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A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #1
    Khike
    Join Date
    11-01-2008
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    Cocoa, Florida
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    65
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    72

    Default Thru Hikers at Neel's Gap and elsewhere....

    Hello All, Hope everyone is well. Up here in Ellijay, vacationing in a nice cabin with a spectacular view. Took the grandkids to Amicalola Falls, then to Preachers Rock, at Woody Gap and then to Neel's Gap and Mountain Crossings. Saw a lot of Thru Hikers, a lotta lotta Thru Hikers. Mostly young. Met some guy who said this was his 50th anniversary hike. He had hiked it in 1971. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask them if they participated here on WhiteBlaze. Saw a few pros and a lot of rookies. Talked with the folks at Mountain Crossings and they said about 30 are coming thru each day. Said they were going thru about 15 packs a day to help them lighten up. Some were receptive and some not so much. I carry less than 30 lbs for a 5-8 day hike. I'd say most of what I was looking at was 40 lb packs. Saw an occasional 50 lb'er and one guy was easily 60 but, he was a stocky young lad and handled the load well. I must admit, on my first hike, from Springer to Neel's Gap, I was toting 45 lbs , at the start. I tossed a lot of food out along the way or gave it away. After that, doing pretty good at 35 lbs for awhile and now I shoot for 28. I'm an older gent and I can handle that without thinking about it. A lot of Catalyst and Osprey packs. Oh yeah, a lot of Garmin Inreach minis and Garmin Inreach Explorers. That was interesting. Wasn't expecting that. I have one for taking the sailboat to the Keys or the Bahamas, but never occurred to me to take it on a hike. Can't beat world wide texting for 65 bucks a month. Wonder how much it weighs? Quite a few Vasque looking hiking boots, but mostly hiking shoes. A lot of Nalgene bottles. Nobody was moving very quickly. I reckon the first 33 miles from Springer and possibly the approach trail, had worn them down. They will be good in a couple of weeks. Well, that's the report. Might go back tomorrow and see a few more. Cheer them on. See you there... Kevin

  2. #2

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    This hiking season already is VERY busy. The misanthrope that I'm, I'm happy not to be there

  3. #3

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    50 pounds? Yikes.

    I plan to leave Springer in early May if all goes well, arrive Neels Gap on day 2. I'll eat a massive breakfast and plan to arrive at Neels Gap with no food left. Resupply. I might start with a total pack weight of 12 pounds.

    I think I remember being young and strong with heavy pack, no more.

    I thought about buying an InReach for my wife's sanity, used to have a Spot Gen3. Other than the ease of SAT texting and the SOS feature, what's the point of it. I doubt you're ever more than 10 miles from a road anywhere on the AT. Just pick a bearing on your compass and walk, assuming you have a lousy map or using an electronic thing. I suspect the poor rich kid's moms made them bring the InReach device.

  4. #4
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-03-2017
    Location
    Lynchburg, VA
    Age
    42
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    Default

    I think a lot of folks have this grand vision of the Appalachian "wilderness", and being prepared for it. Not taking anything away from the experience as it's special in its own right, but it's not exactly wilderness as folks envision.
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPritch View Post
    I think a lot of folks have this grand vision of the Appalachian "wilderness", and being prepared for it. Not taking anything away from the experience as it's special in its own right, but it's not exactly wilderness as folks envision.
    Backpacking the AT in January/February changes and answers the "Is It Wilderness?" question. The AT often runs along high mountain ridges where temps can commonly reach 0F or below---and with occasional blizzards dumping 1 or 2 feet of snow. This equates to a real wilderness experience. And thins out the herd. My buddy Hoppin John was on the AT in the Smokies in March '93 and had to get helicopter extracted after being snowed in at a shelter for 5 days. So yeah, it can get wild enough.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khike View Post
    Hello All, Hope everyone is well. Up here in Ellijay, vacationing in a nice cabin with a spectacular view. Took the grandkids to Amicalola Falls, then to Preachers Rock, at Woody Gap and then to Neel's Gap and Mountain Crossings. Saw a lot of Thru Hikers, a lotta lotta Thru Hikers. Mostly young. Met some guy who said this was his 50th anniversary hike. He had hiked it in 1971. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask them if they participated here on WhiteBlaze. Saw a few pros and a lot of rookies. Talked with the folks at Mountain Crossings and they said about 30 are coming thru each day. Said they were going thru about 15 packs a day to help them lighten up. Some were receptive and some not so much. I carry less than 30 lbs for a 5-8 day hike. I'd say most of what I was looking at was 40 lb packs. Saw an occasional 50 lb'er and one guy was easily 60 but, he was a stocky young lad and handled the load well. I must admit, on my first hike, from Springer to Neel's Gap, I was toting 45 lbs , at the start. I tossed a lot of food out along the way or gave it away. After that, doing pretty good at 35 lbs for awhile and now I shoot for 28. I'm an older gent and I can handle that without thinking about it. A lot of Catalyst and Osprey packs. Oh yeah, a lot of Garmin Inreach minis and Garmin Inreach Explorers. That was interesting. Wasn't expecting that. I have one for taking the sailboat to the Keys or the Bahamas, but never occurred to me to take it on a hike. Can't beat world wide texting for 65 bucks a month. Wonder how much it weighs? Quite a few Vasque looking hiking boots, but mostly hiking shoes. A lot of Nalgene bottles. Nobody was moving very quickly. I reckon the first 33 miles from Springer and possibly the approach trail, had worn them down. They will be good in a couple of weeks. Well, that's the report. Might go back tomorrow and see a few more. Cheer them on. See you there... Kevin
    I have been noticing this as well in backpacking groups where people are talking about using these on the AT. I just shake my head. Mostly seems like it's "younger" folks who are all "tech savvy" and never been hiking and even a few "adults" whose parents are more like a helicopter. Saw 1 person who is 33 years old having to JUSTIFY their hike to a set of parents! And no, they don't live with their parents. I would consider carrying one in the White Mountains as we all know that place is notorious for sudden and sever weather changes. But not for the rest of the AT unless perhaps in the winter.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  7. #7
    Registered User hobbs's Avatar
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    12-12-2010
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    I think alot of them are seeing to many YOUTUBE videos with people with inreaches I could see certain hikers using them.Now its more like a part of their Kit one and all..I seeing mostly smartwarter bottles from the people who researched their hikes. I cant say what their packloads are I know mine on my hike to start was 28 till I hit neel Gap then things were mailed home or Bumped up trail. First thru hikers hit DAleville yesterday about 330 pm passed a hiker that was walking to Kroger and another one checked into motel 8 today.
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  8. #8
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Half View Post
    I have been noticing this as well in backpacking groups where people are talking about using these on the AT. I just shake my head. Mostly seems like it's "younger" folks who are all "tech savvy" and never been hiking and even a few "adults" whose parents are more like a helicopter. Saw 1 person who is 33 years old having to JUSTIFY their hike to a set of parents! And no, they don't live with their parents. I would consider carrying one in the White Mountains as we all know that place is notorious for sudden and sever weather changes. But not for the rest of the AT unless perhaps in the winter.
    I remember seeing one 20-something "thru-hiker" in VA whose mom actually drove to the nearest trailhead and hiked a few miles to the nearest shelter, set up his tent and made him dinner while he sat and played cards with a few of his friends.
    It's all good in the woods.

  9. #9

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    What's with all of the inReach shaming? While the AT is not as wild as say the CDT, there are plenty of areas that lack cell phone coverage, and being able to send out a text message from some places can be handy. Also, bad things do happen out on the trail occasionally. An inReach Mini weighs 101 grams or 3.56 ounces.

    I purchased my inReach Mini for when I was going to be riding my motorcycle on the Trans America Trail, and getting injured in a remote area was a much higher probability than on the AT, but since I have it, I'll be bringing it. Would I buy one just for hiking the AT? Probably not. My base weight, with a bear canister and my inReach Mini included, will be around 12 pounds, and the inReach is something I choose to bring with me. If you choose to bring camp shoes for example, that's your choice.

    Be thankful that there may be someone out on the trail near you who may be carrying an inReach, if you were the one to have a medical emergency in an area without cell phone coverage.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHPete View Post
    What's with all of the inReach shaming? While the AT is not as wild as say the CDT, there are plenty of areas that lack cell phone coverage, and being able to send out a text message from some places can be handy. Also, bad things do happen out on the trail occasionally. An inReach Mini weighs 101 grams or 3.56 ounces.

    I purchased my inReach Mini for when I was going to be riding my motorcycle on the Trans America Trail, and getting injured in a remote area was a much higher probability than on the AT, but since I have it, I'll be bringing it. Would I buy one just for hiking the AT? Probably not. My base weight, with a bear canister and my inReach Mini included, will be around 12 pounds, and the inReach is something I choose to bring with me. If you choose to bring camp shoes for example, that's your choice.

    Be thankful that there may be someone out on the trail near you who may be carrying an inReach, if you were the one to have a medical emergency in an area without cell phone coverage.
    Hikers bring two pairs of shoes? That would get me an InReach and a French Press.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    Hikers bring two pairs of shoes? That would get me an InReach and a French Press.
    I wonder what percentage of thru hikers brings a second pair of footwear? The lightest footwear that I own is a well worn pair of Teva flip flops, which I just weighed at 12.7 ounces for the pair. I would love to bring them along, if they weighed 1/3 of that.

    One of my real concerns is getting athletes foot from showering in hostels or campgrounds, without having flip flops to wear. I don't care about having "camp shoes", it's just the athletes foot thing. I had it years ago, and it sucks having to put antifungal cream on your toes for weeks. The lightest solution is to go with no prevention and then deal with it if it happens. An alternative would be to carry a small tube of antifungal cream to put on prophylactically after showering in a questionable shower, but antifungal stuff is better avoided if not needed. Pretty off base from the original thread content, but I wonder what others experiences/thoughts are with athletes foot on the trail.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHPete View Post
    I wonder what percentage of thru hikers brings a second pair of footwear? The lightest footwear that I own is a well worn pair of Teva flip flops, which I just weighed at 12.7 ounces for the pair. I would love to bring them along, if they weighed 1/3 of that.

    One of my real concerns is getting athletes foot from showering in hostels or campgrounds, without having flip flops to wear. I don't care about having "camp shoes", it's just the athletes foot thing. I had it years ago, and it sucks having to put antifungal cream on your toes for weeks. The lightest solution is to go with no prevention and then deal with it if it happens. An alternative would be to carry a small tube of antifungal cream to put on prophylactically after showering in a questionable shower, but antifungal stuff is better avoided if not needed. Pretty off base from the original thread content, but I wonder what others experiences/thoughts are with athletes foot on the trail.
    Vinyl cleanroom booties weigh nothing.

    Considerate contractors slide them on when coming into the house.

    Potentially useful over thin gloves in rain.

    I have been experimenting with them on stream crossings. Take socks and shoe liners out. Put booties on feet. Put feet in shoes. Cross. Jury is out.

    I agree. Nail fungus is a lot worse than just ugly

  13. #13
    Registered User
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    Vinyl cleanroom booties weigh nothing.


    or plastic grocery bags..........

  14. #14

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    The only shower I was a bit reluctant to step into barefooted was the one next to the Fontana Hilton. It was beyond gross. But I did, with no ill effects. The donation based hostel showers can be a bit iffy too since no one really takes care of them. I suppose if you had open wounds like blisters, that could be more of a concern. Just wipe your feet with an anti-bacteria hand wipe afterwards.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  15. #15
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    08-09-2016
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    Woodstock, GA
    Age
    57
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    Did some light trail magic this weekend, saw a lot of hikers. The thing I noticed most was the smiles and excitement of being out on a cool adventure. All were very nice people. Hyofh.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    or plastic grocery bags..........
    How do they stay up walking into the nasty shower?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    Vinyl cleanroom booties weigh nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    or plastic grocery bags..........
    How do they stay up walking into the nasty shower?
    A couple rubber bands should work, although I like your cleanroom bootie suggestion as well.

  18. #18
    Registered User
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    Alcohol kills most fungus, rub in a little hand sanitizer (just cuz it says hand doesn't make it exclusive)

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    Alcohol kills most fungus, rub in a little hand sanitizer (just cuz it says hand doesn't make it exclusive)
    I am not sure about that. I would guess 70-85% IPA would be needed and the feet would need to soak for 15-30 minutes if a minor fungal infection is established, but this is just a guess from experience cleaning mold. This topical treatment would not work once the nailbed is infected. But I think your approach make sense after a long day(s) in the rain to dry/clean the feet really well and disinfect with alcohol and then some medicated gold bond powder to prevent occurrence. Mold spores are not so easy to get rid of and they are very contagious. I had to take oral antifungal medicines once and care not to suffer that one again. Just a pure guess on my part.

  20. #20
    Registered User
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    11-27-2020
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    Clearwater, Florida
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    I've been lost on the trail before. I will be taking an Inreach mini with me so that doesn't happen again.

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