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 AT Thru Hike Planning 
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Leg Burner
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:04 am
Posts: 77
Location: South Portland, ME
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 AT Thru Hike Planning
I'm hoping there are some previous thru hikers that can answer a quick question for me...
How much "actual" planning did you do for your thru hike?
I am leaving for Georgia on March 6th and besides getting my gear in order I haven't done much planning other than the logistics for getting down to Springer Mtn. I have tried to sit down with AWOL's guide and a few maps, but for something thats going to take me 5-6 months I really don't see the point in trying to figure out where I want to be day by day. It seems to me that it might be easier just to figure it all out as I go and not have a specific game plan to follow?
I did they Long Trail this past fall and did all my re-supplies as mail drops. Being only 3 weeks, it just seemed easier to do it that way and it worked out well, but postage adds up quickly and it's an expense I will try and keep to a minimum on the AT by doing the vast majority of re-supplies in towns and grocery stores.
Would love to hear from anyone that has done it before as to how they planned their thru hike.
Thanks!


Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:19 am
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Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:40 pm
Posts: 1667
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 Re: AT Thru Hike Planning
I haven't done anything any where near this, but I do have some advice if you do end up doing mail drops. Postal Service has those Flat Rate Priority boxes. They'll save you $ on the heavy and far away (I'm constantly looking this up for customers before they go with the flat rate or something else. Sometimes they end up being cheaper than the usually cheaper Standard. But if someone is mailing these for you when you get closer to home, variable rate or standard might be better.


Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:31 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:35 pm
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Location: south of the notches
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 Re: AT Thru Hike Planning
I got nuthin' - but envy, sort of. I cannot envision myself ever doing the AT though I think I might perhaps possibly maybe sort of be interested.

Best of luck. There must be a forum for this type of question. White something or other. White blaze. Have you tried your query there?

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Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:16 pm
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
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Location: Exeter, NH
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 Re: AT Thru Hike Planning
White Blaze would be the place to ask. I know NHFlyer did it a couple years ago and Cracky a few before that. I though I remembered Raven also saying he did but I could be mistaken. And the two I'm sure did it no longer post here. You could try PMing them and hope they respond if all else fails.


Last edited by Granite Guy on Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:31 pm
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Leg Burner
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:04 am
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Location: South Portland, ME
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 Re: AT Thru Hike Planning
Thanks folks, I checked out Whiteblaze and good lord, more than enough information! Almost too much! Think I'm going to try and plan the first month before leaving and that should give me enough time on trail to figure out how it all works out and go from there.


Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:07 pm
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 Re: AT Thru Hike Planning
Stovetop04106 wrote:
Thanks folks, I checked out Whiteblaze and good lord, more than enough information! Almost too much! Think I'm going to try and plan the first month before leaving and that should give me enough time on trail to figure out how it all works out and go from there.

Glad to help. Hope your hiking is a most excellent adventure. Keep us posted. We will experience it vicariously though you. Even just a single picture every once in a while would be appreciated. Especially the smokies.

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Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:27 pm
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Leg Burner
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:51 pm
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Location: Gorham, NH
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 Re: AT Thru Hike Planning
I don't post here anymore but I certainly do lurk :lol:

As GG mentioned, I thru hiked the AT in '14. It was my first long distance hike and I found that trying to figure out mails drops on top of all the other planning and logistics was just too overwhelming. Not to mention, I had no clue what I was going to eat! Resupplying as you go on the AT is pretty easy. Off the top of my head I can think of a few places you may want to send yourself a mail drop (which you can do from a previous town stop while on the trail):

Fontana Dam
Harper's Ferrry
Andover, ME

Not absolutely necessary but it will save you time and/or money in these spots. There are probably a few others but I would need to consult my guide to jog my memory.

Whiteblaze is a good source of info but there is loads of it which I found to be overwhelming. There are also a lot of "know-it-alls" on there which I'm sure you've already seen. The Appalachian Trials website is also valuable, I was a writer for them and I actually wrote an article "5 ways to become a back country super chef" which you may find helpful.

You will definitely figure it out as you go. There are SO many hikers with all levels of experience who, for the most part, are not at all judgemental and will gladly help you out in anyway they can. Thru-hiking is an amazing experience and I miss it every single day. I wish you the best of luck and please feel free to PM here with any questions, I will be happy to answer and help you out in any way!

And most importantly, if there is one thing to remember it is this: it takes the shitty days to make the good days, great days.

Happy Trails,
Tip-Toe

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Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:00 pm
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 Re: AT Thru Hike Planning
NH_Flyer wrote:
And most importantly, if there is one thing to remember it is this: it takes the shitty days to make the good days, great days.

Sage advice, both on and off the trail

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Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:09 pm
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