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bluffhead
06-03-2010, 00:42
how many shake down hikes am i " " suppose to do ? after i find my good pack weight ect is the rest just practicing?

Mountain Wildman
06-03-2010, 01:09
As many as it takes to determine the exact gear you want to use and to get your pack weight to where you want it to be. I did a shake down this past weekend and will be posting some gear for sale and buying different gear to replace what I sell. I suppose when I get to that last trip where my pack weight is perfect for me and I have the exact perfect gear I want to carry then I will not need anymore shakedowns and will just start doing trips to prepare for my Thru-Hike.

bluffhead
06-03-2010, 01:49
As many as it takes to determine the exact gear you want to use and to get your pack weight to where you want it to be. I did a shake down this past weekend and will be posting some gear for sale and buying different gear to replace what I sell. I suppose when I get to that last trip where my pack weight is perfect for me and I have the exact perfect gear I want to carry then I will not need anymore shakedowns and will just start doing trips to prepare for my Thru-Hike.
email me with your gear for sale i dont come on here much .

Lyle
06-03-2010, 06:07
Every single trip is a "shakedown" for the next trip. Always learning something new or finding a new piece of gear.

One of the bigger reasons that many of us constantly change gear is that manufacturers "Improve" existing products until they no longer work. Prime example of that was the orange Superfeet. Worked great for me until they "improved" them. Can no longer wear them.

One or two shakedowns should tell you some of the basics of what gear you want. It's as much or more about figuring out your routines and your approach to hiking. This latter is MUCH more important to your success.

Marta
06-03-2010, 07:12
how many shake down hikes am i " " suppose to do ? after i find my good pack weight ect is the rest just practicing?


There's no such thing as too many backpacking trips.:sun

JAK
06-03-2010, 07:29
how many shake down hikes am i " " suppose to do ? after i find my good pack weight ect is the rest just practicing?

I would call the rest just living right. :)

:banana

Lone Wolf
06-03-2010, 07:36
how many shake down hikes am i " " suppose to do ? after i find my good pack weight ect is the rest just practicing?

i really don't know what a "shakedown hike" is. i've never tested or practiced a walking trip.

Blue Jay
06-03-2010, 09:45
I would say zero. Make sure your shoes fit, your stove works, put up your shelter a few times as fast as you can while someone turns a hose on you, make sure all your crap fits into your pack and you're ready. Most people waaaaay overthink gear. Your feet get you up the trail, not your gear. In fact you will be changing your gear FOREVER. You simply cannot know until you're out there.:-? You'll figure it out soon enough.

ShelterLeopard
06-03-2010, 10:26
I did three for my thru, all three of which helped. However, if I hadn't done them, I surely would have been fine.*

*Exception for COLD weather hiking. If you've never hiked in cold weather and are planning a long hike in cold weather (I'll assume that you aren't right now...) it is DEFINITELY best to test out all your gear in cold weather first. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have known that my sleeping pad was WAY too cold and would've been stuck for a couple days with some very chilly nights.

BrianLe
06-03-2010, 11:54
For a thru-hike I'd do as many as it takes to be able to work up to at least a 100 mile solo trip. If you can do 100 miles in one gulp, AND still are interested in thru-hiking when you're done, then you'll likely have worked through a lot of the sorts of things that throw people off the trail --- gear, process, blisters, "facing your fears" if that's an issue, etc.

It's certainly not required; I've met thru-hikers who's first *camping* trip was the start of their thru, but why not work through a lot of issues ahead of time and improve your odds of success? !

Note that for a solo trip if your focus is just on doing a lot of miles, something that worked for me was to map out a couple of 100+ mile loop trips not too far from home to make the transportation easier. Also not a bad idea if possible to do so in a time and place when thru-hikers are coming through so you can meet and interact with some as you're doing this. It's certainly possible to make gear adjustments along the way on a thru-hike, but better to start with your gear in the general ballpark of where you'll ultimately want it to be.

SGT Rock
06-03-2010, 12:03
There's no such thing as too many backpacking trips.:sun

Exactly.:sun

mad4scrapping
06-03-2010, 12:23
BrianLe-- that is great advice, especially since that is exactly what I"m doing! I just finished my first section hike (57 miles) and intend to do 101 miles in JUly. I went SOBO on my section hike and met a lot of NOBO thrus-- the information I gleaned from them was invaluable. Plus, they were a lot of fun to talk to and I had a great time at the shelters with them.

BobTheBuilder
06-03-2010, 12:31
Three shall be the number thou shall count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shall thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.

Panzer1
06-03-2010, 13:19
I think if you have never back packed before you should have at least one shakedown hike. I don't think you have to over do it though. You can always change out gear on the trail.

Panzer

the goat
06-03-2010, 14:02
i really don't know what a "shakedown hike" is. i've never tested or practiced a walking trip.

ditto......just no need to.

sherrill
06-03-2010, 15:44
Three shall be the number thou shall count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shall thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.

I think the Holy Hand Grenade would be the first thing to go on any shakedown. :)

SGT Rock
06-03-2010, 16:03
It could be the difference between life and death.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

BobTheBuilder
06-03-2010, 16:09
Here's a better answer than my first -

I think the value of a shake down hike is that you will be able to use, not just try, all of your equipment, so one might be plenty if you had the chance to use all of your stuff. Trying your new stove to boil water in your kitchen is not the same as using it to make dinner on a shelter table in the middle of the woods on a windy evening. Same for tent, bag, pillow, pack, etc. Besides, it's not a bad way to spend a weekend if you have the time.

Doctari
06-03-2010, 17:09
Here's a better answer than my first -

I think the value of a shake down hike is that you will be able to use, not just try, all of your equipment, so one might be plenty if you had the chance to use all of your stuff. Trying your new stove to boil water in your kitchen is not the same as using it to make dinner on a shelter table in the middle of the woods on a windy evening. Same for tent, bag, pillow, pack, etc. Besides, it's not a bad way to spend a weekend if you have the time.

Yea. It is good to practice with your gear at home, in fact I highly recommend doing so with everything you are going to use on the trail. BUT, there is nothing better for knowing what you can do with, for example, your stove, Than a few night trip "away from it all".
My "test grounds" are either a nearby state park in Ohio, or (preferably) the Red River Gorge in Ky. Both have easy access for if my chosen new piece of gear fails horribly I can get back to my car easily.

jesse
06-03-2010, 17:21
how many shake down hikes am i " " suppose to do ? after i find my good pack weight ect is the rest just practicing?

Got to be the weirdest question ever posted on WB. Hiking is something most people want to do. Not something you are supposes to do. If you don't have a burning desire to take short hikes now. I doubt you will get very far on your thru.

Bucherm
06-03-2010, 23:42
Got to be the weirdest question ever posted on WB. Hiking is something most people want to do. Not something you are supposes to do. If you don't have a burning desire to take short hikes now. I doubt you will get very far on your thru.

Pretty much what I was going to say. If you view shakedowns as "chores"(the OP didn't say he did, but that's the vibe I'm getting)...how are you going to view your long distance hike?

Hiking can be hard work and is taxing for some(yo), but it should also be rewarding and fun. Are you going to the same spot over and over for your shakedowns? Try different trails, look for a river that will be tougher to ford, etc.

sbhikes
06-03-2010, 23:51
I only do a "shakedown" hike when I'm trying to decide whether to bring something or not on a longer hike. I make my decision and go out and live with it for a few days. If I'm loving it, then I know I've made the right decision.

Otherwise, all backpack trips are chances to live in real life. Remember, real life is on the trail. The rest of this BS is just fake life. So as many backpack trips as possible is almost enough.

fiddlehead
06-04-2010, 00:02
IMO a so called "Shake Down Hike" is so that I can make sure I have everything that I need in my pack AND NOTHING ELSE!

It is more about camping, cooking, sleeping than actually just walking.

I am always ready to do that (walk) and need nothing more than raingear and a water bottle.

Maybe the OP needs one for: when it's raining, hot, when it's snowing, windy, hail storms, or party time.

It's all good.

fiddlehead
06-04-2010, 00:06
Got to be the weirdest question ever posted on WB.

Oh No!
The weirdest question I ever saw on here was someone asking if they need to filter the water they are using to wash their clothes.
I caught a lot of flack for saying it was a stupid question at the time.

I think every newbie should definitely do a "shakedown" hike before their thru.
but of course some don't.

Bianchi Veloce
06-04-2010, 10:18
how many shake down hikes am i " " suppose to do ? after i find my good pack weight ect is the rest just practicing?

I checked with the boys in the USAHU (United States of America Hiker's Union) office about your question and they responded you must do a minimum of seven shake down hikes with a fee of $29.95 payable to their office of course per shake down. :D

Seriously, though, every hike should be a learning experience of what works vs. what doesn't work for that particular environment including climate conditions and terrain.

sbhikes
06-04-2010, 10:26
It could be that he sees shakedown hikes as a chore or he could be wondering how much hiking is enough to be considered experienced enough for the AT. I'd say if you don't know the answer to that question, you need to do more shakedowns. :)

DapperD
06-04-2010, 19:31
how many shake down hikes am i " " suppose to do ? after i find my good pack weight ect is the rest just practicing?If you are planning to thru-hike, do as many as you feel comfortable with. If you choose to use your gear on them that you are taking on your thru-hike(can be wise), pay attention to any small problems that arise. Use the exact boot and sock combination you will use on the thru-hike. Make sure they remain very comfortable and protect your feet well. This is an important area. If you get out there and your socks/boots are not comfortable, then you will assuredly not be.

Gramps
06-14-2010, 07:58
Don't understand why anyone would want to attempt a thru without some type of prep. You wouldn't try a marathon without doing some running first, would you? I say whatever it takes to become comfortable with your gear. And things work different ways for different people. A 20 degree bag just right for you may be too warm for me. Pretty much trial and error.

Lone Wolf
06-14-2010, 08:29
Don't understand why anyone would want to attempt a thru without some type of prep. You wouldn't try a marathon without doing some running first, would you?

2 different things. walkin is easy

SGT Rock
06-14-2010, 10:00
2 different things. walkin is easy

Not for everyone LOL. :p

Bucherm
06-16-2010, 04:06
Not for everyone LOL. :p


I just use the "Rascals" at Wally-world to hike. Riding an electric scooter is just as healthy as hiking or walking, right? :-?

malowitz
06-16-2010, 06:40
I am currently on a thru attempt and over 1/2 of the way. I never did a shake down. I never slept in my tent until the 2nd night on the trail. I didn't walk w/a fully loaded pack until Amicalola for the approach trail.

What I did do was pack and repack my backpack, try it on some bike path strolls (maybe 10 miles total) around Des Moines, and test out my stove/cook 2 meals.

In short, there is no proper answer to yoour querry - whatever you get done is what you get done.

You can check out my journal if you want too see details of gear/endurance issues I've had.
Postholer.com/malowitz

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