WhiteBlaze Pages 2022
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$5 for printable PDF, AVAILABLE NOW. $9 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 65
  1. #1

    Default NOBO Thru in 90 days?

    So next summer I have 90 days between work and grad school, and I want to spend it hiking the AT. My question for you much more experienced hikers is what are my odds of being able to make it all the way to Katahdin and what are some things I should know before I start? To give everyone a better idea of what I'm looking at I drafted up a quick pros and cons list:

    Pros:
    I'm in pretty good shape. My 5k PR is just over 19 minutes, and I would consider myself an athelete. I know this doesnt translate to trail fitness but its a start.
    I finish what I start and I dont like quitting. From my comfortable hotel room right now I think I can make it mentally, but we'll see what 2 straight months of rain brings.
    I would set out on May 15th and need to be done by August 15th, so weather will be good? Atleast snow is highly unlikely!
    My job right now is 100% travel and I work alone, so being alone for long stretches of time doesnt bother me.

    Cons:
    I only have 90 days to walk 2181 miles.
    I've never done any camping other than car camping (shudder), but I plan on fixing this ASAP.
    My schedule wont allow for anything longer than 3-day 2-night practice hikes between now and May.

  2. #2
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-07-2009
    Location
    Havre, MT
    Age
    59
    Posts
    1,368
    Images
    5

    Default

    Just a quick answer: Your quest is doable, but.......the AT is one of the toughest hikes to do and if you had no rest days(no zero mile days), each of those 90 days would be a 24.5 mile walk.

  3. #3

    Default

    Yep, and with a zero scattered here and there I'll need closer to a 26 mile per day average. But theres plenty of daylight in the summer and I dont mind walking for 12 or 14 hours a day.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    07-18-2010
    Location
    island park,ny
    Age
    65
    Posts
    11,909
    Images
    218

    Default

    Forrm 3 months straight?

  5. #5

    Default

    I guess thats the hope. Realistically I'll get injured in New Jersey or somewhere equally silly and have to call it quits or I wont be fast enough and August 15th will roll around while I'm in Vermont. I was just wondering what sort of prep I should do and what should I know going in to something like this?

  6. #6
    Registered User d.o.c's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-24-2009
    Location
    troutville, Va
    Age
    32
    Posts
    616

    Default

    itll be tuff to keep that kind of pace day after day.. more power to ya just be sure to enjoy yourself.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-14-2011
    Location
    texas
    Age
    42
    Posts
    315

    Default

    Why not just go hike for 90 days, end up where ever and then finish the next year ?? AT in 90 is doable, but why ??????? and you dont mind walking for 12 to 14 hours a day ?? HAVE you before ???? MOST people that ask these questions have no idea what they are in for...... good luck.

  8. #8

    Default

    I understand its going to be incredibly difficult and that its unlikely I'll make it all the way, which I'm totally okay with. The question is what would I need to do to prepare myself for something like this as far as gear and training? What would be the best way to maximize my chances of making it all the way?

  9. #9

    Default

    Actually, Dogwood phrased it really well in another thread.

    how do I do a speedy(110 days or less) thru-hike of the AT during typical thru-hiking season doing 20 MPD out of the gate avg 20 MPD throughout the thru-hike with no planned "zeros
    How do I do a speedy (90 days) NOBO Thru-hike of the AT between May and August averaging ~26 miles per day with few planned zeros?

  10. #10

    Default

    You won't know what is possible until you try. Get out and do a bunch of 50 mile three day trips. Your knees or ankles or feet are going to tell you if you can do it. The only word of caution is to ease into it, I have made the mistake of training on flat ground and going to the mountains and walking 20 miles on day one, which makes day 2 really suck and day 3 very painful. On flat ground we don't use certain muscles very much and miniscus and IT band problems can get painful going down hill. I'm only a section hiker and generally hike in three day 50 mile sections and 2 week+ long hikes each year. Backpacking is not very difficult as far as camping goes. It's actually less work then car camping because you won't have very much stuff to fiddle with in camp. Set up tent, cook dinner, clean up, sleep. Some people like shelters, others tents or hammocks. I like my tent because I don't have to worry about bothering others or them bothering me.

  11. #11

    Default

    start doing practice hikes when you have a chance now. hopefully if you are in a spot without much snow you can get out a lot.

    it will also give you a chance to refine your gear down to a weight that will allow you to travel quickly and less stress on the body. it will also let you bring more food to bypass a more difficult resupply point etc etc.. benefits are many.

    Andrew Skurka did it in 95 days with 4 zeros http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/a.../faq-thoughts/
    Lint did it in '10 in 98 days.. not sure how fast he did it in '04 the first time around

    Get in shape and kick @ss

  12. #12
    Registered User squireel's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-11-2011
    Location
    hammond, la
    Age
    35
    Posts
    46

    Default

    My thoughts- go for it. The worst that could happen is you not make it
    The general thought thrown at me from white blaze- hike your own hike unless you want to go fast, then we shall tell you to slow down and smell the roses.
    Worse stuff happens to better people

  13. #13

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasty View Post
    You won't know what is possible until you try. Get out and do a bunch of 50 mile three day trips. Your knees or ankles or feet are going to tell you if you can do it. The only word of caution is to ease into it, I have made the mistake of training on flat ground and going to the mountains and walking 20 miles on day one, which makes day 2 really suck and day 3 very painful. On flat ground we don't use certain muscles very much and miniscus and IT band problems can get painful going down hill. I'm only a section hiker and generally hike in three day 50 mile sections and 2 week+ long hikes each year. Backpacking is not very difficult as far as camping goes. It's actually less work then car camping because you won't have very much stuff to fiddle with in camp. Set up tent, cook dinner, clean up, sleep. Some people like shelters, others tents or hammocks. I like my tent because I don't have to worry about bothering others or them bothering me.
    Thanks. I'll definitely do some 50-mile 3-day hikes as soon as I get the chance. Is there a good way to simulate hiking hills? I work in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa mostly, which are all very very flat. Is it just a matter of finding one hill and hiking it over and over? Would stairs be a suitable substitute?

    @jakedatc
    Definitely want a refined gear list. None of this starting out with a baseweight of 30 pounds and narrowing it down stuff. Right now I'm thinking it'll be a base of somewhere between 10 to 12 pounds. I wish Andrew Skurka wrote more in-depth about his experience on that 1st hike, it seems very similar to what I'm hoping to do in terms of experience and time-frame.

    @hollywood2010
    I guess we'll see what happens. From right here right now I'm really looking forward to going back to school, but I know the AT can certainly change that with new perspectives and experiences.

    @squireel
    Worst that could happen would probably be getting mauled by a bear or a horde of squirrels! I saw you catch a fair amount of flak in your zero-day thread and I was actually a bit hesitant to post, but I really wanted to hear peoples thoughts and see if I could get any advice from some speed hiking vets.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    07-18-2010
    Location
    island park,ny
    Age
    65
    Posts
    11,909
    Images
    218

    Default

    Stair climbing will help.take them two or three at a time both up and down.youll also need to strengthen your ankles for the rocks and roots of the northeast

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-17-2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Age
    46
    Posts
    299
    Journal Entries
    12

    Default

    it is completely doable and you should do it. I would suggest climbing as many flights of stairs continuously as possible. sure running is good, but it does not translate well to hard steep hiking. get on a stair climber and go at it for 30 minute increments. on a day off, plan a mock hike for a 12 hour day. walk around the block hit as many stairs as you can then do a stair climber for 15 minutes straight, then walk around the block hitting as many stairs as you can. repeat this process for 12 hours taking breaks when and where you feel but you need to maintain 2+ mph all day to meet your mile goal. then you will have an idea of what walking 12 hours is like. if you can do it with no pack on without quitting on yourself then the next day do it with a 20-25 pound pack. then you will have an idea of what is in store and be able to adjust.

  16. #16

    Default

    Stairs would be good, although a little bit of a pain in the ass if not a really high building. You also want to do a lot of downstairs walking to see if you got issues with your knees. A lot of people get sore knees from the going down hills because it almost completely isolates the quads and forces them to support your weight (and backpack) as opposed to going up hill which uses more of you leg, i.e. the hamstrings and glutes, thereby not being as stressful on the knees.

    Build up the knees with step ups http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQqApCGd5Ss

    Single-leg squat are also really good along with regular back squats and front squat are good at isolating the quads.

  17. #17

    Default

    You could send him an email. He may have more written somewhere that isn't up on his site. for gear check out his final gear list and perhaps read through the How To section which has many of the topics in his book. you can also find his gear talk and other videos on Youtube

    i think a tarp and bivy suit pretty well for the AT.. especially if you use the shelters most of the time. I think canister stoves like the snowpeak Giga or Optimus crux are more convenient than alcohol. Quilts are much lighter for the price than very light sleeping bags and you can use a warm version longer since you can regulate the heat a bit easier than a bag.
    http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=9476 is my fall/spring list.. some things could still be improved, my summer weight drops 2 more pounds.

  18. #18

    Default

    I've been told by moderators to no longer talk about speed hiking so. good luck and goodbye.

  19. #19
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    60
    Posts
    7,937
    Images
    296

    Default

    Is there a stadium nearby at a small college or high school? Walking up and down the stadium steps while carrying a pack is one way to work on your aerobic capacity while strengthening your legs, ankles, and knees.

    Other than that, you'll probably want to start just walking every day. It'll be tough with your work schedule, but if you can walk for two hours every day, with a pack, that will help a lot.

    The weekend hikes will be the main thing, of course. You don't have to start with 50 mile weekends -- the first couple of times are really for figuring out all the camping stuff, the logistics involved, and what gear you really need. Once you get that sorted, you can start putting in the long days. By next April, you'll want to be able to walk a 30 mile day with a pack on a trail nearby. Maybe two such days back to back, if your schedule allows.

    Then go hit Springer and start walking. Starting in May means no snow, much warmer conditions, and a lighter pack. (It'll still be chilly at night when you start, though.)

    Good luck and have fun.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-22-2009
    Location
    Ashburnham, MA
    Age
    79
    Posts
    1,951
    Images
    2

    Default

    Keep Moving, you seem to have the right attitude: "I understand its going to be incredibly difficult and that its unlikely I'll make it all the way, which I'm totally okay with." Go as far as you can and enjoy the trip.The thing to avoid is pushing so hard that you injure yourself, especially at the start. Also, be sure you do it in a way that is fun and not a death march.

    Hills: do stairs and if you can find a small hill, hike up and down it repeatedly with the same weight you'll be carrying.
    Trails: footing on trails won't be as good as roads/sidewalks, so do some hiking on trails with a bit of rocks and roughness to them.
    Feet: work out footgear and blister prevention before you start.
    Knees, hips: do quad and hamstring strengthening exercises and find a stretching regimen.
    Age: you're young which is a great advantage. Just avoid injury by overdoing it in your training or the beginning of your hike.
    Efficiency: practice setting up and breaking down camp and cooking camp meals till you're efficient at it. In your training and on the beginning of your hike, keep thinking about how you can smooth out your routines to make hiking easier and maximize your time on the trail.
    Resupply: since you travel for work you might as well practice resupply, a quick in and out of a town, figuring out where to buy and resupplying food and supplies.



    Here's a few of my favorite trail journals for a couple of hikers who have done fairly fast hikes (100+/- days) at much older age (50s or 60s). They spent more time 'smelling the roses' than most even though doing consistently long days. The thing they have in common is that they are very experienced hikers (PCT+CDT+AT). Your advantage is that you're 30 years younger. Garlic08 is on WB and I think Iceaxe is occasionally.

    Iceaxe
    http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=9db16f1cd7567c74b865c486decf21 e9&entry_id=19182

    Garlic08 and Pickle:
    http://www.trailjournals.com/about.cfm?trailname=6620

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
++ 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
  •