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Re: Help with 40 mile hike.

Skip -

These are the short answers cause I'm a little short on time right now.
>1) How much and what kinds of food should I bring?
We use instant oatmeal for breakfast, something like bagels or sandwiches
for lunch, crackers or candy bars for snacks and Liptons pasta or rice
dinners or Mac and cheese for dinner.  We also bring cookies, hot chocolate
for cold weather and Koolaid for neutralizing the iodine tablets when we use
them.  Don't make the mistake of NOT treating your water - it can be costly
and annoying.  Bring something YOU like (or can at least tolerate for that
Whatever you decide on - try it before you get out on the trail.  If you don't
like it, it's better you know before you can't change it.

>2) Can we in the evening walk off the trail and find a place to camp for
>the night?  Is this safe?  We were hoping we would not have to stay in the
>shelters the whole time.

For the most part the shelters are where the water is - but that doesn't
mean you have to stay there.  You can always get water at the shelter and
walk for another mile or so to camp.   Or eat dinner at the shelter and then
camp someplace else.

As for safety - keep in mind that, as few as there have been, ALL the
murders on the AT have been at shelters.  Camping is marginally safer.
>3) Does anyone have any information on shuttle drivers that we could find
>to take our car from Davenport Gap to Hotsprings?  We are hoping to pick
>him/her up in Hot Springs if this an option.

If the Thigpens don't work out, check with the ATC - they have a list of
shuttle drivers.

>4) Can we hike this section in 4 or 5 days without becoming exhausted?
Shouldn't be a problem if you're in good condition.  But you may be
surprised at how hard carrying a pack can be - and how tired you'll
be at the end of the day.   But you'll sleep well.

Walk softly,
Jim Owen