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  1. #1
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    Default Seeking Long Trail Thru-Hike Partner or Group in July

    Hi! I'm a 28-year-old female, I'm moving this summer so I will have an opportunity to take some time off between jobs and do a shorter thru-hike. I live in Massachusetts so the Long Trail would be the easiest thing for me to accomplish but I'd consider other through hikes. I hike a lot with my dog (who will NOT be hiking with me on the thru-hike) but have only gone backpacking twice. I'm fine with hiking solo, but I'm afraid to go backpacking alone, and I don't know anyone who can come with me. So I'm hoping to find a group that will let me tag along or a person who wants a backpacking buddy.

    I'm flexible about the start date, but the beginning-middle of July is ideal. I might also be able to do June or late August.

  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    If you can find a group, great. If not, go anyway. The Long Trail doesn't get the crowds at the beginning like the AT does, but if you start in early July from the MA/VT border, there will be plenty of hikers especially at the shelters and tent areas. Many of them will be AT thru-hikers (and you're unlikely to keep up with them), but you'll also meet starting LT end-to-enders. You'll be able to camp with other people every night, especially in the first ten days, then once you get north of the Inn at Long Trail (where the AT heads east), there will be fewer of you but you'll be keeping the same general pace and you'll see the same people most every night. Sort of an ad hoc group, if you will.

    You'll need to hitch into town for resupply in Manchester Center, which I know can be disconcerting for a solo female hiker, but I can pretty much guarantee that there will be several other hikers doing the same thing that same day, and you can join them. Resupply in Rutland is on the bus from the Inn (and you should definitely stay there!!!). Resupply further north usually requires hitching, but again you can do that with another hiker, or call the hostel and see if they can pick you up, like the B&B in Johnson.

    As much as I cursed every step of the Long Trail while I was hiking it, the overall trip was terrific. Hope you have a great hike.

    Oh, and
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #3

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    Dont be afraid to go alone. There is nothing to be concerned about.
    Solo is rewarding, and you meet and talk to 10x the people you will with a partner or group.

  4. #4
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    I own the hiker hostel in Manchester, VT and can tell you there will be many, many hikers on the Long Trail in the first 100 miles north of Massachusetts during the summer months. Hikers look out for each other. Usually if someone creepy is on trail, you will hear about it from others.

    If hitching into Manchester concerns you, there are several cab companies that will pick up at the trailhead. Arrange for it ahead of time, and call to confirm about a mile before the road crossing as cell service is spotty at the parking area.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
    Manchester Center, VT

    http://www.greenmountainhouse.net

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. If I can't find a partner I am definitely considering going solo, but I'm a bit afraid. I'm not worried about the first half because there will be lots of AT hikers, but I am worried about the second half. I can imagine lost of scary scenarios being alone as a woman. I've been reading some articles/blogs by solo woman hikers, and they are all very encouraging but they do describe some scary scenarios they have encountered. I enjoy hiking alone during the day but I would like another person or a small group to hang out with at night, and it would be nice to know there are people at least expecting me to be somewhere who could call someone if I don't show up. And sleeping alone in a tent/shelter sounds pretty scary. Also I know my mother is going to be very upset if I go alone. I see what you are saying bigcranky about forming some sort of informal group along the way, and that is also my hope.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostintheforest View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone. If I can't find a partner I am definitely considering going solo, but I'm a bit afraid. I'm not worried about the first half because there will be lots of AT hikers, but I am worried about the second half. I can imagine lost of scary scenarios being alone as a woman. I've been reading some articles/blogs by solo woman hikers, and they are all very encouraging but they do describe some scary scenarios they have encountered. I enjoy hiking alone during the day but I would like another person or a small group to hang out with at night, and it would be nice to know there are people at least expecting me to be somewhere who could call someone if I don't show up. And sleeping alone in a tent/shelter sounds pretty scary. Also I know my mother is going to be very upset if I go alone. I see what you are saying bigcranky about forming some sort of informal group along the way, and that is also my hope.

    Mace.

    And if you have time, take this course:
    http://modelmugging.org/

    bigcranky suggested the LT to this person. Maybe possible hiking partner?

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...ke-Suggestions


    (FWIW, My parents were not happy. They were worried, so I ended up going with a group from one of the early iterations of Meetup.com, before it was Meetup.com.)
    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing​ and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. --Rumi

  7. #7
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    Hi Lostintheforest! I am a 32 year old male, and I'll be thru-hiking the LT in July. I'm starting off with my wife Joni and will be finishing up alone. I'd also love to hike with a group, as I am no stranger to the isolation of trails. Joni and I thruhiked the LT in 2010 and were quite thankful for each others company, especially during the final 170 miles after the AT cuts off.

    You definitely don't have to be afraid to hike alone. Also, hiking with a dog might be fun My wife hiked the AT alone this past year, loved it, and felt safe for all 2,200 miles. The thing about hiking solo though, is it just gets isolating and its more fun in groups. Anyway, I'm finishing up Physician Assistant School and want to get one last hike in before starting work in mid-August. Let me know if you'd be interested in starting with us.

    -Brian "Twigs"

  8. #8
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    Honestly, for pease of mind, just bring mace. However, I would say 30% of the folks on the trail (that overlapped with the AT) last August were women and most of them were solo. I was a bit different but started out solo. You kind of develop friendships or at the very least compassion for others on the trail since you are all in it together so you gauge who are good folks to stick around after just a few days on the trial. Pro tip (that someone told me) if you are hitching- don't ask "hey, are you going to XXX?" Say "Where are you headed?" That way, if you get a bad vibe you can just say you are going the other way.

  9. #9
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    bbeauvis, sent you a PM :-)

    Collin - I will for sure bring mace. I like your tip about hitchiking, I'll keep that in mind but I really hope I don't have to hitchhike alone...

  10. #10

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    Hey everyone! I've been planning a long trail hike for August and my hiking partner got a new job so can't join me anymore. I've hiked some sections of the trail and can't wait to hike the whole thing. It's great to hear everyone's words of encouragement. I'll send you a message Lostintheforest.

  11. #11
    Registered User Southerner's Avatar
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    I am heading out to do an end-to-end in August. I am really looking forward to it -- my first major trip since my A.T.-through in 2012! Might see you out there!

  12. #12
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    August must be popular this year, heading out then myself

  13. #13
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    Hi everyone, Thanks for the tips. I'm looking for a hiking partner too for this summer. Will message you Lostinthe forest!

    Anyone heard any news on trail/weather conditions? I guess the LT just really opened this week, but I'm eager to hear if the crazy winter has had any impact...

  14. #14
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiker2016 View Post
    Hi everyone, Thanks for the tips. I'm looking for a hiking partner too for this summer. Will message you Lostinthe forest!

    Anyone heard any news on trail/weather conditions? I guess the LT just really opened this week, but I'm eager to hear if the crazy winter has had any impact...
    You mean the winter that never was? lol

    I haven't heard anything, so no news is good news!

  15. #15

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    I will be starting a NOBO end-to-end sometime after the 4th of July and would be happy to hike with you should our paths cross. As others have said you will meet other hikers so you will not be alone. Fellow hikers look after one another. Take prudent precautions like you would in every day life and you will be fine. Show confidence in yourself so you mother doesn't worry!
    "No Worries" 2015 GA-ME; 2016 LT End-to-End

  16. #16

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    LITF: If you start solo, you may not end up solo. Lot's of temporary partnerships form and some long time friendships also form. On the other hand, if you start with others you may end up solo. Even people you know and get along with off the trail may completely get on your nerves (or you on their nerves) after 100 miles.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the comments everyone--appreciate the input! Will keep these in mind as plans continue to evolve. Happy trails!

  18. #18
    Registered User skylar24's Avatar
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    I hiked it last year, went south to north and started july 10th. The first 100 mies you are on the AT. I didn't go a single day without seeing someone and i made a lot of friends. After the AT splits from the long trail it gets a little more remote and there are less people but I still didn't go a a day without seeing someone or staying with someone at a shelter or camp spot. I can't say for certain that that will happen in your case but It's a good chance that you won't be alone.

    I am wanting a partner as well. I am hiking the last half of the AT W.VA to GA starting August 9th. I would love to be in a group or with another person.

  19. #19
    lemon b's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to make the walk again. Up and back from Washington, Ma., but at my age I'm going to take some safer trails and avoid some of the more dangerous spots up North by using side trails to skirt around the places I few over as a young man but now fell uncomfortable doing. My goal is to hike not get injured on some been there done that spots 35 and 61 are different times in life and I break easy these days.

  20. #20
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    Hey y'all,

    Just got the go-ahead from my job to take off just under three weeks starting August 4 (I finish classes August 3), and will be heading north to do an End-to-End south to north. Looking forward to meeting some of y'all hopefully. My trail name is Stump.

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