3 Things I am Most Nervous and Excited for on my AT Thru-hike
Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is going to be hands down the greatest adventure of my life. That being said, it won’t always be fun and exciting. While I know there are so many great aspects to look forward to on the trail, there are a few things that I am not particularly looking forward to.
What I am Most Nervous For
1. Getting Injured
Let me just start with one simple fact. I am clumsy. Not like regular clumsy, like over the top, how did you even manage to trip over nothing clumsy. Let me emphasize that this is not an exaggeration. Hiking 8-15 miles each day with elevation is literally setting myself up for endless opportunities to trip, fall, or hurt myself. As a result, I plan to do whatever I can to prevent an injury. I have opted in for two trekking poles to help with balance and stability. Also, I have been nominated to set the pace for my group since I am the most accident prone. Hopefully taking my time and being careful will do the trick.
2. Getting Sick
COVID-19, Lyme disease, dehydration, oh my! Getting sick while thru-hiking is something that is a real possibility. Especially in the midst of a pandemic… That being said, I really hope it doesn’t happen to me. Here are some of the regular practices I plan to use to try and prevent sickness on the trail:
- Wear a mask in populated areas of the trail and in ALL towns
- Use appropriate mosquito/tick repellant when necessary
- Perform regular full-body tick checks
- Drink one gallon of water per day
- Take multivitamins
3. “Handling Business”
As someone who has only really camped at campsites with bathroom facilities, I have absolutely no experience going number two outside. While I am sure it won’t be a difficult task, it is more of a comfort level thing for me. We use toilets all the time and never really think of doing it any other way until we have no choice. I guess I’ll just have to get used to it!
What I am Most Excited For
The only reason I really want to highlight the things I am nervous about is just so I can mentally prepare for them. My hope is that if I embrace what I am nervous about, it will make them seem not so bad. With the cons out of the way, I want to highlight what I am looking forward to. This is where I want to focus my energy while I am out on the trail.
1. Connecting with Nature
To start off, I absolutely LOVE being outdoors. Nature is my happy place. It helps me to let go of anything that is stressing me out or bringing me down. The fact that my mom always had us doing outdoorsy things throughout my childhood is something that I am truly grateful for. I am looking forward to the views, the animals, and especially a complete change of scenery for this Florida girl.
2. Experiencing Trail Magic
For those who don’t know, “trail magic” is acts of generosity for hikers, and those who perform these acts are called “trail angels”. I have read about and seen videos about trail magic and it is one of the main things I am looking forward to. I know with COVID-19, it may be in short supply for 2021, but I think that will make every bit of trail magic that much more magical.
3. Pushing Myself to the Absolute Limit
I have always been a person with a lot of self doubt. I am not really sure why, since I have been surrounded with encouraging people who see the best in me my whole life. Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail will push me to my limits and even then some, both physically and mentally. I know that once I complete this journey, there will be no room left for self-doubt.
At the end of the day, I know it is important to embrace the suck and appreciate every single moment, good or bad. I am so grateful for this upcoming AT thru-hike and plan to enjoy it to the fullest.
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