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  1. #1
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    Default First thing you'd mention

    Whats the first most important thing you would mention ( advice wise ) to a new hiker, considering hiking the AT ?

  2. #2
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Remember this is not meant to be a competative sport. Hike the miles you are comfortable with, carry the gear you want, carry the weight you can handle. When the NUMBERS conversation starts in the shelters, how many miles did you do today, how much does your pack weigh... Excuse yourself and take a walk, go get your water, etc. As you hike your miles will increase, your gear will change and you will eventually get your pack weight to a comfortable weight. HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

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    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Some of the best advise I headed was to keep your cold weather gear until after Mt. Rodgers.

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    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I'd probably try to tell them that it's a lot of work to climb those mountains with a backpack. As you sweat, you may wonder why you're putting yourself through all this, but you'll remember the overall experience fondly for a long, long time.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

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    Have fun.

  6. #6
    Spirit in search of experience. wacocelt's Avatar
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    Hike your own hike. Be bold and fear not.
    Everything is exactly as it should be. This too shall pass.

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    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Default Mental

    More people quit or drop off the trail because of they ran out of will, find hiking day after day is not what they thought it would be, or don't have sufficient stamina.

    So, there should be some good pearls of wisdom about this aspect.

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    If you enjoy the company of (many) others, hike north. If you enjoy solitude and quiet hike south!!

  9. #9
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Default best advice I can give is:

    Have an RV at the end of each section! OK, think about this, the ATC never counts who is carrying a backpack right, and many thru-hikers slack when they can...point is being in the woods, for me its closness to the creator and that is with or without a backpack...I love to slack, I admit it, but dont think you have to carry the entire rig to be and AT hiker.

  10. #10
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    RE: An RV at either end.

    This just shows how many different ways there are to hike the AT. In fact, an older couple we knew from the Philadelphia area did hike the AT in a similar way. All in all, they camped out only a few times.

    Now, I'm sure that they had a great hike as hikes go, but they probably missed out on a lot of the strong people interaction that happens at shelters and hostels along the way.

  11. #11
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    I sectioned hiked in Virgina and met a couple with the trail name "Vermonsters". They were the first group I saw doing something like this.

    One day I'm southbound and ran into a northbound woman without anything gear but headphones. I accidentily scared her, he husband came behind with an external fram pack loaded pretty light. We talked a couple of seconds about the rocks and I moved on.

    The next day I'm south bound and run into the same couple. Wierd - I figure they are day hiking sections. We talk again, then move off.

    The third day it happens I have to ask them what the heck. Turns out they were doing the entire AT that way. I ended up staying at The Holy Family Hostel in Pearisburg with them. They knew some of the hikers there and like me, preferd going against the flow of thru-hikers (although their system is a little different from normal) so they can meet more of them.

    But the point is they were using a couple of cars and lots of heavy, comfortable car camping type stuff to thru-hike.
    SGT Rock
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    NO SNIVELING

  12. #12
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Default ERTman....

    There is a hiker out there now who is called Easy Reacreational Traveler because his wife picks him up every night in the RV. She is ERTangel. (He carries pack!) He is a very nice guy and we were all envious.

    There is a guy from FL, Swamp something, that did the whole Key West to Cape Quesp (sp) that way as well.

    Hammock Hanger
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

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  13. #13
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    Hey I met ERT man and his dog. I think I got a pic of him here somewhere, i'll put it up if I find it.

  14. #14

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    was that SwampEagle from florida? I met him at the last FTA conference. didnt really get to talk to him much less learn his hiking style.. Real nice guy though..

    Moose


    p.s. I started the trail already named. had to do with my outdoorsyness, stubborness and fondness for wandering through bogs.

  15. #15
    GA-ME 3/5/02 -8/14/02
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    I hiked quite a bit with Ertman and Red Dog, and had the pleasure of Ertangel's wonderful trail magic quite a few times as well. They got a LOT of flack from other "real" thru-hikers about the way he was doing his hike, but that's another story.

    The best advice has been said so many times already...have fun, but absolutely, defintely do it your way, carry what you want, be with who you want, stop when you want, go when you want, spend what you want, go as fast or as slow as you like, take as many picures as you wish, call home every day if you need to, sleep in your tent, sleep in the shelter, sleep under the stars, eat gorp until it comes out your ears, do maildrops or don't do maildrops, stop often, don't ever stop, visit every town or none of them or some of them, skip sections, don't skip any, carry poles, don't carry them, go with your dog or leave him behind, just make it your own. It will only be the hike you always dreamed it to be if you MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

    That's my advice...
    "It's a dangerous business, going out your door...if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."-The Hobbit

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    My simple advice would be "The worse the weather, the better the story:.

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    Default Keep a journal

    Take a small spiral notebook and pencil to record your journey. Try to capture your thoughts and emotions as you hike, not just what mountain you climbed or what shelter you stayed at. Write down everyone's name that you meet. Take a small camera and get pictures of people, not just the beautiful scenery. I kept a journal and took lots of scenic pictures of the trail but wish I had taken more pictures of all the great people I met along the way.

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    Have at least $3000 saved for the trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf
    Have at least $3000 saved for the trip.

    i had spent that by Harpers Ferry. better make it $5000

  20. #20
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    Use the gear/clothing you're gonna carry several times before heading out.

    Leave sufficient time to complete your hike so that you can enjoy it and not feel pressed to rush to the finish line.

    Plan out your hike in advance and then once you're feet hit the trail use that plan as a guideline but take each step/day as it comes.

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

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