Thru-hiking: The AT

I know I’ve gotten behind on posting, and I’m sorry.  August just kind of flew by.

I had my first ever job interview on Tuesday, it looks like I’m a step closer to knocking “Be a waitress for a year” off my list! I’m not going to be hired for a serving position, but it’s still in a restaurant.

So, I’m starting to plan my Appalachian Trail thru-hike.  Before I can really settle on any plans I have a few decisions to make.

  • 2015, or 2016? Obviously if I go in 2016 that gives me more time to plan, and save money, but will I really spend that time planning, or save that money?
  • Nourthbound or Southbound? (NoBo or SoBo?)  This is a big question for some thru-hikers, and most choose NoBo.  Going from Georgia to Maine is easier.  In Maine there’s Katahdin, and 100 miles of nothing right away, from what I’ve been reading.  It means you’re carrying around 20 days worth of supplies from the start! New Hampshire is also (one of) the hardest section(s).  However, because I live in New England I won’t need a plane ticket or anything to get to Maine, so I plan to go SoBo.  (10% of AT thru-hikers go SoBo, and only about 10% of those finish)
  • Gear?  I’ve been reading a lot about what other people pack for gear.  It’s not helping.  It’s really just up to personal opinion, there’s no one who can pick gear for you.  I’m going to be researching what I think will work best for me (I’m hoping to pack somewhat light, or lighter items, because I’m very small, and not very strong – yet), and I will post them here! A little bit at a time until a few weeks before I leave, then I’ll post a complete packing list.
There is one problem if I decide to do my thru-hike next year starting in late-June, though.  I planned my first long distance biking trip for next summer.  What I think I’ll do, if I decide to thru-hike next summer, is do my long-distance bicycle trip in April, or May, and then thru-hike starting in June.
The one question every thru-hiker is asked is “why?”  A lot of people do it as an escape from their everyday lives, or after something big happened in their life like getting divorced, or losing a job.  Personally, I’m doing it for the challenge, and because it’s not something everybody’s going to do.  I need to prove myself (to me, of course) on something “small” like this before I’m 100% sure I can do something like climb Everest.  The longer I wait to start the bigger things on my list the less likely I am to do them at all.  I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t prove I can do it soon, then I won’t.  That would be fairly tragic, I think.

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