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  1. #1
    Registered User Jofish's Avatar
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    Default Slowest Thru-Hike?

    Speed records are interesting, thats why we keep them. There is plenty of information on fastest thru-hikes floating around out there.

    What I was really interested in, is what is the SLOWEST thru-hike?

    And by thru-hike here I'm talking in the strictest sense; no section hikers and no flip-floppers. I also wouldn't include times that include extended periods of time off-trail. Just an interesting thought.

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    Registered User David@whiteblaze's Avatar
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    just 1 prob. if u dont spend more time off than on, u r a snail. only like a mile a day would stretch it past 1 year if u make it thru the winter.
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    Registered User Jofish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    just 1 prob. if u dont spend more time off than on, u r a snail. only like a mile a day would stretch it past 1 year if u make it thru the winter.
    It would be slow, but if you averaged 5 miles per day it would take over a year. And hiking during the winter would only require a little more gear (some thru-hikers start in February). Anyway, it was just an idea I had.

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    Well isn't the definition of thru-hike that it happens inside of the same year? So that would make the longest one by definition exactly 365 (or 6 occasionally) days long and no longer.

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    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Any one know of a slower thru than MS?
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

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    MS fliped. Stumpknocker took almost a year once.

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    I know of several folks whose hike lasted more than twelve months, tho in some cases, these were Southbounders who hiked thru the winter and took some time off, sometimes extended time off, when things got a bit too severe.

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    Registered User Jofish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfitz View Post
    Well isn't the definition of thru-hike that it happens inside of the same year? So that would make the longest one by definition exactly 365 (or 6 occasionally) days long and no longer.
    I don't know about THE definition of thru-hiking, but in MY mind it doesn't have to be inside the same year. When you hike doesn't really make much of a difference in my mind.

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    As far as I know that distinction belongs to a fellow who originally coined the phrase "slackpacking". His name was O.D. Coyote and in 1980 he took 263 days from February 29 to November 17, to complete his journey from Springer to Katahdin.

    O.D.'s defination of slackpacking is vastly different from todays version. Nowdays, it's a term applied to hiking a section of the trail without a pack, carrying perhaps only water and bare essentials. Usually some shuttling is involved, either with the hiker or his/her pack.

    O.D. defined it as ...."an unhurried style of long-distance hiking that seeks to maximize the opportunities to stop,enjoy and leisurely explore the countless sideshows and diversions passed along the way."

    I aspire to complete my thru-hike in a few years following O.D.'s defination.

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    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    To meet the "in the same year" definition, you would have to average about 5.9 MPD to finish a thru. That would indeed allow for a lot of sight seeing & zero days. Not really a bad idea if you think about it.
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

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    Registered User Jofish's Avatar
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    Thats interesting; do other people also feel that a thru-hike HAS to be done within the same calendar year?

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    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jofish View Post
    Thats interesting; do other people also feel that a thru-hike HAS to be done within the same calendar year?
    One commonly-accepted definition of the thru-hike is hiking the whole trail in one twelve-month period.

    This covers SOBOs and late-starting NOBOs, who hike through the winter.

    Beyond that, you have to start splitting hairs. Is it okay to take two consecutive zeroes, but not 10? What if you take 14 days off because you have Lyme? If you're being treated for/recovering from Lyme, do you have to stay in the closest trail town, but not to go home for a week? How far off the trail is it okay to go on side trips? How many angels can you fit on the head of a pin?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jofish View Post
    Speed records are interesting, thats why we keep them. There is plenty of information on fastest thru-hikes floating around out there.

    What I was really interested in, is what is the SLOWEST thru-hike?

    And by thru-hike here I'm talking in the strictest sense; no section hikers and no flip-floppers. I also wouldn't include times that include extended periods of time off-trail. Just an interesting thought.
    I was reading about the youngest child to thru hike. I read it took 8 months hiking with his family in 1980. I believe he was six.

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    How many angels can you fit on the head of a pin? asks Marta.

    The real questions are "How many grams will they weigh?" and "Where can I buy titanium pins?"

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    Registered User njordan2's Avatar
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    This is my seventh year hiking on the AT and I am now in Vrginia. Yea!

  16. #16
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    The family from the North had a child under 2 that took her 1st steps on the AT. Easy Rider was her name as she rode on her mama's pack.

  17. #17

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    I did my hike in 2 summers with approximately 355 zero days in between. Is that a thru-hike? Well, I suppose not since I did repeat 350 miles or so.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

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    Wyoming Skateboarder took 329 days in 1999 & 2000.

    www.trailjournals.com/wyoskateboarder

  19. #19
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    Default slwo hiking

    probably the slowest way to do the trail would be to hike from shelter to shelter and that would take over 200 days! First day covering what 2.5 miles!

    David

  20. #20
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    Your ability to tolerate NE "winters" and an occasional cold snap and/or storm in the south are the limiting factors. I assume the former are far more "difficult" than the later.

    Well, if we assume you want to avoid the "deep winter" (stupid cold and/or deep snow), and are hiking NoBo, you probably have to finish around Nov 1 (and pray there is good weather those last couple of weeks). Starting NoBo at Springer, again hit or miss depending on the year, could be done just about anytime of the year. Sure you might have to sit out a couple days for a storm or two, but it is probably do'able.

    So, NoBo, I'd say the longest practical thru-hike would be 10 months. 1-Jan thru 1-Nov.

    For SoBo, say you start July 1. As long as you were out of NE before the weather got real ugly, you could probably finish at Springer June 30th the following year. Making it a year long trip.

    I'm sure most "sane" hikers (hikers aren't sane though) would like to avoid the coldest part in the deep south (Jan? Feb?) meaning a NoBo hike starting 1-Mar thru 1-Nov making a 8 month NoBo hike the "sane" (?) NoBo limit. For SoBo, ending at Springer on 31-Dec seems "sane", but I doubt most years you could start in ME earlier than 1-Jun, making a 7 month SoBo the "sane" limit.

    Interesting topic though...
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