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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    I would say not reading this through a few times might qualify as a common mistakem

    http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/THP_top.html
    Awesome read, thanks for posting this!

  2. #22

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    Treating the hike like a weekend hike.

    For a weekend you take precautions and pack extras. For a through hike you just go to a resupply point and cope there. So. No extras.

    For expeditions and weekends you pack comfort over weight. For long distance you pack for weight reduction.

    For a weekend you experiment on the fly. For long distance you get that out of the way early, before you start. You shakedown before you start. Ideally with at least a couple-three seven to ten day practice runs.
    Last edited by Ethesis; 07-17-2019 at 20:22.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    I would say not reading this through a few times might qualify as a common mistakem

    http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/THP_top.html
    not that bad. A little out of date. But not bad.

  4. #24
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    Number one mistake for many newbies is taking advice from an ultralight hiker.

    Can you get a good night's sleep with a thin pad on the cold hard ground?

    Can you survive a long hike eating raisins and peanuts?

    I started "light" and almost quit because I was absolutely miserable. More power to those who can go UL. The extra 10 pounds I added have made the difference between quitting and enjoying my hiking experience. It is not my goal to do a string of marathons on the trail. If that is your aim, then UL is more essential. It is common sense to lighten our packs but the other side of the equation (comfort/safety) must be considered. Bottom line is these decisions cannot be made while sitting in front of a computer. Shakedown hikes are a must for any serious long distance hiker.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisalwaysgood View Post
    I want to avoid the most common mistakes and many of you folks are experts with first hand experience of hiking the Appalachian trail.

    So what would you say are the most common mistakes that new folks make hiking the trail?
    the biggest mistake is listening to other newbies.hahaha .. partially kidding. I think the biggest mistake is thinking they can break off a 20 miles day their first time out. that is probably the biggest mistake I see that hikers make when I drop them off and pick them up 50 miles short of their 150 mile hike that they planned on finishing in three days. the second biggest mistake is listening to others that brag about doing 20 miles a day out here when the person listening is 45 years old and the one that is bragging is 18 to 22 years old. I want to say that I see a bunch of the ones biting off big miles from the newbie status usually twist up a ankle or run themselves ragged. my advice would be to take it easy and do not be so anxious to bust big miles from the starting gate. I have seen a lot of people say it isn't for them when they quit early and never gave it a real chance because they let themselves down. they had high expectations for themselves and did not fulfill the expectations which leads to quitting. I perdonally hate seeing it, but it happens a lot out here. just have fun and do not have high expectations. hike your hike and do it with a smile. hahaha peace my friend and stay kind. thank you .

  6. #26

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    Never trust a fart.
    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change". Charles Darwin

  7. #27
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Train View Post
    Never trust a fart.
    One of the cardinal rules for those over 50!

  8. #28
    Is it raining yet?
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    I always shake my head when I see a new hiker with brand new boots.
    Be Prepared

  9. #29

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    Common Newbie mistakes:

    That's easy.... Too little experience.

  10. #30
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    my opinion? waiting until you have just the right gear before you plan your first trip. if you have a pair of sturdy shoes you can comfortably walk 5 miles in, they'll be fine. depending on your age, something to sleep on will make the nights comfortable. for warm weather you can use a fleece blanket as a sleeping bag, borrow a backpack and a tent and get out. if you like walking until your next water and spending hours alone with your thoughts, you'll do fine.

  11. #31
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    Over Researching the trail.

    And don't be worried if you can't shake down until you start... As somebody said up to 14 days of pre shakedown...
    On the trail is just as good a place to shakedown for two weeks in my opinion... If time allows.

    Gives you the advantage of seeing what others are doing first hand. But do make sure all your gear works good enough first
    Of course shaking down before your thru probably would be better.

    All I knew on my first thru, was that the AT went from Maine to Georgia and I was going to walk it. And that I never backpacked more than a couple of overnighters. It was an adventure in itself just getting to the trailhead...

    I am glad somebody gave me a guide book before I left tho. Didn't even know about Katahdin then.
    A journey into the unknown.

  12. #32

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    I did my shakedown on the trail for the first week- or so. Florida hiking just didn't help me understand It worked out great. By the time I got to Neel Gap I figured a lot of stuff out- especially the nasty weather part. Ditched over 10 pounds of gear there and continued to ditch things I "needed" all the way to Maine. (deodorant-(useless)- razors- (be a wildebeast)-small mirror-(who cares) etc.)
    When I do it again- I will invest in the lightest gear I can afford. Otherwise- I don't regret any of my many newbie mistakes except not taking more side trails to see waterfalls and stuff. I was way too focused on point a to point b.
    My advice is GO SLOW in the beginning. There is an almost irresistible pull to try to keep up- don't do it. Go slow. You will avoid injury and just plain misery if you take the first couple of weeks nice and slow. You will be skipping up mountains later that you would crawl up in the beginning.
    Quote Originally Posted by petedelisio View Post
    Over Researching the trail.

    And don't be worried if you can't shake down until you start... As somebody said up to 14 days of pre shakedown...
    On the trail is just as good a place to shakedown for two weeks in my opinion... If time allows.

    Gives you the advantage of seeing what others are doing first hand. But do make sure all your gear works good enough first
    Of course shaking down before your thru probably would be better.

    All I knew on my first thru, was that the AT went from Maine to Georgia and I was going to walk it. And that I never backpacked more than a couple of overnighters. It was an adventure in itself just getting to the trailhead...

    I am glad somebody gave me a guide book before I left tho. Didn't even know about Katahdin then.
    A journey into the unknown.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightErrant View Post
    The ridgerunners at Amicalola recommend 8-10 miles per day for the first week or two if you aren't already hiking regularly.
    I'd further add that your home elevation plays a big role in your "engine" (body) capability. I live in New Orleans, LA which is below sea level. Starting at Springer to woody gap kicked my ass at 2,500-3,500 feet above sea level trying to do 10 miles per day.

    I figure the only way to train down here is to strap my pack on and get on a stair master.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAontheTrail View Post
    I'd further add that your home elevation plays a big role in your "engine" (body) capability. I live in New Orleans, LA which is below sea level. Starting at Springer to woody gap kicked my ass at 2,500-3,500 feet above sea level trying to do 10 miles per day.

    I figure the only way to train down here is to strap my pack on and get on a stair master.
    In southern NJ along dah Jarzee Shore, Greenwich CT, and and Buffalo NY, all 500 ft in elev or less, my Seven Highest Summits seeking brother, would train restricting oxygen by sleeping in an oxygen tent. He bought a used one on Summit.post or one of the other climbing/mountaineering sites. Alternatively, you could wear an oxygen restricting mask while on the Stairmaster. They're comparatively much less expensive. This is what some runners, tri athletes, road bicyclists, Olympians, pro NFL'ers, and other athletes approach your situation. They may also add in training at higher elevations.

    You could also use various supplements readily OTC available to increase blood oxygen saturation.

  15. #35
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    Hey! I spent a substantial part of my day reading this! This is a wonderful recourse!!!

  16. #36
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    As a Floridian, I'm definitely familiar with being unprepared for elevation change, but altitude weakness/sickness doesn't affect most people until 8,000 feet or more. (According to Dr. Google, some really sensitive people may experience it as low as 5,000 feet, but that's super uncommon. That said, I had an absolutely crippling migraine in Switzerland once when hiking at only 6,000 feet, which I've since speculated may have been related to the altitude, so count me among the sensitive types.)

    So it's usually the elevation change throughout a day of hiking on the AT that gets people, not the elevation itself. We flatlanders are just unaccustomed to the cardio demands of struggling against gravity, which are only worsened because often people are carrying a heavier pack on Day 1 at Amicalola than they've ever carried before (or will again, if they lighten up at Neel's Gap). So yep, the stairmaster seems like the best solution for the fitness problem. For most people, you only need to start worrying about the lack of oxygen if you're hiking out west or internationally where the mountains are a lot bigger.
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  17. #37
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAontheTrail View Post
    I'd further add that your home elevation plays a big role in your "engine" (body) capability. I live in New Orleans, LA which is below sea level. Starting at Springer to woody gap kicked my ass at 2,500-3,500 feet above sea level trying to do 10 miles per day.
    I was at 8600 feet for the two years preceding my thru hike, and got my SOBO ass kicked anyway. Now if I had been living in the heat and humidity of New Orleans....

    Very good if you are a young man riding in the Tour de France, though.

  18. #38

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    packing too much food and too much gear
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't--you're right--Henry Ford; The Journey Is The Destination

  19. #39
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    Pretty much never see someone quit who wasn't struggling on the inclines (except for injury). Gotta get some experience struggling on inclines and figure out what works for you gear-wise before you get on the AT. Some people are going to struggle on inclines no matter what their pack weighs. It does get easier after doing it a bit, but at what point it does is relative. And struggling on inclines, especially in Ga where you're doing it all day long it seems, can really affect your psyche.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Starting at Springer with brand new gear that has not been used at all or used in only perfect weather. Pick nasty stretch of weather at home and camp out a few days. Let things get wet then repeat the next night.

    Starting at Springer with way too much gear

    Starting at Springer with an very aggressive schedule



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