Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preparing for My Trip and Study

As most of my friends know I have been tying my thesis in with my hike. So far I have successfully been able to do that by selecting a good topic related to my degree program. My study on pack weight will hopefully bring new data to the domain of backpack weight limitations. If not anything, I'll be able to identify the reasons hikers quit early on the AT and possibly discover new trends.

Most people who hike the trail try to be very prepared and bring as much as they want to carry. I for one will bring what I need and hope that I didn't forget anything.  The pleasurables for this trip will be at a minimum. I took care of some final gear and clothing issues this week... hoping that I'll stay warm and dry.

I recently took off for NJ to see the folks and drop of some of the gear Mom wants to send me because she's itching to do her part. Of course I had to go over all the gear with her and tag everything since I don't expect her to know the difference between a sleeping bag liner and a bivy. Anyway, she'll be ready when I need something. Support system #1 - CHECK

When I get back from the north preparing my survey announcements, I'll be going over more detailed information on the mail drops with Mary.  These drops will provide food that I will not be able to get in towns on the trail. They will even supplement some consumable items such as ziplock bags, handy wipes and   anything else I may need along the way.  Support system #2 - CHECK

Preparations for the study:

After leaving NJ I headed up to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont to enlist the help of local businesses in announcing my survey to hikers that come through their doors.  It was a nice couple days... in the freezing cold! (Hey I live in Florida now... 26 is REALLY cold.) All the people I spoke to seemed really interested in what I'm doing and all decided to lend a hand somehow.  Great!

Even better... I was contacted by Mike, the owner of Travel Country in Altamonte Springs, FL and he is one board with sponsoring my study.  I'm very excited over this.

Off to the Mid-Atlantic states... Met with a couple business owners today, including The Doyle in Duncannon, PA.  They host over a 1200 hikers in a season. They were so helpful that I could probably never thank them enough. Vickey there even gave me some tips to look out for on the trail.  What a great place!  I'll be seeing them again in a couple months.

Tomorrow off the meet some more businesses and try to stir up more support, then back to Florida for final preparations. The very last thing will be my website for the survey, which is already under construction. http://hikersurvey.com


Once in a while I get asked what my itinerary looks like. So it's now posted here.  Anyone who wants to join me for a few days is more than welcome. :)

Date AT Mile Stop and Notes State and Section
1-Mar 8.1 Hawk Mtn Shelter Georgia
2-Mar 21.1 Suches - Woody Gap  
3-Mar 31.7 Neels Gap  
4-Mar 43.2 Low Gap  
5-Mar 58.6 Tray Mtn   
6-Mar 69.6 Hiawassee  
7-Mar   ZERO DAY  
8-Mar 81.4 Muskrat Creek North Carolina
9-Mar 93.9 Carter Gap  
10-Mar 109.8 Franklin, NC  
11-Mar 125.6 Cold Spring   
12-Mar 137.1 Nantahala O. C.  
13-Mar 153.1 Brown Fork Gap  
14-Mar 165.8 Fontana Dam - Get Permit GSM Smoky Mtns
15-Mar 179.6 Russell Field  
16-Mar 194.3 Silers Bald  
17-Mar 206.8 Gatlinburg, TN  
18-Mar   ZERO DAY  
19-Mar 222.4 Tri Corner Knob  
20-Mar 237.2 Davenport Gap  
21-Mar 247.7 Painted Branch or Groundhog Creek Sh NC-TN Border
22-Mar 255.9 Roaring Forks  
23-Mar 273.9 Hot Springs, NC  
24-Mar   ZERO DAY  
25-Mar 293.5 Little Laurel  
26-Mar 306.2 Flint Mtn  
27-Mar 325.1 Bald Mtn  
28-Mar 342.0 Erwin, TN  
29-Mar 354.1 Deep Gap  
30-Mar 368.2 Clyde Smith - Grassy Ridge  
31-Mar 382.7 Overmountain Shelter  
1-Apr 391.9 Roan Mtn, NC  
2-Apr 410.3 Moreland Gap Tenn
3-Apr 425.0 Hampton, TN  
4-Apr 448.4 Double Springs  
5-Apr 466.9 Damascus, VA VA - Southwest
6-Apr   ZERO DAY  
7-Apr 482.7 Lost Mtn  
8-Apr 494.9 Thomas Knob Grayson Highlands
9-Apr 514.0 Grayson Highlands, Hurricane Mtn Campground  
10-Apr 530.6 Partnership  
11-Apr 542.2 Atkins, VA  
12-Apr 565.2 Chestnut Knob  
13-Apr 589.2 Helveys Mill  
14-Apr 613.2 Wapiti  
15-Apr 629.8 Pearisburg, VA VA - Central
16-Apr   ZERO DAY  
17-Apr 653.0 Bailey Gap  
18-Apr 680.0 Niday  
19-Apr 703.7 Johns Spring  
20-Apr 722.5 Daleville, VA - Roanoke  
21-Apr 741.0 Bobblets Gap  
22-Apr 754.5 Bryant Ridge  
23-Apr 764.7 Thunder Hill   
24-Apr 777.1 Matts Creek  
25-Apr 799.3 Brown Mtn Creek  
26-Apr 817.4 Montebello, VA  
27-Apr 835.5 Maupin Field  
28-Apr 856.3 Waynesboro, VA - YMCA camping VA - Shenandoah
29-Apr 863.3 Calf Mtn  
30-Apr 883.7 Loft Mtn - EAT  
1-May 897.7 Hightop Hut  
2-May 918.1 Big Meadows  
3-May 932.5 Byrd's Nest Hut #3 - Stop Skyland EAT  
4-May 950.0 Gravel Springs Hut / Matthews Arm Campground  
5-May 963.4 Front Royal, VA - Jim & Molly Denton Sh  
6-May 987.0 Rod Hollow VA - N / WV / MD
7-May 1004.8 BlackBurn Trail Center / David Lesser - donation  
8-May 1016.6 Harper's Ferry  
9-May   ZERO DAY  
10-May 1027.7 Gathland SP/Gapland Rd/Crampton Gap  
11-May 1048.4 Ensign Cowall   
12-May 1065.3 Antietam  Penn
13-May 1078.7 Quary Gap  
14-May 1096.0 Pine Grove Furnace SP / Iron Masters Mansion  
15-May 1115.2 Boiling Springs  
16-May 1140.9 Duncannon,PA  
17-May   ZERO DAY  
18-May 1152.1 Peters Mtn  
19-May 1170.1 Rausch Gap  
20-May 1187.6 The 501  
21-May 1211.3 Port Clinton  
22-May 1233.9 Allentown Hiking Club  
23-May 1251.6 Palmerton, PA  
24-May 1267.4 Leroy A Smith  
25-May 1287.6 Delaware Water Gap - Donation  
26-May 1298.1 Mohican Outdoor Center NJ/NY/CT
27-May   ZERO DAY  
28-May 1319.0 Gren Anderson  
29-May 1337.3 Jim Murray Property / Pochunk Mtn - Donation?  
30-May 1350.9 Vernon, NJ  
31-May 1368.0 Wildcat  
1-Jun 1387.6 William Brien Mem / DETOUR LP to Lichen Tr ADD 6 MILES  
2-Jun 1394.0 Bear Mtn  
3-Jun   ZERO DAY  
4-Jun   ZERO DAY  
5-Jun 1422.9 RPH  
6-Jun 1439.7 Telephone Pioneers / AT RR Station - Trip to NY?  
7-Jun 1460.9 Mt Algo / Bulls Bridge or Kent, CT  
8-Jun 1480.6 Sharon Mtn Campsite  
9-Jun 1493.9 Salisbury, CT  
10-Jun 1508.0 Hemlock Mass
11-Jun 1524.4 Montery, MA  
12-Jun 1543.5 Upper Goose Pond - Donation or WFS  
13-Jun   ZERO DAY  
14-Jun 1561.1 Kay Wood  
15-Jun 1581.3 Mt Graylock  
16-Jun 1594.5 Seth Warner - North Adams Resupply VT
17-Jun 1616.1 Goddard Sh  
18-Jun 1635.4 Stratton Pond - Fee?  
19-Jun 1646.1 Bromley - Manchester  
20-Jun 1662.6 Big Branch  
21-Jun 1685.3 Gov Clement  
22-Jun 1705.9 Stony Brook  
23-Jun 1727.4 Thistle Hill  
24-Jun 1743.5 Velvet Rocks / Hanover NH
25-Jun 1758.7 Trapper John  
26-Jun 1765.4 Fire Warden Cabin & Tower / Hexacuba  
27-Jun 1785.3 Glencliff, NH  
28-Jun   ZERO DAY  
29-Jun 1793.3 Beaver Brook  
30-Jun 1802.3 Eliza Brook sh White Mountains
1-Jul 1813.7 Liberty Springs camp - N. Woodstock Resupply  
2-Jul 1821.4 Garfield  
3-Jul 1835.9 Ethan Pond / Bartlett, NH  
4-Jul 1849.9 Lake of the Clouds / Bartlett, NH - Work for Stay or pay  
5-Jul 1864.8 Osgood - Resupply Pinkham Notch  
6-Jul 1877.9 Imp  
7-Jul 1885.9 Gorham, NH - Hiker's Paradise  
8-Jul   ZERO DAY  
9-Jul 1897.7 Gentian Pond  
10-Jul 1907.3 Full Goose Sh Maine
11-Jul 1919.3 Baldpate Lean-to  
12-Jul 1937.4 Andover, ME  
13-Jul 1954.4 Sabbath Day Pond Lean-to / Little Swift River  
14-Jul 1963.8 Rangeley, ME  
15-Jul 1974.5 Poplar Ridge Lean-to  
16-Jul 1988.7 Crocker Cirque - Detour Sugarloaf MT / Stratton  
17-Jul 2001.1 Horns Pond Lean-to  
18-Jul 2019.0 West Carry Pond Lean-to  
19-Jul 2038.7 Pleasant Pond Lean-to / Caratunk, ME  
20-Jul 2051.8 Moxie Bald Lean-to  
21-Jul 2069.7 Monson, ME - Lake Shore House  
22-Jul   ZERO DAY  
23-Jul   ZERO DAY  
24-Jul 2088.8 Cloud Pond Lean-to 100 Mile
25-Jul 2105.6 Carl A Newhall Lean-to Wilderness
26-Jul 2124.5 Cooper Brook Falls Lean-to  
27-Jul 2146.0 Wadleigh Stream Lean-to  
28-Jul 2169.1 Abol Bridge  
29-Jul 2179.0 The Birches - Sign up at Abol Bridge  
30-Jul 2184.2 Katahdin Mtn  


  1. I live in Florida also by Cocoa. Anything less then 40 degress- Channel 13 will say we are having an artic blast. I went to Travel Coutry for the first time a few days ago. They are so great there. They looked at my list for the thru hike I want to do on March 1st, 2014 after my kids graduate. I wish I could go next year but they dont graduate until May and thet would be too late to go Northbound. So Ill have to wait. It is cool you are completing your research paper and everyone is going to help you collect data while living out a dream. I am so excited for everyone in the Class of 2012! I hope you have a great week :) Wild Trout

  2. Stinks that you want to go and you have to wait. However, you could go in May with an alternate itinerary. If you start your hike from Damascus, VA around the middle of May (Trail Days) you would be with all the hikers headed north to Maine. Once you get to the terminus you then could come back around to Damascus and head south to Springer with all the South-bounders. Either way, I hope you get to give it a shot.

    After this season I can give you all the tips I learn from doing this.