Planning a hiking trip..

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by tweakmonkey, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Appalachian Trail Home Page - Appalachian Trail

    I'll probably go with my brother in about 2-2.5 years... we have to wait for him to be out of school and plan to take 3-4 months on the journey. I've never been to the East coast so it should be pretty interesting. Any thoughts? Anyone ever considered this or the Pacific Crest Trail?
  2. jake

    jake Vagabond

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    You want to hike the whole thing?
  3. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

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    how do you people just take off 3-4 months at a time? i couldn't even take 3-4 DAYS off at a time if I wanted to...

    seems like it would be a sweet adventure though.
  4. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I don't know yet. I would have to see what kind of condition I was in and it'd depend largely on how much time I'd have. I imagine even 1000 miles would be a hell of an adventure, especially since I've never seen the eastern side of the US.

    That's why I'm planning this for years from now.
  5. smirnoff

    smirnoff Curmudgeon

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    Sounds awesome.

    My only advice would be to start buying and trying any gear you don't have yet but will need. For a trip of that length I'd want to be good and comfortable with, and confident in, all of my equiptment before I started out. I've got a closet full of stuff I thought would be great when I bought it, but after a few summers of hiking/canoeing/camping have discovered otherwise.

    But on the bright side here is some of my favourite gear I bought/made this year:

    ONTARIO 12 in. Traditional Sawback Machete - 30$
    [​IMG]
    12" seems to be the perfect length for me. Really easy to pack, and not too cumbersome if you decide to wear it on your hip. It chops as well as a hatchet and is way more versatile. The sawback isn't great, but it comes in handy sometimes for precision work. I've tried collapsible pack saws, and while they work great, they are too bulky and single purposed to justify bringing along imo. Also, it's funny how often I ended up using it for mundane (non-macheteish) tasks, like digging and hammering. Something I'd take with me on any trip. I think it only cost 30$

    Good hiking boots (in my case Zamberlan Men's 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boot) - 285$
    [​IMG]
    A good boot made all the difference for me (and socks). Comfortable, no blisters and waterproof (up to the rim). And even when I went walking around in a lake and filled the boots with water I managed to dry them in about 4 hours just by stopping every 30 or 40 minutes and wringing out my socks. Cost a lot, but I'd buy 'em again in a second. In fact I've considered buying a second pair now, for if/when my originals wear out...

    edit: I had worries about such a waterproof boot being not breathable... but that wasn't the case at all. My feet were warm, but never sweaty if you know what I mean.

    Snowpeak titantium mini solo cook set - 55$
    [​IMG]
    Perfect size for one person. Light, strong, easy to pack.

    Cheap alcohol stove rig - free
    I've fucked around with a lot of different stoves (everything from popcan penny stoves to bulky propane setups), but this is by far my favourite. 1 tomato paste can cut down to about an 1.5 inches, 1 small size coffee can cut down to about 4 inches, and two tent pegs.
    [​IMG]

    Just fill the tomato paste can with methyl hydrate and light it. It's dead simple. The fuel is cheap as shit, and it doesn't need a lot to boil a pot of water.
    [​IMG]

    I can fit a fuel bottle (enough for 1week), the stove, an sos pad and a lighter inside the pot, which all slides into the windscree/stand. Nice and compact. For dinners I buy those lipton sidekicks, which just happen to be the perfect size meal and fit perfectly in the pot. Also, they are cheap and salty (flavorful). A good meal in 20 minutes. Oatmeal for breakfast takes all of 5 minutes.
    [​IMG]


    Seat thing - 25$

    [​IMG]
    Fold your sleeping pad and slide it into the orange thingy. I didn't know how much I'd use it when I bought it, but I use it all the time. Fuck sitting on bare rocks and stumps. This is luxury! I should've bought one years ago. It packs up to nothing.

    That's all I can think of for the really really good stuff.


    The biggest disappointment for me was that hammock thing I bought. I believe I posted about it earlier in the year. It looked like a great idea but it turned out to have a lot of problems. Firstly, mosquitoes have no problem biting through it. Secondly, if it's even a little bit cold at night, you'll be cold. Enough said.
    [​IMG]
    I could see using it in very warm weather in non buggy locations, but otherwise I'm sticking with my tent. Too bad, because it was really comfy.
  6. Octane91

    Octane91 <smartass comment> Staff Member

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    To add to Smirnoff excellent post, find a good backpack! I recommend Osprey or Kelty. I currently use the Osprey Aether 70 and its a fantastic pack, but it may not be for you. Go to a good camping store that's in your area and try all different brands and styles of backpack and see what you like.
  7. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I've got a lot of gear now, but the posts you've made gave me some great ideas. Lots of time to plan!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. smirnoff

    smirnoff Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, you'll be ready to rock come trip time.
  9. freeridemusik

    freeridemusik Yep.

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    This would be an amazing trip... great crash course on the east coast and its outdoors.
    [​IMG]
  10. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    I've hiked sections of it, and it's spectacular. If it were me I might consider hiking it in the fall when the temps are low and the vistas are wide. October-December would be perfect because you'd catch the end of the fall leaves too.

    Or maybe start in Maine in August, absolutely perfect time and place to begin.
  11. Coleman

    Coleman fresh off the corner

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    I've been on parts of the VA and NC Appalachian trail and it's amazing. It may be a bit cold when you're hiking it in the fall, though.

    I'll join you for a bit of the trail if you actually do this.
  12. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    Oh how i wish my knees could hack it. i'd be so down for living in the appalations for four months.
  13. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    This has been one of my dreams for a long time, along with biking across country.

    One day...
  14. jake

    jake Vagabond

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    I love hiking but don't think I would enjoy that much after the first month.
  15. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Maybe a month would be my threshold too. Even that's a _long_ time. I think what I'll do is make it an open-ended journey and decide how far along the route to go over time and when I get there. :)
  16. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

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    you obviously get a lot more vacation time than I do. even if I saved every vacation day, I think it would take me 5 years to build up even one month of vacation time, let alone 3-4 months lol.

    other than that, I'd be down with doing something like this. be fun to have a tweak3d hiking/camping get together. the odds of all of us being able to take that much time off at the same time seems pretty slim to me though lol :p
  17. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    Life is a lot easier when you're unemployed :D
  18. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    It wouldn't be vacation time. It'd be more like leave time, time away from work, or quitting. If the place I worked (or you work?) wouldn't take me back 3-4 months later, I'd just find another job. I won't be getting paid to do this, but I imagine it'll be pretty cheap. :)

    That would be very cool too! We should get a NW trip planned some time.
  19. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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