[at-l] Fw: slackpacking the AT...

JL jplynch at crosslink.net
Wed Jun 25 20:13:58 CDT 2008

Did you forget the good ol' one hiker, two car gambit!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Mann" <yugrekih at yahoo.com>
To: <at-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 8:34 PM
Subject: [at-l] Fw: slackpacking the AT...

Curtis, etc -

Whence scanning a number of digests, I discovered my name (thank you 
eArThworm) in relation to slackpacking. In response to Curtis-

Here are some ideas for slackpacking the Appalachian Trail:

1) YOU AND YOUR CAR (this is what I did in 1996, my first year on the 
trail) - Park at a trailhead
and hike out (lets say north to some point along the trail) and back 
(south). Then drive ahead to
the next trailhead and hike out (south to that same point) and back (north). 
You are hiking the
trail twice (out and back), but the trail generally presents itself 
differently on the return leg.
This is a great way to hike the trail and build stamina...

2) YOU AND YOUR CAR (I also did a bunch of this in 1996) - Park at a 
trailhead and hike to the next
road crossing. Thumb back to your car. You will have varying degrees of 
success doing it like
this, so treat it as a challenging adventure...

3) TWO HIKERS, ONE CAR (I've done a bunch of this) - Both hikers drive to 
trailhead. Hiker "A" gets
dropped off, and hiker "B" drives to next trailhead. The two hikers are 
hiking in opposite
directions, and pass the keys when they meet. Hiker "A" hikes to the car and 
drives back to pick up
hiker "B"...

4) TWO HIKERS, TWO CARS (I've done a bunch of this) - Park at different 
trailheads and hike opposite
directions, exchanging keys when you pass on the trail...

5) ONE HIKER, ONE FRIEND, ONE CAR (I've done a bunch of this) - You hike, 
your friend drops you off
and picks you up...

6) ONE HIKER, HIRE A SHUTTLE (I've done a bunch of this) - You hike and the 
shuttler drops you off
and picks you up...

One thing to keep in mind while doing any of this - !!! SHIT HAPPENS !!! - 
so be prepared with
water, food, and an emergency shelter - AND - any of this requires a 
significant amount of planning,
so know what your plans are before you step off everyday...
The ATC provides lists of shuttlers...

Ideas for scenario 1) -

Day 1 - Park at USFS42 and hike southbound (SB) to Springer Mtn, then back 
to car, then northbound
(NB) to Stover shelter and back - drive to Three Forks and tent there...

Day 2 - Hike SB to Stover shelter and back, then hike NB to Hickory Flatts 
(logging road in
DATABOOK) and back (don't forget to stop at Long Creek Falls) - tent at 
Three Forks...

Day 3 - Drive to Hightower Gap and hike SB to Hickory Flatts (dropping a 
fully loaded backpack at
Hawk Mtn shelter on the way) and back to Hawk Mtn shelter - spend the night 
at the shelter...

Day 4 - Hike NB to car (drop off pack), then hike NB to Horse Gap and back. 
Drive to Cooper Gap and
hike SB to Horse Gap and back - tent at Cooper Gap...

Day 5 - Hike NB to Justus Creek, then back. Drive to Gooch Gap and hike SB 
to Justus creek and back
- tent at Gooch Gap...

Day 6 - You have the idea, take it from here - additional trail access 
points in Georgia : Woody
Gap, Jarrard Gap side trail to Lake Winfield Scott, Neels Gap, Tesnatee Gp, 
Hogpen Gap, Jacks Knob
Trail to Hwy 180, Unicoi Gap, Forest Service (FS) road at Indian Gap, FS 
Tray Mtn Road, FS at Tray
Gap, FS at Addis Gap, Dicks Creek Gap, FS at Blue Ridge Gap..

For scenario 2) - You can thumb along the forest service roads prior to 
Woody Gap, but expect long
waits. The Army Rangers may stop to see how you are, but they are not 
allowed to pick you up.
There will be cars dropping off and picking up hikers, so this is your best 
bet. There will also be
some pickup truck traffic, so indicate that you would be happy to sit in the 
truck bed...

Email me for more specific info if you dare...

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