Getting Started on the Appalachian Trail

“I think I want to do a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. How should I prepare for that?”

Here’s my answer:

Go out for a day, then a night, then three or four nights. Go out for short walks in all four seasons to test your gear. One landmark in preparation is to go out long enough to have a resupply or maildrop, say 8-10 days. With the experience of finishing a 3-5 day section, taking a townstop, then going back out, you’ll have the basic idea of a long distance walk, which is really a long string of 4-day walks without going home in between! That’s the best part of long distance journeys. Resupply, rest, cleaning up and going back out!! read more

Love Your Gear: Toiletries

Here is my backpacking toiletries list:

Hotel bar soap, tiny sponge, lidded bowl for taking wash water to my tent; lip balm; .5oz teatree oil (or eucalyptus or peppermint); tiny tube of general salve; travel toothbrush; sometimes a tablespoon of baking soda for tooth powder + deoderant; large bandaids that can be cut to size; roll of stretchy gauze; dental floss for teeth and thread; comb.

This is one category where the moniker, “If I don’t have it, I don’t need it” is useful. Going without something for a few days helps me clarify what I want vs what I need. read more

Delayed Package

May 29, 2020

When I dropped off two large flat rate packages at the P.O. in Borrego Springs, CA, I believed Bonnie, the postal clerk, when she said they would arrive May 26th. “That’s perfect!” I said. “I’ll be there May 27th and we leave there May 29th.” The USPS has been reliable with their priority mail service for years, starting with its inception at the same time I started hiking long trails!

Package delivery has turned out to be an emotional parachute drop! I was delighted when my son said on Saturday – the next day- “Oh, your package arrived.” I was amazed at the speedy delivery. “Oh good! Inside there’s a present for Sebastian”! That’s my grandson. “There’s only one package,” Adam said. ” “We’ll watch for the other one.” The one that arrived was loaded with dry food in preparation for quarantine in Maine. read more

Why is Walking in Nature Important?

May 22,2020

I was challenged with this question yesterday.  I caught my breath in response because I realized that in my heart I KNOW!  It’s one of those things that I’ve never had to explain to MYSELF because I just know that walking in Nature is important.  So, here’s the beginning of what might be a long discussion – at least I hope so!

What are your thoughts?

Here are a few of mine:

When I walk in Nature, even just stepping out my door, my senses open and I feel more involved in the World.
Why is it important to have my senses open?  Because then my physical body is more ALIVE!
And why is that important?  Because being alive is necessary for being on Earth. I have to have a living body to do that.
And why is that important?   Being on Earth?  Hmm.  To fulfill my spiritual purpose.  And that’s connecting with the Creator God Goddess, the nameless energy of all that is. read more

Ease is a Choice

May 21, 2020

How I manage the terrain on the Appalachian Trail is to choose each step to be easy. I can always do one step! Breathe, choose ease, step. In each easy step I can savor the beauty of the one rock on which I’m stepping, then choose the next one to be easy as well. In this way of conscious walking, the “rugged” path unfolds and lures me on. Try it! “Difficulty” is a choice.

Quick Answers

Over my 20 years of walking long distance trails, I’ve noticed that practically all of my questions can be addressed with five essential considerations. I have started calling them my Five Essentials for Creating a Radiantly Fulfilling Walk of  Any Length.

The five essentials are:

  • Know your Trail
  • Consider your Timing
  • Love your Gear
  • Magnetize your Trail Angel Network
  • Nourish your Inner Journey with Practiced Tools for Shifting Energy, Beliefs, and Challenges

Bonus Essential: Know your Why!

I’ve elaborated on them in my report, which you can read here:

Five Essentials for a Radiantly Fulfilling Walk

My view of creating a walk is that the trail is a blank canvas on which we get to paint our own version of fulfillment. I’m a fan of distinguishing between accomplishing your walk and fulfilling your walk. When I create a journey, I always focus on creating a journey that makes my heart sing, that supports an inner transformation, and that provides me opportunities to be aware of how I have met my challenges and grown as a person. For me, I can literally use each step as a moment for personal growth, which is what I’m all about! The trail, and my physical accomplishment of its miles, is the venue, the medium, the stage upon which my inner journey unfolds. read more

Sunrise Journey

May 1, 2020

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May, a Month of Maybe?

May 1, 2020

This morning I dashed out the door at 5:45 a.m. to fulfill my goal of doing a livestream video at sunrise. I’ve been creating a few of these programs each week with other park interpreters at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where I’m in my sixth season as Park Interpretive Specialist. Today, our park phone will be turned over to the interpreters in our district mountain parks, Cuyamaca Rancho and Palomar State Parks. Our main season here in the desert is ending while theirs is just beginning! It was like that when the Kumeyaay Indians lived here too! They would live in the desert during the winter, then migrate to the cool mountains for the summer! read more

Walking into Your Dream!

Are you yearning to walk the Appalachian Trail?

You wonder how.
You wonder if you can do it.
You know there’s a lot to prepare, but don’t know where to start.
Everyone you know says that’s a crazy thing to do!
You want someone who’s done it to help you navigate the journey.

Hi. I’m Regina Reiter and I know exactly what you’re thinking! I was in your shoes before completing my thru hike in January, 2008. I’m a long distance hiker, Nature interpreter, Radical Forgiveness Coach, and entrepreneur with a passion for helping women over 50 walk the Appalachian Trail as a pilgrimage. read more