Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

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Trew
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Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by Trew » Nov 22 2016 8:16 pm

Wondering who is looking at hiking the AZT in 2017 NOBO.

This year I made it past Saguaro NP to the road that runs up to Oracle. This year I am considering returning to that point and continuing nobo. That would take me over Mt Lemon area and on into Oracle and then off to the Superstitions.

Then again, I may start at Pickpost and go north from there.

Wonder what water conditions will be like in 2017. Such an original thought.

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keepa
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by keepa » Dec 31 2016 2:40 pm

jc2014 wrote:Can someone recommend a good solar charger for a NOBO 2017 hike?
I use a Powerfilm LightSaver, it weighs 5 ounces and charges my Samsung Galaxy S5, camera batteries with no problem. It recharges its lithium ion battery in about 6-8 hours of sunlight.

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keepa
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by keepa » Dec 31 2016 2:43 pm

jc2014 wrote:Planning a thru hike in March of 2017, has anyone used the AZT APP downloaded on their phone for navigational purposes? How does it work when there isn't phone service? Was it worth using? Thanks!
You don't need phone service, all the data is on your phone. You only need GPS. I have it, it's pretty nice. All the info is there, water sources, trail track, you name it. It's well worth it.

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rcorfman
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by rcorfman » Dec 31 2016 3:23 pm

jc2014 wrote:Planning a thru hike in March of 2017, has anyone used the AZT APP downloaded on their phone for navigational purposes? How does it work when there isn't phone service? Was it worth using? Thanks!
I used the Tahoe Rim Trail app. It's by the same company and should work essentially the same. You don't need service for it to work. I had my phone in airplane mode most all of the time and you should too to conserve battery. You'll want to download the maps ahead of time and perhaps the photos too, they do help some. All the best on your hike.
Go find a LonelyCache

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larseski
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by larseski » Dec 31 2016 8:21 pm

Hello Trew! Wife and I met you at Colossal Cave last year and also at Picket Post trail head (where we got off the trail). We are planning to finish it this year starting at Picket Post. Not sure yet when we'll start. It would be nice to see you again. L & M

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sandyfortner
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by sandyfortner » Jan 01 2017 9:28 am

jc2014 wrote:Planning a thru hike in March of 2017, has anyone used the AZT APP downloaded on their phone for navigational purposes? How does it work when there isn't phone service? Was it worth using? Thanks!
Yep. The app works without cell service and is pretty handy! Quick way to check if you're on the trail when you come to a spot where cattle have torn up the area or if you haven't seen any markers lately and just want to check. But, there have been a few situations where it wouldn't find me - maybe I wasn't patient enough to wait for the satellite to locate me. Regardless of if you use the app or not (but I really do recommend having it) - be sure that you have maps and a compass - always.
:M2C: Goldilocks

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jc2014
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by jc2014 » Jan 02 2017 9:17 am

@keepa
Thank you so much for your replies Keepa! A big help!

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FireFly
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by FireFly » Jan 02 2017 9:53 am

I have recently bought the app and although I cannot yet comment on using it on the trail, it has already been very useful for me for planning the hike! And I think it will be even better on the trail.

On the trail, although I hope to use mainly the app, I want to have paper maps as well (for safety). The printed mapset that is offered in the online store for $45 looks great (at least the sample that you can view online) but I'm wondering how heavy that is. Can anybody comment on the actual size and weight of the complete set?

Any other (lightweight) alternatives?

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DallinW
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by DallinW » Jan 02 2017 11:12 am

FireFly wrote:I have recently bought the app and although I cannot yet comment on using it on the trail, it has already been very useful for me for planning the hike! And I think it will be even better on the trail.

On the trail, although I hope to use mainly the app, I want to have paper maps as well (for safety). The printed mapset that is offered in the online store for $45 looks great (at least the sample that you can view online) but I'm wondering how heavy that is. Can anybody comment on the actual size and weight of the complete set?

Any other (lightweight) alternatives?
One alternative is to mail your map set in a "bounce box" along the trail, taking only the sections you need. Another is to send out boxes before you start the trail to predetermined points. But, if you show up in town during the weekend the P.O. may be closed til Monday, forcing you to either wait or continue without paper maps. I personally would do the bounce box option over having predetermined spots, because it's more flexible, but make sure your package will arrive before you do.

I never used my paper maps whenever I brought them along (I section hiked it the first half of 2016). The trail is very well marked and maintained in most places. Most of the navigational hiccups I had were continuing down a Forest Road when I needed to diverge. The app was all I ever needed, and it is extremely useful for the recent water reports (see comments for water source waypoints).

If you print them, you can save some weight by choosing a lighter paper type ("24lb white bond or laser paper" is what is recommended by Brett Tucker for the GET mapset), and printing the maps double sided.

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jc2014
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by jc2014 » Jan 02 2017 2:13 pm

@DallinW
Thanks for the info on the APP. I bought the map set, 69 sheets printed front and back, 8.5x11 sheets. The entire set weighs 1.2 lbs. Sure seems to be a pain to try and figure out where and when to send the maps ahead and it appears to be a pain trying to figure out the best way to carry all of them at once. I am hiking with my wife and we will both have the AZT APP loaded onto our phones. I am thinking about leaving the maps behind.

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Sredfield
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by Sredfield » Jan 02 2017 2:38 pm

Strongly recommend carrying the maps, either all or in segments. What will you read at night if you don't have the maps? :)
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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rcorfman
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by rcorfman » Jan 02 2017 3:01 pm

Sredfield wrote:What will you read at night if you don't have the maps?
I didn't have the maps, but I read the data sheet. Ha. I didn't have the app either (it didn't exist most of the time I sectioned the trail), but I did have the gpx files loaded on my GPSr from the ATA web site.
Go find a LonelyCache

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Sredfield
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by Sredfield » Jan 02 2017 4:06 pm

@rcorfman
I carried maps I made from the tracks on the website. Downloaded the tracks, opened and printed them double sided using National Geographic TOPO. TOPO was not a printer friendly application, so It took literally all day to download and print them all. Actually did it twice because I gave my first set away to a thru hiker I met the year before I did my trip. But I"m kind of a map person. I understand the app is very good but gadgets fail me or I fail them, so the paper backup was critical for me.
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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FireFly
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by FireFly » Jan 03 2017 2:57 am

@DallinW
Thanks! I already thought about your suggestions. If I buy these maps I will probably divide them in ~5 packages that I then send to convenient locations on the trail beforehand and dispose of the maps that I have already used.
jc2014 wrote:@DallinW
Thanks for the info on the APP. I bought the map set, 69 sheets printed front and back, 8.5x11 sheets. The entire set weighs 1.2 lbs. Sure seems to be a pain to try and figure out where and when to send the maps ahead and it appears to be a pain trying to figure out the best way to carry all of them at once. I am hiking with my wife and we will both have the AZT APP loaded onto our phones. I am thinking about leaving the maps behind.
Thanks! This is exactly the info I was looking for. Wow, 1.2 lbs is heavy, but I was expecting it to be something like that...

I think the app is certainly good enough... until your phone or (solar-)charger breaks down. I don't think I would feel comfortable without any paper backup. At home (in Europe) I usually trek without paper map (just a Garmin GPS) but then there is an abundance of water and it's a much smaller place, so getting lost doesn't mean certain death within 24 hours :D

But to use only as an emergency backup, perhaps a lighter less detailed map would do. I'm carrying a (non-electronic) compass in any case.

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ttretta
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by ttretta » Jan 03 2017 1:09 pm

The AZT App works GREAT and no, don't need phone service, just GPS. It can drain the phone pretty quick, so I just turn on GPS and the app to do occasional map checks. Definitely worth it. I've found myself off trail a few times, and it led me back to where I needed to be. I HIGHLY recommend it.

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jc2014
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by jc2014 » Jan 04 2017 2:43 pm

@sandyfortner
Ok, after reading everyone's post on carrying maps and not soley relying on the APP, I looked at studied my map set and have decided to carry them. Thanks to all for the suggestions. Another question for everyone. When mailing a package to the PO and not having a PO Box there, do you just address the package to the PO "In Care of" and they hold onto the package until you get there? Do you need to notify them that you are send a package? Thanks everybody!!!

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Prometheus12
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by Prometheus12 » Jan 07 2017 6:03 am

@jc2014
Hey Sandy,

You'll address it with General Delivery and your name. Typically put somewhere on the box "AZT Through Hiker" and an expected arrival date. If you go to USPS website, it will tell you exactly how to label for General Delivery. Also, if you send it priority and for some reason miss the stop, you can call them and they will send it free to another post office further up the trail. I needed to do this once and it worked perfectly.

I would recommend calling the post office you plan to send the package to have hold for you. Calling is a good idea because I have had a couple of post offices be pretty reluctant to accept and hold in Generally Delivery. I think they are required to, but I figured if they were reluctant on the phone, the package might get "lost".

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flagscott
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by flagscott » Jan 07 2017 10:59 am

Prometheus12 wrote:@jc2014
Hey Sandy,

You'll address it with General Delivery and your name. Typically put somewhere on the box "AZT Through Hiker" and an expected arrival date. If you go to USPS website, it will tell you exactly how to label for General Delivery. Also, if you send it priority and for some reason miss the stop, you can call them and they will send it free to another post office further up the trail. I needed to do this once and it worked perfectly.

I would recommend calling the post office you plan to send the package to have hold for you. Calling is a good idea because I have had a couple of post offices be pretty reluctant to accept and hold in Generally Delivery. I think they are required to, but I figured if they were reluctant on the phone, the package might get "lost".
A few more tips:

- Send all of your packages Priority Mail. That gives you a tracking number and a reasonable assurance that the package will get there within ~3 days after you send it (but see below). Parcel post can be really slow sometimes. And if you decide that you don't need your box, you can forward it to a future stop for free (so long as you haven't opened the package).
- Try to mail your packages 2 weeks before your planned arrival date, especially for more remote locations.
- Post offices differ in how long they will hold your package after your ETA before they send it back to the return address, so make your arrival date on the package a bit conservative.
- Write the "Hold for thru-hiker"/date message to the LEFT side of the address. If you put it to the right, the automatic address reader may try to read the date as a zip code.
- Be super nice and polite to the post-office people. They have to put up with hiker funk, and they can make life hell for future thru-hikers if they decide that thru-hikers aren't worth their time.
- You'll need ID to pick up your package. Put your real name, not your trail name, on the address label.
- Most post offices (excepting maybe some tiny ones) will let you get cash back if you pay for something with a debit card. It's like a no-fee ATM. Buy a single stamp if you don't need to mail anything.

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KateWalker
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by KateWalker » Jan 07 2017 12:44 pm

@rcorfman
How long did it take you to get to Sunnyside in one day?

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jc2014
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by jc2014 » Jan 08 2017 10:38 am

@Prometheus12
Thanks, great information.

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jc2014
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Re: Spring 2017 Thru Hikers

Post by jc2014 » Jan 08 2017 10:39 am

@flagscott
Once again, super information, appreciate everyone's help!

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