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syz's avatar

Should I commit to 5 days on the Appalachian trail?

Asked by syz (33163 points ) August 24th, 2010

My sister has decided that she’s going to get into shape by doing 2 weeks on the AP in the Shenandoah Valley area (Front Royal to Waynesboro) this fall. I think she’s got it backwards – you get in shape first, and then you hike the trail. She’s asked me to do a 5 day stretch with her, and I’d love to, but I don’t see how I can get in enough training between now and the end of September (I’m sadly out of shape). I have access to ultralight camping and hiking equipment. Would it be dangerous to go unprepared?

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8 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It gives you a humorous and accurate view of this very thing.

Austinlad's avatar

Considering your physical consition, it would be difficult at best—I believe unnecessaily so. I suspect any doctor worth his salt would advise that you get into better shape before embarking on such an adventure. Don’t be cowed into doing something you feel’re you’re not ready to do.

janbb's avatar

I agree with you – I think the training comes first. A Walk in the Woods will give you a good and humorous idea of how not to do it.

Seek's avatar

* Gasp! * I had a dream recently about doing a 5-day hike with a friend’s mother. Ever since I’ve been obsessed with the idea.

I’d consult a doctor, to see if they could give you advice on training. It just sounds like an opportunity I would hate to pass up.

Cruiser's avatar

If you are looking for a reason to get out of this trip I give you permission. But I think a month of prep for hiking the Appalachian trail is plenty of time to prepare your body to have a great time out there. Just get the best kicking shoes you can afford and commit to doing it and you will have the camping experience of a lifetime!

augustlan's avatar

It depends on the terrain of the location you’re going to hike. If you can take it (relatively) easy, and it’s mostly walking, I think you’d be ok. If there’s actual hiking over rough terrain, rock climbing, etc., or your sister will be a tireless taskmaster and not let you take breaks when you need them… maybe not so much.

syz's avatar

Update: Ok, it looks like I’m going in October for 8 days, and if you don’t see me on Fluther after that, I’ve died and been eaten by a bear.

augustlan's avatar

Good luck! No getting eaten by bears, please. :)

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