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Thread: Well I'm out :(

  1. #21
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    Hay you better be out on the trail. I was hoping to c you hiking . Just reload and don't b nervous. You can do it

    Thom

  2. #22
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    Taking your pampered puppy for a 2000 mile walk is a bit extreme

  3. #23
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    What is taking up so much room in your 65 liter pack? Take out your warmest pair of socks and put them on those cold feet. Get rid of stuff sacks if they are preventing you from filling nooks and crannies in the pack. Stuff sacks are great for organizing but take up more room in your pack because they become big hard balls and leave big unfilled spaces in your pack. And get rid of "nice to have" (but not really needed) items. Like those 4 tee shirts you just bought. Reconsider taking the dog. You have enough on your plate without the dog.

    And just for the record, you aren't allowed to quit a thru-hike before Neels Gap. It's in the hiker code manual.

  4. #24
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Gotta be a record, quitting a thru hike before leaving the driveway.

  5. #25
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    My GF has an atmos 65 liter pack and she managed to cram 10 days worh of food in it, as well as a two person quilt and her water bottles. You'll figure it out. Her pack weighed 40 pounds. On a 125lb woman.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Gotta be a record, quitting a thru hike before leaving the driveway.
    Ties the record of shortest time on a thru(0seconds). Sets new record for weakest reason ever to not start a thru(his backpack isn't big enough). Sets further record for accomplishing both in the same post. Three records. That's not failure....

    LittleLlama....GET ON THE TRAIL. Go exchange your pack at REI for a bigger one. Right now. Use your dividend to make up the difference. No more excuses.

    Oh, and leave the dog with your wife. Unless that's a deal breaker. Then you've got a tough call on your hands...because if she won't look after precious puppy when you are gone, chances are that she will be too. Just sayin...

  7. #27
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Yes, you need a shake-down and some better advice on how to pack. Stuff sacks, for the most part, make for very inefficient space utilization - learn to protect your gear without them. Food is the glaring exception - use one or two stuff sacks for food, so you can hang it properly. Good advice about stopping at Mountain Crossings unless you have an experienced backpacking friend who can help you out.

    This is the exact reason why virtually everyone recommends doing several "shake down" hikes for newbies. Only way to really learn what you are doing is to get out an do it. Close to the car is easier for the initial phase of this. This is NOT a reason to quit, unless that is REALLY what you want to do.

    I also agree with the others, leave the pup at home. Even an adult, experienced dog adds several degrees of difficulty to backpacking - you MUST put the dog's needs above your own many times. For a totally green hiker to add this to their own learning, is not going to work out well for either of you - but you generally have a choice, the pup does not. LEAVE THE PUP HOME until he/she grows up and until you grow into an experienced hiker who knows what he is doing.

    Again, no need to give up, just have to re-group and re-think. This will be a repeating theme in any thru-hike (or any hike for that matter). Your most useful item that you could possibly carry on a hike is flexibility and ability to adapt.

    Good luck.

  8. #28
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    Was he building up to this 5 days ago when he asked if he was crazy.
    Blackheart

  9. #29
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    Just wanted to add. You live in Virginia - lots of great hiking opportunities there to do a shake-down. You also have plenty of time to postpone your thru hike a couple of weeks and do some short, local hikes.

    Take all your gear into REI or, better yet, an experienced gear shop near the trail, ask them for packing advice/demonstration/shake-down. I'm sure most would help you out. Best would be, especially at REI, to ask for someone's advice who has long-distance backpacking experience.

    Again, plenty of things you can do to re-group, unless you have decided that you do not REALLY want to do this. In that case, I would still try some short hikes, maybe you could relax and enjoy them better. You obviously are attracted to backpacking to some degree, or you wouldn't have gotten this far.

    Again, good luck.

  10. #30
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    I gotta admit, taking a dog on a thru attempt would be a logistical nightmare as you can't take them in some sections. Leave him/her at home. It's hard, I had to the last time and I'll have to tthis time around. You're not too late to start a thru so take a few days, re-pack and think it over. On the other hand, there's nothing that says you HAVE to do it this year. Get out there and do a few sections here and there. A 65L pack should be more than enough. Strap your tent to the outside of your pack (mine resides at the bottom on the outside of the pack). That'll save a lot of room for sure. Go over all other gear and rethink everything. Do you really need a full on cookset? Mine is Rocket with 1/2 a mess kit from walmart (pot, bowl, and the plastic cup). You don't need a ton of clothes and make sure you don't have anything cotton. Go over your food bag. You really don't need a whole lot of food (this was my mistake), you can resupply in the first 4 days at Neel Gap. And they can do a shakedown for you and send back what you don't need. So many options. But if you aren't ready, have doubts, things at home aren't 100% for the family you're leaving for 5-6 months.... re-plan and try again next year. Nothing wrong with that. Hope this helps. I'm starting on April 11th, hope to see ya out there!
    - Trail name: Thumper

  11. #31

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    Some of the above comments are snarky and sarcastic, but there is wisdom there. As an outsider who doesn't know you looking in, it simply seems like you aren't ready. You need a plan.

    1. Figure out your packing situation. There's no reason your pack shouldn't carry what you need it to carry, since many who thru hike use a pack that size and smaller.

    2. Very important- do some shakedown hikes. Figure out how to hike, how to set up and take down camp, how to filter water, how to take breaks for snacks and meals. All of this stuff sounds simple but out on the trail there is definitely a learning curve.

    3. Postpone your hike. If you're dead set on doing it this year, push your starting date back and do a SOBO or flip-flop. Next year would probably be more optimal. That would also give your pup time to mature and give you plenty of time to learn what you need to learn about hiking, and about hiking with a dog.

    Don't give up your dream that easily. Just make some plans to see it through. Best of luck.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Gotta be a record, quitting a thru hike before leaving the driveway.
    Actually, I think most journeys end this way. The hardest step is that first one. Anything after hat is gravy.
    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


    John Greenleaf Whittier

  13. #33
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    Llama, I'm reading several negative comments. Maybe this is the point where somebody needs to remind the AT community that IT'S JUST WALKING! Aside from a few hiking gurus with a bazillion trail miles, most of us on WB are mid-grade mid-skilled mid-speed backpackers. All it takes is a couple of days on trail for you to learn 70-80% of what you need to know. The rest comes bit by bit. However much you choose to carry, or how you stuff it and strap it, it still boils down to the very simple process of taking the first step. And then another.
    Take the first.

  14. #34
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Llama, I'm reading several negative comments. Maybe this is the point where somebody needs to remind the AT community that IT'S JUST WALKING! Aside from a few hiking gurus with a bazillion trail miles, most of us on WB are mid-grade mid-skilled mid-speed backpackers. All it takes is a couple of days on trail for you to learn 70-80% of what you need to know. The rest comes bit by bit. However much you choose to carry, or how you stuff it and strap it, it still boils down to the very simple process of taking the first step. And then another.
    Take the first.
    Yep, that first step is the hard one. Just. Do. It.

  15. #35
    Registered User Storm's Avatar
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    Every year a couple thousand people start their hike with more gear than they need. All you have to do is look at how many pounds of gear mountain crossings ships back for hikers every year.
    You need to just go for it, you will learn so much in the first thirty miles you will be amazed.
    I agree that the trail is no place for the pup. Hard on the pup, hard on you and could be a problem for some other hikers. I love dogs so that isn't the issue.
    Sounds to me like you are having a conflict between the dream and the reality. You can't get to Maine without taking the first step.
    I am also wondering if you have made any shake down hikes. That is always a very good idea. Spend a few days out in a local woods to see what you actually use. Other than your first aid kit if you don't use it in two or three days chances are it is just extra weight.
    Wish you the best and hoping to see you zip past me when you get up north. I will be hiking Pa. this year if the old bones hold together awhile longer.
    "The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer"

  16. #36

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    Just another opinion... I agree with the don't give up just postpone for a few days. Figure out your pack, I thru'd the AT and PCT with an Atmos 65 and it was too much pack (except when carrying 2 subway footlongs and a 6-pack out of town ). If you haven't already (sorry if I missed it), post your list of everything you are trying to get into your pack. We'll help you out and get you on trail. No new hiker has their pack figured out until 2 weeks on trail, thats when it gets really easy to set-up and break camp and find things in your pack. Side note: what is the age and breed of your dog? That might be a problem, you are about to hike some rough trail where ladders, re-bar rungs and sketchy steps are used to ascend and descend. There are probably blue blazes around those sections but I'm not 100%.

  17. #37
    Registered User Water Rat's Avatar
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    Take a step back. Take a breath.

    If you honestly want to do this hike, then remove your dog from the equation for the start of your hike. That will give you time to figure out your gear, your hiking strategy. When you get it dialed in and you still want your dog to join you, have your wife meet up to swap the pooch.

    In the meantime, drive to Mountain Crossings and let them give you a hand with your pack. Head to Springer and start walking. When you get back to Mountain Crossings let them go through your pack again (if it is still unmanageable).

  18. #38

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    Make sure you don't have 8 days worth of food. Lots of resupply options there

    Strap light stuff on the back. not your food.

    Get to walking and enjoy the scenery and the quiet without thinking or caring about how optimal your packing is. you'll be fine.

    You did all this work getting ready. You owe it a TRY for some distance. Pack your sleeping bag with your tent/clothes, then fire your food in there and squish things down. Put it in the rest, keep some light things like your mat to strap on the outside. There's no way it won't fit

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by imscotty View Post
    Actually, I think most journeys end this way. The hardest step is that first one. Anything after hat is gravy.

    Yup
    The hardest part of most things
    Is just getting started
    Getting past mental barriers

    Confucious said, a journey of 1000 miles starts with single step
    Well so does one of 2190 miles......
    Its one step at a time , one mile at a time, one day at a time.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-26-2017 at 10:42.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  20. #40

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    You're a snowflake. And if you don't toughen up you're going to melt the first time you walk out into the sunshine.

    A few problems here...

    You have never packed your pack until the morning of the trip? Really...if it doesn't fit inside, tie it to the outside. I've almost always got something tied to the outside of my pack whether its my tent, sleeping bag or sleeping pad. Bulky items just take up space.

    You were planning on putting your dog in your pack? If your dog can't walk the miles then you need to leave it at home.

    But your main problem is that you give up way too easily. You think you can't do it. And your wife doesn't think you can either...either that or she never really wanted to go in the first place and is helping you decide you can't do it.

    I'm really thinking this has got to be a joke. Are there really people like this out there that would plan a whole trip and then cancel it the morning of because they couldn't fit a food bag inside a pack?

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