View Full Version : thru number two

01-12-2008, 22:25
is it possible for ones second thru hike to be as good as the first? great weather yesterday really gave me the fever. i stand at my packing station at work and just daydream about what it would be like if i could pick some certain spot from last years hike to start again at. you know, going back in time. then it hit me. too good to be true? can you really set out knowing now what you didnt know then? whats it like to be on your second thru? it just seems hard to believe that it could be so good,.. again.,:banana

01-12-2008, 23:14
I've been thinking the same thing. I went nobo in 06, and I want to start a sobo so bad this year. need a couple more to get the funds together though, but i certainly plan on it. i was out today on the at and it was gorgeous out, and all i could think of was having to get back to the "real" world instead of just staying out there. i'm ready for number 2! (the hike, not the bm)

Cedar Tree
01-13-2008, 10:54
Excellent Question. I too have been wondering the same thing. My first hike was just so perfect. It is hard to imagine another hike will be like the first. I am planning another thru in 2010, so hopefully I will get the chance to compare.
Cedar Tree

01-13-2008, 10:59
Well... there are lots of trails out there... even some good long ones. So would you rather re-do an AT thru-hike, or do the PCT? (for example.) Obviously there are lots of folks who've chosen to do the AT multiple times.

01-13-2008, 11:14
Before hiking the AT each hike was just another hike. Since hiking the AT it is the gold standard that all other trails are compared to. I have also re-hiked numerouse sections of the AT and each one evokes the memory of what was happening in that section on my thru hike. I have been considering doing another AT thru hike.:-?

01-13-2008, 11:15
You have got to be kidding right ??! of course it is awesome to go out again..every hike is different cuz you will be in a different place in your life. but I have never had a bad thru hike.it is always such a treat to get another chance to take a long walk. don't think twice ( no pun intended ) and go ! the pct is an awesome 2nd hike as well.....go go GO if ya can..:)

01-13-2008, 11:18
alot of talk about why hike the a.t. again after you already did. ill tell you they just keep getting better.

01-13-2008, 11:36
i agree crumb.. they only downfall is that you could become hiker trash....yikes !

Blue Jay
01-13-2008, 13:28
My second time was in 2 1000+ sections and was just as good as my first. The AT, like sex, might be better or worse each time, but it does not matter. It will still be GREAT.

Sleepy the Arab
01-13-2008, 15:57
Short answer: Yes.

Keep your head and heart in the moment, and accept that it won't be the same as the first. But yeah, in most circumstances, it will be as good as the first.

Number three will be even better.

01-13-2008, 18:45
:bananai'll let you know.:banana

01-13-2008, 18:49
I liked my second thru (PCT) even more than my first (AT).

Jim Adams
01-13-2008, 21:29
second AT thru was 12 years after the first....seemed like about 250 different miles, of course older and different fitness and speed, different new friends, different equipment...same old good time! neither hike was better than the other, both were incredible.
tried the PCT in 07...pretty but can't compare to the AT!
take Nike's advice...just do it!


Miss Janet
01-14-2008, 13:51
I heard one "Tulip" say that it was like going to a really nice theater... It may be the same place but you're going to se a different show!

Whats a TULIP?? It's a hiker that you know is going to show up every year but you don't know for sure when... but they make you smile when you look out the window and see them!

01-14-2008, 14:03
I liked my second thru (PCT) even more than my first (AT).

Ditto. Fo' show.

01-14-2008, 15:06
I liked all my hikes equally for different reasons. How can I choose which one was "better"?

The AT showed me a different lifestyle and quite literally changed my life. Without my experience on the AT, I doubt I would bein Colorado and have done all the things I have done since 1998.

The PCT was perhaps the epitome of long distance hiking: Easier (physically) for me than the AT, well marked without being overly so..a pure hiker trail where I can see the scenery every day and not worry about how to get to the next place.

The CDT was by the far the most difficult of the three trails..but also the most rewarding. When I finished the CDT, I was mentally exhausted...but joyful. I had seen some of the most remote wildness (yes, wildness) left in the lower 48. Seen where grizzlies roam and walked the backbone of the continent.

But I loved them all. None were really my "favorite".

I've also found my shorter walks (LTx2, Colo Trail) to be equally satisfying in a different way.

Just to be outside for an extended period is a blessing...a joy..something to celebrate. And to pick which was one best would be to be dishonest with myself.

If (when?) I do the AT again, I am sure I will find it a different experience..but as equally satisfying as the walk I took ten years ago.

Spirit Walker
01-15-2008, 13:25
Second time around is different. You're different, the people you're hiking with are different, the weather will be different, the trail itself will seem different. If you can accept that, you'll do fine.

On my repeat hikes, I celebrated the differences. On my second hike of the AT, I would blue blaze where I white blazed and white blaze where I had previously blue blazed. I left town at a different time of day so I'd camp at different places along the way. I visited different towns so I could see what they were like. On my second CDT hike, I hiked a different direction (N to S instead of S to N) so I could see the trail at a different time of year (Montana is very different in June than in September, so is Colorado). It worked. Instead of trying to repeat a perfect experience (impossible) I had a new and totally different terrific/perfect experience. Each hike was unique and wonderful. We've always said that if we ever go back and hike the AT again, it will be as a southbounder, so we can experience the trail in a new and differrent way. OTOH, being 15 years after our last AT hike, it would be a different experience even if we started at Springer.

One advantage of a repeat hike is that you aren't worrying about whether you can do the hike, you just worry about how you can make it the most enjoyable hike possible. IOW, you stop worrying and just enjoy. For some people that means theystop caring whether or not they finish the hike. They just keep going as long as it's fun or they jump around to their favorite sections and skip the rest. Others just want to be out as long as possible, and make their second hike slower than their first. You end up feeling more in control the second time around, I think. You know what the options are and can make the choices more easily.

The disadvantage of a second hike on the same trail is that there's an excitement/fear/thrill about going someplace completely unknown that is lost. In a way, I always envy the AT hikers heading out on their first long hikes. The fear/excitement/anticipation many of them feel is a unique and wonderful thing. To some extent I feel it every time I hike a new long trail, but never with quite the innocence I had the first time. I have a much better idea of my abilities and limits than I did the first time around. Learning how much you are capable of doing is part of the fun of a first hike. Stretching the limits is also part of the fun of a second hike.

Anyhow - it's up to you whether you decide to hike the AT again or explore a new part of the country. There are a lot of good trails out there. The AT is a good place to start, but it doesn't have to be the end of your exploration.

01-15-2008, 13:44
For me every time is different and the same.:confused::eek::D:D Different weather, places, people and wildlife but still the same great time, weather, people, places and wildlife.;)

01-15-2008, 19:07
what the hell do you know nean,you only have what 70,000 miles or so.