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Hiked the Appalachian Trail today, and carried my S&W 637

2283 Views 42 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  RufDriver
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And, here’s my 637. Ended up hiking 5 miles over fairly mountainous terrain.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Beautiful terrain for that hike.
Yes it is a nice area. Lakes, rivers, low mountains, camp grounds, etc.
Good on you!...a little light for my tastes when I hike on the trail, but sure beats being unarmed!
True true, I was packing a plus p fbi load though.
A thru hike of the entire AT is on my bucket list.
Same. Although, I even more want to do the Pacific Coast Trail, which includes the John Muir trail. Goes through high Sierras, Yosemite, and more.
It would be my dream hike to start in Maine and finish all 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail and end it up in Georgia.
That would be cool. How long does it take? 6 months?
 

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Yes it is a nice area. Lakes, rivers, low mountains, camp grounds, etc.

True true, I was packing a plus p fbi load though.

Same. Although, I even more want to do the Pacific Coast Trail, which includes the John Muir trail. Goes through high Sierras, Yosemite, and more.

That would be cool. How long does it take? 6 months?
Minimum.
That's the best reason to start in Maine.
Start in cold weather, hike through the cooler altitudes in summer months, finish in cold weather.
 

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I'd carry a little more gun in the woods. A .357 J frame, at least. I have a 637, but I don't carry it.
 
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Where is that AT Museum?

I've been on the AT for a week long hike decades ago in the "100 mile wilderness" in Maine, that was fun and an adventure.

I've thought about "through hiking" it, and watched plenty of videos of people doing it, but honestly it just looks like it becomes work. And at my level of "fitness" now, it is just something to dream about.

Something that surprised me is that even when we were on our week long hike, all the through hikers had their heads down and seemed to just care about how many miles they could get in each day.

I take my hat off to anyone who does a through hike of the AT. It is a big physical, psychological, and logistical undertaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Where is that AT Museum?

I've been on the AT for a week long hike decades ago in the "100 mile wilderness" in Maine, that was fun and an adventure.

I've thought about "through hiking" it, and watched plenty of videos of people doing it, but honestly it just looks like it becomes work. And at my level of "fitness" now, it is just something to dream about.

Something that surprised me is that even when we were on our week long hike, all the through hikers had their heads down and seemed to just care about how many miles they could get in each day.

I take my hat off to anyone who does a through hike of the AT. It is a big physical, psychological, and logistical undertaking.
At Museum is at the mid point, at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in PA.

Yes, while I’d like to do a through hike, it’s very difficult to take that kind of time off. That’s why someone should do it if they can prior to starting their professional life. I suppose in retirement, but many people aren’t in that kind of health and shape in retirement.

Like your Maine trip, I’m more than satisfied doing a 5 odd day backpacking trip on one of these famous trails.

Also, when we get to two week plus trips, I have bigger priorities than spending all of it camping/hiking for the whole time. When I was in Guatemala, I met people who started at the southern tip of South America, and were spending 6 months making their way to Canada. Doing the Americas.
 

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Not a bad choice for a day hike. When trail running here, I carry a 357 J-frame, and it's usually stoked with 38+P. The little bitty barrel significantly reduces the 357's magnumness. When chrono'd, a personal defense 9mm has more velocity and energy than the 357 out of the J-frame. Weight is everything hiking, I know that well. If I was to hike that trail beyond a day or two, I'd opt for a Glock29, gen4 and get a TLR7 light that would do double duty as a bright backup flashlight and gun light for nighttime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We did the entire PA section one summer when I was 17. Back then I would have killed to through hike the entire thing. Nowadays I wouldn’t even make one evening sleeping on the ground.
Awesome how long did it take you to do the whole PA section? This last May I did some Appalachian Trail restoration in PA. I’ve hiked maybe three sections of the PA AT
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not a bad choice for a day hike. When trail running here, I carry a 357 J-frame, and it's usually stoked with 38+P. The little bitty barrel significantly reduces the 357's magnumness. When chrono'd, a personal defense 9mm has more velocity and energy than the 357 out of the J-frame. Weight is everything hiking, I know that well. If I was to hike that trail beyond a day or two, I'd opt for a Glock29, gen4 and get a TLR7 light that would do double duty as a bright backup flashlight and gun light for nighttime.
For reference. Where I live in PA it’s mainly two legged threats. Only very very rare black bears otherwise. As such, basic SD guns are fine for hiking. I think if I was doing a longer multi day hike I’d bring a high cap, service caliber auto. Sometimes I do anyways
 

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Awesome how long did it take you to do the whole PA section? This last May I did some Appalachian Trail restoration in PA. I’ve hiked maybe three sections of the PA AT
It was about 30 years ago so my memory is a little rusty but it was just over 2 weeks. Maybe 16-17 days. My dad made 2 supply drop for us along the way. Our scout troop was extremely active and we hiked every square inch of the trail in PA throughout the years. 2 of my best friends in the troop and I made the trek between our junior and senior year. It was a great time. What part of the trail did you work on?
 

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Pretty country and a nice, short day hike.

Nice M637, and an old-school +P load. Might not significantly deform or expand, but it has the weight and, normally, sufficient 'reach'.

While I've formerly carried all manner of pistols and revolvers for backwoods activities, nowadays I find my +P capable or .357MAG J's to be suitable choices. The largest threats in the mountains might be a mountain lion, or feral humans.

While I still have a respectable amount of 158gr LSWCHP +P left over from previous years when I favored the load (Rem, W-W & Fed versions), I've come to favor the more modern middleweight +P loads after seeing their performance in organic gel and hearing reports of their successful use in LE hands (meaning for off-duty and Secondary weapons nowadays).

There are some .357MAG loads that produce some surprisingly decent velocities, even from the short barrels, but the average shooter has to ask themselves if the juice if worth the squeeze when it comes to felt recoil and controllability, especially in rapid shot strings. When I do carry a MAG load in one of my M&P 340's, it's typically the mid-range 145gr STHP. Less wrist torque effect than the 125gr loads, and the mid-range STHP has gained an enviable reputation in actual use over the many years of its production.

Anyway, congrats on an enviable day hike in some beautiful country. The 637 is a handy Airweight that's easy to carry.
 
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