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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    10-14-2021
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    Trivoli, Illinois
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    Default Getting off the trail?

    Good morning everyone. First let me introduce myself in my first post on the forum. My name is Kevin and I am going to be a 2022 LASH on the AT. This will be my attempt at fulfilling a 50 year old dream, guess its about time
    Of course all plans change or adapt but I will attempt to finish in 3 years.
    I have already answered many questions by lurking on the forum but I have one issue/question that I am having trouble wrapping my head around.
    In general, how tough is it or maybe i should say how much planning is required to get off trail and into town?
    I understand there are a million variables to answer this but let me give you a scenario. i will of course have hostels and shuttles pre-planned and reserved ahead of time for places I want to see but if I am out and get rained on and want to pop into town "off schedule" for a respite from the weather is it possible or are these places filled up months in advance?
    I appreciate your time, kev
    I have done youtube and forum research but haven't dived into the many trail town books/guides, maybe my answers are there, but can you give me an idea of how spontaneous a hiker can be.
    Maybe i will ask this way.......in general is it hard to get into town, walking/hitching, and is it tough to find a hostel/motel without reservations?

    I sure hope this makes sense. Just trying to wrap my head around the options when things go against the best laid plans.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Default

    Sorry, this was not added to my first post..........Thanks, I appreciate your time, kev

  3. #3

    Default

    I've never made reservations. Most hostels don't even have a way to do that. First come, first served in the way it generally works. You just show up and hope there is room. Yes, this can be a problem if your in a big hiker bubble, the weather is bad and everyone heads to town at the same time. Or don't leave because it's raining when they get up and decided to spend an extra day or two in town or at the hostel.

    The best way to avoid that is time your hike to avoid the biggest crowds. Mostly that means staying out of GA/NC in March or April when there are the most thru hikers on the trial and the chance of bad weather is the greatest. Avoid Damascus around trail days.

    Some towns are close enough to walk to, some you walk through, most you hitch hike to or call a shuttle. Some hostels are close to the trail, but not to town so they shuttle you in to go grocery shopping and hit a restaurant.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-07-2018
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Default

    I generally text hostels a day or so before I get there to let them know I'm coming. The ones that take reservations will reserve a bunk for me, others it's just a note to tell them to expect me. I'm a section hiker who avoids the bubbles, so I've never had a problem. Likewise, because of being a section hiker I've never stayed somewhere that wasn't within walking distance so I've not had to call for a ride. I do use shuttles regularly, and I normally coordinate with them a few days in advance.

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    10-14-2021
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    Trivoli, Illinois
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies, sounds like I don't need to worry about it as much as i have been.

    All the best, kev

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by k_e_v View Post
    Thanks for the replies, sounds like I don't need to worry about it as much as i have been.
    All the best, kev
    All you know for sure is the time and place you start.
    From there you just deal with it one day at a time and figure out the details as you go.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  7. #7

    Default

    Probably the only reservation you need to make in advance is for a bunk in the AMC huts in the whites, NH. Other wise, to call a day in advance is the way to go, especially if your hike outside of the big NOBO bubbles. As for shuttles, if you are hiking in the busy season, it would be a good idea to make a reservation ahead because they fill up quite fast.

  8. #8

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    Thousands have come before you, my friend. We have rarely found it to be a problem.

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    10-14-2021
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies everyone, doesn't sound like i will have a problem. And my wife is my shuttle driver to and from the trail so I should be good there. Have a great weekend everyone.

  10. #10
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    Default Getting off the Trail

    Quote Originally Posted by k_e_v View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone, doesn't sound like i will have a problem. And my wife is my shuttle driver to and from the trail so I should be good there. Have a great weekend everyone.
    In my estimation too much day to day planning can spoil your hike.
    Grampie-N->2001

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