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  1. #1
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    Default Is there anyway I can make a thru hike happen?

    Sorry if this isn't posted it quite the right section. Noob to the site (which is great by the way).

    So the dilemma , like other before me Im sure, is questioning wether a not a thru hike is possible at all. Im a 28 year old married mad with a 5 year old daughter. House, bills, job, etc. I hear everyone just say go for it or just do it but. As a somewhat responsible adult i just don't see it as possible that way. I know i could section hike it but with my schedule there would be no possible way for me to link it all together in a calendar year to consider it a thru hike. And lets be real. I want to do it from start to finish in one trip or as close to it as possible anyway. So I'm hoping someone has some tips or ideas that maybe i haven't run across to think about. Or will it come to Ill just have to wit till Im retired or further along in life than I am. Thanks for any help or advice in advanced.

  2. #2
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    now is not the time for a 6 month vacation

  3. #3
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    Its a decision you need to make. Lets say if you were locked up for 5 months and had to pay $20 a day. Would you have a wife, house, car, job or a life when you got out ?? If yes....Go for it.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  4. #4
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    sure its possible

  5. #5
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    Life sure comes at you fast. No, I think that your thru hike left port some time ago and unless you win the lottery or something, your thru hike dream will just have to bide it's time. Who knows what the future has in store for you. Life is fast and fragile, don't screw it up.

  6. #6
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    Your highest duties now are as father and husband. You child needs you more than you need the Appalachian Trail. As your daughter gets older (and as you add new children, if that's in the cards) take them on hikes and backpacking trips and other outdoors adventures. If they grow up doing it and enjoy doing it, there may come a day when you can lead your entire family on a thru hike. There was a family of six or so that did that a year ago, with children ranging from married to about 11. Or, if your kids aren't doing that, there will come a day when they have grown up and you'll again have some freedom to do something like a thru hike.

    You'll probably get lots of advice the other way. The world today is pretty caught up in the idea of freedom to enjoy yourself. But when you take wedding vows and make children, you have assumed responsibilities with far great implications than the AT. As time goes on, you'll be very thankful that you invested your time and priorities in your family.

  7. #7

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    We first satisfy the needs of our family and secure our future before we take off for 6 months on an entirely selfish endeavor. That's just how life works when one is responsible. School, career, and serving others with our work all come first. And yes, hiking is an entirely selfish endeavor. It's fantastic but we sure aren't doing it for someone else.

    That's just my opinion. There are definitely other ways to get through life.

  8. #8
    Registered User Turtle-2013's Avatar
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    I only have a question ... WHY are you opposed to a multi-year (even multi decade) section hike?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    Your highest duties now are as father and husband. You child needs you more than you need the Appalachian Trail. As your daughter gets older (and as you add new children, if that's in the cards) take them on hikes and backpacking trips and other outdoors adventures. If they grow up doing it and enjoy doing it, there may come a day when you can lead your entire family on a thru hike. There was a family of six or so that did that a year ago, with children ranging from married to about 11. Or, if your kids aren't doing that, there will come a day when they have grown up and you'll again have some freedom to do something like a thru hike.


    You'll probably get lots of advice the other way. The world today is pretty caught up in the idea of freedom to enjoy yourself. But when you take wedding vows and make children, you have assumed responsibilities with far great implications than the AT. As time goes on, you'll be very thankful that you invested your time and priorities in your family.
    thanks for that. I feel like my thought process is the same. It does suck that i didn't learn of the AT earlier in life like most others do. But I do keep m family out doors now so who knows. A family thru hike might be in the future! So i guess ill just do sections for now as time permits which is definitely better than not doing it at all. And maybe i can get out and offer trail magic for the thru hikers that are getting the opportunity to do it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle-2013 View Post
    I only have a question ... WHY are you opposed to a multi-year (even multi decade) section hike?

    Its not that I'm opposed and most likely will do it. Im just always up for a challenge and doing it on straight 5 to 6 month journey is tithe big challenge. But as said Im a father and a husband. And even with my wife being very supportive of the idea, I don't think it will happen anytime soon. or atlas until my daughter is old enough to understand it.

  11. #11
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    Hey, Doc, I've been right there. I've had two regrets in my life, one of them being that I didn't hike the AT back during my college years, when I had the "freedom" to do so.

    I got married, had three children, a job, church, and the usual responsibilities of being an adult. But my wife and I raised our children to love the outdoors. We've camped from Death Valley to Acadia National Park. We've hiked all over the place. And me and my boys have section hiked from Springer to Damascus, beginning in 2007.

    I'm just about to have an empty nest, but I doubt I'll be able to swing the time to do a thru hike. I own a small business and it's nearly impossible for somebody to step in while I'm gone. So I'll probably just continue to do section hikes for the foreseeable future.

    But having kids? Raising kids? Loving kids? Teaching kids? The greatest privilege of my life.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    We first satisfy the needs of our family and secure our future before we take off for 6 months on an entirely selfish endeavor. That's just how life works when one is responsible. School, career, and serving others with our work all come first. And yes, hiking is an entirely selfish endeavor. It's fantastic but we sure aren't doing it for someone else.

    That's just my opinion. There are definitely other ways to get through life.
    Thanks for the reply. I honestly never stepped back and realized how selfish long distance hiking really is.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    Hey, Doc, I've been right there. I've had two regrets in my life, one of them being that I didn't hike the AT back during my college years, when I had the "freedom" to do so.

    I got married, had three children, a job, church, and the usual responsibilities of being an adult. But my wife and I raised our children to love the outdoors. We've camped from Death Valley to Acadia National Park. We've hiked all over the place. And me and my boys have section hiked from Springer to Damascus, beginning in 2007.

    I'm just about to have an empty nest, but I doubt I'll be able to swing the time to do a thru hike. I own a small business and it's nearly impossible for somebody to step in while I'm gone. So I'll probably just continue to do section hikes for the foreseeable future.

    But having kids? Raising kids? Loving kids? Teaching kids? The greatest privilege of my life.
    Amen to that last part. I love being a dad more than anything. And i can not wait to be able to get her even more into the outdoors. I guess this is mostly me regretting not doing it earlier in life as you said and trying to find a way to do it and not feel like an irresponsible prick lol. Oh well. section hikes it is!

  14. #14
    Registered User Turtle-2013's Avatar
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    Let me assure you ... a multi-year section hike is the BIGGER challenge.
    For one thing, as soon as you get your real trail legs, you will be off the trail ... only to start over next time.
    Second, staying with it will be a challenge ... it is easy, especially early on, to stop the attempt.

    BUT, the rewards are worth it .... you will meet a HUGE variety of other hikers across time as well as miles. AND, once your daughter is old enough she can some with you......

    What I'm suggesting is that it isn't a LESSER challenge ... just a DIFFERENT challenge with it's own joys and rewards......

    BTW ... I'm at 66.28% of the AT : )

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle-2013 View Post
    Let me assure you ... a multi-year section hike is the BIGGER challenge.
    For one thing, as soon as you get your real trail legs, you will be off the trail ... only to start over next time.
    Second, staying with it will be a challenge ... it is easy, especially early on, to stop the attempt.

    BUT, the rewards are worth it .... you will meet a HUGE variety of other hikers across time as well as miles. AND, once your daughter is old enough she can some with you......

    What I'm suggesting is that it isn't a LESSER challenge ... just a DIFFERENT challenge with it's own joys and rewards......

    BTW ... I'm at 66.28% of the AT : )
    Awesome! and good luck on your remaining journey. And again, I've never looked at it that way. That really would be a whole different challenge. But i like that the way you put it has me riled up again to go for the challenge. Thanks friend.

  16. #16
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    Never underestimate the value of taking a section hike to get reinspired to be the best dad you can be. That's what I do

  17. #17
    Registered User Turtle-2013's Avatar
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    Feel free to PM me for specific ideas and notions ... I have hiked everything in the south : )

  18. #18
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    Ill def keep you in mind as questions arise. And i know they will.

  19. #19
    Registered User Turtle-2013's Avatar
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    Actually, let me throw out a couple things that I have really enjoyed ... but do PM me about anything.

    First, while I have already hiked about half the trail ... I did GA in early April WITH the bubble. It was GREAT, it gave me a chance to experience starting the trail with all the newbies. Generally I don't like hiking in such crowded conditions, but I have several friends from that trip that I'm still in touch with. Someday I might do it again (once I complete my section hike)

    Second, I did the same thing at the other end, climbing Katahdin and hiking the bulk of the 100 mile wilderness in July with the smaller thru hiker bubble.

    Third, a couple times I hiked south through the NOBO bubble. While you don't really get to know many thru hikers ... it give you a REAL appreciation of how many people are on the trail.

    Those are just three suggestions that might enhance your section hiking experience.....

    P.S. for all of her high school years my daughter (now in college) did all my section hikes with me : )

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Holiday View Post
    Amen to that last part. I love being a dad more than anything. And i can not wait to be able to get her even more into the outdoors. I guess this is mostly me regretting not doing it earlier in life as you said and trying to find a way to do it and not feel like an irresponsible prick lol. Oh well. section hikes it is!
    Section hikes rock, and you'll enjoy them I'm sure. But, don't give up on your thru-hike dreams. I dreamed of thru hiking my entire career, but family obligations forced me to put it off. I was blessed to be able to retire early this past September and I'm only a few weeks away from starting our dream hike. You can make it happen, just not until you've put in the father/provider time...
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

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