New member with a bit of experience

10:47 p.m. on December 26, 2011 (EST)
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16 forum posts

Well, as my first post here, I'd like to say hi to everyone first things first. I've enjoyed reading all the posts about gear, hiking, camping and all of the adventures that come with it.

A little background about me. I'm 27 and live in NE Florida. I've been married for 3 years (no kids yet). I used to go hiking and camping a lot in High School and college days (mid-Idaho) but haven't had a lot of chances to go recently, save for one great hiking trip on the Stampede Trail (Alaska) with my father-in-law back in 2009. My profile pic is of me on the trail. Once I get the pics organized I'll throw some up on here. I wouldn't consider myself an "ultralight" packer, but definitely a "light" packer. I can do with just the bare essentials, with maybe a few more "luxuries" than a true minimalist. But really, that's me in a nutshell.

Right now I'm planning a hike of a section of the AT somewhere in the NC/TN border area. It's in the early stages and won't be reality until probably April/early May 2012, but I'd love to hear anyones thoughts/hints/tips on solo-hiking about 40-60 miles worth of AT, basically 4-5 days of nice easy paced hiking. Before I turn this into a autobiography, I'll stop and continue to read the posts. Cheers.

9:20 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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2,162 forum posts

Welcome to Trailspace, Swampcat! 

There are guys on here who have more time on the AT than I who can give you some suggestions, but  I'll chime in if there is anything I can add. 

I would recommend starting a new thread over in the "Trip Planning" sections, where you be most likely to get some really helpful feedback.

We're glad you found trailspace, it's a great place to get a lot of good info and advice! 

10:06 a.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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913 forum posts

Welcome Swampcat!

I'm from Ocala, FL (central, south of Gainesville and west of Daytona). I'm not nearly as experienced as a lot of these guys on here.  Gonzan, Patman and Tipi Walter hike a lot in the area not necessarily on the AT but Pat recommended a section I hiked with my family this summer.  This is a link to my trip report. 3 days 2 nights on the AT from Carver's Gap to 19E  It's shorter than what you want but it's a very nice section and you could start north or south of this section.

I also recommend starting a thread in trip planning.

12:05 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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395 forum posts

Welcome to Trailspace Swampcat!

I cant help ya with any AT info but there is no shortage of good knowledgable folks here that can. 

1:10 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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1,369 forum posts

Hey Swampcat---Here's a neat thought:

You could drive up to Virginia and park in Damascus and get a shuttle up to the Mt Rogers National Recreation Area headquarters and spend five days hiking south on the AT back to your car.  I know it's a little far from Florida but it will give you a good dose of the best scenery the Southeast has to offer. 

The Mt Rogers NRA has a secure and free place to leave your car and you just tell them when you'll be back---give a couple extra days in case you're delayed.  They have a locked gate at night so it's pretty safe.

Then you hike south and in about 30 miles you're on Wilburn Ridge with some fantastic views---although April up there will still be fairly cold. 

If that's too far than you can pull something with a shuttle from Springer Mt north into NC.

5:31 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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Nice to have you here! Hope you find it informative and enjoyable. I look forward to seeing what you plan for your AT hikes!

6:16 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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16 forum posts

Thanks for all the replies everyone. My original plan was to drive to some type of secure area in the TN/NC area, hike north, then figure out the deal with the shuttles and hitch a ride back south to the car. Doesn't really matter to me which way I hike, N or S, but if I hike North, then I don't have to drive as far to start, or drive as far after 5 days "in the bush". But I will start a thread over in the planning forum for more detailed conversation. Thanks again! Cheers.

8:11 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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You have alot of options Ian and there are many who have hiked the AT and still do. Glad your open for suggestions.

9:15 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
111 reviewer rep
16 forum posts

Well, my dad always taught me, never turn down free beer or advice!

10:59 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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779 forum posts


12:06 a.m. on December 31, 2011 (EST)
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