Preparing for a trip on the Appalachian Trail

BarredBuff

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Next weekend, I am taking a trip to spend some time on the Appalachian Trail in Eastern Tennessee almost in North Carolina. Anybody got any experience with back country camping? What tips would you give us for a great trip?
 

frustratedearthmother

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No experience at all - except wear good shoes/boots! Have fun - hydrate - stay on the marked trails.
 

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I've hiked a big section of the Appalachian Trail it's not a easy hike, pack light as it's quite exilerating, you won't have the same air intake as you would in a lowland hike. It's.not like hiking the Rocky mountains but even a little bit of thinner air can have an effect on me when beathing heavy if your not used to air at that height.

Personally I've enjoyed hiking Harmon Den area in the Pisquah national Forest
much better than Appalachian Trail. But whichever you hike I suggest you carry a high cal hand cannon for personal saftey. Bears are coming out of hibernation this time of the year and they are hungry. You'll likely encounter a black bear or two if you hike out far enough from cilivation.

Also I don't know if you have a lifestraw. If not you may want to look into it. I did a little experiment 3 years ago. My son and I hiked the Ozark trail in the Mark Twain national Forest. I packed in no water at all but my son did 'just in case' I used my lifestraw to drink from springs, creeks and a lake. I stayed hydrated but there were lots of water sources on the section we hiked. The life straw won't make a mud hole taste good, but it does filter out nasty stuff. Here's a link check out the reviews --->https://www.amazon.com/LifeStraw-LSPHF017-Personal-Emergency-Preparedness/dp/B006QF3TW4

Enjoy your hike - I'm very jealous. Please take pictures to share. The smokey mountains are beautiful any time of the year.
 
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BarredBuff

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I plan on investing in a life straw this week for the trip. Plan on bringing a hand gun with me, and a good knife of course. What are your thoughts on food for supper and breakfast?
 

CrealCritter

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I plan on investing in a life straw this week for the trip. Plan on bringing a hand gun with me, and a good knife of course. What are your thoughts on food for supper and breakfast?
Lol - when I hike it's Army Officer MREs. Not the best thing in the world to eat but i get them for free, they do the job and are easy to pack. I also pack in packaged oatmeal, tiny containers of peanut butter, dried fruit and jerky.

I would suggest a large cal hand gun... If you absolutely have to defend yourself from a bear attack, popping a bear with a .22, .38, .357 is just gonna make it mad. Large caliber also make a large boom this usually sends bears running the other way (warning shot). My son has been telling I should pack bear mace also but I haven't purchased any yet.

When you reach the trail head, ensure you read and follow all the "bear country" or "bear sanctuary" warning signs and directions. Bear attacks are not all that common and if you follow the rules they are perhaps even less common.

You'll probably want to wear comfortable tight fitting high high traction boots that will give your ankles good support. I know there were times I would have rolled an ankle if it weren't for my boots giving me that extra support.

Go slow, be extra careful and enjoy your surroundings. Your not running a race, your there to enjoy nature. If you see any trash please pick it up and hike it out and put in the grabage. I can't stand seeing peoples trash while hiking - pigs!
 
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NH Homesteader

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Wow I have never heard of a life straw, that is awesome!

I have no tips, how far are you hiking? I am a little envious. Enjoy before you settle back down into the farm life!

I live close to the northern end of it, we always see people coming off the trail who have obviously been out there a while, lol
 

CrealCritter

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Wow I have never heard of a life straw, that is awesome!

I have no tips, how far are you hiking? I am a little envious. Enjoy before you settle back down into the farm life!

I live close to the northern end of it, we always see people coming off the trail who have obviously been out there a while, lol
I personally think everyone should have a lifestraw if for nothing else but for the bugout bag. Like I said it doesn't make a mud hole taste great but it does filter out the nasty stuff. I used it exclusively for a 3 day hike in the Mark Twain national Forest. I stayed hydrated and did not get sick during or afterwards, although McCormick lake water tasted like crap! I still drank it through the life straw. We boiled water, then added water purification tablets for coffee and powdered drinks but other than that it was the lifestraw. Water weighs 8lbs a gallon so it's hard to pack it in, in any quantity.
 

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I agree with as much dehydrated foods as possible...weight. May not be AS tasty as other things but, you survive and get the elements you need. Small pkgs, individual serve size. Some hard candy, you're gonna burn calories & tasty! Sealed matches or other lighting device. You can get the sample/travel size items for toothpaste, soap, etc. If you are a choco fiend, like me, you can get Werther's & Reisan hard ones that are good.

Solar charger for your cell phone & tracker...in case. A small first aid kit I would carry a collapsible water pouch, with a strap/hook to use for a daily fill up...then you could carry just a small supply. Don't some areas of the trail have stopovers for hikers to camp out, sorta?

Sounds exciting!! I've often thought of doing something like that. Did ride the mules into Grand Canyon. LOVED IT!! I have, however, visited a LOT of our National Parks. Rode horseback through the Tetons and a good amount of backcountry in Yellowstone. Amazing places. Hiked and toured where permitted.
 

sumi

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This sounds like a wonderful hike! Except for the bear bit ;)

I like the idea of the life straw, they should ship some of those off to Africa.

You got some good suggestions here for things to take with... Food-wise I'd suggest "trail mix". I get a nice one here that is a good mix of dried fruit and nuts. HIGH calorie content, you're going to need it.
 
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