View Full Version : looking to section with 12 yo son

05-05-2011, 22:54
I am thinking about starting to section hike with my 12yo son. His schedule for school is the biggest constraint, but so is his athletics in summer and fall.

We have time in blocks of ~1 wk at thanksgiving , mid march , mid april , and june/july. We can spare two week-long trips in a yr i think.

My goal (I think) is to do amicalola to neels gap in one week, and the rest of Ga in another week during the next yr to get him a good start, but having trouble choosing whats best for when.

Thanksgiving in Ga sounds moderately cold, like routine 20s or lower at night. Cold isnt too bad with right gear, cold and wet is deadly though.

Summer sounds...hot. And I understand there are water issues in areas sometimes.

given the issues with rain potential, water variability, and the Ga terrain, etc. If anyone experienced has any reccomendations for how to approach, would be appreciated.

Bama Jack & Sadie
05-05-2011, 23:04
Did October and November sections for GA and fall is a great time to be out on the trail no doubt. The thru traffic is gone so you can have very light traffic and the bugs are few if any. Days are shorter and there is a little less water but that's a fair trade for a little less rain and cooler temps. There are several piped springs in GA and some very nice shelters (if you plan on sheltering)

05-05-2011, 23:22
the number of thru hikers starting in march is one reason I was thinking it might be good to avoid, as the shelters can be crowded then. summer and fall should be better. also would try to avoid the weekend in blood mountain area too. we would probably tent though, If Im gonna bring it, Im gonna use it. When its only a few days at a time, no big deal. Im sure wed end up using shelters more if we were on trail much longer, trying to maximize miles per day.

05-06-2011, 10:13
I don't have any real suggestions for you but if you don't mind me commenting on your thread without a purpose I just wanted to say that I think its awesome that your taking your son out. These are the things I wish my father did with me. Enjoy it. These are memories your son will cherish forever.

05-06-2011, 11:00
hi- i am also just starting to hike with my 9 yr old son. We have did 2 backpacking trips so far. i really dont think hiking is about us at this point. i do what i think is best for him when we go. i think i would rather hike in spring, summer and fall. Summer is HOT but i would rather be hot then freeze to death and if it rains, you will more then welcome it to cool you off.
Agreed with 88BlueGt- i was the happest mom in the world when my son told me he wanted backpacking equipment for x-mas INSTEAD of a playstation3. He loves hiking but even more he gets to spend QT with his mama.

05-06-2011, 18:11
I was on the AT from Springer to Neels last June with my 10 year old. We had two days that were hot. It slowed us down but was not too bad.

My suggestion would be not to push the mileage too much. Let the weather set the pace.

Water was only an issue during one day. Happened to be the hottest day of our hike. We did fine but was a little worried about my son and did ration my water to make sure he had enough. Don't take that too serious though. We could have stopped and rested at any point but were trying to make a planned stop. *see above statement* The AT Data Base does warn of this on this seciton.

We only had one shelter that had anyone in it when we passed. Only saw a few other people the entire time.

05-06-2011, 18:16
I would say make sure you have a good bailout plan. Nothing will turn your son off faster than a "forced march" because you have to finish at a certain place by a certain time. Keep in mind you may end up having to carry a good share of his gear in addition to your own.

05-06-2011, 21:29
My son is 14, we have been hiking/backpacking through scouting. This spring was his first trip with me on the AT.
You should be able to make from Amicalola to Neels Gap in a week. Let your son set the space, guide him as needed to adjust to weather and terrain. Focus on your son and not milage. If he has the drive to get to the next planned stop, don't let him wear himself out. If he wants to stop more often, take more short stops. There are plenty off road crossings with vehicle access to shorten the trip if needed. Limit pack weight to no more than 25% of his body weight and do an effective shakedown before the trip. Mid-March, Mid April can be cold, one of the most important factor is to prepare for the weather. Take a camera and let him pick the first restaurant stop on the way home after you finish your hike.
You'll have fun.