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  1. #1
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    Default Completed My Thru Hike! Thank you Whiteblaze!

    Just wanted to thank everyone here on Whiteblaze for all of the advice as I prepared for my thru-hike this past spring. I benefitted greatly from a couple of "What I Learned" kind of posts and figured I would post one myself when I find the time. I started my thru-hike on May 5th from the approach trail and finished at Mt Katahdin on August 16th. All in all I spent 103 days on trail (91 were spent hiking while 12 were spent zeroing). I met some incredible people and hikers along the way. To people like Aquaman, Six Slash, Lint, Ryan, and Shroomer-I say thank you! You made the trip truly memorable. I will post gear reviews, town tips, and trail tips soon.

  2. #2
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    Forgot to add-My trail name was Politician

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinnMelanson View Post
    Just wanted to thank everyone here on Whiteblaze for all of the advice as I prepared for my thru-hike this past spring. I benefitted greatly from a couple of "What I Learned" kind of posts and figured I would post one myself when I find the time. I started my thru-hike on May 5th from the approach trail and finished at Mt Katahdin on August 16th. All in all I spent 103 days on trail (91 were spent hiking while 12 were spent zeroing). I met some incredible people and hikers along the way. To people like Aquaman, Six Slash, Lint, Ryan, and Shroomer-I say thank you! You made the trip truly memorable. I will post gear reviews, town tips, and trail tips soon.
    Congratulations! 24 mpd avg is impressive! Did you meet "Wired" or "Reset"??

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seatbelt View Post
    Congratulations! 24 mpd avg is impressive! Did you meet "Wired" or "Reset"??
    I had heard of Wired while hiking with Lint, but I believe she finished in early August.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinnMelanson View Post
    I had heard of Wired while hiking with Lint, but I believe she finished in early August.
    Yes, she did; and Reset is still in Maine, thought you probly passed him recently.

  6. #6
    Registered User dangerdave's Avatar
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    Wow, that's fast. I'm all about HYOH, but do you feel like you missed out going that quickly. I know some folks slated for school have to do it in a flash.

    For me: I hope to go half as fast as you and take twice as long.

    Oh, and congrats on your success! Quite and accomplishment!
    AKA "DANGER" AT Thru-Hiker Class of 2015

  7. #7
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your accomplishment. You have some life skills now that few have. Make the most of them over your years.

  8. #8
    Registered User 2015 Lady Thru-Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinnMelanson View Post
    Just wanted to thank everyone here on Whiteblaze for all of the advice as I prepared for my thru-hike this past spring. I benefitted greatly from a couple of "What I Learned" kind of posts and figured I would post one myself when I find the time. I started my thru-hike on May 5th from the approach trail and finished at Mt Katahdin on August 16th. All in all I spent 103 days on trail (91 were spent hiking while 12 were spent zeroing). I met some incredible people and hikers along the way. To people like Aquaman, Six Slash, Lint, Ryan, and Shroomer-I say thank you! You made the trip truly memorable. I will post gear reviews, town tips, and trail tips soon.
    Truly giddy for you Politician! Looking forward to your words of wisdom and tips to use when hitting the trail next year.
    ““Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees....” ― John Muir

  9. #9
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    10-29-2010
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    Austin, TX
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    Congrats!

    Quick hike!!!

  10. #10

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    Congratulations! I wish we'd gotten to meet you on the trail....maybe next year!
    "Maybe life isn't about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it's about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerdave View Post
    Wow, that's fast. I'm all about HYOH, but do you feel like you missed out going that quickly. I know some folks slated for school have to do it in a flash.

    For me: I hope to go half as fast as you and take twice as long.

    Oh, and congrats on your success! Quite and accomplishment!

    There will always be a raging debate in the hiker community about what constitutes a "fulfilling" hike. Of course, there is no "right" way to thru-hike. But personally, I feel like I saw way more than the hiker that takes 5-6 months to complete their thru-hike. While most people were breaking camp at 9am, setting up camp at 4pm, and taking tons of zeros in town-I opted for the full wilderness experience. I was out of camp by first light and not in camp until dusk on most days. I felt like I had a special fellowship with the wilderness. I probably spent 4-5 more hours on the trail each day than the average hiker taking in all the sights, sounds, and wildlife. So when people asked if "I was even seeing anything?" I would make note of this fact that, in fact, I was actually spending more time in the woods than they were. Moreover, at no point did I ever feel like I was over extending myself or giving in to the macho-man culture of priding myself on speed or miles. NO. I'm just a guy that likes to hike and be in the wild.

    Most young people who say "you are missing out" aren't really referencing the hike itself, rather they are referencing the culture in trail towns-the booze, the drugs, the trail magic. I wasn't in to that as much. I was interested in living in the woods. I can go to a bar anytime, but the trail won't always be there for me. I chose the trail over the towns.

    That is my abbreviated take on this debate.

  12. #12
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    Gear List:

    Pack: 60L ULA Catalyst
    Tent: Zpacks Hexamid Soloplex
    Sleeping Bag: Feathered Friends UL Down 20 Degree
    Sleeping Pad: Thermarest NeoAir XLite
    Cooking System: Jetboil Soil plus fuel cannister

    Clothing and Footwear:
    Nike Shorts (1)
    Nike Synthetic Shirt (1)
    Marmot UL Rain pants (1) (mostly used as camp clothes)
    Marmot Mica UL rain jacket (1) (mostly used as camp jacket for warmth)
    Smartwool long sleeve shirt (1) (mostly used as camp shirt)
    Nike athletic underwear (1)
    3 pairs of injinji toe socks that I rotated by the day (I never blistered once because of this sock and shoe combo)
    3 pairs of smart wool calf sock liner socks
    brooks cascadia 9's

    miscellaneous
    pocket knife
    iphone 4s and charger
    awol guide
    toothbrush and toothpaste
    bodyglide
    toilet paper
    NO first aid kit-99% of the time you are within a couple miles of a road crossing. carry one in Maine maybe, but thats about it
    pack cover for pack
    3 packs dry bags-1 for food, 1 for clothes, 1 for sleeping bag
    1 black diamond headlamp

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by FinnMelanson View Post
    Gear List:

    Pack: 60L ULA Catalyst
    Tent: Zpacks Hexamid Soloplex
    Sleeping Bag: Feathered Friends UL Down 20 Degree
    Sleeping Pad: Thermarest NeoAir XLite
    Cooking System: Jetboil Soil plus fuel cannister

    Clothing and Footwear:
    Nike Shorts (1)
    Nike Synthetic Shirt (1)
    Marmot UL Rain pants (1) (mostly used as camp clothes)
    Marmot Mica UL rain jacket (1) (mostly used as camp jacket for warmth)
    Smartwool long sleeve shirt (1) (mostly used as camp shirt)
    Nike athletic underwear (1)
    3 pairs of injinji toe socks that I rotated by the day (I never blistered once because of this sock and shoe combo)
    3 pairs of smart wool calf sock liner socks
    brooks cascadia 9's

    miscellaneous
    pocket knife
    iphone 4s and charger
    awol guide
    toothbrush and toothpaste
    bodyglide
    toilet paper
    NO first aid kit-99% of the time you are within a couple miles of a road crossing. carry one in Maine maybe, but thats about it
    pack cover for pack
    3 packs dry bags-1 for food, 1 for clothes, 1 for sleeping bag
    1 black diamond headlamp
    Thanks for publishing this list. How did you handle water? Generally speaking how much did you carry?
    --

    Hike Safe.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sympathetic joy View Post
    Thanks for publishing this list. How did you handle water? Generally speaking how much did you carry?
    Carried 2 2liter Tall Smart water bottles, but never carried more than a liter of water at a time unless I was lazy and just wanted to pick up all 2 liters at once. Water is plentiful on the AT. There is one sketchy 16 mile section in northeastern PA just past Palmerton where I can remember having to carry more, but really thats about it. I also treated my water with Aquamira drops.

  15. #15
    lemon b's Avatar
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    Thanks for the gearlist Politician. Grew up in Northampton so nice to see someone from the area get the wonderful experience and education of a thru.

  16. #16

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    Congratulations Politician!
    Sounds like you were just a few days ahead of the "Koltrain to Maine". I believe he plans to summit Saturday after less than 100 days.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinnMelanson View Post
    brooks cascadia 9's
    Great thread! I'm curious how many pairs of shoes did you go through?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Man View Post
    Great thread! I'm curious how many pairs of shoes did you go through?
    3 pairs-about 730 miles on each pair. Although, if I wasn't on a budget, I think my feet would have done better with four pairs. Anything over 500 miles on a pair of trail runners is pushing it in my opinion.

  19. #19
    lemon b's Avatar
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    How did you like the ZPacks Hexamid Soloplex? Any tricks for setting up in the rain?

  20. #20

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    Welcome to the 2000 miler club.

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