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    The weather in March on the ridge will be very...

    The weather in March on the ridge will be very cold, and winter storms are a strong possibility. Make sure that you and your family are prepared with the proper clothing, footwear, gaiters, etc....
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    ATweather.org

    ATweather.org
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    Cut off the bottom 4" of a Smartwater bottle.

    Cut off the bottom 4" of a Smartwater bottle.
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    What a shame! One of the top 3 hostels on the...

    What a shame! One of the top 3 hostels on the trail. I have fond memories of my stay in 2016; and Jody's restaurant quality meals. Craig, if you are reading this post; I hope that you follow thru...
  5. I carry 2 full smart water bottles; attach my...

    I carry 2 full smart water bottles; attach my Sawyer to one of them, and drink right out of the bottle. Don't carry Sawyer filter bags, or any bladders for additional water. When the Smartwater...
  6. The three too's; "too heavy, too fast, too long"

    The three too's; "too heavy, too fast, too long"
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    The harder the better. Some hard cheeses don't...

    The harder the better. Some hard cheeses don't ever require refrigeration.
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    Crocs Swiftwater Sandal; 13.8 oz. Very...

    Crocs Swiftwater Sandal; 13.8 oz. Very comfortable.
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    Tri Cities to Erwin 25 mi Adkins VA to Tri...

    Tri Cities to Erwin 25 mi
    Adkins VA to Tri Cities 67 mi
    hikershuttles.com in Erwin
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    The restroom in Newfound gap is way nicer than...

    The restroom in Newfound gap is way nicer than the Doyle ! And a lot cleaner, if that matters to you.
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    Started at Springer 04/07/2018; snow and low 20's...

    Started at Springer 04/07/2018; snow and low 20's the first night; but the most miserable was on 04/15 at Bly Gap. Mid teens, 40+ mph winds, snow blowing sideways ! Too dangerous to camp on the...
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    If I had only 3 weeks, I'd go from Erwin TN (not...

    If I had only 3 weeks, I'd go from Erwin TN (not too far from Tri Cities airport) to Pearisburg VA (near Blacksburg and Roanoke) This will allow you to experience the Roan Highlands and Grayson...
  13. Hot Springs to Asheville Airport shouldn't be too...

    Hot Springs to Asheville Airport shouldn't be too difficult to arrange; and Allentown to Palmerton is only 19 mi. As was mentioned, it's $145 to fly AVL to Allentown; and with only two shuttles to...
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    Being in good shape, and being in hiker shape are...

    Being in good shape, and being in hiker shape are two entirely different things; especially if you have never backpacked with a full load. It takes most thru hikers awhile to build up to decent daily...
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    If you have a pre-existing knee issue, you may...

    If you have a pre-existing knee issue, you may need a brace. But, what is really important going downhill is good hiking technique. Knee straps won't help if you pound the downhills, and then...
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    I myself was an innocent "thief" related to...

    I myself was an innocent "thief" related to hiking poles. Stopped at a shelter for lunch in southern VA where several hikers were doing the same. After leaving, and climbing about a mile I looked...
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    Here we go Dogwood ! Hike Goo ingredients: Water...

    Here we go Dogwood ! Hike Goo ingredients:
    Water
    Petrolatum
    Mineral Oil
    Ozokerite
    Lanolin
    Alcohol
    Propylene Glycol
    Diazolidinyl Urea
    Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
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    I carry a "small" bottle of sanitizer, Hike Goo...

    I carry a "small" bottle of sanitizer, Hike Goo for my feet (the best), insect repellent, and sunscreen; all in the smallest available packaging. Thats it. Anything else is unnecessary added weight....
  19. Tell him to stay at home, and you go by yourself!

    Tell him to stay at home, and you go by yourself!
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    Lighten up; actions speak louder than words. Thru...

    Lighten up; actions speak louder than words. Thru hikers have made the trail the modern Woodstock; "sex, drugs, and rock and roll". Much more concerned about that than language!!!! The perceived...
  21. I echo DuneElliot. The Osprey Atmos (male); Aura...

    I echo DuneElliot. The Osprey Atmos (male); Aura (female) provides great support from the hip belt, and the AG system is designed to keep weight off the back. Your definition of "huge loads" will...
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    Great advice from everybody. Most of the induced...

    Great advice from everybody. Most of the induced knee pain while hiking is associated with the physics of going downhill with weight on your back. That creates quite a load on the knees with each...
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    Definitely both.

    Definitely both.
  24. Agreed. Logistics aside; most dogs are either...

    Agreed. Logistics aside; most dogs are either sent home at some point, or the owner and the dog leave the trail. There are exceptions, which are usually very hardy dogs who have been trained to hike...
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    I'm sure you are in great shape; but being in...

    I'm sure you are in great shape; but being in hiking shape carrying a pack is a whole other matter. Most thru hikers start out with modest mileage, and at some point are able to put in big days....
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