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Elii Skeans
08-06-2012, 14:06
I have always dreamed of doing a thru-hike. I guess the only thing holding me back is escaping life for such long stretch of time. I am graduating next spring (2013) from college and really want to do it, but "will I regret being gone for 4-6 months?" "what opportunities will I miss out on if I go?"... these are the questions I keep hearing that are keeping me from committing. Any motivational words-of-wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

What kind of money should i expect to save up if I do decide to commit?

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 14:08
dreams and reality are two different things. start with $5000

atmilkman
08-06-2012, 14:09
You must do a thru-hike and you must bring lots of money. You must do this. Go Go Go. Commit, commit, commit. You must.
I hope this helps. I hope it's convincing.

Rasty
08-06-2012, 14:13
If you have the money and opportunity to do this now and don't you will regret it. Life happens and you may think you will have time later. It's a big gamble.

Drybones
08-06-2012, 14:19
"20 years from now you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the things you did"....just do it!

RED-DOG
08-06-2012, 14:34
Yeah go have lot of fun and enjoy your self. if you don't you will regret it later. but make sure you have money around 3000-5000 dollar range. RED-DOG

ATMountainTime
08-06-2012, 14:37
Do it know before elbow's and knee's start making noises! Im hittin the ole 42 when im going north, leaving behind a dang good job, a great career, my wife, house and dog....friends think im nuts...i think im sane.

WingedMonkey
08-06-2012, 14:40
There will be enough family and friends trying to convince you not to do a thru-hike. If you ain't got the motivation now, their job will be easy.

rocketsocks
08-06-2012, 14:45
"You can do it" !!!

and :welcometo White Blaze

Train Wreck
08-06-2012, 15:31
I have hidden the winning Power Ball lottery ticket in a shelter somewhere between Springer and Katahdin. Notify me when you find it.:D

rocketsocks
08-06-2012, 15:34
I have hidden the winning Power Ball lottery ticket in a shelter somewhere between Springer and Katahdin. Notify me when you find it.:DIf I thought that were true, I'd be gone by the time I finished writing this post....can I write fortune seaking off on my taxes? :D

sbhikes
08-06-2012, 15:41
I have always dreamed of doing a thru-hike. I guess the only thing holding me back is escaping life for such long stretch of time. I am graduating next spring (2013) from college and really want to do it, but "will I regret being gone for 4-6 months?" "what opportunities will I miss out on if I go?"... these are the questions I keep hearing that are keeping me from committing. Any motivational words-of-wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

What kind of money should i expect to save up if I do decide to commit?

Don't do it. You obviously don't want it bad enough. Just go for however long you are enjoying it, but under no circumstances set yourself up to think it must be a thru-hike of the whole trail or else you are a failure. You don't want to feel like a failure when you decide to leave the trail.

A1ien
08-06-2012, 15:52
4 to 6 months is not a long time. The average American probably spends 3 months a year sitting on their couch. You will not miss anything if you thru-hike. You'll think you'll be missing everything when you're tented by yourself at 7PM on a Saturday night, but you won't be missing anything. 4 to 6 months isn't even a year. It's not a long a time.

rocketsocks
08-06-2012, 15:58
4 to 6 months is not a long time. The average American probably spends 3 months a year sitting on their couch. You will not miss anything if you thru-hike. You'll think you'll be missing everything when you're tented by yourself at 7PM on a Saturday night, but you won't be missing anything. 4 to 6 months isn't even a year. It's not a long a time.Well, if you live to 60, and we will say -20 years before you think of doing one, that puts us at 40 years of life.

So 40 divided by 6 month segments means a 6 months would be about 1/80 th of a life...so yeah, it's all relative I guess, depends on how you spend the other 79 six month segments.....does that make sense.

A1ien
08-06-2012, 16:52
Well, if you live to 60, and we will say -20 years before you think of doing one, that puts us at 40 years of life.

So 40 divided by 6 month segments means a 6 months would be about 1/80 th of a life...so yeah, it's all relative I guess, depends on how you spend the other 79 six month segments.....does that make sense.

Good way of looking at it. And plus, that 1/80th will probably have some sort of decently positive effect on the other 79/80ths of your life spent living without a high level of freedom. What's the worst that could happen? If it sucks it sucks and you go home. If it's great it's great and you're great. If it's OK it's OK and you're fine. And so on.

q-tip
08-06-2012, 16:59
No one can motivate you to do a thru-hike, or most anything else. I have hiked 1,100 miles of the trail, without the internal motivation and a deep desire to finish the bottom half. it would have been impossible. Cold, hungry, tired, wet wet wet, alone, suffering, and the awesome and unique joy of the Spirit of the Trail....you must find this within yourself....

Monkeywrench
08-06-2012, 17:14
I have always dreamed of doing a thru-hike. I guess the only thing holding me back is escaping life for such long stretch of time. I am graduating next spring (2013) from college and really want to do it, but "will I regret being gone for 4-6 months?" "what opportunities will I miss out on if I go?"... these are the questions I keep hearing that are keeping me from committing. Any motivational words-of-wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

What kind of money should i expect to save up if I do decide to commit?

If you need outside motivation to do a thru-hike, you shouldn't do a thru-hike.

Moose2001
08-06-2012, 17:23
If you need outside motivation to do a thru-hike, you shouldn't do a thru-hike.

+1 on this!

max patch
08-06-2012, 17:46
If you need someone else to motivate you you'll end up a statistic.

Papa D
08-06-2012, 18:05
dreams and reality are two different things. start with $5000

Man, I'm starting to get the hang of agreeing with Lone Wolf thing - I'd say he's spot on for the average thru-hike cost which is still A LOT less than most people spend in 5 months.

The faster you are and the more you stay on the trail and out of towns, the cheaper it is.

There are deviations but the normal range would be $2,500 (bare bones minimum - swim vs shower, very cheap) to $10,000 (also known as platinum blazing).

I'd also agree with most - - a thru hike is super hard and super committing - most self motivators that start don't make it - if you need us to talk you into it, you are starting with a big handicap

Migrating Bird
08-06-2012, 18:09
I think the OP's question was not about whether she does or does not have the motivation to complete a thru hike. Just getting thru college takes a hell of a lot of motivation. I offer that she is seeking the opinions of like minded individuals who have and have not fore-filled their dream:

With that in mind, here is my 2 cents.

1. You are not crazy or a misfit but a person who marches to your own drummer.
2. Careers can wait (especially in this economy).
3. You have a fear that family and friends will try to dissuade you from your dream with very well intentioned sound logic.
4. Hike your own hike, take each day as it comes.
5. It is not easy, don't expect it to be, keep an open mind.
6. Find solace and energy in the un-expected.
7. Create a support team back home, a trusted friend(s) or family member(s) who will follow your progress and support you in your endeavor. Could be that crazy aunt we all seem to have.
8. Keep it light, simple and positive, after all it is just putting one foot in front of the other ( a few million times).
9. Pay it forward - when magic happens and it will, pass it on.
10. It's not about the distance, the end or the beginning but the journey in between.

In general, there are (3) times in life when you will have the opportunity to hike for an extended period of time, - (1) as you, just out of school with no "real" commitments -you're in your twenties (student loans can wait). (2) As a result of a life altering experience, divorce, death of a loved one or loss of your job - your are in your 30s' or 40's and (3) when you retire 60+.

Regarding being gone for (6) months, your not going to Mars for heavens sake, your hiking parallel to the most populated section of the U.S., family and friends can visit and support you along the way. Think about all your friends and piers that are going to be so jealous that you had the "ba--s" to follow your dream. At no time are you going to be more than one days drive from home (OK it may be a long day, but not more than 24 hrs.)

Money, if I had it to do over, I would have begged, borrowed or _________ to thru hike but.....

Jump at the chance now, do your homework, set yourself up for success.

Good luck and best wishes to a successful hike regardless of it's duration.

M. Bird

Deer Hunter
08-06-2012, 18:21
If you want to do it, do it. I'm 46 years old and it looks like the only I will be able to do a thru hike is when I retire or I fall into a huge pile of unexpected money before then. Time goes by so fast. The next thing you know, you will be 46 like me and can't do a thru hike like me. Either responsibilities or bad health may keep you from doing it down the road.

Kibble n Bit
08-06-2012, 18:24
If you are worried then you need to know that everything you have worked for will still be there when you get back.. And think how good it will look when your future employer say's what have you been doing for the past six months and you say I Hiked The AT A 2175 Mile Trail From Main To Georgia... To Me that would show dedication...And Drive...But I don't know anything, My wife and I are planning a thru in 2013..Good luck with deciding what to do.. Im right there with Ya..Just My opinion..

grateful 2
08-06-2012, 18:33
Do you mean "a Sadistic" haha
If you need someone else to motivate you you'll end up a statistic.

Papa D
08-06-2012, 18:52
If you want to do it, do it. I'm 46 years old and it looks like the only I will be able to do a thru hike is when I retire or I fall into a huge pile of unexpected money before then. Time goes by so fast. The next thing you know, you will be 46 like me and can't do a thru hike like me. Either responsibilities or bad health may keep you from doing it down the road.

You sir need a better attitude - - I'm 45 and plan to do another thru - hike. Are you in bad health due to circumstances beyond your control? Life isn't some sort of dress rehearsal - this is it dude. 46 is young - - really young - - I know plenty of folks getting it done in high style in their 60s and 70 who would give anything to be 46. If you want to, you can make nearly anything you want for yourself happen with a good positive can-do attitude.

Miner
08-06-2012, 19:05
Think back on your last summer and decide what you did that was sooo inspiring that you'd not do a thru-hike inorder to do it again. If you are like most people, you'll be staring at your screen right now with a blank look wondering, what was it I did again? You'll never forget a thru-hike.

Hairbear
08-06-2012, 19:18
If I thought that were true, I'd be gone by the time I finished writing this post....can I write fortune seaking off on my taxes? :D
ask martha stewart........

Papa D
08-06-2012, 19:22
A thru-hike changes your life for good (at least, for most, it should). You become a different person. I suggest you should develop some PRIDE. I learned this in the summer camp that I used to run outdoor programs for. I'll share it with you so that if you decide to do a thru hike, you can think about it.

P R I D E

P - perseverance - decide what you want to accomplish and stick to it - in the rain, in the cold, if you are lonely, if you think you'd rather be drinking in the pub - - you just stick it out.
R - respect - in this context, respect what you are doing, the trail, the environment, the world, animals, and people - respect the trail - it's good for you and the trail
I - initiative - take initiative - life will not be served to you on a platter - even if you have all the money in the world - you have to make it
D - discipline - not to be confused with punishment - this the standard you set for yourself - self control - sort of the accelerator pedal of life - know when to push it and when to back off a touch
E - enthusiasm - a good attitude - esprit de corps, some would say, trumps all - it is the icing on the cake

I hope Lone Wolf reads this - I bet he would like it.

rocketsocks
08-06-2012, 19:26
ask martha stewart........It's a good thing;)

Hairbear
08-06-2012, 19:27
i always try to judge myself and see if i can do things too .a good sign of commitment in me is the sacrafices that im willing to put up with to get the money to do it.start saving for a thru hike even if you have to give up say beer, movies,eating out,fancy vehicle.you see what im saying if your willing to suffer for your passions you are ready to start dreaming them.now comes the great part when you can dream it you can see yourself doing it,and if you can see yourself doing it ......... good luck. dont panic guys i still drink a few beers but not at bar prices lol.

Biggie Master
08-06-2012, 19:39
Based on your request, I will propose that no one (including yourself) can motivate you to do a thru hike. If you don't have the desire on your own, you are already done. Go ahead and save the expense of the equipment and just cyber hike on WB. Your body won't hurt, you won't get lost, you have complete control of your weather, you're home every night if you want to be, you can cook on a real stove and sleep in a real bed... I don't think you really want to do a thru hike if you have to ask this group to "motivate" you. Figure out what you really want to do, and go do it.

Grampie
08-06-2012, 20:13
If you need additional motivation then you are probably not ready to do a thru.
Are you sure your desire isn't in your mind because you don't know what you want to do in your life after school? During my thru I met quite a few young ,early 20s, kids who were saying that they were thru-hiking because they didn't know what to do after school. Most of them had no direction in life so they took to the trail. Most all of them failed because they were not all that committed to a thru.

Don H
08-06-2012, 20:51
[QUOTE=Papa D;1320941]P R I D E

P - perseverance - decide what you want to accomplish and stick to it - in the rain, in the cold, if you are lonely, if you think you'd rather be drinking in the pub - - you just stick it out.
R - respect - in this context, respect what you are doing, the trail, the environment, the world, animals, and people - respect the trail - it's good for you and the trail
I - initiative - take initiative - life will not be served to you on a platter - even if you have all the money in the world - you have to make it
D - discipline - not to be confused with punishment - this the standard you set for yourself - self control - sort of the accelerator pedal of life - know when to push it and when to back off a touch
E - enthusiasm - a good attitude - esprit de corps, some would say, trumps all - it is the icing on the cake
/QUOTE]

Papa D, I like this. Can I copy and share with my Scouts?

Lone Wolf
08-06-2012, 20:55
I have always dreamed of doing a thru-hike. I guess the only thing holding me back is escaping life for such long stretch of time. I am graduating next spring (2013) from college and really want to do it, but "will I regret being gone for 4-6 months?" "what opportunities will I miss out on if I go?"... these are the questions I keep hearing that are keeping me from committing. Any motivational words-of-wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

What kind of money should i expect to save up if I do decide to commit?thru-hikin is more about the destination. your chances of completing one ain't good. you really gotta like walkin'. section is where it's at

rickb
08-06-2012, 21:04
What are your alternatives?

Just pick the best one. If you got something better to do than starting a thru hike, then go for it.

Papa D
08-06-2012, 21:18
yep - I hope you will.

Smokey & the Bandit
08-06-2012, 21:19
You're only going to do it, if and when, you REALLY want to! Hell, most people aren't gonna drop the coin without some sort of mental commitment. I have a 2013 thru planned, and I don't think it's going to be a picnic all the time.

But in response to your post, you don't know what you'll miss if you go? You really don't know what you'll miss if you stay! Good luck in your decision. It's not one you come to lightly!

atmilkman
08-06-2012, 22:24
"20 years from now you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the things you did"....just do it!
I was just messin' with ya in my earlier post, if you hang around here long enough you'll see I do that sometimes. Character flaw I guess. Anyway I agree with what Sam here says. You more than likely will have regrets. I first set foot on the AT in 1973. The addiction was instantaneous. After that moment it was all I thought about. Every chance I got I went and hiked some part of it. I kept running into thrus and kept saying I want to do that, I gotta do that. But every time greed kicked in and I chose money over my dream and returned to my career, which at that time in my life really wasn't anything that couldn't have been put on hold but like I said greed kicked in. I'm attempting my thru next year at an age and physical condition I'm comfortable with but at the same time has it's limitations and is questionable. If I make it, I make it. If not I'm prepared to attempt it again in 2014. If that doesn't pan out I'm willing to just keep going back and picking up from where I left off and complete it that way. I just want to see the whole thing. I wont say that there isn't a day that goes by that I regret not following my dream when I was younger and more fit and my chances were better but the thought does cross my mind. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would have briefly put my life on hold and followed my dream. Listen to your heart when making your decision.

DaveSail
08-06-2012, 22:31
Here is a very short answer :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEOFDwWv4fk

DVW " Ice Cream "

etboy
08-07-2012, 00:21
For my two pennyworth, what do you want written on your gravestone?
"Worked like a dog till the day he died"
I don't know about you, but that terrifies me.
No matter what your endeavour, never forget:
Theres only one person who can stop you.
Good luck all. ET

turtle fast
08-07-2012, 00:38
Plain and simple:
1. The Economy sucks: Recent college grads have a very tough time finding jobs....what is another 4-6 months wait.
2. If you wait, before you know it you will have responsibilities, a job, possibly a spouse...things that tend not to be conducive for going on a long hiking adventure
3. You will always have that little "Could a, should a, would a" in the back of your mind if you did not do it...and you will regret not taking the chance once you get ol

Elii Skeans
08-07-2012, 14:25
less is best with words of wisdom...thank you for the reply! seems like a reasonable amount of money.

Elii Skeans
08-07-2012, 14:36
Sorry I was trying to reply to one specific post, was not intended for all. It really is amazing how many replies I have received, this is awesome THANK YOU ALL!

Water Rat
08-07-2012, 14:47
Yeah, you will miss being at home while hiking. But, which would you end up missing more? If you truly want to hike, and you feel like you have enough money and gear, then this is the perfect time to hike. If not, then maybe waiting is the best plan. The trail will still be there if hiking is what you want, but now is just not the right time. Only you can make that decision for you.

I had the opportunity to go work in Baja for 3 months this past winter. I felt like I would be gone from my dogs for too long, I would miss friends, etc. Other than that, the timing was perfect. I ended up just taking the leap. Now, I am trying to figure out how to include Baja in my plans for this coming winter. I am also trying to figure out if I have to wait until 2014 to do a thru-hike...

There will always be something you have to give up to pursue other things... The trick is to figuring out what you would regret missing out on.

Papa D
08-07-2012, 16:05
[QUOTE=Papa D;1320941]P R I D E

P - perseverance - decide what you want to accomplish and stick to it - in the rain, in the cold, if you are lonely, if you think you'd rather be drinking in the pub - - you just stick it out.
R - respect - in this context, respect what you are doing, the trail, the environment, the world, animals, and people - respect the trail - it's good for you and the trail
I - initiative - take initiative - life will not be served to you on a platter - even if you have all the money in the world - you have to make it
D - discipline - not to be confused with punishment - this the standard you set for yourself - self control - sort of the accelerator pedal of life - know when to push it and when to back off a touch
E - enthusiasm - a good attitude - esprit de corps, some would say, trumps all - it is the icing on the cake
/QUOTE]

Papa D, I like this. Can I copy and share with my Scouts?

Yes, sorry it took me time to get back - sure, glad you like it.

Papa D
08-07-2012, 16:13
If the OP is still reading:

I think you should do a one-week hike with a designated destination in mind - - don't stop in any towns carry 6 days food (which is a little more than you'd probably ever need on a thru hike but good for a test hike). Do this on the AT or other long trail. Aim to do 70 miles, which will be 10 miles per day. This is about 75% of the typical thru-hiker pace of 14 m.p.d. but it will probably seem like a whole lot off the couch - - if you feel real out of shape, maybe back off a bit to about a 60 mile week. The point is to see if you can achieve your week's goal and see how you feel about living in the woods, waking up and hiking each day. Do you like it? Or, are you constantly on your cell phone to the outside world wishing the trip would end.

A thru hike, for most would be a lot like this one-week test hike x 25 weeks. If you can't honestly say, that you would love to multiply your "test hike" time about 25 times and can't wait to do it, then don't even bother - pick some other thing to do.

Deer Hunter
08-07-2012, 18:36
You sir need a better attitude - - I'm 45 and plan to do another thru - hike. Are you in bad health due to circumstances beyond your control? Life isn't some sort of dress rehearsal - this is it dude. 46 is young - - really young - - I know plenty of folks getting it done in high style in their 60s and 70 who would give anything to be 46. If you want to, you can make nearly anything you want for yourself happen with a good positive can-do attitude.

No sir, I do not need a better attitude. I was simply telling the OP that nobody knows what is going to happen in the future. This might be the only chance that the OP has to do a thru-hike. You can't count on tomorrow.

Papa D
08-07-2012, 19:41
No sir, I do not need a better attitude. I was simply telling the OP that nobody knows what is going to happen in the future. This might be the only chance that the OP has to do a thru-hike. You can't count on tomorrow.

Ok - I catch your drift - didn't mean to come down so hard on you but your post was a little depressing and my reply was more on the side of lifting YOUR spirits than the OP's. Cheers to you.

Deer Hunter
08-07-2012, 20:15
Ok - I catch your drift - didn't mean to come down so hard on you but your post was a little depressing and my reply was more on the side of lifting YOUR spirits than the OP's. Cheers to you.


No problem. I'm good. No thru-hike yet but hike when I can. Maybe one day.

Donde
08-07-2012, 23:31
If you need help being motivated, then you should not do this. That doesn't mean you can't go for a great hike of whatever time/distance fits your desires. Also if you want to thru to say you did it instead wanting to thru cause you love hiking the AT don't do it. If you want to thru cause you think you will find something or learn something or some other deep nonsense don't do it. I walked from GA to ME. I met awesome people, I saw amazing things, I learned Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts have more calories than the fruit flavors, sometimes conditions sucked, but it was the best vacation I've ever taken. All it is is a long backpacking trip, it has never promised to be anything more.

Elii Skeans
08-08-2012, 10:01
listen I don't mean to be rude, but I was searching for motivation, not a herd of "naysayers" doing the exact opposite. It baffles me that so many people would log on here just to dump a bunch of negativity and try to dissuade a fellow young nature lover from doing something that they claim has had such a positive effect on their lives.

P.S. (I have backpacked a week by himself before, and have pulled a 20 mile day before)

But thanks again to everyone who has been helpful

max patch
08-08-2012, 10:56
Eli, only about 20% of all potential thru hikers complete their hike. While there is the occasional injury, most drop off because they become bored or they find out that the trail is what they expected. If someone needs motivation on day 1 the odds of completion are going to significantly less than the 20% average. This is what people are trying to tell you.

max patch
08-08-2012, 10:57
or they find out that the trail is what they expected.




or they find out that the trail is NOT what they expected.

JohnWayne
08-08-2012, 10:59
Eli, only about 20% of all potential thru hikers complete their hike. While there is the occasional injury, most drop off because they become bored or they find out that the trail is what they expected. If someone needs motivation on day 1 the odds of completion are going to significantly less than the 20% average. This is what people are trying to tell you.

Best answer yet IMHO!

Elii Skeans
08-08-2012, 11:43
Eli, only about 20% of all potential thru hikers complete their hike. While there is the occasional injury, most drop off because they become bored or they find out that the trail is what they expected. If someone needs motivation on day 1 the odds of completion are going to significantly less than the 20% average. This is what people are trying to tell you.

So when you were preparing for a thru-hike you were 100% on board, didn't ask anybody's advice, and had no doubts....

Elii Skeans
08-08-2012, 11:44
So when you were preparing for a thru-hike you were 100% on board, didn't ask anybody's advice, and had no doubts....

sounds like going into like that would make your odds of finishing even lower

max patch
08-08-2012, 12:01
(1) So when you were preparing for a thru-hike you were 100% on board, (2) didn't ask anybody's advice, and (3) had no doubts....

(1) Absolutely. Took me 10 years from the time I wanted to thru to the time I was able to thru. Quit a good paying job (that I hated) to do so.

(2) Nope. Pre-internet. Nobody to ask.

(3) Sure I had doubts. Look at the map -- thats a long way to walk. But I wanted to do it and knew I'd give it my best shot.

Supreme Being
08-08-2012, 12:10
I've noticed that hiking a thru is almost like an obsession for most of us. Some make it. Most do not.

Blissful
08-08-2012, 12:30
If you need someone else to motivate you you'll end up a statistic.

Bingo.

The only one to motivate you is yourself.

90% mental.

If you keep finding excuses not to go, then you likely will never do it nor finish it. B/c the motivation is lacking.

chief
08-08-2012, 13:34
In the scheme of life, a thru-hike is pretty trivial. Do it or not, it's your choice. Either way, regret is a choice too.

Elii Skeans
08-08-2012, 13:40
In the scheme of life, a thru-hike is pretty trivial. Do it or not, it's your choice. Either way, regret is a choice too.

love this, thanks Chief.

silverscuba22
08-08-2012, 14:28
I was searching for motivation, not a herd of "naysayers" doing the exact opposite. It baffles me that so many people would log on here just to dump a bunch of negativity and try to dissuade a fellow young nature lover from doing something that they claim has had such a positive effect on their lives.

P.S. (I have backpacked a week by himself before, and have pulled a 20 mile day before)

Well it baffles me why a nature lover would log on here looking for "motivation" when they love nature so much, and then be so preplexed when people say you shouldnt go if you looking for motivation... but then understood you are 23 yearsold and have no idea what your talking about..

Water Rat
08-08-2012, 16:50
So when you were preparing for a thru-hike you were 100% on board, didn't ask anybody's advice, and had no doubts....

Actually, this is true for me. I don't mean this in a negative way... I just have never been one to rely on other people to tell me what they think I should do. When I make up my mind to do something, then I am 100% on board, I may ask for advice as to the best way to approach the planning process. I might ask for advice regarding gear, but I certainly would not ask others to make my decision for me.

If you are having doubts, then maybe this is not the best time for you to undertake a thru-hike. Maybe section hiking might be a better way for you to make up your mind.

Again, I do not mean to rain on your parade. Just stating how it is for me.

DaSchwartz
08-08-2012, 17:27
Go on a one week hike on the North Country Trail which isn't that far from Akron. While nowhere near as hard as the AT, if you go a week on that and still have the desire to do the AT, then go for it. Plus it would be a good shakedown hike to get your gear right.

Monkeywrench
08-08-2012, 22:30
So when you were preparing for a thru-hike you were 100% on board, didn't ask anybody's advice, and had no doubts....

Absolutely 100% on board. Thru-hiking was something I had wanted to do ever since I first learned about the AT as a kid. As for asking advice, I asked plenty of questions about the logistics of thru-hjking, but not about whether or not it was something I wanted to do (But I've been hiking and backpacking ever since I was a Boy Scout back in the dark ages of canvas tents and backpacks, so I had a lot of confidence in my expectations and abilities). And when it comes to doubts, well there were always doubts about how the reality of the hike would compare to the expectation, and doubts about whether I was physically capable of finishing the hike (I almost didn't because my knees gave out; I limped up and down Katahdin). Even after hiking for 6 months and 9 days, while climbing Katahdin on the last morning, I was thinking that I could still fall and break a leg, and fail to complete my hike. There are doubts right up until the last moment when it is finally over, but those doubts were never about whether or not I wanted to do it. Maybe that's because I had been dreaming about it for twice as long as you've been alive (well, not quite but almost). Maybe I'd just dreamed the dream for so long that I had already resolved those doubts that you are still dealing with. But ultimately, the motivation has to come from yourself. You're not going to complete a thru-hike because somebody else wants you to, it has to be because you want to do it, and for the time being at least it is the most important thing in your life. That's the only way you are going to get up every day and walk for 8 or 10 hours, day after day after day, whether it's hot or raining, buggy, muddy, or whatever, no matter how hungry and dirty and home-sick and mosquito-bitten you are. (The glorious days -- and oh how glorious they are! -- will take care of themselves; the tough days are left for you to deal with).

Elii Skeans
08-09-2012, 12:41
Thanks again everyone, I know I have the motivation and desire to do a thru-hike one day. I have just never even talked to anybody who has even backpacked the trail before. So I found this forum and decided to ask some questions, probably should have worded my original post better to stress the seriousness of my determination. really I just wanted to hear from people who have actually done it and would have wise things to say. From everyones advice, I believe that "finishing" the AT is not a specific goal of mine, I have no goal really for the trip I wish to go on. What I want is an extended journey, living in nature, and enjoying the solitude; seperating myself from the hustle & bustle to find some meaning whether it is "I hate the woods, it's wet cold and lonely thank god for civilization i'll never do this again" or if it revitalizes a new spirit in me. Either outcome is desirable to me; because I strongly believe that stagnation, fear, not stepping out of one's boundairies is the root of many people's issues. I am sure that either finding it to be the best trip ever or the worst trip ever my life will still be profoundly affected by it, gaining knowledge, confidence, and determination to make other big steps/chances in life.

grmtone@gmail.com
08-09-2012, 15:02
Hi Elli:

I am a 71 yo that is going to start in March. The things you will miss out on will be there when you get back. It will be a challenge to start out in Georgia and finish in Maine, but what an accomplishment to put in you book of "Look what I have done!" You have to have the attitude for it, however, or you won't complete it. I highly recommend starting. My understanding on money, other than your gear, you will need around 3000 dollars. Takes roughly 3/4 pairs of boots that would need to be broken in before you leave. I am so looking forward to getting started. Takes a lot of research and planning to do the hike, so if you are serious, do your due diligence and do your research and planning. Good luck to you. Taz, or Marty

Dash
08-09-2012, 15:29
"Life is only as interesting as your next adventure. - "Lead Dog" How interesting do want your life to be?
Think about what you would want written on your tombstone...and live in reverse to make it so. To be great you must do great things.
A thru hike is a great sacrifice....and so is saying good bye to your dreams. I hope this gets you thinking and i dare you to live a life fulfilled.

Papa D
08-09-2012, 16:56
Thanks again everyone, I know I have the motivation and desire to do a thru-hike one day. I have just never even talked to anybody who has even backpacked the trail before. So I found this forum and decided to ask some questions, probably should have worded my original post better to stress the seriousness of my determination. really I just wanted to hear from people who have actually done it and would have wise things to say. From everyones advice, I believe that "finishing" the AT is not a specific goal of mine, I have no goal really for the trip I wish to go on. What I want is an extended journey, living in nature, and enjoying the solitude; seperating myself from the hustle & bustle to find some meaning whether it is "I hate the woods, it's wet cold and lonely thank god for civilization i'll never do this again" or if it revitalizes a new spirit in me. Either outcome is desirable to me; because I strongly believe that stagnation, fear, not stepping out of one's boundairies is the root of many people's issues. I am sure that either finding it to be the best trip ever or the worst trip ever my life will still be profoundly affected by it, gaining knowledge, confidence, and determination to make other big steps/chances in life.

Wow - the tone of this post is much different than your original one. Sounds like you might have the makings of a thru-hiker. I posted earlier about a "test hike". Since it sounds like you are a bit of a newbie, a week in the woods would really help you figure some things out including how to go about being a long distance hiker and whether you like it or not. From Akron, OH, you are about 5 1/2 to 6 hours from the AT in PA. PA has a reputation of being rocky (well deserved) and of not being so pretty (not so well deserved) - PA is a great state to hike in. Maybe you could start a hike around Deleware Water Gap - there is an outfitter store there called Edge of the Woods - the offer AT hiker shuttles too. Here is the number (570) 421-6681

BradMT
08-09-2012, 19:13
I have always dreamed of doing a thru-hike. I guess the only thing holding me back is escaping life for such long stretch of time. I am graduating next spring (2013) from college and really want to do it, but "will I regret being gone for 4-6 months?" "what opportunities will I miss out on if I go?"... these are the questions I keep hearing that are keeping me from committing. Any motivational words-of-wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

What kind of money should i expect to save up if I do decide to commit?

My experience in life is, if you're asking for motivation, you'll never finish successfully so don't bother.

It's a "those who can" sort of thing...

Lone Wolf
08-09-2012, 19:21
listen I don't mean to be rude, but I was searching for motivation, not a herd of "naysayers" doing the exact opposite. It baffles me that so many people would log on here just to dump a bunch of negativity and try to dissuade a fellow young nature lover from doing something that they claim has had such a positive effect on their lives.

P.S. (I have backpacked a week by himself before, and have pulled a 20 mile day before)

But thanks again to everyone who has been helpfuljust do it and quit with the drama already

Fla Running Bear
08-09-2012, 19:23
Just remember that sometimes the windows do close and you sit looking out wondering, "what if..." This isn't something that you can just decide to do later. A one-week test hike is a great idea.

Train Wreck
08-09-2012, 21:23
just do it and quit with the drama already

I LOLed ....

neonshaw
08-09-2012, 23:23
physical conditioning or equipment wont get you to maine, only your desire and determination, get right with your head and go for it

cabbagehead
08-09-2012, 23:39
.....no.....

turtle fast
08-10-2012, 12:32
A thru truly pushes the average persons boundaries! I saw a lot of people whom have NO backpacking experience make it...its about ones self desire...the drive to finish the thing as a goal through good times and bad. If you are looking for an adventure, to push beyond what you do and know, and to have the time and space for contemplation, self reliance, friendship, and self satisfaction...then start with that initial first step onto the AT. Some find themselves and are modified by it, and some are disappointed about what they learn of themselves and many others are just plain oblivious.