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2-3 week trip from Springer Mountain

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    • 2-3 week trip from Springer Mountain

      Hey all!

      First post here. Some background on my hiking experience and fitness which may help answer my question: Many, many, day hikes but nothing very intensive. I hiked from Springer Mt. to Woody Gap (20.5 miles) a few years ago, took around 8 hours but obviously I was not carrying much gear. I've done some big ascent/descent hikes, recently about 1200m ascent/descent over about 10 km. I'm in good shape, running around 3 hours for the marathon and just generally running all the time.

      I'm interviewing for grad school and then (hopefully!) starting next fall, and I'm hoping to spend 2-3 weeks hiking in the early summer (May or June). I know this is really un-ideal, and maybe even impossible, so please let me know if that is the case and I may look into flying up North...

      I am wondering what a reasonable goal distance for this timeframe would be. If I plan for approx. 200 miles, 14 mile days would put me at 2 weeks and I would have some wiggle room if I needed to slow down. I really have no frame of reference for what an aggressive or easy goal would be. In my head hiking 14 miles a day sounds very easy, but I have a feeling that once I'm out there it may seem daunting.
    • Trolop, first welcome to the Cafe. And also congratulations for getting into your graduate program.

      200 miles is certainly doable in 2 to 3 weeks if you are in decent shape at your age (which you appear to be), and have gear that is not too heavy. The key is allowing yourself flexibility to slow down and/or get off if you need to.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Best thing you can do this spring is start gathering up your gear and footwear (personally recommend trail runners) and go out for some weekend trial hikes.

      That will give you the best idea of what works for you and what doesn't. And then you can make adjustments before you commit to 2-3 weeks.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Welcome to the cafe Troplop. You will have to tell us where that name comes from. Grad school studying what????

      Not sure why your plans would be impossible. If you were thinking about the weather, I wouldn't think that should be too much of an issue. I've not hiked that far south yet, but I've done some VA hikes in mid summer and it wasn't so bad. I was worried about the heat but it wasn't really an issue for me. The southern 200 miles of the AT are at a pretty high elevation so the heat shouldn't be too bad unless you hit a freakish heat way. I would expect May to be especially pleasant.

      Also since you're new here you should know that thread drift is allowed. Can you believe OSU almost blew it after their first half blow out?
    • @Astro Thanks for the feedback. I've done a decent amount of trail running and the idea to wear trail runners sounds great, I hadn't considered that and was leaning more towards hiking boots. Gear is going to be very difficult for me to gather, as I'm pretty unfamiliar with backpacking gear/essentials. The only thing I'm pretty set on is sleeping in a hammock with some sort of shell/cover, as that seems to be by far the lightest/easiest to set up. Any good resources for gear or food planning would be greatly appreciated!

      @odd man out My name has a ridiculous origin... I used the screenname "thetrooper" (of Iron Maiden fame) ages ago, my friend started calling me trooploop, and then I switched to a game where that name was (unimaginably) taken... remove two o's and you get: troplop! I'll be studying microbiology.

      Yeah I was most concerned about the heat, I'm in Florida so I know sometimes the heat can be pretty destructive, but it's good to hear it might not be as bad as I'm imagining up in the mountains that time of year.
    • Sorry, can’t help myself....but have you considered the Benton Mackaye Trail? It starts at Springer, can be hiked in three weeks or less, and you get the satisfaction of completing a BMT thru hike.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Now if it was me, I would just pick up at Woody Gap and head north. And repeat every summer or other break/chance you get. :)

      Please note that the logistics to Woody Gap should be easier than Springer.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Troplop wrote:

      @Astro Thanks for the feedback. I've done a decent amount of trail running and the idea to wear trail runners sounds great, I hadn't considered that and was leaning more towards hiking boots. Gear is going to be very difficult for me to gather, as I'm pretty unfamiliar with backpacking gear/essentials. The only thing I'm pretty set on is sleeping in a hammock with some sort of shell/cover, as that seems to be by far the lightest/easiest to set up. Any good resources for gear or food planning would be greatly appreciated!

      @odd man out My name has a ridiculous origin... I used the screenname "thetrooper" (of Iron Maiden fame) ages ago, my friend started calling me trooploop, and then I switched to a game where that name was (unimaginably) taken... remove two o's and you get: troplop! I'll be studying microbiology.

      Yeah I was most concerned about the heat, I'm in Florida so I know sometimes the heat can be pretty destructive, but it's good to hear it might not be as bad as I'm imagining up in the mountains that time of year.
      I keep reading it as Trollop and think, damn...they are brave!
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Words of advice, don't let anyone tell you how easy the hiking is in the southern Appalachians. Also, hiking 2 to 3 weeks is a lot different than doing a brisk day hike. you'll have to carry more, you'll usually need to get up and hike even before you begin to recover from the previous days hike. everything will hurt before you get used to the hiking/camping and 2 to 3 weeks is not enough to get used to the hiking/camping. Allow yourself some zero days, allow yourself some slow days and allow for a bailout if needed. It wasn't just me that had a hard time the first few weeks on the AT in 2000. I thought I was in great shape, Who knew?
    • Astro wrote:

      Now if it was me, I would just pick up at Woody Gap and head north. And repeat every summer or other break/chance you get. :)

      Please note that the logistics to Woody Gap should be easier than Springer.
      i agree with this, assuming you want to start in georgia. it'll take you the better part of 2 days to get to woody carrying a pack -- why repeat it? use those 2 days for new scenery.
      2,000 miler
    • chief wrote:

      Words of advice, don't let anyone tell you how easy the hiking is in the southern Appalachians. Also, hiking 2 to 3 weeks is a lot different than doing a brisk day hike. you'll have to carry more, you'll usually need to get up and hike even before you begin to recover from the previous days hike. everything will hurt before you get used to the hiking/camping and 2 to 3 weeks is not enough to get used to the hiking/camping. Allow yourself some zero days, allow yourself some slow days and allow for a bailout if needed. It wasn't just me that had a hard time the first few weeks on the AT in 2000. I thought I was in great shape, Who knew?
      some good advice in this post also. you'll want to take a zero every 5-6 days or so. you have no idea how good clean clothes feel, how good that town dinner of pizza/cheeseburger and cold beer is gonna taste after a week of freeze dried, and how good that town breakfast with real coffee is gonna taste the morning you leave. and as a new hiker you may decide you need something or decide you want to mail something home. the trail goes thru mountain crossings at neels gap (mile 30) which is a great spot to spend money on new gear. :) they also mail over a ton of gear home from hikers who realize they packed more than they needed.

      between springer and the GSMNP you'll pass many roads; keep a list of shuttlers with you and you'll be able to stop just about anywhere without much planning. while you are in the GSMNP your extraction options are a bit more limited (and expensive).
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • it's gonna be hot in georgia in june -- it's summer -- it'll be hot most everywhere. i'm from florida -- it's not going to be near as hot as what you are acclimated to.

      but if you want to "escape" the heat don't go crazy and head to maine. in may/june you'll be in black fly season new hampshire thru maine. vermont asks that you stay off the trails til memorial day becasue of the mud. and no guarantee as to when mt.katahdin in maine will be open. the trails are open when the rangers say they are open. may 15 is when camping is open; but it's iffy to plan a katahdin hike before memorial day. occasionally (rarely) opening day isn't til june.
      2,000 miler