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Thread: Possible?

  1. #1
    Registered User skinnbones's Avatar
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    Default Possible?

    Is it possible to NEVER hitch for town visits? What is the longest and shortage distant to hike into town if I skip the hitch?

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    Sure, it's possible. It's always your choice. How far is town? How far do you want to walk? There are 2 or more towns at each and every road crossing. Most of the towns that thru-hikers go to are from zero to 15 miles. The average, I would guess is 3 miles.

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    Yes, Matt Kirk did it last year.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    Yes, Matt Kirk did it last year.
    He may have to hike rather fast then (miles/day).

    Variable. Depends on your maximum resupply period and how far you are willing to walk off trail. What types of food you are willing to eat. Mail drops.

    Baltimore Jack's resupply article gives a good picture on resupply issues.

    When you say possible do you have specific parameters in mind?
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  5. #5

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    There's always the option to carry more food, thereby reducing your resupply points. The last time I was section hiking the AT I carried all my food for a 20 day trip in the Mt Rogers area.

  6. #6

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    Yeah, Grover the Rover did it the year I thru'd.

  7. #7

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    There are only about half a dozen towns which are far enough away that walking isn't real practical to get to them. Some of these you'll want to go to, others can be skipped, but might require carrying extra food or doing bigger miles to get to the next convenient place to resupply.

    Hikers who can do consistant big miles and carry a lot of food don't have to go to town as much as the rest of us and can skip the ones which aren't real close or have the trail go through them.
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  8. #8
    Registered User skinnbones's Avatar
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    Thanks, very helpful. It's all these little nagging questions that I wonder about. Sitting in the comforts of my room, I say I'm not going to carry a stove. I'm not going to hitch rides. I'm not going to sleep in shelters. And the "Not" list continues to grow. I read and learn a lot from the advice from the trail experts on this site. Many thanks!

  9. #9
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnbones View Post
    Thanks, very helpful. It's all these little nagging questions that I wonder about. Sitting in the comforts of my room, I say I'm not going to carry a stove. I'm not going to hitch rides. I'm not going to sleep in shelters. And the "Not" list continues to grow. I read and learn a lot from the advice from the trail experts on this site. Many thanks!
    You forgot to add the "Do not try to plan for everything, especially those things that may change", to the NOT list.

    The trail is a very "fluid situation". Your plans will change, and must be able to, as your hike evolves. You will likely sleep in some shelters, especially in bad weather. You may wind up wanting and getting a stove at some point, especially in colder weather. You will likely at minimum take a few hitched rides when with other trail companions.

  10. #10

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    It's your hike, you get to make up the rules. However, I'd watch out for making too many rules. Thruhiking (for me) is about freedom, not about adding unnecessary chains. One thing, you can always change your rules if you find them too restrictive.

  11. #11
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    I didn't see you say why you don't want to hitch: safety, a purist thing? Talking about that might help you conclude it's not such a bad idea on a thru...


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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    There's always the option to carry more food, thereby reducing your resupply points. The last time I was section hiking the AT I carried all my food for a 20 day trip in the Mt Rogers area.
    How many miles did you hike in those 20 days?

  13. #13
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    very easy to not hitch if you are willing to pay/ wait for cabs/ shuttles - that and some extra mail drops

    if your question is to do the trail without utilizing the service of a car/ truck (other than mass transit/ normal distribution) - that is a lot tougher i.e. if you get food delivery does that count?

  14. #14

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    You can walk the entire trail without getting in a car or sleeping under a roof. I have not done it yet, but have researched it thoroughly. With the help of the good folks here I have grown confident that it can be done. The great majority use hitches, shuttles, shelter, hostels, etc. Most go to town every chance they get. Many slackpack a whole lot too. It is common to spend a whole lot of money during a patty cake thru. HYOH.

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    Son Driven
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Walker View Post
    It's your hike, you get to make up the rules. However, I'd watch out for making too many rules. Thruhiking (for me) is about freedom, not about adding unnecessary chains. One thing, you can always change your rules if you find them too restrictive.
    Yep, considering the number of hikes that fail, I believe in giving yourself the flexibility in doing what ever provides yourself the best opportunity to succeed. Even if you become a section hiker, if you decide to yellow blaze.
    03/07/13 - 10/07/13 Flip flop AT thru hike "It is well with my soul"

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnbones View Post
    Is it possible to NEVER hitch for town visits? What is the longest and shortage distant to hike into town if I skip the hitch?
    To answer your question: I'm mail dropping all my supplies for my thru hike this summer. It'll probably cost me about $250 in shipping costs (ouch!). That being said all of my resupplies are within sight of the trail with the exception of two, the furthest of which is a 1.2 mile round trip to a post office. I'll be hiking 25+ miles per day and carrying at most 5 days of food at a time.

    Yes it is possible to hike the entire trail without hitching to town.

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    Matt Kirk did it carrying only 3 days at a time, so its not out of reach for regular 18-22 mpd hikers to do it carrying 6-7 days at a time.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-04-2014 at 22:41.

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    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kc Fiedler View Post
    I'll be hiking 25+ miles per day and carrying at most 5 days of food at a time.

    Yes it is possible to hike the entire trail without hitching to town.
    sometimes its better to post things like this AFTER you did it. 25+ a day right out of the gate?
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  19. #19

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    The AT Thru-Hike Planner has mail drop locations in the book and how far off the AT each mail drop is located. It looks like the highest number I'm seeing is 11 miles round trip. Many of them are right on the trail.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    sometimes its better to post things like this AFTER you did it. 25+ a day right out of the gate?
    I'm aware of the best laid plans of mice and men. You're right the possibility of failure is always looming on the horizon for anyone's thru hike. He asked if it's possible, I told him what my plans are and that with that itinerary it is, indeed, possible. If it makes you feel better, my first few days will be closer to 20 miles a day and increasing from there to a trip average of just over 25 miles per day.

    If my plan doesn't work out I'll let you be the first to say "I told you so".

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