Education or Elimination!
As many of us prepare for the A.T. in the next coming months, waiting idly by for the departure date to set foot on Springer or Katahdin. Days sometimes don’t go by fast enough! This is a very crucial time though in the next coming months. This is really what can make or break a hike. Here’s few things to be sure of before you leave.
Prepare yourself physically
A journey that entails over 2100 miles through mountains takes a little physicality! Now understand, no matter how much you train and get ready, it’ll still be hard on the body. It’s mountains and daily dose of it. However training will definitely cut down on how hard it hits you, how well your body recovers, prevents injuries and the biggest in my mind is how well it does for you mentally. This plays a big part in you achieving your dream. The harder it is on the body, the harder it is on the heart.
Prepare yourself mentally
This is why about I see 95% of all thru hikers never make it to Maine. It’s a big deal. Be ready to have bad days, were you miss home, miss your family, miss your girlfriend/boyfriend, miss your own bed (that will be a big one for me). Be ready also for the good days! There will hopefully be plenty! That’s why we do this after all. Now from talking with previous thru hikers, you’ll never be fully prepared. Anything can happen really. Most importantly never lose the fire and the reason why you came out to do the trail. That’s what will keep you going.
Prepare yourself financially
This is probably the second biggest reason I see people don’t finish or even start the trail. Make sure you have enough for the WHOLE trail! Have enough to replace/fix gear. Enough to stop off in towns to rest for a day and take care of you while out there. Have enough to buy decent food so you’re not malnourished by West Virginia! Hiker food is pretty terrible but be sure you’re getting what you need to stay alive and healthy. Be sure to have some to stop in town with your buddies and have a beer and a good time! That’s where the memories will be and some great moments! Don’t think you don’t have enough to just get started and you’ll figure it out when you get out there. That’ll be a disaster. Pleeeeease prepare in these months for this. Get another part time job, do side jobs, do whatever it takes.
Prepare yourself for an adventure!
This will be an amazing time of your life! Seeing 14 states in a short amount of time, meeting people from around the globe, saying you lived in the woods for half a year! These few months get ready to have an open heart and an open mind. Be ready to be changed. For me I’m going to be changed. I want to see what God has in store for me. I wanna see how I’ll be molded by the end of it. Rather you believe in God, gods, or anything, keeping an open mind to what can happen can change your whole outlook for this journey. Enjoy the times you have at home with friends and family. It’s very important not just for you but for them. Keep your chins up and hearts open!
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