2 wk hike from Springer Mnt. Georgia

7:49 a.m. on February 20, 2013 (EST)
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Next year around late Summer or early fall, me and a group of other beginner hikers excluding one person (we have all only day hiked before) are going to be hiking for two weeks along the Appalachian Trail, are goal is to hike for about 5-10 miles a day as we are looking more to enjoy our hike and possibly Geocaching along the way.

Any advice would be appreciated, as well as where we could possibly end up at the end of our 2 wk. hike. (that way we can arrange pick-up or possibly drop off a car at the ending location) We only have 2 1/2 weeks bc some work and our in college atm.

We are hiking with one experienced Hiker (my mom) who has hiked many trails, including overnight and week long hikes in California's National parks.

We are all from Lower Alabama, and used to temperatures of over 95, so heat might not be an issue. (but I could be wrong as weather tends to change and we will be carrying packs.) my main concern is altitude, best bets for food, miles to each shelter (although none of us are above camping in the middle of nowhere anyways).

Any extra advice is greatly appreciated, ALSO! I tend to hike in my five points   (toe shoes) so any extra advice pertaining to them would be greatly appreciated.

11:49 a.m. on February 20, 2013 (EST)
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First, there is a thread going right now about your shoe choice. To sum it up, carry some other more substantial shoes, a foot injury could end your trip. Lots of people carry a water or camp shoe. Think about camping near shelters, not in them, some are really disgusting. Being near them gives you access to their spring and privy, I prefer the woods to those nasty privies. Look at some of the camp kitchen threads for meal ideas, I use my dehydrator and make most of my meals instead of buying premade meals. You guys will be really hungry, more so than ever before. You will be burning lots of calories, you need to replace, for continued energy. How will you be cooking? That makes a diff in what I would cook. Take lots of jerky or some other high protein instant or easy to prepare food, some nights cooking will seem like too much work. The foil packs of tuna or chicken are a standard camp food. Lots of people eat spam, but I cant do it. You are in the south, find some slab bacon that is heavily brined then smoked, it will last for days unrefrigirated. As to terrain and shelter locations, go on whiteblaze.com, its an at website. They will be able to tell you everything about the section you are hiking. Im in nh so im more familiar with the northern end of the trail. Maybe you should post a list of the gear you will carry on here as well. We can def help you get the right gear in your pack.

2:10 p.m. on February 20, 2013 (EST)
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Thanks so much for your reply, I will definitely be carrying some different shoes then, I have heard mixed reviews on toe shoes for awhile regarding toe injuries and I can say first hand I'd rather be safe than sorry. I have heard on the Appalachian regular tennis shoe's are fine, but I like to ask. I will also start checking out the forum for shoes.

Thanks for the advice on the privies, I actually enjoy camping in a tent so that should work out fine.

I plan to make most my meals before the hike as well, so a dehydrator is a great idea thanks, I've heard of hikers dehydrating meats so Im going to look into that as well. I've also been looking at different sites and some offer egg coaties, but for a long hike that just doesn't seem ideal for us being beginners. Some area's down here allow fire's (Down and dead, leave no trace obviously applies) so I would love it if we could cook on an open fire in some locations.

I have been looking at cooking with a Jetboil stove, Whisperlite. But I like the idea of an alcohol burning stove if at all possible, instead of using a tank.

Oh yes, going to get some bacon for sure :), I recently did on Whiteblaze, thanks.

we all really want to pack as light weight as possible

Gear List:

Pack: I like the terra nova laser 20l pack, but im not sure if its the best choice for a two week hike. Im also looking to line my pack with something as im sure rain is going to happen at least once if not more.

Tent: Big Agnes Sl2 tent, Black Diamond hiLight tent, but I personally have considered the Wenzel starlight bc it seems very affordable. I want a good multi season tent, thats quick and easy to assemble.

Stoves: Jetboil, Whisperlite, Trianga, and possibly natural fire if downed wood is available.

Sleeping bag: been looking into a good light weight goosedown, and adding a silk liner to it, Im thinking about getting a 10 degree or 15 degree bag over the 0 degree because were hiking the majority of our trip in georgia.

Water purification: I like the idea of the SteriPEN which UV purifys, and tablets over the pumps but I wonder if the Steri is to good to be true. Im also looking into taking a 100 fl. oz bladder over water bottles.

other gear: Im looking into a headlamp, a good swiss army knife, first aid kit, compass, and fire starter.

Food: Jerky, trail mixes, powder meal replacer shakes, protein bars, pack tuna & chicken, cheeses, probably noodle foods like ramen, macoroni, or hamburger helper meals w/o meet and placed into sealed bags. Im definitely going to look into more meal idea's.

other than that just good light weight hiking clothes, toiletries, possibly a weapon sense our group is primarily female, if it will even be needed and rain gear bc I never day hiked if rain was predicted, but I can imagine there are things im not thinking about.

2:25 p.m. on February 20, 2013 (EST)
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I'll be hiking the trail in Connecticut this summer and have a similar question.  Is it safe to leave my gear at/near a shelter and head into town for an ice cream or should I stay with my gear to prevent theft?

3:34 p.m. on February 20, 2013 (EST)
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I personally would stay close to my gear, not to say all hikers are the same bc they are not, I personally wouldn't touch another persons pack out of respect, but being near a township its very possible teens or "would be wrong doers" have access to the trails and being in their local area they probably know where to look. So just as a precaution I would. not to mention animals trying to pry might get into or disrupt your packing. 

June 24, 2018
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