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I'm no expert on weight and physical fitness, but here's my .02.  If you are in generally
good heath, the trail will take care of your weight and conditioning.  The key is that
the more over weight and out of shape you are at the start, the slower you'll be able
walk and the fewer miles per day.  Excessive weight will be hard on joints and feet.

When we hiked we were not out of shape or overweight and it still took over a month
of hiking to get fully conditioned to the trail plus we still lost over 30 pounds each.

This time (20 years later) we are overweight and out of shape. I know that any attempt
to hiking in my current condition would probably fail in a week.  As a result our goal
is to lose a bunch a weight and walk a few hundred miles on our treadmill to get
into shape.

We'll still do everything to keep our pack weight down and we'll lose a few more pounds
when we get on the trail.

If you're less than 30 pounds overweight and in good condition, do sweat it (you will on the
the trail).  At first you'll be able to hike more days with less food in your pack.  When
we finished the trail we had a hard time carrying more than four days of food because
we ate so much.

Hope that helps.

Ron Moak
ME-GA '77 (http://www.fallingwater.com/at)

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