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  1. #1
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    Default First ever thru-hike in 85 days possible? 25mpd.

    The reason I am asking is that it is much easier to get a 90 day visa. My experience is I've done a few coast 2 coast walks in England they are about 200 miles and quickest I did it in was 8 days I think, It is only 11 of these in a row, no big deal. That was a few years ago. I am much fitter and slimmer now than then. I have done ironman triathlons, 5 mile swims 41 mile ultra runs and a 3:28 marathon in the last few years. While I accept this is different to walking 25 miles day in day out up and down hills with a rucksack, It still makes me far better prepared than when I did those coast to coast walks. So a 90 day visa, a day getting to start and from finish to airport, plus a few zero days. 3 months off work will be much easier to sell to my boss than 5 or 6 months. I've got a good pair of legs on me, I can travel quite light and, touch wood, I don't pick up injuries as a general rule - even when doing 20 hours of exercise a week for ironman training. The AT is something I have wanted to do for 20 years, I will be 40 next January and I fancy doing the Brighton marathon on April 15 then getting a flight to Atlanta on April 16th and then trail day 1 = April 17th. All done and dusted and get a flight back to blighty about July 15th, back in work soon after. Am so excited about it, I am feeling like I might actually do this.

    So is this a reasonable aim, bearing in mind most people take a more leisurely 5-7 months.

    (Note: The only answer I want to hear is "yes")

  2. #2
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    Default

    My 100 Day Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list..._jjoZWiz7e9ZVb

  3. #3
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    You will likely hear a chorus of people saying it is impossible. Here is the answer to your question.

    http://www.postholer.com/journal/Pac...ould-you/27590
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  4. #4
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    Another very strong hiker is Early_Riser_71 who is on day 92 and isn't quite done.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Would also be interested to know what the minimum weight of rucksack people have taken. Hopefully I can maybe get away without much cold weather gear. Just walk in shorts and tshirts, maybe 1 pair of combat trousers. Walking boots, baseball cap. Food and water, toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, mobile phone, wallet, contact lens stuff and spectacles, cheap poncho, 1xlightweight fleece, sleeping bag, 1 pair of trainers, 1 pair of trousers, socks and underwear, small towel, shaving gear (not using this as an excuse to go unshaven, that is most unseemly). I am a naturally light packer so sure if anyone can do it threadbare it is me.

  6. #6
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    Interesting read malto. My plan is similar to that said in the document. I doubt I will necessarily hike fast, just will put more hours in. I will also hike light. As I said I will be doing a marathon before I leave and part of that marathon training will be putting in as much as 100miles per week running, much of it hilly. Whilst this isn't hiking with a backpack it will give me tough legs. I feel confident, just need the visa ok and the work ok and I'm there.

  7. #7

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    Sure, go for it kid!

  8. #8

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    I see one hiker in four make it at all. I see lots of British hikers, who have a higher success rate, and they all have 6 month visas. For me, a four month hike is reasonable, but 100 days is 20 % faster and perhaps possible, but not reasonable. Your hike would be another 15 % faster. At some point you are not entitled to hike another 15 % faster.
    Rumor has it that you can leave to Canada, and come back, butt not sure that is with the 3 month visas and I have not actually met anyone doing this. Get a 3 month visa.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARambler View Post
    I see one hiker in four make it at all. I see lots of British hikers, who have a higher success rate, and they all have 6 month visas. For me, a four month hike is reasonable, but 100 days is 20 % faster and perhaps possible, but not reasonable. Your hike would be another 15 % faster. At some point you are not entitled to hike another 15 % faster.
    Rumor has it that you can leave to Canada, and come back, butt not sure that is with the 3 month visas and I have not actually met anyone doing this. Get a 3 month visa.
    Get a 6 month visa.

  10. #10
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    You could do it, but you wouldn't enjoy it. Either get the longer visa or use the loophole and zip to Canada for a day and start the three month clock again. With the money and time wasted going to Canada I strongly recommend that you pay the money and get the extended visa up front. It will give you much more flexibility.

  11. #11
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    I should have also noted that the Appalachian Trail is a much more rigorous trail than most think it will be. Although 25 miles a day is very achievable on some sections, it is nothing but a pipe dream in others.

  12. #12

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    Probably. But if it were me, I would push to late May or even June to be able to go as light as possible. Both last year and this year is has snowed in May as far south as the Smokies and even into parts of the Georgia section. People are still carrying their 20* bags this year because of the cold. A 3 month June-August, would put you at the hottest time of the year but also have the least likelihood you don't get crazy lows. Just something to think about.
    AT Miles: 182.8 NOBO 13.9 SOBO :-)
    Pinhoti Miles: 5

  13. #13
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    Last post, I promise. Think very carefully about what rocketsocks said and try to read between the lines. Don't set yourself up for failure. If you do, you've been warned.

  14. #14

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    Having 4 months to allow a bit of flexibility would be wise

  15. #15
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    I'm in a north Georgia triathlon club where our motto is "Do Epic ****". Let me know when you need a ride from the airport to the trail head at Springer.

  16. #16

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    Get in REALLY good shape and prepare mentally. Andrew Skurka did it in 3 months back when he wasn't the elite athlete he is today.

  17. #17

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    But I could see how only 5 days of leeway could be pretty risky

  18. #18
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Sure it can be done. Possibly even by you

    I'd second the advice to start in mid to late May to avoid cold weather. You can hike in shorts and a t-shirt the whole time. You'll want a decent sleeping bag or quilt rated to about freezing, a very lightweight tent (your schedule will not allow stopping early in the day at a shelter, nor do you have any leeway if the shelter is full), a good sleeping pad, and the usual kitchen and personal items. I would bring a dry change of clothes for sleeping and a warm layer, plus a decent rain shell though a poncho will work. Resupplying along the way is easy, so no problem with food.

    You'll probably want to start the trail at less than 25 mpd, ramp it up through Virginia and the mid-Atlantic states, and then slow it down again through New England. If you are on the trail and realize you won't make it, then you could flip up the trail a few hundred miles. Yeah, then it's not a complete hike, but I'd rather skip ahead and hike New Hampshire and Maine instead of Pennsylvania if I were running out of time.

    Good luck with the planning and the hike.
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

  19. #19
    Registered User evyck da fleet's Avatar
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    Let's see, a 2200 mile trail /25 mpd is 88 days. Add a day at the start and end for travel equals 90 days with no leeway. That seems like more of a hassle than whatever getting the 6 month visa will cause. I would think a 3-4 month hike would be more enjoyable than having to worry that if anything goes wrong you'll run out of time.

    Maybe you'll surprise yourself and average more than 25 mph or maybe you won't. As with money, just because you have six months doesn't mean you have to use it. But I'd rather have six months if I could.

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bishbash View Post
    The reason I am asking is that it is much easier to get a 90 day visa. My experience is I've done a few coast 2 coast walks in England they are about 200 miles and quickest I did it in was 8 days I think, It is only 11 of these in a row, no big deal. That was a few years ago. I am much fitter and slimmer now than then. I have done ironman triathlons, 5 mile swims 41 mile ultra runs and a 3:28 marathon in the last few years. While I accept this is different to walking 25 miles day in day out up and down hills with a rucksack, It still makes me far better prepared than when I did those coast to coast walks. So a 90 day visa, a day getting to start and from finish to airport, plus a few zero days. 3 months off work will be much easier to sell to my boss than 5 or 6 months. I've got a good pair of legs on me, I can travel quite light and, touch wood, I don't pick up injuries as a general rule - even when doing 20 hours of exercise a week for ironman training. The AT is something I have wanted to do for 20 years, I will be 40 next January and I fancy doing the Brighton marathon on April 15 then getting a flight to Atlanta on April 16th and then trail day 1 = April 17th. All done and dusted and get a flight back to blighty about July 15th, back in work soon after. Am so excited about it, I am feeling like I might actually do this.

    So is this a reasonable aim, bearing in mind most people take a more leisurely 5-7 months.

    (Note: The only answer I want to hear is "yes")

    hummmmm.....................well, I guess the answer is yes. Go for it.

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