Have I gone utterly mental?

I saw this map of some of the long distance trails in the USA and want to go there and pick one and do it... but I have VERY limited outdoors experience. I'm also flirting with the idea of walking coast to coast from Charleston to San Francisco or Seattle or LA or maybe even Portland Maine to Portland Oregon using trails, roads, etc.

Have I gone mental? Everybody is telling me not to go. Which of the long trails would be best in your opinion? Also anybody ere walk coast to coast?

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Most people go from the west coast to the east coast because that's the way the prevailing winds blow. If you start on the east coast you will be walking into the wind 85% of the time.

    >have I lost my mind
    From what I understand that's part of the fun of it. Everyone who does these hikes is at least a little nuts.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I'm in Belgium they think it's mental/suicidal and a waste of time

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >I'm in Belgium
        britgay here, I STRONGLY suggest you try walking across Belgium first, then maybe try GB as traing.
        You are going to frick up and bail from the US within two weeks, and it's a long way to fly to do that.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Walking aross Belgium takes a few days but our camping laws are bad. Maybe I can practice in Scotland since tey have similar camping laws to USA. But I feel lif I do Scotland I"ll ave to wait til next year, maybe taht's best anyway because even if I go deep into the deserts by Mexico to avoid the winter rockies the midwest can be very bad in winter.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            US here, you better practice on scotland then. Our trails can mess you up bad. You also need to realize how absolutely massive the US is, being wider than the entirety of europe bar russia. And that walking down trails takes way, way longer than going in a straight line. The vast majority of people don't last more than a couple days on the appalachian trail, my home trail. Maybe try a popular trail in europe first, like el camino. Easier to get to and should be safer (by virtue of no catamounts or black bears, which WILL kill and eat you alive).

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >(by virtue of no catamounts or black bears, which WILL kill and eat you alive).
              Dude, you can fight off a mountain lion and a scaredy bear (local name for black bears) easily. You can just punch them once and they're terrified, you can grab them and hold them in place easy, if you have a knife it's really easy to kill them. I'd be more worried about breaking a law by ACCIDENTALLY killing them than of fighting them off.

              • 4 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Last time a cougar tried to attack me I just chokeslamed it and it ended up walking off with its tail between its legs.

              • 4 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Last time a cougar tried to attack me I just chokeslamed it and it ended up walking off with its tail between its legs.

                they're just big (little b) cats after all. If you can fend off a housecat, you're safe from pumas.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >britgay here, I STRONGLY suggest you try walking across Belgium first
          Do not listen to the Bong, the Germans walked across Belgium first and got stuck in the mud and never got nowhere. It's a trap.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It's your time to waste.

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Yes you have gone mental. Go for it anyways.

    Expect friendly people everywhere, but when you get near larger towns, be ready to protect your shit from bums. Normally bums just want your stuff, not a fight, and just squaring up and shouting will send them off, but always be ready for more.
    That being said, 9/10 of the people you meet will be kind and helpful.

    Expect to go multiple days soaking wet. I don't care how good your rain gear is, you will on occasion run into bad weather that lasts upwards of a week, and it WILL get in. Be able and willing to be very, very cold some nights as a result.

    If you do this with limited resources, then expect to go hungry from time to time. If you have never gone a day without eating, I suggest training yourself with fasting. Try to work up to lasting a week drinking only water.
    If you have plenty of money though, you shouldn't really have to worry about it

    Expect to be lonely. Very lonely. Most outdoorsman types are loners (myself included) and enjoy a few days with no one around. When you go for two weeks without even seeing another person, you really start to feel it. You really appreciate the conversations you have with people.

    Expect to encounter the police. Contrary to the unhinged ranting of anarchists and hippies, the police will be very friendly. They will roll up on you asking why you're sleeping under a bridge, or saying someone called about a man walking the road in the rain, ect ect. If they think you're homeless, they may be rude or cautious at first, but you can literally watch their faces shift in relief when you explain that you're a hiker. It's pretty funny. Just be cooperative, polite, and show them your ID when they ask, and they'll let you go, and might even give some tips on where up ahead to spend the night. Absolute worst case scenario is they say you can't walk the road, and give you a "courtesy ride" to town back the way you came. If that happens, just take another road for a few days.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Thanks for the heads up. I saw some advice to contact local police in areas like mid-west or plains where federal lands can be hard to find to see where I can set up a camp, even if it's a county park/state park which apparently you can usually do so.

      if you want a trail that will have lots of other people doing it/trail support do the pacific crest or appalachian trail, if you want a desolate trail with no help and maximum exposure risk do the continental divide trail or the pacific northwest trail

      What is North country national scenic trail like?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >What is North country national scenic trail like?
        less elevation gain and just long stretches of pure isolation until you get into lower michigan.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      papers please! the absolute state of this country

      id fatten up a bit before u go in case u dont have food but whos not going to have food on a trip they plan

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    mental, no. It's definitely a type of "fun" that most people won't share or understand. The biggest issues imo are 1) logistics and 2) time/funding/career/family impact. Figuring out water sources becomes a surprisingly huge issue once you get out to the western 1/2 or 1/3 of that map

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    if you want a trail that will have lots of other people doing it/trail support do the pacific crest or appalachian trail, if you want a desolate trail with no help and maximum exposure risk do the continental divide trail or the pacific northwest trail

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This, PCT and AT have annual full on guidebooks and support networks. I'd reccomend the CDT and Pacific Northwest if you have experience but not for a first timer.

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    One option.
    Fly into Atlanta's international airport. Take the MARTA, the Atlanta Georgia public transport system, to the REI store in Sandy Springs Georgia. The REI store in Sandy Springs Georgia has a shuttle service that will take you to Amicalola Falls State Park. Amicalola Falls State Park has Appalachian Trail check in services, a nice lodge and restaurant.
    Once you are set you can take the 8 mile approach trail from Amicalola Falls State Park to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain Georgia.
    Do your own research. There are a lot of youtube videos of people starting the Appalachian Trail at Amicalola Falls SP , as well as Appalachian Trail videos in general.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'd probably start with Appalachian trail since you'll have others to meet along the way. Camino in Europe is another option.
    Generally I'd save up a couple thousand to have on hand when things get hairy. You should be fine with pepper spray as two legged are more dangerous than four. East coast cities are more violent. Expect thieves regardless. If you are doing a long haul trip you will want to start early in the spring. I'd also avoid rockies or other mountains in winter. I'd do some practice runs so you learn to carry what you need and not what you want.

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