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realdusi
11-20-2010, 21:55
Is this average mileage, over ambitious mileage, do-able mileage?

I'm trying to get into mountain condition now, but I hike the FT. I'll be doing about a week in Georgia, and was wondering if 10 miles a day is do-able or not. What does everyone else average when they first start out on the AT?

Mtn Scout
11-20-2010, 21:57
we did 23 miles in 2 days on last sections in ga. we went at an average pace with ages from 23-52. i think thats very capable within moderation

johnnybgood
11-20-2010, 22:04
10 miles a day is about average from Springer through GA .

runfifty
11-20-2010, 22:21
You should easily be able to do 10 mile days to start. I'm 58 years old and averaged well over that, even with snow. The terrain is rolling but the footing is very good.

Praha4
11-20-2010, 22:52
I'm also in Florida, and it is very difficult to prepare down here for hiking on the AT, because we lack much in the way of hilly terrain. The answer to your questions depends on your fitness level and hiking experience. Many hikers with experience and moderate fitness levels can average 10 miles per day in GA. Most hikers average about 1.5 to 2.0 miles per hour average hiking pace in that section of the AT. If you pace yourself and take breaks, and are in any kind of shape, you should be able to do 10 miles per day. Most injuries occur when people try to do too many miles per day starting out, thats when foot blisters and other injuries will hit you. Don't underestimate the difficulty of the GA section. good luck

Cookerhiker
11-20-2010, 22:57
That's about what I averaged in '04 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=55441) and I wasn't in the best of shape then inasmuch as I only decided to hike about 2 weeks beforehand. Georgia is practically all up-and-down but the trail is very well-maintained and graded. You didn't say when you're hiking but if it's in the next 3 months with compressed daylight hours, just make sure you start hiking at first light so as to not put much pressure on yourself during the day.

Tinker
11-20-2010, 23:27
Ten mile days in Georgia are a piece of cake for a person in good shape who isn't carrying the kitchen sink and has comfortable footwear. I hiked the Georgia section in 2006 at the age of .............I forget :D. I had a partner who developed some physical maladies who had to drop out at Neel Gap, if I remember correctly. After that my mileage increased. My longest day was 16 miles, and I was a little tired after that one.
Remember, though, that I cut my teeth in the White Mountains of NH, so my idea of easy isn't everyone's ;).

lunatic
11-21-2010, 01:24
Realdusi, you can probably plan on 10-15 miles a day in Georgia...no problem.

ENJOY!

Egads
11-21-2010, 08:06
So you plan to hike 10 miles per day?

What are you planning to do the other 20 hours of the day?

Just a Hiker
11-21-2010, 09:01
As already stated, Georgia is pretty much up and down but well graded so 10 miles a day for a person in moderate condition is well within reason. There are also a few stretches of trail in Georgia where you can really make up some miles if you want; further, there are plenty of campsites and lean-to's in Georgia, so if you need to adjust your mileage, camping and water shouldn't be a problem. Enjoy your hike.


Just Jim

FatMan
11-21-2010, 09:48
10 miles a day is probably a good target for flatlanders. Georgia has plenty of campsites along the trail so it is easy to adjust your mileage based upon how your body reacts to the terrain. I often read how easy Georgia is but I also know that every year many bale by the time they get to Gooch Gap when they are doing 7 miles a day and can't handle it.

Grinder
11-21-2010, 09:57
Four years ago, I asked the same question here and was assured that 10 miles a day was "cake" no sweat, easy. etc.

So I planned my trip based on that mileage

I'm from Florida too, and over twice your age. My experience was that my feet wore out first, after three days I was out of reserves and started the day exhausted. I ended up taking a nero, only hiking to Neel's Gap in five days and leaving the trail a day early.

If you can jog to get your wind up and you get your feet in shape, you should be good to go, but it's not as easy as "they" make it sound for a newbie.

bigcranky
11-21-2010, 10:11
So you plan to hike 10 miles per day?

What are you planning to do the other 20 hours of the day?


Well, let's see. Based on numerous observations of beginning thru-hikers in Georgia:

1. Hike 8 miles: 6 hours actual hiking time.
2. Breaks on steep uphill sections: 1-2 hours.
3. Lunch/midday collapse: 1-2 hours.
4. Set up tent: 1 hour.
5. Attempt to cook dinner: 1 hour.
6. Lie down in tent to recover from day: 2 hours.
7. Hang bear bag: 1 hour.
8. Lie in tent listening to wind/rain/lightning: 6-8 hours. (Sometimes called "sleeping.")
9. Make breakfast and break camp: 3 hours. (I'm serious about this one.)
10. Start hiking again.

To the original poster: 10 miles a day is reasonable, but be aware that much of the trail is up or downhill enough that you can't just set up a tent anywhere (too steep.) Unlike the Florida Trail. So don't expect to hike *exactly* ten miles per day -- be flexible and think ahead. The reason the shelter areas are so popular is that they offer good tent sites, access to water, and other hikers with whom you can commiserate.

Cookerhiker
11-21-2010, 12:00
..... I often read how easy Georgia is but I also know that every year many bale by the time they get to Gooch Gap when they are doing 7 miles a day and can't handle it.


Four years ago, I asked the same question here and was assured that 10 miles a day was "cake" no sweat, easy. etc.

So I planned my trip based on that mileage

I'm from Florida too, and over twice your age. My experience was that my feet wore out first, after three days I was out of reserves and started the day exhausted. I ended up taking a nero, only hiking to Neel's Gap in five days and leaving the trail a day early.

If you can jog to get your wind up and you get your feet in shape, you should be good to go, but it's not as easy as "they" make it sound for a newbie.

Good points guys. We all know that some parts of the AT easier than others. For example, Georgia is easier than North Carolina between the NOC and Fontana. But I'm always reluctant to characterize any part of the AT as "easy" or "piece of cake" because invariably someone will read that as no ascents/descents, good footing, wide trail along which you can practically trot at 3-4 mph.

I've spent a lot of time in Shenandoah National Park and always wince when someone on WB describes it as "easy." If you're trail-hardened with several hundreds of miles under your belt and/or very fit, sure maybe it's easy for you but not necessarily for the person asking. In this thread, the OP was very clear about his question and his experience/capabilties. We owe it to him to respond accordingly. Fortunately, I think nearly all the responses here have been responsible. Grinder, it's too bad you didn't receive more realistic advice before your hike.

chiefiepoo
11-21-2010, 23:08
From another Florida flatlander who walked the Shenandoah NP section this past summer carrying 40 lbs MOL. It's not cake but you can acclimate in a few days. I prepared by going to the YMCA and working the treadmill 3 X week and working up to 3 mph while cranking in 13 degrees of incline for 50 min. Stretches, core building and upper / lower body strengthening filled out the rest of a 2 hour work out. I walked with two Leki poles cause I have some neuropathy and walking down some of the pitches is a challenge. Think about your downhill ability as you contemplate walking a two mile down hill stretch having to step from rock to rock all the way. (Thornton Gap in VA was like that) One advantage as being Florida boys, we can do heat and humidity, if we stay hydrated. Not that our bodies are different, but we are acclimated to 90 days of 90 degree heat and 90 % + of humidity in June July and August. That payed off in the end of last June when VA was having record heat and humidity. My first day was 8 miles in 6 hours, 10 the 2nd day, the 10 to 15 for the balance of the trip. I agree with Big Cranky, getting up and out in an hour or thereabouts is the start of a good trail day.

K.B.
11-22-2010, 00:09
It took us 11 days to hike Georgia's 77 miles. So that averages 7 miles a day.

We were hiking in late January with snow and cold temps.

We also visited Cloud 9, Neal's Gap and the Hiker Hostel too.

But mostly we were hiking SOBO from Maine and we did not want our AT hike to be over.

Wish it was longer.

John L.

Kerosene
11-22-2010, 08:38
We did three 12-mile days out of Amicalola, followed by three 18-milers. I found Georgia to be a lot easier than other sections, but I've had had a lot of previous AT experience.

We camped at Hickory Flatts Cemetery, the top of Ramrock Mountain, and stayed at the Blood Mountain Cabins just east of Neel Gap. The 18-miler took us to Blue Mountain Shelter, and another 18er to Dicks Creek Gap and Hiawassee. The final day covered 14 AT miles to Deep Gap (at the base of Standing Indian Mountain), plus 4 downhill miles along the Kimsey Creek Trail to our car.

Speer Carrier
11-22-2010, 10:11
I'll echo what everyone else has said. Georgia has probably one of the most consistently well maintained trail system. And has been said, despite the fact it is up and down, it is well graded with switch backs in all the appropriate places. Ten miles per day should not be a problem. I've hiked the state with a 68 year old women with bad knees and we averaged 10 miles per day.

Pedaling Fool
11-22-2010, 10:17
Ten miles per day should not be a problem. I've hiked the state with a 68 year old women with bad knees and we averaged 10 miles per day.
...but don't let that pressure you.:D Now if she was carrying 60lbs...:)

Don H
11-22-2010, 10:44
Mid March in Georgia the sun rises at about 6:45AM and sets at 6:45PM.
I usually hit the trail 1/2 hour after sunrise and hike to about 1 hour before sunset.
Hiking from 7:30Am to 4:30PM is 9 hours of hiking.
I usually hike about 2 to 3 hours and take a 15 minute break and a 30 minute lunch break. This takes about 1 hour total leaving about 8 hours to hike.
8 hours at 1.5 miles an hour average means I should be able to hike about 12 miles a day. On every section hike I've done to date, all over 100 miles each, I've averaged more like 17 miles.
I have not hiked in GA but I think 12 miles is doable.

10-K
11-22-2010, 11:22
It's a question no one can answer but you. I've hiked the whole trail and I've never ran across any sections that I couldn't make at least 15 mpd - even in the dead of winter I can usually make 20, weather permitting.

I'm not an anomaly - it is not uncommon at all for people to pass me..... I don't hike fast, I just start early, hike all day, and end late. Time, not speed, is how I get my mileage.

realdusi
11-22-2010, 11:43
Thanks for all the wonderful replies to my post. I was unaware that us FT hikers are also called flatlanders. :)
I am not a complete newbie, but it has been a couple years since I've done a long distance hike. I remember my very first adventure to hiking was about 8 years ago when I did a 2-3 mile hike on Blood Mountain, GA and it took me all day to do it without a pack even! I have come a long way since then, but I am not going to underestimate GA by any means. I guess I will keep training and plan for about 10 miles a day and hope for more when I get there.
I have started doing long day hikes with my pack, running stadiums to build up my legs, and flat running to help with my lungs.
Is Georgia notorious for wet and cold winters in mid-March? Last year in my part of FL we had a very wet and very cold winter and it was most unpleasant.
Thanks again to all and happy hiking!

zeus307
11-22-2010, 13:43
10 miles a day is quit do able. I to am from Florida and find myself going faster in Florida's flat land. I have section hike Ga. and am planning on going back in late March. I find myself more challenged due to the hills and terrain obviously but I average around 10 miles a day and I am not killing myself. Good pace yes, but I still "stop to take in the beauty" of the trail.
Like the saying goes "Hike your own hike and enjoy, life is to short"

Pedaling Fool
11-22-2010, 14:32
Is Georgia notorious for wet and cold winters in mid-March? Last year in my part of FL we had a very wet and very cold winter and it was most unpleasant.
Thanks again to all and happy hiking!
For us Flatlanders:) living in the "tropics", yes it's very cold that time of year. I even saw snow in April. There's some pics in my gallery of Georgia that time of year, notice the snow and ice.

realdusi
11-22-2010, 15:14
Snow in April? My goodness! I have never seen snow before, so this may be interesting. I may need to adjust my clothing list slightly to anticipate this. Last winter it got to low 20s with rain and wind during the day in Gainesville. It snowed in all the little po-dunk towns around us, but I never saw it. I remember it hitting the teens when I did part of the FT in February back in '07-'08 and my tent had a find layer of frost... but snow? Honest to goodness snow? This Floridian is in for a very frosty treat!

Pedaling Fool
11-22-2010, 19:44
09 April. If you look close you can see the flurries; I snapped this just as the snow started, notice the icecicles (sp?) in the background.


http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/files/6/9/3/6/Stillcoldon9Apr2007.jpg (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=17901&original=1&c=member&imageuser=6936)

Old Hiker
11-22-2010, 19:58
Realdusi, greetings from Valrico!

Our Troop section hikes a part every year after summer camp. We say that 5 miles in FL is 1 mile in the GA mountains and train. It does NOTHING for the elevation. We can zip by the flats, but the ups and downs really slow us (me) up. We still made 8 - 11 miles per day for the last 4 years.

Try going downtown Tampa - the Ice Palace parking garage or USF parking garages, putting 20 - 25 pounds in your pack and start up and down the stairs. (No elevators allowed!) This is going to be part of my training, as I'm elderly and my ankles and knees really took a beating last year. Do the stairs for at least several hours and vary the number of steps from time to time. Try going up and down the ramps, as well. I have a huge retention pond with steep sides that helps somewhat.

Good luck! Do an update on your hike when you get back!

mweinstone
11-22-2010, 20:01
hike.........................................any miles.any trail. any time. bring matthewski.mmmmmm bacon matthewskis.

Old Hiker
11-22-2010, 20:12
hike.........................................any miles.any trail. any time. bring matthewski.mmmmmm bacon matthewskis.

Would that be the smoked or cured matthewski bacon?

Plus, once opened, how long would it last on the trail?

realdusi
11-22-2010, 20:40
Thanks Old Hiker. I've going up and down the bleachers at the swamp at UF since I'm up here for the winter. Haven't put any weight on my back to do it yet. Hopefully will start doing weight and stairs after Turkey-Day. Will definitely give an update though!

Thanks again everyone for all the great advice!

Hikerhead
11-22-2010, 20:46
[QUOTE=john gault;1071482]09 April. If you look close you can see the flurries; I snapped this just as the snow started, notice the icecicles (sp?) in the background.

I'm guessing around Blue Mtn? Seems like most of Ga all the ledges are on your left except for Blue Mtn and Kelly Knob. I'm sure there's others, trying to remember.

Hikerhead
11-22-2010, 20:50
We did three 12-mile days out of Amicalola, followed by three 18-milers. I found Georgia to be a lot easier than other sections, but I've had had a lot of previous AT experience.

We camped at Hickory Flatts Cemetery, the top of Ramrock Mountain, and stayed at the Blood Mountain Cabins just east of Neel Gap. The 18-miler took us to Blue Mountain Shelter, and another 18er to Dicks Creek Gap and Hiawassee. The final day covered 14 AT miles to Deep Gap (at the base of Standing Indian Mountain), plus 4 downhill miles along the Kimsey Creek Trail to our car.

That was good hike, I really enjoyed it. My last day was a 18 miler going to Bly Gap to tap-out GA and back to Dicks Creek. I think that was 18 an miler.

stumpknocker
11-23-2010, 08:42
I've walked the FNST and the AT....and for me it's harder to do big mile days on the FNST. You are using the same leg muscles all day long on flat walking on the FNST where you are using different leg muscles during the day in the hills on the AT. I feel the AT is much easier. :)

("Big days" are different for everyone though)

Pedaling Fool
11-23-2010, 09:30
I'm guessing around Blue Mtn? Seems like most of Ga all the ledges are on your left except for Blue Mtn and Kelly Knob. I'm sure there's others, trying to remember.
Actually, it's on the Approach trail, less than a mile from Springer.

fredmugs
11-23-2010, 09:32
My first hiking trip ever was Springer to Deep Gap. I was 40 and we averaged 15 miles a day or so with a couple of them being around 20. I live in flat Indiana, had no clue what I was doing, and did absolutely nothing to prepare for it. 10 miles a day should not be a problem for someone who has any type of hiking experience. I don't buy into the "having to get your trail legs" theory.

Egads
11-25-2010, 06:50
seriously, 10 mpd is easy unless you are in poor health or elderly

TheYoungOne
11-30-2010, 16:57
I did 9 miles my first time out, along some steep inclines in PA, I was not in the best shape, and I carry way too much weight in my pack and around my waist, if you know what I mean.

You will be fine.

mississippihiker
01-25-2011, 01:21
Starting my first AT hike in May. Goal is to hike the Georgia section in 7 or 8 days.
Logistical problem is this: How can I start at Springer and exit at Bly Gap? If there is no exit trail at Bly Gap, where is the best place to get off after completing GA in order to get transportation (friend, bus, etc.)?

hikingshoes
01-25-2011, 02:16
Starting my first AT hike in May. Goal is to hike the Georgia section in 7 or 8 days.
Logistical problem is this: How can I start at Springer and exit at Bly Gap? If there is no exit trail at Bly Gap, where is the best place to get off after completing GA in order to get transportation (friend, bus, etc.)?

You cant exit at Bly Gap,but you can hike back to US76(Dick Creek Gap) and get a ride from there,which is 8.9miles.Hope this helps.HS

hikingshoes
01-25-2011, 02:58
You cant exit at Bly Gap,but you can hike back to US76(Dick Creek Gap) and get a ride from there,which is 8.9miles.Hope this helps.HS
Dicks Creek Gap,US76......N34 54.728 W83 37.130
Hiawassee,GA. is close to US76,Im going to give yuo some names for shuttles.
*Hiawassee Inn:706-896-4121
*Mull's Motel:706-896-4195
*Bill's Wheel of GA.:706-994-3431

Note:All the information come out of the Appalachian Pages(2009).I dont know if any of these places are still open.Just give them a call or maybe someone on WB can give you a update.HS

ChickPee
01-25-2011, 03:44
Georgia was the hardest state for me, until I made it to North Carolina. Then, North Carolina was the hardest state until New Hampshire.

I did not do too much training before the hike, so we took it easy Georgia. I was worried about injuring myself early on the trail and there was no rush and I figured we had plenty of time to do our 20 mile days later. Georgia is a great place to meet your fellow hikers, take your time, and make sure you don't get nasty blisters. 10 days for us to make it through Georgia (we didn't do a ten mile day until day 4 and we had a 3 1/2 mile day into the Blueberry Patch Hostel.)

10 mile per day is very doable. If you are in any sort of shape, I don't think you will have a problem. (A number of people start out doing 15-20 mile days right from the start.) Just remember, stay healthy. If you aren't feeling great, don't stick to your schedule. Slow down.

earlyriser26
01-25-2011, 07:34
Be aware when you get advice from thru hikers. 10 miles is a nero, 20 is an easy day, 30 is average. LOL. If you are just starting out 10 miles will be a full day for most hikers. I know a couple of thru's who averaged only 7 miles a day for the first month. Georgia is about average difficulty as the trail goes and the trail is good (not many rocks). I wouls say if you are in good shape 15 per day starting is average, average shape 10, Old and fat (like me) maybe less, but even I can do 10, 15 if I must (put very painful).

bigcranky
01-25-2011, 08:54
This is the classic "hiking Georgia" problem -- where to start/end, since the state line is not particularly close to a road crossing.

If it were me I would plan to hike from Springer to Dick's Creek Gap, which is a substantial hike for a first-time hiker from a very flat state (no offense.) That gets you 90% or more of Georgia, and provides easy access at both ends. If you want to continue to Deep Gap and then to Standing Indian Campground, you will cross the state line, but this adds 1.5 or more days of hiking to the trip, and makes the shuttle more complicated and expensive.

Echoing earlyriser's advice, beware of taking mileage advice from experienced long distance hikers. Start with 8-9 miles per day -- which conveniently puts you at Springer - Hawk Mountain - Gooch Mountain shelters, with good campsites, water, and a place to cook and eat. Plan to resupply food at Neels Gap, either with a mail drop, or by purchasing food there (they have everything you need.) You can also spend the night there, get a shower, do some laundry, etc.

Georgia in May is a lovely place to hike. Take your time and enjoy it.

Newb
01-25-2011, 08:58
the trail is very well-maintained and graded.


Except for Hogpen Gap north of Walasi-Yi. That little quarter mile climb is the toughest in Georgia. Buth the rest of the way to Low Gap is friendly.

takethisbread
01-25-2011, 12:58
Hilarity:sun


The sleeping part was best. Thanks for the laugh






Well, let's see. Based on numerous observations of beginning thru-hikers in Georgia:

1. Hike 8 miles: 6 hours actual hiking time.
2. Breaks on steep uphill sections: 1-2 hours.
3. Lunch/midday collapse: 1-2 hours.
4. Set up tent: 1 hour.
5. Attempt to cook dinner: 1 hour.
6. Lie down in tent to recover from day: 2 hours.
7. Hang bear bag: 1 hour.
8. Lie in tent listening to wind/rain/lightning: 6-8 hours. (Sometimes called "sleeping.")
9. Make breakfast and break camp: 3 hours. (I'm serious about this one.)
10. Start hiking again.

To the original poster: 10 miles a day is reasonable, but be aware that much of the trail is up or downhill enough that you can't just set up a tent anywhere (too steep.) Unlike the Florida Trail. So don't expect to hike *exactly* ten miles per day -- be flexible and think ahead. The reason the shelter areas are so popular is that they offer good tent sites, access to water, and other hikers with whom you can commiserate.

Sickmont
01-25-2011, 13:37
I live in the flat state, and i train by climbing into and out of old phosphate mines on my mountain bike near Tampa. I dont carry that much weight in my riding pack though. I like the idea of loading my pack up and hiking up and down through the parking garages in downtown Tampa.....then hike over to Tampa Bay Bewing Cmpany for lunch and a cold one....or seven. I can't wait to see all the crazy looks i'm gonna get for doing this. But seriously though, my plan for my section hike is start at Amicalola, and go north for about 4 to 5 days then turn around and hike back to my car at the state park. I just want to see how far i can get before i turn around.

Jim Adams
01-25-2011, 13:50
I am a little old fat man, currently 57 years old and although ten miles a day is doable for me starting out...it is rough.
At 37 y/o I hiked from Springer into Hawk mt. shelter and thought that I was going to die!
At 49 y/o, I hiked from Springer into Hawk Mt. shelter and thought that I was going to die!
At 55 y/o I hiked from Springer to Hawk Mt shelter and thought I was going to die!
Thr moral of the story is: If you are not into good hiking condition (by hiking!) then Georgia can kick your a$$. Just go slow, take your time and hike safe. A nice vacation becomes not so nice when you are at a hospital or doctors on the 3rd day.
Ten miles a day is doable but if you don't make it to you planned schedule, don't be bummed out or sad. Just go at a safe speed and enjoy where ever you end up....it's a vacation.

geek

bigcranky
01-25-2011, 15:30
Except for Hogpen Gap north of Walasi-Yi. That little quarter mile climb is the toughest in Georgia. Buth the rest of the way to Low Gap is friendly.

You mean the climb out of Tesnatee Gap. I have painfully clear memories of that climb. There was a motorcycle parked in the gap, and the radio was loudly playing Elvis singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. It was hot, and the trail was so steep my knees kept hitting me in the face.

Yeah, I remember that one...