A thru-hiker celebrates the successful complet...
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Spring is right around the corner which means hikers are checking their gear, buying new packs, and weighing every ounce. Each year along with waiting for the thaw of winter, there are thousands getting ready to attempt a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. In 2007 500 backpackers finished the 2,000+ miles of the AT. According to the ATC that was only 27% of the total who started.

Hiking the AT is a daunting task to say the least. I was first introduced to the AT back in 2002 by a girl who had hiked 90% of the trail. I quickly became obsessed with the idea of hiking the AT. My attempt was in 2003. It was one of the hardest things mentally I’ve ever attempted.

Thru-hiking has a lot of romance associated with it, and it’s easy to be swept up in the dream of doing it yourself after watching a video or reading a book in the comfort of your home

from the ATC website

For those who are preparing to attempt a thru-hike, there are some things to consider. One, and most important, is that it is a mental hike. Yes, it’s physically demanding. You will be sore, and ache, and blister. But beyond the pain is a simple truth that you cannot deny, it’s a mental challenge. Putting up, and tearing down your tent everyday, finding water, packing enough food, resting, and of course the smell. It will become as much of a mental effort than a physical one.

After the planning and plotting of your hike. (and believe me, you’ll plan to death only to find out everything you planned for will change once you get out there) Remember to have fun. Hike your own hike, don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

Here are some good resources and links to assist in your hike. One of the websites I love to read during the year is www.trailjournals.com This is a great site to journal online and let family and friends know how your hike is going. They have a ton of informative information.

thebackpacker.tv has a trail Vlog called “The first 30 miles of the AT“. It’s what you can expect the first 30 miles of your hike.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Watch this video about hiking in the Smoky Mountains to get a feel about the AT.

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Feel free to contact me at any time. Started Backpacking in 2003 and have never looked back. My all time favorite hike was last April when I hiked the Sycamore Wilderness Canyon. No trails, no signs, just wilderness and a 3,000 foot steep drop into the Canyon. I ran out of water my third day. Why? There was no water in the Canyon. You can check out my video on the "backpacker.tv" page. Thanks for dropping by.

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  • Love this site, thank you so much for creating this space for hikers to share their experiences. My best friend and I are starting out first hike this Spring. How important is safety on the hike when it comes to “freaks” on the hike? As women, we are ever aware of the dangers, but I have not heard of safety planning around hikes and women. Can you guide me or tell me what resources are out there to read?
    Peace by Peace,