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  1. #1
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    Default New adventurer coming soon to the AT

    I am an old fat lady who loves to hike, but has just started doing it in the last year. So far, I have only done small day hikes, with my record being about 10 miles in about 5 hours. Of course, this is with a very small pack of nothing but water, Kleenex, a boxed lunch and a few granola bars. Now my husband and I are planning to hike just the GA section of the AT in May of 2016, SOBO, in about 8 days. Is that a crazy expectation? Any advice to give the newbies?

  2. #2
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    Well, as one old, fat hiker to another, ... go for it! Just have a flexible mentality while on the trail and make adjustments as necessary to enjoy yourselves. I'd say doing GA in 8 days is reasonably do-able. Just keep practicing in the meantime, with full packs occasionally. In fact, do some over-nighters. Nothing like actual backpacking to practice for actual backpacking. A lot of it is mental and familiarity with gear and terrain. You might want to join a backpacking club and go out with some experienced backpackers a time or two. Our Nashville club has members from Ohio to Florida.

    So, good for y'all, I say!!! My wife and I did 30 miles on the AT for our 30th anniversary ... ten years ago. Then again, we weren't young whippersnappers like y'all. We survived to tell the tale.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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    .

  3. #3

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    From one noob to another... Go for it!

    There are people here with more knowledge than I have about the timing versus the terrain, etc., but the fact that you're already active with day hiking puts you ahead of many others who set out with no experience at all. So, you've got that on your side. Also, maybe plan your hike based on, "We'll see how far we get" rather than a strict time/distance goal. Unless the time/distance thing is the reason for the hike, just give yourself the freedom to hike unscheduled. I've learned lately that the hike is far more important than the goal line.

    One thing to keep in mind, you may run in to a larger than normal crowd that will be heading North (due to the release of the Redford movie this year.) This may or may not have an effect on resources, tranquility, and trail conditions. Just something to think about...

    .

    * EDIT: Yeah, what he said... (Rain Man posted while I was typing. That was fast, lol.)
    Last edited by g00gle; 08-18-2015 at 10:02. Reason: Rain Man!

  4. #4
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    Thanks! We will!

  5. #5
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    The current plan is to start at Deep Gap, just north of the GA/NC line and go SOBO, towards home. If we don't make it all the way to Springer Mtn, at least we'll be heading closer to home. These posts on gear, conditions, crowds and such are so helpful to us in our planning stages. We still have all the gear to get so we are learning what to buy and what to avoid. Thanks for all the sharing!

  6. #6

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    42 is not old, at least from my perspective. Get out there and enjoy yourself, and don't obsess about speed. As Rainman says, you can easily make adjustments mid-hike; there are plenty of campsites and shelters. If possible, do a shakedown weekend hike this fall, and continue walking through the winter. As long as you have gear and clothing for the weather and enough food and water, you'll be fine. If you can get all the way to Amicalola, I'd recommend it. The falls are a gorgeous place to end your hike, much more dramatic than Springer Mountain.

  7. #7
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    Well... you forgot the fat part. My mind is only 18 but my body is actually a heavy 81. A big part of the reason I am doing this, besides the obvious fun, fun, fun and I LOVE the woods, is the possibility of helping my body out a little too. I do plan to have a blast. Do you know if there is a good resupply place between our start point and the end? Do you know if anyone has ever gotten on the trail where we plan to?

  8. #8
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    Hooray for you guys, what a great plan! Your 10 miles in 5 hours is really good! Just remember the terrain in GA is steep, which is doable but you have to go slow. If you can train for that with your pack on, it'll help a lot. Keep your days short, like 8-10 miles. Be flexible and most of all, have fun and enjoy the sights. May should have lots to offer in that section for wildflowers, birds, etc.

    There are many places to get on and off the trail to spend the night and/or to resupply, I suggest you get The AT Guide for all your planning and AT hiking needs--my son calls it Hiker Wiki. There is a gravel road and parking at Deep Gap, the first few miles (from there to Muskrat Creek Shelter) will be a little steep and pretty rocky going SOBO from there, if memory serves.

    If you need a shuttle in GA, I highly suggest Joyce and Sally, (706) 896-9339.

    Have a great hike!


    "Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
    "


  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lnj View Post
    Well... you forgot the fat part. My mind is only 18 but my body is actually a heavy 81. A big part of the reason I am doing this, besides the obvious fun, fun, fun and I LOVE the woods, is the possibility of helping my body out a little too. I do plan to have a blast.
    A few more nOOb perpsectives...

    Thing 1: You're already active and hiking, that beats a cold start right off the bat.

    Thing 2: You're planning, researching, and asking advice - Your chances of reaching your goal easily just went up another 50%.

    Thing 3: You're planning to have a blast - so, you will!

    Thing 4: No matter what you think of your weight, you're already hiking wide laps around everyone that is currently sitting on the couch reading this.

  10. #10
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    Amazing advice! Thank you so much for the tips and the encouragement.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  11. #11
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    A few more nOOb perpsectives...

    Thing 1: You're already active and hiking, that beats a cold start right off the bat.

    Thing 2: You're planning, researching, and asking advice - Your chances of reaching your goal easily just went up another 50%.

    Thing 3: You're planning to have a blast - so, you will!

    Thing 4: No matter what you think of your weight, you're already hiking wide laps around everyone that is currently sitting on the couch reading this. [/QUOTE]

    Thank you so much for the encouragement! There is still much to do but we are sponging the info by the gallon.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lnj View Post
    Thank you so much for the encouragement! There is still much to do but we are sponging the info by the gallon.
    I wish I could claim to be original, but I stole all of it!

    I'm grateful that the hiking community tends to teach anyone willing to listen and learn. And there's some great folks on this site (and a treasure trove of information) from which I've already learned a great deal in a very short time. Stick around, I think you'll like it here!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by g00gle View Post
    I wish I could claim to be original, but I stole all of it!

    I'm grateful that the hiking community tends to teach anyone willing to listen and learn. And there's some great folks on this site (and a treasure trove of information) from which I've already learned a great deal in a very short time. Stick around, I think you'll like it here!
    I already do.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  14. #14

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    Top of Georgia Hostel is a great place to stay. To resupply, they'll drive you into Hiawassee, which has a really well-stocked supermarket and an all-you-can eat restaurant.
    http://www.topofgeorgiahostel.com/

    You will almost certainly lose weight when you hike because even if you want to, it's hard to consume enough calories to maintain your weight. Over the years, on my two- to three-week section hikes, I usually lose 5-10 pounds.

  15. #15
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    You can do a resupply at Top of Georgia, as suggested, and another one at Neel Gap. Pack as light as possible. Georgia is a kind of a tough cookie, the ascents will leave you huffing and puffing, and the descents are gonna wear your knees and ankles down. Each day just do what you can do. You have quite a few months to prep, so you should be good to go by then. I found that in my section hike of that section, I took way too much food. It was very hot this past mid-May, and all I wanted to do was drink and not eat.

  16. #16

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    Oops, I forgot to mention Neel Gap. It's about 30 miles from Springer, and the AT goes right through the hostel/resupply. I had a lovely stay there (in my hammock) and pigged out on a pint of ice cream.
    http://www.mountaincrossings.com/

  17. #17
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    there is a resupply article linked on the homepage that will help

  18. #18
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    Enjoy your hike! Take some hiking poles for the steep downhills. Your knees will thank you for it.
    2013 AT Thru-hike: 3/21 to 8/19
    Schedule: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...t1M/edit#gid=0

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnj View Post
    I am an old fat lady who loves to hike, but has just started doing it in the last year. So far, I have only done small day hikes, with my record being about 10 miles in about 5 hours. Of course, this is with a very small pack of nothing but water, Kleenex, a boxed lunch and a few granola bars. Now my husband and I are planning to hike just the GA section of the AT in May of 2016, SOBO, in about 8 days. Is that a crazy expectation? Any advice to give the newbies?
    Start off with an overnight backpacking trip before then. Then try a weekend. Start with low mileage, 4 or 5 miles.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

  20. #20
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    Start off with an overnight backpacking trip before then. Then try a weekend. Start with low mileage, 4 or 5 miles.
    Great advice. I will definitely do that. Thank you all for your input. Very helpful.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

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