View Full Version : High School Graduation Thru-Hike

03-04-2012, 14:34
I am thinking about thru-hiking as a way to test my independence, mettle, and endurance before I go off to college. As a matter of fact, my ambitious plan is to hike up to my future home in Boston. I graduate June 9, and I plan on leaving for Springer Mtn. the day afterwards. This gives me approx. 80 calendar days to complete that "thru-hike" it's really just to Boston, MA. I understand the trail doesn't pass through Boston, but I'll get off the trail and walk/hitch-hike/train ride to Boston w/e. I am 17 and In really good shape, a four year cross country runner at the high school. This will be my first long distance hiking experience, but I feel that I need to do it to transition into adulthood. I am currently saving up money, but I'd like to know if anybody has any specific advice (i really don't care about the usual "follow your heart...do what you want" comments, just solid advice--monetary, equipment, etc.) Is anybody else in the same boat? How are you planning, when are you starting?


Feral Bill
03-04-2012, 14:47
If you don't get as far as MA, enjoy your trip and catch public transportation the rest of the way. Explore this site for all kinds of ideas to make that happen. Also, get a copy of The Complete Walker !V for detailed discussion of backpacking in general, along with Chris Townsend's Advanced Backpacking.

Papa D
03-04-2012, 15:11
I did it (Southbound) which is really the only viable way to do it starting in June - it took 5 months. In 2008, my good friend Stretch did it as an 18 year old right out of high school - I finished about November 15 - he was on a faster pace but found some parties around Hampton TN that (um) slowed him down a bit. You can do it. Best of luck.

03-04-2012, 15:15
All the answer you seek,are contained within these pages.Perhaps you could be more specific,Ex;tent vs no tent,shoes vs trail runners,cold food only vs stove,You'll get plenty of answer.Have a great hike,congrats on finishing high school,and don't forget to take a shower before you reach your destination...first impressions are every thing.PS that is a good book feral bill listed and was one of my first ,though a different version.:)

The Cleaner
03-04-2012, 15:42
Pack out your trash.....

03-04-2012, 15:42
you might want to try to put on a little more lower body muscle mass before you hit the trail. I see a lot of strong runners that are new hikers get injured. Do some weights if you know how. If not run hills and hike with a pack.

You need money for gear+food+transportation+footwear+entertainment+em ergencies

Consider your gear carefully before you make purchases. Thru-hiker gear can be very different from 'normal hiker' gear. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get good gear, especially for the summer months.

IMO don't hike in anything (clothes or shoes) that you wouldn't trail run in.

03-04-2012, 15:54
Eighty day will put you somewhere between Pennsylvania and Vermont. It will be hot so don't pack a lot of crap. Shoot for a pack weight including fuel, food and water around 20 lbs and you will make miles and have a good time.

03-04-2012, 17:01
My son (soon to be 17 and a junior in HS) has talked about doing the same thing. I am supportive of the idea. The fact that he is talking about doing it with a friend that he has hiked a few hundred miles with (over several trips) makes me feel better about it. I just wsh that work didn't prevent me from doing it with them but then again I'd probably have trouble keeping up with them and they probably wouldn't want me along and it would diminish their feelings of independence.

03-04-2012, 20:42
This will be my first long distance hiking experience, but I feel that I need to do it to transition into adulthood.


Graduating high school doesnt necessarilly require you to be an "adult", neither does age. Most college kids are FAR from "grown up" and responsible.

What does, is responsibility. Most often, the defining point when people realize they are adults and begin to behave as such, is when they have kids to provide for.