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would you walk from Georgia to Maine?

Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
i am thinking of hiking the 2,150+ miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT) when i graduate college in 2 years. so far the extent of my backpacking includes a 16, 18 and 24 mile trek (and, of course numerous hikes of 5 or less).
are there any serious hikers out there? and, (less likely) are there any AT veterans at Java Ranch?


what?
Dave Vick
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
Greg
I've done a lot of hiking/humping in the Marine Corps I dont think it compares to recreational hiking though. I would say the first thing to do would be start hiking on a regular basis - after all to do the AT it'll be just about everyday for 6 months. Another thing would be to do some extended camping - a week or more at a time - that'll give you an idea of what you'll need and want to take with you to have to live. For a a few days and even up to a week you do with out a lot of the comfort items we have in everyday life - but for 6 months you'll probably want to consider including some of them
I know there are a lot of books out there on it too that probably have a lot of good info in them.
I'd love to do it myself but can't afford the time off nor would my wife appreciate it
Good luck
Dave


Dave
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
thanks, Dave. i have been researching the AT for a while now, but i just started thinking seriously about this in the last couple weeks. the longest i have camped is 3 nights... so i definitely need to take some extended trips before i get to the point-of-no-return!
i did a 5-mile backpacking trip a couple weeks ago and ended up running into a bear on the way out the next morning!
we had to leave at 5:30 in the morning because my cousin needed to get back in town by 9:00. so, we broke camp in the dark and proceeded to trip and stumble our way up the trail. about 15 minutes into the hike my uncle stopped dead in his tracks. i thought he saw a snake so i shined my light on the trail... then i heard it breathing! it was a deep, heavy nose-breathing sound about 30 feet in front of us and off to the right of the trail.
my cousin started getting very scared and almost lost it when i said "i think it's a bear..." to make it worse, we heard a smaller breathing sound to the left of the trail... that means we were between the mother and her cub! not a good place to be.
my uncle told us that he saw it, and that it was a "deer". he did this to make my cousin calm down. then we heard the smaller one go across the trail and then both wandered a few more feet into the woods. we made our way along the trail and did not slow-down until we reached the car 2 hours later.
my uncle never really saw anything... and if it were a deer it would have run away before we got so close.
Dave Vick
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
My brother lives in Alaska and used to be a back country guide in Denali national park - he has some pretty wild bear stories - most of them involve people and the stupid things they do when they see a bear.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Greg Harris:

i did a 5-mile backpacking trip a couple weeks ago and ended up running into a bear on the way out the next morning!

Were you forced to unpack your adjectives? (for those of you not of the Schoolhouse Rock generation, please disregard).
We hiked along without care.
Then we ran into a bear.
He was a hairy bear
He was a scary bear
We beat a hasty retreat from his lair
And described him with adjectives.
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
funny, Jason... i had completely forgotten about Schoolhouse Rock!
i am sure if i had actually seen the bear then i would have described him with a bunch of ajdectives, nouns and various other explicatives! you should have heard how loud it breathed... you know how the more a person weighs, the heavier they breathe? well, this thing must have been 350-400 lbs.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Originally posted by Dave Vick:
I'd love to do it myself but can't afford the time off nor would my wife appreciate it.

To heck with your WIFE, I wouldn't appreciate it.

"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

I've not hiked the AT... but have helped a lot of people prepare for it (when Im not working as a computer geek, I moonlight at Eastern Mountain Sports). And there are plenty of employees and former employees there who have hiked it. Both North-bounders and South-bounders.
Couple things I'd do to prepare for it-->
Read "A Walk in the Woods"; Take a Wilderness First Aid course; Learn to pack LIGHT; And if you live somewhere here on the East Coast, give your local EMS a call -- ask them if there's anyone there who can talk to you about the AT -- I promise they'd be more than happy to talk to you and help you prepare for the trip.
Send me an email if you need some more info.
-Jess


- Jess
Blog:KnitClimbJava | Twitter: jsant | Ravelry: wingedsheep
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
Originally posted by Dave Vick:
I'd love to do it myself but can't afford the time off nor would my wife appreciate it.

that is why i want to do it when i graduate... so i will not have to worry about a job. of course, there is a lot of expense involved, too. i might end up just hiking to carolina or virginia. i could just hike over the mountain near my house everyday for six months and camp in my backyard.
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
Originally posted by Jessica Bradley:
Read "A Walk in the Woods"

i got this book for Christmas and i love it! (i will probably finish reading it tonight) and, if this guy and his sidekick can complete a thru-hike, then i KNOW i can.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I have hiked parts of the AT but not the entire length. It seems to me that one hikes the entire AT just so that they can say they did it. I can't see hiking that distance as being something pleasurable.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Guy Allard
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 24, 2000
Posts: 776
Greg - I know a guy who did NY to somewhere in NC. What would that be, about half way?
You want to go Maine-to-Georgia, not the other way around.
You don't want to be moving north as winter comes on.
Luck, Guy
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

Originally posted by Guy Allard:
You want to go Maine-to-Georgia, not the other way around.
You don't want to be moving north as winter comes on.

Actually, I believe there are more North-bounder's than they South-bounder's.... If you start in the North you usually have to snow-shoe the first part... if you start South, by the time you hit Maine it's late fall, not quite winter yet.
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
jessica is right... there are many more north-bounders. pretty much everyone starts here in georgia in march/april and arrives in maine by august or september.
by the way, jessica, i am almost finished with "A Walk in the Woods"... they do not complete the trail. i just assumed that any book about the AT would be written by someone who actaully completed a thru-hike.
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

Originally posted by Greg Harris:
by the way, jessica, i am almost finished with "A Walk in the Woods"... they do not complete the trail. i just assumed that any book about the AT would be written by someone who actaully completed a thru-hike.

.... to be totally honest I've never read it hee hee... my dad has though. I might be at one of the other EMS stores this weekend that has a better book selection than my store (we have jack ****) I'll let you know if I find any good titles.
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Greg,
Good for you !!. I was gonna do it a different way. Make it a life long goal, hiking pieces at a time. Hiked some AT in PA so far (I am from phila).
If you are gonna hike the entire length, I don't think it is a bad idea to see if you can find someone else to do it with (in case of injury etc). I have also noted the increase in bear attacks as their number are increasing. So make sure you tree that food and don't sleep so close to it.
Good luck. Too bad we can't have a GREGCAM to watch you every step of the way.
Dan
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
Originally posted by <Daniel Dunleavy>:

Too bad we can't have a GREGCAM to watch you every step of the way.
Dan

actually, in this book the author writes that people are taking laptops and wireless modems so they can keep in touch... i thought the whole point was to "get away!"
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
Originally posted by Jessica Bradley:

.... to be totally honest I've never read it hee hee...

the book is very funny! so, read it if you get a chance. i think the moral of the story is: "at least they tried..."
 
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