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  1. #1
    Registered User Gaza's Avatar
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    Default Decided to Thru-Hike October-08, Is this too late to prepare?

    I have been reading over and through whiteblaze for the past week and a half and today October 22, 2008 I decided to join.

    Currently I am supposed to be moving to L.A. in November to pursue my dream of working in the "movie biz". I have a place with friends set up and ready to go. The only issue is. I have seriously been considering putting off my L.A. trip until the same time next year, after I finish the thru-hike.

    Is it too late for me at this current time to begin preparing for an '09 hike starting in March? Is this something I need to take more time to prepare for? I feel as if right now going into such a self absorbed and un-natural business (which I've already worked in [NYC]) that I could use some time in the woods. I've wanted to do this hike since I was 14-15 years old. Another thing is, other than a 100k worth of student loans with Sallie Mae, I have nothing to hold me back. No wife, no girlfriend, no kids, no house. My student loans can be deferred for 6 months as long as I make a full payment before leaving.

    So all in all is it too late to prepare? lol. Now that I've explained my situation. Also does anyone on here have any relatives working in L.A. that could potentially help me out after I piss off my current network of friends by choosing the AT over their offer of a place in Santa Monica. lol. Can someone hit me on the head with that Welcome sign? I'm Gary. Nice to meet you all. I looooooooooooooooooove the Appalachians!




    "A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on." William S. Burroughs

  2. #2
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    Nope. I know a couple people who successfully hiked this year with only a couple months of planning. Just ask a whole lot of questions on here, read a lot from this website and trailplace.com, and have enough money for gear and the hike. This late in the game, I wouldn't worry about any maildrops. Just plan on mailing your summer gear to yourself, and bouncing the winter gear ahead. Other than that it's really just walking. Seems really intimidating thinking about the entire hike and not knowing what to expect, but it's not as bad as I expected. As long as you have enough time to hike, decent gear, and enough money you will be fine. Everything else will fall into place as your hike progresses.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
    I have been reading over and through whiteblaze for the past week and a half and today October 22, 2008 I decided to join.

    Currently I am supposed to be moving to L.A. in November to pursue my dream of working in the "movie biz". I have a place with friends set up and ready to go. The only issue is. I have seriously been considering putting off my L.A. trip until the same time next year, after I finish the thru-hike.

    Is it too late for me at this current time to begin preparing for an '09 hike starting in March? Is this something I need to take more time to prepare for? I feel as if right now going into such a self absorbed and un-natural business (which I've already worked in [NYC]) that I could use some time in the woods. I've wanted to do this hike since I was 14-15 years old. Another thing is, other than a 100k worth of student loans with Sallie Mae, I have nothing to hold me back. No wife, no girlfriend, no kids, no house. My student loans can be deferred for 6 months as long as I make a full payment before leaving.

    So all in all is it too late to prepare? lol. Now that I've explained my situation. Also does anyone on here have any relatives working in L.A. that could potentially help me out after I piss off my current network of friends by choosing the AT over their offer of a place in Santa Monica. lol. Can someone hit me on the head with that Welcome sign? I'm Gary. Nice to meet you all. I looooooooooooooooooove the Appalachians!




    "A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on." William S. Burroughs
    there really ain't much to plan or prepare for. it's just walkin'. so yeah, go for it.

  4. #4
    Registered User KG4FAM's Avatar
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    All you have to do is look at your guide book and find out how many miles it is to the next place to buy food. From Springer its Neels Gap and that is about 30 so take three days food or four if you are not in shape. Once you get there look at your guidebook again to find the next place for food and keep doing that at every town.

    There you go, I have done all of your planning that you need for your thru hike.

  5. #5
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Sure, you have plenty of time. Check the home page for Baltimore Jack's resupply schedule. Make sure have enough money. It would be nice if someone back home would be able to mail you gear every once in a while, as well as handle any financial affairs. Do your taxes before you leave. Do a LOT of walking between now and March. Do some backpacking, too, especially if you can get up into the Georgia or NC mountains this winter.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  6. #6

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    There's absolutely enough time! In 2002, I hiked with "Three Day" - that's how long it took him to plan his trip. Go for it and good luck!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
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    Plently of time... I think I gave myself 1 month to prep for my PCT hike. Just get your gear, and start excercising to get your legs used to moving and hopefully avoid tendonitis or shin splints. As far as planning the hike itself... don't. Just buy food along the way, and plan each week of hiking as you walk. No reason to plan more than a week ahead while out there.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

  8. #8
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Besides getting your gear together and maybe a few weekend outings to test things out and become familiar with them, not much planning is really needed. In my opinion, most folks way OVER PLAN their hikes. Some people enjoy this aspect, I tend to not really plan (other than some travel arrangements) until the week before I leave, even for a longer trip.

    Re-read 33Whiskey's post - it's dead on! Even equipment can be modified enroute if you have some extra cash.

    Welcome, ask your questions, HAVE A BLAST!

  9. #9
    As in "dessert" not "desert"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    there really ain't much to plan or prepare for. it's just walkin'. so yeah, go for it.
    As long as you are adaptable and willing to make adjustments as you go along, I would think there would be no problem with just getting some gear and going for it, and working your way into shape. I would say that a few months is more than enough time.

  10. #10

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    Minus the process of storing my car, closing my apartment, etc.. I could get prepared for a thru hike in 24 hours.

    A few hours at a reputable outfitter and arranging transport to the trailhead.

    The rest of the thru hike will be spontaneous (as it should be!)

    Mail drops are a thing of a past unless you have dietary needs. Not much else to plan.

  11. #11
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    hike man hike...the only worry i have for you is be prepared to be a changed man! it may be a little, it may be a lot, but the trail will definitely bring you to a new perspective...

  12. #12
    Registered User Joe8484's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed this thread as a 09 hiker. The more I talk to other 09'ers the more I feel that extensive planning is like another job.

    My plan is to
    1 -finish buying gear, maps and guides
    2 -test gear, browse guides
    3 -buy bus/airplane ticket
    4 -hike

    "Impossible just takes a little longer"

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    I've said this before, but I'll say it again:

    Most of the elaborate preparation occurs because there's time to do it. In other words, the work expands to fill the time available.

    That said, if you're planning a thru-hike and are not already an experienced hiker, I urge you to spend whatever free time you have between now and then hiking and backpacking. If you discover that hiking along at 2 mph carrying a load on your back is a boring and loathsome activity to you, it's nice to know that before you tell your boss to take this job and shove it, etc. You'll also learn a few things that will make the initial weeks on the trail go a lot more smoothly...and you'll wow the other would-be thrus with your wisdom and experience.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  14. #14
    But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe
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    While I laid the ground work months in advance, I did not do any full blown detailed planning until January of this year.

    If I were to do it different, I'd grab a guidebook, make sure I had money in the bank, and I'd start walking having planned the first 2-3 resupply points.

    Kirby

  15. #15
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    As Kirby said...besides being comfortable with your gear...the only planning you'll need is to figure out how many days to Neels and then how many days to Hiawasee. Think about food, fuel, and (water) treatment. Everything else falls in line.

    Remember that it's possible to overplan the trip. Don't stress.

  16. #16
    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    Assuming you are leaving around March(ish) you have 4 to 5 minths to get ready. More than enough time to get gear & food & stuff.

    And, Assuming you need to get all your gear; while it is not mandatory, it is highly suggested (& you do after all have the time): Practice with your gear at least one time before you hit the trail. Setting up your shelter that first night on the trail during a freak T-Storm is not the place to learn how to set up
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

  17. #17
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    You have plenty of time to plan and prepare for your trip, and this website should help answer lots of your questions.

    Have fun, see you out there.

  18. #18
    Registered User Gaza's Avatar
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    Default Thanks!

    Thank you for all the information guys. I appreaciate it. I'm excited as hell. And nervous as hell as well. I'm giving myself til Monday October 24th to decide for sure but so far it's looking pretty good.

    So mail drops are outdated huh? Has anyone here ever used a bounce box?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
    Has anyone here ever used a bounce box?
    Yeah, they are a pain in the butt. If you aren't doing mail drops then definately try to avoid one. That would mean you never have to worry about going into a certain town, or being there on time for the Post Office. Then there are weekends when they close early, some of them have odd hours, holidays, etc. I bounced mine once from Fontana to Damascus. When I got to Damascus I sent it home.

    They are handy if you have medications, or things you can't do without but aren't practical to carry. Just remember every time you open it and send it forward it costs money, and you may have to go into a town just for the box when you could have passed the town otherwise.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    I used a bounce box, and probably would again. Among other things, it contained the charger for my camera, a roll of duct tape, some cold medicine, extra plastic bags, etc...anything I had to buy a lot of and only wanted to carry a little of.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

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