Hike Your Own Hike

Hike Your Own Hike. These are words that I’ve heard even previous to the start of my AT hike. I didn’t realize their true meaning until I’d spent time on time.

The AT is an experience, an adventure. To truly make the best out of it, you need to put yourself in a mental and physical place where you can maximize everything about it.

My first moment of HYOK is when I realized that my daily mileage would be significantly less than I excepted. I really wanted to put myself in a place where I could finish my trek in less than 5 months. Now I realize that I would have a terrible time if I pushed myself that hard.

My second HYOK moment came with Zero and Nero days. I’ve had such a great experience with my Tramley in the trail towns. Those days have slowed me down, but they’ve added so much to the experience.

My third HYOK moment came with the decision to slack pack some portions of the trail. I don’t regret slack packing for a moment. Consider it!

My final and most difficult HYOK moment came when I fully understood that, despite my best efforts, I might not finish the trail in one year. I want to enjoy the trail and I want to enjoy life. For that to happen, I’ve only got a four month window of opportunity in 2024. I’ll have to finish in 2025. So be it. HYOK!!!

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Comments 1

  • alexis mcallister : Mar 18th

    Mike, I am Mery Poppins retired also from the army. My 2 sons backpacking with me taught me the journey is more important then the destination. Ponds need swimming. Laughter and shared experiences are the memories. Enjoy your journey. Will see you on the trail, or maybe you’ll stay at my humble abode when you are fed up with pa rocks. Enjoy!!


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