View Full Version : Questions About Maps & Wilderness Experience

Wander Yonder
12-24-2002, 00:04
Is it possible to buy trail maps along the way, or do I need to buy them all before I leave and have them mailed to me?

I am planning to leave March 27. I love people and am certain that I will meet many new friends along the way, but I really would also like for my hike to be as much of a wilderness experience as possible.... more like a Chris Townsend "epic journey" than a series of trail towns. :)

From what I have read, it seems that the trail is such a social thing that it might be hard to accomplish that.

Would appreciate input.

Lone Wolf
12-24-2002, 00:24
Bottom line Sharon the AT is not a wilderness experience. It's a bunch of short section hikes linked together. I guarantee on March 27th you'll be starting with 10 or more people. You'll be in and around a pack pretty much all the way to Maine.
Maps? Yes you can buy them along the way. You should have them for safety reasons at least.

12-24-2002, 00:32
On my initial Thru attempt, I was also hoping for more of a 'Tom Brown' wilderness immersion. Believe me, hiking for weeks on end will be a grand and wondeful experience wilderness experience, full of hardship, thrills, and down and dirty physical exertion. You'll walk through rain and mud, somedays feeling as if you just want to lay down and give up the ghost. On others you'll stand on top of mountains and watch birds soaring and swooping, feeling as if they should envy you, because YOU are on top of the world.
Yes the towns and pods will effect your trip, for the better or worse is up to you. I personally hope to spend only one day a week in town to resupply and launder my gear, with as few zero days as possible. I am also aware though, that plans made here at my computer dissipate and fade as soon as I make them.

12-24-2002, 00:53
If you want your hike to be a wilderness experience then stay away from the shelters. Sure, you can use the facilities and socialize but then go on down the trail and stealth camp somewhere.

A 1/2 mile down the trail from the noise of the shelter and you'll think you're a hundred mile from everything.

I agree with lone Wolf. Have somekind of a map that will show you were you are in relation to shelters, roads, and towns. The ATC maps are detailed, but they don't show much info as to whats further than 10 or 20 miles off the trail. The maps by the National Geographic Society give a much broader view in relation to towns and roads and such. I'm not sure if their maps cover the whole trail or not. I know in Va they do. Most outfitters are carrying these now. They have a yellow background and are printed on the same water resistant paper as the ATC maps. You'll have to check them both out and decide which is best for you. There's another thread on this site that has more info on this.

The main thing is that you can make your hike take any form that you want.

Wander Yonder
12-24-2002, 01:21
Lone Wolf, thanks. I am relieved to know that I can buy the maps along the way.

wacocelt, your post gave me goose bumps! Just a few of those glorious views will make a lot of pain worthwhile. The way I react to things like that, I will probably fly, too!!!!

I'm sure I will crave an occasional night in a real bed, and clean laundry will probably be pure ecstacy. Not to mention hot, greasy food! :D

Hikerhead, I do plan to stay away from shelters as much as possible, although I imagine that I will really appreciate company the farther north I get. I do a lot of primitive camping in the woods now, and hanging in my hammock in the mountains makes me feel as though I have gone back hundreds of years in time and I love the feeling. It does get old, though! I am hoping I coume out a stonger, more resourceful, self-reliant person.

Thanks also for suggesting that I look at other maps, too, instead of just the AT maps.

I KNEW I could get solid, reliable info here. Thanks so much.