View Full Version : To hike or not to hike?

12-19-2012, 14:25
Hey! I'm a college student taking the spring semester off. I wanted to spend that time hiking half or all of the AT, probably starting in April. I have some experience hiking but none backpacking. however, I have been researching thru hiking for the last few years. Will I have enough time to prepare a 2013 Hike? Advice would be very helpful!

Lone Wolf
12-19-2012, 14:28
3 months or so is plenty of time to get your gear together and go. having enough money is the big thing

12-19-2012, 15:08
I'm nowhere near where I wanted to be at this point in the year in physical prep for my hike. I'm still going to do it and I'll do fine. I still have 3 months to continue getting in shape. Backpacking can be easily solved by throwing a pack on your back and walking around a few miles. Find some hills and just go. Lone Wolf is right. It's the $$ thing that can get in the way.

12-19-2012, 15:18
Assuming you have the cash (~$4000 ) , three months is fine. It's a well marked trail with easy logistics. If you can, get a week's hike in about a month or so before your thru-hike attempt. It will helps fine tune your gear and technique. Plus its fun.

I wrote an AT overview doc that may help in planning, too:

EDIT: Sorry, did not read closely. For half the trail, bring half the money. :D I'd still suggest getting out there before a 3 month hike, though. :)

12-19-2012, 21:17
When I started, a friend who had never been backpacking before came along for the first couple of weeks till her vacation days ran out. She ended up loving it so much that she backpacked half of the PCT the next year. And this was despite the horrid weather we encountered on the AT.
But this doesn't happen with everyone. One big difference was that a lack of backpacking experience was balanced with lots of other types of experiences, such as long trips on horseback and bicycle touring as well as good general outdoor skills. My advice to you is to worry more about whether or not you have the wilderness skills such as being able to set up a tent in a spot that won't flood or cook a meal on a campstove, and how well you deal with self-sufficient travel than how much backpacking experience you have.
If you have good general wilderness skills and can plan ahead regarding things like food and water, you can easily and quickly learn how to pack a backpack and figure out what to leave at home.

12-19-2012, 21:33
From someone who sectioned and then put off his thru because of a job after college, DO IT! Life is too short to be a slave to your retirement account and the kings tax collectors.

12-19-2012, 22:12
plenty of time. just get a kit and start walking and the rest will come. maybe, if not already, you'll end up taking summer semester off too.

schools aren't going nowhere. the at ain't going nowhere. and you will go where you want to go.

turtle fast
12-20-2012, 12:11
3 months is more than enough time to get ready. I ran into a guy who had only 2 weeks prior decided to go wore (not a the same time obviously) 2 pairs of hiking boots around everywhere for those two weeks to break them in and had a mad dash to order gear. It can be done, you just need the determination and the cash to do so.