Sunday, December 26, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

What will you wear?
How long will you be gone?
Where will you sleep?
Will you shower?
What will you eat?
How many miles are you hiking?
Who are you going with?
Why do you want to hike the A.T.?
How much will you take?
What will you do when you see wild animals?
Are you sure you want to go?

We get asked these questions and many many more! If you have a question, please feel free to ask! We will try out best to answer...but some things, we just don't know yet!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Game Plan

Finally, we have an timeline, a plan, a goal. We sat down in Gatlinburg Tennessee, and, inspired by the mountains, we worked out an idea of where we will be and when. Here it is:

May 4 Start north in Buchanan, Virginia
May 18 Enter Shenandoah National Park
June 2 Arrive in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania (Be picked up for David's graduation and a short family vacation)
June 10 Restart in Pine Grove, PA
June 24 Wingdale, New York
July 8 Woodstock, Vermont
July 22 Oquossoc, Maine
August 5 Katahdin Mountain in Maine-the northern terminus
August 6-18 Extra time in case we run behind schedule; if on time, we will move the rest of our schedule forward!
August 20 Rachel's wedding in Michigan
August 22 Start south in Buchanan, Virginia
September 5 Damascus, Virginia
September 19 Newfound Gap, Tennessee
October 3 Springer Mountain-the southern terminus of the trail and the end of our journey!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2,181 miles!

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy just announced in the new 2011 Appalachian Trail Data Book that the official length of the Appalachian Trail is now 2,181.0 miles. Relocations and re-measurements in 2010 meant an additional 1.9 miles for the legendary pathway.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Blues

So every time I look outside and see the snow or walk outside and feel the cold, I think to myself, "And I'm going to go live in this? Yeah right!"

But then I remember that we are not actually starting our hike until the beginning of May, and by that time, the snow should be gone. And though there will be cold nights, the temperature will not be in the single digits.

Sometimes I get scared that I won't be able to walk 2,200 miles. Other times, I am so excited that I wish I could start tomorrow. Sometimes the thought of eating rice and pasta for 5 months scares me. Other times, I can't wait to walk into town and devour a pizza single-handidly. Watch out!

When I'm bored these days, I find myself Googling the Appalachian Trail. Or following postings on I'm hooked.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tips and Tricks from

A couple of tricks that can come in handy. I'm a custom home framer so I try to incorporate some of the materials I use at work into my hikes. I can enthusiastically endorse masons string line (avail at any hardware store or home depot for $2/200ft) for hanging bear bags, guying out your tent or anything else you use a heavier rope for. The stuff is virtually unbreakable & resists abrading. Case in point, I have to string across rough concrete to measure & level steel beams, etc. Tough conditions & the stuff never breaks. Best of all, it weighs nothing & has tremendous strength. (Sleepwalker)

They have PV foam towels used for drying cars in Wal-Mart in the automotive section...come in a clear plastic tube, cost 6 bucks. It's my most useful piece of gear. When completely dry & folded it feels & weighs about the same as a Styrofoam block the size of a pack of cigarettes. It absorbs 20 times its weight in water & releases 96% of it when you wring it. Makes a great bath towel, cut up it makes great headbands & wristbands, it dries your tent off in the morning like nothing else does. (Swift)

Duct tape, duct tape, duct tape not something new but I love this stuff. I use it for everything. (CaptChaos)

You can take a zero miles day in the woods much cheaper, & perhaps less stressful, than in town. Can't spend money in the woods. (Doctari)

When you come upon a Winnebago or folks having a picnic, introduce yourself & ask if you could by a few slices of bread. In no time you'll be feasting on all kinds of good stuff. (L. Wolf)

Throw in a dispo razor, motel-sized conditioning shampoo, & bar of motel-size soap into each of your mail drops. Pick up your maildrop before getting a shower. No need to worry about buying them in BFEville before you get your town shower that way. (Minnesotasmith)

I throw my extra clothing (socks, underwear, pants, shirt, etc..) in my stuff sack for my sleeping bag & use it as a pillow. (Green Bean)

Never quit on a bad day.You complain all the way up the mountain, but on the way home you start planning your next trip. (ATRagamuffin)

Years ago I hiked until I was exhausted & then took a break. During my thru-hike, & ever since, I have begun taking a short break EVERY HOUR (give or take a few minutes). What I've learned is that I can hiker longer & farther in a days time without being so tired when I get to my campsite for the night. I also have noticed is that I have fewer aches/pains. Coupled with the more frequent rest stops are increased snacks, which maintain more constant energy levels instead of the highs/lows I used to encounter. (Slogger)

If You Don't Use It Every Day You Probably Don't Need It! (mrc237)