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#190808 - 06/01/15 09:40 AM all kinds of questions. . . . .
Morning Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/28/15
Posts: 2
Loc: Florida
good morning!! so i am new to the AT and still a beginner with backpacking as a whole, so i have lots of questions requarding the AT:
can you camp anywhere on the trail?
how far apart are the water refill stations?
is the trail clearly marked? how far apart are the markers? do you need a gps?
i read that people needed to hang their food in the trees, is that every night or only in certain areas? also, does that include your dehydrated items?

that's all i have for now, i'm sure i'll think of other stuff along the way- thanks so much!!! thanks

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#190812 - 06/01/15 12:01 PM Re: all kinds of questions. . . . . [Re: Morning]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
With regard to the AT:

"can you camp anywhere on the trail?"

Sort of. There are lots of places where it's impractical to camp. There are some few places where the trail goes through private property for a ways and you're enjoined to stay on the trail.
The AT has a system of over 300 wooden shelters all along the way, many people camp in the vicinity of shelters. Some will camp a little ways off, wanting quiet/privacy/whatever, but shelters offer the shelter itself (particularly nice in bad weather), often a picnic table, typically either an outhouse or a big shovel (the big shovel is a whole lot easier than a little trowel), and are sited in the vicinity of a marked path to a water source. And folks often like to congregate together.

But you can certainly camp away from shelters, and some do.


"how far apart are the water refill stations?"

There are no water refill stations. There are streams and springs and the very infrequent river. Per above, there is almost always a water source near the shelters (where sometimes "near" is a subjective term ...). In general, obtaining water isn't a particularly big problem on the AT, relative to other long distance and other trails.

"is the trail clearly marked? how far apart are the markers? do you need a gps?"

The trail is extremely well marked. That said, it's still possible to go off course. If you have adequate experience & knowledge plus compass and some sort of map source you don't need a GPS. I consider that for anyone with basic skills, a GPS is least needed on the AT of any long distance trail. That said, I walked in a lot of snow for part of my AT journey, and a couple of times used the GPS on my phone. Not a typical experience.



"i read that people needed to hang their food in the trees, is that every night or only in certain areas? also, does that include your dehydrated items?"

Some try to hang their food all the time, but it's not necessary. There are a very few places where bear poles or bear wire is provided and required. If you do hang your food, then all of the food --- including dehydrated items --- must be hung.

Much more common is people hanging their food in shelters to keep rodents from getting it. Somewhat recently, I saw what appeared to be a trend to take rodent-proofing cords out of shelters I recall seeing them in --- I suspect in an effort to get people to hang their food in a bear-safe manner (?). That wasn't everywhere, just a trend on the AT to be more bear-safe I guess (?). Still, absolute requirement to hang is still very infrequent.

I think I recall reading that there's now a short stretch of the AT where bear canisters are required. I don't recall details, but a search with google, or perhaps on whiteblaze.net should turn something up.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#190813 - 06/01/15 12:37 PM Re: all kinds of questions. . . . . [Re: Morning]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I should add that based on the sorts of questions that you're asking, whiteblaze.net is a resource mostly dedicated to the AT. I suggest you browse around there, look at some of the forum topics, but perhaps start with some of the articles, at the left side of this page:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/content.php
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#190815 - 06/01/15 01:35 PM Re: all kinds of questions. . . . . [Re: BrianLe]
Morning Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/28/15
Posts: 2
Loc: Florida
thank you very much, i will check them out!!

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#190821 - 06/01/15 06:01 PM Re: all kinds of questions. . . . . [Re: Morning]
the-gr8t-waldo Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/11
Posts: 180
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
there's a lot of information out there, like Section Hiker http://sectionhiker.com/ and PostHoler has an AT forum http://postholer.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=22


Edited by the-gr8t-waldo (06/01/15 06:04 PM)

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#190834 - 06/02/15 10:21 AM Re: all kinds of questions. . . . . [Re: the-gr8t-waldo]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1110
Loc: Colorado
If I lived as close as you do to the start of the AT, I'd hike 31.2 miles from Springer Mountain to Neel's Gap and stop at Mountain Crossings. If you are rich, buy all new gear there. If not, make a dream list of gear. The round trip hike will give you more information than you can get in years on the forums and everyone who works at Neel's Gap has hiked the AT.

If you don't have any gear, I think you can drive to the store and get advice for a dream list.

Added: If you buy new gear, they will mail your old gear home.

_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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