THRUHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY!

Applications for the 2020 season are closed – they will reopen for the 2021 season in September of 2020!

What is the THRUHIKERS’ GUIDE TO THE GALAXY?
Over the last few years I have discovered that while I have a deep love of all things planning not everyone feels that way. I hear from folks, time and time again, that they would love to take on a thruhike but the logistics of planning it are too much for them. Even folks who do successfully get out on trail admit that the planning process was so painful it negatively impacted their thruhike. And then there’s me, over here just planning shit for the fun of it. So I figured – why not share the skills and experience I have and help get people out on trail? That is how this thruhiking prep mentorship program was born!

What will I get out of the program as a participant?
This program will be designed to help you prepare for an upcoming thruhike through 1-on-1 mentorship with me! We will focus in on the areas of thruhike prep that bring you the most stress and I will provide resources and support to help guide you through the process. The topics we may tackle could include but are not limited to: training, budgeting, permits, resupply, gear, trail planning, maps, technology, friends and family, safety, jobs, housing, student loans, healthcare, mental health, mental training, social media, women’s specific health topics, etc. Of course the ultimate goal is that you get to reduce the stress of planning a thruhike and set yourself up for success on trail.

Why should I trust you with my thruhiking prep?
Ah, looking for a little thruhiking resume, are you? In 2013 Kyle and I completed the Appalachian Trail and in 2016 we completed the Pacific Crest Trail. We have hiked the Wonderland Trail in Washington three times now and countless other trails. For all of these trips and more I am THE PLANNER. And I mean that in all caps. I am the one who obsessively researches gear, training plans, food, route options – the list goes on and on. For our PCT thruhike I made 80% of our food from scratch and organized a resupply system that worked almost flawlessly. Not only am I good at planning but I actually enjoy it! Professionally I am a Project Manager and a Program Manager so I actually get paid to plan and mentor. I have both the experience and the drive to help you start any trail of your choosing on track.

Why is this a pilot season?
Because I have never done this before! I know that I have the knowledge to help y’all prepare for your thruhikes but I am excited to do a test run of a year in order to nail down my methods and materials.

How much does it cost?
Lucky you, this year is free! Because I am running a pilot year I am not quite comfortable charging people for this service yet. But if this year goes smoothly I do plan on offering the program next year for a fee.

How many people will you accept into the program?
My plan is to accept around five people into the program this year. Since it is free and I have a full time job I want to make sure I accept a sustainable number of people so I can adequately support the participants. If this year goes well I hope to have a better idea of how many participants I can accept into the program next year. HOWEVER! If you apply and there isn’t enough space this year don’t worry – I am still planning on running an informal course monthly on instagram and I know of some other resources that might be useful for you!

How will you be communicating with participants?
Communication and prep will take place through email, text, phone calls and video chats! If the applicant is local to the Seattle area there will be the option to meet in-person but it won’t be necessary.

How certain do I have to be that I will be thruhiking in 2020?
As close to 100% as possible. Of course the unexpected is always a possibility BUT if everything goes according to plan (and with me on board, it will) your thruhike should be imminent. I am always happy to chat casually with people about their dreams of thruhiking but for this course you must be committed to a 2020 thruhike.

What if I need support that you can’t offer me?
Then I will help connect you to the support you need! I 100% recognize that there are going to be questions that I can’t answer. For example, if you are a solo female hiker, a hiker of color, a hiker with disabilities, an unlikely hiker, a fat hiker, a vegan or vegetarian, etc, I might not be in a position answer your questions. But I can help connect you to people who are and I am here for that.

What is the timeline for applying and for the course?
I will announce the folks I will be accepting into the program on October 31st. After that we will begin the program and it will officially run until you start your upcoming thruhike! But I hope to stay in touch with applicants on trail and continue to provide support throughout the thruhike! The program will definitely be built around applicants’ needs but will also move from topic to topic in a logical order based off when certain types of preparation needs to take place.

See you on trail!