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Thread: Trail baby.

  1. #1
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    Default Trail baby.

    Hey you all! So I'm 18 years old, graduating in July (hell yeah!) and since I was about 13 I have dreamed of hiking the A.T. So I Finally made a decision that I will be taking on the trip the spring after I graduate which will be spring 2016. I have only ever gone on week long hiking/camping trips because living In a small Florida town I only had a few options and more lengthy camping trips that only included a day or two hike. So basically I am just asking for advice on preparing and taking on this adventure! Thanks a ton guys! I respect you all so much!!!!

    Chels

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    Do some reading here.
    One post is pretty hard to answer everything

    You will need money. Lots of money.
    And gear. And maps. And databook.

    Are you thru hiking?

    Starting late after a HS graduation may mean you cant finish Nobo unless you are faster than average hiker. Sobo may be better. Depends on your plans, school in fall or not? Etc.

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    I've been reading up definitely and listening to tons of podcasts and so on. I am not going straight to school, it's just not a good plan for me. I am not being cocky but I am going all out and planning to thru hike. I'm going nobo definitely. I have been saving for about 2 years here and there and have about 6000 saved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chelsea.c13 View Post
    Hey you all! So I'm 18 years old, graduating in July (hell yeah!)... I will be taking on the trip the spring after I graduate which will be spring 2016.
    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Starting late after a HS graduation may mean you cant finish Nobo unless you are faster than average hiker. Sobo may be better. Depends on your plans, school in fall or not? Etc.
    She's finishing school in 2015 and intends to start her hike in the Spring 2016.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

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    No problem then.

    Keep pack light, be in reasonable shape, and start walking.

    Planning is easy or hard as you make it.

  6. #6

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    I suggest long distance hikes of the Florida Trail. Go see if you like it after doing say, 300 miles of the Florida Trail.

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    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Head just north to Providence Canyon State Park GA. http://gastateparks.org/info/providence/ It was a nice place to hike many years ago with ups and downs.

    Concur with Baxter Bear - FL Trail to practice.

    Lurk here - ask questions - use the search feature.

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    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chelsea.c13 View Post
    I've been reading up definitely and listening to tons of podcasts and so on. I am not going straight to school, it's just not a good plan for me. I am not being cocky but I am going all out and planning to thru hike. I'm going nobo definitely. I have been saving for about 2 years here and there and have about 6000 saved.
    Go for it. You have an idea of what you want to do and sufficient funds. Hiking the AT should be an education in itself. I wish that I had taken a year off between high school and college to travel. I had the money but was in too much of a hurry.
    HST/JMT August 2016
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  9. #9

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    take your time and enjoy it, every day is an adventure out their, get the proper gear together and LEARN how to use it before you start.
    Learn the LNT principles and use them. but remember it's your hike so don't let someone else tell you how to hike it, trust me everybody you will meet will try and tell you how to hike you are the only person that knows how to hike your hike. HYOH

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    Start walking and hiking in your community now. Do the Florida trail for a few days or come over for a weekend visit to Torreya State Park. I have mentioned this park several times and folks kind of make fun of me, but it is a great place to test your equipment and it is the only place in Florida that comes close to what you will experience on the trail. I do Torreya for one and two nights at a time. Other options are the Pinhoti or the trails up in the Sipsey River Wilderness Area. http://www.alabamatrail.org/hikingAL/Sipsey/Sipsey.htm (Hope folks don’t get mad at me for letting this secret out). I walk in my community for a few miles and start carrying my pack about a month before I do another section on the AT. I plan to start my Thru in 2016.

  11. #11
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    I love Torreya! As you said, it's about the only place in Florida with hills. And they do have some flora there that generally only grows up in the Appalachians.

  12. #12

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    Delete the repete
    Last edited by Feral Bill; 12-17-2014 at 13:30.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  13. #13

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    Reading list: The Complete walker IV by Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlings, Advanced Backpacking, by Chris Townsend (both are a bit dated regarding gear, but excellent)

    Both have lists for further reading.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Go for it. You have an idea of what you want to do and sufficient funds. Hiking the AT should be an education in itself. I wish that I had taken a year off between high school and college to travel. I had the money but was in too much of a hurry.
    +1.......I'm hoping to thru with my son when he graduated high school...unfortunately have a lil waiting, he's in 3rd grade!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Dam auto spell...graduates


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  16. #16

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    It's been said before but I always give this recommendation to interested backpackers---Sleep out in the backyard or on the deck or porch every night and get used to it. You always have the option to bail.

    Visit an outfitting store and look at their stuff, talk to the clerks who usually have alot of experience.

    Once you pick a pack load it up with at least 30 lbs and do training hikes esp up mountains. If you're really nuts and you have no mountains, find a building with a flight of stairs and go for it. Repeat 100 times.

    When you get your sleeping mat and bag, start sleeping in the yard etc.

  17. #17
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Go to REI or an outfitters that conduct trail classes.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Viking View Post
    Go to REI or an outfitters that conduct trail classes.
    That might be a long way from Pensacola. It could be worth a trip to Atlanta or Jacksonville to check out REI. Leave your money home on the first go, to give you time to think.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  19. #19
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    Hey, Chels,

    If you can get a week off this summer, maybe right after school lets out, it would be well worth your time to go to Georgia and spend a week hiking on the AT. You'll be able to figure out what gear you really need, how to go into town for a resupply, what the shelters and hostels a really like, etc. You'll also walk through one of the best long distance hiking outfitters in the country at Neel Gap. They can take a look at your pack and make some suggestions on what to bring, what not to bring, and what you might want to replace before you come back in 2016.

    Note too that there are alternatives if you want to hike right after you graduate this year. I have known several high schoolers who hiked south from Katahdin, starting in mid June. If that's too intimidating (and it probably should be ) then another option starts at Harper's Ferry (near DC) and hikes north to Katahdin, then flips back to HF and hikes south to Springer. You get a relatively easy start, and you get to "finish" twice, once on each terminus.

    Good luck with the planning and the hike.

    BC
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

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    Seriously, if you have not bought any gear yet, don't. Wait, be patient, learn from this board, learn from other resources about thru-hiking the AT online.

    You'll be glad you did, be well prepared for your thru hike, and have a light pack.

    Best of luck on your journey.

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