Any Final Advice for an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker?

1:06 a.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
34 forum posts

This Saturday (in four days) I'm starting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. If you guys were to give me some parting advice, what would it be?


1:47 a.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

I have never hiked that far straight through, I have done some 200 - 300 milers, and then went back the next month and did it again.

I would say, have fun, enjoy each day. Go for the gold, but don't go for broke. Don't pressure yourself to the point that you don't enjoy the experience. That's what I call "going for broke". You can reach your destination sometimes with out taking the time to soak it all in, or getting everything the wilderness has to offer. It took me a while to learn that, maybe you already have.

Immerse yourself in the trip. The journey is what counts.

Take along pictures of loved ones.

Accept that you may have bad days, but don't dwell on it, each dawn brings a new day.

Have faith in yourself, you are stronger than you think.

4:12 a.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
62 reviewer rep
312 forum posts

Take lots and lots of photos of the people you meet. The scenery will always be there and lets face it, most of those photos look dull anyway.

Morally, I couldn't add anything to what TH said.

Send lots of snail mail, its more human.

7:50 a.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
873 reviewer rep
3,921 forum posts

Have fun! I've never done a long distance thru-hike, so take this for what it's worth.

Take pictures of both the ordinary everyday stuff and the extraordinary. Some day you might treasure that picture of your pack or boots in camp.

Consider keeping a written journal, but don't make it an overwhelming task, just somewhere to jot down observations and thoughts when the mood strikes.

Remember that you don't have to do it all in one day, you just need to keep on keeping on and make it to your next goal, whether that's your next camp or to the top of a peak.

I also liked this comment from our "Lure of the Long Trail" series:

Here’s what Jackie McDonnell (aka Yogi and the author of Yogi’s PCT Handbook and Yogi’s CDT Handbook) has to say:

“So you’re going to hike the AT from Georgia to Maine! Woohoo! That’s great! Maine is not your destination. If you really want to go to Maine, then you could just get in a car and drive there. If you really want to go to Maine, you wouldn’t take five months to walk there and start on a rainy day in Georgia. You’re out here for the experience, for everything that happens in between Georgia and Maine. Embrace that. It’s a very powerful concept.”

Have an awesome trip and good luck!

6:30 p.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,299 forum posts

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step... Lao Tzu

10:30 p.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
47 reviewer rep
241 forum posts

Take pictures of the people you meet. Log their names. These snapshots might be in town, too, not just on the trails.
45 years ago I was in the Peace Corps. Just this past week a friend I have only seen once since then sent me his old photos from slides he had recently burned onto a CD. Guess which photos I looked forward to seeing the most? The people. I wanted to see what we all looked like way back then!
One of my favorites was a picture he took at a Beatles Concert at Dodger Stadium near the Peace Corps training center. He had taken a picture of his ticket stub, too. The price of the ticket...six bucks.

Take photos of your campsites and your gear and some self photos, too

2:45 p.m. on May 1, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
34 forum posts

Thanks for the replys, all good advice. I'm on the drive down to Amicalola Falls State Park now. The pack is rediculously heavy of course ;-)

If anyone wants to follow me, I'll be posting updates on FaceBook, assuming there's any cell reception up there. Peter Osuchowski.


10:00 a.m. on May 4, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

Take your time and "Hike your own Hike". I have hiked all but 300 miles left to do in the whites it is quite a journey. You will meet some great people. Just make sure you listen to your feet.

September 18, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Need suggestions; 5-7 day trip with ? fourteen-year-olds Newer: Poll: Ever been to Philmont Scout Ranch?
All forums: Older: Thruhikers On The BMT Newer: Kids want to climb too