6 Questions People Ask About Hiking the AT

As I am starting to tell more and more people about my plans for hiking the AT I am having the same questions asked to me over and over. So here are the 6 most asked questions,  with responses that I wish I could respond with. I also threw in some actual real responses.


  • Q: What will you eat?

A: Well, I’ve watched a ton of Bear Grylls and all those awesome Alaska shows, so I’m pretty sure I know how to kill and eat a bear. Also, snakes are an abundance on the trail, so I figure I’ll wrestle up a few of those.


Real Answer: Anything that you can boil, lots of snacks that are really bad for me – candy, cosmic brownies, protein bars, anything with tons of calories.


  • Q: Won’t you get bored?

A: Don’t you get bored doing the same thing day after day? I will be waking up in a different place every morning, encountering multiple challenges each day, logistics, trying to figure out where I can find snacks that are really bad for me.

Real Answer: Of course the thought of hiking day after day for 5-6 months sounds mundane. That is part of the reason why people hike the AT. You have no real schedule, nowhere to be, no meetings, no traffic. For the duration of the hike your ultimate goal is to reach Katahdin. Pretty simple right?


  • Q: Is this the same trail that Reese Witherspoon hiked?

A: I’m 99% sure that Reese never thru-hiked the AT,  so no.

Real Answer: If you are referring to the movie ‘Wild” then no. ‘Wild’ was the PCT – different side of the country. Will the experiences be similar you ask?  Hopefully not.


  • Q: How can I help?

A: You can send lots of candy – specifically snickers, peanut butter m&ms, maybe throw in a milky way. Pretty much send any snack that is really bad for you, but taste really good. Baked goods are also a plus – brownies/cookies. Extra props if you can figure out how to deliver me a pizza. You can also send whiskey. Whiskey is good.


Real Answer: The above response is my real answer.


  • Q: Where will you sleep?

A: I’m bringing my king sized bed with me. Strap that bad boy on my bag. Doctors are always stressing the importance of a good mattress. Plus, you need a good night sleep when you are on the trail.


Real Answer: This question is actually not that horrible. I’ll be sleeping in a tent / shelters / hotels, all depends on where I am, how I feel that day, what the weather is like.


  • Q: Are you bringing your dog with you?IMG_2728

A: Of course, the dog (Dakota) will love to hike over 2,000 miles. Ignore the fact that she walks slightly with a limp (hiking accident a few years ago), she’s probably 10 pounds overweight, and no lie – she needs to sleep on a mattress every night. She will thrive on the trail

Real Answer: Unfortunately, Dakota will not be making the trip. As much as I would love her to tag along it is just not realistic. My hope is that once I get to New Hampshire that maybe she can do a couple days with me. Dakota’s my girl – she will be missed along the way.

So hopefully this will answer everyone’s questions about the AT.

Affiliate Disclosure

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.

Comments 1

  • Crystal Gail Welcome : Jan 10th

    Loved your real answer to the “how can I help” questions 😉


What Do You Think?