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  1. #1

    Default General SoBo questions for next years thru

    How do you call in February to reserve a site at KS campground, if you don't know when the trails will open?

    Where is all the good SoBo content? Most books and podcasts are geared more towards NoBo.

    Is getting the AWOL guide a year early an ok thing to do? I mean not a ton can change from year to year, right?

    Average age? I'm old (43 when I start the trail) although I don't act it. I'm assuming I'll fit in ok.

    I don't see much of the social parts for SoBo's. I'm assuming they are there, but in smaller quantities.

    Thanks,
    J

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Remy View Post
    How do you call in February to reserve a site at KS campground, if you don't know when the trails will open?
    Where is all the good SoBo content? Most books and podcasts are geared more towards NoBo.
    Is getting the AWOL guide a year early an ok thing to do? I mean not a ton can change from year to year, right?
    Average age? I'm old (43 when I start the trail) although I don't act it. I'm assuming I'll fit in ok.
    I don't see much of the social parts for SoBo's. I'm assuming they are there, but in smaller quantities.
    Thanks,
    J
    June 1st is generally a safe bet. You really don't want to start any earlier and later is better. Sort of depends on what kind of winter we get this year. Keep in mind June is wet, muddy, buggy and generally a miserable time to be hiking in Maine, which is a reason a large percentage of the early SOBO hikers never make it out of the hundred mile wilderness. Some of the fords in the HMW can be chest deep in ice cold, fast moving water that time of year.
    SOBO is just like NOBO, but in reverse.

    Not much changes year to year, so this years AWOL will be fine. Also get Guthook for your phone. That will have the latest info.

    SOBO is a lonely hike. Not many start and many quickly drop out. It will be a long time before you start meeting NOBO hikes and then just in passing on the trail or for a few hours at shelters.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    June 1st is generally a safe bet. You really don't want to start any earlier and later is better. Sort of depends on what kind of winter we get this year. Keep in mind June is wet, muddy, buggy and generally a miserable time to be hiking in Maine, which is a reason a large percentage of the early SOBO hikers never make it out of the hundred mile wilderness. Some of the fords in the HMW can be chest deep in ice cold, fast moving water that time of year.
    SOBO is just like NOBO, but in reverse.

    Not much changes year to year, so this years AWOL will be fine. Also get Guthook for your phone. That will have the latest info.

    SOBO is a lonely hike. Not many start and many quickly drop out. It will be a long time before you start meeting NOBO hikes and then just in passing on the trail or for a few hours at shelters.
    So my "plan" is to start sometime mid-June. I hike the Whites a lot, so I feel pretty prepared for the terrain.

    I do have Guthook app. I'll pick up the AWOL guide this year to help me plan out town to get drops in.

    I choose SoBo so that this could be "my hike", I figured I would have more time to reflect, and learn, and grow. But I was wondering if I would see anyone my age, or just young folks.
    I'm not into the party scene, another reason for SoBo.

  4. #4

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    I've hiked almost all of Maine NOBO in the month of June, and met dozens of SOBO thrus that actually finished. It's not necessarily that bad. Bugs aren't necessarily that bad either... at least there are ways to deal with them. SOBO is a valid strategy IMO. You get to move south with the seasons, and enjoy the Fall colors in the south.

  5. #5
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remy View Post
    How do you call in February to reserve a site at KS campground, if you don't know when the trails will open?
    If you reserved a site for a conservative opening date, but then learned the Hunt [AT) opened up sometime in May, wouldn’t it be possible to get a new reservation at the last minute for such an unpopular date? Don’t know.

    BTW, I see you are in Salem. Any chance you are going to ALDHA Gathering in Williamstown the weekend after next? I would heartily recommend it — good environment for a non thru hiking +1 (or more) too.

  6. #6
    Registered User Turtle-2013's Avatar
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    Remy,

    It doesn't seem like anyone responded to the "age" part of your question. As a section hiker, that has hiked most of the AT 83%, in a variety of months from April to October over the last stretch of years ..... you will meet thru and section hikers of all ages. While there are quite a few the younger crowd (just out of high school or college), people find all sorts of "breaks" in their lives to hike the AT. Between jobs, taking a leave from job, just out of the military, family breakup, and of course retirement. In my experience you will fall between the two largest groups ... those being the just out of college, and those entering retirement. Anyway, age-wise, you will fit right in. Also, don't stub us section hikers that span the whole spectrum ... many of us have spent more time on various trails in this country, than most of the section hikers ever will ... I meet other section hikers, and thru hikers every year that I keep up with after we are off the trail ... at least for a time.

    Turtyl

  7. #7

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    Where is all the good SoBo content?
    Read the posts in this section.
    And read this:
    The 2019 SoBo’s Guide to Baxter and Katahdin
    You reserve because the no-rez-required site is just for NoBos. It's a swamp til July, anyway.
    If you have AWOL's guide in hand today, the info's already a year old. Get the next one.
    The SoBo facebook pages are pretty active, give them a look.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    If you reserved a site for a conservative opening date, but then learned the Hunt [AT) opened up sometime in May, wouldn’t it be possible to get a new reservation at the last minute for such an unpopular date? Don’t know.

    BTW, I see you are in Salem. Any chance you are going to ALDHA Gathering in Williamstown the weekend after next? I would heartily recommend it — good environment for a non thru hiking +1 (or more) too.

    What is the ALDHA? Sorry for not knowing. I'll gladly look into it. Just wondering what it's all about, and worth attending.

    Thanks,
    J

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turtle-2013 View Post
    Remy,

    It doesn't seem like anyone responded to the "age" part of your question. As a section hiker, that has hiked most of the AT 83%, in a variety of months from April to October over the last stretch of years ..... you will meet thru and section hikers of all ages. While there are quite a few the younger crowd (just out of high school or college), people find all sorts of "breaks" in their lives to hike the AT. Between jobs, taking a leave from job, just out of the military, family breakup, and of course retirement. In my experience you will fall between the two largest groups ... those being the just out of college, and those entering retirement. Anyway, age-wise, you will fit right in. Also, don't stub us section hikers that span the whole spectrum ... many of us have spent more time on various trails in this country, than most of the section hikers ever will ... I meet other section hikers, and thru hikers every year that I keep up with after we are off the trail ... at least for a time.

    Turtyl
    Thanks! I tend to act a bit younger than I am. Thank you for the answer. And you have no worries about me stubbing anyone for any of the hiking that they do. I find us all pretty equal, unless you're unprepared, but that's a different story. Again, I hike a ton in the Whites and have met a lot of thru and section hikers in my time. I love chatting with them when time permits. I was going to wait till I retire as well, but so many thru hikers told me that if I want to do it do it now. You never know what will happen in life and things could change that would cause me not to be able to do it later in life. I'm taking their advice and planning my 2020!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Read the posts in this section.
    And read this:
    The 2019 SoBo’s Guide to Baxter and Katahdin
    You reserve because the no-rez-required site is just for NoBos. It's a swamp til July, anyway.
    If you have AWOL's guide in hand today, the info's already a year old. Get the next one.
    The SoBo facebook pages are pretty active, give them a look.
    I have checked out the 2019 SoBo's guide. I have been planning on picking up AWOLs guide as well.
    Social media is where I fall down, I tried FB once a few years back, but it turned into a $h*t show, so I deleted my account. Just so many people from my past, that I really wanted to leave in my past finding me and trying to friend me.
    So, I'm on the fence about FB and other social media. Maybe if I can create an account under a false name and email so people can't find me as easy, but I can friend the people I would like?
    Thanks!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Remy View Post
    What is the ALDHA? Sorry for not knowing. I'll gladly look into it. Just wondering what it's all about, and worth attending.

    Thanks,
    J
    I looked it up. Sounds awesome. I can't make it though.

    So I volunteer a lot of my time back to the outdoors. That weekend I'm co-leading a backpacking trip with a group of highschool kids.
    Thanks for the info though!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Remy View Post
    So, I'm on the fence about FB and other social media. Maybe if I can create an account under a false name and email so people can't find me as easy, but I can friend the people I would like?
    Thanks!
    Instagram is good if you just want to share photos. FB can be managed to weed out the undesirables.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  13. #13

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    Except for color, the AT thru hike community is actually pretty diverse - young, old, wealthy, poor, some with impressive jobs, some unemployed, some well educated, some not so much, veterans, conservatives and liberals. Oddly enough, out there, most of them leave their baggage at the trailhead. Young and old mix together, as do folks from all the other groups. Whatever you may be going in, you are a thru hiker very quickly out there. You will fit in fine.

  14. #14

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    When I did my thru in 1999 I had my 55 birthday on the trail. Although I was by far the oldest around the young hikers accepted me as part of the group. I was going slow and so the younger hikers would move on. Ofter I would see them in the next town. I started on May 17th and was the first sobo to register at Katahdin State Park. Only 2 times on the entire hike did I stay in a full shelter and had many nights alone which didn't bother me in the least. I have thought about my hike just about every day since I finished. I have a head full of memories. I hope that when you get to the end you are as satisfied as I was. Be well and God bless.

    South Walker MEGA 1999

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