Appalachian Trail

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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Gippsmick » Wed 06 Mar, 2013 5:18 pm

Big thumbs up to Turfa for kicking this off and Wayno for the excellent questions.
I'm sure to be in touch with questions of my own.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby jacko1956 » Thu 07 Mar, 2013 1:25 am

I leave for the USA on 15th March.
Start Approach Trail 22nd March.
No real info yet but my journal has started on trailjournals.com and I hope to post to it daily while hiking.
Doubt I will login here again until I return in mid September.
Thanks for the great photos and positive comments.
Cheers
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Gippsmick » Thu 07 Mar, 2013 11:29 am

Looking forward to following your trip Jacko.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Thu 07 Mar, 2013 12:52 pm

Yep...I'm looking forward to cyber-hiking with you along the trail Jacko....! Gippsmick...when are you planning your hike for ?

Couple of suggestions about journals........ I kept a handwritten journal in a small notebook. I updated it every day & have found it is the most wonderful way to relive the experience. There are some parts of it though that I would not necessarily put in an on-line journal for all the world to see. Think about whether you have seperate public & private versions.

I am also very glad that I took photos of some of the more mundane aspects of the hike & not just the spectacular scenery shots.. I have photos of people I met, shelters & hostels I stayed at, food I ate ( weird american food !) etc...... They are not the most scenic photos for other people to look at but they bring back a lot of memories for me....Oh, and I kept notes each night of what each photo was (places, peoples names etc.) that was really helpful in identifying things later on....

Safe travels & I'll see you on trailjournals.com Jacko !
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Gippsmick » Fri 08 Mar, 2013 11:14 am

Not until 2015 Turfa but absorbing all that I can about the AT at the moment. It's a long while off but necessary to accumulate long service leave and pull together funds for an extended break off work. What is the bear situation really like? Did you hang bear bags every night or get sick of this and end up only hanging when required and keeping your food in with you the rest of the time?
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Fri 08 Mar, 2013 5:23 pm

Gippsmick wrote:Not until 2015 Turfa but absorbing all that I can about the AT at the moment. It's a long while off but necessary to accumulate long service leave and pull together funds for an extended break off work. What is the bear situation really like? Did you hang bear bags every night or get sick of this and end up only hanging when required and keeping your food in with you the rest of the time?


I tended to think of bears as most Aussies think of sharks...yes they are out there, but the chances of anything bad happening are pretty remote as long as you don't do anything stupid. I took the approach that I did not want to sleep to close to my food. So If I was in my tent, yes I would hang my food bag each night. In areas where bears are a problem, many campsites have bear boxes or poles for storing your food, so I used them. In other areas where bears are not so much a problem, the shelters tend to have 'mouse hangers' , pieces of cord hanging from the roof with an empty tin threaded onto it. Most people use these, and there's not much point hanging your food if others don't. So I went with the flow & hung my food bag from the roof.... at least it was a couple of metres away from me in my sleeping bag........... basically I just avoided sleeping right next to a bag full of bear treats (ie. in my tent with my food bag)

Saw a couple of bears, but they ran off before I could get any photos. Had one wander through my campsite one night, but food was hung & so it didn't stay long.

To be honest, I was far more worried about being able to identify Poison Ivy !!
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby russ752 » Sun 10 Mar, 2013 5:17 pm

Got to agree with you there Turfa. The only glimses I ever got of bears were dark shapes running away. The 3 things that really scared me on the trail were lightning storms on exposed ridges, lyme disease and of course poison ivy. Brushed against some in NJ and it was still driving me crazy 4 weeks later
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Sun 10 Mar, 2013 7:17 pm

russ752 wrote:Got to agree with you there Turfa. The only glimses I ever got of bears were dark shapes running away. The 3 things that really scared me on the trail were lightning storms on exposed ridges, lyme disease and of course poison ivy. Brushed against some in NJ and it was still driving me crazy 4 weeks later


Bugger...I hear it is very unpleasant. Luckily I did manage to avoid the poison ivy, but did see some VERY unpleasant cases ! (and in one case I just had to ask...how on earth did you get it there ???)......... it seems the urushiol oil spreads very easily on your hands....so don't even think about scratching yourself when in poison ivy country !!!!

The whole Lyme disease thing was just crazy. They say that you should check yourself for deer ticks every night as it takes at least 24 hours to get infected. But the ticks are a tiny black speck & I was pretty much covered in tiny black specks most of the time.......obviously it was always just dirt !

All kinds of new experiences :D
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby digbyg » Thu 27 Jun, 2013 5:44 pm

I through hiked in 2010. The most incredible walking experience; it becomes so much a part of you that I still miss the trail cameraderie and the simplicity of life on the trail. I am just now cleaning out my bookshelves and have a set of the AT guides going begging. If you are interested, email me at digby@capetrib.com.au
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby wayno » Fri 28 Jun, 2013 3:54 am

seems to be a great community and social network on the american trails. people of like minds enjoying the outdoors and living simply, away from the clutter and materialism of modern life.
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Fri 28 Jun, 2013 9:57 pm

Hey Digbyg, I'm interested in those trail guides ! I have the full set of maps, but didn't get the guides. How much do you want for them ?

You are right Wayno about the community & the simplicity of living, but I think it has more to do with the sheer length of the trail. You are out there for so long that walking in the bush with your pack becomes your normal life, not just a break from your normal life. That makes a big difference
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby russ752 » Mon 08 Jul, 2013 3:03 pm

For those interested this is the link to Jacko's journal http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=423569 . Sounds like the PA rocks are getting to him. Difficult to describe the rocks to anyone that hasn't done them but they are absolutely brutal. To make it worse they don't end at PA, you have about another 100 kms of them once you get to New Jersey.
It's funny, each State has it's challenges; the brutally steep climbs in the South, the rocks of PA, the sheer distance in Virginia, the oppressive heat and short steep climbs of the mid Atlantic states, the general brutality of New hampshire and Maine...Hell I'm making this sound awful, that being said though there is not a day goes by that I don't think about the trail and the wonderful time I had.

Next adventure is this http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes- ... ica-trail/ . Locked in for next May
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Jag » Mon 16 Sep, 2013 1:57 pm

I got to Vermont in 2010 . I got injured after getting Lymes disease.

My advice would be to split it into 2 years . When you get to Harpers. Ferry it is enough. After that the body starts breaking down . Plus Lymes disease is getting rampant from Va to Conneticut & it canbe weeks before the full effects are known .

Any questions I would also be glad to answer.

Cheers.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby jacko1956 » Thu 19 Sep, 2013 10:59 am

Just home after summitting Katahdin on 31st August.
For the record I didn't thruhike entire trail.
Hiked over 1800 mile and paddled (South fork of Shenandoah River) over 100 more.
Personal recommendation would be to hit "highlights" and skip anything between 100 and 1000 mile depending on timetable and fitness etc.
It is very hard on the body to do a complete thruhike in one go.
Fantastic country and a great way to see it.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Thu 19 Sep, 2013 6:25 pm

Welcome home Jacko..... Followed your journal.... Well, I followed Army Ant's journal :-) seems like you had a fantastic time. Congratulations on a terrific achievement. It is a long & hard trip !

KK
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby norts » Thu 19 Sep, 2013 9:17 pm

Well done jacko.
I have been keeping an eye on you.

Roger
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby kanangra » Wed 18 Dec, 2013 11:28 am

Jacko,

Any chance of a bit of a wrap up of your experiences on the trail now that you have had a bit of a chance to digest it all?

K.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby wayno » Wed 18 Dec, 2013 11:37 am

sounds like great advice jacko... similar advice i give to people doing Te Araroa in NZ... skip most of the north island and focus on the south island to avoid running out of steam and missing the best bits
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby digbyg » Wed 05 Mar, 2014 9:44 pm

I through hiked as Wizard from Oz in 2010 with Tripper. My biggest problem was simply finding enough calories. After the second month, I was dropping into depression by 10:30 and saying 'I can't go on'. We rescheduled with resupply every 4 days instead of every week, and the calorie boost from pigging out in towns made all the difference. We also went through every water treatment system and all failed the long term except aqua mira. Filters blocked, valves tore, batteries unavailable, voltage sensing failed, chlorine tabs burn the throat etc. In spite of the hassles, this was still an outstanding experience that I cannot recommend enough.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby norts » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 9:28 am

Just stopped in to let ppl know I am still alive and haven't been eaten by bears.
I actually started walking on the 20 Mar 14, Trail name - Taz.
I am at mile 1352.9 with 832.4 miles to go on the AT. I am at a small town called Vernon in New Jersey.
A few thoughts on the AT:
It's *&%$#! hard work.
It aint bushwalking.
The trail angels are amazing. The trail bring the best out in ppl.
6 months doesn't seem a long time when sitting at home planning a walk, it is along time when your feet hurt every day. No rain, no pain, no Maine
I have lost 20 kgs - so if you want lose weight but still eat as much as you can( when in town) walk the trail.
You don't need as much gear as you think you will need. I am going to do a post at the end of my hike on gear.
It snows in Georgia, Tennesse and North Carolina in March and April.
Your feet get at least one size bigger. I am about to go up another half size

Don't have much time as I have to hand this puter over to another thru hiker.
If anyone has any questions I will try and get back to answer them when I can other wise you can email me at norts60(at)hotmail.com
Taz( norts)
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 10:05 am

Congratulations Taz on achieving so much. Wow.... 20kg thats a lot of weight gone.
I like reading about the AT in particular trip reports and books written by thru hikers, every book and or trip report I have read, they all say the same thing. "You don't need as much gear as expected"

I'm very interested in hearing about your pack contents and final pack weight.

Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk
Last edited by ULWalkingPhil on Thu 26 Jun, 2014 10:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 10:05 am

Sorry, I accidentally double posted.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Nuts » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 10:56 am

Wow, well done norts, wondered if you'd become bear toothpick. 20kg :shock:
Wild Wildest Wilderness WHA All Sensitive, All Precious!
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 11:12 am

Great to hear from you norts/Taz...and well done on making it to New Jersey. You survived the Pennsylvania rocks !!!!

Look after those feet (and the rest of your body)..those last 800 miles are tough !!
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Tortoise » Thu 26 Jun, 2014 10:06 pm

Hey Norts. Great to read the update. Wow - you'll be sailing up mountains when you get home. :)
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby north-north-west » Fri 27 Jun, 2014 6:35 pm

Hey norts, great to hear from you. :D Hard luck for the bears - you wouldn't be worth eating now, all bone and sinew, no nice soft tasty fatty bits left.
Will be fascinating to hear the story once it's all over.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby kanangra » Sun 29 Jun, 2014 7:02 pm

Great work Norts. I have often wondered what a big through hike would be like. I find my feet swell after just a few days of walking. Cant imagine what it would be like after 6 months? :shock: I would be interested to hear more on why you would not consider it to be a bushwalk?

K
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby jacko1956 » Wed 30 Jul, 2014 9:57 pm

My apologies to anyone waiting on further info from my hike last year. I have not forgotten but am not sure where to start beyond what I covered in my trail journal (trailjournals.com). There was so much that happened that was not just about the hike.
I am going to do the Camino de Santiago de Compestela (Camino Frances) in Spain this September and October.
I am toying with the idea of a book covering my experience in doing the Bibbulmun, the AT and the Camino in 3 years.
I will see where my emotions on this sit when I return from the Camino.
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby Turfa » Wed 30 Jul, 2014 10:03 pm

Hey Jacko, good to hear from you. Very envious about the Camino trip...... Have a great time !
Would be a very interesting read if you do get around to writing about your trips...
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Re: Appalachian Trail

Postby tas-man » Thu 07 Aug, 2014 10:47 am

I only just discovered this thread today, and have been following my friend NORTS' progress these past few months on a big wall map with his regular email updates to family and friends. I am sure that he would not mind my sharing his latest update here. Photo from July 24th on top of Mount Moosilauke.

WP_20140724_001.jpg


Thursday, 7 August 2014 7:24 AM
Subject: AT Update 5 August

Lying in my tent listening to rain and thunder. I am tired, really tired. It has been 3 weeks since my last zero(day with no walking). I am planning on one on Saturday, hopefully it will be my last zero for the trail.
Struggling to make good miles at the moment, too much climbing and descents. 9 hours of walking today and only made 12 miles.
Oh yes I am in Maine. The last state, I have now walked from Georgia to Maine.
Lots of groups of children on the trail over the last few weeks, mainly from summer camps, some are scouts. They are all carrying large packs that look like they weigh more than mine. Always very polite, and call me sir, why do Americans call people sir?
Met a couple of young blokes thru hiking, I think they have been stoned the whole way from Georgia. Offered me some on top of a mountain today but I said I was high enough!
Went through Mahoosuc notch yesterday, "most difficult or fun mile of the AT" as the guide book describes it. Lots of boulders. There is still a big block of ice down there, at first I thought it was quartz rock.
Tomorrow,probably when I get to send this email, I plan to go into Andover to do a small resupply. It is a small town about the size of St Marys. It is a 8 mile hitch into town, I am hoping to get into a hostel for the night. I need a shower. Trouble is I have to walk 14 miles first. Could be a long day if no one wants to pick up a dirty,smelly hiker..
Only 261 miles to go?

Roger (Norts)
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Werner Herzog
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