Appalachian trail .. a 14 state 2190 mile hiking trail that many know about. If you are a "thru Hiker" you will be planning on traveling the full
length in one shot. Spending 6-8 months away from family and friends, becoming one with nature again.
There is also day hiking, multi-day/weekend hiking, and section hiking. The first two being self explanatory, the third just means that you are doing
a section of the trail at bit at a time, eventually hiking the whole trail over a few years versus doing it all in 6-8 months. Most people do this,
section hiking. Over 3 million visitors a year to the trail, the youngest person to have hiked it being 8 years old, the oldest being 81 years old.
With varying ages in between (I believe there is a 15 year old girl who was the first youngest solo thru hiker) and a 74 year old woman whose trail
name is Drag'n Fly.
For having so many visitors on the trail, the death toll
(any death is not to be taken lightly, but to have so few with so many hikers is a good thing) There was one person who has been deemed the
Appalachian Trail serial killer. Randall Lee Smith (excerpt below)
There are many perils on the Appalachian Trail, including exposure, dehydration and wild animals. And then there’s
Randall Lee Smith. In 1981 Smith befriended two
hikers on the trail. But in the middle of the night, while the three slept at the Appalachian Trail’s Wapiti Shelter in southwestern Virginia, Smith
shot one of his new companions in the head with a .22 bullet and, after a struggle, killed the other one in a gruesome stabbing. In a plea deal, he
was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder for his crimes.
The trail is marked with blazes
, which show
you the trail through all 14 states. White blazes denote the trail, blue blazes denote side trails and there are lots of other colors located along
the trail. Some notable ones are brown (privy areas) , Amber (town close to buy beer) Pink (Lovers meeting place) etc..
Also, camping away from the trail more than 1 mile is suggested if you are wanting to set up a tent of your own, but there are designated campsites
and shelters along the trail that most use. These shelters are usually meant for one to two people, and also are home to some small rodents, including
mice and snakes (this is not a good thing for me) But, on some parts of the trail, there are trail towns, which are usually 30-50 miles away from one
another, that offer cheap housing and hotels to trail goers.
So, there it is (see pic below), running from Maine to Georgia. And I am looking to become one of the many "section Hikers" that visit there. I am
wanting to pick a section that is low to moderate in intensity. I am in average to above average physical condition, but I have never hiked before,
not even a day hike. The area I live in is mostly flat land, there is no real opportunity to "condition" my body to severe terrain changes. I would
like to do a seven day hike which would have me covering roughly 40 miles(5-8 miles a day being the average distance covered)
I was just wondering if there were other ATS members who have tackled this and if anyone had any advice they could offer. Something they wish they'd
known prior to hiking it or a section of the trail that was better/worse than others. Also..would you do it again? The best/worse part of your
experience while hiking. Just basically any information that would be helpful to know before going.
I will be at work today, so won't really be able to respond to any posts until I get home late this evening. But would appreciate any
information/experiences someone has to share.
Dragn - Fly
Step by Step Hiking Guide
on 13-3-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)
edit on 13-3-2016 by blend57 because: (no reason given)