If you're thinking about a long-distance hike on the Florida National Scenic Trail, Randy "Chuck Norris" Anderson is the man with the answers to your questions.
I had a chance encounter with Chuck Norris (that's his trail name, by the way) at a trailhead north of Okeechobee, where he was waiting for a group of thru-hikers to come off the trail. Randy and his wife, LuAnne, support hikers with supplies, shuttles and other luxuries that make spending time on the trail much more comfortable.
Typically, solo hikers carry everything they need for a long-distance hike on their backs the whole time they're on the trail. With a supported hike, hikers have the ability to spend time on the trail without having to have all of their gear with them at all times, which makes it more like a number of back-to-back day hikes. That's not a bad approach when you're spending a couple of months on the trail.
Most Florida Trail long distance hikes take place in the winter months. If it's something you're considering, you can get a jump on things by making preparations now. It takes some time to plan out your route, sort out your gear and get in shape.
Here are some excerpts from our trailside chat, and check out www.floridatrail.org for more information on hiking the Florida National Scenic Trail.