Appalachian trail February 2022

Discussion in 'Hiking Chat' started by Micksjoiner, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Trail Blazer

    Hopefully this will be the first of many trips .
    maddogs likes this.
  2. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I claimed on Snowcard; faultless service.

    You'll need a B2, as you probably know. That was easy enough.
    Micksjoiner and fluffkitten like this.
  3. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Moderator Staff Member

    Think US visa services are currently semi shutdown thanks to the plague. Need to start looking at applying soon.
  4. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Trail Blazer

    Just waiting for new passport to arrive to get current passport number to complete form.
  5. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    Have you seen Wrong turn?
    Stay on the trail & don't mess with the Foundation :mask:
    Lempo likes this.
  6. maddogs

    maddogs Trail Blazer

    edh and WilliamC like this.
  7. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Trail Blazer

    I'm a loud proud Scot,so nothing to fear here:)
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  8. lakeshore

    lakeshore Trail Blazer

    In 2004 I did Daleville VA to Mt Springer, over 750 miles, pre phone so they are not essential, though I did borrow one on the trail to arrange a pick up at Mt Springer.
    In 2010 I did Boiling Springs PA to Mt Katahdin ME with a cheap US Phone (99$) mainly for safety reasons as I go solo. In 2010 I did the John Muir Trail (JMT) in California without a phone as little chance of signal. To avoid panics I told the wife not to worry if she did not receive any information from me. I did ask someone exiting the trail to email her that he had seen me.
    I would get a US credit card, stores and banks laughed at my cards, looked at them suspiciously, as if I had just made them; similar with UK driving licence and passport. I found it difficult to put money on the phone with a UK credit card.
    I have worldwide, snow sports insurance cover and on the JMT I made sure I had helicopter retrieval over 10,000 feet. In rural areas, which is much of the AT, people have rarely seen foreigners, I was thought of as an Aussie or Kiwi.
    I met an American on the AT who had been bitten by a snake. It cost him thousands of dollars for emergency room treatment and three weeks rest in a Motel. To avoid complications I also have note in my passport and insurance details not to treat before contacting my insurance company in the UK; as per insurance instructions. Same instructions now for Europe.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
    Micksjoiner likes this.
  9. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

    No need for US credit card, and they are pretty hard to get if you don't have an address in the US. A prepaid Mastercard works well. I have one from Transferwise which I've used for years without issues. It's free to open up an account, the FX fees are 3rd best in the industry, miles ahead of banks. The app is easy to use, just transfer money from bank account and/or convert existing money in the TW account. They have a free Mastercard which I've used in non-Euro European countries as well as when I was living in Thailand using Thai Baht. You can also have 'local' virtual current accounts for bank transfers, so I have a USD, AUD, NZ, EUR and GBP virtual accounts with local addresses, so someone can locally transfer money to me. In order to get the account, you need to verify your identity with using the app to send over a photo of your ID and address details.

    Using this link to sign up will earn you a fee free transfer.
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  10. lakeshore

    lakeshore Trail Blazer

    Thanks Lempo, I was being a bit old school. I have a FX card which I have used in Europe; although in a German village a large card machine inside a bank foyer,(the bank was closed) didn`t like the card. Later when I found a machine I could use I made sure I took a decent amount of cash to avoid any inconvenience later.
    I still have memories in the US of trying to use, as pedestrian, a drive thru bank machine. Another time in deepest Tennessee in a bank trying to use my passport as ID the teller shouting to the backroom `Myrtle come and have a look at this,` Eventually they put my passport number in to clear the transaction.
    Maybe it is me.
    Lempo likes this.
  11. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Trail Blazer

    Is the card you mentioned better than the Halifax clarity card.
  12. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Cards change.

    I take a Caxton, and recently added a Santander Zero as a backup.

    Checkout what deals are good nearer the time.

    FWIW I never had a problem with my cards in the US.

    One thing to watch is not to use these cards as a 'payment guarantee' as this can lock that fee up on the card. Use a credit card for the guarantee and pay with the money card.

    Then...you probably won't stay in as many hotel as some are wont to do....
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  13. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Trail Blazer

    When you say money card do mean credit card that you add money like mentioned above,if so is this the best way to pay for stuff in the USA thanks
  14. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Yes. And yes - IME.
  15. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

    I haven't compared them, but Transferwise account and card are solely for travel / forex use and they are specialised for that. There are no other monthly fees. There's the FX rates, which were 3rd best of the kind last time I checked and when converting currency or withdrawing to your own bank account, there's a £0.50 charge depending on the currency.

    It's a Mastercard, but it's not a credit card, it's a pre-paid card, so you need to have the funds in your currency account to use it for anything. The clever thing is that if you have multiple currencies and you run out of one, it should convert from others (if you had balance on other virtual currency accounts) to cover what you needed to spend.

    This is why you can't compare this with high street bank issued debit cards with low or zero FX fees.

    You can compare TW card with Starling, Mondo and the like.

    Like @edh said, it's good to have a credit card to use as guarantees and also to have a backup card in case the main one doesn't work.
    Micksjoiner likes this.
  16. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Trail Blazer

    Thanks for that seems the way to go as said will have better look later on in year.
    Still trying to find mobile phone SIM .UK 3 network really only seem to include USA in contact with no penalties but only 3g.
  17. maddogs

    maddogs Trail Blazer

    At the other end of the complexity scale...a "no foreign transaction fee" credit card (I have Santander Zero) worked just fine for me, admittedly back in 2015. No problems with acceptance other than US hasn't gotten around to ChipandPin so you have to remember to sign the bit of paper ;). The exchange rate is the MasterCard or visa rate on the day of transaction.
    If I need to withdraw cash, I just go online* and pay the balance in full as soon as the transaction posts which avoids any interest. I don't see the advantage of a prepaid card over this kind of credit card?

    *...ah, that was your other question about mobile phones :rolleyes:
  18. MartinK9

    MartinK9 Section Hiker

    I took a Post Office Travel card. Had no problems using it.

    As for phone I winged it. I bought the Garmin In reach Expedition package and used that to send texts home. You will be in town every 3-5 days and I was going to use that time to have phone conversations.
  19. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Moderator Staff Member

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  20. MartinK9

    MartinK9 Section Hiker

    It was last year, there may be better ones/rates by now.
    fluffkitten likes this.
  21. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Trail Blazer

    Started filling b2 visa,
    One of the questions was asking for the address of where I was going to be staying.
    I was going to put the approach trail address.
    Any ideas thanks
  22. OwenM

    OwenM Section Hiker

    Will you be staying somewhere on your first night like a motel?
  23. Lempo

    Lempo Thru Hiker

    This has lots of good info & experiences https://www.reddit.com/r/UKhopefuls/
    Micksjoiner likes this.
  24. Micksjoiner

    Micksjoiner Trail Blazer

  25. MartinK9

    MartinK9 Section Hiker

    That's what I did.

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