7 Things The AT Taught Me (Post Hike)

Happier & healthier than I’ve ever been


New year, same me who promises to blog more.


1. Patience: as I climbed switchback after switchback, I would look up and realize that the top was no where to be seen. I acquired much patience in my breathing, the trail’s taxing terrain, and in the miles to go. Some days were harder than others, but I had to focus on the fact that the good days were worth every bad day.
2. To have an open heart: the trail is a magical place full of diversity, kindness, and unconditional love. No one knew your history. No one knew where you came from. We all just knew that we had the same passion and dream inside of us. Judgement free, happy souls taught me how to better love and support those around me.
3. Less is more: also known as, minimalism. Everything I need fits in my backpack. After being home for almost 2 months, I still don’t sleep on a real mattress. I sleep on an air mattress in the corner of my sister’s room. I live out of 1 storage container of clothes, and I own a total of 3 said containers full of vinyl, books, pictures, and more miscellaneous items. If it doesn’t add value to my life, I don’t need it. I feel more free in the less items I own.
4. I can do anything: I don’t mean to sound braggadocios, but walking across 14 states has made me realize that I can literally do anything I set my mind to. Often times we let our negative thoughts control what we do and do not accomplish. The mental game often led me to believe that I would fail, but I have chosen to no longer let that be the way I live.
5. Indoor plumbing is luxurious: in all seriousness, this is the best part of being home. A daily shower and sitting on a toilet… it’s the little things that I no longer take for granted.
6. Walking > driving: I would rather walk than drive any day. I felt safer in the woods for 5 months than I do in my car on the way to work everyday. My Atlanta commute tests the patience I gained while on the trail.
7. Ultralight is worth it: save up the extra money for lighter gear, I promise you that it’s worth it. It’s in your best interest to carry the lightest pack possible up what feels like endless mountains.



Thank you all for reading, following along, and your endless support. It truly means the world to me. I am brought to tears almost daily at the messages I receive from you all. Follow your dreams, and don’t ever let anyone tell you that your dream is unattainable.

-Pringles, AT SOBO 2016.


Instagram: @ashschellhase

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 4

  • 'Chief' Duffy : Jan 3rd

    Well said!

  • George : Jan 3rd

    Ultralight is definitely worth it! I wish I fully understood this before my trip. How much would you spend to drop a pound from your base

  • Zach : Jan 5th

    Well said, Ashley.

  • Scott Phillips : Jan 7th

    You nailed it girl!!!!!


What Do You Think?