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[ft-l] maps and guidebook
In a message dated 8/16/2001 11:22:49 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> I'm a
> little stymied right now since all of the information
> I need is being updated, and thus unavailable.
Let me take a contrary position to the advice that's been offered thus far.
I suggest getting all your maps and guidebooks now. Yes, they are out of
date, but . . .
I've been a member of FTA since 1995 and the maps have ALWAYS been out of
date since I've been a member. And you know what? People have thruhiked
between 1995 and now. They hiked with out of date maps, but got current
trail info from the local section leaders. Or they just stumbled about, and
did the best they could. And you know, if you like adventure, maybe that's
the best part!
I have been hiking what's known as "The Big 360" for a year now, and I can
tell you first hand that the Trail has changed both ahead of and behind us
very regularly. Here's the point: The organization has yet to have in place
a dynamic system of informing hikers of these changes in a timely fashion,
along with reports of trail conditions, restrictions and closures during
hunting season, etc. In my humble opinion, the organization is trying to get
to that point, but let's not kid anyone and suggest to Sara, or any other
thruhiker for this year that they will have access to up to date trail info
from ANY published sources for their planning purposes. We simply aren't
there yet. The date any new maps and trail guides are published, they will
already be months behind in trail relocations simply because of the lag time
in the publishing process.
Specifically, to the point of your planned hike in November, you WILL run
into sections of the Trail that are closed due to hunting season. You will
need to plan an alternate route around these closures using road walks. You
have an interesting logistical challenge, and I suggest you get working on
the solutions right now. By getting into the details sooner rather than
later, you will have more time to seek out answers from the people who know
the local trails. The Delorme Florida Atlas is a wonderful tool for planning
logistics and alternate road walks.
A further caution is that many of the locals aren't in tune with thruhiker
requirements or mentality, so it might be best to get a second opinion from a
thruhiker on any of the problems a local section leader addresses. And if
someone tells you something can't be done, don't you believe it. Let nothing
stand in the way of your hike.