Looking for cross-country hiking partners for 2015

Posted by: HikerScott

Looking for cross-country hiking partners for 2015 - 12/27/14 09:44 PM

Hi, my name is Scott and Iím going to be walking westward across the U.S. in late February 2015. As there are significant benefits to going with at least one other person, Iím looking for people who might be interested in doing this with me. The trip should take about 6 months. I already have one guy going with me and we're looking a for at least one more. Please let me know if youíre up for the challenge! Thanks a lot. -Scott
Posted by: Gershon

Re: Looking for cross-country hiking partners for 2015 - 12/29/14 12:05 AM

Scott,

Few cross-country walks are successful without meticulous planning. In my opinion it's more difficult than planning a long trail like the Appalachian Trail as there are few sources of information from those who have done it.

I have many questions, but I'll only ask two.

1. Have you averaged walking 20 miles a day carrying your gear for a month? This is what it will take to complete this hike in 6 months, and that doesn't include "bonus miles" for getting supplies, etc.

2. Are you acting as the leader or are you looking for a leader for the group? Someone will have to know what they are doing, or it won't succeed.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Looking for cross-country hiking partners for 2015 - 12/29/14 07:11 PM

You might want to look on trailjournals.com for journals of those who have hiked the American Discovery Trail (the only cross country trail).

Do note that out west the distances between towns are extremely long (like 70-80 miles even on main roads) and in many areas you'll have to drive ahead and cache drinking water unless you're willing and able to carry 3-5 gallons (at 8 lbs. per gallon). I strongly recommend you obtain some backpacking experience in desert and mountain country before starting a cross-country hike.
Posted by: Gershon

Re: Looking for cross-country hiking partners for 2015 - 12/29/14 10:07 PM

Now to take a more positive approach than my previous post. First of all, I wouldn't leave until about April 7th. People find the weather on the east coast rather unpleasant in March.

Since there really isn't time to make a great plan, I'd suggest buying the maps for the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. It's logistically easier than the American Discovery Trail. The maps will list services along the way.

Buy a push cart. They will add at least 5 miles to your daily mileage. They cost about $180. Look for bicycle trailers in WalMart. Any of the Schwinn trailers are fine. Look for one with two front wheels if possible. Keep the front wheels covered with a strip Gorilla tape or they will wear quickly. Replace the tubes with self-sealing tubes.

Don't worry about how far you can walk in the beginning. Just don't let anyone walk into injuries. Even 7 or 8 miles a day is fine for the first couple weeks.

Somewhere along the line, you may feel completing the trip is impossible. Don't despair as many people walk impossible distances after a few months.

Don't worry about the west until you get there as you won't know how far you can walk until you get there. If you can't complete the hike across the country, at least have fun for six or seven months.

Don't bring too much gear. The tent should be small and green or grey for stealth camping. Camo tents are stealthy, but arouse suspicion. Most nights, you probably won't use the tent.

Time to watch Twilight Zone reruns on Netflix. smile