Jen and I are 57 days away from the start of our attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. On March 22nd we will depart Amicalola Falls Lodge and hike the 8.8-mile approach trail that leads to the start of the Appalachian Trail. There are other, less taxing, alternatives leading to the trailhead, but we wanted to hike up, up, up the path, including a staircase of 604 steps, that parallels Georgia’s tallest waterfall. We are planning to hike almost 2200 miles, what are 9 more?
This decision, along with a myriad of others, is all part of the planning process. Many individuals replying on online forums and groups say the only way to plan for a thru-hike is to do a thru-hike—just start walking. While I am sure there is some truth in this, I am equally confident that a large portion of the 75% of hikers, who planned to traverse the length of the trail and failed, followed that advice. (more…)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear
~ Mark Twain
As we document our journey to and through the Appalachian Trail, I am cognizant that our thoughts, strategies, desires, and fears will change as we experience the different phases of thru-hiking. So, it is odd typing words that undoubtedly will change throughout and by the end of our journey.
That being said, it is important to acknowledge what we are fearing at the outset so we can master our fear, or at a minimum resist the fear and be courageous. (more…)
There is no exact definition of the term often used to describe certain characteristics of long-distance hikers, so I cobbled my own:
Hiker Trash – a term of endearment used to describe the necessary mental shift caused by living in the woods on a thru-hike for long periods of time.
Symptoms include a modification of socially acceptable behavior, especially in regards to frequency of showering and laundering; what constitutes nutrition; where and how you sleep; and what is meant by the word comfort.
It does not refer to those who disrespect the trail, nature, or others. No, those people are just plain trash.