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LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 14:56
I'm new here so please don't crucify me if I step on toes.
I'm planning a 2011 hike thru NOBO and I'm gathering gear and info. This forum has been very helpful so far. I've been lurking for awhile. My biggest problem (no Pun) is the size of gear I require. I'm 6'2'' and 375 lbs. I wear a 14 shoe-sometimes 15 boot. I know I'm asking a lot from manufacturers to provide quality gear my size but I haven't always been, nor will I always be this freak of nature. I need recommendations on everything from clothes to cameras. You would be hard pressed to hurt my feelings so speak up please. I may never get another chance to do this life-long dream, I must start it under less than desirable weight/endurance conditions. Seriously be candid and think of what would best serve my safety and comfort. I'm a 11 year firefighter/EMT I've had my share of heavy packs. I understand that with proper size comes added carry weight. BTW, I'm not a go-freezer.:D

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 14:59
I forgot to mention. I currently wear 4x tall shirts and 48x32 pants. I think my last wedding measurement was 62' chest. (yes I need a man-zire)

Driver8
02-12-2011, 15:10
When do you plan to start? What is your time window? One thing I'd say is to get to exercising, in every form possible, as much as possible, right away.

I am similar in build to you, relative to my height. Got into hiking last year. Have pretty well always been active - diet and metabolism, more than level of activity, are the chief issue. Anyhow, the more I hiked last year, the stronger my legs and back and core got. As to gear, etc. I'm not a gear expert. But I can tell you, based on experience, that you can whip into shape with experience. Just keep in mind that every day on the trail, with maybe a day off each week, is probably a lot more than you've done in a long time. Best get to emulating that asap.

Freedom Walker
02-12-2011, 15:41
Just how overweight are you? I am also 6-2 and weigh 200 pounds. You may be used to carrying heavy packs but are your knees up to doing 10 to 12 miles a day going up and down mountains, is the real question. Speaking from experience as I am at home now recovering from knee surgery, a torn meniscus in my left knee from a 30 mile section hike last September. I have large feet and wear a size 14 boot. I carry a two-man tent just for myself to have the extra room. I use a long sleeping bag which is also heavier than a standard size. Most of the information you need can be found on this website simply by using the search tools. But the best advise for you now is that you take what you have now and do some practice hikes doing shakedowns of your gear. You'll discover on these practice hikes what you really need and use. It would be better to discover what is really necessary before you begin your AT hike so you will not need to send unnecessary gear home when you get to mountain crossings at Neels gap. I noticed that you live in Florida. Are there any mountains for you to hike. If not consider a weekend hike where there are some to get a taste of what to expect. I did that last year driving from North Alabama to do the approach trail. I hiked it on Saturday, spending the night at Springer mountain shelter and returning to the state Park Sunday morning. That was an eye opener for me and I learned a lot. Good luck and have fun.

LoneRidgeRunner
02-12-2011, 15:47
Well, I'll have to say that, even though I'm a little more overweight than I'd like to be...5'9 194 pounds that I don't have the size problem that you do. But all I can say is just do as much exercising as possible and use as much care as possible about what you eat. Probably, given your size you may have a thyroid problem so, not being a doctor I don't what can be done about that. So, just do what you can to control it and hang in there. We're all behind you..As far as gear goes..I have no clue where you would get quality gear in those sizes but I'm fairly sure it's out there.
I get the large size in about everything and many times I think it's for large Chinese dudes, not large American dudes who are usually much larger than the large Chinese dudes. Actually, I have some things in x large. My gore-tex pants are large size and if I get any larger I won't be able to wear em..

LoneRidgeRunner
02-12-2011, 15:51
Mountains in Florida? I believe the highest elevation is in Walton county near DeFuniak Springs about 30 miles north of Destin Beach if I remember correctly and a little over 300 feet?. The climb from sea level to that point is so gradual that you would never guess you were going uphill...Soo.no mountains in Florida.

Del Q
02-12-2011, 15:54
Go slow, take it easy, people have had heart attacks doing things like this, hike your own hike, forget about big miles. Best prep is hiking up and down hills with a pack that is heavier than what you will be carrying. In that there are no hills in FLA, consider a stair stepper, with a loaded pack. To me the AT is 1000% tougher than any workouts I do or hiking trails close to my house.

LoneRidgeRunner
02-12-2011, 16:03
Go slow, take it easy, people have had heart attacks doing things like this, hike your own hike, forget about big miles. Best prep is hiking up and down hills with a pack that is heavier than what you will be carrying. In that there are no hills in FLA, consider a stair stepper, with a loaded pack. To me the AT is 1000% tougher than any workouts I do or hiking trails close to my house.

This was good advice. Forget long distance days at least for a while. Just take your time. If you only do 5 miles a day (or even less) there is no shame. The main thing is being alive to tell about it. I'm planning a thru hike of the GSMNP in March of 2011 and I'm planning for only 7 miles a day because that's the average distance between shelters and you pretty much have to use the shelters thru the Smokies unless you're willing to walk a few to several miles off the AT each day to get to a campsite, which is adding more miles anyway. My first 2 days I'm actually planning only about 5 to 6 miles a day. The distance to Birch Spring Gap backcountry campsite the first day and Mollies Ridge shelter on day 2, which I think is only about 5 miles. If you start at Springer by the time you get to the Smokies you should be able to do the 7 mile days easily.
Pay no attention to people who may be preaching you have to do 12 to 15 miles a day. If they wanta walk their legs down to stumps ..let em but you and I don't have to.
Have a great hike!

vibbertations
02-12-2011, 16:48
I don't know if we can post links or not, but REI has a 3x Marmot Precip Jacket for 35 bucks. I'm not sure how far you are from a 3x... I would definetly start walking now to be prepared. I have let myself get out of shape the past few years..

We are planning on doing two section hikes of about 50 miles apiece in March and October so I'm trying to get in shape now so I'm not regretting it!

Good luck! ...and I'm gonna steal someone's quote that's floating around here, "It's the journey, not the destination."

Turtle Feet
02-12-2011, 17:12
I'm new here so please don't crucify me if I step on toes.
I'm planning a 2011 hike thru NOBO and I'm gathering gear and info. This forum has been very helpful so far. I've been lurking for awhile. My biggest problem (no Pun) is the size of gear I require. I'm 6'2'' and 375 lbs. I wear a 14 shoe-sometimes 15 boot. I know I'm asking a lot from manufacturers to provide quality gear my size but I haven't always been, nor will I always be this freak of nature. I need recommendations on everything from clothes to cameras. You would be hard pressed to hurt my feelings so speak up please. I may never get another chance to do this life-long dream, I must start it under less than desirable weight/endurance conditions. Seriously be candid and think of what would best serve my safety and comfort. I'm a 11 year firefighter/EMT I've had my share of heavy packs. I understand that with proper size comes added carry weight. BTW, I'm not a go-freezer.:D

What's a "go-freezer"???

Best advise here is to go at your own pace. That could very well mean camping between shelters, and carrying a little extra food. Depending on your start date, you may want to consider doing a "flip-flop" at some point up to Katahdin and then hiking southbound to complete a "thru". Keep all your options open.

I'm very impressed that you're not letting your size stop you from going after your goals.

Sorry I can't help with gear recommendations. Hope to meet up with you on the trail!!!

tf

Toli
02-12-2011, 17:14
Don't listen to LonerRidgerRunner... I lived in Cleremont, Fl. for 28 years, riding my road bike... When I decided I was going to Hike the AT(2007) I did intervals on Buckhill, Sugarloaf, Step and Wall, Hospital hill, etc... Go to windermereroadies.com to figure out where all those roads are and get ur butt out there... I was 5' 8" 240lbs... I now Live on the AT, and average 3000+ miles a year(just on the AT, not countin' the BMT and everything else) BTW... My driveway is over 700ft Long with an average grade of 17.9/22.1 Steepest... Mail comes 6 days a week... I'm just sayin'... Same 5' 8" just not all the rest ;) You can do it Brother... Believe...

maybe clem
02-12-2011, 17:19
I have giant feet and I hike in New Balance. They make shoes in your size, give them a look-see.

Wise Old Owl
02-12-2011, 17:27
Welcome to Wb and I understand the post - but there isn't a specific question... so my initial thoughts are that I hope you are pre working out prior to going.

snifur
02-12-2011, 17:38
when is your start date? you are a big dude who will lose alot of size. what fits you when you start will not necessarily fit in 2, 4 or 6 months. you need to find your pace and drive on. dont let others push you further than you can do. your clothes will begin to feel very loose and your pack will require more adjustments as you move on. everyone is uncomfortable and has absolutely miserable moments. you will find that your clothing needs are going to change as the weeks roll on and the weight rolls off. well done for making the go at a thru hike.

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 17:42
Wow, I didn't expect so many responses so quickly! I guess I should elaborate a little. I'm 6'2'' and currently 375. Numbers wise this sound horrible. I'm most certainly in the morbidly obese category but don't let that info fool you. I gain and lose quickly and my endurance grows quickly as well. The simple truth is I eat WAY too much for the amount of calories I currently spend. I'm looking to fix this permanently by taking on hiking and creating better habits. I have 15+ years in and around the medical field. My size and risks are part of the reason I've chosen to leave the fire service. I know if I go down in a fire, my brothers would probably parish with me trying unsuccessfully to rescue me. It would be selfish to ask them to risk themselves for my gluttony. I will absolutely hike my own hike. I'm currently unemployed and in the process of selling it all to find my path. (forgive the pun) I have no time constraints or time to be back so it will be a leisurely, whimsical pace if you will. I just want to do the entire trail from beginning to end before Baxter closes. I have been training in the big "lol hear the sarcasm" Florida hills with a weighted pack. Walking in sand in no joke though, let me tell you. I've already bought a 2 person tent and larger items as I find them, knowing the weight will be added. I think I'll still be able to keep it all 45 lbs or less. I'm practicing with 70.
I guess I'll dig a little deeper to see what other super-sized folks have worn, used. What I'm finding is that I like something only to find out later that they don't make it in anything bigger than 2x. Granted by the time I hit Harpers Ferry I might be a 2x, but this doesn't help my situation at start. Thanks again for the help so far. Yes, 345 feet or so is the highest natural point in Fl. I should add, I grew up in Western Pa.
Oh, and go-freezer is what one of my co-workers (an avid hiker for years) calls the folks that are so concerned with weight savings, they would rather freeze than carry "normal" equipment.

Red Hat
02-12-2011, 17:51
Last year a guy about your size started at springer calling himself "Least Likely" as in the least likely to hike the trail. by the time he got up north he was "Likely". He had lots of difficulties, and skipped some pieces of trail, but he did hike in every state from GA-ME and lost about 100 lbs doing it. Good luck and happy hiking!

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 17:54
Is there a big and tall section here? I haven't located it yet????

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 17:58
@ Red Hat-nice. If I'm anything, I'm determined. My constitution won't be broken easily. I earn the achievements I have and I won't claim to be a 2000 miler unless I walk every inch. I'm no sure I'd want to name myself least likely, but I haven't come up with a name yet. I picked LordoftheWings for here because of my love for the movies and my obvious obsession with wings.

4eyedbuzzard
02-12-2011, 18:00
As others have said, start walking somewhere every day in preparation. Start with whatever you can do, even if it is just around the block, and keep building up. Park at the farthest parking spot. Always take the stairs. All the little stuff adds up and helps.

The AT is not like just walking around a yard, or sidewalks, or even improved hiking paths. It is very rugged in many places. Be very careful of your knees in the beginning of your hike and until you have dropped some weight. If you start getting pain that doesn't move around - joint pain, not muscle pain, take a day or two rest. If it comes back right away, you'll need to slow down or even modify your hike. It's not worth blowing out a knee over.

I know you want to do a NOBO thru, but I'd bet some here might suggest that a more optimal hike for you might be to start later in theyear in the less physically demanding parts of the trail from Shenandoah NP north, build up your muscles, fitness, and drop some weight on these less strenous parts of the trail to avoid "too much too soon" (and also get milder weather) while still headed north with this years NOBO class to Maine, and then flip back to finish SOBO. Just a thought.

Finding a sleeping bag will be an issue. You may need to look at an oversize rectangular bag (they do make them in down too so don't despair). Most of the biggest mummy and semi-rectangular bags have girths in the 65 inch range, and a guy with a 62" chest just isn't going to fit. For these reasons a quilt is probably a much better option in your case. Start researching now (search and ask here) and you may also be able to get one of the quilt companies to make one for you. There are many who do custom work.

Also most of the sleeping pad companies do make 25" wide mattresses, both closed cell, self-inflating, and inflatable. And there is also the option of using two 20" wide ones or adapting a couple of cheap blue 20" walmart sleeping pads and cutting and gluing them to make a custom pad.

A pack may be difficult as well. I'm thinking that an external frame is probably going to be easier to fit as the attachment points are more easily moved around and adjusted and straps and belts are removable. If factory shoulder straps and hipbelts can't be found in your size, you should be able to get someone handy with needle and thread to extend straps, belts and such and adapt them for you. You'll need to be able to adjust all this though as you lose weight on your hike, so take that into consideration as well.

Hope this helps, just what popped into my mind.

Congrats on having the motivation to do this, and good luck on your hike.

Toli
02-12-2011, 18:03
When do expect to start???

LoneRidgeRunner
02-12-2011, 18:11
Don't listen to LonerRidgerRunner... I lived in Cleremont, Fl. for 28 years, riding my road bike... When I decided I was going to Hike the AT(2007) I did intervals on Buckhill, Sugarloaf, Step and Wall, Hospital hill, etc... Go to windermereroadies.com to figure out where all those roads are and get ur butt out there... I was 5' 8" 240lbs... I now Live on the AT, and average 3000+ miles a year(just on the AT, not countin' the BMT and everything else) BTW... My driveway is over 700ft Long with an average grade of 17.9/22.1 Steepest... Mail comes 6 days a week... I'm just sayin'... Same 5' 8" just not all the rest ;) You can do it Brother... Believe...


Toli ..If you're gonna tell people don't listen to me when I'm giving my honest opinions as best I remember it at least learn to spell it! not LonerRidgerRunner..."LoneRidgeRunner"....and BTW what didn't I know? the highest point in Florida? The man verified it was about 345 feet.. I see you joined WB yesterday so you definitely have had time to know me...:rolleyes:
We all here give the best opinions we can and usually don't go around insulting each other...but then there are those that ..well enough said..

Mr. BuffaloMan
02-12-2011, 18:19
I thru hiked in 2009 with a guy about your size. He had an external frame pack that would adjust to fit as his size changed. And his size did change. He lost 150+ pounds. He started two days before me but we summited Katahdin on the same day. His knees were a problem though. He had to take some time off in VA to give them a rest (about 3 weeks--he went back and did those after Maine). Big boots do exist and I would recommend getting a couple pair that you like and break them in before you go, that way you won't be replacing boots midway with stiff new ones.

Most important. You CAN do this. I have seen people of all ages and fitness levels thru hike the AT. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and never quit on a bad day.

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 18:22
Thanks Mr. Buzzard, sound advice. I have a Kelty 2 person tent and a Kelty Framed pack (3950) and both seem to be pleasing so far. At the risk of sounding like a Kelty salesman, I'm looking into their semi rectangular bags.(price vs. value-I'm on a budget) I have a Ridge Rest solite, large in flavor and it seems to fit me just fine. Like George Clooney said, "I'm in a bit of a geographical anomaly" I use what I can and there is a 100 foot high ridge here that I treat like a stadium. I also have an elliptical at home which I have used to lose 100+ pounds before.
I have also considered the flip flop. The idea of starting at Harpers Ferry and going north is very appealing. For some odd reason, I feel the need to punish myself by "paying ,my dues in Georgia" like the rest of this years class. Having other folks to laugh at/be laughed at sounds like good fellowship. I guess that's a firefighter trait coming out. It's by no means out of the question though. There's nothing wrong with following fall south.

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 18:30
@toli-I haven't set a date, but Ideally I'd like to go in March. My schedule is wide open at this point so I can go whenever. I'm currently under a 94' ford replacing an engine and both fuel tanks. I have that and several other projects to complete, but it's game on from there.
Man, to lose 150 lbs! That's like losing my ex!!!!!!(don't judge she's a great woman) I just can't imagine losing that much. That would be like winning the lottery to me. better perhaps.

theeulogy
02-12-2011, 18:36
I am a big guy, 6 foot 4 inches and 240lbs. Not quite as lumbering a fellow as you, but I wear the same size shoes. You might consider a SOBO route, training for a few months and shedding some valuable pounds. I am not sure how late you can start, but the window on a NOBO route is ticking. If you do a SOBO you can go your own pace a bit more also. I do not have the opportunity to do a thru, I am doing my first section from Springer to Clingmans dome in May. I am preparing now and have been for a month and a half. I am hoping to shed 20 or so pounds to make my hike a little easier. Stay with it, you can do it if you dedicate yourself.

4eyedbuzzard
02-12-2011, 18:50
Thanks Mr. Buzzard, sound advice.
Don't call me mister - ruins my [email protected]$$ image. :D


I have a Kelty 2 person tent and a Kelty Framed pack (3950) and both seem to be pleasing so far. At the risk of sounding like a Kelty salesman, I'm looking into their semi rectangular bags.(price vs. value-I'm on a budget) I have a Ridge Rest solite, large in flavor and it seems to fit me just fine. Like George Clooney said, "I'm in a bit of a geographical anomaly" I use what I can and there is a 100 foot high ridge here that I treat like a stadium. I also have an elliptical at home which I have used to lose 100+ pounds before.
I had several Kelty packs over the years - good stuff. Sounds like you've actually got a handle on most of the stuff then.



I have also considered the flip flop. The idea of starting at Harpers Ferry and going north is very appealing. For some odd reason, I feel the need to punish myself by "paying ,my dues in Georgia" like the rest of this years class. Having other folks to laugh at/be laughed at sounds like good fellowship. I guess that's a firefighter trait coming out. It's by no means out of the question though. There's nothing wrong with following fall south.

I'm no where near your size at 6'0" 190, but if I were going to "2000 mile" at my age (54) and overall health / fitness level (several bad back injuries and not in really good cardiovascular condition due to not hiking or exercising enough) I'd be considering one of the alternative itineraries (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/site/c.mqLTIYOwGlF/b.4805565/k.67EA/Alternative_Itineraries.htm) like a "flip-flop" or "cool breeze". Starting on easier terrain would be a definite plus for me.

gunner76
02-12-2011, 19:40
Best of luck in your efforts and no matter what happens, enjoy the hike.

Snowleopard
02-12-2011, 19:40
If you haven't already done so, get a thorough physical. Discuss with your doctor what you want to do and what your possible physical problems might be.

If you take any medications, ask your doctor if the doses need to be modified based on your exertion level or weight loss.

rdljr
02-12-2011, 20:08
Ok, speaking as a person very close to the same size as you 6’4” and 300pounds I can let you in on a little knowledge that seems real simple once you have someone tell you. First for the pack, I have an external kelty that fits real nice and can haul a boat load of gear some what comfortably. I also have an Ems 60liter bag that has a bunch of adjustment left in the straps in either direction that works nice when I don’t need to tote as much. Sleeping bags have been a big hassle for years until a small friend told me just unzip the one you have and use it like a quilt. Up to the knees there is plenty of room then the top is like a quilt with the ground open to the sleeping pad. It has worked wonders. Good news for you is that in just one week of hiking I dropped 14 pounds last summer so the weight will come off and a lot quicker than you think. Walk at your own pace and enjoy.
RDL

mweinstone
02-12-2011, 21:08
id like to inject a different point of attack. my mom was about 400. if she had said she wanted to thruhike, i would have wanted her to live thru it. so,..i propose the least effort and planning with the most open ended possibilitys. my method for you allows you to ditch your gear and walk away, or adapt at the least cost to you and your wallet while being the most comfortable. i belive comfort is moved above function on the list of importance when overweight folks hike. you see, there are three levels involved. function must be comfortable enough to be worn and used to be safe.
function
comfort
safe
of these, only function can be removed. in other words, a poncho sucks compaired to a rain jacket. but it works better and cheaper for a large person. i recomend buying the best ponch made and extending and customizing it to be a roomy tarp as well as a functioning rain garment.its not only easily customized, but its a darn good start for overall weight saveings.
as far as training with more than you will carry im against that whole hardedly. im looking at this as if you were my mother. the people who love you dont want to loose you in training. they want you to hike and thin down and be safe doing it. im against buying custom gear of any kind for your hike until you reach a size that would be resellable in the event you want to recoupe moneys ever. i sugest buying whatever boots you find that are comfy rather than limmers or some size asolos that never could be resold. you must leave cameras home untill you earn the weight credits to carry such muscle burdoning things on allready overburdened musles. you must think long term. if you wanna thruhike, start so simple it hurts a little.

10-K
02-12-2011, 21:16
Consider starting at Pen Mar park on the PA/MD border and hiking south to Springer then coming back to Pen Mar and hiking north.

This would give you 50ish miles of some of the most forgiving trail the AT has to offer. You'd roll through West Virgina then hit Shenandoah National Park - another relatively not-too-difficult 100 miles or so.

NiteRaven
02-12-2011, 21:16
If you're planning on an early start, this will probably be a good sleeping bag for you:

http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm?section=Products&page=Sleeping%20Bags&cat=Microfiber%20Series&ContentId=36

It's probably one of the bigger bags on the market and will provide a lot of warmth for the weight. I purchased one because I don't like the small confinements of a mummy bag.

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 21:31
Awesome. After reading the earlier post I went out to the garage again. Just out of morbid curiosity I wanted to see if I could still do push-ups. It nearly killed me and I know I'll be sore tomorrow but I did manage 24 before I hit the ground gasping.

4eyedbuzzard-sorry, I know how important the image can be. I'll refrain from the pleasantries. I'll let your return to the dungeon. also, thanks for the link. I had read those before and they are appealing. I am flexible but I want to try and do it from Springer if possible being my first time. Good or bad it will make interesting stories and good measure of self.

I have spoken with my Doctor (she's just as geeked up as I am about it) She did give me the mandatory lecture of knowing my limits. But she's on board fully. No meds.

RDL-I like that idea. I flip a lot when I sleep and I think that would solve that issue. (these companies make you feel like Ogres don't they?)

I still haven't found any larger clothes and I don't want to make the mistake of wearing cotton. It's bad enough I crawled into a one man Eureka and it looked like I was wearing a brightly colored burrito. Off for more research..........

Matthewski-I do appreciate the alternative view but I am in better shape than one would normally consider a 400lb person. I've been though fire academy for my second time in the past 12 months and I can still reach my toes. Granted, I'm way past the point of buying clothes at any given store but even at 225 lbs I was wearing a 3x shirt and 40x32 pants with a 54 chest. I do like your ideas on resale and I have thought much about using the equipment (cameras-ect.) that I already have used for years and just getting additional storage and batteries. I am sore from overloading but in my experience from football, field sports, firefighting and so on, training for loads bigger than you expect yield better results down the road. Keep in mind. In the fire service, with myself, my turnout gear, my pack and my set of irons I weight close to 500 lbs. I'm used to heavier loads and hard conditions. Albeit not nearly as good as I would like. I think I'll have to just deal with the size decreases and buy more appropriate gear then. Until then My original question remains. Who has worn or can recommend clothes and such my size appropriate for hiking?

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 21:41
@ NiteRaven, awesome that's one I'd never seen before and def. big enough for sure. I'm just hoping I can find one a little cheaper-ouch 500 bucks.

Mr. Owl
02-12-2011, 21:56
Howdy lordofthewings! I looked around a bit on the web and see that Columbia has a pretty good selection of 4x clothing. On their website I saw convertible pants, rain shells, fleece jackets, wicking shirts, etc... Sierra Trading Post even had some of their stuff on sale in 4x... Good luck brother! Hope to see you out there!

Turtle Feet
02-12-2011, 21:57
This may seem a bit obvious, but have your checked with a seamstess?

I'm sure the fabric you'd want to wear could be purchased online, and he/she could whip you up a couple of changes of clothing in no time flat.

stonedflea
02-12-2011, 22:09
hi :)

reading through all of these things, there are only two things that i want to interject. i'm a 5'6" woman, so i sure can't give any recommendations on footwear for a size 15 foot. :)

the two things that came to my mind were:

1. have you thought about glucosamine supplements to help out with your knees on your hike? a friend of mine swears by glucosamine, and maybe it's the power of suggestion, but when i run and take the stuff, my knees don't seem to hurt as bad.

2. have you thought about slackpacking your way through georgia? i'm really horrible with names, so i forget the guy's name that organizes it, but he's the one who's done the trail like half a million times or something and organizes group hikes. apparently he's got a slackpacker program that helps you get through georgia, since that's when most people poop out. it might be a good idea to, instead of hitting the ground running, crawl for a little bit. spend the first state of the trail just worrying about walking the dramatic change in elevation. that way you wouldn't have to worry about hiking and carrying all your gear and whatnot.
plus, you wouldn't have to buy a pack just yet, and i'm sure you will have lost some weight by the time you get out of georgia. you could buy a pack then that would better suit your new you.

just some thoughts. :) i wish you so much good luck!

LoneRidgeRunner
02-12-2011, 22:17
hi :)

1. have you thought about glucosamine supplements to help out with your knees on your hike? a friend of mine swears by glucosamine, and maybe it's the power of suggestion, but when i run and take the stuff, my knees don't seem to hurt as bad.


Yep..I've taken Glucosamine with MSM for years and I swear by it too...the version with the MSM seems to make a difference..I've tried it plain too..

Just Jack
02-12-2011, 22:20
Go to Goodwill and buy some cheapo polyester slacks and shirts. If you stay on the trail, and start losing weight, your clothes will not fit and you will need "new" ones. Almost every town has a Goodwill of church thrift shop. So you onlly pay $1 or $2 for your "wardrobe". Don't worry about being a "fashionplate". Think of your clothes as being expendable. Same with your gear. You lose weight and you are going to need a smaller tent or sleeping bag. You will probably be replacing "stuff" all the way up the trail. If you don't make it--you don't have a lot of money tied up. If you do stay on the trail--there will come a time when you can reward yourself with a trip to one of the many excellent outfitters. Mental attitude will be more important than your gear. Best of luck with your hike. What the mind can conceive--the body can achieve!

earlyriser26
02-12-2011, 22:24
One thing to keep in mind besides taking it very easy is that on the trail things will react diffrently to your weight. I am about 250 and with a pack have been known to hit 300. If you start at 375, you will be 400+ on the trail. rocks will move that you step on that don't normally move. bridges and longs will act differently. Make sure you keep hydrated. If you are not going to the bathroom, you need more water. By all means use hiking poles. They are the fat mans friend. I could nopt get by without them.

Driver8
02-12-2011, 22:39
I know you want to do a NOBO thru, but I'd bet some here might suggest that a more optimal hike for you might be to start later in theyear in the less physically demanding parts of the trail from Shenandoah NP north, build up your muscles, fitness, and drop some weight on these less strenous parts of the trail to avoid "too much too soon" (and also get milder weather) while still headed north with this years NOBO class to Maine, and then flip back to finish SOBO. Just a thought.

I think this is an excellent suggestion. If I were to hike the whole AT thru, this is the route I think I'd prefer.

Wings:

First off, I love your nickname. I'd say stick with it. It's got character and power to it - stands out. Second, I highly recommend that you read a few trail journals. Specifically, your fellow Floridian, GatorGump, who thru'd a few years back Trailjournals.com. Also, checking out, if you've not already, a few trail books would be in order. I liked both Barefoot Sisters books. Bill Bryson's is a natural. Others can recommend other good AT books as well.

I recommend GatorGump specifically b/c he's from Fla. He prepped by, among other things, climbing multi-story staircases with a pack on his back. I think he also did the sandy beach-walking thing. He's funny and an easy read, as well, plus he shows some of the best and worst of confidence and irreverence. His cockiness was humbled somewhat by his trail experience at times. Highly recommend that journal as a good read and instructive.

The Canada Geese and Croft from 2010 also had good trail journals.

I believe you can get this done and have a strong feeling you will. Will be rooting for you all the way, and if I can, I will support you as you pass nearby me - resupply rides, slacking if needed, etc.

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 22:48
Lol @ early! You ain't kiddin' brother. Being nearly 500 lbs on a roof that you know is covering 1200 degrees of burning contents tends to make one feel with their feet. I haven't found poles yet that satisfy my. I'll end up making my own I think.

Mr. Owl-I never thought of Columbia for some reason???Thanks for reminding me.

Turtle Feet- I have spoken to my aunt whom is a seamstress. The materials would end up costing me more than I want because of the volume she would have to buy. good idea though. I like where your head is at.

Stonedflea-I have taken the supplement glucosamine chondroitin. I took it for about 3 months after working 12 hour shifts in the ER. It worked well but eventually started irritating my stomach. Luckily I've been blessed with good joints, so it never lasts long. Thanks for the idea on the slackpacking but for me it would be blasphemous to not carry my own burden.

Just Jack-You might just have the best solution yet.

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 22:55
I'll have to look up Gator Gump. I have read Bryson's Book and Porter's "Just Passin' Thru" I really enjoyed both and found myself up until dawn reading and occasionally waking my dog up with bursts of laughter. Thanks Driver 8

NiteRaven
02-12-2011, 23:18
@ NiteRaven, awesome that's one I'd never seen before and def. big enough for sure. I'm just hoping I can find one a little cheaper-ouch 500 bucks.

Yep, WM is pricey but worth every penny. If that is too steep for you take a look at this Golite:

http://www.golite.com/Product/ProdDetail.aspx?p=361002110&mc=205&t=&lat=

I'm going to use this as a summer bag but your extra bulk might keep you warmer during the winter - like a polar bear. The key is to look for a semi-rectangular bag. That way you can open it up and use it as a quilt if you want.

NiteRaven
02-12-2011, 23:22
Also, Golite's mummy bag is one of the widest on the market. It might be a good choice if you aren't a claustrophobic like me. It's got a shoulder girth of 68 inches.

http://www.golite.com/Product/ProdDetail.aspx?p=161004110&mc=205&t=&lat=

LordoftheWings
02-12-2011, 23:29
Thanks for the info. I think I did see this one, yes this is one of the ones I was considering. I ALWAYS have my own personal summer going on so I have only been considering the semi's for size and "flip-ability" Yeah, 500 bucks is a bit steep for me. If I'm not happy or comfortable I will go reluctantly up a little in price. Seeing as I'm selling all of my possessions for this trip, I want to get the best bang for the buck. Thanks again, I will def. keep both of those in mind.

shraquel
02-12-2011, 23:41
Hi there,

yeah most of the hiking clothes out there are not made with larger people in mind (especially the ladies!). It'll also be nigh impossible to find stuff at a goodwill or consignment type place of the right kind and sizes as well (fashion notwithstanding). Have you checked out places that cater to hunters? Oftentimes, they'll have a much more diverse range of sizes and a lot of the clothing has become much more technical in the last decade or so. And also it can be cheaper than the fancy hiker stuff as well (different target demographic, for sure..) You might feel a bit silly with all the camo/orange, but at least you'll be comfortable.

http://www.bigcamo.com/

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 00:00
shraquel, It has been an effort for sure, but then again. It always has been since I was 12. (6'2'' and 225) My local Gander Mountain does carry a lot of hunting supplies and they are actually using the term (base layer) for their products. I'm a self proclaimed redneck anyway. Camo is dress up wear in central Florida!
As I posted in another section, I'm 375 lbs. If I want to wear a fanny pack (man purse) and a hot pink t-shirt that's too small for me and Proclaims, "Daddy's little Princess" I'll do it. Go ahead, make fun. If I catch you, you have a 375 lb. man-hug coming your way.

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 00:02
Thanks for the link. I never knew that existed!

4eyedbuzzard
02-13-2011, 01:05
As I posted in another section, I'm 375 lbs. If I want to wear a fanny pack (man purse) and a hot pink t-shirt that's too small for me and Proclaims, "Daddy's little Princess" I'll do it. Go ahead, make fun. If I catch you, you have a 375 lb. man-hug coming your way.
I just can't picture you in a hot pink "Daddy's little Princess" tee.

Some "Hello Kitty" gear would seem more your style :p :D :banana

http://www.greatgiftsandtoys.com/ProductImages/backpacks/backpacks0714/hkty_B01_sm.jpg

http://static.letsbuyit.com/filer/images/uk/products/original/189/84/hello-kitty-igloo-tent-18984370.jpeg

[Legs, don't fail me now!]

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 01:51
:DSeriously, If I could get that in my size, I'd rock that stuff like a new pair of shoes!!!!!!!

NCarolinaHiker
02-13-2011, 02:08
I'm 6'6 and (right now) 265lbs. I wear between a size 15 and a 17 depending on shoe manufacturer. I've always worn New Balance because they were comfortable, priced fairly, and available in a large size and most often available in a wide, if I needed.

I switched from New Balance low top trail shoes into Merrell Moab Ventilators in a mid-height, light hiking boot. These are phenomenal for me! REI (among other places) carries them up to a size 15, so it might be something for you to consider. I can definitely sympathize with your size being difficult to equip yourself with gear. It's difficult to find clothing to fit my XL-Tall body, let alone needing a larger size as well - I could imagine it's even tougher for you.

Best of luck to you in your AT attempt and in your weight loss and health goals. You're incredibly motivating, please know that.

Are you going to maintain a trail journal? I'd love to follow along your progress.

Driver8
02-13-2011, 02:14
I'll have to look up Gator Gump. I have read Bryson's Book and Porter's "Just Passin' Thru" I really enjoyed both and found myself up until dawn reading and occasionally waking my dog up with bursts of laughter. Thanks Driver 8

Great. The Barefoot Sisters books - not to harp on it - for me were both stay-up-all-night-reading books. Of course much of it focuses on their hiking barefoot. But what I liked best was the way they take you along with them, day by day, in a practical and useful rendering on what life on the trail is like. They were very smart and very well-prepared for most all contingencies. Knew all the practical stuff, gear, camping technique, etc. Their grasp of the flora you run into on trail would scarecely be exceeded by a professional botanist - in fact, one of the sisters is now a research biologist working in Costa Rica. If you can find time for them, I highly recommend.

On clothes: as a big guy - about 300# and 5'10", and like you, muscular and strong of build (I'm good for 25 pushups at one shot at the age of 44, and about the same number of sit-ups and can go an hour-plus without trouble on an elliptical at a pretty good clip) - I think underwear will be important. If I were thru-ing, I would want some sort of synthetic, mid-to-low thigh-riding snug undies. Kinda keep everything unto itself. I worry less about this, myself, as a day hiker - this year planning to step up to weekend-long trips.

Also, based on experience, for warmer times, I'd want a synthetic t-shirt for similar chafe-prevention duty. I've found baby power helpful, too, if it's worth the weight to carry.

PS: Not to be too nosy, but it can be helpful for people to know - how old are you?

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 02:15
NC, I wish I knew more about keeping such a journal. I will be taking notes and pictures/video of the entire thing. I'm sure it will take me months to edit. My boss is making me take one of our SPOT GPS units even though I haven't fully learned how to use it yet. This is all new to me. Ignorance or determination? I'm not sure which is my strongest suit yet.

Driver8
02-13-2011, 02:21
Oh, one other thing. For gear and clothes, I'd look at an Army Surplus store, as well. Never hurts to check out what the professionals do. As a firefighter, you've already got a leg up on most of us, and this tip is probably not news for you anyhow. But just in case. ...

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 02:21
Oh, NC thanks for the shoe tips. I have tried the Merrels and they are my favorite so far. That link that was given earlier to bigcamo.com from shraquel (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/member.php?u=30214) was a goldmine for big and tall gear.

Driver I'm 36. I'll change it on my profile when I figure it out. I'm a facebooker and just when I figure it out, they change it.

NCarolinaHiker
02-13-2011, 02:23
Just for fun - I don't know if that 68" GoLite bag will fit you so well. I don't know my chest measurements offhand, but I zipped up in a Marmot Sawtooth XtraWide/Long model with a stated 70" shoulder girth and my chest was uncomfortably restricted and tight. I think a Montbell Super Stretch/Super Spiral might be a better suit for you with a shoulder girth from 57"-81" (source Montbell.us). Prices aren't horrible either, for a quality bag.

Driver8
02-13-2011, 02:25
NC, I wish I knew more about keeping such a journal. I will be taking notes and pictures/video of the entire thing. I'm sure it will take me months to edit. My boss is making me take one of our SPOT GPS units even though I haven't fully learned how to use it yet. This is all new to me. Ignorance or determination? I'm not sure which is my strongest suit yet.

If it fits your budget, get a good smart phone. You can journal from the trail where there's adequate signal, as there is lots of places. The 'droids and iphones are remarkably easy to use, and plenty of ppl here can tutor you quickly up to speed on tj'ing from trail via smartphone.

I believe you'd develop a strong following quickly - you've got a good head start on one here already. That could mean lots of people along the way willing to make themselves useful/helpful to you. Rides to resupply, overnight stays, slacks, and other trail magic. The value of it, from my limited experience and from what I gather from tj's and trail books, cannot be overstated. I strongly commend to you that it's worth the effort.

NCarolinaHiker
02-13-2011, 02:27
To echo Driver8, an iPod Touch is also another device you could use for journal keeping, using WiFi as opposed to 3G (when you can get it) to upload to the internet. It doesn't have the up front or maintenance costs of a smartphone but has equal features if WiFi/3G isn't an issue for you.

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 02:50
I have a droid 2 and it's capable of way more than I use it for. I'm not sure how I ever lived without it though??????? I have the original iPOD 60 gig or whatever it was. It's in my truck. Now that you mention it, I have been thinking of switching to a iPhone 4 now that verizon offers it. My truck head unit is a media only piece (I never use cd's anymore) I can control an iPOD or Iphone with the head unit as well as receive calls hands free and use the pandora radio feature. Hmmmmmmmm?

Driver8
02-13-2011, 02:55
With a droid 2, you pretty much don't need an iPhone unless you really want one. Functional equivalence. And with more Android phones - all models, together - selling than iphones now, the app gap is shrinking.

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 02:59
I do like that there's otter boxes for the iPhones. I'm terribly rough on everything. who knows?

NCarolinaHiker
02-13-2011, 02:59
If you were out of contract, switching to an iPhone 4 would be more of an upgrade only on the AT&T network, but the Verizon version isn't anything more than what you already have, and in some ways, it's a little less. I'd keep it and utilize it for what it is.

4eyedbuzzard
02-13-2011, 10:31
If you were out of contract, switching to an iPhone 4 would be more of an upgrade only on the AT&T network, but the Verizon version isn't anything more than what you already have, and in some ways, it's a little less. I'd keep it and utilize it for what it is.
[More just an FYI for others] It's an equivalent upgrade only if you already have / are paying for a data plan. The big marketing push is to get everybody off phone / SMS text plans and force them into phones that require data plans (at $30 or so more per month) whether they want / need them or not.

Roots
02-13-2011, 12:06
Hey Wings...I think what you are doing is amazing!!! Don't let your size get you down! Just do it! The weight will come off with ease! Just take your time and have a GREAT time doing it! Just walking as many miles a day as you can--flat land or not--will help the muscles start to build back. Good Luck!! Definitely keep us posted! :sun

randyg45
02-13-2011, 12:31
I'm 6'3", 280#. I've driven a truck for years, which is the most sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle I know. Seriously terrible. I try to do three-mile hikes- walks, really- around my extremely hilly neighborhood two or three times a week. That and two, maybe three hikes a year on three day weekends is all the hiking-related exercise I get. I'm casually thinking about a hike in 2012, trying to get the finances and family responsibilities banked.

The best plan I've come up with, for me, (remember the word "casually", above ?) is to start at Harpers ferry, SOBO, the first of April. My thinking is heavily influenced by the ideas of milder weather, open hamburger stands/snack bars in Shenandoah NP, and plentiful supply towns for most of the start. All of which add up to carrying less food and gear.... I live close enough to HF that I may even cache food for the first two weeks or so... Shelters should be empty....

I definately plan to take it really easy the first couple weeks, bring a Kindle, knock off after maybe eight miles, read, eat, sleep. Let the body repair. But I figure I can kick it up pretty good as time goes on. After a month on the trrail I should weigh less, clothed and carrying a goodly food supply in my pack, than I did naked at the statrt.

Good luck. Have you thought of keeping a trail journal? Postholer, or trailforums?

ice99705
02-13-2011, 12:43
Hi Wings,
I'm a new poster/longtime lurker here, and have just a few thoughts for you.
First, shoes/boots. I've found that even higher priced high quality footwear breaks down so much faster at my current weight (around 300) that I prefer to buy the cheaper ones (hi-tec right now) and replace them ALOT more often. With these breathable stretch fabric boots the break-in doesn't seem as important as correct fit and footbeds that aren't broken down. The Merrells may last 500 miles or more on someone with a more conventional weight/size ratio but will break down in half the time overloaded (think load range on your truck tires).
I snoop the shops in the area constantly and check the clearance racks and have found Columbia and Outdoor Research clothing in 3X to be pretty common. also if you don't mind checking labels you'll find 100% synthetic clothing in lots of box stores that isn't advertised as such. No sense spending $50 for a tee when you'll be shrinking out of it in a month, better to go with the $4 one from walmart and replace it.
I do the unzip and quilt thing with a 15 degree kelty foraker tall and it works great with a good wide pad.

ice99705
02-13-2011, 12:57
Hey again,
Also wanted to mention that Ive noticed that with the extra weight it comes off so dramatically at first that it may seem unhealthy (lost 16 lbs in a week in Denali this fall). The trick is to over-hydrate to keep the toxins from building up or you'll really feel like crap starting the 3rd day out, so bad it may stop you, but don't lose heart, take a zero (or 2) and you'll feel better, It won't be as bad the next time and gets progressively better. That backache you feel isn't from your load, it's your kidneys rebelling against their extreme workload.

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 13:48
Thanks guys, I'm really quite overwhelmed with support here. I was told that I could get good support here from my local outfitter, but I'm still shocked. I hope I can return the favor:)

The data plan would remain the same and Best Buy (where I got my Phone in New Orleans) is currently offering half off for a trade/swap. I'm really only considering because or the interface with my truck stereo and itunes(which I'm already used to because of the iPod. They'll have to make me a sweet deal or no dice. I love my droid 2.
@ Roots-Thanks, I appreciate the support! (my size always gets me down-gravity is a cruel mistress)
@ Randy-I have had many friends over the years that were truck drivers and they all carried their spare right around the waist, had huge forearms like popeye and little tiny legs that looked like white strings hanging out of their shorts. I'm no expert on hiking. But 15 years in the medical field has allowed me to be aware of lifestyle issues. Just as someone suggested to me. Just get up and move. Any chance you get to walk, climb stairs or whatever is better for you down the road (forgive the pun) Peripheral neuropathy and diabetes are prevalent among drivers (I don't have to mention heart disease) If you know you're truly in bad shape just be honest with yourself. You have no one to prove anything to. The hike south is well recommended from many here, especially for beginners and the piggy-backers like us. I'm huge but in decent shape for my size. I'm bound and determined to punish myself into shape because I know me and my body well. (I was able to lose 103 lbs in 3 months last year under Doctors supervision) Hike Your Own Hike bro.

@ Ice-You are indeed correct my friend- I break down New Nike Shox like a double barrel shotgun. For that reason I've been trying to be frugal with all the clothing not just footwear-which brings me to another idea you gave me. Why not TJ Max or other outlets????? I have found cool stuff there before. I smell a shopping trip. I did find a pair of columbia's and Merells that were under 80 bucks. I might just snatch them up.
As far as the Kidneys go. I lived/worked in New Orleans for 2 years. Many of mornings I woke up with my liver and kidneys lying next to me screaming, "DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT TO US AGAIN!!!!"

talltimber
02-13-2011, 14:51
Hi - I'm female, 6'0" and size 12/13 shoes. Finding shoes is difficult for me too. I have found Zappos.com to be helpful in proving hard-to-find sizes. They almost never have deals on shoes BUT they offer free shipping both ways AND have a great selection of large shoes!! You can order several pairs at a time, try them on in your home then return the ones you don't want without any problem.
I just did a search on their website and found several hiking boots in your size.
Hope that helps!

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 14:56
Thanks Calitalltimber. I'll have to check that out fir sure (sorry, lame Joke I know)
Seriously, thanks for the insight.

Driver8
02-13-2011, 15:02
As far as the Kidneys go. I lived/worked in New Orleans for 2 years. Many of mornings I woke up with my liver and kidneys lying next to me screaming, "DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT TO US AGAIN!!!!"

Wings:

I quit drinking entirely 26 months ago. Never was a big drinker - had fun, mostly in my 20s, like most ppl - so it wasn't a huge adjustment. But it did my health untold good, as a diabetic. Food - or drink - for thought.

excuses
02-13-2011, 21:44
Just a thought on a sleeping bag. It would be twice the weight and cost though. How about a right and left zip sleeping bag? Good luck on your quest. The trail took 65lb for me and helps keep me focused on my health.

Gipsy
02-13-2011, 22:28
Dunno what kind of bag you have in mind, but I would go with a rectangle down bag. I've been looking at some lately L.L. Bean has one that looks like a winner.

Sassafras Lass
02-13-2011, 22:48
Howdy lordofthewings! I looked around a bit on the web and see that Columbia has a pretty good selection of 4x clothing. On their website I saw convertible pants, rain shells, fleece jackets, wicking shirts, etc... Sierra Trading Post even had some of their stuff on sale in 4x... Good luck brother! Hope to see you out there!

That's good advice, except Columbia runs SMALL, very small.

My MIL normally wears a 4, she has to wear 6-8 in Columbia. My husband is about 6'1.5", let's say between 270-290 (he's always fluctuating) and just had to exchange his Columbia Silver Ridge XL for a 2XL.

Sierra Trading Post has some terrific deals, see if you can find some blowout larger sizes.

It sounds like you have the mental capacity for a thru. We're leaving for Springer March 26th, hope to see you on the trail!

Sassafras Lass
02-13-2011, 23:02
Also, we got AWOL's "AWOL on the Appalachian Trail" yesterday and my husband has not put it down yet this entire weekend :) I've read only the first dozen pages but it's great so far. Also received our 2011 AT Guide (also AWOL's) and it is perfect, precisely what I wanted.

LordoftheWings
02-13-2011, 23:42
F-STOP-I'll have to look into AWOL's stuff. I have the thru-hikers companion and the data book, but that's it. Besides reading a few books and a few backpacker magazines. I know I'm in for a shock. The uncertainty and adaptability is part of the adventure, at least for me. Then again, I like to find answers when I need them too :)

Excuses-I did think of that but I did manage to climb into a regular (long) rectangular today and it was tolerable. I still looked like pigs in a blanket, but it wasn't bad. I'm sure that within a few months I'd be swimming in it. Thanks for the idea.

Gipsy, I haven't looked at L.L. yet but I'm such a tactile and wildly spontaneous buyer , I'll be surprised if I make it that long.

Red Beard
02-14-2011, 00:13
AWOL's 2011 guide is pretty slick. It pretty much has all the data from the Data Book.


F-STOP-I'll have to look into AWOL's stuff. I have the thru-hikers companion and the data book, but that's it. Besides reading a few books and a few backpacker magazines. I know I'm in for a shock. The uncertainty and adaptability is part of the adventure, at least for me. Then again, I like to find answers when I need them too :)

Excuses-I did think of that but I did manage to climb into a regular (long) rectangular today and it was tolerable. I still looked like pigs in a blanket, but it wasn't bad. I'm sure that within a few months I'd be swimming in it. Thanks for the idea.

Gipsy, I haven't looked at L.L. yet but I'm such a tactile and wildly spontaneous buyer , I'll be surprised if I make it that long.

generoll
02-14-2011, 10:02
just my $.02, but I met a guy last Spring that was slackpacking all the way to Fontana. It's more expensive that way, but it allowed him to get into shape a bit before he started carrying his pack. I think the longest day he put in was the 16.5 from Unicoi to Dicks Creek. Even that can be broken up. starting out without a pack might make things easier for you, but the cost of the shuttles might make this impractical.

Firefighter503
02-14-2011, 12:28
Good luck from another Firefighter headed NOBO 03/13/11. I know what you mean size wise - I am 6'0" and 260 lbs or so, but you would never guess it - I'm dense.

LordoftheWings
02-14-2011, 12:49
Ya, I'm going to save the money and walk at easy intervals until I'm comfortable. Thanks FF503. Before we went combination a few years back I was 903. You know how it is though. We might sound like a lot but it's not your typical, "have to cut the wall of the house" to get us out kinda big. I did 3 push-ups today with my pack loaded to 85lbs???? I don't think that's bad. My cardio is no where near where I want it yet, but time is of no concern for me. Just finishing. BTW, I'm dense too-----In the head:)

Tenderheart
02-14-2011, 17:25
When you do begin, begin slowly and then slow down some more. I'm very serious. Good luck and my hat's off to you, for what it's worth.

litefoot 2000

takethisbread
02-14-2011, 17:56
go shelter to shelter for the first month. start early and take enough breaks. you can do it. oh and start early in March and hike till October 15. you may still not finish but you will likely lose 80lbs and your life will be chnged. but you will suffer

Del Q
02-14-2011, 22:12
400+ lbs with a full load is 4000 pounds of pressure on each knee on the ups & downs, at least that is what my surgeon told me in october.

I am 240, in good shape with back, knee, hip issues. With a pack 270 lbs with every step, up, flat, down

Losing 150lbs short of cutting limbs off is not an option

So, take it really slow, easy, enjoy every step and hike your own hike, as a wise man said, "A Man Has Got to Know his Limitations".

Be honest with yours and have a blast in the outdoors, to me the AT keeps me focused on my food choices and fitness............

LordoftheWings
02-15-2011, 01:32
Will do. I think it will be an experience of a lifetime.

LordoftheWings
02-15-2011, 01:40
I have managed to find a couple shirts and shoes/boots. Getting there............

Just Jack
02-15-2011, 14:04
Let me offer you a few more suggestions. When you post like this, it can be a bit confusing to have ideas coming in from all over the place and not be able to ask follow up questions. The best advice that I received to help me with my thru was to get my hands on an ALDHA directory. Find 2-3 hikers in your area that have done a thru. Call them up--offer to buy them lunch or a beer if they will sit down with you and let you pick their brains. Generally they will be more than willilng to help you and you will get invaluable advice from people who have been there and done it.
You are talking about weight loss and getting in shape on the trail. You can do it!
But what you need to be thinking about is protecting the gains you make the day you walk off K. There is a hge weight loss on the traill but there is a huge weight rebound for hikers once they leave the trail. I left the trail at 5-9 and 163. Six months later I weighed 197. Plan on living on apples and Slim Fast the day you leave the traill or shortly thereafter you will put all your weight back on. Again--good luck.

Driver8
02-15-2011, 17:44
The best advice that I received to help me with my thru was to get my hands on an ALDHA directory. Find 2-3 hikers in your area that have done a thru. Call them up--offer to buy them lunch or a beer if they will sit down with you and let you pick their brains.

Another place to find former thru-hikers (aside from here) would be at your local REI or EMS - often a store will have one or two, or more, on staff.

Blissful
02-15-2011, 19:36
I have not read through all the posts but be sure you are cleared to do this by an MD. Sure you will be fine. My hubby at one time is 5 9 and weighed 306lb and he hiked and lost 30 lb in one month doing Maine last summer. he is doing the JMT this summer

DavidNH
02-15-2011, 20:06
LordoftheWings,


At 375 pounds your weight is definitely not an asset for a thru hike. Don't let that stop you though.

Here's my best advice for you:

1) as far in advance of your expected start date as possible.. start exercising. Walk say an hour a day 5-7 days per week.

2) It's even more important for you then the avg hiker to keep pack weight modest (under 40 pounds fully loaded).

3) When you do start your hike, plan on very modest mileage. Even just go shelter to shelter (meaning 5 miles per day) for the first couple weeks. It's going to be a challenge. expect it. This is absolutely key. You can always kick the mileage up further up the trail if you find you can handle more. But don't over push yourself at the start.


4) You will lose a lot of weight and get into far better physical condition if you thru hike. However, for that to happen you need to not quit in the first couple weeks. In order not to quit, you will need to 1) to be doing very modest mileage at the start and 2) have a very determined attitude. That's what gets you over the tough times. Like when you have to hike all day in the rain.


Finally, may I ask you.. how much do you love being outside.. walking in the woods, and being alone in nature in all types of weather? I think more potential thru hikers should ask them selves this question before they set off on a thru hike.

David

Ogre
02-15-2011, 20:43
(these companies make you feel like Ogres don't they?)

Tell me about it!

LordoftheWings
02-16-2011, 01:53
My doc is totally on board with the whole thing. I do plan on taking it easy and doing distance as tolerated. I'm absolutely not one to give up. Unfortunately, I'm one of those guys that pushes hard when he shouldn't. I'll have a harder time saying "take a break"

@ Dave- I absolutely love the woods. Since I was a kid, I was always being drug by my ears in before dark. I used to always go out for hours with either my bike or 4 wheeler and just go until dark or later. It was always my escape.

I feel like I'm returning to an old friend more than depriving myself of comfort.


Also as a nice addition today with the gear-Although I went to 11 different stores including 3 big name outfitters I found no clothes my size.
I did however find a northface bag today that fits me for 49 bucks.

@ OGRE-nice.

Fats
02-16-2011, 03:43
Wings, I wish we were going out at the same time, but we are probably going to be around a year apart. I think we would be a good team.

I am also on the heavier side at 280 currently.

I've been doing all the reading and lurking I possibly can, and I currently have a Marmot 3p tent for sleeping that I will test over the next year, as well as a Hennessy clone I am currently making.

From what I have read the Hammock is great for guys like us since it's easier on the back, and allows decent sleep, and recovery. They also cut back on some weight, though I have not tested this yet.

I am making my own, and therefore will be able to double up on seams, and material to make it stronger than "stock" Hammocks.

Like I said before (so people understand), I have not trail tested anything yet, and won't be able to for a while, but so far the reviews on using a hammock are positive, I hope to have a personal full review for others soon. (from a big guys perspective)

Brad

Jim Adams
02-16-2011, 08:51
Yo dude, just go and have fun!
I didn't catch how old you are and that will certainly make a difference.
Cardio will be your main problem at first...just stop everytime that you need to, don't push it too much. As you get in better conditioning it's the little things that will show you that you are improving. You will get further between stopping to catch your breat. You will start taking longer steps or strides as you improve. All of those things will not be very noticable unless you watch for them because they will make you just as tired as you were when you were first starting but getting further doing it.
I was 212lbs and a 40 inch waist on my first thru @ 37 years old...I finished @ 147lbs and a 29" waist.
I was 228lbs and a 42" waist when I started my second thru @ 49 years old and finished with a 32" waist @ 165 lbs.
I am currently 242lbs and losing with a 46" waist @ 58 years old and I wouldn't hesitate to thru again this year. I never worked out or attempted to get into hiking condition prior to my hikes...I just went slow until I got my trail legs and then steadily improved to Maine but I also did not have any underlying medical problems...just too much food and not enough exercise...I'm a paramedic, seems our professions alone aren't enough to maintain a healthy life style.
As far as clothing goes, most manufacturers won't have your size but with alittle creativity you can find things that will work. ex: Mountain Hardware doesn't make the shirt you need in your size?...go to Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, etc. and look for items in your size made from the same material as the Mountain Hardware item. It will usually be heavier, not hiking fashion and may not last as long but it will work similar and be cheaper.
Just go slow, have fun and even though you may be tired and exhausted, enjoy every moment. You will come home a changed man in the end and it won't all be about your size.

geek

NCarolinaHiker
02-16-2011, 13:14
In case you were wanting to try it, a guy on BackpackingLight has a new with tags Marmot Sawtooth LONG/EXTRA WIDE on sale for $200 shipped. Retail is $269 +/-

Check the Gear Swap forum.

Ladytrekker
02-16-2011, 13:27
I forgot to mention. I currently wear 4x tall shirts and 48x32 pants. I think my last wedding measurement was 62' chest. (yes I need a man-zire)

Before I did my section hike last year on the AT, I did a 3-day hike in the Withlacoochee State Forest in Inverness. I did have to drive thru the grid of dirt roads and get close to where I was going to camp and hid some water jugs. The area is dry but it was a good long hike and pretty in there.

Also I have hiked from White Springs to Suwannee River State Park on the Suwannee River section of the Florida Trail. It is a series of ravines, sinkholes and one area that had a metal cable to hold onto to climb up a hill with 100 to 150 foot inclines it was the most challenging that I have encountered in Florida and beautiful it would be a good place for you to try an area with up and downs.

Driver8
02-16-2011, 14:23
@ Dave- I absolutely love the woods. Since I was a kid, I was always being drug by my ears in before dark. I used to always go out for hours with either my bike or 4 wheeler and just go until dark or later. It was always my escape.

I feel like I'm returning to an old friend more than depriving myself of comfort.

Sounds like me, although no 4 wheeler or bike - horses and on foot for me.

Hike4Life!
02-16-2011, 14:59
Wings, when do you plan on starting? I will be a rather large thru-hiker myself, currently 290lbs, and would like to see how you are doing out on the trail. I am planning on an April 1st start date with a friend who will be joining me for the first week or so.

I dont plan on spending an outragious sum of money on my hiking clothes. I tend to drop a lot of weight during prolonged exercise so I dont want to spend $400 on clothes and then have to replace most of my wardrobe a few months later. Going out for a mini-shakedown this weekend. Heres to adventure:banana

Tallpaul
02-16-2011, 15:51
Hi there Wings! I too will be starting on the trail in March (target 17th). I'm 6' 2", 64 years old, and currently 260 # (down from 288 last Oct). Although I have been doing some prep (elliptical & total gym since snow and cold weather hit here in PA), I will definitely be going slow to start (planning hut to hut). I have too have found finding equipment that fits difficult. I am using a Hubba tent for over a year now and just bought a WM bag. I just fit the Hubba and WM fits perfectly. I roll around allot at night so a good fit is critical on the bag. I've read all the entries to date and there is great advice here. Good luck and I hope to see you on the trail.

rgarling
02-16-2011, 16:47
If no one has mentioned it yet, get some trekking poles. Anything that helps transfer the stress away from the knees will help.

LIhikers
02-16-2011, 19:03
For a sleeping bag let me suggest the Montbell U.L.Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 Long. It's rated at 15 degrees and stretches to an 81 inch girth at the shoulders. I have the earlier version of this and it's a good quality bag. You can see it at HERE (http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=796&p_id=2321110)

LordoftheWings
02-16-2011, 23:13
Thanks LIhikers. I did look at that one before too and it was in the running. I looked at a bunch yesterday in Orlando. I went all over creation. With 100 bucks of gas I only found one bag that fit. They gave me a fantastic deal on a NorthFace Yeti. It fits great and can be opened like a quilt. I picked it up for 49 bucks, so if it doesn't work out, I won't feel so bad buying another.

For you other guys, I'm probably going to start the 2nd or 3rd week of March. I'm having a heck of a time finishing my gear (clothes especially) and I hope to see all of you on the trail. I'll try to find a hot pink shirt so I'll be easier to find.

BTW, for you other plus sized princess out there like me, Bass Pro-Shop, Columbia outlet, Northface Outlet, Underarmor Outlet, Nike Outlet, Addidas Outlet, Reebok outlet, Sports Authority and a few other smaller places DO NOT carry anything larger that a 3x. MOST of them don't carry over 2x. Save yourself the frustration and gas.

Red Beard
02-16-2011, 23:46
If you're out the 2nd week of March, I hope to see you on the trail. Us fat guys need to stick together. :p


Thanks LIhikers. I did look at that one before too and it was in the running. I looked at a bunch yesterday in Orlando. I went all over creation. With 100 bucks of gas I only found one bag that fit. They gave me a fantastic deal on a NorthFace Yeti. It fits great and can be opened like a quilt. I picked it up for 49 bucks, so if it doesn't work out, I won't feel so bad buying another.

For you other guys, I'm probably going to start the 2nd or 3rd week of March. I'm having a heck of a time finishing my gear (clothes especially) and I hope to see all of you on the trail. I'll try to find a hot pink shirt so I'll be easier to find.

BTW, for you other plus sized princess out there like me, Bass Pro-Shop, Columbia outlet, Northface Outlet, Underarmor Outlet, Nike Outlet, Addidas Outlet, Reebok outlet, Sports Authority and a few other smaller places DO NOT carry anything larger that a 3x. MOST of them don't carry over 2x. Save yourself the frustration and gas.

4eyedbuzzard
02-16-2011, 23:52
Us fat guys need to stick together. :p
Nice thought - bad visual.

Appalachian Tater
02-17-2011, 00:16
Get your pack weight down to 30 pounds if you can. Don't accept 45 or 50 pounds just because you're big.

Go slow. Like someone said, if you only do five miles a day at first, fine. Avoid injury, especially to your knees. As you lose weight and get used to hiking you can put down more miles. You're not just walking, you're climbing up and down mountains. Sometimes it's hard at first and it's all you can do to get to the next switchback.

If you have skin folds or other places that will rub and get irritated (crotch, upper arms, breasts) you should get Bodyglide or one of the other friction-easing skin protectants made for sports.

Stay hydrated and eat healthy food. Plan now for how you are going to keep the weight off once you finish hiking or you will gain it back as fast as you lost it. Don't eat the unhealthy food most thru-hikers eat.

You are going to lose a LOT of weight. Make sure your pants and belt and backpack can accommodate that. I wouldn't be surprised if you lost a pound a day for a while.

For a shelter I would recommend a Tarptent Rainbow model. I think it would accommodate you comfortably now and still be a good shelter after you lost 100 or 150 pounds.

Have fun!

LordoftheWings
02-17-2011, 00:37
I looked for body glide all over and haven't seen it in person. I got a two person tent and it seems to be fine so far. I don't think I can do the tarp thing. I'm a sissy when it comes to bugs. I'll scream like a cheerleader. I'll def. be taking it easy if I expect to make it.

I'm not sure how but I keep missing folks?

stonedflea
02-17-2011, 00:40
i've forgotten what you said about what shelter you were using, but i ran across this just now while browsing with stumbleupon, and i thought of you. :) the comfort level goes to 350, and it looks pretty hardcore. just thought i'd share!

http://www.junglehammock.com/models/nx250/index.php

LordoftheWings
02-17-2011, 01:18
@ Stonedflea-That does look very appealing, I love hammocks. Having a 700lb bursting rating is comforting as well. I could do that way easier than a tarp. Again, I'm a sissy with bugs.

@Buzzard-Tell me you wouldn't want to hike with a herd of fatguys? If We all wore corduroy, it would sound like a horde of locusts and could quite possibly start a forest fire..

@ Red Beard--Keep looking for me, You never know, we might be able to scare some people out of their seats and get kicked out of an AUCE buffet?

@ Fats-I'm sure I'll have lots to write about. I'll keep the steak and potatos folks updated as well.

@ Jim Adams- Wow, that's pretty amazing! I'm not sure what to expect other than being able to see my toes for the first time since I was 12.

@ Lady Trekker-I live like 4 miles from the Withlacoochee Forest. I've been in there a million times. It is nice. You're right about hiking in sand. It's no joke for sure. I've been all through the Ocala state forest too, but on an ATV.

@ Tall Paul-Hope to see you there too. We might start a million pound hike instead of a million man march?

Jim Adams
02-17-2011, 01:34
LordoftheWings,
I'll see you out there...I'll be between Springer and Low Gap the week of the 12th-19th.

geek

Driver8
02-17-2011, 01:49
BTW, for you other plus sized princess out there like me, Bass Pro-Shop, Columbia outlet, Northface Outlet, Underarmor Outlet, Nike Outlet, Addidas Outlet, Reebok outlet, Sports Authority and a few other smaller places DO NOT carry anything larger that a 3x. MOST of them don't carry over 2x. Save yourself the frustration and gas.

The phone and the internet are your friend - big time-savers! Just sayin'. ... I'm 2X, mostly, and even that can be a problem at times. ...

Driver8
02-17-2011, 01:50
Nice thought - bad visual.

And great catch. Chuckle. ...

Red Beard
02-17-2011, 09:12
@ Red Beard--Keep looking for me, You never know, we might be able to scare some people out of their seats and get kicked out of an AUCE buffet?



ROFL! Now all I can think of is that John Pinette standup bit: Chinese Restaurant. "You been here 4 hour! You no come here anymore."

Classic!

NCarolinaHiker
02-17-2011, 11:44
Here's the link to that Marmot Sawtooth Long/Wide.. price reduced to $175.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=43047&skip_to_post=366608#366608

missionary
02-17-2011, 17:23
Keep your pack as light as you can to start and then the trail will teach you what you really need and don't need. As for being in shape the trail will do that. Start out doing low miles. At the end of my third day last year it took me 2 hours to go the last three miles. I took two days off. your knees and legs will strenghten as you go. It took me almost 5 weeks till I felt comfortable going up and down mts. all day. Good luck to you

rpenczek
02-17-2011, 17:37
I did not take the time to read every response, so please forgive me if my 2 cents is redundant.

I began backpacking at 6'2" 340 lbs. So, I too invested in big gear. I have a few recommendations, each a budget dependent (I used all of these items in the 320 to 340 weight range. At this weight my suit size was 56 L (jacket) and pants where 52/54 waist and 32 long. (I know your pain).

Sleeping bag is the hardest part.

In expensive:
Marmot Trestles extra big 15 degree (synthetic and heavy)
Marmot Sawtooth extra big 15 degree (down)
These are the same bag with one being down and the other synthetic. Even with the girth, I added an 8" bag extender (a little strip of material with a zipper one eithe side that you zip into the bags zipper.) (I owned and used the trestles)

I changed to a Big Agnes 15 degree down bag. This bag was lighter and had even more room that ny Marmot. I also added the 8" extender for even more room. I fell in love with the Big Agnes insulated air core pad and will never use a closed cell pad again.

Finally, I changed out to a Mont Bell Ultra Light Super Stretch 30 degree bag. By far the most expensvie, but by far the lightest and most comfortable and even as a 30 degree bag, might be warmer than the Marmot and BA bags. Note, I did not need the bag extender on this bag, but you could get an additional 8" here too. If I could turn back time, this would be the only bag purchased. ($320)

Boots are going to be another issue. I could not hike in trail runners, I think my weight and the weight of my pack just killed my feet if I did not have hard soled boots. Your success may very. I have size 13 wide and use Asolo boots still (I am 235 now). I could now change up to trail runners, but I really like my boots.

Remember, the first places to cut weight on your gear (and the most cuttable weight) are Pack, Tent and Bag. Spend you cash here.

rpenczek
02-17-2011, 17:40
One other thing:

Columbia makes some 3x and 4x clothing (fleese and zip off pants).

Underarmor has 3x items. Hard to find in stores, but on their web site you can get them.

Marmot Precip makes a 3x rain coat (black only)

Columbia makes 3x rain pants

check out Wally World (Walmart) for 3X generic synthetic clothing.

Finally, the Boy Scouts have lots of fat leaders (I am one of them) so they make synthetic zip off pants in huge sizes. The BSA logos are quite small on the pants and they work great.

Ashman
02-17-2011, 21:11
I looked for body glide all over and haven't seen it in person. I got a two person tent and it seems to be fine so far. I don't think I can do the tarp thing. I'm a sissy when it comes to bugs. I'll scream like a cheerleader. I'll def. be taking it easy if I expect to make it.

I'm not sure how but I keep missing folks?

REI will have it. If your local REI doesn't, order it online. The will ship it to the store at no cost.

Turtle Feet
02-17-2011, 21:45
Amazon carries body glide, any runners stores will have it too...

tf

LordoftheWings
02-20-2011, 03:04
I did manage to get a northface Yeti bag. It fit well enough and the price was great. I tried on nearly all of the mentioned bags minus the mont-bell. They just wouldn't do for the money at the time. Since I only payed 49 for my N.F. I can upgrade later.

Most of the 3x stuff just isn't big enough. especially the Underarmor stuff. I look and feel like a bratwurst. Only online places carry the right size so I've been shopping and comparing.

I've been trying different socks, insoles and such with the boots. I may just have to get another brand. I think the biggest problem is that the wool/synthetic make me sweat so bad. It seems as though my foot is swimming before I go a mile. It has been in the mid 80's here this week so, that might be an issue.

I still haven't found a bear bag/container I'm happy with. Suggestions?

Driver8
02-20-2011, 09:06
I've been trying different socks, insoles and such with the boots. I may just have to get another brand. I think the biggest problem is that the wool/synthetic make me sweat so bad. It seems as though my foot is swimming before I go a mile. It has been in the mid 80's here this week so, that might be an issue.

It's the heat, and presumably the humidity - you won't run into comparable conditions much on a NB thru (except, coincidentally, up here in NY/CT/MA area). Wool socks, well, kick cotton socks' butt - I got lots of blisters early on last year w/ cotton and almost none since making the switch, and I sweat like a fountain. Have you tried some of the synthetic wool/blend socks?

CowHead
02-20-2011, 09:50
i was big when i started hiking 3 years ago 360 now i'm 210 and the main point thats been stated is walk slow then walk slower, my only form of exercise is walking, and eating right you can do it. I'll do my thro hike in 2025 when i retirer, right now i'm a section hiker and I start NJ to ? the two weeks I'll do this summer

LordoftheWings
02-20-2011, 11:54
I figured that would be most of the issue right away. I know I'm not going to see the 80's and 90's until much farther north. So far I haven't got a blister but it's terribly uncomfortable.

I did find a cheaper place on-line for fat clothing. www.kingsize.com They might not be an outfitter but they have some base layer stuff that is up to 9x and it's reasonable.

weary
02-20-2011, 12:05
This was good advice. Forget long distance days at least for a while. Just take your time. If you only do 5 miles a day (or even less) there is no shame. The main thing is being alive to tell about it. I'm planning a thru hike of the GSMNP in March of 2011 and I'm planning for only 7 miles a day because that's the average distance between shelters and you pretty much have to use the shelters thru the Smokies unless you're willing to walk a few to several miles off the AT each day to get to a campsite, which is adding more miles anyway. My first 2 days I'm actually planning only about 5 to 6 miles a day. The distance to Birch Spring Gap backcountry campsite the first day and Mollies Ridge shelter on day 2, which I think is only about 5 miles. If you start at Springer by the time you get to the Smokies you should be able to do the 7 mile days easily.
Pay no attention to people who may be preaching you have to do 12 to 15 miles a day. If they wanta walk their legs down to stumps ..let em but you and I don't have to.
Have a great hike!
This is wise advice. Try to stick to five miles or less for the first month. Spend at least two nights on the approach trail -- maybe three if your body tells you that is wise.

You can camp most anywhere south of the Smokies, so stop by mid afternoon and let your body recover from the unusual exertion. Strength comes with time. Take the time and you will succeed.

Driver8
02-20-2011, 14:06
Try to stick to five miles or less for the first month. Spend at least two nights on the approach trail -- maybe three if your body tells you that is wise.

This might be excessive. I reckon Wings is a pretty smart chap, and he'll figure it out pretty well for himself. He's working out daily. I'd say use common sense, listen to what your body says, and be especially careful on the downhills. Setting some arbitrary mileage number is needless.

I do think the key here is repeating, day after day, with no rest in between. That will be the hard part - get plenty of sleep, soak your feet in cold water when possible, and take zeroes when needed.

Turtle Feet
02-20-2011, 14:49
I still haven't found a bear bag/container I'm happy with. Suggestions?

I'm using a cuben fiber bag from www.zpacks.com (http://www.zpacks.com) They come in different sizes, I think I'm using their largest. VERY durable. IMHO you don't need a bear-proof container on the AT. Of course, the bear may prove me wrong on that...lol. I think I also bought my line from him, it's a super tough but thin rope - I think 50' was around $12.

Good luck!

tf

Turtle Feet
02-20-2011, 15:01
Just checked the zpacks site on that cuben fiber bag heres the info:

.51 oz/sqyd Cuben Fiber
weight: .40 oz. / 11 grams
price: $17.95

It seems to be the perfect size for me for a food bag - max 4 days of food.

tf

Just Jack
02-20-2011, 15:06
Sounds like you are still having trouble with clothing. If you hike in pants or shorts, you will have to learn to hike with a hiking pole in one hand and the other hand holding up your pants/shorts to keep them from falling down around your knees. Your weight loss will be so great( good news) that you will be looking for a thrift shop every two weeks to find something that fits. Consider having a dedicated leather belt that you can punch holes in to give you a record of your weight loss on the AT. Or-- since your hike will be about solving problems, learn to think outside the box. A lot of guys use a kilt to hike in--helps with the chaffing issues. Get yourself a kilt. Can't find a kilt in your size? Surely you can find a ladies skirt that will fit you. Can't find a ladies skirt? Surely you can find yourself a ladies dress that will work. Might as well have some giggles as you go up the trail. A skirt/dress will last you a long time--You won't be buying a new outfit every couple weeks. Eventually you will lose enough weight to get yourself into guy clothes. (no pun intended)
Finally--get yourself a monster case of jock itch--the kind you have to use a disc sander to scratch. The kind you have to pour sulfuric acid on the family jewels to cure. It will give you something to do as you walk up the trail. It will take your mind off some of the steep climbs. It will probably happen anyhow--whether you plan it or not. So keep the Gold Bond close by. Stay safe!

weary
02-20-2011, 19:43
Sounds like you are still having trouble with clothing. If you hike in pants or shorts, you will have to learn to hike with a hiking pole in one hand and the other hand holding up your pants/shorts to keep them from falling down around your knees. Your weight loss will be so great( good news) that you will be looking for a thrift shop every two weeks to find something that fits. Consider having a dedicated leather belt that you can punch holes in to give you a record of your weight loss on the AT. Or-- since your hike will be about solving problems, learn to think outside the box. A lot of guys use a kilt to hike in--helps with the chaffing issues. Get yourself a kilt. Can't find a kilt in your size? Surely you can find a ladies skirt that will fit you. Can't find a ladies skirt? Surely you can find yourself a ladies dress that will work. Might as well have some giggles as you go up the trail. A skirt/dress will last you a long time--You won't be buying a new outfit every couple weeks. Eventually you will lose enough weight to get yourself into guy clothes. (no pun intended)
Finally--get yourself a monster case of jock itch--the kind you have to use a disc sander to scratch. The kind you have to pour sulfuric acid on the family jewels to cure. It will give you something to do as you walk up the trail. It will take your mind off some of the steep climbs. It will probably happen anyhow--whether you plan it or not. So keep the Gold Bond close by. Stay safe!
Think suspenders!!!

LordoftheWings
02-21-2011, 01:57
Lol, I know I'm dreading the need for the anti-monkey-butt powder. I think it's great if I have to search for newer/better fitting clothes each week. I would certainly wear a skirt/kilt if I have to and use vines, roots or whatever for a belt. I know my adventure will be different than most folks. I guess I can even get suspenders if I need it. I'm glad I found the king size website. It has lots of big stuff that I won't mind losing later. I just don't want to buy 100+ dollar stuff only to buy a 50 cent skirt in 3 weeks.
@ Turtle Feet thank you for the info. I'll check it out.

AmyJanette
02-23-2011, 14:31
I want to add my support to your hike, Wings. I've found this group on WB to be very supportive and a great bunch for advice.

As a plus sized woman, I also feel your pain and had one heck of a time finding clothing to fit. I'm 5'8" and 275 lbs, and I finally had to buckle down and hit the Walmart men's section to find synthetic shirts that would fit. Most retailers, if they have plus sized women's stuff at all, think that most big women are short, so anything I tried on would leave my midriff bare...might be okay if I were alone on the trail, but I didn't want to subject my fellow hikers to my belly rolls...at least not before Naked Hiker Day...:p

I am planning an early April start, and hopefully I will have pared down the weight a bit more before then...I am down from 305, but I've slacked off a bit due to working doubles all the time to pay for my hike so I'm more out of shape than I'd like to be. I'm also in healthcare - why are all the fat people in healthcare??? I think it's maybe because we take care of other people so much we have no energy left to take care of ourselves. But enough with the excuses...I'm doing this in part to lose weight and get into shape, and I am not accepting any excuses on my own part, and from the sounds of it, neither are you. You have an awesome attitude, and it will get you through a lot on the trail! :) The best advice i've heard from all sides is hike your own hike, and don't let people speed you up if you're not up to it. But I've heard by about Virginia, you'll hit your stride and be rarin' to go! :)

And btw, I would offer to give you the websites I used to find a lot of my hiking clothes, but then you WOULD end up in a skirt...(for you plus sized ladies, www.junonia.com (http://www.junonia.com) is AWESOME! They have a line of wicking clothing called quikwik, and though it weighs a bit more, it FITS PERFECTLY!). One site that I didn't see suggested on here (and sorry if I missed it) is www.altrec.com (http://www.altrec.com) where I found some of my clothing, and they are doing some winter closeouts right now which means savings. I did a quick check and they do sell some mens clothing up to 4x for sure. Just something to check out!

And as for doing a trail journal, it's not as hard as one might think. I signed up at www.trailjournals.com (http://www.trailjournals.com) (trailname is Moosette) and it's a very easy site to post on, and quite a few people from this board have trail journals there. I'd suggest starting one up as soon as you can, so you get used to posting befre you leave, and it'll give you a great record of your journey (including the preparations) when you complete the trail. :) I am hoping it'll show me how far I've come from this beachball.

Best of luck on your hike...depending if I go faster than planned or you go slower, I may meet up with you on the trail! I'll be looking for the bright pink "daddy's little princess" shirt! :) Happy hiking!

MedWife
02-23-2011, 15:02
Wings, you rock! I am so happy to hear that you are not going to let anything stand in your way, and that determination is going to see you thru :)

My best friend and I are going to do a section hike starting at Springers, on June 1 of this year. We are both 44 yr old women who have full families (kids/husbands) and are used to the usual work of farm life, but wanted to make a life changing point in our lives and strive for the seemingly unattainable.

I wont speak for my friend, but I personally need to lose about 50# to get back to my pre-baby weight, and more than that I need to do this for my own mental well being.

I train horses for a living, run a full geared farm (dairy cows/horses/goats/ etc) but the motivation to do anything outside that realm is more than my mind can prepare for....until I decided to take this trip. I am not a skinny minny by any means, 5'10" and 215#, but I am praying that muscle memory will serve me well and that I can push myself thru both mentally and physically.

I am so very encouraged by all of the support you have received on this forum, and I pray the same will be for my friend and I. :) We have 3 mos to prepare, and are used to camping (thankfully) and roughing it...so more than likely the physical/mental challenge will be the most difficult aspect of our trek.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, just wanted to add my support and best wishes to you on your journey :D

Snowleopard
02-23-2011, 15:43
Trekking poles: I'm not sure how well the usual collapsible brands will hold for you. Cheaper and works well is to find used or closeout ski poles, probably aluminum is strongest.
Clothes: watch out for cotton! Wool, nylon, polyester are fine. Cotton is definitely no good when it's cold and wet. Some of the fleece on that kingsizedirect site are a cotton blend. Get all synthetic stuff. (Well, you can use cotton when it's hot, but carry synthetics in case it gets colder and wetter.)
MYOG: For clothes and gear where you can't find what you need, sew your own or get a seamstress to do it. Some places for patterns and fabrics:
http://therainshed.com/
http://owfinc.com/
If worse comes to worse, use a fleece poncho for warm clothes (get a synthetic fleece blanket and cut a hole in it for your head).
Sleeping bag: Making a hiking quilt with climashield or primaloft insulation isn't too hard. Some of the smaller gear manufacturers would custom make one for you.
Backpack: buy when you know how much stuff you have to carry. If you have to, modify the shoulder straps and waist to fit.

Have fun!

Croft
02-23-2011, 16:57
If you hike in pants or shorts, you will have to learn to hike with a hiking pole in one hand and the other hand holding up your pants/shorts to keep them from falling down around your knees.
By Daleville, VA, the only thing holding my pants up was my backpack's hip belt so it was always funny watching me take my pack off in the evening and doing everything one-handed.

AmyJanette
02-24-2011, 13:29
Note to self...take safety pins to hold up my pants...lol...:p

LordoftheWings
02-24-2011, 14:21
@ AmyJanette- Thanks for the kind words. Good luck to you as well. I've never bee a small guy. 6'2'' and 225 at 12 years old with a 14 shoe. Buying clothes has ALWAYS been a nightmare. Thanks for the links as well. I'm sure most of us won't be recognizable after the hike. This why I'm trying so hard to buy appropriate but cheap clothing and gear now.

@ Medwife, no apologies needed. I've found much needed help and support here at this site and feel as though I almost have a fan club going:) I certainly am not judgmental about anyones size. Only their hearts and constitutions. I know the mental aspect will be the toughest for me. I'm very determined and adaptable. This doesn't give me much indication on how cold weather, weeks of rain or obnoxious animals waking me up before noon will effect me. I may end up being a diva on the trail? Who knows. if I am, slap me and give me a snickers. As far as the farm aspect. Farm work is no joke. I worked on and lived around farms as a kid in Pa. I know farm owners/workers are in much better shape than the large cross section of America.(myself included) I'm sure you'll be fine.

@ Snowleopard- I'm just not sure about the poles? I broke some Leki's in a store (don't want to give the name for self incrimination purposes-rhymes with Rick's Sporting Goods) I'm just so freakin' rough on equipment. If it's unbreakable, I'll find a way. I may whittle some if I get bored. I've never used them yet?

I know My biggest clothing problem (pun intended) Is finding long underwear my size that doesn't have any cotton content. I have found my size and above, but they have all had at least a 40-50% cotton content. I might have to just go with them and pray they never get wet. I'm sure the blends dry faster than 100% cotton. As far as the Seamstress option, I have talked to my Aunt about it and she would do the labor for free, but finding the materials is one thing, having to buy a large amount of it would be a larger expense than just buying a no-name brand. I've even been hitting the good-will's and such. No luck.
I seem to find everything but my size. I've even found 10X stuff recently. Crazy! I never knew it existed.

@ Croft-That is hysterical. I'm sure the one handed shuffle will be an issue for me as well. I can barely get my pack strap under my belly and connect it. The fact that I'm carrying a man-purse too is even better because I have to put it on BEFORE the pack. It will hold my camera and GPS and stuff so I'll try not to let it drop. I already look like I'm in a MMA fight with a volkswagon. It will be interesting to say the least.

Safety pins are a must.

q-tip
02-24-2011, 14:29
Hey- I lost 23 lbs before my 1,000 mi walk this august. I lost the equivalent of my backpack and all the gear before starting. Weight Watchers worked best for me and fit well in that I did not have to change the foods I was eating from before to the trip.

Good Luck.

Also-buy using plastic bags for rain gear i saved a total of 20 oz. let me know if you would like more info.

C.

LordoftheWings
02-24-2011, 19:46
@ q-tip good deal. Glad to hear your progress. I'm taking a few bags just in case but on that note I did find some stuff on-line today and thank God it was before the gas prices went up overnight.

I found rain gear, thermals, fleece and undergarments at a few different sites. I was mistaken earlier on one. For the other plus sized folks here's where they are:


http://www.davisbigandtall.com/davis/

http://www.kingsizedirect.com/

http://www.cabelas.com/

http://www.zappos.com

www.galls.com

SassyWindsor
02-24-2011, 21:03
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://99static.net/images/asof0526/ibeatanorexia.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.99volts.com/&usg=__XdRrbtwQpWMOnvGx4PynNGx_t1U=&h=527&w=687&sz=26&hl=en&start=12&sig2=LLj7p7YAvGJbfNVsERjw1g&zoom=1&tbnid=Y0mwm-wrK98VJM:&tbnh=136&tbnw=177&ei=OP9mTYSCH4eCtgfM9dDmAw&prev=/images%3Fq%3Di%2Bbeat%2Banorexia%2Bt%2Bshirt%26hl% 3Den%26safe%3Doff%26biw%3D1012%26bih%3D610%26gbv%3 D2%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C496&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=638&vpy=106&dur=390&hovh=197&hovw=256&tx=153&ty=103&oei=0f5mTYeRK465tgfgvZHoAw&page=2&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:12&biw=1012&bih=610

Rocket Jones
02-24-2011, 21:14
Not sure if they have the uber-big sizes, but I get thermals at theunderwearguys.com

good prices for good gear.

LordoftheWings
02-24-2011, 21:58
Interesting? I'll take a look.

LordoftheWings
02-24-2011, 22:02
They do have polypro stuff but it was one size off :(
I did manage to buy a set today so, it wasn't bad to spend an extra 5 bucks.

Dirty Nails
02-24-2011, 23:50
I think you should get used to buying whatever you can at Walmart. After all, you will be replacing most stuff as you go, and Wally-world is likely to be what's available along the way. And you will want to spend as little as posible if you replace stuff several times, especially clothing.
You don't need convertable (zip-off) pants. In fact, you don't really need any "special" hiking clothes at all. Just light weight, fast drying and comfortable.

I would suggest dumping any non-essential stuff like the SPOT (even though I own one). Keeping the weight down (and bulk) is paramount. You will find yourself mailing this kind of stuff home because you will get tired of carying it. But do carry a camera of some kind.

Everyone I met who suffered an injury (especially knee or foot) was doing more than 15mi days, even into Va. I started out hiking with buddies at 10-13 mi/dy. My knees couldn't take it after 3 days. I zeroed, dropped to 5-7 for a week and it got easier. Then I built up to eights, tens, twelves. I rarely broke 15. If 2 miles is all you can do today, then so be it. Better to do small miles than to blow out a knee. There is no shame in that. Think "tortoise beats hare"!
I took glucosamine/condroitin/MSM (Nature Made-Triple Flex, at Costco) for a month before I started and continued for about another month until the bottle ran out. I believe it helped until my joints got stronger. I also wore a couple of cheap (dollar store) elastic knee supports. They helped quite a bit until my knees strengthened.
Check Costco for socks too. I found Kirkland brand wool socks, 4 pack, $10. Just as good as Wigwam, can't tell the diff. I have not had a blister in years wearing wool.

At the end of the day, you need to do whatever it takes to keep going. You can plan to go NOBO, but if changing later to some kind of "flip-flop" is neccessary, then, again, so be it. Keep in mind that you may later choose to change plans. No shame in that either. Above all, it's your hike, expect to be flexible and don't forget to enjoy it. That's not always as easy as it sounds.
Good luck!

Yobo
02-25-2011, 06:52
Advice for large gentlemen:
Take little steps. Literally. When going up or down, adapt to tiny shuffle steps. Use strong trekking poles. I'm told it's how Sherpas carry heavy loads daily and don't risk injury.
I found I could shuffle up and down Alps faster than young, trim climbers and do it with practically no knee pain. Taking large steps, either up or down, caused me quick fatigue.
And take little days. Especially at first. Stop and rest often. Nap a lot. Laugh a lot. Don't give yourself goals you HAVE to make each day, other than the goal to love every minute of an incredible adventure. And remember: We XXX guys have XXXX-sized hearts.

LordoftheWings
02-25-2011, 17:52
@ Yobo, I NEVER take myself to seriously-I'm just defective that way. I will absolutely be doing what I can to stay healthy. Ortho-wise or other. I did find some better boots-at 50% off so I can't wait for them to get here.

@ Dirty Nails-I have done all of the wal-mart-goodwill-ross-yada yada stores and the truth of it is 99% of them don't carry my size and if they do it's 1 item and cotton. Your advice is sound but hard to do because of department store demographics.

I have listed above the sites that I found to have my size and be very helpful in helping me personally find what is going to work and be on a budget. I'm sure like everyone I'll send stuff home. I've been doing my own shakedowns to help improve my situation. I'm still scared to weigh my pack. I'll wain until all my clothes arrive.

Tuckahoe
02-25-2011, 18:14
Lord, I wish you all the luck and hope everything works out for you. I'm a big guy too, but I use to be much bigger. I'm 6'1" and about 5 years ago, I had a 54 inch waist and was over 300 pounds. I use to also buy clothing from King Size

I am now 270 and down to a 46 or 44 inch depending on the brand. It was really nice to start dropping off the fat clothes at Good Will.

My bad habbits included 3 or 4 sodas a day and a big meal late after I got home from work, without eating much while at work.

Now I try my best to spread meals out throughout the day and I have cut sodas down to maybe 3 or 4 a week. And when ever I go out I walk everywhere. More than anything cutting back on the sodas and walking had the biggest impact.

LordoftheWings
02-25-2011, 23:29
Good deal. I know Soda is a big contributor to my delinquency. I might have 2-4 liters a day depending on the day. I might go 3 weeks with out one, but when I do, I drink a lot. I know their absolutely horrible empty calories, but their cheaper than water and taste good. Even at 375 I'm still a 48 waist. I can't wait to see my toes again.
Good luck to you as well.

Rocket Jones
02-25-2011, 23:39
Toes are overrated. ;)

Fats
02-26-2011, 00:16
Toes are overrated. ;)


QFT!!!

Brad

Gramps
02-26-2011, 01:27
If you're planning on an early start, this will probably be a good sleeping bag for you:

http://www.westernmountaineering.com/index.cfm?section=Products&page=Sleeping%20Bags&cat=Microfiber%20Series&ContentId=36

It's probably one of the bigger bags on the market and will provide a lot of warmth for the weight. I purchased one because I don't like the small confinements of a mummy bag.

Man that sounds like the bag for me (size, shape and weight) except I really prefer a synthetic fill. I'm a biggie also (6" 340#) and am claustrophobic. Wonder if I could get it in synthetic (I know more weight but I'll take the trade-off)

Frogdown
02-27-2011, 12:50
"King Size" has parkas up to 8X, now that is sloppy on you. Take a look at their website.
Bruce

LordoftheWings
02-27-2011, 23:16
@ Gramps-I saw the bag in person and it's nice. Just not 460 bucks nice. Not to me anyway. I got a NorthFace Yeti that fits just fine for 49 bucks. As I lose weight I can consider better bags and clothes for that matter and Won't feel bad about spending a little more.

@ Frogtown--I have found up to 10x in some places. I'm a 4x, I can't imagine a 10x.
I'd have planes trying to land on me if I was wearing my head-lamp.

Driver8
02-28-2011, 01:12
So when are you heading out, Wings? Gonna try your hand at a trail journal? I sure want to follow your progress.

LordoftheWings
02-28-2011, 11:47
I haven't decided on a format yet Driver. I'll probably need help with that too.
I want to hike at my own pace and not be inconvenienced with trying to update my progress every hour. I'm going to be taking my Droid 2 and a SPOT GPS. I think I saw that PostHoler can accommodate both units. I would like to be able to write and update at my leisure but also have folks be able to see my progress on google earth 3d. I think postholer can do that.

Driver8
02-28-2011, 12:55
I want to hike at my own pace and not be inconvenienced with trying to update my progress every hour. I'm going to be taking my Droid 2 and a SPOT GPS. I think I saw that PostHoler can accommodate both units. I would like to be able to write and update at my leisure but also have folks be able to see my progress on google earth 3d. I think postholer can do that.

I will check out Postholer.

I think a lot of trail journalists input notes at the end of the day before going to sleep and upload it when they get wifi in towns, if they can't do so sooner. Probably good to have a paper notebook, too, as a backup. There are plenty of threads here about how to post and upload notes and photos - should be pretty helpful.

wounded_knee
03-01-2011, 15:55
Lordofthewings,

I am a heavy person too. I have been getting into shape to take some Scouts on a 72 mile trip, so after 6 months and 70 pounds, I am at 270. Glucosimine and advil are my best friends. Even in stealth mode, my left knee gives me away at 50 yards!!! So I have a built in bear bell, unless they like grinding cartildge. Anyway we will be out there in the Smokies March 20 through the 26th. Hope to see you or hear about your exploits.

Camping Dave
03-01-2011, 19:56
I have been getting into shape to take some Scouts on a 72 mile trip, so after 6 months and 70 pounds, I am at 270.

How is your unit applying the height/weight guidelines? Are you tall enough to fall into the allowable exception?

Just curious mostly. There was some controversy when they came out, but I haven't seen an impact. Our over-guideline leaders still go whenever they want.

LordoftheWings
03-02-2011, 01:41
@ Wounded, I feel ya brother. I'm still above the 340 mark, but I'm sure it will come down soon. I'm thankful every day that I was blessed with incredible joints and a strong back. (knock on wood) I've never had to use anything stronger than advil. I will be taking plenty of advil with me.

Thatguy
03-02-2011, 10:14
LOTW

Good luck to you! Sure hope to see you on the trail. If in town I hope you let me buy you a beer!

I can relate to you in many ways. Few years ago I was in a stressful job that had completely taken over my life. Felt guilt about missing family events, about how I looked and rather than deal with it I just made fun of my weight like everyone did. I was miserable.

A good friend took me on a backpacking trip several days one summer. It made a big difference. I was away from the stress and the misery. Upon returning I changed my profession, changed my eating habits and lost quite a bit of weight. Some people were a little mean about it. I think they were angry I was seriously making changes. I believe these people were jealous that I had the courage to change my life and they did not have the courage to change theirs. I just took it a day at a time and was determined to never give up no matter what.

I'm certain your wonderful sense of humor will take you a long way.

LordoftheWings
03-02-2011, 17:03
@ Thatguy--Thanks man. My sense of humor is both helpful and harmful. I guess the jury is still out on which is more prevalent. You're absolutely right about the changes. I've been very lucky so far and have been supported by everyone except my 74 year old mother that thinks it's crazy. I might suggest to her that running into burning buildings isn't the safest thing I've done. Somehow she still thinks the trail is more dangerous. She asked me with all seriousness, "What are you going to eat?--You're going to starve." I then looked at my stomach and said, I think I might be ok for a few days.
I do need to change my life, in every conceivable way. I've know lots of people that have given up or worse when they get to my position. To me, it's just a fork in the road that I must choose. I look forward to the experience. I just sold my favorite possession, my Yamaha Raptor 700. I saved for a long time and worked hard for it. Now it represents the funding for an experience of a lifetime. I have a feeling it will lead me in the right direction, not only for career but otherwise.

wounded_knee
03-02-2011, 20:29
How is your unit applying the height/weight guidelines? Are you tall enough to fall into the allowable exception?

Just curious mostly. There was some controversy when they came out, but I haven't seen an impact. Our over-guideline leaders still go whenever they want.

I don't fall within the guidelines, but it doesn't really get enforced until you go to a high adventure base.

In a life long ago, I was a SCUBA instructor and could swim 1 mile with no problems. Now I am working to get back to that so I can take these boys to the Florida Sea Base on 2012.

Sea Base 2012 Thru hike in 2015. Those are my goals.

Camping Dave
03-03-2011, 00:17
I don't fall within the guidelines, but it doesn't really get enforced until you go to a high adventure base.

In a life long ago, I was a SCUBA instructor and could swim 1 mile with no problems. Now I am working to get back to that so I can take these boys to the Florida Sea Base on 2012.

Sea Base 2012 Thru hike in 2015. Those are my goals.

Alright Knee, I wish you good luck and good times.

Firefighter503
03-05-2011, 08:51
I don't fall within the guidelines, but it doesn't really get enforced until you go to a high adventure base.

In a life long ago, I was a SCUBA instructor and could swim 1 mile with no problems. Now I am working to get back to that so I can take these boys to the Florida Sea Base on 2012.

Sea Base 2012 Thru hike in 2015. Those are my goals.

Not to hijack, but I have been to the Florida Sea Base several years, and can I say that place is awesome! Once in a while I run into someone wearing a polo from there, and its always cool to hear the latest that's going on there.

LordoftheWings
03-21-2011, 00:29
Almost time to leave. I'm getting so excited. Thanks to everyone for their help.

Driver8
03-21-2011, 08:12
Almost time to leave. I'm getting so excited. Thanks to everyone for their help.

Good luck, Wings. I'm pulling for you. Are you journaling at postholer? TJ? I'd enjoy following your journey. Many happy returns!

Second Half
03-21-2011, 12:45
As a fellow fat-guy (who is still hoping to do a lengthy section this spring/summer despite recent knee problems and a suddenly uncertain job situation) I wish you the best of luck.

Have fun out there. Are you going to keep an online journal?

Feral Bill
03-21-2011, 14:31
Please post a note or two here as you go. Lots of us are pulling for you.

LordoftheWings
03-22-2011, 16:22
Thanks Y'all. I do have a journal at postholer and it is of course LordoftheWings.

I'm sure the first few weeks will be whining, but I'll get over it.

Driver8
03-23-2011, 01:12
Thanks Y'all. I do have a journal at postholer and it is of course LordoftheWings.

I'm sure the first few weeks will be whining, but I'll get over it.

Dude, kick ass and take names and lotsa pictures. I will follow you the whole way. I am ready, willing and able to help once you get within hailing distance of Greater Hartford, CT (I figure eastern side of Bear Mtn Bridge, NY to Stratton Mtn or so). Slack. Zero chez Driver 8. You name it.

Fats
03-23-2011, 12:49
I'll be following you every step of the way.

So far you seem to have it together pretty good, like you have dealt with planning or something before:-?.

Brad

LordoftheWings
03-23-2011, 20:31
Thanks again driver!
@ Brad--what do you mean?:D

I leave tomorrow night!!! I'm so excited I need two of me.
I've been repacking and weighing my stuff and it's all coming out around 1-2 lbs different. At this point I'll just have to settle for 44 lbs and call it a day. There's just too much I won't give up at this time. Maybe in two weeks my pack will be 22 lbs? We shall see. I'm going to make it fun and enjoyable regardless. ;)

Driver8
03-23-2011, 22:30
Thanks again driver!
@ Brad--what do you mean?:D

I leave tomorrow night!!! I'm so excited I need two of me.
I've been repacking and weighing my stuff and it's all coming out around 1-2 lbs different. At this point I'll just have to settle for 44 lbs and call it a day. There's just too much I won't give up at this time. Maybe in two weeks my pack will be 22 lbs? We shall see. I'm going to make it fun and enjoyable regardless. ;)

You're big guy, Wingman. What the pack weight obsessive miss is that you'll lose enough body weight that pack weight will be no factor on the margins. I bid you bon voyage and safe travels. Hope it's a fun and fruitful trip for you.

Driver8
03-23-2011, 22:56
One thing re: your dog, from today's journal. Have you sat down and talked with her? Whenever I go away, I talk to my cats. Tell them I'll be away for a while - which they know already - that I love them, will miss them and will be back. A week or 9 days is different from 6 months, of course, but I'd encourage you to do that with your dog if you haven't. I believe it helps. It'll do you and her both good, I think.

Aside from that, I encourage you to get some exercise to blow off some steam before you go. Mile or two walk, or more, per what you feel is right. Will take a lot of that adrenaline edge off, and you'll probably sleep better. Usu works for me.

All my best to you,

-Driver/Arkie/Chris

Second Half
03-25-2011, 16:45
Does anyone know if he made it to Springer yet?

Driver8
03-25-2011, 17:02
Does anyone know if he made it to Springer yet?

He's near there. He posted this pic on his facebook of "the lodge" - I assume this is at Amicalola (not sure if his pics on fb are public, if not, I apologize):

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=10150117131427338&set=a.10150101834947338.274967.698897337&theater

His journal is here:

http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=4b0af43a5e84a0f572a2a4e4336c63 3f&event_id=941

His sister will be posting his journal updates - he'll be mailing her his paper notes, so there will be a lag of a week or two. FB might be a better way to keep up.

I hope he makes it all the way, or at least far enough for his satisfaction. I've encouraged him with the thought that once he makes it to Clingman's, it's all downhill. ...

Second Half
03-30-2011, 09:44
Driver: No, I can't see his facebook page. I should have "friended" him before he left.

Anyway I did find one mention of him in someone's journal, looks like he was in Suches on Monday:

http://benapptrail.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/monday-march-28/

double d
03-30-2011, 12:32
Thanks again driver!
@ Brad--what do you mean?:D

I leave tomorrow night!!! I'm so excited I need two of me.
I've been repacking and weighing my stuff and it's all coming out around 1-2 lbs different. At this point I'll just have to settle for 44 lbs and call it a day. There's just too much I won't give up at this time. Maybe in two weeks my pack will be 22 lbs? We shall see. I'm going to make it fun and enjoyable regardless. ;)

Good luck to you! Also, were you able to get your weight down a few pounds before your hike?

Driver8
03-30-2011, 16:01
Driver: No, I can't see his facebook page. I should have "friended" him before he left.

Anyway I did find one mention of him in someone's journal, looks like he was in Suches on Monday:

http://benapptrail.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/monday-march-28/

He checked in on FB last night. He and a bunch of others took a shuttle to a hostel to ride out thunderstorms coming through. Appears to have covered 20.1 miles of AT, plus the approach trail, in about four and a half days. Not bad! Complaining of blisters and a chest cold. I wrote back hoping those get in control soon. He's got a lot of friends from back home following him and cheering him on on FB. I reckon if he recuperates well from the cold, he's got a shot. Sobering to think how hard it is, especially for us big guys.

Driver8
03-30-2011, 16:09
Just checked his FB again. He's in Dahlonega doing town duties. Might as well when the weather's bad. Given the cold, probably providential that he gets a day or two off trail due to weather.

double d
03-30-2011, 17:21
What is the name he uses on FB? I would like to follow his hike, thanks.

Driver8
03-30-2011, 17:42
What is the name he uses on FB? I would like to follow his hike, thanks.

Hi Double D:

I gave the link for his FB page above, as well as his Postholer journal account - take a look, it's several posts above. To follow him on FB, you'll probably have to friend request him.

tuswm
03-30-2011, 17:44
Hey I just wanted to wish you good luck, I once lost over 40% of my body weight as well. It happened for, and because of, an activity that I enjoyed doing, not just to loose weight. I see the same thing happening for you. Good luck, I'm rooting for you.

WingedMonkey
04-06-2011, 13:38
Any one hear from Fat Boy...don't see any updates on his Postholder.

Driver8
04-11-2011, 18:00
Lord of the Wings has crossed into North Carolina. Took him just over two weeks to traverse the Georgia AT. Seems to be going strong, increasing his daily mileage. So far so good!

Walkintom
04-11-2011, 21:54
Good to hear he's still going.

Ashman
04-11-2011, 21:56
Does he have a trail journal?

Ashman
04-11-2011, 21:59
I found one on postholer

http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=4b0af43a5e84a0f572a2a4e4336c63 3f&event_id=941

Driver8
04-12-2011, 00:09
It takes a while for his postholer journal to update. He handwrites notes, then mails them to his sister, who transcribes. I expect he mailed some out from Hiawassee a couple days ago, so maybe some new entries by this weekend.

JAK
04-12-2011, 01:19
One tough hombre.

double d
04-12-2011, 09:42
Hi Double D:

I gave the link for his FB page above, as well as his Postholer journal account - take a look, it's several posts above. To follow him on FB, you'll probably have to friend request him.

Great, thanks for your help Driver8! I hope his hike is going well and that he has lost some weight and enjoying himself.

Driver8
04-12-2011, 09:48
Happy to help. The more support for our friend, the better. He's said a thing or two about others noting his weight loss. Does look a bit thinner in photos. He seems to be getting up towards 10 miles a day as he gets into NC. Stronger as he advances, it appears. Very pleased for him!

double d
04-12-2011, 09:50
After reading his posts, he's doing well! It seems every day he learns more about hiking and himself. I believe he has lost weight as well. Good for him! It will be fun to read about his hiking.

LordoftheWings
04-18-2011, 18:15
Thanks for all the support. Im currently taking a zero at the NOC. Its just too nice to be on the trail. The next 6 days are forecast 30% or greater rain potential. I just felt like resting up today.

Driver8
04-18-2011, 23:42
Thanks for all the support. Im currently taking a zero at the NOC. Its just too nice to be on the trail. The next 6 days are forecast 30% or greater rain potential. I just felt like resting up today.

You're doing great, Wingman. Part of you is probably itching to be on trail, but when you rest, it builds and consolidates your strength. You'll be ready to take on the Smokies tomorrow!

Feral Bill
04-19-2011, 00:54
Support is earned by positive attitude.

earlyriser26
04-19-2011, 05:59
Thanks for all the support. Im currently taking a zero at the NOC. Its just too nice to be on the trail. The next 6 days are forecast 30% or greater rain potential. I just felt like resting up today.
You are an inspiration to all us fat guys. I am working hard at getting back in shape. After hiking in the wilderness at 285 lbs. I finally decided to work at it. Since Jan. 1st I have lost 65 lbs. not slim yet, but no ultra-light guy can claim they cut 65 lbs. in weight.:)

Driver8
04-19-2011, 06:17
You are an inspiration to all us fat guys. I am working hard at getting back in shape. After hiking in the wilderness at 285 lbs. I finally decided to work at it. Since Jan. 1st I have lost 65 lbs. not slim yet, but no ultra-light guy can claim they cut 65 lbs. in weight.:)

That's a whole pack - two or three for an ultralighter! :) And the awful thing is all the time you have to spend out in mountains and forests hiking, chuckle. ...

Roots
04-19-2011, 08:08
Thanks for all the support. Im currently taking a zero at the NOC. Its just too nice to be on the trail. The next 6 days are forecast 30% or greater rain potential. I just felt like resting up today.

YOU GO BOY!!!! Sounds like you are doing great! You are at a great place for a zero, as well! Enjoy! Good luck and keep us up to date!!!!:sun

double d
04-19-2011, 11:17
You are an inspiration to all us fat guys. I am working hard at getting back in shape. After hiking in the wilderness at 285 lbs. I finally decided to work at it. Since Jan. 1st I have lost 65 lbs. not slim yet, but no ultra-light guy can claim they cut 65 lbs. in weight.:)
wow, thats great, keep up the good work on cutting down your weight. And it gets harder as we get older.

Spogatz
04-19-2011, 15:11
Tell Alpine I said " HI "

trailangelbronco
04-19-2011, 16:29
I really like this guy's journal, thanks for posting it. Seems like an awesome dude, and I feel sorry for his dog, who is surely at home crying doggy tears.

I hope he makes it all the way safe and sound.

Driver8
04-19-2011, 16:58
I really like this guy's journal, thanks for posting it. Seems like an awesome dude, and I feel sorry for his dog, who is surely at home crying doggy tears.

I hope he makes it all the way safe and sound.

I gather his mom is looking after his dog and doing a good job spoiling her. Plus, he plans to pick up something cool and dogtastic on the trail to bring home for her - Maine moose bone or some such. She'll be fine.

chelko
04-20-2011, 13:24
How do we access his photos from the trail?

Ashman
06-05-2011, 09:29
He getting ready to resume his hike, go man go!

Driver8
06-05-2011, 19:30
He's in Gatlinburg, if not back out on trail already. Carboloading this weekend in prep. Go Wingman!

WingedMonkey
06-06-2011, 15:24
I'm sure he's gained all the weigh he loss on the first try, why would he need to carb load?

Driver8
06-06-2011, 17:57
He's back out on trail as of Saturday. Someone wrote yesterday in his guestbook after seeing him north of Newfound Gap the day before.

chelko
08-03-2011, 13:00
Did this guy vanish or what? His last post on postholer was on June 11 about calling the cops on Curtis at Standing Bear Farm.

Driver8
08-03-2011, 14:12
He called it quits for now. His feet were pretty beaten up - lost toenails, major blisters, etc. - and his knees were suffering.

Slo-go'en
08-03-2011, 16:33
Did this guy vanish or what? His last post on postholer was on June 11 about calling the cops on Curtis at Standing Bear Farm.

Called the cops on Curtis?!! Thats no way to make friends.

WingedMonkey
08-03-2011, 16:36
Called the cops on Curtis?!! Thats no way to make friends.

Standing bear Farm is still open and serving hikers in that well known "rustic" way, as it has for years.

Slo-go'en
08-03-2011, 17:01
I found lordofthewings journal and apparently he didn't quite get, or appreciate, Standing Bear's buisness model. It is unique and an oassis in the wilderness.

Bearpaw
08-03-2011, 17:29
I found lordofthewings journal and apparently he didn't quite get, or appreciate, Standing Bear's buisness model. It is unique and an oassis in the wilderness.

I guess his complaint was that they actually expected him to pay for the multiple shuttles they provided and multiple nights he stayed there. Instead he snuck out and called a cab to make his getaway. It must have been an expensive ride, because he certainly didn't leave any money at Standing Bear.

Driver8
08-03-2011, 17:34
I guess his complaint was that they actually expected him to pay for the multiple shuttles they provided and multiple nights he stayed there. Instead he snuck out and called a cab to make his getaway. It must have been an expensive ride, because he certainly didn't leave any money at Standing Bear.

That's a pretty unsympathetic reading of his journal. Sounds like the folks there were brusque, unaccommodating and pushy, from his standpoint, and that he wasn't the only one who found their behavior menacing. Sounded like he and some others especially felt uncomfortable with some illegal activities there, but that these activities may be viewed much more favorably by others.

I think the bigger issue for him was the foot and knee trouble and that the unhappy interaction with the Standing Bear folk was more along the proverbial straw on the camel's back.

Bearpaw
08-03-2011, 17:41
That's a pretty unsympathetic reading of his journal. Sounds like the folks there were brusque, unaccommodating and pushy, from his standpoint, and that he wasn't the only one who found their behavior menacing. Sounded like he and some others especially felt uncomfortable with some illegal activities there, but that these activities may be viewed much more favorably by others.

I think the bigger issue for him was the foot and knee trouble and that the unhappy interaction with the Standing Bear folk was more along the proverbial straw on the camel's back.

It doesn't change the fact that he stiffed the folks at Standing Bear for quite a bit of money. That says a lot for character, and it makes me highly skeptical of the editorial slant he would put on his journal. Plus I know a number of other folks that I actually trust who were involved in the incident.

flyingturtle
08-03-2011, 17:47
It doesn't change the fact that he stiffed the folks at Standing Bear for quite a bit of money. That says a lot for character, and it makes me highly skeptical of the editorial slant he would put on his journal. Plus I know a number of other folks that I actually trust who were involved in the incident.

Definitely. Pay for what services you have used, and then don't patronize them in the future if you feel that strongly about the situation.

Driver8
08-03-2011, 17:57
It doesn't change the fact that he stiffed the folks at Standing Bear for quite a bit of money. That says a lot for character, and it makes me highly skeptical of the editorial slant he would put on his journal. Plus I know a number of other folks that I actually trust who were involved in the incident.

I don't know both sides of the situation, that's for sure. It's clear that the folks you know are involved with the shelter or close to them. I'm pretty sure, b/c I followed his hike closely both on his blog and on Facebook, that he had plenty of money at the time. Further, he had had nothing but compliments for everyone else he ran into in trail towns and along the way and would go out of his way to say something nice and to give a recommendation for an outfitter or hotel/restaurant that treated him well.

Sounds like he got a pretty gruff and unwelcoming reception at Standing Bear having gotten there with quite a lot of foot and leg pain. He might therefore have not been at his best. But under the circumstances I could see where he might've been ready to stiff the billy goats gruff (in his eyes) and get out of there. Noble on his part? No, but it sounds like the ignobility was a two-way street. He's a very mellow and easy-going guy, so his reaction to them says something to me - sometimes people just don't jibe with each other.

Skidsteer
08-03-2011, 18:47
- sometimes people just don't jibe with each other.

And sometimes people who seem nice on the Internet turn out to be douchebags.

Sierra Echo
08-03-2011, 18:51
He called it quits for now. His feet were pretty beaten up - lost toenails, major blisters, etc. - and his knees were suffering.

Well it doesn't sound like he wasted his money on a pair of good boots. Or at least a pair that fit. Aye Carumba!

Driver8
08-03-2011, 19:25
And sometimes people who seem nice on the Internet turn out to be douchebags.

And less often the converse is true.


Well it doesn't sound like he wasted his money on a pair of good boots. Or at least a pair that fit. Aye Carumba!

Apparently he got nice boots in Franklin, which he liked. He was carrying a lot of weight on a big frame, though, plus a large pack. Not surprising he'd've had some leg and feet issues.

Sierra Echo
08-03-2011, 20:50
I just read the last few entries in the this guys trail journal. I'm gonna have to say he is a drama queen. A hostel holding people against their wills? Hikers too afraid to leave? Oh please~!

Slo-go'en
08-03-2011, 20:59
Apparently he got nice boots in Franklin, which he liked. He was carrying a lot of weight on a big frame, though, plus a large pack. Not surprising he'd've had some leg and feet issues.

Indeed. It is remarkable he got as far as he did. Though now that I see exactly how big he was to start, one does have to wonder about the wisdom of attempting a thru-hike with out first embarking on a serious exercise and weight loss program before hand.

Tammy Petry
08-04-2011, 02:42
I just bought a short-sleeved all poly shirt at WalMart for $4.00. The brand is "Starter" and it looks identical to UnderArmor -- works just as well. Oh, I too am a big person and finding XL items for females is even harder IMHO. I tend to shop in the men's section and have more success there. I'm 5'9" and somewhere around 225lbs but I really don't LOOK big, I'm just thick. Anyway, I hope you're out there now and having success. I am going to read the rest of this thread! You're truly an inspiration. Good luck.

Slo-go'en
08-04-2011, 11:03
[QUOTE=Tammy Petry;1187219 You're truly an inspiration. Good luck.[/QUOTE]

I don't know about that. Go find the link to his journal (on page 11?) and read it start to finish. He spent as much time in town eating and drinking large amounts of beer as he did hiking. I don't see anything inspirational about how he approched getting ready for the trail or what he did during the short time he was on it. Actually, kind of sad.

What would have been inspirational would have been if he did some serious effort to drop from 375 pounds to well under 300 pounds before even starting the trail, then stuck with it once he started hiking.

Plodderman
08-04-2011, 11:26
Just some practical advice. Try compression shorts to wear under your shorts or pants as they help to prevent chaffing. I am somewhat of a bigger hiker and have completed around 400 miles of the trail by seciton hiking and have done everything from 3 miles in a day to 23 and doing 85 to 120 miles in a week. Carrying a backpack on the trail is differnt from carrying a pack at work or for short hikes. The AT is up and down and the extra weight can wreck havoc on your knees so quality shoes are a must. I use NB 571 to hike in as they seem to do well for heavier hikers but make no mistake about the most important thing to be done is to get in shape prior to leaving.

Good luck.

In thee Smokies I saw a trail runner who hikes very fast and must be around 6'2 - 300 pounds. I again saw him last year near Springer Mountain and he hikes to beat the band. He wears shorts (even in cold weather) and turns red a beat but man he attacks the trail so it is possible for bigger people to be in hiking shape at a larger weight.

flyingturtle
08-04-2011, 11:31
The brand is "Starter" and it looks identical to UnderArmor -- works just as well.

That's what I use...I am a large guy... 6'0'' and 265...I always say that the Wal-mart brand works just as well as UnderArmor - makes me look just as unflattering for a fraction of the cost! :D

DapperD
08-04-2011, 22:32
That's a pretty unsympathetic reading of his journal. Sounds like the folks there were brusque, unaccommodating and pushy, from his standpoint, and that he wasn't the only one who found their behavior menacing. Sounded like he and some others especially felt uncomfortable with some illegal activities there, but that these activities may be viewed much more favorably by others.

I think the bigger issue for him was the foot and knee trouble and that the unhappy interaction with the Standing Bear folk was more along the proverbial straw on the camel's back.This was an interesting thread and ultimate outcome to this man's thru-hike attempt up to that point. I hadn't read his journal but decided to read about his bad experience that he had at this hostel. It's kind of sad the way he wound up pissed off and unhappy having experienced going there. To me it sounds like he was expecting it to be a much more modern, clean and efficiently run establishment where he would receive quality attention, shuttles and service. I agree that the foot and knee trouble he was experiencing probably left him with little to no patience, and he was looking at that point to be catered to somewhat.

Desert Reprobate
08-05-2011, 10:53
You're not obligated to stay anywhere on the trail. If you don't like the looks of a place, keep on walking.