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  1. #1

    Default What would you differently?

    For those who have completed thru hikes, I would like to know what you would do differently if you decided to do it again. Thanks!

    "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
    From where shall my help come?
    My help comes from the LORD,
    Who made heaven and earth."
    -Psalm 121:1-2

  2. #2
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    Less maildrops, more pictures/video of fellow hikers, and more written journal notes.

  3. #3
    Registered User About_Time's Avatar
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    Go slower, stay at hostels more often and especially skip the night hiking. At the end I was running into winter and ended up hiking in the dark a lot. I'm not even sure what I missed.....
    2011 Through Hike - May 2nd Springer to Daleville, VA <> August 11 Katahdin back to Daleville, VA on December 22nd.

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  4. #4
    PCT 2013, most of AT 2011, rest of AT 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Less maildrops, more pictures/video of fellow hikers, and more written journal notes.
    Yep. More pictures and journals. I remember plenty off the top of my head, and I can usually call up specific days/places, but it's nothing compared to what a glance at my journal or photos can bring up.
    "Hahk your own hahk." - Ron Haven

    "The world is a book, of which those who do not travel read only a page." - St. Augustine

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  5. #5
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    go slower, cause when you are done you will be constantly thinking about being out there.
    take the gondola up wildcat.

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    I haven't hiked the whole trail YET but I'm currently hiking NOBO and am at 964. To finish without flip-flopping this year I will have to average 13-14 miles a day which shouldn't be a problem at this point. I think I can finish straight through but if I were to do it again I would have benefitted from getting my weight down and getting into shape well before I started at Springer Mtn. I have lost 35 pounds since starting and had I lost some or all of that extra weight before hand I would have put less stress on my knees and ankles from the get go and been less at risk for injuries. Make plans to cruise through Erwin, Hot Springs and Damascus. Have some fun, eat some good food, resupply and move on. Hike your own hike.

  7. #7

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    I can't think of anything I would do differently.
    Because it all would just change my life, and I like the way it is now.
    Just think, you would have different friends, different gear, different locations and situations every day and your whole life would be not yours.

    Not just thru-hiking but all of life.
    I try not to think about what might have been, but, what will be next.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  8. #8
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    Better meals, lighten the equipment load just alittle, have a better mood when it rains for 4 days, become more aware of what happens to me each day.

  9. #9
    Registered User Monkeywrench's Avatar
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    I think "hike slower" is a pretty common answer to this question. It's a sweet life-style, so why not make it last as long as possible?

    For myself, in addition to hike slower I'd try for less zeros in town, but if the weather were as wet as it was in '09, I'd probably fail on that one.
    ~~
    Allen "Monkeywrench" Freeman
    NOBO 3-18-09 - 9-27-09
    blog.allenf.com
    allen@allenf.com
    www.allenf.com

  10. #10
    wookinpanub
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    Ditto on taking more pictures and doing more journaling. I hiked early southbound solo and never had a hiking partner, thus missing out on any sense of community. That would have been nice on certain days.

  11. #11

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    I have done a Flip-Flop and two Northbounds if i do the AT again it would be a Southbound and less town trips.RED-DOG

  12. #12
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    wouldn't change a thing regarding my first hike. If I were to hike it again, I would probably start at HF and go north or SOBO. I would enjoy Maine and NH a lot more (I think) if it were early on or in the middle of the trip due to having some trail legs but not so worn out physically as I was as a NOBO.

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    I can't think of anything I would do differently.
    Because it all would just change my life, and I like the way it is now.
    Just think, you would have different friends, different gear, different locations and situations every day and your whole life would be not yours.

    Not just thru-hiking but all of life.
    I try not to think about what might have been, but, what will be next.
    Can't top this post. Excellent perspective.

  14. #14
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    What am I going to do different in 2016?

    Less food (hiked INTO Erwin with 43 pounds after 5.5 days - most of it food - your pack reflects your fears), lighter gear (already cut over 5 pounds off with a new bag , tent and raingear), better conditioning beforehand. Less "what-if" stuff that was never used.

    More open and social with other hikers - I was kinda shy and held back from interacting. More photos of people with names. More photos of ME at places.

    More appreciation of where I am, even with dime-sized hail bouncing off my hands and head.

    More determination to get out of my warm sleeping bag and onto the Trail earlier.

    Go slower???? Any slower and I'd fall over. Wait - I did that at mile 497 - note my avatar. Never mind!
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike2012 View Post
    I haven't hiked the whole trail YET but I'm currently hiking NOBO and am at 964. To finish without flip-flopping this year I will have to average 13-14 miles a day which shouldn't be a problem at this point. I think I can finish straight through but if I were to do it again I would have benefitted from getting my weight down and getting into shape well before I started at Springer Mtn. I have lost 35 pounds since starting and had I lost some or all of that extra weight before hand I would have put less stress on my knees and ankles from the get go and been less at risk for injuries. Make plans to cruise through Erwin, Hot Springs and Damascus. Have some fun, eat some good food, resupply and move on. Hike your own hike.
    Good luck!

  16. #16
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    There was once a great thread in the "Articles" section of Whiteblaze that dealt with exactly this subject, i.e. what would people do differently if they were to hike again. I couldn't seem to locate it, but maybe someone else can, and can send a link from that thread to this discussion. As I recall, it was a great thread and there was some really good stuff there.

  17. #17
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Spokes... you get better looking every day!

  18. #18
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    I sacrificed eating well to save weight...big mistake.

  19. #19
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    don't try to get picked up at Baxter. I'd finish on my own schedule, climb katahdin and then get home via rides, shuttles, busses what ever. You can hike with a family member or friend at end but if they haven't been hiking the trail they just can't relate.

  20. #20
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    Tested out a pack at an outfitter to get a good fit instead of ordering one online without ever trying it on... lol

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