Five Tips for Backpacking the A.T. in Georgia
Planning your A.T. adventure for Georgia? If it’s April, pack for winter. If it’s September, pack for spring. I don’t make the rules.
Gather Water at Every Water Source
Drink ‘em if you got ‘em. If you’ve been hoarding your water, taking careful sips, once you reach a water source, drink up. Finish what’s in your bottle (s), and refill at every opportunity.
Water availability is dependent on many variables including recent rainfall which largely goes without saying. In Georgia, it is plentiful. Usually. But Georgia also features several dry sections where you will go for miles without reaching a water source.
If there is any water at all. Even a nearly stagnant pond. Even a metal pipe, its bottom crescent filled with sediment. Collect it. Filter it. Drink it.
3rd Hardest State on the A.T.
I don’t know if this is true or how you might begin to measure this statistic. This is purely anecdotal and based on the accounts of a handful of thru-hikers we’ve met during our Georgia sections thus far.
Georgia is rugged and beautiful. Be prepared to ascend a mountain in the morning, come down into a gap by brunch, ascend another mountain at noon, fall down into another gap after lunch, and spend the last few hours of your hike cursing the trail. Do your squats. Practice your foul language. Come up with some real zingers.
Especially in the first days, sleeping on the trail is hard. Unless you’re me. I’m off to sleep and won’t wake up while you’re lying there listening to the bear wander through camp. What are you gonna do? Fight him? Go to sleep. You’re gonna need it.
Practice saying “yes,” to kind and safe offers. Trail magic abounds. It’s hard to imagine it until you experience it. People will stop at the roadside and offer you toilet paper, candy, hand sanitizer, any number of things. Your answer is yes.
When someone says “I’ll take your trash bag,” the answer is “yes.” If someone says, “we have extra cocoa,” the answer is “yes.” If someone sees you road-walking, pulls off, offers you a ride, take a photo of their license plate, send it to a friend, don’t be the lone hitchhiker (have company), and ideally, take rides from women, because facts.
Hiking is sometimes hard. Hiking is sometimes emotional. Enjoy your time in the woods. Expect the difficulty and then, try to let go of that. You’re surrounded by beauty.
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Walkie Talkie here! One of the Yoga Sisters! Loving all the video clips for the different sections. We have deed head from a handful of hikers that Georgia is the 3rd hardest state? Do you agree? Disagree? Which would you put as third?