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Thread: Advise

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    Registered User Fireplug's Avatar
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    3-12-2017 I started out on the approach trail made it to mile 770 before the trail destroyed my foot. I had to end my hike. I'm starting out again next year 3-12-2018. I've learned a lot on that hike. Most of you should know what and what not to do or bring. But if you want advise I will be glad to help.

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    So, how did the trail destroy your foot and how will you prevent that from happening again?
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Registered User Fireplug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    So, how did the trail destroy your foot and how will you prevent that from happening again?
    Deep tissue separation on the ball of my right foot. I didn't pay attention to the soles of my shoes. Never really looked at them. They were wore down bad.

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    Bugger is that all, a lack of concentration for a moment, at mile 317 on the 4th Apr just before Sams Gap, a big fall down and off the trail, and a dislocated right hip. Thank god for travel insurance as the hospital bill was way over $20,000us. I'll be back at the same point to continue on the 6th Apr next year. Bloody big expense though coming from Australia.
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    Well, the only advice I have is to hike without earphones so you can hear your feet screaming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireplug View Post
    3-12-2017 I started out on the approach trail made it to mile 770 before the trail destroyed my foot. I had to end my hike. I'm starting out again next year 3-12-2018. I've learned a lot on that hike. Most of you should know what and what not to do or bring. But if you want advise I will be glad to help.

    FIREPLUG
    What would be your top 10 tips for future thrus and section hikers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    Well, the only advice I have is to hike without earphones so you can hear your feet screaming...
    Funny lol
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    Garlic
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    Learning from failures is a very important part of life. I congratulate you on your tenacity and your willingness to help others, and wish you luck on the next attempt.

  8. #8

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    I had a several week stretch where I also forgot to notice that I had lost feeling in my feet. You forget to notice things like that when you are focused on miles and finding water. They just stopped responding well scrambling over boulders and eventually I noticed. Switched shoes and it was very unpleasant when the feeling came back! Like having your asleep feet wake up after a month-long nap times 20, and for 3 weeks. But a lot of people had to leave the trail for foot and skin rash problems that they assumed would go away. If it isn't improving, take the week off and see a doctor or your entire hike may be blown, or you may lose part of a foot, or worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwathHiker View Post
    I had a several week stretch where I also forgot to notice that I had lost feeling in my feet. You forget to notice things like that when you are focused on miles and finding water. They just stopped responding well scrambling over boulders and eventually I noticed. Switched shoes and it was very unpleasant when the feeling came back! Like having your asleep feet wake up after a month-long nap times 20, and for 3 weeks. But a lot of people had to leave the trail for foot and skin rash problems that they assumed would go away. If it isn't improving, take the week off and see a doctor or your entire hike may be blown, or you may lose part of a foot, or worse.
    This is something I understand to be quite common, nerve compression damage in foot. Happens in hiking and bicycling, etc. But is rarely mentioned here. Often only a toe or couple toes. Related to problems with fit of footwear or such, usually not permanent. Resolving itself in days to months depending on severity and length of problem. Some have reported such issues with relatively short hikes of a day or two. Perhaps some are accustomed to it and accept it.

    I think id notice it personally...
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-28-2017 at 05:15.

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    A lot of hikers are using light, soft soled shoes now days. Which are fine until you start getting into rocky terrain in Virginia, then insanely rocky terrain in PA.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Registered User Speakeasy TN's Avatar
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    My big foot issue is/was that I don't get decent blood flow for hours after I get the boots off. My feet just freeze. They respond to massage when I'm not too stiff to reach them! And down booties to sleep in have been great. Funniest thing is I can't wait to get back out next Spring and be miserable!

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakeasy TN View Post
    My big foot issue is/was that I don't get decent blood flow for hours after I get the boots off. My feet just freeze. They respond to massage when I'm not too stiff to reach them! And down booties to sleep in have been great. Funniest thing is I can't wait to get back out next Spring and be miserable!
    Crazy Wild Guess,
    Don't wait until spring to get back out there? Maybe that's too long a layoff? Keep active and keep your feet exercising.
    Just a thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    This is something I understand to be quite common, nerve compression damage in foot. Happens in hiking and bicycling, etc. But is rarely mentioned here. Often only a toe or couple toes. Related to problems with fit of footwear or such, usually not permanent. Resolving itself in days to months depending on severity and length of problem. Some have reported such issues with relatively short hikes of a day or two. Perhaps some are accustomed to it and accept it.

    I think id notice it personally...
    You have awareness that it's a thing, so that does make it more likely to be noticed.
    Now I also have that awareness.
    Thank you all!

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    Carrying less weight certainly can't hurt.

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    [QUOTE=Gambit McCrae;2171369]What would be your top 10 tips for future thrus and section hikers?


    Top on ten tips. I'll try
    #1. Hike a hour stop for 15 minutes and rest pack off shoes off
    #2 ultra light weight gear. Remember oz are pounds. Nothing worse than being cold 35 degrees wet tired and 40 mph winds. And then have to carry a heavy pack. My BPW was 17 lbs
    #3 start off slow till Fontana Dam doing only 8 to 10 miles per day
    #4 don't carry too much food. You will find out your not eating it all. My hiker hunger never hit till Hot Springs
    #5 don't pink or banana blaze. Just HYOH
    #6 water is everywhere. You don't need to carry a lot till you get into middle VA
    #7 never ever hike in your camp cloths. I seen a guy get pulled off the trail for hypothermia in Tenn
    #8 when you go to sleep unzip all pockets on your pack and open it up. The mice will chew thru it even if you sleep in your tent
    #9. ALWAYS hang your food away from where people are sleeping
    # 10. Pay attention to your body. You know it better than anyone else.

    Plan on losing toenails
    Plan on stinking all the time. Don't bring deodorant everyone stinks
    Plan on hiking alone. That was my best part. I'm solo but liked hanging around at night talking
    Hiker midnight is 9:00 pm. Everyone goes to sleep then. Bring ear plugs. People snore

    keep your pack weight below 20. You don't need more than that. Like I said mine was 17 and I survived 8 degree nights. You will need at least a 15 degree bag. I've seen people get really cold in a 32. When I got to Daleville VA I sent it home and switched to a 32 top quilt.

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    Injuries seem to account for a lot of... how shall I put it... unintended endings to thru hikes. Most often to the feet.

    When you set about walking 2200 miles of mountains, forests and rock scrambles, you really need to look after your feet. Keep 'em happy. Listen when they complain. Every step could be your last. Staying in the game means staying safe, injury-free.

    Folks talk like they're all stoic. Long threads about incredible feats of speed, endurance, long suffering, etc. But seriously -- you're not going anywhere if you wreck your feet.

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    Registered User El JP's Avatar
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    It's the oldest story...if your feet are done, you are done.

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    [QUOTE=Fireplug;2173655]
    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    #5 don't pink or banana blaze. Just HYOH
    .

    Very contradictory statement......

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    I was right where many of you are now trying to plan my thru-hike. I was number crunching miles and obsessed with pack weight. On the trail everything is out the window and you just adapt to what your body lets you. I don't recommend hiking more than 8 maybe 10 hours a day tops. What you'll learn that surprised me is you shouldn't measure your hike based on the number of miles hiked but rather measure your hike through time put in. Terrain varies and no matter how fast you want to go terrain will slow you down or speed you up. I just completed my thru-hike two weeks ago - Started Mar 5th Finished Sept 30th. I took over two months of zero days. I spent close to $16k after my gear costs but I ate and slept well in towns when I got to them. Most of my friends spent half this amount and did just fine. I know some folks are on a time crunch but the trail is much more enjoyable when you can slow it down and enjoy time with the new people you'll meet. Go check out the sites just off the trail like West Point, Manhattan, Asheville, Robert Frost's grave in Bennington etc... tons of great things to see. Just hope with all the effort you put into this that you maximize the enjoyment aspect of the journey. In the end hyoh so embrace what you desire and make it happen. Good luck

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    Slow down. Spend some time taking it easy and enjoying the trail. If you are so focused on miles that you are hurting yourself it's a problem.

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