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Thread: Need advice

  1. #1
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    Default Need advice

    Hello everyone
    This is my first post on the forum which I was just told about today by a fellow who hiked the AT in 1998.

    Anywhere here is where I stand see what you think, I know it doesn't look good, but here goes anway.

    I am 26 years old, and currently confused about my life and where its leading. I am a Mainer, born and raised and grew up hiking the AT when I was in my teens. I am an Eaglescout and enjoyed my youth in outdoor activities. The Last time I hiked the AT was in 1997 which is when, I started spending less time in the outdoors because I met the woman I have been in a in a long term relationship with for 10 years.

    Since then I have spent the last 10 years working at crappy jobs and moving from place to place never settling down or fiding what I want to do. I dropped out of college, later graduated from trade school and did many different things. However I have gotten separated from the forest and mountians I loved so much as a young man. Over the last few years I have been trying to figure out what I need to make myself happy and after much deliberation and concernation. I have decided I need to hike the Appalachian Trail. I said it was something I would do when I was in my teens, but some how I forgot about it or got distracted by life, work and my relationship. Finally I have found a time when I have no future commitments though truthfull I have finally decided to make time to do this for myself.

    But here is the rub...I havent given myself much time to get ready and to leave. I want to make a south bound trip from Katahdin down to Georgia. I want to do it all consecutively. Money is a bit of a concern but I plan on selling almost all of my possession (i.e JUNK) to fund the trip. I will be hiking alone, as I have told very few people of my desire to undertake this journey. But I feel I need to do it. I need to accomplish something tangible with my life. I want to spend my 27th birthday on the trail and hopefully by then be back in my old body not an out of shape depressed one.

    currently I wiegh 207 lbs and I am 5' 7" and I am out of shape. Today I started working out at the gym and I went to an, outfitter to look at gear.

    I decided I want to go as light as possible. I have an outdoor survival back ground, so I can make do with very little. However I know that due to my poor physical shape, I wont be able to carry much and I don't want to anyway.I have no physical heath problems other than flat feet.


    I would like to leave baxter state park in May of 2007 but I have much to do before that time.

    1. Raise money for gear and the trip by selling everything I own
    2. Purchase the correct minimal amount of gear for the trip
    3. Get in as good a shape as I can before I leave.
    4. plan the trip
    5. Leave

    Are these goals to much to achieve in 2 months? Would it be foolish to leave with so little time in preparation?

    What do you all think? I feel like I need a quest right now, in my life and a goal to achieve.

    Brother in Arms

    p.s. Anyone else heading south bound from Katahdin in May 07???

  2. #2
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    An Eagle Scout can do it. Pick your date. Do all you can. Leave. You'll find a way. Trust me. You'll do it.

    The Weasel
    Eagle 1960
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

  3. #3
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    Go for it. There's not much you need to know that you can't learn along the way. You'll make some mistakes, and hopefully you'll make adjustments. No problem.

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    It would be foolish to not take this valuable opportunity to expand your life and to potentially find a new direction to take afterward.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother in Arms View Post
    Anyone else heading south bound from Katahdin in May 07???
    BiA!
    Check out the southbounder's forum, https://whiteblaze.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=422 and you might want to push your Go date back to the end of May. The Hunt Trail won't open on the 15th.
    Good luck, have fun!
    Last edited by TJ aka Teej; 03-16-2007 at 18:06. Reason: Added link to WB's MEGA campfire
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for the positive response and kind words!!!

    I am going to make it happen.

    Brother in Arms

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother in Arms View Post
    Thanks everyone for the positive response and kind words!!!

    I am going to make it happen.

    Brother in Arms
    PS: if you can cool your jets for just a bit longer, you may find more company for the trek (and have fewer bugs) by starting in June instead of May.

  8. #8
    Slowest Hiker On Earth
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    Well I say go for it !!!

    I quit my job. Today was my last day. I leave in 2 weeks. I just decided a few weeks ago to do this.
    I am quite lucky that my husband is supportive and will be giving me a weekly allowance so that I am able to eat and shower on the way.

    I am 37, weigh 235 pounds, out of shape, just quit smoking 17 weeks ago today. I did the GA section last year (while still smoking) and survived.

    So yea I think it's possible that you can do it.

    Good Luck

  9. #9
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    To be cheesy and steal from Nike... Just Do It.

    You've got a lot of life ahead of you and that's a long time to regret not hiking the trail. Now is the time to do it.

  10. #10
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    again everyone thanks for the encouragement..

    I had planned to leave one June 1st but the fellow I talked to said may would be better...But knowing maine and the weather conditions May 15th is optomistic.

    So I guess I should shoot for no later than June 1st.

    I'll check out the southbound forum..

    cheers everyone!

    Brother in Arms

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother in Arms View Post
    Thanks everyone for the positive response and kind words!!!

    I am going to make it happen.

    Brother in Arms
    Go over to Bass Harbor and look up Scott Grierson. He'll fill you in on the AT scene. He's a 3-4 time thru-hiker. Tell him wolf sent ya.

  12. #12
    AT, ECT, LT, PCT Thru-hiker JojoSmiley's Avatar
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    You can also check in with Walking Home in Ellsworth, ME. She hiked in '99 and has been hiking all her life. Good lady and great hiker. You can email her at walkinghome_99@yahoo.com. Good luck and Savor the Moments of your hike.
    Jojo Smiley :)
    Savor the Moments!

  13. #13
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    Brother In Arms,

    Here's what I've learned over the course of time:

    Sell what you can for what you can get - just get rid of the "junk" and be happy you're rid of it.

    Get a general idea of the type of gear you'll need - search the threads here at WB.

    Plan your itinerary loosely - just get a general sense of your schedule - and plan to make adjustments all along the way.

    Start your hike slowly and build up the mileage over time.

    With determination and a can-do attitude, you'll make it! All the best!
    "You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters."
    ~Saint Bernard (1090 - 1153)

  14. #14
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    Do it (you'll never regret it)! I have one suggestion though... Don't give up no matter what. It takes weeks to get trail hardened (in shape for this wonderful physical abuse) but once you are it's a piece of cake. I started thruhiking without any long distance hiking experience and it was excruciating in the beginning but I didn't give up. I cried a few days (mostly cause I had a fear of heights) due to the pain I experienced those first 3-4 weeks, oh and the muscle aches (wow did they ache). After the pain was over I felt like Superman. I want this to be as rewarding experience for you as it should be. If you endure this once in a lifetime opportunity the rewards are memories and memories of pure bliss.
    Happy Trails.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Go for it! Welcome to the SOBO clan. As far as start dates...you can go much later in the year, if you want, and it might give you more time to save money.

    Best wishes,
    Marta/Five-Leaf
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
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    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  16. #16

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    i will southbound this year if a financial mirical happens.still holding out hope. would love to meet you bro. sounds like your gonna be fine.im a prayin for us both.
    matthewski

  17. #17

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    Don't worry so much about losing weight as about getting in shape to climb up and down mountains with weight on your back, in the heat. You'll lose the weight on the actual hike. Probably the best way to get in shape for it is to actually go climb some mountains.

    Sounds like a great plan. A thru-hike sounds like exactly what you need to do.

    Are you getting rid of everything you own? Just leave a little money in the bank for when you finish. A fresh start can be very satisfying.

    Good luck!!!

  18. #18
    Registered User hikerchris's Avatar
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    Absolutely go for it! I am doing the same type of thing. Selling most of what I own and storing the remainder, quitting my cushy Capitol Hill job, and basically deciding: Old Life = Over, New Life = Beginning on the Appalachian Trail. And when I am done, I am heading west to Boulder, CO, leaving DC and MD far behind. I'll see you in Baxter on June 1 BIA. Peace.
    "Great things are done when men and mountains meet." William Blake

  19. #19
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    Take it slow at first, don't push yourself and pay attention to your body. If you need rest, take it and make sure you are getting an adequate amount of nutrition on the trail. It's important to get enough protein and vitamins. I recommend taking a great multivitamin, protein bars and veggie protein flakes (peanut butter of course). People who tend to have a weight issue need to be careful that they are getting enough fat in their diet on the trail, because you don't want your body to go in shock. Pay attention to your cravings, this isn't hard to do on the trail since food is the number one concern for most on a long hike.

  20. #20
    Registered User ShowMe's Avatar
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    Good Luck Brother.

    Sounds like you and I have a bit in common. I too need a quest, a goal to achieve for myself and nobody else, and most of all some quality time with mother nature to sort things out. It is easy to become confused about where our lives are leading us and just as easy to follow the beaten path that society has laid out. I think you are on the right path now, the one that connects you with your lifelong dreams. If you take that path you'll have no regrets. At least that's what my fortune cookie says.

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