Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-30-2014
    Location
    Mount Pleasant, Michigan
    Age
    28
    Posts
    1

    Question Where to train for a SOBO thru hike?

    A friend and I are planning on a 2018 (I'll be returning from the Peace Corps, she'll be graduating college) southbound thru hike. For various reasons, we decided southbound would ultimately be the better choice for us. However, we keep coming across stories of people underestimating the difficultly of Mt. Katahdin, which, honestly, is a little intimidating.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for shorter hikes in the US or Canada that might be helpful in preparing us for Katahdin? Or even prepping us for the AT as a whole. We appreciate it!

    Other info that might be helpful:
    We're in Michigan, traveling far for a trail is not out of the question, but the closer the better.
    We'll be 21 & 26 at the time of our thru hike, and we're both in pretty good shape.
    Common problems like, overpacking, or lack of outdoor skills shouldn't be a problem for us, we're Girl Scouts.
    I'm a fairly experienced backpacker, though most terrain I've been on could best be described as "hilly" (Michigan)
    Ideally, I'm looking for something that can be done in a weekend, but a week is also do-able.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-04-2009
    Location
    Panama City Beach, FL
    Age
    66
    Posts
    1,818

    Default

    1. do hill or staircase repeats to build quads and hamstrings
    2. look for rocky terrain to hike, to build ankle and feet strength. Expect the AT to be one endless rocky trail, there are sections that are not rocky, but you going SoBo you will spend the first 1-2 months in some of the rockiest and most hilly sections right away
    3. work on core strengthening exercises at gym or home (planks, squats, anything to strengthen your back and core)
    4. aerobic base building for endurance (walk or hike many miles, do elliptical machine at gym)
    5. do some practice hikes, learn your clothing and gear system so you can hike, camp, fix food with a blindfold. Learn it before you start.

  3. #3

    Default

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-di..._United_States

    You can sort that list by clicking at the top of a column.

    You can really pick any trail and just do loops. Any long distance trail is really just a bunch of 7 - 20 mile segments.
    --

    Hike Safe.

  4. #4

    Default

    Ideally spend a week in the ADKs or the Whites in 2017. It will get you used to the fall line approach to trail construction. (Fall line - Roll rock off top of ridge, see where it rolls to the bottom, lay out trail in its tracks).

    A major issue with a SOBO is that there are not easy options to change out your gear or get assistance with it like there is in GA a few days into the trail. Therefore you need to have your gear and skills dialed in before you head to Baxter. Dialing in your gear doesn't have to occur anywhere near a steep mountain but it does need to occur over a long distance backpacking trip. There is no substitute for being out on the trail for four or five days using all you equipment and figuring out what works and what doesn't and its no fair canceling if the weather is going to be wet for several days.

  5. #5

    Default

    My biggest shock on starting southbound was that it often wasn't a trail, but rather a giant rock staircase. Find a tall building and walk up the staircase on a regular basis is my advise. If you have any hills or small mountains full of boulders, practice scrambling over them.

  6. #6
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-12-2002
    Location
    Marlboro, MA
    Posts
    7,029
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    A major issue with a SOBO is that there are not easy options to change out your gear or get assistance with it like there is in GA a few days into the trail. Therefore you need to have your gear and skills dialed in before you head to Baxter. Dialing in your gear doesn't have to occur anywhere near a steep mountain but it does need to occur over a long distance backpacking trip. There is no substitute for being out on the trail for four or five days using all you equipment and figuring out what works and what doesn't and its no fair canceling if the weather is going to be wet for several days.
    Unless you have special circumstances, I'd reccomend that you not worry about the physical challenge too much. Be active and take advantage of your youth. If you ache after day one, just revel in the pain. It will make the Mosquitos not seem so bad.

    But Peakbagger makes a great point about getting out on a shakedown hike for 4 or 5 days is at all possible. Push yourself a bit, and get comfortable with your stove and tent and headlamp and how much food and water you think you will need. If you do that, you will be in a great spot.

    FWIW, I found that going SOBO was great-- hard at first, but in a fantastic way. You have a unique opportunity to not only see some terrific sights right off the bat, but more importantly you get to build up confidence vey quickly. I don't think that should be underestimated. Once you get to Monson, you really will be a hiker and I expect you will know that you definitely can make it all the way and belong out there.

    Oh, you asked where to hike. I don't know Michigan (except for about 100 meters of road fronting State in East Lansing) but I do know you can get cheap flights out of DTW. You could probably get to Denver and back onSouthwest for 2 or 3 hundred dollars, tops then rent a car and be in hiking heaven in no time at all. Rocky Mountain National Park, could be a good place to start but if you wanted to go that route, plenty of people on this list (like Mags) might point you in an even better direction (if that is even possible).

    Yea, that's what I'd do. A trip there will stay with you a lifetime and provide some extra psychic fuel when you get to Maine.

++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •