The AT

10:08 p.m. on September 24, 2009 (EDT)
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So I've been lurking around these boards for about a month now, and just figured it would be polite to introduce myself.

I'm planning on hiking the AT this coming year and let me say that I fear what would have happened if I had not stumbled on this website. I would ask some questions, but every single question I had has been answered in this forum at one point or another :)

12:17 a.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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12:25 a.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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Good luck on the hike Hsap. If you are through hiking, when do you plan on starting? Also do you have anything neat you do (hammock camping, ham radio, etc.)?

 

later

12:41 a.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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I am indeed thru-hiking, haven't quite decided on a departure date. I have some flaky friends that may or may not come with, so that will be a factor. As far as neat things that I do. I live in Tampa, so I wakeboard, sail, fish...anything on the water really. I am toying with the idea of hiking the Swanee Trail in January to get myself acclimated to the cooler temps I am going to be in during the hike.

1:38 a.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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Solo or with others, what a great adventure you have ahead of you! All the best! I hope you will have internet access from time to time and can let us know how you progress. That would make great reading.

2:38 a.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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From what I've seen internet access isn't too much of an issue on the trail. I'm planning on making a short vid clips along the way. I'm also going to be hiking with a Spot GPS so friends and family can keep track of me. I think the one thing I will need the most is a swift kick in the rear (encouragement) to keep me going!

2:41 p.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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Be sure to advise your contacts receiving the messages from your Spot that in some areas you will not have satellite reception, so not to worry if the message is not always received at the scheduled time.

9:00 p.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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Nice trip hsap! Tru-hiking sure is a lot of fun. IMO it takes at least 3 weeks to get your trail legs and start enjoying yourself to the fullest. I've hiked most of the PCT a few years ago and it was definitly some of the best days of my life.

If i had to do it again i'd do a few things differently though. Mostly take more time and party more! There's no point in hiking if it's not fun. I used to keep to a schedule and push for miles, which is ok to a point. But the real adventure is to just take every day as it comes and trust that you will reach the end at some point. I saw guys on the trail that just walked into a store, geared up and took off without even a guide book AND finished the whole thing! That's not to say anybody should do the same, but I'm just saying get out there!

Have fun man, i wish i could be there too but i'm heading in the snow of the Rockies instead!

Oh by the way, the hammock is real cool on the trail IMO, well worth the learning time and all the jealous looks...

9:15 p.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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Franc said: "There's no point in hiking if it's not fun. I used to keep to a schedule and push for miles, which is ok to a point. But the real adventure is to just take every day as it comes and trust that you will reach the end at some point."

Boy, you got that right! Same way I feel.

I did the lower section of the AT years ago, I pushed myself so hard it was not fun. Some people do like to hike like that, but it is not for me. I enjoy the peace and relaxation the most.

9:25 p.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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Just a little teaser to let you know we'll be publishing a series on how to plan a thru-hike, with the first article slated for mid to late October.

10:16 p.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
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I've spent most of my day reading the VERY extensive planning guides at www.whiteblazes.net. Awesome stuff, thanks for the link.

2:48 a.m. on October 5, 2009 (EDT)
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I know there a several books about hiking the AT...... but we are reading one right now that I think you would enjoy....just thought I would pass it on.... it is AWESOME & FUNNY!!!!

"A ROAD MORE or Less TRAVELED" by Otis and Roberts. You can check the book at the web site www.readaroad.com. I hope you get a chance to read it.... it is basically Madcap Adventures Along the Appalachian Trail....... lots a great reviews and even a review by REI!!

Good luck and we hope you have fun!!

9:42 a.m. on October 5, 2009 (EDT)
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HSAP,

Greetings from a fellow Floridian backpacker :)

 

One thing I do frequently is hop Allegiant Air (http://www.allegiantair.com) up to Knoxville from Ft. Lauderdale (they also serve Knox from St. Pete) - rent a cheap car, and go spend a few days in the Smokies. In *good* traffic you can be at the park boundaries 35 minutes from the time you land and be at Sugarlands visitor center in an hour.

If you paid more than $29 each way on Allegiant, you overpaid! :)

11:30 a.m. on October 5, 2009 (EDT)
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Don't let a planned thruhike of the AT get in the way of your regular backpacking. Fixating on the giant AT project shouldn't keep you from getting out right now, especially in October when the temps and the leaves start falling.

July 30, 2014
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