19 Things 2021 Appalachian Trail Hikers Need to Know

Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a huge undertaking—and in the age of Covid, that could be more true now than it ever has been before. If you’re thinking of hitting the trail next year, here are a few things you should know.

1. COVID-19 is still a thing.

A hiking neck gaiter can double as a face mask on the trail.

With the promise of vaccine rollouts in the new year, the end of the coronavirus pandemic is finally in sight—but we’re not out of the woods yet. It’s still too early to know how things will play out in the coming months, and keeping some flexibility in your plans is advisable. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy advises that the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus is to postpone your hike.

However, for those still planning to hit the trail, ATC urges you to take precautions including wearing a face mask and avoiding areas where hikers typically congregate. Shelters will be among the most likely areas on the trail for potential transmission of the virus, so all hikers should come prepared with their own tents or hammocks instead. Think of your personal shelter as an important piece of pandemic PPE.

The ATC strongly encourages hikers to register their thru-hikes to receive text/email updates about the trail and avoid the worst of the bubble. Registration officially opened on December 1st, so there’s no need to wait to register.

2. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

You’ve probably already heard this advice a dozen or more times already, but it bears repeating. The majority of unsuccessful thru-hikers drop out within the first few weeks of the trail—many because they push their bodies too hard at the beginning and hurt themselves.

It takes weeks of slow-and-steady hiking to build trail legs (and lungs and joints). But if you stick to your guns and don’t start rushing to keep up with other hikers, you’ll set yourself up for success. Take it slow at the outset (eight to ten miles per day for most people) and savor the early days. Not pushing your body to its breaking point will probably make those first weeks more enjoyable too.

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3. It’s not all a green tunnel.

Sunset from Max Patch.

Contrary to popular belief, there’s plenty of mountain majesty to look forward to on the AT. The “viewless Appalachian Trail” traverses wide-open areas regularly. Although it’s not an “all-views-all-the-time” experience like the Pacific Crest Trail, this trail is far from dull. You’ll be frequently rewarded with stunning views of the rolling Appalachian mountains. The trail spends ample time above treeline in the lofty peaks of New Hampshire and Maine. Further south, farm fields and sprawling balds like Max Patch and Grayson Highlands provide expansive visuals too.

4. Keep in touch with fellow hikers with trail-centric social media.

Earlier this year, The Trek launched HikerLink, a social media platform just for thru-hikers. You can search for fellow hikers on the site by trail name, trail, year, and direction. That way, you can easily connect with fellow members of the Class of 2021 and let your hiker flag fly proudly. HikerLink is a great way to meet fellow hikers in advance. You can also use it to keep in touch with tramily members if you get separated on the trail and reconnect with hiker buddies after you finish.

5. You can hike the whole trail without sending yourself resupply boxes.


It takes an immense amount of planning to put together resupply boxes in advance. It’s stressful, postage is expensive, and it’s impossible to reliably predict how quickly you’ll hike, what foods you’ll crave, or how hungry you’ll be. Unless you have specific medical, dietary, or other restrictions that require you to send yourself parcels, it’s generally not worth it. The Appalachian Trail passes through or near a town every few days, so you’ll be able to pop into a grocery store and pick up whatever you need on a regular basis.

Note: some hikers are planning to use resupply boxes to avoid entering grocery stores during the pandemic. If you’re serious about avoiding grocery stores, you’ll need to plan boxes meticulously and occasionally include supplies like toothpaste, batteries, first aid supplies, and toilet paper.

6. You’ll usually be in walking or hitchhiking distance of a town every few days.

Most of the AT is hardly a remote wilderness experience. You’ll almost always cross at least one road per day, and you’ll typically come within walking or hitchhiking distance of a trail town every one to three days. That means you’ll have lots of opportunities to bail out of crappy or uncomfortable situations on the trail, to tweak your gear, and to top up your supplies.

It also means that you won’t have to carry tons of food with you. Although some hikers still prefer to take five to seven days of food and only resupply once per week, many only bring two or three days of supplies at a time. This can do wonders for your pack weight, plus you get to eat town food more often. (A word of caution: more town stops = more temptation to spend money, and, in the age of COVID, more potential exposure to the virus).

7. Verizon generally has better cell service than AT&T on the Appalachian Trail.

Ironically, AT&T doesn’t work all that well on the AT—and it’s particularly awful everywhere south of Pennsylvania. Verizon, in contrast, has the best overall coverage on the Appalachian Trail. But whichever provider you use, expect to occasionally go as long as several days without a reliable cell signal.

If you urgently need connectivity, mountain peaks are generally your best bet for cell service. Alternatively, you could get a GPS beacon that works off a satellite network so you can communicate with the outside world even when you have no cell service. We recommend the Garmin InReach Mini, which runs off the reliable Iridium satellite network and enables two-way text communication.

8. You can get lost on the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail is well-trodden and incredibly well-marked with iconic white blazes. Still, it’s entirely possible to get lost on the AT. Because the trail primarily travels through woodlands, the footpath isn’t always clear among the trees, especially when last year’s leaves obscure the ground. That’s why it’s essential to bring a navigation guide.

A map and compass is the most reliable option. Many hikers use a combination of AWOL’s AT Guide and the Guthhook Guide app on their smartphones. These guides won’t just help you navigate (Guthook even uses GPS so you can see your location relative to the trail at all times). They also include valuable information about town services and significant waypoints.

9. Bears are a growing problem on the AT (but they want to eat your food, not you).

Photo via.

With each passing year, more bears along the AT become habituated to human food and loiter around shelters and campsites searching for poorly-hung bear bags and other morsels. That’s why the ATC recommends that hikers use hard-sided bear canisters, rather than bear bags, throughout the trail. Proper food storage is now required throughout most of Vermont on the AT, while bear canisters are required for overnight stays on a short stretch of trail between Jarrard Gap and Neel Gap in Georgia (most hikers make a point of not camping in this stretch to skirt the requirement).

“Problem bears” who learn to seek out human food have to be euthanized or relocated to remote areas at great expense. This is why Leave No Trace advocates counsel that “a fed bear is a dead bear.” Proper food storage isn’t just for your safety, but for that of the local wildlife as well.

10. You need to treat your water on the AT.

Some hikers don’t treat their water on the AT, but we don’t think it’s worth the risk. It’s difficult to predict whether and how a seemingly pristine water source may have been contaminated. Just saying: we’ve personally seen piles of human shit and toilet paper deposited on a stream bank upstream of where hikers were collecting water. Sadness.

The handful of ounces and extra time you’ll spend treating your water will pay uncountable dividends in avoided pain, sickness, and suffering. A note: make sure you practice clean chemistry when treating water, as just a few contaminated droplets can still sicken you.

Recommended purification methods: Sawyer Squeeze, Aquamira drops, Katadyn BeFree, Katadyn Steripen Ultra.

11. Tick-borne diseases occur in every state on the AT.

The AT passes through 10 of the 15 states with the highest incidence of Lyme disease nationwide. That’s why you should treat your clothing and gear with insect-repellent Permethrin and check yourself for ticks regularly. Some hikers ask their doctors for a just-in-case prescription they can fill at a trail town pharmacy if they get bitten (this is a decision you need to make with your physician).

If you get chomped, remove the tick by scraping it off gently with a credit card or tick key, taking care to remove all the mouthparts. Don’t pinch, burn, or suffocate it with petroleum jelly. Monitor the area for signs of a rash of any kind. Remember that not everyone develops the classic bullseye rash that is the hallmark of Lyme.

12. You should pack out your toilet paper.

Toilet paper takes much longer to break down than poop, which is part of the reason it’s so common to see lily-white “toilet paper blooms” strewn across campsites and the trail. Carry a dedicated ziplock bag with you and pack your toilet paper out instead. This might sound gross, but it’s surprising how quickly you get used to it. Double bag it and cover the outer bag in duct tape if the visuals disgust you. Ladies: use a pee rag for Number One to cut down on the amount of TP you have to pack out.

In addition to disposing of toilet paper and other waste properly, commit to learning and following all seven Leave No Trace principles. They are:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare.
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  3. Dispose of waste properly.
  4. Leave what you find.
  5. Minimize campfire impacts.
  6. Respect wildlife.
  7. Be considerate of other visitors.

13. Some parts of the trail require permits.

You don’t need a permit to hike the AT. However, the ATC asks all hikers to participate in their voluntary ATCamp hiker registration program.

Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park do require permits. The former is free to hikers and can be obtained and filled out at an on-trail kiosk when you enter the park. The latter is somewhat more involved and comes with a nominal $20 fee. You’ll also need to get a free thru-hiker permit when you reach the ranger station at Baxter State Park to summit Katahdin.

14. You can thru-hike with your dog.

Photo via.

Everywhere except the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Baxter State Park. Some hikers with dogs choose to skip the Smokies altogether. Others kennel their dogs and arrange to have them shuttled to the other end of the park to meet them after they’ve completed the section.

Having a furry companion on the trail is a lot of fun (and definitely beats spending four to six months apart from your best bud) but make sure your dog is up to the challenge. Thru-hiking is just as massive an undertaking for a dog as it is for a human. Make sure you can carry the extra weight of a dog’s food, water, and gear (they’ll be able to carry some, but typically not all of their own supplies). Keep your dog on a leash and be respectful of other trail users.

15. Rocksylvania is real.

Much is made of the meat-tenderizing, foot-fracturing rocks of Pennsylvania (also known as Rocksylvania, Bootsylvania, or Painsylvania). Unfortunately, it’s all true. Small, jagged, stubbornly embedded stones encrust almost every square inch of the trail from Duncannon, PA to High Point State Park, NJ. It’s kind of like walking barefoot on Legos for 100 miles. Take extra care of your feet so you can avoid stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and other afflictions that often crop up in this trying section.

16. Your mileage will drop in the Whites and southern Maine.

Kind of steep. At least there’s a ladder.

Many hikers say that by the time NOBOs reach the White Mountains in New Hampshire, they’ve completed 80% of the miles and only 20% of the effort. Intensely steep gradients, challenging rock scrambles, unpredictable weather, and frequent exposure above treeline make this section uniquely challenging. The toughest miles lie between Mount Moosilauke in New Hampshire and the Bigelows in Maine. Expect your mileage to drop by anywhere from 25 to 50% in this stretch.

17. You can visit Boston, NYC, and DC from the trail.

The Appalachian Trail Station offers weekend service to the AT from NYC on the Harlem Line. Photo via.

Spice up your thru-hike with a few outings to the big city. For native east coasters, side trips to New York, Boston, and DC can be an opportunity to see friends and family and revisit old haunts. For hikers from farther afield, it can be a chance to do some sightseeing in some of the country’s oldest and most vibrant cities. Get to DC by train from Harper’s Ferry, to New York by train from Peekskill (or from this station on the trail itself), or to Boston by bus from Hanover or Lincoln, NH.

18. Hostels and food get more expensive once you hit New England. Budget accordingly.

If you’re hiking NOBO, you’ll also get progressively more tired and more willing to shelling out massive sums of cash for town comforts like hot food and hot showers. Not to mention your gear will be more likely to fail and need replacing the farther you get in your hike. With that in mind, don’t frontload your spending on the AT. Be conservative with your budget initially so that you have enough money for the entire hike. Don’t let a budgetary shortfall be the thing that keeps you from Katahdin.

19. You don’t need a lot of money to thru-hike.

It’s very possible to hike the Appalachian Trail on a tight budget and still have a great time. How does one achieve this? By paying down debt in advance, shopping sales and buying used gear, avoiding town, taking fewer zero days, and so forth.

Want to know exactly how to budget for the AT, along with specific, actionable tips for saving money on gear and on-trail? You’re in luck because we have an ebook on that very subject over at our store, available for the low-low price of $7. How convenient! From the author (me): “Please buy my book so my mom will be proud of me.”

Hiking the Appalachian Trail is the experience of a lifetime. It’s a wild, unpredictable ride that requires participants to adapt constantly to ever-changing conditions and situations. The more you learn and prepare for your hike in advance, the more you’ll set yourself up for success. But at the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do in advance to get ready for the Appalachian Trail. This leads us to bonus tip No. 20: don’t overthink it. Allow yourself to savor each moment leading up to and during your thru-hike, knowing you’ll be able to meet each unique challenge as it comes.


Featured image: Graphic design by Sophie Gerry.

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Comments 24

  • pearwood : Dec 8th

    Thank you!

  • Shannon : Dec 8th

    Thanks for the informative and helpful article! I recently made the difficult decision to postpone my AT thru-hike to 2022, but I really think this article can be applied to all aspiring thru-hikers with some great tips to make your hike more responsible and enjoyable. That’s awesome that you created a social media app for thru-hikers too, that’s actually a brilliant idea and I’ll definitely use it when I get out there. Thanks again and best of luck to all 2021 thru-hikers, enjoy the journey!

  • SOLACE : Dec 8th

    Wel Done … Well Written ✔
    Cheers for putting the INFORMATION out there that matters… Great piece Trek ?

  • Thru Hiker : Dec 8th

    Literally nobody packs their TP out on the AT.

    • Smokestack : Dec 9th

      True statement. Hikers however need to use properly constructed “cat” holes to avoid the blooms. Obviously this gets harder once in the northeast.

    • LFP : Dec 9th

      Generally agree, except in the above-treeline areas of NH, ME, etc. And it does need to be buried properly everywhere else. In the southern parts of the trail, nothing will last too long due to the prodigious amount of rain, insects, etc. It’s still nasty though, and marks you as as ignorant and/or inconsiderate person. Bury it 6″ at least people!

    • Whiskey britches : Dec 10th

      My wife does. I take my lighter, pile it up and burn it each time I finish.

    • Ultra-Slow : Feb 9th

      The tree huggers pack out their shitty TP, but 99.9% of hikers do not.

  • Jeff Monroe : Dec 9th

    You forgot perhaps the most important thing about 2021: It will be very crowded, because all those hikers who delayed hikes in 2020 will be competing for space with the 2021 hikers.

    • Shannon : Dec 9th

      I completely agree and this is one of the reasons why I’m postponing my thru-hike to 2022 though something tells me it will be just as crowded then since some folks may also opt to get off trail in 2021 and delay it till 2022 but who knows! I think it’s important for people to consider flip-flops or SOBO’s when feasible. I know SOBO brings a whole new set of physical and logistical challenges that one must be extremely prepared for but I think it’s valuable in times like these for people to consider alternatives to NOBO hikes though I completely understand the desire to go NOBO. It seems that folks are being more creative with their flip-flops and hikes in the age of covid which is great to see especially for sustainability purposes. Hopefully, it becomes more of the norm post-covid. I intend on doing a flip-flop or SOBO summer of 2022 which I had never truly considered until this year and there seems to be many pros to it.

    • Chance : Feb 1st

      Isn’t the ATC highly discouraging 2021 thru hikes? Some states will remain shut down for visitors, regardless of how you enter the state, overnight camping is off limits in some areas and the shelters are officially closed, so I don’t see how you can safely, legally and legitimately do a 2021 hike. They also aren’t recognizing anyone who hikes in 2021. See you in 2022!!

  • Myles : Dec 9th

    *Do not,* I repeat DO NOT use a neck gaiter as a mask! Please remove the recommendation from the post!
    Neck gaiters are, according to the CDC *worse* for spreading Covid than not wearing a mask at all, because their weave actually breaks up water droplets into smaller particles that are more likely to pass through masks instead of stopping those particles.

    • James : Dec 9th

      She doesn’t actually recommend using a neck gaiter over a face mask. She says in the tiny caption under the picture that a gaiter can double as a face mask ON the trail. In towns, I think people have enough common sense to use a face mask and that’s what she recommends in the section “Covid-19 is still a thing”. I completely agree that face masks are more effective than gaiters and would use those off the trail but when people are hiking on the actual trail itself I think a gaiter can be multi-purpose such as help against the cold/wind etc. And honestly, when you’re hiking several miles a day on difficult terrain are you really going to put on your mask every time you walk past someone on the trail? Kudos to you if that’s what you choose to do, to each their own but realistically on a thru-hike I don’t think it’s necessary or sustainable to consistently wear a face mask when walking on the AT itself unless at camp or a super crowded section where you’re stagnant or socializing. But everyone’s got a system that works for them and ultimately I have faith that all the section/thru-hikers will do their part and be smart out there and will be good stewards of the trail. Of course, they’ll always be that entitled dillweed who thinks their above it all and give other hikers a bad name but having section hiked different parts of the trail this year, I’ve found most people on the AT to be considerate and aware of their surroundings and impact.

    • Ultra-Slow : Feb 9th

      Paper dust masks as well as cloth masks do not filter viruses. Even the N95 mask does a poor job at this. Most microbiologists and virologists know this and have stated many times, but the media ignore their advice.
      If one believes these mask (commonly required in some stores and other places) and seen ubiquitously on the faces of well-meaning people actually blocked viruses, what happens when they touch the mask to adjust it, or put it off or on, then touch doors, windows, grocery items, clothing or simply through them in the trash (have they stopped viruses by attaching to the masks?)
      These masks do nothing except give a warm and fuzzy feeling the wearer falsely believes he/she is doing something to prevent the spread of a virus.

  • Brian F. Nastali : Dec 9th

    I think on point number 3, it’s relative to ones experience. Personally, I agree with the description of “Green Tunnel”. While yes, there are views, the majority of the time…and we are talking most, not just 51% of the time…you are hiking without views. It does however, make you appreciate the few exceptional views you do get!

    Point number 5: true, you can resupply along the trail, but to say “it’s stressful, postage is expensive, and it’s impossible to reliably predict how quickly you’ll hike, what foods you’ll crave, or how hungry you’ll be” is not entirely true and somewhat misleading.

    Stressfulness of preassembling supply boxes, depends on the person. Those of us whom are organized, highly detailed, and logistically minded, will find it fairly mondaine.

    You need to look at the entire cost of resupply items and shipping to get the full cost comparison between shipped resupply and trailside resupply. To just say “postage is expensive” is not giving the accurate picture. Food along the trail is expensive: it was not uncommon to see items generally priced around $1, selling for $3 with no alternatives close by.

    The speed at which you will hike is not a big issue, especially if you are already an active hiker…you will know the distance you can cover.

    The foods you crave is ends up not making a difference…especially the further north you go, when selections can be very limited. Also, in my observations, most of the hikers that used the ability to “change it up” by resupplying along the trail…never “changed it up”! Aside from picking a different flavor or ramen, mashed potatoes, or tuna. By prepacking, you can ensure you have a large menu.

    And the last bit about hunger: planning your menu based on both caloric and nutritional expenditures, will ensure the correct amount of food…it’s like an airplane. If you are flying a 2 hour flight, you load 2 hours worth of fuel plus your reserves, and you are good to go. If your caloric expenditure is 4500 calories average per day, than you pack the around 4500 calories worth of food per day.

    I used the shipped resupply method, which included 99% of all my food, toiletries, meds, and maintenance supplies (so fuel and fresh foods where purchased trailside), and my cost with shipping was $4.33/day the first time and $4.75/day the second time (2019 and it was our honeymoon…so we splurged…hence the increase in daily cost). Again, that is total cost with shipping, including food (which did not consist of ramen or mashed potatoes… instead a huge menu of tasty quality food), toiletries (ear cleaners, wipes, contact solution, toothpaste and tooth brushs, lip balm, hand sanitizer, tampons, TP, etc), meds (OTC), and maintenance supplies. There is absolutely no way to resupply easily on the trail with identical items, much less for a similar cost. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to resupply with ramen and mashed potatoes for 3 meals a day, along the trail, for $4.75/day considering I regularly saw mashed potato pouches selling for $3/pouch! I also had our entire 154 day hike prepared, food and all, 6 months prior to hitting the trail (we were traveling internationally for the 6 months prior to hiking the AT).

    So, to me, it’s generally worth shipping your supplies, if you are suited to that sort of planning… it’ll save you a lot of money and give you the piece of mind you’ll have a great menu no matter where on the trail you are!

  • LFP : Dec 9th

    Excellent article… However, there’s no way I’m wearing a mask while hiking. It’s just not necessary — sure, in a crowded shelter but trails are the one place where you actually don’t need one, thankfully. Just avoid hugging your fellow hikers and you’ll be fine.

  • Josh : Dec 10th

    Not to step on toes or troll. 1 Why bother with hotels? I thought the whole point was to be on trail. I understand some people need a shower or a real bed. I just don’t see the need. Il also be planning on avoiding any shelter that costs anything. Just because personally I don’t see the point. It should also be a goal to not use social media during the trail. If you can’t handle being off facebook, Twitter or tick cock why are you hiking? Again not to troll, just seams like a lot of thoes “issues” are first world problems. Not typically something that a traditional outdoors person needs.

    • Shannon : Dec 14th

      I know what you mean. I have similar sentiments about hotels and social media. I personally like the social media app that the author created for thru-hikers because I would love to have a way to keep in touch with fellow hikers I meet once I get off the trail because I don’t have any social media accounts myself. My favorite part about being on the trail is being disconnected from the outside world and I find myself generally happier to only look at my phone at the end of the day, if I look at it at all. I know many people enjoy vlogging and documenting their journies on the trail for friends and family that’s why the suggestion about cell service was made and there’s an emphasis on it since many blog/vlog on the trail for this website. I do agree that some of these are definitely first world problems and sometimes we just make things more complicated than they need to be. I’m reading the book “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk” and the story follows a 67-year-old woman who is hiking solo on the trail with legit tennis shoes on and a sack on her back with only the essentials, no tent or sleeping bag even, and with minimal hiking experience, and she was content and successful on her thru-hike. Grandma Gatewood’s story has really inspired me and put things in perspective for me. If she can do it with the bare minimum with no excuses, anyone can! With that being said, and perhaps because she didn’t have a tent, Grandma Gatewood often stayed in other people’s homes or in the occasional motel so she enjoyed life’s “luxuries” on the trail as well so I completely understand the desire to get into town to shower, resupply, and recharge from time to time. To each their own!

    • Doc : Dec 28th

      You obviously have never done a long trail.

  • Ben : Dec 13th

    A tip from a New Yorker for getting to NYC:

    The Appalachian Trail Metro-North station has very irregular, seasonal service. The Manitou station (on the Hudson line) has far more regular service and is very convenient to the trail. (Assuming the station reopens in 2021 — it is closed for Covid).

    Directions: after you cross the Bear Mountain Bridge and turn left onto Route 9D, instead of getting back onto the A.T., continue following the road another mile to Manitou Station Road. Easy to see on Google Maps.

    Or, get back on the A.T. from 9.D., and when it crosses Mountain Pass Rd just past the Hemlock Springs campsite, follow that road down. You should have cell service.

    Or take an Uber from Bear Mountain to Peekskill train station, which has express trains to NYC.

    Or there is a daily bus from Bear Mountain to NYC which departs at 3:19 PM, and an additional bus on weekends that departs at 5:19 PM.

  • John Staehle : Dec 14th

    I’ve been overnight and day wilderness hiking and more all my 70 years and I wouldn’t get near the AT, for love or money. I just read the articles and they sound like living in the slums!! I was in Georgia for ten years and only crisscrossed the AT, on occasion. And I saw the Springer Mt. trailhead to be a trashpit and left. Side trails are more pristine, with less people and more quiet than the AT trash trail could ever be. What happened to all of the environmental, save the planet JERKS??? Probably the same people that leave toilet paper to disintegrate, eh?? I would never hike in a toilet, trash pit or fed bear environment. And then the big Covid 19 flap, get yourself vaccinated, wear a mask and don’t linger near other people, what a crock!! I’m the one enjoying nature without all of the above.

    • James : Dec 14th

      Not sure where you’re getting your information but you are WAY off base. What articles are you reading that makes you compare the AT to a slum? Also, curious, have you ever actually been to a slum? Yes, the AT has definitely experienced higher crowds due to covid and with that, some irresponsible people didn’t hike their trash out with them, but you can’t generalize EVERYONE on the trail as being negligent or careless. It sounds like you’ve barely been on the AT and have only seen a small fragment of it, and that’s fine, but if that’s you’re only experience on it, it’s reckless to make these unfounded accusations about the AT. If you looking at the trailhead of Springer Mountain and seeing some trash outside of it is and that’s how you assume the ENTIRE 2,190 miles of it is then you are completely wrong. Good for you that you’ve found trails that you’re happy with, the AT isn’t for everyone, but slamming the AT when you’ve barely been on it and spewing these absurd and untrue statements about it is complete ignorance. It’s also a slap in the face to the selfless, dedicated volunteers and stewards who maintain and support the AT and they’re darn good at their jobs. And I’ll gladly be an environmental, save the planet “jerk” then bitterly complain about one of the greatest trails in the world.

  • Darlene M : Dec 15th

    This is a really helpful article. I wondered about the resupply boxes and the permits. I don’t plan on visiting any of the big cities on my thru-hike, but I would like to visit Boston and Salem one day. Plus, I am from Philly and have been to NYC and DC.
    And yes! Rocksylvania is real. But it is not all brutal.
    As far as the LNT, packing out TP and anything else is definitely important. My guess about all the trash I see on the trail (and I pick up most of the other people’s trash when I am on a day hike) is probably mostly from certain types of ‘hikers’ I see at popular places. It infuriates me, so I do what I can to help the planet I love.
    As far as masks, I will wear one when I am in town or at the Pine Grove store, etc. But I will not be hiking in a mask. I see people hiking in masks and it makes me sad. But that is a point for another time.
    Thanks again for this informative piece!


  • Brian : Feb 1st

    Leave your dog at home. The #14 picture shows a loose dog at McAfee Knob, an area with a specific leash requirement: 6 foot long (with a human attached on the opposite end, not tied to a tree, etc.) The McAfee Knob area is, at this moment, littered with the wag-bags of well meaning dog owners who “picked-up”, but failed to “pack-out” pet waste. A plastic bag of dog crap will last much longer than the initial pile of said dog crap. Volunteers clean these areas, show some appreciation by not creating more work.


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