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  1. #1
    Registered User willow!'s Avatar
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    Default Newbie here! Seeking for insightful information on thru-hiking!

    Hello all! I'm 17 years old, and thinking about thru-hiking the AT in a couple years or so. I'm graduating this spring, and would like to set out into the woods before thinking about college. I made up my mind about doing this about a year ago, and every day I become more and more eager to get on the challenging trail. I've read a ton on the general information of the AT, but i'd really like to know specifics. More so on the right kind of gear(affordable prices), an average price range that all of this will take, and mainly just important info on the whole deal from those who have hiked it. I'd like to wait till i'm at least 19 or 20 years old before starting, just so I can prepare myself. And I definitely need to start saving up $$$! I know I have quite a while, but there's no harm in early preparation, right? :-)

    And any other young women who have thru-hiked close to my age, and have some advice, i'd absolutely love to hear it!!

    Thanks so much
    -Willow
    (thinking of making that my trail name)

  2. #2
    Registered User Big Dawg's Avatar
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    to WB! Spend some time searching this site for a lot of the information you're looking for. There's a treasure tove here. Many here will chime in w/ details. Best of luck! Have fun!
    NOBO section hiker, 1066.4 miles... & counting!!

  3. #3
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    +1 on just searching through the archives. Also, there's a ton of great info in the Articles section.

  4. #4
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Welcome! The Articles are a GREAT place to start. You can always learn something new. Just remember: Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH), as everyone has an opinion. Start by trying gear out if you can. Formulate your own likes and dislikes, don't just follow the herd. Haunt the Goodwill stores, etc. for cheaper gear. Start saving money NOW.

    And never, ever bring up: guns, dogs or how long cheese will last on the Trail. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

    Where is Wimberly? I'm from Ballinger and have relatives outside Llano.
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
    Hányszor lennél inkább máshol?

  5. #5

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    Welcome. theres plenty of great advice in the articles section, and if you have a specific question you need an answer to, theres plenty of advice, (both good and bad) available to you.saw your pics, and I just did the grafton loop last week. when were you there?

  6. #6
    Aspiring Thru-Hiker DogPaw's Avatar
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    Hello willow! I'm in training to begin my thru-hike as well, and am leaving for it as soon as it is legal to. Maybe I'll bump into you at some point.

  7. #7
    Fat Guy Lemni Skate's Avatar
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    Graduation presents should help fund the hike.
    Lemni Skate away

    The trail will save my life

  8. #8
    Registered User -SEEKER-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemni Skate View Post
    Graduation presents should help fund the hike.
    Very good idea.
    Seek, and you shall find.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by willow! View Post
    And any other young women who have thru-hiked close to my age, and have some advice, i'd absolutely love to hear it!!
    These woman were a bit older than you, but they all completed solo hikes.

    I recommend reading all of these journals but I found Shimmy's journal to be the most open and honest about the trails she had. Things that never occurred to me, like feeling left out because she was not actually invited to sit with a group at a dinner. Things like a fellow hiker she trusted, trying to groping her when they shared a bed at a hotel [fortunately that guy knew the meaning of no].

    Good Luck.

    AT 2007 PERSISTENT

    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=4802

    AT 2008 CERTAIN

    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=262385

    AT 2009 SHIMMY

    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=295323

    AT 2010 CERVEZA

    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=333233

    You might trying contacting them through their guestbooks for a more direct conversation.

  10. #10
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    You're a fine young person for looking to plan early like this.

    Checkout Campmor for reasonable gear deals. Do searches here for relevant topics in your areas of interest. You can always check out my blog too for some info (I have topics like sleeping systems and food, hope to do more soon)







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


  11. #11
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogPaw View Post
    Hello willow! I'm in training to begin my thru-hike as well, and am leaving for it as soon as it is legal to.
    Why is it not legal to thru hike at age 15? My son did (with me) at age 16.







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


  12. #12
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    It's probably only "illegal" if the parents do not consent. "Illegal" as in a young hiker could be taken into custody as a runaway by LE and returned to the parents. With parental approval, and provided it doesn't run afoul public education policies/laws, it's likely okay even solo.

  13. #13

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    Keep in mind that equipment considered "last years gear" this year was the "latest and greatest" two years ago and would have been regarded as "magic" by thruhikers 20 years ago. The type of gear you have is rarely going to make much if any difference on your hike. If you have a good attitude and dont get caught up in the "party crowd" that seems to form every year down south you should have a great trip.

    Keep an eye on Sierra Trading Post for end of the season deals.

  14. #14
    Registered User willow!'s Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice! I'll check all of that out.

    Wimberley is a small town about 35 minutes away from Austin. Not many people have heard of it, but it's beautiful hill country

  15. #15
    Registered User willow!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hiker View Post
    Welcome! The Articles are a GREAT place to start. You can always learn something new. Just remember: Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH), as everyone has an opinion. Start by trying gear out if you can. Formulate your own likes and dislikes, don't just follow the herd. Haunt the Goodwill stores, etc. for cheaper gear. Start saving money NOW.

    And never, ever bring up: guns, dogs or how long cheese will last on the Trail. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

    Where is Wimberly? I'm from Ballinger and have relatives outside Llano.


    Thanks for the advice! I'll check all of that out.

    Wimberley is a small town about 35 minutes away from Austin. Not many people have heard of it, but it's beautiful hill country

  16. #16
    Registered User willow!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemni Skate View Post
    Graduation presents should help fund the hike.

    Ha! I didn't even think of that....excellent idea.

  17. #17
    Registered User willow!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy57 View Post
    Welcome. theres plenty of great advice in the articles section, and if you have a specific question you need an answer to, theres plenty of advice, (both good and bad) available to you.saw your pics, and I just did the grafton loop last week. when were you there?

    Awesome to hear! I was there last thursday actually, on the 18th. I stayed in Maine for about 10 days on Lake Thompson with the family. That was my first time in the northeast....I really love it.

  18. #18
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willow! View Post
    I'd like to wait till i'm at least 19 or 20 years old before starting, just so I can prepare myself. ... And any other young women who have thru-hiked close to my age, and have some advice, i'd absolutely love to hear it!!
    Willow, my daughter turned 20 two days before beginning her thru-hike in '04. If you'd like to chat with her, PM or email me and I'll put the two of you in touch. She'd be happy to share advice and answer questions. Right now she's at a camp in Canada for the week with no cell phone nor internet, though, so it'd be next week before she could get back to you. I will tell you it was tough, but she had a GREAT time and would do it again if she had the chance.

    Like you, she spent some time getting ready. Here's a pic of her on the practice hike we took in '03 from Springer to Neels Gap. There are some others of her hike in my gallery.



    RainMan

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    Last edited by Rain Man; 08-24-2011 at 09:39.
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  19. #19
    Registered User willow!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Willow, my daughter turned 20 two days before beginning her thru-hike in '04. If you'd like to chat with her, PM or email me and I'll put the two of you in touch. She'd be happy to share advice and answer questions. Right now she's at a camp in Canada for the week with no cell phone nor internet, though, so it'd be next week before she could get back to you. I will tell you it was tough, but she had a GREAT time and would do it again if she had the chance.

    Like you, she spent some time getting ready. Here's a pic of her on the practice hike we took in '03 from Springer to Neels Gap. There are some others of her hike in my gallery.



    RainMan

    .








    Rain Man, yes I'd love to get in touch with her!! I'll PM you sometime this weekend about it. (I've been so busy with school work lately, so I'll need to find some free time to stay online for a way) Thanks again!

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