10 totally normal things you do when you’ve decided to thru-hike
*Depending on your definition of “normal,” of course.
- While you’re driving down the road and you see another vehicle with some sort of hiking or trail-related bumper sticker, you frantically wave to the driver and mouth “Let’s be best friends,” or something slightly less creepy like, “Meet me at the trailhead.”
- You stand in the rain with your brand new rain gear on to see just how waterproof it really is. When your neighbor drives by and asks if you’re locked out of your house, you reply with some sort of inspirational quote like, “Life is about learning to dance in the rain,” only you’re not dancing, so it doesn’t seem like you really mean it.
- While doing responsible things like going to the dentist prior to leaving for your hike, you find out you have a cavity and your first thought isn’t, “Oh, my poor tooth,” but instead, “Wait, how much will this filling weigh?”
- You start doing your errands in a weighted vest to get used to the weight of your backpack. Luckily, it’s winter, so you can hide the vest under your down jacket. What you can’t hide, though, is the fact that you now look like you’ve gained a few pounds and you’re moving a bit slower than normal.
- If you drop food on the floor while you’re eating, you shrug and say, “Hey, I probably won’t mind this in a few months,” so you pick it up and eat it without a second thought. Just building the old immune system, right?
- You set up your new tent in the backyard to test it out, and when your significant other comes home and asks “What did I do?” you have to reassure him that no, you’re not angry, and despite the warm bed inside, tonight you just need to embrace the 22 square feet that will be your home for the next six months.
- You clear your browsing history frequently at work because in no way can your boss find out you have spent an inordinate amount of time researching the stink factor of merino wool versus poly blends.
- Every light colored rectangle you see throughout the day makes you do a double take. “Is that a white blaze?” you exclaim, which makes no sense, because you’re miles away from the Trail.
- You find yourself wandering down the snack aisle at the grocery store more and more, wondering if anyone will notice if you drag a scale in next time so you can weigh the different items to determine what food has the best weight-to-calorie ratio. Later, you’ll be devastated to learn it isn’t Poptarts.
- Every now and then, you catch yourself wondering if you’ve gone crazy: “Am I really going to quit my job and hike 2,189 miles?” You answer yourself with a resounding yes, if this is what going crazy feels like, so be it. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Okay, let’s hear it: what crazy things have you done since deciding to hike the A.T.?
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.