Interestingly enough, thousands of people actually think that they would like to hike the 2,200 miles that is the AT. For example, for the past five years around 1,200 people start the hike at Springer Mt. in Georgia and about 30% of those people make it to Katahdin, the AT’s Northern terminus, in Maine. Sadly, we have no idea what these crazy people were thinking, but what we can tell you are some basic fun facts about the AT and give you OUR reasons for wanting to walk for six months straight.
Fun facts about the AT!
The Appalachian trail’s distance is not certain… depending on who you are asking you could get 2,155 miles or 2,200 miles (the US park service). The Appalachian Trail Conference used to think the trail was 2,146.7 miles but changed their mind to 2,150 miles. Other sources say 2,118.3, 2,159, 2,147, and Michelle Ray, in her book “How to Hike the A.T.” claims it’s 2,175. As you can tell these are all different lengths. No matter what the distance we think its just going to feel long.
Whilst hiking the Appalachian Trail you pass through fourteen different states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. This will help Lindsey add fourteen new states to her state count and maybe while shes there she can learn to spell some of the more difficult east coast state names…
There are a few ways to complete a hike of the AT, as a thru-hiker or as a section-hiker. You can also be a flip-flopper, a yellow-blazer, a blue-blazer, a rainbow-blazer, a NOBO, a SOBO, a pink-blazer, a green-blazer, and on and on and on. Overall the important thing seems to be, HYOH or hike your own hike, and that is just what we plan to do.
A basic rundown of how we think this hike is going to work…
A lot of people ask us, “So, do you have all your food for five months?”, “Are you going to send yourself stuff?”, “Will you ever get a shower??” For all you curious relatives, friends, and innocent bystanders out there who don’t know how you found yourself reading this blog, here is our basic plan:
- Hike for five days at a time, about 20 miles a day. Go into one of the many abundant towns about every five days and resupply. Maybe take a shower. Probably eat a steak. Get back out on the trail and keep going.
Why not the PCT?
Since we are currently living on the west coast and the PCT is a badass trail we get this question a lot. We have to admit, we’ve had that crazy moment where we look at each other and say…. why don’t we hike the PCT? But our thru-hikers cherry belongs to the AT through and through. The AT is the mother of thru-hikes, the first long distance trail to be created in this country. In terms of a persons first time it’s got a lot to offer in terms of easier resupply and proximity to towns. It is a social trail, full of fellow thru-hikers, trail angels, and weekenders. It chock full of tradition, community, and history. The mountains on the east coast may be smaller then those in the west but that’s because they are thousands of years older. And although Kyle grew up on the east coast he hasn’t done any hiking or camping there and Lindsey has never been there at all! So the AT was just the obvious first choice. But that doesn’t mean that the words “triple crown” haven’t been tossed around… a lot…