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  1. #1

    Default Tips needed for a friendly hike with Significant other - Grayson Highlands

    Well Gambit has found his Mrs. Gambit and she is fully supportive of my hiking lifestyle and has no ambitions of becoming an AT backpacker and that is OK with Mr. Gambit.
    However, she does want to see the ponies in Grayson, as well, she wants to go on a backpacking trip so she can relate to what my weekend lifestyle is all about.


    I don't want to go into my regular ol' "Drone Mode" and wear her out with a death march, but I want her to see what there is to see in Grayson.
    My plan is to drive to Elk Garden Friday night and do some night hiking up to Brier Ridge so that climb is half over sat morning, and to get a great sunrise opportunity.
    Spend Saturday wondering around the park making our way to Massie gap and that's where I get a little stuck on what would be "too much" walking.

    Friday night - Brier Ridge
    Saturday - Walk around and end up back at the Thomas Knob shelter for tenting on the ridge
    Sunday - Short day back to the car

    She has an athletic build but not a hiker.

    IMG_9029.JPG
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  2. #2

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    That sounds like a pretty good plan.

    You could also set up base camp at the Scales and branch out from there and avoid the big climbs. There's a privy there so that's a bonus.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    .......I don't want to go into my regular ol' "Drone Mode" and wear her out with a death march...........My plan is to drive to Elk Garden Friday night and do some night hiking up to Brier Ridge ..............I get a little stuck on what would be "too much" walking. She has an athletic build but not a hiker. .......
    If she is not a hiker are you sure she is up for the night hiking? It might fall into the category of "death march" for her. I know it would for my wife and she likes to hike. Has she been out hiking with you before? Is she carrying her own gear? Sometimes less is more on your first trip. My advice is give her a taste of what backpacking is and be gentle then maybe she will want to do more in the future. You are lucky, my wife would rather be boiled in oil than go backpacking. You are in this for long haul if she is your Mrs. Gambit, don't blow it right out of the gate.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  4. #4

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    If she is not a hiker are you sure she is up for the night hiking? It might fall into the category of "death march" for her. I know it would for my wife and she likes to hike. If not we can camp on that first knoll northbound from elk garden, its about a 200 yard walk

    Has she been out hiking with you before? Nope

    Is she carrying her own gear? Yep, clothes, sleep system, food, toiletries. I will carry all the rest, tent, cookset, filter etc

    Sometimes less is more on your first trip. I have two UL setups so pack weight will be minimal.

    My advice is give her a taste of what backpacking is and be gentle then maybe she will want to do more in the future.
    You are lucky, my wife would rather be boiled in oil than go backpacking. You are in this for long haul if she is your Mrs. Gambit, don't blow it right out of the gate.
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Sometimes less is more on your first trip. I have two UL setups so pack weight will be minimal. ..........
    I meant mileage and required effort.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  6. #6
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Sometimes less is more on your first trip. I have two UL setups so pack weight will be minimal.
    I too was thinking you might want to start with a few shorter trips... something where you're only hiking about 5 to 8 miles per day.
    It looks like you're less than 3 hours from GSMNP... and as weather starts to warm up, there's several hikes you can do out there were you spend much of your time at the higher elevations where things are a bit cooler.

  7. #7

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    Tips needed for a friendly hike with Significant other - Grayson Highlands


    Carry most of her stuff
    Do whatever she suggests
    Make it easy and fun for her

    Let her blame you for everything, from the weather to the color of the trees. Dont argue.

    And get used to it
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-24-2018 at 14:07.

  8. #8
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    Gambit, make sure she has comfortable footwear. I kinda ruined my wife's ambition to backpack by overlooking this.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Tips needed for a friendly hike with Significant other - Grayson Highlands


    Carry most of her stuff
    Do whatever she suggests
    Make it easy and fun for her

    Let her blame you for everything, from the weather to the color of the trees. Dont argue.

    And get used to it
    Exactly this.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  10. #10

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    As mentioned in OP, she has no intention of becoming a backpacker. I don't want her to be a backpacker. She has 2 wishes
    1-- See the ponies
    2-- Be able to better relate to my hiking life when I am gone on trips

    The trip is also 100% variable on weather. If the forecast looks like a chance for doom and gloom we will reschedule.

  11. #11
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    You could also set up base camp at the Scales and branch out from there and avoid the big climbs.



    thats kinda what i was thinking.....

    and theres a nice campsite thats on the trail (I forget name and dont have map in front of me) that branches off the AT and goes over towards thomas knob...

    the only thing i can think of is that seeing a pony is not guaranteed...

    but would have better chances over at massie gap...

  12. #12
    illabelle's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Gambit! Best wishes to you and the Mrs.

    Echoing others,
    Keep her feet happy.
    Not too many miles.
    Bring some luxuries, like a cushy seat, or an unexpected desert.
    If she's not outdoorsy, understand that she may be averse to the dirtiness and primitive life of backpacking. Squatting over a hole? No shower? Where's the sink?
    If she is outdoorsy, be careful about taking her to see the ponies. She might develop a sudden desire to do more backpacking. That could upend your Carefully Planned Section Hiking Schedule.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Congratulations, Gambit! Best wishes to you and the Mrs.

    Echoing others,
    Keep her feet happy.
    Not too many miles.
    Bring some luxuries, like a cushy seat, or an unexpected desert.
    If she's not outdoorsy, understand that she may be averse to the dirtiness and primitive life of backpacking. Squatting over a hole? No shower? Where's the sink?
    If she is outdoorsy, be careful about taking her to see the ponies. She might develop a sudden desire to do more backpacking. That could upend your Carefully Planned Section Hiking Schedule.
    haha Thanks Illabelle Yes she is very outdoorsy and enjoys car camping greatly, I think it may be more of a "fearing the unknown" kinda thing as well as we both communicate very well together and she knows backpacking is "my thing" where we both agree we need time away from each other, hiking the AT allows me an avenue to do that. I am very excited for her to come experience it though
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  14. #14

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    noobs to backpacking usually have no concept of time/distance go easy - even a short easy distance for you may seem long and hard to her...

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Well Gambit has found his Mrs. Gambit and she is fully supportive of my hiking lifestyle and has no ambitions of becoming an AT backpacker and that is OK with Mr. Gambit.
    However, she does want to see the ponies in Grayson, as well, she wants to go on a backpacking trip so she can relate to what my weekend lifestyle is all about.


    I don't want to go into my regular ol' "Drone Mode" and wear her out with a death march, but I want her to see what there is to see in Grayson.
    My plan is to drive to Elk Garden Friday night and do some night hiking up to Brier Ridge so that climb is half over sat morning, and to get a great sunrise opportunity.
    Spend Saturday wondering around the park making our way to Massie gap and that's where I get a little stuck on what would be "too much" walking.

    Friday night - Brier Ridge
    Saturday - Walk around and end up back at the Thomas Knob shelter for tenting on the ridge
    Sunday - Short day back to the car

    She has an athletic build but not a hiker.

    IMG_9029.JPG
    Be aware of the risk you are taking!!! My wife and I married at age 22. She refused to hike with me until she was 62.

    When she was 62, I talked her into car camping with me just so she would experience sleeping in a tent. She loved it and decided to go on my next hike. Since then she insists on going on almost all of my hikes. She has hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with me 35 times!!! She climbed Pikes Peak and Mt. St. Helens with me. She has hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with me twice. Last year we did the Coast to Coast Trail in England. Just be aware, you may never get to hike alone again.
    Shutterbug

  16. #16

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    Assuming you are ok with the risk that she will be hiking with you the rest of your life, this is my advice:

    1. Make sure she had comfortable shoes or boots.
    2. Convince her to use hiking poles -- she will resist but thank you later.
    3. Insist that she carry her own things -- anything you wouldn't have along if she wasn't with you. It is the only way she will learn not to take extra stuff.
    4. Take a lot of pictures. The memories are the best part of a husband/wife hike.
    Shutterbug

  17. #17

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    We definitely need a trip report afterwards.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  18. #18
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Gambit you need to keep this young lady around, by any means necessary. I mean a wife that allows you to take off when you want is special.
    Blackheart

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
    Assuming you are ok with the risk that she will be hiking with you the rest of your life, this is my advice:

    1. Make sure she had comfortable shoes or boots.
    2. Convince her to use hiking poles -- she will resist but thank you later.
    3. Insist that she carry her own things -- anything you wouldn't have along if she wasn't with you. It is the only way she will learn not to take extra stuff.
    4. Take a lot of pictures. The memories are the best part of a husband/wife hike.
    I'd add to #1: ...and the best sleep system feasible. It's the two things that would ruin an otherwise perfect hike for a newbie.

    Like many others, my better half loves hiking, just never overnighting it or carrying your home on your back.

  20. #20

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    Sounds like a good plan. I made the mistake of starting my girlfriend out easy...now she's on every trip.

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