Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1

    Default Need To Know Where To Start

    Hello. I'm 18 years old and am currently a senior in high school. I'm planning on taking a gap year and want to hike the trail North to South. I've hiked before but I've never hiked alone. I have lurked on numerous forums and have read a fair amount online. Has anyone else completed a north to south hike? Does anyone have a solid gear list? Is the trail hard to navigate?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-17-2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    43
    Posts
    299
    Journal Entries
    12

    Default

    Welcome to WB!
    oh you are in for a few responses...
    there is a wealth of information here on WB. search the forum topics and you will see your answers.
    Again, WELCOME!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    07-18-2010
    Location
    island park,ny
    Age
    63
    Posts
    11,909
    Images
    218

    Default

    welcome.
    1st question. why do you want to hike 2100 miles?2-what have you heard about the trail?3- how much do you know so far?
    your 1st homework assignment is to study the artciles on the home page. report back after youve finished and we'll fill you in on the good stuff.theyve got gear lists, resupply information and you'll find as you poke around here that we have a lot of ideas t offer and you'll need that basic information under your belt to see which methods/gear will work best for you.
    but its only walking.
    you wont be hiking alone unless you want to be alone, even sobo although most hike it nobo.
    a sobo hike puts the most difficult terrain at the beginning of your hike, so you may need extra time to gt through it . any reason why you'd prefer to go sobo?

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-28-2008
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Age
    67
    Posts
    4,908

    Default

    I'd guess the OP is going south after he graduates in May or June.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-10-2007
    Location
    Caledonia, Wisconsin
    Age
    47
    Posts
    1,027

    Default

    He is probably looking at a SOBO because of when many High Schools end is at the end of May or the 1st of June.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    07-30-2009
    Location
    Woodbridge, Virginia
    Age
    60
    Posts
    2,345

    Default

    Here's a good starting point for your gear list: http://www.backpacker.com/november_0...s/12659?page=4

    Navigation is simple, but carrying one of the guide books is almost essential. Some would say the same for maps (I would be one to recommend maps too).

    SOBO (SOuth BOund) is a more solitary experience.

    Keep reading, ask questions, and be prepared to wade through lots of seemingly conflicting information. They say HYOH - Hike Your Own Hike - because there is no single best way to do it.

    Oh, and I really suggest going to the home page here on White Blaze and reading through the articles listed on the sidebar.

  7. #7

    Default Response to Hikerboy

    I want to go sobo because, like the other user mentioned, I get out of school at the end of May and I would be pushing it if I went nobo with the August start of college. I want to hike the entire trail because... I'm not really sure how to articulate it but I have some innate desire to get out "there" and take a break from everything. I definitely need a break before college. On top of the previous reason I love the outdoors. I spend lots of time hunting and fishing and my favorite part about those two things is the time spent outdoors. I have completed an outward bound course (short 4 days) and have completed a similar course in South Africa.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    07-18-2010
    Location
    island park,ny
    Age
    63
    Posts
    11,909
    Images
    218

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRottenForest View Post
    I want to go sobo because, like the other user mentioned, I get out of school at the end of May and I would be pushing it if I went nobo with the August start of college. I want to hike the entire trail because... I'm not really sure how to articulate it but I have some innate desire to get out "there" and take a break from everything. I definitely need a break before college. On top of the previous reason I love the outdoors. I spend lots of time hunting and fishing and my favorite part about those two things is the time spent outdoors. I have completed an outward bound course (short 4 days) and have completed a similar course in South Africa.
    go for it. we'll give you all the help you need.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Jones View Post
    Here's a good starting point for your gear list: http://www.backpacker.com/november_0...s/12659?page=4

    Navigation is simple, but carrying one of the guide books is almost essential. Some would say the same for maps (I would be one to recommend maps too). I've heard the trail is relatively easy to follow so a lot of orienteering isn't necessary. Is this true?

    SOBO (SOuth BOund) is a more solitary experience. I don't mind the solitude. In fact, I'm looking to to get away from masses of people for a while. How often should I expect to see people?

    Keep reading, ask questions, and be prepared to wade through lots of seemingly conflicting information. They say HYOH - Hike Your Own Hike - because there is no single best way to do it.

    Oh, and I really suggest going to the home page here on White Blaze and reading through the articles listed on the sidebar.
    I definitely will keep reading.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks for responding so quickly and you will be sure to see a lot of me after I wrap up a lot of things at school.

  11. #11

    Default

    I do have a specific question. I do not have a lot of time to prepare as far as getting into shape by hiking with a pack. The reason being is that I go to boarding school. I can run and bike and lift. On top of that most weekends are off the table because I have to request leave and I only can do that a limited number of times. I am a reasonably athletic 18 year old with only a shoulder problem that I can't imagine would affect me on the trail.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRottenForest View Post
    I do have a specific question. I do not have a lot of time to prepare as far as getting into shape by hiking with a pack. The reason being is that I go to boarding school. I can run and bike and lift.
    As you probably know, the best way to get good at climbing up and down mountains with a 25 pound pack is to.... climb up and down mountains with a 25 pound pack.

    At age 18 and in good shape I would expect you to get in the swing of things pretty quickly once you get going. But it couldn't hurt to be as prepared as possible. If you really can't load your pack up and walk around with it, one cool exercise you can do is to put your pack on and step up and down on a chair. This kind of simulates going up and down on a trail.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-26-2012
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I'm also taking a gap year before college and hiking the trail, but I'm doing it Northbound starting in March and I'm planning to finish a few weeks before I go to school in August. Good luck with your hike!

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-12-2012
    Location
    Mayfield, ky
    Age
    56
    Posts
    39
    Journal Entries
    21
    Images
    6

    Default

    Welcome!!! and Good luck------glad you decided to do this early vs. later ---- I decided later in life.... lot more logistics not to mention the physical trouble you encounter as you age.

  15. #15

    Default

    I was worried about not finishing in time for college. What are you doing for the rest of your year?

  16. #16
    GA-ME 2011
    Join Date
    03-17-2007
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Age
    62
    Posts
    3,066
    Images
    9

    Default

    Go to the Home Page on this site and read all the articles listed in the Menu. Tons of great information there. And red the posts on subjects you have questions on in the forums. Ask if you can't find the answer. Just remember anyone can post in the forums, even those that have never hiked the trail.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  17. #17
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-12-2002
    Location
    Marlboro, MA
    Posts
    6,965
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    1

    Default

    I am of a mind that there is too much info our there, and that less can be more.

    That said, I think every prospective thru hiker should read this.

    http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/THP_top.html

    Once you have read that, I'd recommend reading it again!

  18. #18
    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-15-2002
    Location
    Sugar Grove, Virginia
    Age
    86
    Posts
    1,355
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    When I took my SOLO EMT-B Wilderness course, there were two Canadian young men age 18 in the class. They coule out perform any of the rest of us, who included river guides, kayak instructors, national park rangers, etc., all very able people. Consider working in at least wilderness first aid trainingor better before you leave. You will feel much more confident and so will your family. I cannot think of a better beginning of a new life post high school. Good luck.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

  19. #19

    Default

    Before heading to Maine, do at least a one week shake down backpack somewhere down south. It doesnt need to be on the AT but what you need to do is get used to your gear and figure out what works and what doesnt. Delaying leaving Baxter by a week or so in order to make sure you and your gear is in shape will increase the likleyhood of finishing, unlike Georgia, there isnt a Mountain Crossings a few days into the trail to help you work through your equipment issues.

    There is a lot to be said for flip flopping by starting out in the middle atlantic to get your gear and conditioning down then heading north to Maine and heading south.

  20. #20

    Default

    Personally, I'd do what MeiMei's doing and take some time off first to prepare. You could leave Mid Feb even and be sure of being done by the end of August (this also depends where you want to go to college, because some places have mid-August Orientation starts. Even then, you could easily get 5.5 months to hike--leaving you at an average of 13 miles a day, which is very, very doable for someone your age. If you're anything like me, you'll soon be comfortable doing 20 mile days and be done early.

    That way, you'd have half a year to train, plan, get a job, and do some shorter long-distance hikes (I'd highly recommend the northern half of the Long Trail, or the John Muir Trail). You could even delay applying to college until next fall if you liked.
    That'll help you know what kind of pace you'll be going at, give you some extra money, and greatly increase your chances of success.

    Of course, it also means more waiting around not-hiking, which might become unbearable, if you're anything like me.

    If you're feeling ambitious, there's a third option...you could do an AT yo-yo; hike SOBO, take a few months off in Georgia, then turn around and hike North. It'd be crazy, but super fun. Check out the PCT too, you might be interested.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •