June 18, 2008

Planning for an AT Thru-Hike

So recently I've been very interested in the idea of long distance hiking. I've done plenty of half days and full day hikes in different areas of Michigan and In the army we hiked (or marched rather) deep into the Ozark mountains with uncomfortable combat boots. So I have some what an interest in hiking in itself. But backpacking over a long distance seems so free to me.
I think since I saw the movie Into the Wild I have been pretty inspired to "Get out into the wild" so to speak. Now, I will definately not be parading into unknown Alaskan backcountry without any experience like the Supertramp, but taking a trip down the ole Appalachian seems like a fair enough bout.

My plan is to do it in ten years. That should give me adequate time to prepare, gain experience, and save the amount of money needed for the trip and to support my family over the 7 months I am gone. Craig (My Stepdad) and I will be taking our first overnighter down the Manistee river trail here in Michigan. It's about a 21 mile loop in the Manistee national Forest.
It's a beautiful scenic view of Michigan's natural forest and I really cannot wait to do it. I've been reading so much lately about backpacking in general and I'm just trying to gain the knowledge needed to take a long trip. A thru-hike of the Appalachian trail is very grueling and can mess with the mind a little. You must be physically and mentally prepared for a long trek like that one. Only about 20% of people actually finish the whole 2,000 mile trail.
Melanie (my fiance) tells me I bounce from interest to interest so fast that she never knows what I'm into, but this is totally different. I've always been interested in backpacking. I just never have had the chance to actually get out there and do it.
Well, now's my chance.

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