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Old 12-13-2013, 12:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by seraphim View Post
Bear spray works against two legged predators as well. We always carry it. Just a thought.
Thanks - I have an LTC card and will be getting that. I am more worried about people then Bears. Most people meetup with others sporadically. It is just more fun, and safe, to hang with people.

We shall see.

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Old 12-13-2013, 12:53 PM   #22
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That has been my goal for years and I am about 40% done. I will have to do the rest after I retire. But have you noticed that new National Park gets added every so often? It almost feel like they lowered the bar on what can become a National Park. They converted number of National Monuments into NPs since I started visiting NPs.

Wow 40% done - that's great.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:17 PM   #23
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Hey. Enjoy the Hennessey Hammock. I have one of those and a Warbonnet Black Bird. I love hammock camping when backpacking.
Thanks -

I was exposed to it on a jungle hike for 3 weeks in Belize. Our guide had one, Hennesy, and it just makes so much sense. You never knew where he stayed - Leave no Trace!!

I just got a Lawson for my wife. She likes the ground more but I wanted the option of a Hammock as well. You never know where you end up and what the conditions are. Like its dry at night and an brook in the morning!

Lawson is a one man shop - I worked with the owner and he gave it to me deal that I could not say no too. The Hennesy is simply ground breaking. I stopped camping, after Belize, because I was tired of sleeping(kinda) on the ground. I even purchased a small camper.

Now I'm living light!
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:28 PM   #24
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I have done about 30% of the trail in section hikes.

If you are interested in the AT, then whiteblaze.net is a good resource. You can also see journals from folks doing the AT on trailjournals.com

I am not sure if you are planning on thruhiking or just section hikes. If you are thruhiking, I suggest a shakedown hike of at 10 days. The dropout rate is about 75% so before planning for a 5 month absence and flying to GA, you want to make you actually like being dirty, sweaty, sleeping in shelters with mice and snoring old men (what's not to love). Some people say that thruhiking is just like a job - every day you get up and put in your 9 hours of hiking.
Great Advice! I am thinking two weeks at a time at first. Getting older has the benefit of seeing things with a certain amount realism. Sure it's easy to get excited about an adventure but after a week of rain the allure may wear off. My biggest hurdle will be sleeping out in the woods alone. So this year I will doing a 4 day adventure close to home. After that I am looking to start on the AT in MA, I live in MA, for two weeks. If all is well I may keep on trekking. If not I will have one of my minions(children) come and get me.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:02 AM   #25
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Great Advice! I am thinking two weeks at a time at first. Getting older has the benefit of seeing things with a certain amount realism. Sure it's easy to get excited about an adventure but after a week of rain the allure may wear off. My biggest hurdle will be sleeping out in the woods alone. So this year I will doing a 4 day adventure close to home. After that I am looking to start on the AT in MA, I live in MA, for two weeks. If all is well I may keep on trekking. If not I will have one of my minions(children) come and get me.
If you are on the AT in summer, then most likely you will never be alone at night. Most people either stay in the shelter or tent nearby (I recommend tenting - it is worth the extra time to setup/take down to get better sleep). If you are out for any period of time, most likely you will see some of the same folks every night. There will be a bunch of hikers who hike the same distance as you so you will leap frog each other during the day and then usually stay around the same shelter at night.

The trail through MA is nice, you could head North and things will get tougher just as you are getting in hiking shape. The AT in NH is gorgeous but of course much harder.

Section hiking is nice in the fact that you are done before you get bored. The bad part is the getting there - it gets more expensive the farther you get away from home. Often getting a shuttle to the trail can cost more than the airfare to get there.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:22 AM   #26
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Super advice and thanks. That makes me feel better. I am going to start in MA and head north for a week or two and see how it goes. Good information on transportation!

My wife agrees the we/I may get bored.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:42 AM   #27
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Here's one good set of forums on the AT. I follow along on the posts because I am interested in the trail, too.

Main entry page... WhiteBlaze - Appalachian Trail - Appalachian Trail News, Announcements and Articles
Forums... WhiteBlaze - Appalachian Trail


Here's another on other trails...including the AT...
Trail Journals, Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail & More - Backpacking Hiker Journals
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #28
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We do lots of day hikes in the Smoky Mountains including sections of the AT. We have talked to lots of thru-hikers. I think the thing that stands out the most from their observations are just how much devotion to the goal it takes to stick with it.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by jclarksnakes View Post
We do lots of day hikes in the Smoky Mountains including sections of the AT. We have talked to lots of thru-hikers. I think the thing that stands out the most from their observations are just how much devotion to the goal it takes to stick with it.
My favorite story about thru hikers is one guy I met when I was hiking the AT down near Mt. Rogers (VA) at the Thomas Knob shelter. He had all his clothes spread out on the picnic table. I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was cutting the labels out of his clothes to save weight. That's dedication.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:24 AM   #30
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Super advice and thanks. That makes me feel better. I am going to start in MA and head north for a week or two and see how it goes. Good information on transportation!

My wife agrees the we/I may get bored.
One last comment - Another good section is NJ/NY. You can park at Bear Mountain, then take a bus to NYC and then to DWG. And then hike back to your car.
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