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  1. #1

    Default Question about war impact

    I've just been reading about the carriers that have received 96 hour notification and will be heading out soon.,2933,74033,00.html

    And I'm wondering.... if war breaks out, will we still be able to thru-hike freely state-to-state? And do you think it might impact our ability to resupply along the trail (if shipping is impacted and grocery stores aren't frequently resupplied)?

    Sorry for the depressing questions, but I want this hike more than anything and am worried that outside trouble might impact it.

    Would appreciate feedback.

  2. #2


    What kind of question is this? If things were to get this bad, would you REALLY care about getting your thruhike done? To get to the point of closed borders of states or low food supplies it would be after a major attack on the United States.

  3. #3


    Yes, I would really care about doing the hike.

    I have wanted to do it since I was a teenager. I turn 55 in 2003. My husband retires in 2004 and our income will be halved.

    So this is my last shot at a lifetime dream.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Medina County, Ohio



    I think I can relate to what you are saying and the fears that you have more than most on here. I too had dreamed of hiking the AT since I was very young (12 or 13) and I had the same fears and thoughts that you are now having prior to my hike in 99. I was so afraid something was going to happen that would close or prevent me from doing a thru hike. I had dreamed of it for all those years and actually started planning it for nearly 3 years. Buying gear, and experimenting with different types of gear, and clothing, even to the food and preparation for it. So regardless of what some say, I know exactly how you feel. You have this burning desire to accomplish this dream and the goal is so intense that you do not want anything to interfere with it. I think most people do not plan or actually expect to do a complete thru hike as you are doing. Most get the idea and then go for it over a relatively short period of time and the do not have a goal in mind, they just want to have fun and enjoy, however when the fun and party gives way to boredom they turn to blue blazing, yellow blazing to get to the next social event. When the funds run out they head back to whence they come or hang on with others in like company.

    At any rate to answere your question, I would think unless war actually came to this country or atomic weapons were used in this country, I do not think it would be much of a hindrence to your hike. If war does come on to our shores then, yes I doubt that you would be able to hike and in those situations I think your goals would and dreams would change completely. I am sure you would be more concerned with family and friends and being able to survive than out hiking the AT. However, you would probably be much better off it you family and friends were all out on the AT in some remote area in the mountains.

    In closing I would just recommend that you continue to plan and look forward to your dream and try not to worry so much about world events, since you nor I can change them in the least. Plan to fulfill your dreams and goals in life and get the most out of each day of your life. We are all different and each has their own goals and personal enjoyments so follow yours and follow your dreams to the end if it is possible. Just my thoughts.... Ed
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. :)

  5. #5
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Maryville, TN


    Calm down.

    To close stat boarders something VERY DRASTIC would have to go on to the US. The AT wasn't closed for WWII, nor were state boarders, and that was the biggest war since the AT was completed. It wasn't closed for Korea, Vietnam, or Desert Storm, all of which were bigger conflicts than this is going to be if it happens (there were over 500,000 soldiers in Desert Storm, with what is over there and will be going by this article, it will make about 150,000). Even when we were attacked on 9-11 the boarders didn't close. If something so drastic as to cause the AT and state boarders to close, I'm pretty sure it would affect your life to such an extent that hiking the AT wouldn't be high on your priority list.

    Please keep things in perspective. This POSSIBLE MILITARY ACTION hasn't even happened yet. The news media have hyped this as much as possible like the OJ trial to get ratings. The politicians have made out Iraq to be a huge threat about to assist an attack on us through terrorists to play into that hype, the more the better to get the country behind them. Don't panic anyone.

    Look, I'm not trying to debate if we will attack or if it is or isn't needed. I'm not trying to say it will be easy or it will end up rough. I'm not saying the President is being a politician about the whole thing. There are actually a lot of things I cannot or will not say. But please get this - Don't panic.

    BTW, dont panic
    SGT Rock

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide


  6. #6


    I thought all night about what a self-centered tantrum I pitched and was very embarrassed by it.

    Ed, I won't comment too much on what you said except to say that I read and reread every line, and your comments were right on the mark for me. It's not just a hike. It's a dream, a pilgrimage, the biggest thing in my life right now. Thanks for understanding.

    I think I may have been using the spectre of war to mask some of my other fears. I injured my back training with a too-light backpack that was not designed to carry what I am taking, and had to quit training for a month. I can't go ultralight as I know that if I get too cold and too miserable or too uncomfortable for too long, it will end my hike. So I do need to carry enough to have a comfortable camp each night. Right now, with food and water, my pack is at 33 pounds, which is a tremendous load for me.

    I am starting over with just walking without a pack and doing light weight exercises again. I got a Kelty Satori 4500 women's pack for Christmas which has the best suspension I could find. It is modular, so can be stripped down when summer comes. But I am stewing in fears that my body might not prove strong enough to make it.

    Sgt. Rock, thanks also for the powerful dose of perspective, history and reality. I have let the TV and internet sensationalism fan imaginary worst-case scenarios. I guess it just boils down to living in today, doing what I can do, and not worrying about things I can't control.

    Thanks both of you for your comments. They helped tremendously.

  7. #7

    Default Don't worry, be happy

    You don't have to worry about your body either. I have met hundreds of people who started Springer in terrible shape (including me), and made it all the way, in fact I sincerely think they have an advantage. A large number of people, even young athletes, injure themselves by going too fast, too soon. You will start slow and be sooo happy to finally be out there, nothing will stop you. The fact is nothing can stop you, but you. I started my thruhike because I hated my job and hated my life. I had not hiked since Boy Scouts decades before. One day I snapped, quit everything, put all my money in an ATM account, threw ancient gear into an old external frame, and took a train to Georgia. I did not train, plan, or have a clue as to what I was doing. I just put one foot in front of the other and after a few days my feet did not seem to be touching the ground. I envy you because you are about to have the time of your life.

  8. #8
    Thru-Hiker Grimace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Amesbury, MA

    Default Fears not totally misfounded...

    Not to be the buzz kill... I was on the trail during sept 11. I heard about it the same day it happened simply because I wanted a burger at one of those waysides in the Shennies. We were approached twice in the park afterwards by Rangers asking if we had seen anything unusual. Does deer eating the grass I just urinated on count? Oh okay, well then no I haven't seen anything unusual.

    I do hear soldiers were posted on the dam just south of the Smokies and closed it to traffic. They were a bit shocked when a hiker popped out of the woods behind them.

    Sorry I rambled... IF there is a war and an attack on the US you may encounter some small obstructions but there is no way you'll be unable to fulfill your dream because of it.
    Grimace ME->GA '01
    JMT '03

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