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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Default Need advice on hiking!!

    Hi! I'm new into hiking! My parents are hiking the AT now and I want to do a section hike next summer with a hiker I met this year on the trail. I want to do a hike a week in July. I don't know where though! Any suggestions?? Also I have no clue where to begin with preparing!!

  2. #2
    Registered User Mr. Clean's Avatar
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    04-09-2003
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    First, look at lots of packs and sleeping bags, lots of them, and read others reviews of them. Try them out at the store. Although it's best to take all your gear in and try it in the pack, I've had good luck not doing that. Buy your gear, asking questions here on different items. Then try some overnights to gain some experience. I've heard that you can rent some hiking gear so that you can wait to buy, making sure that you really like what you took with you. Lastly, just get out there and start enjoying.
    Greg P.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Default backpackin' advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Corinne
    Hi! I'm new into hiking! My parents are hiking the AT now and I want to do a section hike next summer with a hiker I met this year on the trail. I want to do a hike a week in July. I don't know where though! Any suggestions?? Also I have no clue where to begin with preparing!!
    Corinne:


    You are on the right track being on WHITEBLAZE.NET!
    Like Mr.Clean said:...it all starts with "the Pack"...

    make sure you are fit properly....go to your local outfitter store & ask loads of questions.....get the pack thats right for you.....you mentioned you wanted to hike a week...make sure you're pack will do all you need....

    carrying sleeping bag, tent, (if you decide to carry one) water supply & weeks worth of food/energy bars/gorp & emergency med. kit. & whatever else you're willing to tote on your back for a week.

    most folks now say 25-30lbs is reasonable backpack weight for a week-long trek...(water & food included)

    good luck with your hike....remember...it's all about the journey!
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

    GA-ME...
    "on-the-20-year-plan"

    www.trailjournals.com/Jaybird2013

  4. #4
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    09-03-2002
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    Minneapolis
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    With regards to what section to hike in a week, my recommendation would depend somewhat on how you plan to get there. You're 11-12 hours driving time from Chicago to pretty much anyplace on the southern half of the Trail (see www.mapquest.com for Directions/Drive Times), so you have a lot of choices. However, if you only have a week then you'll want to avoid too much driving. You can fly to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for about $165 and Roanoke, Virginia for $240 to save time, assuming you will have to arrange for a shuttle to/from the trailhead.

    Here are a few options, keeping in mind that July will be hot and buggy almost anywhere you go, and water may be in short supply in some spots:

    1) Georgia: Start at the southern terminus, Springer Mountain, and hike up to Hiawassee on a nice smooth trail with reasonable ascents.

    2) Roanoke: Hit the great scenic viewpoints at Dragon's Tooth, McAfee Knob, Tinker Cliffs and the James River Gorge.

    3) New Jersey: Not the Jersey you see on TV. Nice trail with a lot of ridge walking. Easy drive out I-80 to the Delaware Water Gap.

    4) Harpers Ferry south to Shenendoah National Park entrance: About 55 miles of fairly easy trail (although The Rollercoaster could be a challenge in July humidity) with some nice shelters along the way.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  5. #5
    Registered User squirrel bait's Avatar
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    07-16-2003
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    outer banks nc
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    Pack it up, hoist it on your back and go. Keep reading WB too.
    "you ain't settin your sights to high son, but if you want to follow in my tracks I'll help ya up the trail some."

    Rooster Cogburn.

  6. #6
    tideblazer
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    I suggest bypassing the traditional gear-store route and going straight to the experts. Most people in the stores overstate their experience from what I've seen, and don't really understand what they're selling you. Plus places like REI don't even carry the best (lightest and funtional) backpacks. They need to sell you a big ole pack with a fancy frame and suspension system so you can carry all the other crap they will try to sell you.

    This website is a great resource, but I highly suggest reading Ray Jardine's "Beyond Backpacking: guide to lightweight hiking". He tells you how to have a light, functional setup that can get you across the country and save you lots of money (including how to make things).

    Some people will try to discredit him, but no one on this site is as experienced a traveller as he. Simplify things and get his book, or better yet attend his "journeys flow" camp in Oregon this fall. www.rayjardine.com

    Backpacking is great. It's ultimately all about learning to enjoy yourself in any condition.
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

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