Anticipation Anxiety



For those of who you who don’t know me, which will be most of you, I’d like to introduce myself and I guess where I’m at more or less in terms of prep and mindset.  This is my first post here at Appalachian Trials and I’m so insanely excited to share my experience with you and get to know some of you.

My name is Nathan in real life, on the trail though my name is Puma and I’m 22. I’m an Ohio native and most of my time is spent outdoors, playing drums, hiking, or climbing as of recently. I’ll be starting my NOBO attempt at a thru hike on March 13th, 2016. I was selected by the wonderful people at Vasque Footwear to be a part of the Thru Hike Syndicate sponsorship this year. In these next three weeks before I leave,  I’ll be eating as much food as I can from a local Mexican joint called El Campesino.

Anticipation of leaving

If you are reading this, you may have thru hiked, or are planning a thru hike, or just enjoy reading about the trail life and community, but I will say without a doubt, my mind cannot focus on anything else, and the anticipation is actually making me nervous. I can only imagine that everyone who has already completeled a thru hike can attest to the fact that the mindset is inescapable.

As of recent, I’ve been checking and double checking my pack, waiting for certain gear to arrive, making sure I have everything lined up to leave my life as I know it behind. Unfortunately, I’m not able to take a leave of absence from my job, so as of right now I have five days left at my 9-6, (not complaining). I’ll be packing up all of my current important belongings, storing them away, and heading down to Georgia. I’m not sure exactly my move after the hike, but ill figure that out later.

Nonetheless, the ever looming presence of Springer has completely taken hold, and I cannot manage to take my mind off of it. From now until I leave, my friends, family and the ability to soak up every commodity I can will be the consumption of my time. I’m mostly anxious about leaving everything behind. I know that everything will be here when I get back, but I’ve been in such a routine for the last few years or so, this big of a change is going to shake my world. I’m ready for it though.


I’ve read basically every article, blog, and post I can find about common concerns and misconceptions about the trail, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to one thing that I’m actually concerned about.

  • Ticks – My dad was victim to lymes disease from a bite back in ’14 on our section hike in MA. Frequent tick checks and deet should do the trick.

Everything else I’m fairly confident shouldn’t be a problem. Weather isn’t too much of a concern considering I have a good layering system, and the weather has been fairly moderate recently. Bears, as most know, don’t usually cause to much trouble if any. Some are even lucky to see them. Water is extremely prevelant along the trail in most places. If you have any tips from past experiences or anything PLEASE share in the comments. Feedback is always awesome!

As it always does, only time will tell.

I’ll be posting more and more frequently as time goes on, including a gear post and some other cool things before I leave, so be on the look out.

Thanks for reading and again, any feedback, comments or anything are welcomed!

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 9

  • Allie McCann : Feb 21st

    Your post just got me so excited for my 300 mile section of the AT coming up! However, also scared because I wasn’t even thinking of ticks until you mentioned it. I guess it’s better to know what I’m getting myself into. Good luck and I will be following your posts!

    • Nathan Bauman : Feb 21st

      Awesome! Good luck on the section hike! That’s all I did before this year. You should be really excited! Yeah, that’s my ownly real concern. What’s been on your mind as far as concerns go?

  • Lis : Feb 22nd

    Awesome my friend, btw did you already started taking your vitamin B? I’m not 100% sure but I think they help keep bugs away.
    Keep us posted!

    • Nathan Bauman : Feb 23rd

      No I haven’t yet but I’ve heard good things and good reviews of it! Never know until we try! Haha. Thanks for reading and keeping up!

      • Don p : Feb 28th

        Check with outdoor store parafan keeps tics and mosquitos off you treat ur clothes

  • Lisa : Feb 25th

    Good luck Nathan! We are proud of you and will be awaiting your posts! Take care of yourself! We love ya! Aunt Lisa and Uncle Steve

  • Grammy Sandy : Feb 26th

    Stay safe Natie. We’re looking forward to your blogs. Love you, and praying for your well being. Papa and Grammy

  • Blaise : Feb 28th

    DEET works for mosquitoes but not ticks. You should buy some PERMETHRIN (not parafan) and apply this to your clothes to prevent tick bites. This is far more effective than DEET. One application will last through 5-6 washings.

    • Nathan Bauman : Feb 29th

      Awesome, thank you so much for the advice!


What Do You Think?