable).

To an 18 year old, anybody over 30 is really, really old and he is not expecting you be able to "compete" with him physically.

What he is expecting is you to be knowledgeable and to be able to do cool things he never thought of or knew about, like start a fire by rubbing two sticks together--just don't tell him about the little lighter in your pocket--and helping him get his pack weight down. This is a good place to get information.

Blissful
10-15-2007, 10:57
Welcome!

A thru hiker from the 70's, that is great! I'm sure its a lot different now than back then. I wonder what it will be like 30 years from now after my hike.

I met a hiker this year who had thru-hiked when she was in college and decided to use her same external frame pack (I think she was in her 50's). I wasn't sure about the cans she had in her mail drop, but it was interesting to watch. :)

rafe
10-15-2007, 11:20
I met a hiker this year who had thru-hiked when she was in college and decided to use her same external frame pack...

Blissful, I didn't ditch my old Camp Trails Adjustable II until this year. I hiked at least 1200-1400 miles of AT with that beast. It took forever to find an internal frame pack I could get along with. Here's a pic of the Camp Trails pack on last year's section hike.

LIhikers
10-15-2007, 11:47
I've never been out over 2 weeks, but I'm sure I can stretch 2 weeks into 5 or 6 months if I'm determined.



I like the way you said that! It fits my situation too.

shelterbuilder
10-15-2007, 15:50
:welcome Welcome, Dan - this is a great place to exchange ideas, have a laugh, or just talk "trail trash". (And to all of you punsters out there, I did NOT say "talk about trashing the trail"!)

Dakota Dan
10-15-2007, 19:38
Thanks for the kind reception to your wonderful site. I'm very interested in learning how to use a computer better so I can navigate around this site better, I can type fair enough, but thatís about it. I'm having to depend on my nephew to help out; lets see how long this lasts..ha ha. I've read all the posts and will try to summarize answers.

TO: stevej...I live in the Duluth area, close to BassPro. Try to RV all I can

TO: The Only Wanderer: I've been looking at a nap sack for myself and a GIANT BACKPACK for the kid. I may have to get wheels put on his before itís over. He's a stout lad and claims he can carry anything I throw at him, good time to see if my generator and TV will fit in a big pack!!!

TO Blissful: Hope you can make the trip in 30 years, maybe me and JR can go to, assuming I don't kill him on this trip aka: "NOBO trip in Planning".
I carried a used Kelty external pack with lots of attachments on it, I think it got sold at a yard sale; I do currently have a large REI brand pack and a medium Lowe Alpine pack. The large one will be worn by JR, I'm still looking for a fanny pack to carry.

TO: Appalachian Tater: speaking of youth and strength...Thatís why the kid will be carrying the BIG PACK. As for as rubbing sticks to get fire, forget it. I'll carry homemade waterproof matches and some kind of starter for the wet wood.

TO: Fiddler, I guess you feel your age, so sometimes I feel dead. I am a few yrs younger than you; I try not to keep up with age. My recommendation is to hike now, Heck, I'm scared I'll get Alzheimerís and forget the trip.

In closing:

I am excited to say I'm starting to warm up to the idea of a thru-hike, currently at 32.2 deg F.

I think the first bit of information I'll look at will be maps, trail descriptions and changes from the 70's, and peopleís on-line journals. I like the idea of an on-line journal, however, this is too much for me to think about now, can't see taking the time to do all that while on the trail.

The kid showed me the stuff he plans on taking...I think he's probably up to 60lbs or so, and he hasn't even figured in food and water. It's so hilarious, I will try to capture his expression on film when I do the final equipment triage, but we're going to do a short checkout hike, letting him carry all he thinks he can, including a weeks worth of food. This will be funny and may stop the trip. I am quiting now so I can get to bed early, it took us hrs to get set up here last night and I'm not use to staying up so late. Till next time. DD

MOWGLI
10-15-2007, 19:44
:welcome Dan. Lots of experience here. Lots of great folks too. Watch out for the Whiteblaze land sharks. :eek: