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Appalachian Trail thru-hike... anyone done it? Login/Join 
california
tumbles into the sea
posted
After reading AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller (2006), and Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods (2006), it seems exciting to take the AT on. First author says a blind hiker made a thru-hike (2,170-89 (changes from year to year due to trail mods) some odd hiking miles through 14 states - which takes 5-7 months? from Georgia to Maine). And an 80 year old. Some hike it in reverse; ME to GA. Then there's section hikers, who hike sections at a time. One guy drove a few stops up, parked his truck, hitched back to where he left off and hiked to his ride and continued. Then there's blue blazing - side trails, short cuts? The white blaze marks the trail. They say it's like climbing Mt. Everest 16 times.

Anyone make it to the AT? How far did you hike?
 
Posts: 9955 | Location: NV | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of smlsig
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When I was in college I hiked the entire section of NH which is I believe 143 miles and has the most vertical elevation change. Took me a little over a week to do it and it snowed one afternoon in August on top of Mt. Washington.

I have hiked parts of the trail in VA but only a few miles.

If you’re fit enough it is quite a feat. Many have supplies sent to them at various towns along the trail so that they can replenish their supplies etc.


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Eddie

Our Founding Fathers were men who understood that the right thing is not necessarily the written thing. -kkina
 
Posts: 4297 | Location: SML & OBX | Registered: February 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
california
tumbles into the sea
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First book mentioned that NH section as being one of the hardest. Mt. Washington is a killer with the weather changes; winds, temperature drops.
 
Posts: 9955 | Location: NV | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My Son did a ‘section’ with a college group a handful of years ago, in or near WV. It was an adventurous event for him, some hard core ladies on the trip too.

I like the idea of picking a ‘representative section’ & going with that. Unless you have reason to come back, there must be great hikes/
trails closer to NV.

When I think about the Appalachian Trail I start thinking about what handgun would be best to have along. Not so much a boat-anchor for a docile black bear, but for whatever else. Over the years some sketchy incidents made it to the news off the trail.
 
Posts: 3968 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
chickenshit
Picture of rsbolo
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I've only ever done sections. One day, I will do the entire trail. Work and kids are my current excuses for not doing the thru hike.


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Posts: 7034 | Location: East Central FL | Registered: January 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think this would be incredibly rewarding if one had the time to do it.

There's another trail that goes around Lake Tahoe ( Tahoe Rim Trail ) - that would be incredible also just for the scenery.

MDS
 
Posts: 318 | Registered: November 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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I used to live less than a mile from the Trail in western NC when I was in high school. I’ve hiked it in Macon County.....just a few miles. Was a boy scout then, but soon got distracted by girls and that was a wrap.



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 6714 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Had a few friends that did it years ago. Think it took them 4-5 months.
As I recall they started at the south end, something like March, and as they walked Spring happened ahead of them. 5 months would have them finishing in August in Maine.
Their slide show was good, they had some seriously muscular legs long before the end of the trip.
The other detail I remember from their stories is what they found a few days out from the start. Along the trail they started finding all this “stuff”. Hikers had seriously over packed and would start shedding the heavy things - cast iron fry pans, folding chairs, etc.
Here in PA. a portion of the trail goes through Fort Indian Town Gap - a military reservation. Some of that area (so I understand) is on an artillery range. They recommend not straying far from the path on that stretch.
 
Posts: 1668 | Location: south central Pennsylvania | Registered: November 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of maladat
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quote:
Originally posted by Harleysbluff:
I think this would be incredibly rewarding if one had the time to do it.

There's another trail that goes around Lake Tahoe ( Tahoe Rim Trail ) - that would be incredible also just for the scenery.

MDS


There's a west coast version of the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail. It runs along the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, it's 2,653 miles long.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Crest_Trail

There's also a more central trail, the Continental Divide Trail, which runs along the Rocky Mountains from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. It's 3100 miles long, although it's not complete so significant sections require walking on roads.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...inental_Divide_Trail
 
Posts: 5003 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There is a really hood you tube channel called Homemade Wanderlust....It is a woman from the south that has thru hiked the "triple crown" and done a fairly decent job of documenting what it is like, you might want to check that out.
 
Posts: 3886 | Location: Peoria, AZ | Registered: November 07, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
thin skin can't win
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quote:
Some hike it in reverse; ME to GA.


Well of course - that's downhill!

Always thought it would be awesome. Always knew I never would/could.



You only have integrity once. - imprezaguy02

 
Posts: 10097 | Location: Madison, MS | Registered: December 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of the fellows I worked with started that trek when he retired. He had allotted plenty of time but did not allow for the delays due to minor injuries that slowed him down. He fell once and had to heal up before continuing. Also he had to take a couple of days off due to blisters which can turn into major problems if not dealt with properly. I haven't seen him in a while but he did vow to return and complete the hike from where he left off. I hope he does get it done, it would be quite an accomplishment.


The “POLICE"
Their job Is To Save Your Ass,
Not Kiss It
 
Posts: 2285 | Location: See der Rabbits, Iowa | Registered: June 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
california
tumbles into the sea
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris42:
...The other detail I remember from their stories is what they found a few days out from the start. Along the trail they started finding all this “stuff”. Hikers had seriously over packed and would start shedding the heavy things - cast iron fry pans, folding chairs, etc...
He said in the first book you literally don't have to bring a lot of food as you gather what is discarded along the way in the shelters - but what really happens is you pig out at the towns. It was surprising the amount of bad food consumed; donuts, snack cakes twinkies & loads and loads of carbs.
 
Posts: 9955 | Location: NV | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
california
tumbles into the sea
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Describing the stunted trees around the trail, first author mentioned krummholz pines - exactly like bonsai in nature. [ another link ]
 
Posts: 9955 | Location: NV | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Constable
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There are a bunch of videos on YouTube regarding the hike. Frankly I'm happy with scenic day hikes in Glacier, Yellowstone, etc. Couldn't imagine MONTHS on the trail.
 
Posts: 6617 | Location: Craig, MT | Registered: December 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have hiked sections of it in NJ and NH. NH is very difficult to say the least. If I ever get my knee replaced I would like to do the NH part again. I'm not going to fool myself and think I can do the entire trail.


Living the Dream
 
Posts: 3438 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: December 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Charmingly unsophisticated
Picture of AllenInWV
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I would love to do the AT and PCT, but it seems a logistical challenge. LOL I hope to do the John Muir Trail sometime in the future. A lot shorter but would be a great warm-up to the longer thru hikes.


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Posts: 15555 | Location: Cross Lanes, WV | Registered: February 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
half-genius,
half-wit
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Read Bill Bryson's book, 'A walk in the woods'. That's as near as THIS boy is ever going to get to walking the trail.
 
Posts: 9893 | Location: UK, OR, ONT | Registered: July 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've done sections of the AT, and I am heavily into mountaineering. Claiming the AT is "like" climbing Mt Everest 16 times is like claiming "x number of laps in the community pool is "like" swimming across the Atlantic. A single statistic (distance or total vertical gain) may be similar, but it is delusional to compare them based off of a single number. Apples to oranges.

That being said, I would love to do the AT and the PCT, but there's that darn thing called "life" that gets in the way of the time commitment.
 
Posts: 313 | Location: Utah | Registered: March 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just for the
hell of it
Picture of comet24
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I've hiked parts in a bunch of different states. Probably a few hundred miles which isn't much overall and that's all been on short overnight or 3-day trips. I would like to do the entire trail but taking 6 months off isn't in the cards.

Most people do it after college or after they retire.

Ran into a bunch of through-hikers last year when I was in the Smokeys.

Take a look at this youtube channel. It's a lady called Dixie that hiked and documented her AT through hike. She has since done the PCT and Continental Divide.

https://www.youtube.com/playli...ADojrremj6SNM7Gx8A7i


_____________________________________

Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain. Jack Kerouac
 
Posts: 15523 | Registered: March 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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