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  1. #41
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    It differs for everyone but I know that personally I must have things in order at home before embarking on any long hike (like over a week) or I just endlessly worry and my mind gets tied up in unproductive cycles while I walk ... all ... day ... long. It can be exhausting and uncomfortable to rehash off trail problems for hours on end as a solo hiker. Some people get on trail to escape off trail problems. I can't do that. Things have to be good off trail for me to enjoy being on trail. FWIW.

  2. #42

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    You're welcome The Mid Life Crisis. Saying it as I see it, as I see you. Was sincerely hoping it would help. All my best, DW.

  3. #43
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    @Themidlifehiker: You are correct in that thru hiking the AT successfully is more a mental than a physical challenge.

    Here are some questions to ask yourself before starting off from Springer Mountain:
    1) are you comfortable being alone in the wild or even simply in the woods?
    2) Do you have backpacking experience (beyond day and weekend trips)? If so you are more likely to be confident in the task ahead of you
    3) are you able to slow down and smell the roses so to speak? If not, time to reevaluate
    4) do you have the chops to endure hours even days of drenching rain so that you can enjoy the rewards to come once the rain passes? no matter how much it rains it always stops eventually!
    5) Accept from the outset that you WILL get soaking wet, cold, hot, and dirty. It is a fact of life. I don't care what gear you have you are going to get wet.
    6) know that northern New England is far and away the most spectacular part of the trail. The anticipation should see you through the boredom of the mid Atlantic states.
    7) You can complain, bitch and moan all you want, the trail doesn't care. If you're a bad attitude isn't adjusted before the trip, it will be adjusted during. Those who are unable to adjust their attitudes end up going home early.
    8) regarding homesickness.. do you have support at home? you will get to a town at least once a week and can call either on a mobile phone or on a pay phone.
    9) remember to go at a pace comfortable for you. Don't try to keep up with the young kids doing 30 miles days. When I started enjoying my hike was when I stopped worrying about being slower and went my pace. I was told-- you only need to avg 12 miles a day to finish the trail in 6 months. This is important. no advantage to rushing.
    10) and regarding your last point.. don't think about the hundreds of miles still to go. Just worry about the mileage for today and perhaps the next few days. Take it a step at a time. Don't be thinking of Maine while you are in Virginia. Worry about Maine when you get to Maine. Enjoy Virginia when you are in Virginia.
    11) as a parting word of advice.. no matter what you wear you will still get wet eventually and no matter how long or hard it rains the rain will always stop. There is always sunshine behind the storm clouds!!!

    David NH

  4. #44
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNH View Post
    @Themidlifehiker: You are correct in that thru hiking the AT successfully is more a mental than a physical challenge.
    Really?

    Iíll bet you are one of those guys who says that it is harder going down hill.

    Am I right?


  5. #45
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I didn't say that. Show me the Monkey said it.
    Sorry about the misattribution. I wonít make that mistake again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Of course I might do it again on purpose

    Insert addition smileys here if needed ....

  6. #46

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    You're a good man Rick ...despite what anyone says.

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