AT thru-hiker Patrice has completed half the trail! In this update, she contemplates the simplicity of trail life and the fears (rational or otherwise) of hiking alone, and shares what her experience of visiting home felt like.
“I defy my aging by going into the world and let it teach me I can climb a mountain, that I can live without the comforts of home and still be happy, that I’m not defined by relationships of family and close friends, but that I will meet others who care when I step out into that world.” Dami shares her experience from a 30 day PCT desert section hike.
Thru-hiker Amy is covering a LOT of ground – literally! In this update, she takes us from Shenandoah, through Harper’s Ferry, and into Pennsylvania. There are ups, downs, trail magic, rain, and a lot of feelings.
Momma in the Mountains took a break from backpacking trip planning to support her husband in the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race. Read about her experience and prepare to be inspired!
Katie takes a much-deserved Zero in Monson, Maine, after a week of hard SoBo hiking – and inspires some pancake envy.
Lynne always provides fabulous trip reports and gorgeous photos. This piece, about her trip to Georgia (the one in Europe) is no exception. Ready to be inspired? Check it out!
SoBo Katie completes the 100 Mile Wilderness! Find out how she handled rain, mosquitos, tough terrain, and river fords.
Dami successfully completed 52 hikes in 52 weeks. Here she shares some reflection on what she learned from the experience (and a video to go with it!)
Z is prepping for her rapidly approaching SoBo AT thru-hike start. The biggest thing to get settled: how to set up care for her beloved cat while she’s away.
And she’s off! Katie begins her SOBO section hike strong, with a Katahdin summit and a few big days into the Hundred Mile Wilderness.
AT thru-hiker Patrice is zooming up the East Coast! In this update, she finishes not one but three states, passes the unofficial halfway point, and talks ticks and town days.
Yvette shares how she went from unable to hike a quarter mile, to hiking a marathon, to planning a CDT section hike with her son. Come be inspired by her optimism and determination!
Melanie is prepping for a thru-hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail – with her 14-pound rescue, JoJo. Find out what extra steps she’s taking to slow down, prepare for this hike, and keep J safe.
If you love food and gear layout photos, this piece from Momma in the Mountains is for you. It’s got it all – mom’s stuff, toddler’s stuff, AND dog’s stuff. Quite a Colorado adventure coming up!
This one from soon-to-be SOBO AT thru-hiker Z is is not just text, but audio! Her partner broke up with her right before they start separate thru-hikes. She’s using her words – and her voice – to share how that feels, and it’s honest and beautiful.
Katie is feeling the nerves on the night before her AT LASH. And she’s starting in one heck of a place… Mt. Katahdin! Take a peek at what the day before a SOBO start looks like.
Patrice has completed Shenandoah National Park! She visited as a young girl and always dreamed of being a thru-hiker through this section. Read all about her experiences!
“What is life! This gets to be my daily chore! I get to do this every night. What a simple task. How cool is it that my nightly routine is getting water?! How could I be so lucky!” Patrice is loving AT trail life in VA.
AT thru-hiker Amy is more than a third of the way through and has finished Shenandoah! She’s living out some wise words she heard: “It never gets easier, you just do more miles.” Check in to see how she’s dealing with rain, ticks, and big mile days.
2019 AT flip-flop thru-hiker Mary is one month and 300 miles in! Despite a strained ankle and bronchitis, she has an amazing attitude and has conquered “Rocksylvania”.
Meet our new AT thru-hiker blogger “Z”! She’ll be hiking SoBo, and has an interesting idea about the conversations she’ll have on the trail. Have you ever asked or answered her “Backpacker 4”?
Momma in the Mountains is getting closer to her 7-day backpacking trip with her toddler. In addition to her own needs, she has to think about her little guy – find out what she’s considering!
Patrice is 1/3 of the way through her AT thru-hike! Here she does a breakdown of her gear reviews so far, and some reflections on Tramily and challenges.
New guest writer Dami is not only an experienced hiker herself, but she also lives in a town along the PCT and has seen plenty of thru-hikers come through. Read her thoughtful insights about long-distance hiking in this new article.
Patrice is 700 miles in and loving Virginia. Here she shares great details about her hiking buddies, daily routine, the power of hiker hunger, and her nickname for day hikers.
Katie finishes her section hike of the Appalachian Trail in New York. She learns some valuable bear lessons – by way of what not to do.
This awesome recap from AT thru-hiker Amy covers 19 days of trail life – from Damascus all the way up to McAfee Knob. She covers lots of emotional ground as well, in the ups and downs of day-to-day trail life?
Patrice has left Damascus to continue hiking north. She’s contemplating trail life, enjoying the lack of mirrors in her life, and excited about what Virginia has to offer!
Momma in the Mountains is feeling some fear as she’s prepping for her summer trip with her infant son – weather, mountain lions, she’s prepping for it all!
Katie isn’t having the best time hiking the AT through New York. But that’s the reality of long-distance hiking, and she wants to share that experience. Can you relate?
Laurie has started her flip-flop AT hike heading north from Harper’s Ferry! Here she shares what she’s learned so far.
“My trip was successful. 77 miles done! Glasgow, Virginia to Waynesboro, Virginia. I had met many wonderful thru hikers, saw beautiful vistas, had now climbed higher elevations than ever before, and completed what I set out to do.” 62-year-old Ann wraps up Part 2 of her VA section hike.
AT thru-hiker Patrice hits Virginia – just in time for Trail Days in Damascus!
Katie has big section hiking plans this summer, including this 3-day trip to finish New York state. It just didn’t quite go exactly as she was expecting.
Ann AKA Greeter Two, a self-described “crazy older section hiker”, had plans to be on the AT every month this year. Last month she tackled an 80 mile section in Virginia – read part 1 here!
Momma in the Mountains is planning a 90-mile, 6-day trip with her toddler son and their dog. Except she got pneumonia, went into the ICU, and needs physical therapy. What is she doing about her planned trip?
Amy is cruising through Tennessee and just about to hit Virginia! In this update from the Appalachian Trail, she encounters trail magic and angels, lots of rain, and a 17-mile day.
“So this week there have been high highs and low lows. The mental aspect of hiking is kicking in.” AT thru-hiker Patrice is deep into Tennessee and has her sights set on Virginia!
“In the trail community, it’s loosely agreed upon that a day on trail with someone is like spending six months together in non-trail life.” This one from Maggie goes out to all the amazing friends you’ve ever met while backpacking.
Patrice sends this update from Erwin, TN, where she enjoyed a hiker festival and margaritas for her 26th birthday. Read about what she’s up to and leave her a happy birthday comment!
Amy is now 30 days into her thru-hike and done with the Smokies. In this update, she deals with a sprained ankle and (maybe) noro, but at least she gets in some good meals!
Momma in the Mountains is in the midst of planning her 6-day backpacking trip with her 2-year-old son and their dog. What could possibly go wrong?
Pat-Rice is through the Smokies! Despite the need for “five minute pity parties”, she’s feeling better after some time off in Hot Springs, and looking forward to Virginia.
Ever wondered why people start their Appalachian Trail thru-hike when they do? We asked in our Facebook group: What was your AT start date and why? Here’s what our members said.
Ticks are at the top of everyone’s mind as we head into the summer hiking season. Sable has some great basic tips here to help you deal with the creepy crawly threat.
“Mentally, I’m as determined as ever. Physically, I feel the strongest I have in decades. Spiritually, my soul feels fulfilled. Regardless of my rough start, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on.” Amy may end up switching from a NoBo to a flip flop, but she’s definitely not giving up.
This piece from guest writer Tara is both hilarious (how many dirty hiking euphemisms can she use?) but also very good information for anyone looking to get intimate on the trail.
“Whenever I get in a bad mood, I just remind myself of the privilege to be hiking the AT….I treasure every step I take towards my next goal. ” Patrice is making progress on her thru-hike!
Tami shares five excellent life lessons learned in the Grand Canyon that apply to the trail but also to day-to-day challenges. Take a look and see how many resonate with you.
Laurie does a fabulous breakdown of all the clothing and rain gear she’s bringing on her upcoming flip-flop thru-hike. Check out her list and let her know your thoughts in the comments!
This post goes out to everyone who’s ever felt the sting of permit rejection. Deb takes her string of bad luck and turns it into an opportunity to face some fears on a northbound JMT hike!
Pat-Rice Z started the AT on April 1st – find out how her first week went (including pizza and beer trail magic!)
Amy hits the Smokies but she’s having a tough time with mood and weather. Read what she’s up to and maybe leave her an encouraging comment!
Katie tackles the 108 mile section of the AT that goes through Shenandoah National Park! Does she have any regrets about how fast she went?
“Delving into a gear list reveals a lot about a person.” Laurie breaks down her Big 3 (backpack, tent, sleep system) and shares the fears and hopes that went into choosing each one.
“Go for fun or go for self-reflection, or set out with one intention and return having achieved a different goal altogether. It’s your trip, your hobby, your story.” Sable explores that classic question: Why do you backpack?
AT thru-hiker Amy is picking up steam and settling into trail life! In this post, she hits North Carolina and 100 miles, and gets her trail name.
“Priortize yourself. Your “stuff” can wait. Put yourself and what truly makes you smile first.” Angela, facing divorce, menopause, and an uncertain future, takes off to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Amy will be thru-hiking the AT with her daughter Abby. Find out how she thinks pregnancy and preparing for a thru-hike involve a lot of the same feelings.
Summer has the pleasure of living in Northern Italy. Here she shares one of favorite hikes in the Dolomites!
“If you plan to hike a section of the Continental Divide Trail, the first thing you’ll notice is that there isn’t a lot of information out there.” Katrina is helping add some by writing about planning for her CDT section hike.
Guest writer Vicky shares her experience doing a winter overnight to an abandoned mining town in Death Valley National Park.
“We shared freely, helping where needed and the phrase “What’s mine is yours, take what you need.” Is so common you hardly notice after a while.” Aspin is in North Carolina, and settling into the happy cameraderie of AT thru-hikers.
Lynne, a teacher from Oregon, spent her spring break on the Arizona Trail – and encountered more variety and scenery (and trail magic!) than she was expecting!
“The people are kind, the whisky is strong, and the hills beg to be walked.” Leah shares trail options and gorgeous photos from her visit to the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
2019 blogger Amy is on her way to Maine! She had a rough start with homesickness and IT pain, but she’s adjusting and finding joy each day.
Chelsea is deep into planning her Colorado Trail section hike for the summer and has the Excel sheet to prove it. She has a lot on her mind – snow, gear, physical prep, and more.
This one from Melanie is a fantastic story and educational reflection about what happens when a backpacking trip goes wrong. Hint: she ends up in a raft on the Colorado River…
Aspin hits North Carolina AND 100 miles in this exciting trail update of days 13 through 16.
Whether you’re a poetry buff or just want to enjoy some inspiring haikus, we think you’ll enjoy this compilation from a variety of writers.
MommaintheMountains has a fun and lighthearted guide here on how to spot the elusive ultra runner out on the trails.
“Not lost, just a little off-route” becomes Liz’s mantra as she tackles an off-trail adventure in and around Pinnacles National Park.
2019 thru-hiker Abby has realized how close her start date is – and how much she still has left to do to prepare (like taking the PSATs!).
“I’m turning 40 this year and I’m having more fun than I did in my 20’s. I’m happier, more fulfilled. I have wrinkles, I’m not teeny tiny anymore, and I have pains I didn’t have before, but I gratefully accept those things because they came from a life well lived.”
Tali went back and forth for over a year about whether to leave her job to thru-hike the AT. The heartbreaking loss of her favorite hiking buddy some deep introspection led her to finally take the plunge.
Laurie explores the idea that an Appalachian Trail thru-hike is physical for the first third, mental for the second third, and spiritual for the final third. Find out how she’s preparing for all three kinds of challenges.
Aspin starts this next installment of her journey with a zero and aching feet. But thanks to good people, her spirits are up and she’s looking forward to crossing into North Carolina soon.
Susan shares a cautionary but fascinating story-within-a-story about the brutal conditions that can arise in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in the winter.
Nathalie recently moved to Canada’s Northwest Territories – and her first priority was to find some good hikes.
Aspin completes the first week of her thru-hike! Blood Mountain wasn’t nearly as bad as she was expecting but she’s swapped her shoes and is still dealing with blister issues.
About the Author, Christy Everett: "My name is Christy and to be frank, I'm new to all of this. I don't camp, I love my running water, and substantial shelter. However, I am getting ready to marry the most amazing man...who does not feel the same need for running...
2019 blogger Aspin has started her AT journey! It’s cold and hard but she’s determined and starting to feel like she’s part of the “club”.
Susan shares a hilarious story of winter hiking in the White Mountains, complete with Great British Baking Show, Justin Timberlake, and a killer sports bra.
Pat-Rice is within 2 weeks of starting her thru-hike. She’s rethinking everything from start date to gear, but also feeling the love and support from all around her.
This one’s a different perspective – Christy’s fiancé Kyle is thru-hiking the PCT, but that’s not really her thing – so she’ll be sharing her experience of supporting the person she loves on a thru-hike.
Maybe you’ve read 15-year-old Abby’s posts about preparing for her AT thru-hike. Now you get to see the other side of the story – her mom, Amy, is sharing her own hike preparations.
Katie joined a guided snowshoe hike in the Catskills for the first time – I have a feeling it’s not going to be her lasts snowshoe adventure.
“I believe in beginner’s luck and I believe it was with me during my first 109.4 miles.” Tara AKA SoulShine has endured wet and cold but is feeling strong and exuberant.
I love a good origin story. Sarah shares how she went from being dragged to national parks as a kid, to riding 150 miles on horseback across the Mojave, to her first soggy backpacking trip.
Kristin and her dad (coming from Germany) got their visas approved for their AT thru-hike. Flights are booked, the first 30 days are planning, nothing will hold them back now!
Aurélie shares background info and tips to hike the 103-mile Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland. How do you feel about seeing the Northern Lights on a backpacking trip?
In her quest to become a competent backpacker, Tali discovered a really great program to help her section-hike the 300 mile Sheltowee Trace in Kentucky.
There are a lot of differences between hiking in Europe and hiking in the US. Melanie, a German who lives in America, shares her experience hiking the 194-mile Eifelsteig.
If you’ve ever wondered how hikers feed themselves for 6+ months, Laurie does a pretty exhaustive explanation of the options here in preparation for her own AT thru-hike.
Looking for introspection today? Sunshine explores the question: why do YOU hike?
In addition to all the normal challenges of a thru-hike, Mary has to consider nutrition and medication for not one but two chronic illnesses. Find out her plan and admire her organizational skills.
Leah has some excellent advice and gear suggestions here for any women hiking with scoliosis.
Patagonia is quickly rising to the top of everyone’s international hiking destination bucket lists. Find out what concerns and logistics Theresa is dealing with before her trip.
Tara, her boyfriend, and their dog set out for what was supposed to be a day hike. 24 hours and 20 miles later, she had some wisdom to share!
In the depths of seasonal depression, Laura applied for a long-shot dream job leading teens in the outdoors. Spoiler alert: she got the job, and now has a whole new set of challenges.