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[at-l] Last-minute jitters

I've been amused at the spate of activity among '97 thru-hikers in the past
week or so. So many questions about things for which there are no possible
answers right now (How will I feel at the end of my hike?), and so much
doting on equipment details that will have very little importance as the
thru-hike progresses. This is typical of thru-hikers on the verge of
departure. I did the same thing before my first hike in 1985. The cure for
these last-minute jitters is a simple one, of course. Start the hike. Once
you set foot on the Trail, everything will begin to make sense, and the
longer you stay on the Trail, the more sense everything will make. I could
give you pages of advice at this point, based on my own hikes and the
ten-thousand or so thru-hikers that I have met and observed on the Trail,
but I refrain from doing so. The main reason is that I have confidence that
you have made good planning decisions for yourself. Almost everyone does.
And, I don't want to spoil anything for you. This is your adventure, and
you should have the joy of living it for yourself without carrying along
any preconceptions that I might impose. Be confident that you will be able
to handle things, and don't try to experience the journey before you begin
it. That's what the journey is for!--Wingfoot 

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