Chad “Stick” Poindexter
Chad “Stick” Poindexter did not backpack or hike as a child. What sparked his interest in both hiking and backpacking was listening to a tram operator while in Gatlinburg just a few short years ago in March of 2009. The operator told him about the Mt. LeConte Lodge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stick was intrigued that there was a lodge he could “rent-a-room” at, but had to hike 5 miles up a mountain to, and was devoid of any electricity or running water. After getting off the tram, he and his wife headed to the Sugarland Visitor Center, and here, on a 3D map of the park, he traced a green line that ran the entire length (and beyond) of the park. That line was the Appalachian Trail.
When Stick returned home, he felt that he had been missing out on something… So, he started researching. Then, in September of that year, him and his wife stepped out for their first backpacking trip ever! Starting at Amicalola Falls State Park Visitor Center and heading up the approach trail to Springer Mountain, they hiked 40 miles over the next 4.5 days and finished at Neels Gap. Tired and worn out…they both loved it…
On this trip, he started with a 60 lb backpack. It made the way hard, he knew he had to lighten up. Since then, he has decreased his weight drastically! On the extreme ends, he have gone from carrying a 60 lb (TPW) pack on that trip, to a sub 12 lb (TPW) pack on a 3 day, 70-mile hike. His normal (TPW) weights are 12 – 15 lbs in the warmer months and around 20 lbs in the colder months. In order to drop weight, he has learned to leave behind those “just-in-case” items, choose items that serve more than 1 use, and of course to simply use lighter weight items.
Home: Corinth, MS
Favorite training grounds: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or anywhere on the AT. It is his dream to one day complete a thru hike of the AT.
Current Plans: Olympics NP hike with other GG TA’s and hopefully a few more short weekend hikes along the AT.