12

I think what you are trying to get at is the proper etiquette for hiking on the AT during peak season, when the most hikers and backpackers are on the trail. Exactly when peak season is, and how many people you will see at peak season really depends on where you are on the trail. Various places will have different number of Thru-hikers, section-hikers, ...


10

I think you need to separate this into two parts: Money spent before the trail starts, and budgeting while on the trail. Before you start, you're going to spend money on gear for sure. Your sleeping bag that was good enough for a weekend trip is now your home... Do you really want to put up with that limp, cold bag for 5-6 months? Same goes with a lot of ...


8

I don't think you need to bypass them at all. You didn't say what time of year you'd be going, but in the later summer/fall, they are not nearly that deep. Also, at any time of year you could easily carry your pack(s) across, then go back and piggy-back your son with a 2nd trip. The first trip would also give you a feel for how rough the crossing would ...


8

In peak season (late spring/summer) most trail etiquette on the AT relates to thru-hikers, but not all of it, and generally is about the same on the whole trail. Thru-hikers are of course those who are continuously hiking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, north or southbound. This information is essentially entirely based on my experience on the AT and ...


7

The best strategy is to probably hike an alternate hike. Instead of the traditional NOBO GAME route with a start date at the end of March, you could go SOBO, or do a flip flop, or start early or late. By avoiding the crowds, you reduce your risks. You can also avoid shelters and hostels. Good hygiene, plenty of rest, and a proper diet are also useful for ...


7

Acquire it 6 months or less before your trip on the AT. There is some controversy but it seems you can probably count on immunity from an exposure to last 6+ months. Some of the best places to acquirer Norovirus (that are easily accessible) are daycare centers and nursing homes. Volunteering at one or more of these institutions, is win/win you get to ...


7

I met a guy who left February 14th, the same day as I did, and he used a 40F Katabatic quilt the whole time. He slept with his down coat and gloves on. I didn't meet many people with 0F bags. I took a 0F Feathered Friends bag and was never uncomfortable. I swapped it out for a 35F bag in early May and had a few cold nights in Northern Virginia. Leaving ...


6

You don't mention any first-aid or survival items. I would include a first aid kit with maybe a compass and signaling mirror, maybe a firestarter of some kind. I would think that would add a negligible amount of weight to your rig.


6

In the civilized world you wash your hands regularly, and food handlers should so and additionally wear gloves so if they carry any pathogen, it's not transmitted to the food. We don't have that luxury during outdoorsman activities such as hiking, but we do have two tools we can use to limit exposure. Carry and use hand sanitizer. Use it before and after ...


5

When at a shelter, there're usually short strings with a tuna-type can to prevent the rodent from accessing your food bag. One can use those instead of hanging the food. See picture from 'Marks AT walk' journal: When tenting, rodents are less of an issue and the PCT hang with enough distance between the branch and your food bad seems to be sufficient. A ...


5

Note: I don't know that its possible to answer this without mentioning the things that have happened, some of which were pretty horrible. Not everyone may want to read this. TLDR: People will be a horrible out of civilization as in it, and the rarity is matched by the severity and barbarity of the incidents. For theft; "We do have some crime. One of ...


5

It's great that you're being so supportive, but there's a limit to what you can do to help. Thru-hiking is all about self-reliance, so your mother really has to develop her own skills and mental resilience. It sounds as though you're already on top of your main role, which is to hold the fort in terms of managing her finances and resupply. To put your mind ...


5

Early October should not be overly busy. South bounders (SOBO) starts around July and will be out of Main by that time. North bounders (NOBO) must finish before October 15 and many of them will already have completed the trail. For SOBOs, June-July is the peak season for Maine. There are less than 500 thru hikers per season in this direction. For NOBOs, July-...


4

For a bare essential setup, you'll do just fine. You might want to consider: Better food selection Duct tape Emergency kit Light source Change the water containers Mini-carabiner Prefer non-canned goods because they are lighter, take less space and the resulting trash compacts better. You can find tuna packs too. You can roll duct tape on your poles or ...


4

I suspect you are bringing more items than you have listed, since you've alluded to some of them in the comments. That said, here's what I see as missing or improvable: Flashlight. Is that because you carry it on you? An LED microlight is quite small. Letting your eyes adapt to the dark often works, but sometimes more is needed. Kitchen gear. Are you ...


4

I suggest that you and your mother read Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. For a look into the book, including sections of text, see here. It also comes in an audio book and was made into a movie in 2015. Bryson hiked with a friend, and although he skipped many sections (i.e., did not complete the trail), he ...


3

TL;DR You should be fine, assuming your daughter is reasonably capable (dealing with the weight of a multi-day overnight pack) and/or you are capable to carry enough extra to make up for what she can't. There aren't too many significantly steep sections, so I don't think you'll have too much trouble. That being said, if you are worried about your or her ...


3

You should probably interpret the incident as a rare fluke and try and forget about it. Murders and crime have happened on the AT before: Frequency of crime/assault on the Appalachian Trail I have been accused of being overly paranoid Is it poor etiquette to ask fellow backpackers where they have been/where they are going? but I suggest you limit the info ...


3

Realistically this is something to be aware of, horrible assaults and murders have happened before on the trail. Beyond that, for me at least this isn't a reason not to hike, it's a reason to be aware and prepared. Tons of people die in car accidents but people are still going to drive to work. These are still very rare compared to the rest of the things in ...


3

I'm not sure that anyone can give you a specific number that will suit your needs. Its worth bearing in mind that the temperature ratings on sleeping bags are created using a somewhat arbitrary test involving a dummy with sensors read more. The good thing about this test is that it creates an objective position from which to judge a sleeping bags insulation ...


3

I've done some short stretches of the AT in near-by areas of NY state which should be about the same as the AT in CT. The trail is well-marked and well-traveled. Wildlife is mostly the standard small woodland animals, but there can also be bears. We have not had trouble finding suitable trees for hoisting a bear bag and have not had a problem with that. ...


3

As far as anyone knows, no one has done a triple hike of each of the Triple Crown of Hiking. That said ... None of the three trail conservatories keep very rigorous records; instead they make estimates of trail usage based on trail registers and permit applications. Someone can do the full PCT and the PCTA would never know that they reached the end. The ...


2

I don't know about online website, but you can use a handheld GPS like Etrex to keep track of your progress. And since this stores GPS in a common format, you can import this data into another program that will render it in Google Maps which you can then display on your web browser.


1

Well, the good news is you'll either have to deal with black flies or the last of the snowpack, but you won't have to deal with them both at the same time. May is peak black fly season : N.H. Black Fly season If you are above 4K feet and there is a storm, significant snow is a possibility. As far as the old snow pack goes, it should be pretty well set up ...


1

I'm looking for the exact same thing. I'm using Guthook's AT Guide for Android to figure out bite size pieces of the trail and if it let you mark sections as complete, it'd be absolutely perfect. I'll prolly stick with that and then a printed map with highlighter for that pretty and satisfying map view...


1

TL;DR short version You have a reasonable list, though I would add a tarp or some other water-proof shelter that is quick and easy to set up and take down. This is to increase mobility or in case an emergency shelter is needed. Natural shelters are cool, but relying only on them slows you down a lot, I mean a really lot, and I'm still understating it. Just ...


1

If you are a coffee drinker, meaning you enjoy caffeine, you can bag some instant coffee grounds in a plastic bag and toss the grounds into your mouth and then drink some water. I would lie if I said it tasted good, but it does provide that kick in the morning. I also find taking a couple strips of duct tape can go a long way. I usually find a surface ...


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