Hey fellow Bernds,
starting in early to mid march next year, I want to thru-hike the Appalachian trail, a ~3.500km/2,000mile hiking trail. I have hiked before, but only for 5-7 days in the alps, so long-distance trails are totally new to me.
If someone is interested, I will provied my full pack list, but right now I have a few specific questions:
1) I originally planned on taking a gas stove (I already got a Primus Mimer Duo from previous festival trips), but then I heard that many people use alcohol stoves since they are lighter and burn at all temperatures, while the standard gas has problems at colder temperatures. But I also heard that alcohol stoves tend to be very wind-sensitive and their power output is quite low compared to a gas stove. Can anyone verify any of that?
2) If you have experience regarding long-distance trips: Could you share a few hints and tricks that might come in handy but are not so obvious to concieve?
3) Is a base weight of 9kg (20 pounds) light enough?
4) As I come from germany and I don't have any relatives/friends/whatsoever in the states I won't be able to use the "mail drop" technique to supply myself with equipment along the trail. Or would it work? My main problem here would be the sleeping bag: Mine is rated at -5°C (23°F), which is a bit too cold at the start (but I'll just dress more for sleeping then), but is said to be quite overrated when I arrive at warmer states. Most people then change their bag by sending it away and receiving a lighter bag per mail. As this is probably impossible for me: Do you think I can manage with the -5° bag for the whole trip or will it just be an ordeal in the warmer states?
Thanks for any helpful comments and advice!
You will be crossing countless backroads, highways, and Interstates along that route. Re-supplying should not be difficult at all. It would be a simple matter of finding the nearest gas station, convenience store, or Wal-Mart.
>going through southeast Pennsylvania
let's be friends, bernd
I would guess that by starting in the south and hiking north you would spare yourself the sleeping bag troubles, what with it being colder in march than in the summer months.
yeah, where are you passing through? i have a car but i'll admit i'm not very well traveled even in my own state
Bill Bryson wrote a book on doing that.
>only 5-7 days
>goes on 2k mile walk
well theres your first mistake.
Probably mid to end may.
Yeah, I read that. Very entertaining, but not that helpful in my opinion.
If that's going to be a mistake is yet to be seen. But help me out: I still got about 8 weeks till the plane takes off. And I could still cancel the trip if you make a solid point that it's an impossible/stupid/no-hope-of-success endavour. Of course, that's not what I want, so: Any helpful advice?
where (not when), my prussian friend
Oops. Well, I'll enter PA in the Mont Alto state park, walk past Harrisburg towards Centralia and then leave near Stroudsburg.
i've never been to those places unfortunately
how about a stop in amish country aka lancaster county
Hm. Sounds interesting. But I don't know if I can afford time off the trail. I think it's best I just start walking and then report here when I'm getting in the area.
i will be on the lookout
That's fair enough. Mabye it's worth investing in a decent liner, so you can drop the main bag off once it gets too clammy and then use the liner.
Roger that. Also, I heard the Amish speak some kind of german-pidgin-mix-language. That could be fun :3
>not walking the PCT
Well, I'm on it for over five weeks now. Seems to work just fine :3
How are you keeping on, OP?
Around 860 miles done so far. Had to get a new pair of shoes at 730, which unfortunately was ill-fitting and has turned my stride into a hurting hobble by this point. I'll need a day off and see what happens next (a new pair o' shoes also).
In general, I'm still loving it, though. I have made some amazing friends, seen gorgeous landscapes, sunsets and mountains, "enjoyed" the smell of one week of not showering, hiked 51 miles on a single day... and lots of other things. And just 1300 more miles to go, then I'm already done!
Also, have pictures of my tent, my cooking setup and one of the many shelters I slept in.
>>2353 That picture is non-representative. The vast majority of hikers just graduated university and is between 20 and 26. The next biggest group is retirees, usually 60+. And don't believe they are slow! Maybe a little slower then the young ones while on the move, but extremely steady and continuous.
About the solitude: It depends. I have rarely set up camp alone or slept in a shelter by myself. It has happened, but maybe three or four times in 66 days out. Usually, I hike alone or with a friend during the day and sleep in a shelter with around 5 other people at night. The next few weeks I will hit the a National Park, so on the weekends it will be crowded with dayhikers. By now, I can tell if a person is a dayhiker by smell alone. They smell so... clean, washed and like civilization! I don't wanna know what crosses their minds when they smell me, though.