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  1. #1

    Default Advice, Guidance, Opinions

    Hello all, I realize this is a rather "newb" thing to do but I wanted to introduce myself and get some advice on my plans for hiking part of the AT this summer.

    Background on us:
    We're all twenty years old and are in good physical condition, but are by no means experienced hikers. Two of us go to Eckerd College and the other goes to Boston College.

    Travel:
    Two of us come from Nashville, Tennessee and one hails from Cocoa Beach, Florida. The two from Tennessee are not sure how we're getting to the trail. We have a car just not sure where or if we can leave it where ever we start from.

    Our Plan:
    Originally I had thought we should start at the southern end of the Shenandoah National Park and hike north with no real final destination in mind. Recently I've been rethinking that plan because I've heard that Shenandoah isn't very friendly for hikers. We still want to hike in June and July. So, any advice on where we should hike?

    Equipment Wise:
    I personally only have boots, a pack, and rain jacket and pants(though the more i think about weight the more i like the poncho idea). The Kid from BC has a pocket rocket stove and I was planning on getting the same so we can share fuel and having similar gear just seems smart.

    Money:
    I have about 2400 saved up so I feel comfortable with that. Travel from Nashville is the only real unknown money wise since we don't know about the car. The other Nashville kid has about 600 to spend after gear and travel which should be fine unless some pricey piece of equipment fails. Lastly the Cocoa Beach kid has about 1700 total for gear, travel, and consumables so I believe he'll be reading up on dirt bagging a lot.

    Trail Names: I'm thinking Frisbee Dog for myself since I am an avid Ultimate player, though having one given to me would be nice. The kid from BC has no idea. The kid from Cocoa I wanna call "Brydon" but I don't think he likes that enough haha.

    The idea of this post is more of an introduction than anything else. Any advice or comments welcome

    THANKS

  2. #2
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    First, welcome to WB.

    Here is a thread on how to dirtbag like a pro for your friend. This thread is part one of a four part series on what you need to have.

  3. #3

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    ask lone wolf, he loves to help...

  4. #4
    Ruby Tuesday rob123ufl's Avatar
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    hey frisbee dog, it doesnt sound like you have much to worry about. you have solid funds (thats enough to hike the whole damn thing in my opinion). my advice is to take it nice and easy, just have a fun hike and don't take anything anyone here says too seriously (except for advice on how not to die).

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob123ufl View Post
    hey frisbee dog, it doesnt sound like you have much to worry about. you have solid funds (thats enough to hike the whole damn thing in my opinion). my advice is to take it nice and easy, just have a fun hike and don't take anything anyone here says too seriously (except for advice on how not to die).
    except for any advice you get from lone wolf...he's the owner of the trail and you have to do what he says or he'll arrest you.

  6. #6
    Registered User jesse's Avatar
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    I would suggest you buy your gear, and do a few weekend hikes close to home. Learn how to use your stuff. Why spend a lot of money traveling and have your trip be a flop. It isn't rocket science. Learning curve is flat. The guy in Florida, will have to walk up and down stairs to find out if he is ready for mountains.

  7. #7
    Ruby Tuesday rob123ufl's Avatar
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    its true i didnt really know what to expect. being that i just got off the trail after a month and a half though, im pretty confident in my assessment now. dry runs are a good idea though, but truly its all mental. however, blisters are not mental...

  8. #8
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Why isn't Shenandoah friendly for hikers? It's a great place to hike, esp if you are starting off as the terrain is not difficult. True there aren't hostels, the resupply options are a little expensive and you cross the road a lot, but it is a nice part of VA and great if you are just beginning and building trail legs.

    But you may also want to start in Damascus and head north. Many also do that. The terrain I feel is tougher down south than SNP. But it is also a super area of the state scenery-wise.

    Not sure how long you plan to go for, but watch sharing gear with your friends. In case someone drops out. Happens to hikers who are then left wondering what to do and then having to tote heavy gear. Might want to bring your own gear.







    Hiking Blog
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  9. #9
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob123ufl View Post
    just have a fun hike and don't take anything anyone here says too seriously (except for advice on how not to die).
    Well, that also depends on what is being said. There are plenty of people on WB offering sound advice and who have been there, done that.

    And then there are those who keep it quite lively to say the least...







    Hiking Blog
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT, FHT, ALT
    Shenandoah NP Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  10. #10
    Registered User Montego's Avatar
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    Hey, welcome to WhiteBlaze FrisbeeDog and your companions .
    Lot of good advice to be had here, just take everything with a grain of salt. Your best comodity is humor IMO (In My Opinion).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hipkenzh View Post
    Hello all, I realize this is a rather "newb" thing to do but I wanted to introduce myself and get some advice on my plans for hiking part of the AT this summer.

    Background on us:
    We're all twenty years old and are in good physical condition, but are by no means experienced hikers. Two of us go to Eckerd College and the other goes to Boston College.

    Travel:
    Two of us come from Nashville, Tennessee and one hails from Cocoa Beach, Florida. The two from Tennessee are not sure how we're getting to the trail. We have a car just not sure where or if we can leave it where ever we start from.

    Our Plan:
    Originally I had thought we should start at the southern end of the Shenandoah National Park and hike north with no real final destination in mind. Recently I've been rethinking that plan because I've heard that Shenandoah isn't very friendly for hikers. We still want to hike in June and July. So, any advice on where we should hike?

    Equipment Wise:
    I personally only have boots, a pack, and rain jacket and pants(though the more i think about weight the more i like the poncho idea). The Kid from BC has a pocket rocket stove and I was planning on getting the same so we can share fuel and having similar gear just seems smart.

    Money:
    I have about 2400 saved up so I feel comfortable with that. Travel from Nashville is the only real unknown money wise since we don't know about the car. The other Nashville kid has about 600 to spend after gear and travel which should be fine unless some pricey piece of equipment fails. Lastly the Cocoa Beach kid has about 1700 total for gear, travel, and consumables so I believe he'll be reading up on dirt bagging a lot.

    Trail Names: I'm thinking Frisbee Dog for myself since I am an avid Ultimate player, though having one given to me would be nice. The kid from BC has no idea. The kid from Cocoa I wanna call "Brydon" but I don't think he likes that enough haha.

    The idea of this post is more of an introduction than anything else. Any advice or comments welcome

    THANKS
    hi. just hike. have fun

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    hi. just hike. have fun

    !!!! ????

  13. #13
    Springer - Front Royal Lilred's Avatar
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    welcome to whiteblaze

    Why not start at the beginning and head north? I believe you can keep your car parked at Amicalola Falls, where the approach trail is, for a minimal fee. In June and July, the higher elevations are still pretty tolerable, even in the south.

    I second the recommendation to go on a couple of overnighters to test out your gear.

    I don't recommend sharing gear unless you're married. Even then I doubt I would.

    You'll learn everything you need to know for long distance backpacking on this site. You've found an excellent resource. Ask away....
    "It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America." - Daniel Boone

  14. #14

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    We are planning on 4-6 weeks, we still need to work for part of the summer so that seems like enough of a time split.

    Could we really stand the heat in Georgia in June and July? That seems a little intense but personally as long as there is water I'd much rather have it be hot than cold...I hate cold, even Tennessee Winters are too much for me. Plus if it's hot I can forget bringing warm clothes which is just more weight.

    Also I have REALLY REALLY SWEATY FEET.... I wear flip flops all day even in winter here in Florida and they still sweat all the time. Add socks and boots and I'm soaking them in fifteen minutes...not even gold bond powder helps(tried it when I was in peru in January) so what else can I do and what socks would you suggest?

  15. #15

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    When I said share I meant more in case something breaks or If I run out of fuel before they do or something.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by hipkenzh View Post
    We are planning on 4-6 weeks, we still need to work for part of the summer so that seems like enough of a time split.

    Could we really stand the heat in Georgia in June and July? That seems a little intense but personally as long as there is water I'd much rather have it be hot than cold...I hate cold, even Tennessee Winters are too much for me. Plus if it's hot I can forget bringing warm clothes which is just more weight.

    Also I have REALLY REALLY SWEATY FEET.... I wear flip flops all day even in winter here in Florida and they still sweat all the time. Add socks and boots and I'm soaking them in fifteen minutes...not even gold bond powder helps(tried it when I was in peru in January) so what else can I do and what socks would you suggest?
    try soaking your feet in white vinegar every night a few weeks prior to hitting the trail...

  17. #17
    Registered User Wags's Avatar
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    i personally like whoever's idea it was to wear walmart white nylon dress socks. they breath excellent, are 4 bucks for 3 pairs, and i have yet to blister in them. if your feet are really sweaty then i suggest you develop the habit of changing your socks often before you head out, so it's second nature when you're out there...

    i 3rd or 4th the dry run idea - your 1st weekend out will be a good test of how the 3 of you work together. you'd be surprised how much people can change when you can't run away from them at the end of the day that said, on the other hand, that you'll be hiking w/ buddies could be a really good thing - sharing pack weight (if you're dragging ass one day you could have a buddy cowboy up and carry your water/visa versa), rotating days of who's doing chores (cooking especially. kinda blows cooking for 3 on a night, but having your meal made for you the other 2 is boss!), providing motivation, having a blast, etc. little change ups from routine can be great for morale

  18. #18

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    Howdy guys, to Whiteblaze! As others have already said, make sure you do some hiking before hand. Nothing can be worse than having all your gear, ready to go, then stand at the trailhead and look at the big mountain you have to climb. For you guys in tennessee, do sme hiking around where you live. Even if it's just putting on the pack and walking around the neighberhood, anything is good.
    A t-shirt never made:
    I only do what the White Blazes tell me to do.

  19. #19

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    Hmm, just looking at the previous posts, but starting point is really up to you. Personally, since you live in Tennessee, start there. You could try going southbound, then if you like it, go back to where you started and go northbound.

    With the sweaty feet, depends on your footwear. What kind of boots do you have? If they are ones with alot of leather, i wouldn't suggest them. Probably trailrunners would be your best bet, they breathe alot better than boots. Coming form me, this is strange, since i'm a hardcore boot guy, but the worse thing you can do is have fotwear the really makes your feet sweat, and develop some really nasty blisters. Believe me, those things are not pretty.

    Gear wise, if your doing mostly summer hiking in the south, raingear is negligible. You will get just as sweaty and wet wearing a rainjacket as not. A good packcover is essential. Raingear, not so much.
    A t-shirt never made:
    I only do what the White Blazes tell me to do.

  20. #20
    Registered User
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    Whether wet from within or wet from without, I'd still want raingear in the south or anywhere else when it's cold and/or windy to retain body heat. Keep moving and get yourself dry and warm asap in a sleeping bag rather than shooting the breeze around a fire when done for the day.

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