Originally Posted by higworld
John ... pretty much any trail on and around the AT is pretty moderate. A really decent hike (if you don't mind crowds) is Humpback Rocks. But take the full loop. It's maybe 8-9 miles and the return is on the AT itself. We've been using that loop for training for our Peru trip. The park service has some great guides for a lot of trip, organized by difficulty. Let me see if I can find a web site or two.
Gear? Good boots. Go sit down at REI (or similar) and try on several. Break them in! Other gear --- light day pack and a water bladder. Hiking pole(s) really do help. Wicking socks with liners keep the hot spots at bay. Bring snacks, it will keep your energy up. Camera. Small first aid kit. For day trips, that's about it.
BTW - Cell phones now seem to work up there. So if you're a complete phone junkie ... :-( Or if you need help, I suppose. LOL!
I can't agree more with the importance of breaking in new boots before heading off for a multi-mile hike. Even then, I always take mole skin (and a knife to cut it) on a good hike.
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We're not heroic like the great travelers but all the same we amateurs are a pretty tough breed. No matter how horrendous the last journey we never give up hope for the next one, God knows why. - Martha Gellhorn