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bobbyw
12-13-2008, 20:39
I'm admittedly scared ****less of getting 50 miles from the nearest location and something going wrong. I was a scout when I was younger for a period, and I spent 17 years in Western MA, not too far from the trail... so I understand a good deal of things. I've been compulsively reading about tricks and tips and bears and food, but I really don't know anyone who's actually done this trip, or someone who could help me plan it. I think I'm doing everything right, but everything I'm doing will only theoretically work. I've been living in Florida for a while, and I'm out of shape and extremely out of practice.

On that note, I'd like to find a hiking partner who has some experience, who knows their stuff, or even someone who is knowledgeable and doing this for the first time too. But, I'm afraid to ask out for a hiking partner because I'm afraid I'm going to meet a toothless hairy fat tranny who tells the same stories about his kids and the war over, and over, and over, and over at the beginning and have been better off alone. Does anyone else feel this way? Any ideas or suggestions? Anyone know a smart hygenic blonde that's leaving this year? If there is someone I could call and speak to on the phone about what to REALLY expect, that would be great.

gaga
12-13-2008, 20:56
i know many hygienic blondes :D:D

Lyle
12-13-2008, 21:02
Take what you've learned from reading here. Gather some gear. Take a few practice trips of a couple of days. You will quickly learn a way to accomplish the vast majority of the necessary skills. If you plan your practice hikes with bailout in mind, you should not put yourself in any type of real danger. Intermediate and advanced lessons will come with your thru hike, free of charge and without any effort.

As far as a partner, not needed. You will quickly find some folks who are compatible once you start hiking. It's amazing how fast you will develop some pretty solid friendships.

Don't over-plan or over-analyze the AT. It is a strenuous trail, but by and large a very easy trail to hike logistically. Plenty of support available if needed within a day or two of most points.

The VAST majority of hikers are dependable, honest, and helpful people. I cannot imagine anyone I've ever met hiking not helping a fellow hiker out in an emergency or potential emergency. Don't take this to mean that you shouldn't assume responsibility for yourself and use common sense, but don't be scared off by "what If" emergency scenarios.

Don't ever forget to have fun, even in the rain and snow. Our attitude is 100% dependent on what we allow it to become.

Skidsteer
12-13-2008, 21:05
I'm admittedly scared ****less of getting 50 miles from the nearest location...

That would scare me too.

I think you'll be surprised how close to civilization the AT is and you may prefer the more remote sections when all is said and done.

Pedaling Fool
12-13-2008, 21:09
I'm admittedly scared ****less of getting 50 miles from the nearest location and something going wrong...
You won't be alone on the AT, even if you're a SOBO. I wouldn't be concerned about finding a hiking partner, too much of a pain in the ass. I've seen many friendships destroyed by hiking together day-after-day.

KG4FAM
12-13-2008, 21:14
I've seen many friendships destroyed by hiking together day-after-day.There are two SOBOs out there right now. Another SOBO asked one later in the trail how long they had been friends. He said from 3rd grade until Vermont.

ofthearth
12-13-2008, 22:01
I'm admittedly scared ****less of getting 50 miles from the nearest location and something going wrong. I was a scout when I was younger for a period, and I spent 17 years in Western MA, not too far from the trail... so I understand a good deal of things. I've been compulsively reading about tricks and tips and bears and food, but I really don't know anyone who's actually done this trip, or someone who could help me plan it. I think I'm doing everything right, but everything I'm doing will only theoretically work. I've been living in Florida for a while, and I'm out of shape and extremely out of practice.

On that note, I'd like to find a hiking partner who has some experience, who knows their stuff, or even someone who is knowledgeable and doing this for the first time too. But, I'm afraid to ask out for a hiking partner because I'm afraid I'm going to meet a toothless hairy fat tranny who tells the same stories about his kids and the war over, and over, and over, and over at the beginning and have been better off alone. Does anyone else feel this way? Any ideas or suggestions? Anyone know a smart hygenic blonde that's leaving this year? If there is someone I could call and speak to on the phone about what to REALLY expect, that would be great.

Go to the SORUCK and you will have a chance to meet/talk/"with someone ... about what to REALLY expect, ..." That's what the RUCK is all about. You never know, the person on the phone could be a "toothless hairy fat tranny who tells the same stories about his kids and the war.......":eek: . Of course you could do some shake downs on the Flordia Trail .........:rolleyes::rolleyes:;);). Great trail, just won some awards :banana...but I won't start that again HUMOR HUMOR JOKE

Lone Wolf
12-13-2008, 22:04
I'm admittedly scared ****less of getting 50 miles from the nearest location and something going wrong. I was a scout when I was younger for a period, and I spent 17 years in Western MA, not too far from the trail... so I understand a good deal of things. I've been compulsively reading about tricks and tips and bears and food, but I really don't know anyone who's actually done this trip, or someone who could help me plan it. I think I'm doing everything right, but everything I'm doing will only theoretically work. I've been living in Florida for a while, and I'm out of shape and extremely out of practice.

On that note, I'd like to find a hiking partner who has some experience, who knows their stuff, or even someone who is knowledgeable and doing this for the first time too. But, I'm afraid to ask out for a hiking partner because I'm afraid I'm going to meet a toothless hairy fat tranny who tells the same stories about his kids and the war over, and over, and over, and over at the beginning and have been better off alone. Does anyone else feel this way? Any ideas or suggestions? Anyone know a smart hygenic blonde that's leaving this year? If there is someone I could call and speak to on the phone about what to REALLY expect, that would be great.

go to springer april 1st and you'll meet a few dozen just like you in the same boat

ofthearth
12-13-2008, 22:08
Also check out
Hike thru Ocala NF? (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=43950) thread. People down near you doing some hiking. A chance for shuttles and questions.

SENRABJOE
12-13-2008, 22:09
I have found that your best friend over weeks become drab, even boring, but you will cross paths with many people, who make the trek a real people experience. Also, unless you are tied to the hip of another, you will resupply, plan different camping spots and will possibly bathe at different times and places.
Senrab, hiking 3/10/09

Blissful
12-13-2008, 22:19
go to springer april 1st and you'll meet a few dozen just like you in the same boat


Agreed. And don't limit to who you might find out to be a real help out there and quite knowledgeable when you need it. Like that toothless, hairy, fat whatever. I had times I was stuck with a couple 20 year old invincibles who think they owned the trail. And we got along. Some are super friends. :)

Serial 07
12-14-2008, 00:24
my man bobby...you're 22...you'll make friends by day three...i met a tremendous "rest of your life" kinda friend at neels gap...2007, the guys i met at fontana dam, didn't see'em until PA...hiked the last 1000 miles with the same 5 guys...you'll meet folks...you'll form some kinda crew...ya'll come up with some kinda group name, have a handshake and a favorite double-duece that you buy from town in no time...stress is one thing you will not need to pack out on the trail...

Slo-go'en
12-14-2008, 00:38
The first 100 miles from Springer is one big roving party in the spring. Gotta admire that 20 something crowd, they do have fun.

KG4FAM
12-14-2008, 00:54
The first 100 miles from Springer is one big roving party in the spring. Gotta admire that 20 something crowd, they do have fun.Especially at Cloud 9. I spent one night there this year and there were lots of folks that had been there longer than they had been on the trail. Not my kind of atmosphere, I will take the Blueberry Patch from now on.

Pedaling Fool
12-14-2008, 09:36
There are two SOBOs out there right now. Another SOBO asked one later in the trail how long they had been friends. He said from 3rd grade until Vermont.
Too funny, but very true and very common on the AT.

Tinker
12-14-2008, 15:10
I've been section hiking for years, and on the longer hikes, I generally meet someone (or some ones) who I find interesting and entertaining, and we often hike separately but camp together, sometimes we'll hike together, too, if we feel like talking. Don't worry about a partner. If you get too dependent on another person to keep you going, you might quit when they do (though that's not always bad, the trail will still be there). Since not too many people finish a thru that they start, it isn't worth worrying about partnerships, imo.

snowhoe
12-14-2008, 15:19
Everyone here is right, you will find someone when you get to springer. If you bring a hiking partner you guys might not hike the same and you dont want to be obligated to hike faster or slower because you feel you brought someone out here. If you are scared to be camping by yourself start off slow set your tent in the backyard a night or two. Then move to like a public campground and then finally take a overnight trip. You will get used to it and if you are like me you will love it.

snaplok
12-14-2008, 15:50
I'm admittedly scared ****less of getting 50 miles from the nearest location and something going wrong. I was a scout when I was younger for a period, and I spent 17 years in Western MA, not too far from the trail... so I understand a good deal of things. I've been compulsively reading about tricks and tips and bears and food, but I really don't know anyone who's actually done this trip, or someone who could help me plan it. I think I'm doing everything right, but everything I'm doing will only theoretically work. I've been living in Florida for a while, and I'm out of shape and extremely out of practice.

On that note, I'd like to find a hiking partner who has some experience, who knows their stuff, or even someone who is knowledgeable and doing this for the first time too. But, I'm afraid to ask out for a hiking partner because I'm afraid I'm going to meet a toothless hairy fat tranny who tells the same stories about his kids and the war over, and over, and over, and over at the beginning and have been better off alone. Does anyone else feel this way? Any ideas or suggestions? Anyone know a smart hygenic blonde that's leaving this year? If there is someone I could call and speak to on the phone about what to REALLY expect, that would be great.

My motto is a stranger is a friend you haven't met yet. That being said, I've met quite a few people that somehow managed to have friends before me that somehow surprised me with some funny stories. Even if I heard them a million times over. I tried joining a hiking club but all the other members where women who thought it might be a great way to meet guys. Never seen so much makeup and tight hiking shorts in my life lol. Not that I'm complaining ;) just seemed to me more like the ones who go to the health clubs to workout for 10minutes and socialize for 50. Right now I'm looking for a hiking buddy(male or female) who at least has hiked before.

modiyooch
12-14-2008, 19:41
When I started out at your age, I didn't have a partner or the luxury of the internet. My only resources were one book in the library, and Backpacker magazine. Just research what you can and walk. You'll be fine.

Gaiter
12-14-2008, 20:04
But, I'm afraid to ask out for a hiking partner because I'm afraid I'm going to meet a toothless hairy fat tranny who tells the same stories about his kids and the war over, and over, and over, and over at the beginning and have been better off alone.

lol keep in mind this is the appalachian trail not craigslist, but also as many of the suggestions have mentioned there will be others out there, and you will find a partner that goes at your own pace, thats the biggest problem w/ hiking 'partners'

MoBill122
12-14-2008, 20:16
Guess I shouldn't give him my number...even though I have my teeth....

Pedaling Fool
12-15-2008, 11:44
...you will find a partner that goes at your own pace, thats the biggest problem w/ hiking 'partners'
Hiking pace is a factor, but I think the problems encountered go far beyond hiking pace. Especially when two "friends" hiking together are sharing equipment. BIG MISTAKE.

To the OP, if you do start your hike with a partner, do not share equipment. I also would recommend that you set a ground rule that the two of you separate on peaceful terms when tensions start getting high. If you both stay on the trail, you will meet again and chances are all previous tensions will be forgotten. However, if you try and ride out the tough times chances are you'll end up wanting to kill one another.

MOWGLI
12-15-2008, 12:19
I don't think there is a soul on this earth that I could hike with for more than 3 consecutive weeks. And that includes a number of folks that I really enjoy hiking with.

cowboy nichols
12-15-2008, 14:43
I don't think there is a soul on this earth that I could hike with for more than 3 consecutive weeks. And that includes a number of folks that I really enjoy hiking with.
I'd probably have to say 3 days.

Doctari
12-15-2008, 17:12
Every time I hike with a partner, we hike solo together. That way if one wants a break, we don't have to stay together. And during my admitedly limited time on the AT, I have to agree with the others, you will not be alone for long. And judging from the amount of gear sent home at Neil's gap, you will mostly know what is up within the first 30 miles or so.

Partners can be great. :sun

Partners can also suck the life out of your trip & you theirs. :eek:

max patch
12-15-2008, 17:55
Couple girls with shared gear made it all the way to Kent CT before they couldn't stand each other any longer and split up. Expensive place to have to get new gear.

ScottP
12-16-2008, 00:39
You're going to meet hundreds of hikers in your first few weeks on the trail. I wouldnt' worry about trying to find a partner to start with. Also, there's nothing '50 miles from the nearest location' on the AT.

allenfrme
12-30-2008, 21:20
Back in 2003 I worked at LL Beans, bought the gear for cheap, took the bus to Hikers Hostel, and spent three weeks 'hiking' the AT. My goal was to make the top of Springer. Obviously did that on the first day, nice van ride from Hikers Hostel, good company, and a short hike. Goal completed. Then I walked, and chatted, and sometimes caught a ride back to Hikers Hotel, and hiked some more. Friends were made that I still smile about, and value. I was retired, relaxed, and smiling the whole time. Every footstep from Springer on was a goal completed. Enjoy the hike, regardless of how far you go. There are just as many taking day hikes as 'strting' through hikes. Camp in the shelters, walk off trail and grab a room, call the hostel for a ride, take a nap at noon on a hilltop, spend a night under a tarp in the rain. For some of us it's a struggle doing 12 miles two days in a row, others do 16, sometimes you meet the same people at days end, sometimes not. Go for the walk, smile, and enjoy the time.

Lone Wolf
12-30-2008, 21:23
Back in 2003 I worked at LL Beans, bought the gear for cheap, took the bus to Hikers Hostel, and spent three weeks 'hiking' the AT. My goal was to make the top of Springer. Obviously did that on the first day, nice van ride from Hikers Hostel, good company, and a short hike. Goal completed. Then I walked, and chatted, and sometimes caught a ride back to Hikers Hotel, and hiked some more. Friends were made that I still smile about, and value. I was retired, relaxed, and smiling the whole time. Every footstep from Springer on was a goal completed. Enjoy the hike, regardless of how far you go. There are just as many taking day hikes as 'strting' through hikes. Camp in the shelters, walk off trail and grab a room, call the hostel for a ride, take a nap at noon on a hilltop, spend a night under a tarp in the rain. For some of us it's a struggle doing 12 miles two days in a row, others do 16, sometimes you meet the same people at days end, sometimes not. Go for the walk, smile, and enjoy the time.

you'd write a good book. you flow :)

River11
01-22-2009, 23:42
I am in the same boat... I am really excited about the trail, but do not want to start hiking alone. I have a friend hiking with me for the first month, but want to know that someone is going to be with me and work as a team the whole way.

Pickleodeon
01-23-2009, 11:38
I'll be out there, starting March 16th. I plan on meeting people along the way. Maybe I'll see ya.

superman
01-23-2009, 13:48
Don't be a Klingon. There was this woman in 2000 that kept going on and on about hiking the AT was the first thing in her life that she'd done all on her own. If a hiker listened to that much, she attached herself to the hiker. Then she would rely and make the hiker make all the decisions for her. One hiker after another had to go through the process of getting away from the woman. Some times they were forced to lie, other were forced to be rude. Every time I saw her with a different person she was smiling like the Cheshire Cat while the person she'd attached herself to was miserable. Donít be a Klingon.:)

weary
01-23-2009, 14:05
Do a few weekend hikes to get used to your gear and stove. When you are comfortable with backpacking on overnights go to Amicalola State Park and plan another weekend to the summit of Springer but carry a bit of extra food in case you decide to head north to Neel Gap.

By then you will know whether the trail is for you. By then also you will have met numerous congenial other hikers. You may decide to go home. Or you may decide to keep trudging north.

Don't think about long distance partners, at least at first. You will soon find yourself with a shifting coalition of other hikers that you will hike with for a few days or few weeks. Then you can decide whether to stick with that group or let them drop behind or move ahead, as the case may be. I recommend the latter options.

But I was quite a bit older than most of the hikers I met. I enjoyed suddenly being a compatriot of 20 somethings again, but it was also fun to walk at my own pace and enjoy indulging in my special interests -- historical sites, blue blazed trails to view points, identifying flowers, trees, birds and other natural things.

I eventually hiked for six weeks or so with a woman 20 years younger than me. It was fun (platonic type) But she dropped off the trail at Harpers Ferry, where I picked up a grandson for the continuing walk north.

But as I was pushing to reach Katahdin before snowfall, it was also fun to meet a score of mostly 20-plus-year-olds in the 100-mile wilderness that I had last seen 1,200 miles earlier.

Weary

Bare Bear
01-23-2009, 17:22
Damn twenty somethings, always going into towns to party, drinking too much, dope in the shelters, slack packing! I sure wish I was young. :)
Have a great time and stop the worries.......maybe I was just dumb but I headed out alone and met a hundred people I will always remember, and a few that will be good friends for life. When one guy drops out or whatever happens then someone else will come along. My very best hiking day came when I met a young girl who apologised all day for her slow hiking ability. We talked for ten hours straight and it made me just a little less miss my own daughter. I had been ready to quit until that day and she revived me. That is the kind of real Trail Magic you get out there.

Crash
01-23-2009, 19:00
I also would recommend that you set a ground rule that the two of you separate on peaceful terms when tensions start getting high. If you both stay on the trail, you will meet again and chances are all previous tensions will be forgotten. However, if you try and ride out the tough times chances are you'll end up wanting to kill one another.

Now if only we can get our spouses to do the same it would be a wonderful world.:banana

weary
01-23-2009, 19:49
Damn twenty somethings, always going into towns to party, drinking too much, dope in the shelters, slack packing! I sure wish I was young. :)
Have a great time and stop the worries.......maybe I was just dumb but I headed out alone and met a hundred people I will always remember, and a few that will be good friends for life. When one guy drops out or whatever happens then someone else will come along. My very best hiking day came when I met a young girl who apologised all day for her slow hiking ability. We talked for ten hours straight and it made me just a little less miss my own daughter. I had been ready to quit until that day and she revived me. That is the kind of real Trail Magic you get out there.
I agree. I walked for a couple of weeks week or so off and on with a group that included a young girl who had lived on the streets for two years.

They were all totally unprepared for such an experience. But I learned more from them. I suspect, than they learned from me, nor did I learn as much from anyone else I met. Most of these street kids quit after awhile, but one who had done so, still showed up when I called, as I promised I would, to slack pack me through New Jersey.

Some think such slack packs should prohibit qualifications for a thru hike. I found it as one of the most enlightening events of my entire thru(?) hike.

Screech
01-24-2009, 17:36
You can't worry about a partner or you risk not making it the whole way.

One of my biggest regrets on the trail was waking up planning to do that 21.2 mile day to the 2nd shelter, then stopping at the first shelter because the partner is tired. Keep walking, get to that second shelter and make another friend. Its a cruel way to put it, but really. The trail should be your priority, not the friend. Trust me, there are plenty of cool people out on the trail and you are going to enjoy all of them in their own way(most of them).

Young Scott
01-27-2009, 10:28
I am in the same boat... I am really excited about the trail, but do not want to start hiking alone. I have a friend hiking with me for the first month, but want to know that someone is going to be with me and work as a team the whole way.

Same here. I hope to have a friend start with me. Says he can't get the whole six months off though. As long as he starts with me, that's all I can ask. :D When do you start?

blackyjones
01-27-2009, 19:18
im actually doing it with a friend i have had for about ten years. i have the same fears and reservations as everyone else. we have already discussed about how if we are starting to get aggrivated at one another, we will simply walk apart for the day and meet at a designated spot before night fall to figure out what to do for that night. i guess it depends on what kind of people you are as well. we have gone 10 years without a single fight or argument. i guess patience goes a long way. but in some ways, i do wish i was going it alone. i really enjoy the fact that it will lighten the load a bit for each of us. and if he slows me down, i will simply push on and make him catch up. and if he quits? i own the tent, so i keep going. again, i think it mostly depends on the type of person and what your willing to tolerate

dmb658
01-31-2009, 17:02
theres so many people hiking the trail, you should be too worried about being along. if you head out by yourself, you'll meet up with tons of people your first few days out.

-pusher

johnnybgood
01-31-2009, 18:10
I haven't

johnnybgood
01-31-2009, 18:16
Meant to say I haven't nor would I ever hike with anyone for 2000 miles.

Catalyst
02-08-2009, 16:18
Don't be a Klingon. There was this woman in 2000 that kept going on and on about hiking the AT was the first thing in her life that she'd done all on her own. If a hiker listened to that much, she attached herself to the hiker. Then she would rely and make the hiker make all the decisions for her. One hiker after another had to go through the process of getting away from the woman. Some times they were forced to lie, other were forced to be rude. Every time I saw her with a different person she was smiling like the Cheshire Cat while the person she'd attached herself to was miserable. Donít be a Klingon.:)
OH NO!!!! You met her, too!!!!???? I think she showed up in '01 as well. She probably shows up EVERY year in some form or another.

MOWGLI
02-08-2009, 16:39
Don't be a Klingon. There was this woman in 2000 that kept going on and on about hiking the AT was the first thing in her life that she'd done all on her own. If a hiker listened to that much, she attached herself to the hiker. Then she would rely and make the hiker make all the decisions for her. One hiker after another had to go through the process of getting away from the woman. Some times they were forced to lie, other were forced to be rude. Every time I saw her with a different person she was smiling like the Cheshire Cat while the person she'd attached herself to was miserable. Donít be a Klingon.:)

I'm glad I avoided her. I have a hard enough time hiking with people I actually like for any length of time.

superman
02-08-2009, 17:11
I'm glad I avoided her. I have a hard enough time hiking with people I actually like for any length of time.

You didn't have to worry since she preyed on people who wouldn't speak up. Eventually she forced them to or they snuck away from her. Clingons can get away with it only if they're allowed to.
Who I hiked with was like shuffling a deck of cards. While there were a few people that I hiked with more than others even they were fairly random. I hiked with different kinds of people but if the rate of hiking, start/stop times weren't compatable we parted. It was about hiking your own hike. In retrospect I can't see how it could have worked out any better. I have some projects I want to tend to this year but I am seriously thinking about doing it again in 2010. :-?