Hello readers! My apologies for my total lack of new content lately, especially on trail life. I’ve been tied up in the “real world” trying to get my life back on track after my injury, and I’ve also been in the process of getting back to work. It’s about that time of year when expectant thru hikers and section hikers are about to get the show on the road, and are wrapping up on that last minute planning and preparation. I aim to kick out some more hiking content in the coming weeks, but until then, I’ve put together a wrap up of some of my archived posts that I thought are worth a read if you’re still concerned or confused about things. All of these posts can also be found on “The Trek” blog, which I used to write for.
Foot care is important since it’s your feet that will get you where you’re going. Self explanatory, yeah? I’ve included my insight on selecting proper footwear, getting fitted, preventative measures to keep your feet from getting shredded, what to do if you start getting blisters on your blisters, and more! My first year, I ended up learning the hard way. This way, you won’t have to.
I feel like this is on the back of everyone’s mind prior to their start date. You’ve told your parents, friends, everyone on social media, your doctor, your dog, the person behind you in line at the grocery store… and now you’re wondering if it’s going to work out. Some things are completely out of your control, and in that case, you’ll just have to face the music. But if you plan properly, listen to your body and make wise choices, you can keep fighting the good fight.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail, whether you plan on going the whole way, or if you’re just trying to complete a section, is costly to say the least. So pinching pennies, for most, is essential! I’ve included some advice and suggestions on how to handle your budget in the food department, with hygienic matters, getting a roof over your head when need be, gear maintenance and replacement, as well as some other tips.
Not everyone is familiar with the art of dropping a deuce in the wild and wonderful woods. So if you aren’t cultured on the matter, I’ve included some terrible sketches (I’ve never claimed to be an artist), on how to position yourself for liberation, how to select a proper area for dropping a dookie, keeping that “backdoor” clean, and general trail and privy etiquette that one should be aware of.
In order to get into town to get resupply, you’re likely going to be doing a lot of hitchhiking. Odds are, you’re not going to feel like walking down the road 5+ miles to get into town, then repeat the process with a full load on your back just to get back to the trail. That’s just too much unnecessary effort when sticking out your thumb will get it done a lot faster! I think it’s reasonable to assume that you have never hitchhiked before (I had zero experience before the AT), and it can be intimidating at first. But when you know the right way to go about it, know what to look for, and if you’re using the right technique, you’ll be getting picked up in no time!
I’ve provided the low down on what makes sleeping in shelters completely awesome, and also why they can be a horrible experience. Some folks are scared of them, others, like myself, absolutely love them under most conditions! After reading, you’ll be able to better decide if shelters are worth a go, or if you’d rather just settle down in that tent of hammock once the day is through.
Before I summarize, I just want you to know that you’ll never be alone on the Appalachian Trail. There are so many people doing the same thing that you’re doing who may start off as complete strangers, but will quickly become closer friends than you had ever imagined. Alas, people still worry about it and/or want to bring loved ones along for the ride. I ended up hiking with my other half, and there are definitely good and bad sides to pairing up with someone. Sometimes it could just be the person you’re pairing up with who can dictate your trail experience. Choose wisely!
Some other archived posts you might be interested in:
I’ve also written about whether or not to hike the Approach Trail, dealing with Lady Issues, an A.T. Bucket List, and walking the extra distance along Side Trails to some fun and amusing destinations.
With that being shared, I wish you luck on your journey, and if you have any content you’d like to see, any topic you’d like me to address, or if you’d just like to ask me a question or two, feel free to leave it in the comments. Cheers!