Appalachian Trail SOBO 2019. Here I Come!
I have officially run out of things to do…
Just over a month ago, I made a conscious decision that I was going to attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Crazy, I know. It has been a pretty much nonstop whirlwind since that moment, making one preparation after another (see below). Today, I crossed off the last item on my list, and now I have no idea what to do. Or did I finish it all?
Things I did to prepare for the Appalachian Trail.
I told my people.
I sat down with my Mom and my (bigger than me) little brother and told them what I was planning on doing. Then, I sat down with my Nana and told her. Honestly, it went better than I expected.
I told my job.
I wrote out an overly emotional notice for work. I have a lot of respect for my boss, and they have actually invested quite a bit of time and money into my training. To take off like this probably is not the most fair thing I have ever done to say the least. But these people have gotten to know me. They know I’m crazy. I was excited to have their reassurances that whenever I want it, my job will be here waiting for me.
I read way too much bull***t on the internet.
This was the biggie! I have been hiking, camping, sleeping outside, playing in rivers, and doing general ridiculous things of that nature my whole life. This, obviously, is something that I enjoy. I mentioned earlier that I made the conscious decision to hike this trail just a few short weeks ago. Unconsciously, I have been working toward this for years and years. Yet, after I made the decision to do it, what do I rely on? The great wealth of information that is the internet. While some of the information I read has been fantastic and has helped in more ways than I even realize I am sure, there has also been plenty of information that has done nothing but raise my blood pressure. I know what it is like to sleep outside. I know what I need to be comfortable on short backpacking trips. I know I have not met a trail I did not want to climb. Most importantly, I believe, I know that when it comes to thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, all 2,000+ miles and 14 states of it, I honestly don’t know crap. Sure, I can read about other peoples’ experiences, and compare gear tips and advice, but when it comes down to it the only way I’m going to be able to make any claims about what I “know” about the AT is by getting out there and hiking it. This is something I have had to tell myself over and over. If it works for you, then hell yes! If what works for you also works for me (because you best believe I will be trying out some of these ideas I’ve read about), then super hell yeah and thank you for the advice! Until I figure that out though, I have to keep focusing on what is important.
Prepared myself to live outside.
In that same vein, I realize that though I have always tried to do my small part in keeping nature clean, I have made it a point to refresh myself on all the fine points of Leave No Trace. For those of you not familiar, this is the code I will be living by for the next several months on my journey. It is, arguably, the most important part of my journey. If not for others making a concerted effort to take care of the trail, it wouldn’t be there for me to make my trek. So this is my formal pledge to keep LNT principles at the forefront of my mind, and to carry those principles off the trail too. If you are curious, look it up! Hint hint, this is a great website to start. Every little bit helps, on all of our parts.
Work on logistics.
This includes, but is not by any means limited to, planning start dates; securing transportation; securing campsite reservations/permits for BSP; making food plans; determining what gear I need to replace or purchase (I somehow never have owned a trowel and have always made do, but for some reason I felt like I needed one for this. More on that in another post); make said purchases; hike with said new gear; etc.
Which has all led to today. I mailed my fully laden pack ahead of me via UPS to the AT Lodge in Millinocket, ME. Now, I wait.
June 28, 2019
This is a special day! I will be roused from my bed in the tender hours of the morning when people are either in bed or begrudgingly paying their tabs, then spend the next umpteen-thousand hours traveling. Via car(s), shuttle(s), plane(s), bus(es), and all that, to finally arrive at the Appalachian Trail Lodge. I’ve given myself an extra day in Maine just in case, and plan to summit Katahdin and officially start putting miles under my belt on June 30.
The 28th is significant because it also happens to be my 28th birthday. (Woot woot). Hilariously enough, before this the coolest vacation I have ever been on was a cross-country road trip to go rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and I spent my entire 18th birthday traveling. So here is to a decade of growth, and still keeping my priority being outside.
Sorry if this post rambled a bit. I promise I will get into the swing of things. I will try to post at least every three or four days. Before I leave I will put up at the very least a more detailed gear post, and maybe get a bit more into why I am hiking. For now, I’m going to cuddle the hell out of my cat, Lil Peep. I’m going to miss him so much. 🙁
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.