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  1. #1

    Default I'll be attempting my thru of the AT soon. Any last tips or advice?

    I start soon! Thanks to all the old vets here that have helped. I've been lurking for many years and planning for the past few. It's time. I watched YouTube explode with hikers since I started learning more about the trail around 2011. I've seen a lot of ups, downs, failures, and successes. I've tried to glean as much as I could from them all the while knowing little of it really matters as far as my hike goes. Here are some stats for me:


    • Start date: April 14
    • Approach Trail: Yes
    • Registered with ATC: NO
    • Base weight: 14lbs
    • Skin out weight: 24lb
    • Pack: ULA CDT
    • Tent: SMD Lunar Solo
    • Sleeping Bag: Nunatek
    • Cook: Alcohol stove
    • Training miles: 500+
    • Training miles with proper elevation change: about 200


    My first goal is to clear GA in 6 days. I want to be clear of the smokys by day 15. I've done these sections before, but not recently. I know how to avoid towns and am comfortable being dirty, tired, and worn down. In fact, I prefer it. I'm hoping my grit gets me through it all. If I can get past the smokys in that timeframe, the rest of the hike will be uncovered ground. I hate going backwards, and I relish the chance to keep moving forward. Pray for me!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-20-2002
    Location
    Damascus, Virginia
    Age
    63
    Posts
    31,307

    Default

    you don't need tips or advice

  3. #3

    Default

    Need and want are tow different things. You don’t NEED the breakfasts at Mountain Harbour (Roan Mtn) or Shaw’s (Monson)…but you do WANT them,

  4. #4
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,934

    Default

    A prayer and Godspeed on your journey to Maine.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-04-2017
    Location
    Central CT
    Age
    36
    Posts
    342

    Default

    Hike Your Own Hike is the best advice. Maybe you end up with a group, maybe you prefer hiking solo. The best thing is to do what you truly want and feel and don't let others or what might be considered "the norm" to impede on your hike and how you want to go about it. Hike Your Own Hike and Hike Safe!
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th
    -
    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  6. #6

    Default

    Don't let the "impossibility" of the goal get you down. Take the hike week by week, and in no time you will be wondering how you got to Maine so quickly. Good luck and have fun.

  7. #7

    Default

    Yea, this is the kind of advice I would have cringed at and scrolled past one year ago. But I completed my thru hike in 2021. And my biggest piece of advice to you (and personal regret) is to not stress about crunching numbers/miles, and actually have fun out there. Everybody worries so much about whether or not they're going to make it (and how many miles they need to put in if they're going to make it). But let me tell you a secret... Its almost impossible NOT to make it if you really want to finish and you've budgeted enough money to keep yourself on trail.

    The bigger story is that this is your one and only chance to hike the AT in its entirety. You're almost certain to never do this again. And if you do get through this whole thing without making a lot of amazing friends, and having a lot of amazing adventures, the fact that you finished will actually feel like a small consolation.
    Last edited by Fallesafe; 04-06-2022 at 15:46.

  8. #8

    Default

    The best advice I can give is to start sleeping outside every night in your backyard or on a porch or deck and get really used to living on a sleeping pad in all conditions. Do it so much you prefer it to a regular bed. Also: Set up your shelter at night with a headlamp etc. See if it leaks in an all night rainstorm. Purpose of all this is to experience no gear surprises when out on the trail.

  9. #9

    Default

    Clearing GA in 6 days is reasonable. Clearing the Smokies in 15 could be a stretch, after doing GA in 6. Really no big deal if it takes a couple days longer.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks for the support everyone. All great advice! I'm not too hung up on miles and won't pass up any unique opportunities should one arise. I'll definitely be hiking my own hike out there. Having thru hiked a few other trails over the years, I know plans mean little once the journey begins. I hope to finish up in late August or September.

  11. #11

    Default

    Get photos with yourself and other folks in it. Scenic views are rarely looked at again. I ran into one thru hiker who spent a lot of time with a large clunky camera taking the perfect summit sunrises and sunset shots and great scenic views. He had several binders of them. I asked him a year later what he would have done different, and he was quite candid that he wished he had spent more time taking people shots and getting trail names lined up with the faces and less getting the perfect shots.

  12. #12

    Default

    It's a marathon, not a sprint. Don't be fixated on speed. I've seen so many hikers get injured and burned out by 20+ mile days, and then limp through Maine with a bad attitude.
    Other than that, you sound good to go... Good Luck!

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-19-2020
    Location
    Gatlinburg, Tennessee
    Posts
    5

    Default

    When trekking the Smokies, skip Gatlinburg.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bellamy View Post
    When trekking the Smokies, skip Gatlinburg.
    Why? I stayed there two nights last summer after finishing a section hike from Damascus to Newfound Gap and I loved it. Good restaurants, nice stores, very good winery, friendly people and just positive vibes. I would love to come back.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Get photos with yourself and other folks in it. Scenic views are rarely looked at again. I ran into one thru hiker who spent a lot of time with a large clunky camera taking the perfect summit sunrises and sunset shots and great scenic views. He had several binders of them. I asked him a year later what he would have done different, and he was quite candid that he wished he had spent more time taking people shots and getting trail names lined up with the faces and less getting the perfect shots.
    This is a great piece of advice!

  16. #16
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
    Join Date
    12-13-2004
    Location
    Essex, Vermont
    Age
    67
    Posts
    2,594

    Default

    Attempt not. Do.

  17. #17
    Registered User Last Call's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-03-2013
    Location
    Olive Branch, MS
    Posts
    417

    Default

    Don't skip the Approach Trail....
    Let's head for the roundhouse; they can't corner us there!

  18. #18

    Default

    Arrange to be met at BSP. Take the Knife Edge and Helon Taylor trail down to Roaring Brook. Logistically it's a PITA unless someone is meeting you and you need a backup plan in case of bad weather (The Saddle Trail) but IMO skipping it is missing "the icing on the cake" of a thru hike. IMO the equivalent of skipping the approach trail to skip this hike down but far more spectacular.

  19. #19
    Furlough's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-17-2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Age
    61
    Posts
    894
    Images
    124

    Default

    Remember it is your hike. Enjoy it on your terms, and have a great time.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Arrange to be met at BSP. Take the Knife Edge and Helon Taylor trail down to Roaring Brook. Logistically it's a PITA unless someone is meeting you and you need a backup plan in case of bad weather (The Saddle Trail) but IMO skipping it is missing "the icing on the cake" of a thru hike. IMO the equivalent of skipping the approach trail to skip this hike down but far more spectacular.
    I've added this to my notes. And I plan on starting tomorrow morning before sunrise at the arches at Amicalola and taking the stairs on my way to Springer. Thanks for all the advice guys. I just finished a recommended book "As far as the eye can see" and I am inspired! Peace be with you all. Pray for me. Here we go!

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