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Appalachian Trail Prep 11/17/17 – CLOSED

4.75 out of 5 based on 4 customer ratings (4 customer reviews)

You would be surprised at the number  of the people who start their thru-hike on the AT, only to get off before the halfway point.  Why? We find most hikers have a great start, only to realize that the Appalachian Trail is not only really hard, but the reality of the hike isn’t what they thought. It sure didn’t look that way on YOUTUBE!  As two people that love the trail, we want to share with you our experience and help you be successful on your journey. In 2017 we noticed more and more hikers getting off the trail because of weight. Heavy packs, and heavy food bags.  We also noticed that all of our friends thru-hiking bought ALL NEW gear at Trail Days. Weight was the number ONE reason as to why they spent money on gear…twice. Don’t be that HIKER.

So Mountain Crossings and TheBackpackerTV partnered up to put together one heck of a AT Prep Class. Come join us for a weekend in the woods and learn to Buy Once, Buy Right and give yourself the advantage of Experience! PLEASE SEE THE TABS BELOW



Are you planning a Thru-Hike on the Appalachian Trail? If the answer is yes, than you have some work to do. This class will focus NOT on the physical, (that’s hard enough) but the mental aspect of it. This 2 night 3 day course “hands on” class.

What’s Included:

Certified and Experienced Instructors who understand the mental aspects of a Long Distance Hike

Q & A with a former Appalachian Thru-Hiker

First night lodging in a Hostel included

Dinner is included the first night at the Hostel (Burgers  and Brats)

Light Breakfast is included Saturday morning

Expert Pack Shakedown

Lightweight Gear Demonstration and Hands on Outfitting

Appalachian Trail Thu-Hiker Speaker on Sunday

10% off of Local Outfitter on selected Gear

20% off Any Full Moon Adventure Trip with Scott & Ariane





Course starts promptly at 3:00 PM on Friday. Please give yourself time to get there and checked into the bunkhouse where will be all be staying  The best practice is to get to Mountain Crossings at least 45 minutes before class starts.

Day One: Introductions and hello’s. We start out by discussing why you want to hike the AT? We will break for dinner (burgers and brats included) at 5:30 PM.  Class will end approximately at 9:00 PM

Your first night will be in an actual bunk house (hostel) on the Appalachian Trail.

Getting Started – Expectations of the Trail
What’s Your Plan? The 30 Mile Reality
Learn the 3 Biggest Mistakes Thru-Hikers Make, in the First 30 Miles
The AT Culture – How to Hike your own Hike – Social VS Solo
How to Overcome Hard Days on the Trail
Shelter living
Hygiene & Saftey on the Trail
Mail Drops VS Resuply
Hiker Hunger – How to plan your food
How to Adjust to the Unexpected
Learn the Most Important Piece of Gear you will EVER Carry

DAY 2:  is all about Gear, Clothing and Food! Pack Shakedowns and How to Lighten Your Load! We will give you examples on light weight gear and how to use it. We go over some basic food nutrition and explain how to lighten your food bag.

Learn the Hard Truth About Food – How to Lighten Your Load
How to Lighten your Pack Weight
Pack Shakedowns and Gear Talk

After Pack shakedowns it’s your *option to hit the trail and test what you’ve learned and your new gear. Hopefully we camp under the stars, but any weather conditions will do. At camp we will go over the 7 principals of Leave No Trace and hand out some info with a piping hot cup of Hot Apple Cider.

*The hike after Saturday’s class is an option. If you do NOT want to do a overnight trip, you can stay at the bunkhouse. This cost is NOT INCLUDED IN THE CLASS PRICE.
DAY 3:
For those who went on the overnight backpacking hike we return to Mountain Crossings at 11:00 AM.
Class resumes at 11:30 AM

Open Q & A about the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Speaker
3:00 PM Give big hugs, take selfies, and say goodbye.

Class ends at 3:00 PM Sunday


Scott Janz

My first backpacking trip was in 1997, and literally none of my gear worked. But I kept learning.  After my first solo hike through the Smokey Mountain National Park, I was hooked. In 2003 I Thru-Hiked the Appalachian Trail and never looked back.

  • Wilderness First Aid Certification (NOLS)
  • Leave No Trace Trainer
  • Wilderness Survival Course
  • Founded one of the largest outdoor backpacking clubs in the Midwest
  • 20 years of Backpacking Experience
  • Worked in the REI Outdoor School Program

I’ve been asked twice by the Discovery Network to do a survival show. I love meeting new friends and passing on what I have learned to you. Motivating people to get outdoors is the best reward.

Ariane Petrucci

I started out as a avid Rock and Ice Climber. Including climbing in Canada and other area’s in the US. Started backpacking long distance trails 8 years ago. Have learned how to pack for multi-day trips with less than a 25 lb pack weight. Including 300 mile section hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2017.

  • Wilderness First Aid Certification
  • Leave No Trace Trainer
  • Wilderness Survival Course
  • Beginners Backpacking Bootcamp Instructor
  • Canine First Aid Certification

There is nothing I love more than teaching people my passion for the outdoors. Watching the fear people think they have for the wilderness disappear into pure joy.

What to Bring

For the first night it’s highly suggested you bring a Sleeping bag, Pillow or your own bedding. The Hostel does NOT provide bedding sheets or pillows.

Towel and toiletries for Shower

Snacks and drinks for during the class.

One night of dinner and one morning of breakfast for optional backpacking hike including snacks

Hiking and Backpacking clothing for Fall Weather

The goal of this class is to get your full backpacking gear as light weight as possible. Since Mountain Crossings is an outfitters, you have to opportunity to buy the gear on Saturday and test it on Saturday night. Otherwise make sure you bring:

Rain gear

Backpack with *full gear for optional backpacking trip and shake down. We will weigh your pack on Shakedown Day (Day 2)

*full gear is sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, clothing, water filter, the 10 essentials

Water Platy

Hiking shoes/boots.

Notebook and Pen or Pencil

Got questions? e-mail Scott & Ariane:

4 reviews for Appalachian Trail Prep 11/17/17 – CLOSED

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Sasha Jackson

    As a newbie on the trail I really appreciate all that Scott and Ariane teach. They really do have a strong passion for teaching us newbies to explore and not be afraid. Since I took their class, I have gained so much more confidence about doing Solo backpacking trips. As a female hiker I never thought I would venture out into the wilderness by myself but have learned to “trust the trail” as they both say, and I’ve gone out several times. Both are awesome!!!! – Sasha

  2. Rated 4 out of 5

    Sandy Johnson

    Ariane and Scott are very knowledgeable about the trail. Not just the Appalachian Trail, but about the attitude and mental challenges hikers have when reality sets in on a long distance hike. I really respect the way they get to the truth about what to expect. They don’t hold back and I loved that. Before I took their class I watched a hundred YouTube vids thinking I could learn from others by watching video’s. But that’s just not true. They taught me about what is important when the trail get’s you down and how to overcome obstacles. I also found out that Ariane is a bad ass hiker. lol The only reason I didn’t give them 5 stars, is we had people in the class talk forever about their gear. I learned when you buy the right gear, there is nothing to talk about. You just go! Thanks to you both, love you guys.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Joeseph Scales

    Thank you so much for offering a way for people to get the right information about Thru-hiking the AT. I wasn’t sure this class would teach me anything but Wow, was so wrong. Learned so much and can’t wait to hit the trail on my 7 night trip coming up soon. You both are passionate about the outdoors and give people like me inspiration to do more outdoors. Thanks guys!!!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5


    I took this class last Spring to section hike the AT. Scott and Ariane got my pack down from 35 lbs to 24 lbs. They teach this class with lot’s of fun stories, and with the honesty that people like me need to hear. A lot of what they teach is what I ended up experiencing myself. When I had bad days on my hike, I did what they suggested and it worked like a charm. Very thankful for their suggestions. They were spot on as to when “hiker hunger” set in which saved me A LOT of weight in the beginning of my hike. I totally recommend them if you want the reality of what to expect on a long distance hike on the AT. I finished my goal of 600 miles of the AT this year and I owe them my deepest thanks.

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