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  1. #1
    Registered User writeronthestorm's Avatar
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    Default Decided yesterday that I want hike the AT, this April. Am I crazy?

    I have the bug really bad and I cant get the AT out of my mind. I was originally wanting to do a NOBO in 2012, but then I got to thinking...

    I'm single with no kids

    The lease is up on my house in Febuary 2011

    I just paid my truck off in September so I don't have any car payments to make.

    I already have all the gear, except trekking poles and a small point-and-shoot camera. Other then that I have everything I need already minus food. I mean granted my pack is big (Gregory Baltoro 70), but Iv'e used it so much that it's like an extension of my back anyways. Doing a quick mental inventory at what I have right now I could start with a 30 pound pack minus food and water.

    I just bought all the necessary guidebooks from Amazon yesterday so I'm waiting for that stuff to arrive so I can get to planning. The only thing worrying me at this point is how I will deal with the food situation.

    I haven't told anyone of my family or friends yet because they will think I'm bonkers.

    What do you guys think? Am I crazy or could I pull this thing off? I mean, I keep thinking, why not just do it?... ya know?

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by writeronthestorm View Post
    I have the bug really bad and I cant get the AT out of my mind. I was originally wanting to do a NOBO in 2012, but then I got to thinking...

    I'm single with no kids

    The lease is up on my house in Febuary 2011

    I just paid my truck off in September so I don't have any car payments to make.

    I already have all the gear, except trekking poles and a small point-and-shoot camera. Other then that I have everything I need already minus food. I mean granted my pack is big (Gregory Baltoro 70), but Iv'e used it so much that it's like an extension of my back anyways. Doing a quick mental inventory at what I have right now I could start with a 30 pound pack minus food and water.

    I just bought all the necessary guidebooks from Amazon yesterday so I'm waiting for that stuff to arrive so I can get to planning. The only thing worrying me at this point is how I will deal with the food situation.

    I haven't told anyone of my family or friends yet because they will think I'm bonkers.

    What do you guys think? Am I crazy or could I pull this thing off? I mean, I keep thinking, why not just do it?... ya know?
    The short answer to your question: No.

    You're not crazy at all. You have plenty of time to pull it off especially since you already have most of your gear. Expect to get some advice here on WB about lightening your so-called "base weight" but if you're comfortable with your setup, then go with it.

    Re. your food question, you need to decide about maildrops vs. resupplying along the way vs. a hybrid. There are already lots of existing threads on that subject - just do some searching.

    You sound well-prepared but you didn't mention finances. Do you have enough $$$ for a thruhike?

    Don't know about your conditioning but it would behoove you to get some aerobic exercise and get in some practice "shakedown" hikes.

    Finally I note you're from the "dry" part of Washington. Make sure you're prepared - mentally as well as physically - for rain during your hike. And then there's the Eastern mid-summer humidity - can't prepare physically, only mentally.

    Best of luck to you!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    ...Re. your food question, you need to decide about maildrops vs. resupplying along the way vs. a hybrid. There are already lots of existing threads on that subject - just do some searching...
    Here's one such thread: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=66687

    And if you go into Forums and look under Thruhiking topics, you'll find more. The one I posted here is the most recent one.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Default

    Yes, just do it. Commit to go all the way.

    Like others said, I'd suggest lightening your load. You can use this list (ignore the pop-ups) to compare. It gives you an 18-19 lb base weight. Tweak it for summer.

    Cheers!

  5. #5
    Registered User writeronthestorm's Avatar
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    Default

    I's just that its the set-up I have. Its the set up Ive invested so much in already. I mean yeah it could definitely be lighter, but with such a short notice I'm going to have a tight budget. So yeah, the money situation is going to be tricky but with some discipline and sacrifice I think I can manage

    We had a really wet summer. I got rained on everywhere I went. I have good rain gear. I've spent hours practicing the art of starting a fire in the rain... Trust me I know it can get miserable being soaked all the time, and yeah it can royally suck while your in it for days on end.

    Thanks for the tips and encouragement Cookerhiker!

  6. #6
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    Default Make changes as you go

    You can always make changes as you go. On my first thru hike I thought everything had to be perfect before I set out. It turned out to be much easier on the PCT to swap out gear than I thought.
    The year before that first thur hike my pack weighed 35 lbs base. The day I left the Mexican border it was 10.5. I had spent the moths before the hike making "shake down" hikes testing out my system. It worked for me cause I had a lot of free time.
    Looking back now I could just as easily made the same changes on the trail although it would have involved mailing a lot of stuff home and having new stuff shipped to P.O.'s or bought at outfitters along the way.

    Your post reminds me of how I first decided to make a thru hike. I was shaving one morning in December of 2008. i looked in the mirror and thought.."I am gonna go hike the PCT." The next phone call I made was to tell my boss I needed 5 months off.
    It happened just like than.
    I can't tell you what is right for you. I can say the decision for me was quick just the way you are describing.
    Follow Your Bliss.
    Headed in to town.. You gotta rock the down! -fellow hikers mantra

  7. #7

    Default

    Sounds like you're in good shape! Good luck! WB is a wonderful site and you'll find lots of answers and opinions - sometimes they don't even contradict each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    ...Expect to get some advice here on WB about lightening your so-called "base weight" but if you're comfortable with your setup, then go with it.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    .... I'd suggest lightening your load. You can use this list (ignore the pop-ups) to compare. It gives you an 18-19 lb base weight. Tweak it for summer.

    Cheers!
    It didn't take long, did it? I feel remarkably prescient.

  8. #8
    Registered User TheChop's Avatar
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    Default

    I have honestly been puzzled with people that have taken years to plan for a thru-hike. Obviously financial and life logistics come into play and I understand that but for it was a similar situation. Lease is up in February. Window of time is open. I decided officially about a month ago even though I'd been toying with the idea for quite some time.
    No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.

  9. #9
    Registered User TheChop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheChop View Post
    Obviously financial and life logistics come into play and I understand that but for it was a similar situation.
    I have no idea what I was doing with this sentence. I was so excited by getting my Montbell bag on sale that I spaced. I will accept my lashings with dignity.
    No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by writeronthestorm View Post
    I's just that its the set-up I have. Its the set up Ive invested so much in already. I mean yeah it could definitely be lighter, but with such a short notice I'm going to have a tight budget. So yeah, the money situation is going to be tricky but with some discipline and sacrifice I think I can manage
    As long as you're comfortable with your gear I wouldn't even be concerned about it. Besides if you really need to replace something on the trail there are ample opportunities to do so.

    As far as preparing, sounds like you're pretty much ready. I never even loaded my pack until about 10pm the day before I left. You'll have plenty of time on the trail to figure things out.

    Also food can be easily obtained along the trail. It may make sense to send food drops to a few places, but you can definitely buy food the whole way. One less thing to worry about.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited by HikerRanky; 12-14-2010 at 21:03. Reason: closing quote

  11. #11

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    yes, you're crazy. welcome to the club.

  12. #12
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    Lucky bastard...

  13. #13
    A♣ K♣ Q♣ J♣ 10♣ Luddite's Avatar
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    You're a raving lunatic but, yes, you can pull it off. If I was you I'd get a different pack. I used to have that same pack and IMO its too heavy for a thru-hike.
    Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
    -Edward Abbey

  14. #14

    Default Run forest, run!!!

    Dude, just go already. To repeat a previous post...lucky bastard!!!

  15. #15
    Registered User writeronthestorm's Avatar
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    Default

    You're a raving lunatic but, yes, you can pull it off. If I was you I'd get a different pack. I used to have that same pack and IMO its too heavy for a thru-hike.
    I was kind of wondering the same thing. It is a heavy pack. Looking at packs in the 2 pound range the REI Flash 50 seems the best option. I was checking out the GoLite Jam but the whole "frame-less" aspect scares me.

  16. #16
    A♣ K♣ Q♣ J♣ 10♣ Luddite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writeronthestorm View Post
    I was kind of wondering the same thing. It is a heavy pack. Looking at packs in the 2 pound range the REI Flash 50 seems the best option. I was checking out the GoLite Jam but the whole "frame-less" aspect scares me.
    Check out the ULA packs.

    http://ula-equipment.com/circuit.asp

    http://ula-equipment.com/ohm.asp
    Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
    -Edward Abbey

  17. #17
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Default looking for validation?

    Quote Originally Posted by writeronthestorm View Post
    I was kind of wondering the same thing. It is a heavy pack. Looking at packs in the 2 pound range the REI Flash 50 seems the best option. I was checking out the GoLite Jam but the whole "frame-less" aspect scares me.
    You're asking US if you should go? Isn't that a bit like asking a car salesman if you can afford a new car?

    There are of ton of options that compare favorably - perhaps more so - to the REI pack. If I were you, I'd get out with what you have and let the folks at Mountain Crossings show you the way.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  18. #18
    Registered User Ladytrekker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writeronthestorm View Post
    I have the bug really bad and I cant get the AT out of my mind. I was originally wanting to do a NOBO in 2012, but then I got to thinking...

    I'm single with no kids

    The lease is up on my house in Febuary 2011

    I just paid my truck off in September so I don't have any car payments to make.

    I already have all the gear, except trekking poles and a small point-and-shoot camera. Other then that I have everything I need already minus food. I mean granted my pack is big (Gregory Baltoro 70), but Iv'e used it so much that it's like an extension of my back anyways. Doing a quick mental inventory at what I have right now I could start with a 30 pound pack minus food and water.

    I just bought all the necessary guidebooks from Amazon yesterday so I'm waiting for that stuff to arrive so I can get to planning. The only thing worrying me at this point is how I will deal with the food situation.

    I haven't told anyone of my family or friends yet because they will think I'm bonkers.

    What do you guys think? Am I crazy or could I pull this thing off? I mean, I keep thinking, why not just do it?... ya know?
    Absolutely certifiable. Most LD hikers I have met are but in a very good way. Enjoy the trip.
    If you canít fix it with duct tape or a beer; it ainít worth fixing

  19. #19
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    You come to a community of people who are totally insane about the A.T., and ask us if it's insane to hike the A.T.?? Hmmm, not sure what kind of response you'll get....

    Four months is plenty of time to plan. Heck, a month is time, especially for someone who has hiking/backpacking experience. Just put four days of food in your pack and start hiking -- you can buy what you need along the way. You definitely want one of the guides, like the Companion or similar, and I like carrying the maps. The guide will give you important information about resupply and the like -- it's crucial gear, IMO.

    As for a 30 pound base weight, that's up to you. That puts your total pack in the 40-pound range with food and water. Plenty of hikers have successfully carried 40+ pound packs on a thru-hike. The only comment I will make is that I've met several Western hikers who were somewhat surprised at the grading on the A.T. in Georgia.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  20. #20

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    If I'm not mistaken Crumbsnatcher stepped on the AT at AFSP without ever doing any long distance hiking! Look at him now, wow!!!!!!!!!!! You're not crazy, well maybe but all of us are!!! Good luck, I'm sure you'll do just fine and if I can help in any way let me know!!!

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