View Full Version : Rookie looking for general advise

Dan Morris
02-03-2004, 03:52
I had a few questions hoping to get some advise. I'm planing a south bound thru-hike starting as soon as baxter state park opens. Anybody have any advise on keeping ticks off me and my dog? Also what would you suggest for training for a thru hike? One more question anybody know how much it cost to kennel and transport a dog for the trip thru the smokies? I shortend this one up to get better response. Thank you

02-03-2004, 09:36
So many questions.

Temperatures: I'd suggest that you go to trailplace.com and look at the temperature charts posted there. Pay attention to the lowest monthly temperatures, because it's apt to approach those temps.

Ticks: You can pick them up on your body anytime you brush up against brush along the AT. Know first aid for treatment. How do you keep them away? Wear long pants and long sleeve shirt. Other than that, do a tick check daily, if not more often.

Dogs: If a dog harrasses you, just be armed with a stick or treking pole. A few have thru-hiked with dogs. Read the posts. It can be very hard on a dog. For kennels at the Smokies and Baxter State Park, read the ALDHA Companion or Wingfoot's Handbook.

Camping off trail: Generally allowed. Some regulations, especially in the Smokies and Baxter State Park.

Conditioning: walking a mile a day with backpack is better than nothing. At least your feet should be well conditioned if you wear your hiking shoes.

Mice: You either tolerate them, or don't sleep in the shelters. To each their own. Really mostly a pest issue.

02-03-2004, 11:00
A flea & tick collar will help with the dog, dosn't mean you don't have to check daily. Also remember that the bad ticks, the ones that spread Lyme disease are only slightly larger than the period at the end of this sentence. They like to hide in tight places, like: the waist band of your pants, inside your socks, and other (sometimes unmentionable) places. Check these forums for Lyme disease for more Info.

Traning: include your dog in your daily hike. I have met quite a few trail dogs, (& one trail cat) most seem to be enjoying the trip, but a few hikers have sent the dog home because it wasnt enjoying the trip, so know when to call it quits for the dog, you both will be happier. AND, keep the pet on a leash, it will be safer for all, no matter how well trained they may be, a meeting with a bear or porcupine, etc could be deadly.

I THINK, the average for kennels was about $400 to $500 a few years ago, probably more now, usually includes pick up & delivery of your pet. From what I have heard, you will need to take it easy the first few days after picking up your companion because they will have lost their trail legs after a week off trail where as you will be even stronger.

I dont hike with a dog, but here is some advice I have gotten from others who do: Gear for fido; sleeping pad, food bowl, food, Brush, LEASH & collar, ID (dog tags), Vaccine/vet records, backpack*, sleeping bag* Other hints; "Listen" to your dog & keep an eye on his/her health & fitness, just like you; make sure they eat & drink enough (some even filter water for their dogs, they too can suffer from Giardia) ASK if any mind if the dog sleeps in the shelter#, if the answer is a unanimous NO, happily spend the night inside, if any answer Yes I mind, camp outside with no hard feelings. re staying in the shelter: even if all say it's ok, not all will love your dog, good manners would mean the dog stays with you, not wandering the shelter "Nosing" into everything, some do not like dogs, they just tolerate them.
#Being a south bounder you may not have much problem in this area, but I thought I should mention it.

Hope this helps.

Anymore questions? Ask away!

Doctari. :dance

Dan Morris
02-05-2004, 16:48
Thanks for the advice! Gives me something to think about.