We are open with Covid19 in mind. Register now for the Wood's Hole Weekend

The Wood's Hole Weekend

September 30 - October 3, 2021

Neville Harris

Are you ready to turn your dream of thru-hiking or section-hiking the historic, 2,192-mile Appalachian Trail into reality in the near future? Then you won’t want to miss this very special weekend retreat to benefit the iconic Woods Hole Hostel, regularly ranked by hikers among the best hostel experiences on the trail. Join Neville Harris and Steve Adams (two-time AT finisher and host of the popular Mighty Blue on the Appalachian Trail) for a weekend of conversation and camaraderie with successful thru- and section-hikers, hostel owners, and an expert from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, who will answer all your questions and get you prepared — and excited — for your hike.

Mighty Blue on Katahdin
Mighty Blue

Event Details

What: A weekend retreat of presentations and discussion for individuals considering thru-hike or long section-hike of the AT.

When: September 30 - Oct. 2-4, 2020 (with optional Sept. 30 overnight camping practicum)

Where: Woods Hole Hostel, located on a gorgeous mountain outside Pearisburg, Virginia, some 600 miles north the southern terminus of the AT. Named the “best overall off-trail experience” by Platinum-Blazing the Appalachian Trail, Woods Hole has been described as “A slice of heaven not to be missed” by the AT Hiker Yearbook.

Cost: $300 per person, for bunkhouse lodging, all meals from Friday lunch to Sunday lunch, access to all presentations, presenters and materials. $400 for private space (two tents or two private rooms). All fees benefit Woods Hole; presenters are volunteering their time.

Registration: Contact us for application. Attendance limited to 10 individuals, first-come, first-served, with a wait list in case of cancellations. Limited scholarships may be available, based on need, at the discretion of the hosts.

Presentations

Gearing Up

  • The Big Three – pack, sleep system, shelter
  • Preventing the agony of the feet
  • No rain, no Maine – rain gear options … and expectations
  • Stoves, water safety, and everything else
  • Lightweight, ultra-lightweight – how much does it matter?
  • Individual pack shakedowns

Decisions, Decisions

  • When should I start? Winter, spring, summer, and bubbles
  • NOBO or SOBO?
  • To flip, or not to flip?
  • How long will it take? Pace, mileage, zero days
  • Celebrate the spreadsheet, but expect the unexpected

Going to Town

  • Resupply
  • Maildrops, bounce boxes
  • Shuttles and hitchhiking
  • Hostels and hotels
  • Laundry
  • Platinum-Blazing – “must visit” spots along the AT

Hiker Etiquette

  • Leave No Trace
  • Representing the hiking community
  • Being a good guest

So, I’ve heard that…

  • Virginia is flat
  • Pennsylvania is rocky
  • The Whites are the hardest part
  • After the Whites, you’ve got it made
  • Bears … aaaagggghhhh! Bears!
  • Women shouldn’t hike alone
  • The 100 Mile Wilderness is terrifyingly remote
  • Bill Nye is hiking SOBO in 2021
  • Guest questions

Giving Back

  • Who maintains the trail?
  • The Appalachian Trail (and every other trail) needs YOU
  • Trail clubs, the ATC and other opportunities

Schedule

Thursday, Sept. 1

Optional practicum; participants must bring required gear

  • Meet at Trent’s Grocery 2 p.m.
  • 2-mile hike to Dismal Falls
  • Overnight camping practicum
    • Leave No Trace demonstration
    • Tenting, water filtration, bear hang, cooking, etc.
  • Friday morning, break camp and hike out

Friday, Oct. 1

  • Arrive Woods Hole
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. – Welcome lunch
  • 1:30-2:45 - “It’s more mental than physical”
  • 2:45-3 p.m. – Break
  • 3-4:30 p.m. - “But yeah, it’s physical”
  • 4:30-5 p.m. – Break
  • 5-6 p.m. – Social time
  • 6-7:15 p.m. – Dinner
  • 7:30-9 p.m. – Decisions, decisions: It’s not just putting one foot in front of the other

Saturday, Oct. 2

  • 7:30-8:30 a.m. - Breakfast
  • 9 a.m.-noon – Gearing up
    • The Big Three – pack, sleep system, shelter
    • Preventing the agony of the feet
    • No rain, no Maine – rain gear options … and expectations
    • Stoves, water safety, and everything else
    • Lightweight, ultra-lightweight – how much does it matter?
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1:30-3 p.m. – Individual pack shakedowns
  • 3-3:15 p.m. – Break
  • 3:15-4:30 p.m. – Going to town
    • Resupply
    • Maildrops, bounce boxes
    • Shuttles and hitchhiking
    • Hostels and hotels
    • Laundry
    • Platinum-Blazing – “must visit” spots along the AT
  • 4:30-5 p.m. – Break
  • 5-6 p.m. – Hiker Etiquette
  • 6-7:15 p.m. – Dinner
  • 7:30-9 p.m. – Optional breakout groups
    • Issues for women
    • Getting through the Whites
    • Social media, YouTube and podcasts

Sunday, Oct. 3

  • 7:30-8:30 a.m. - Breakfast
  • 9-10 a.m. – Giving Back
  • 10-10:15 a.m. – Break
  • 10:15 a.m.-noon – Panel discussion and Q&A
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. – Departure lunch
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