“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!!
After 10,000 miles of long-distance walking, I’ve realized that creating a fulfilling walk relies on addressing 5 essential areas:
- Know your trail,
- Consider your timing,
- Love your gear,
- Magnetize your support network, and
- Nourish your Inner Journey with specific
- Bonus: Above all, know your “why” for choosing the AT.
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