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Who's planning a thru-hike?
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Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Who's planning a thru-hike? on 01/23/2010 07:01:48 MST Print View

In the same spirit as the "Who Is Your Daddy and What Does He Do" thread, I'm curious about how many people are planning a big hike of any big trail at any point in the future. I'm planning on doing the Pacific Crest Trail this summer. I've noticed at least a handful of others who have mentioned AT or PCT ambitions.

So who are you and what are your plans? What gave you the idea to hike whichever long distance trail you're thinking of doing? Did the planning bring you to BPL, or were you already a convert? Let's hear some stories.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
re: Who's planning a thru-hike? on 01/23/2010 11:17:16 MST Print View

I did the PCT in 2008, found that I liked the lifestyle overall, people, etc, so I'm going to try the AT this year.

"What gave you the idea to hike whichever long distance trail you're thinking of doing?"

I live in WA state; hiking PCT sections I ran into thru-hikers, talked with them, and the idea sort of percolated around in my head until a friend said that he was thinking of doing a thru-hike and he and I started interacting a lot about it.

"Did the planning bring you to BPL, or were you already a convert?"

I guess the former, don't recall for certain.

Suggestion: you can get a lot more stories about thru-hikers on one of the two commonly used trail journal (blog) sites, http://postholer.com and http://www.trailjournals.com. Just search the sites for journals on the particular trail and particular year you're interested; perhaps focus on ones that have more posts (they more likely got farther on their trip and/or give more details). Note however that I post quite a lot when on the trail, so perhaps I'm biased! :-)

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: re: Who's planning a thru-hike? on 01/24/2010 06:25:58 MST Print View

Yeah, I know about trailjournals and postholer... but I guess I was more interested here in seeing who else (like me) got addicted to the BPL forums as a result of hiking a long distance trail.

I also have no recollection of how I wound up on the forums in the first place, but they've certainly helped me plan future through hikes.

Enjoy the AT! I really want to do it again someday, but there are too many other trails that I want to do first. Oh well. There will be time aplenty...

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Thinking About It, Maybe Someday... on 01/24/2010 09:17:32 MST Print View

The Way of Saint James -- hiking from Italy to Spain.

Edited by ben2world on 01/24/2010 09:20:36 MST.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Who's planning a thru-hike? on 01/25/2010 05:19:00 MST Print View

CDT 2011. I did the AT in 2009 and talked to a lot of people who did the PCT and enjoyed it, including my college roommate who did it in 2009. I was ready to roll. It sounds like such a great mix of everything hiking- scenery, people, weather, wildlife.
It didn't take long for my roommate to convince me to put off the PCT until another time and join him to try and do the CDT. The remoteness seems like a big hurdle compared to the AT and even PCT. It's not the next logical step, but it gets me much further out of my comfort zone than I would go if left to my own devices, which is exciting.

I'm also planning a 7-8 month bike/trike tour in UL style for 2012, and with some luck the PCT a little ways down the road. I am interested in finding several shorter trails to do, maybe SUL style to hone some skills and train.

I was a forums addict before thru-hiking. The BPL community really taught me a lot about gear and technique. Thanks everyone!

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Always planning a thru-hike on 01/25/2010 11:58:14 MST Print View

I get your drift, as in taking steps to make it happen within the forseeable future. But even though that is not the case with me, I'm cursed to think about the entire world on thru-hike terms. It caused me to leave my drivers license at home on an international trip once; my passport was sufficient, I had thought.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Always planning a thru-hike on 01/25/2010 12:48:55 MST Print View

". It caused me to leave my drivers license at home on an international trip once; my passport was sufficient, I had thought."

Outside of the US, I find public transportation more than sufficient in most instances. Obviously, there are limits... but then, same applies even with a car.

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
angry brother on 01/25/2010 14:33:15 MST Print View

My brother will never forgive me; my zeal was contagious among others of our expedition and he was left the only one able to drive our rental car through Zimbabwe. It's nice to take a break every once and a while on third-world roads.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Who's planning a thru-hike? on 01/25/2010 14:42:58 MST Print View

>So who are you and what are your plans?
I hiked about half the PCT in 2008 and the rest of it plus a little extra in 2009. I don't have any plans now, except maybe to hike portions of the not-yet-built Condor Trail.

>What gave you the idea to hike whichever long distance trail you're thinking of doing?
I wanted to hike the PCT since 1975. I was 10 then. Now I just want to keep my experience alive. I would like to section the PCT again, but I have no plans at this time.

>Did the planning bring you to BPL, or were you already a convert?
I can't quite remember exactly how I got here, but I think I was searching for a tent for my 2008 hike and found this site. I may have found this site in 2009, though. I can't remember.

I do remember Warner Springs Monty making fun of my pack in 2008. He kept saying I needed a makeover. I thought I was already a light hiker. I carried a 1900 cubic inch pack that I expanded by sewing on some external pockets. That's pretty small.

Most people on the trail had really nice equipment. I replaced some equipment while hiking the trail, and then I bought a couple more things before I returned to the trail in 2009. I also made a lot of stuff, mostly little things that don't require sewing or too much skill.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: angry brother on 01/25/2010 14:47:23 MST Print View

Nice! That country is on my list too. Someday.

Met a few 'Rhodesians' on the trail a while ago. Breaks my heart listening to how a relatively sophisticated and prosperous society can be brought to its knees by one man's misrule. People in countries like Zimbabwe, Myanmar, etc. deserve better!

Sorry for the thread drift...

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Re: Thinking About It, Maybe Someday... on 01/25/2010 15:02:31 MST Print View

"The Way of Saint James -- hiking from Italy to Spain"

One of the many friends I made on the AT in 2007 had just finished the Camino Santiago (I never knew it went by "Way of St James") and it sounded pretty sweet. I would love to do some big hikes in Europe, if for nothing besides the food :)

As for everyone else... I'm glad I'm not the only one that plans several years in advance sometimes.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Thinking About It, Maybe Someday... on 01/25/2010 15:30:35 MST Print View

Anglicized. :)

Sorry if you already know, Santiago is St. James in English and thus El Camino de Santiago is the Way (or route) of St. James. You may be more familiar with another variation of St. James in Spanish - San Diego.

And just to add even more confusion, Jaime is also James in Spanish.

Edited by ben2world on 01/25/2010 15:32:12 MST.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: Thinking About It, Maybe Someday... on 01/25/2010 17:21:09 MST Print View

I'm planning a thru hike of the Bibbulumn Track in Western Australia this year. Total distance of about 1000km. I have section hiked most of it but thats just not doing it for me anymore, must do it in the one hit.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Who's planning a thru-hike? on 01/27/2010 09:11:33 MST Print View

I did the PCT in 2006 (my map of it is at backpacker.com/pct) and the Colorado Trail in 2008. I'm off on the CDT this year. I'm not committed to hiking NOBO or SOBO and I'll see how the snow falls. I'm really damnn excited though, it's coming up quick!

I'm not sure where I got the idea to hike the CDT. I've been obsessive about backpacking for about fifteen years, so these trails just seems a "given" to me. I definitely found BPL because I like backpacking, not simply as an offshoot of the long trails.

Sean Griffin
(GriffinS)
Thru on 02/04/2010 20:08:27 MST Print View

Out of curiosity, how exactly do people find time to thru-hike, especially those that hike multiple trails in different years?

I can understand the college grad or laid off worker, but just not sure how people do it?

Edumacate me, please.

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Thru on 02/05/2010 04:29:49 MST Print View

At least from my experience on the AT, the majority of people I met were either just graduated from college (or taking a semester off), or retired. In fact, I met more retired folks than college folks.

The rest were either people who were able to creatively get lots of time off from full-time jobs, people who work seasonal jobs (that's me and a few others here, I think), teachers or folks with school related jobs (summers off), or recently laid-off/quit/etc. I'm sure there are more ways to find the time, but I think that accounts for most of it.

Of course, if you're planning the John Muir Trail, Long Trail, sections of longer trails, or any other trail that only takes a few weeks, it's a lot easier to find that kind of time off. To me, it's all about planning planning planning.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Finding Time for a Thru-Hike on 02/05/2010 11:18:08 MST Print View

@ Sean:

One way to do it: live within your means and save up. I worked for about 20 years, socking away 30% to 60% of my take home pay every year (less when I was making $35K starting out and progressively more with time). I retired at 43 and since then, my time is my own.

Another way is also to save up -- so if you find yourself "in between jobs" -- you have options. With savings, your sudden supply of free time will be a golden opportunity to do whatever you want. With no savings, that free time just translates into a time of worry and despair. And who needs that?

Edited by ben2world on 02/05/2010 11:20:07 MST.