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Hello, I'm Jack. Thinking about hiking the Appalachian trail

Hello I'm Jack.im 64 years old and it would be an experience to do this trail next year.im in the planning and fitness stage right now.any suggestions on how to start preparing?

7 Replies

@jlacombe 

Hi Jack - Welcome to the community! We are so glad you are here. 

I used to live in Killington, VT - a town along the AT - and always loved providing trail magic to the stream of hikers that came through. It is wonderful to hear that you are planning to get out there and experience it. 

We think that you should take a look at our brand new Appalachian Trail Hikers group. We started it because so many people join this community talking about the trail, so you are sure to be in good company. Hopefully there will be community members with AT experience to give you tips and suggestions for preparing for your hike.

Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself. Again, we are happy you are here! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I'm in the planning stages too, but in about 5 yrs from now. I found this site interesting, you might too.

https://thetrek.co/how-to-thru-hike-appalachian-trail-101-guide/

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

There’s also the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Lots of great resources there 

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@jlacombe that is awesome!!  I'm planning a thru hike when I retire but I'm a few years out.  I'll definitely be interested to follow your journey and take any pointers or lessons learned you pick up along the way.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I'm just getting into hiking, been doing lots of training hikes and just completed my first warm up trail (C&O Canal Towpath).  While I'm trying to be smart about tackling the AT in sections, I'd like to first try the Maryland section and the Shenandoah NP section.   Looking for some insight on the trail, especially the elevation aspect to it.  What's a realistic mileage estimate for those sections for an older beginner?  I'm 47 yrs old and could be in better shape, which is one of the reasons why I started backpacking.  

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Hi @JeffPPeters - Thanks for reaching out! 

These are great questions. It's wonderful to hear that you are also interested in section hiking the AT! As you see, there are lots of people in the community excited about the trail.

We think that this question would gather more responses as its own post in the Appalachian Trail Hikers group, rather than as a response in this Introduce Yourself board. You can copy and paste this post above, click on that group link, hit 'Join Group', select 'Start a Topic', give it a title and you're ready to post! 

Thanks again for reaching out and bringing such a great question to the community. We look forward to seeing the feedback people have to share.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Along with @SILHiker I recommend The Trek website. It is pretty current with a lot of advice from folk who have recently hiked or are getting ready to hike the AT.

aka "Boonerelli"


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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