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  1. #1

    Default Looking for a typical timeline for a thru-hike

    I know that no thru-hike is typical and it all depends on pace, zero days, etc., but I'm trying to figure out where I'm LIKELY to be at any given time based on a NOBO start date of March 16. Looking for something that puts the distance of the trail in perspective with time...maybe that it takes about two weeks to get from A to B and a week and a half to get from B to C., etc. Has anyone come across any posts or guides or anything that would help?

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  3. #3

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    Perfect! I had looked in the Articles section, but I must have missed that link. Thanks, SGT Rock.

  4. #4
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    No problem.

    Your mileage may vary.
    SGT Rock
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  5. #5

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    It's interesting that you're leaving March 16 because if you look at Table 3 in the article SGT Rock linked to you'll see that's about the exact time the average thru-hiker has been leaving Springer in recent years. So the subsequent dates in that table should also be correct for you if you happen to hike exactly like the "typical" completing NOBO thru-hiker. The odds are pretty long that you'll be exactly typical, though . The people in that study ranged all the way from 88 to 237 days to thru-hike!
    Last edited by map man; 10-23-2007 at 23:42.

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    Well, map man, let me be the most recent to say that that article is awesome! You are a statistics monster!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock View Post
    No problem.

    Your mileage may vary.

    his mileage WILL vary...i remember my 1st few days on the AT. adrenaline was hi but actual mileage just never approached what i thought it would.. maybe i had too many breaks and just never ealized the time that went by. it was my 1st time down on springer, way cool..[amicalola to n c border 04].....

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    Your long-term hiking rate has as much to do with the number of zeros and neros you take as it has to do with your actual rate over the ground while hiking.

    Thru-hiker wannabes often forget this. They forget that back in the "real world" they had weekends off!

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the great article, map man! Yeah, I thought the March 16 thing was funny, too. I think I'll be heading down to GA (from Boston) on the 16th and will probably actually start from Amicalola on the 17th. And I'm certainly not gonna be rushing through the trail. I don't have anywhere to be but at Katahdin by Oct.15! Just wanted some sort of a timeline, and the article you posted is perfect.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by _terrapin_ View Post
    Your long-term hiking rate has as much to do with the number of zeros and neros you take as it has to do with your actual rate over the ground while hiking.

    Thru-hiker wannabes often forget this. They forget that back in the "real world" they had weekends off!
    Exactly!!! The differrence between a 5 month thru and a 6 month thru is an extra month in trail towns in a lot of cases.

  11. #11
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    Hey, we used the aforementioned white blaze article to plan our trip. It was really helpful, but here is a link to our actual "stats."

    http://whathasbecomeofmandk.blogspot...d-or-want.html

    Obviously, don't plan from our actual itinerary as it represents far too many spur-of-the-moment decisions. But I just offer it as evidence that even if you don't stick to your plan, it will be ok.

  12. #12
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    WalkinFool:

    In addition to MapMan's excellent piece, you might also check out the Re-Supply article in the "Articles" section of this website. It contains a lot of information on how much time it'll take you (in all likelihood) to hike each section of the Trail and will provide info on how much food you'll likely need between each stopping point.

  13. #13

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    I just checked out the resupply article...awesome. Between this info and wingfoot's book, I should be good. Of course, I bought the 2007 version when WF announced his retirement, so now I'll have to buy the updated version, too. :-)

  14. #14

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    Hey Cocoa, thanks for the link to the cool website. I love the graphs! You mentioned that your miles per day were pretty random, but one trend I noticed in the graph was that often zero days in a trail town were preceeded by one last monster mile day to get there. I get the impression that's pretty common for thru-hikers.
    Last edited by map man; 10-24-2007 at 22:29.

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    Cocoa, cool graphs. I suggest the randomness isn't that random at all -- but rather an oscillation between relatively easy (10-15 mpd) and relatively tough (15-22 mpd) days. Not too surprising nor atypcial, when you think about it. Circumstances (weather, terrain, attitude, shelter placement) conspire against consistency.

    Map man -- I can relate to the "monster day before town stop" thing. After all, that's when one's pack is lightest, and one's motivation strongest...

  16. #16
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    A little tip:

    Rather than do a zero day, it is sometimes better to do a near zero day aka a nero.

    Hike in only five miles or less to town. You get in early, get all your town chore done and do not have to take a zero. You spend less money and less time in town.

    You can also nero by going into town early as well and leaving town later in the day. Call it 2-3 miles in and then 2-3 miles out. Again less money spent and less time off the trail.

    Off course, when it is a snowy, wet and cold day, a zero day is nice.
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  17. #17
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    To expand on what Mags said, if you're planning a night in town:
    two neros=1 night in town
    zero=two nights in town.
    The nero option is much cheaper. Also, if you're near a town, you can walk in pretty foul weather, get completely soaked and cold, and know that that night you can warm up and dry out.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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    I did this year's section hike (39 days total) with no zeros. I forced myself to earn each town stop and maintain a 15 mile/day average. So if (for example) I was 8 miles ahead of schedule, I could take a "short" 7-mile day. That allowed for enough time in town to relax a bit and get the usual stuff done. Yeah, it's kinda anal but the scheme worked out great.

  19. #19

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