How I made it through Senior year with Springer fever.
It was about mid-Junior year when I discovered the concept of thru-hiking. It took roughly two hours for that idea to become a full blown obsession, and the thought wasn’t going to go away any time soon. Everyday consisted of reading forums, watching YouTube hikers, and making my own list of what I needed to do because I had decided, 2016 was going to be my year. When I wasn’t making lists in a binder I had specifically deemed my Appalachian Trail binder (that also held a few notebooks inside) I was listening to Podcasts.. Let’s just say I was taking this whole thing very seriously, a good two years before I could even think about leaving for months. So with that being said, I am going to share my Top 5 things that got me through my last years of High School with a mad case of Springer Fever.
1) My first without a doubt would be Pox and Puss.
For all of you who don’t know, Pox and Puss run the best podcast you could ever come across. Their wittiness and sarcasm make for just the perfect dose of hiker humor and AT knowledge to help you get through any kind of day you are having, which was mainly math classes, and Economics for me (still made A’s in class I might add). It will give you incentive to want to thru hike yourself, if even just to meet them and go to Thru hiker prom! Although you can imagine the reactions I got when I was asked “What are you listening to?” and I replied “Oh Pox and Puss.” without thinking, Oh right, they won’t get it. I can honestly say, without this show I probably would have never made it through exams.
2) Gator Miller
You may or may not have heard about Mr. Gator Miller, but of all YouTube hikers he will become one of your favorites. Much like Pox and Puss he has his own style and attitude that makes him really stand out from all the others. Gator has tons of little catch phrases that just kind of get stuck in your head like, “Yessah!” Or “See ya latah bye!” (You have to hear them for yourself.). Thru hiking this year (2015), Gator took things to the next level by continuing on the International Appalachian Trail, all the way to the Canadian border! This guy is one hella rad dude, on some next level hiking, while also very entertaining. He is very informative while also really capturing the great life of a thru hiker. It’d be sinful to not check him out on YouTube after that excellent review!
3) Local Outfitters
Good local outfitters honestly can make or break your pre-thru hike preparations, but I am lucky to have two excellent ones near me. Intracoastal Outfitters and Weatherford’s have made my prep a smooth one so far, while I still have quite a bit more to add to my gear, I know for a fact I will be able to get what I need at these two businesses. One of the most important aspects of a good outfitter is a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and that is one of the things I immediately loved about them both. I know, I know. Why both? Well, if you had two excellent outfitters wouldn’t you support both? All I can say is, if you’re ever in Pensacola, FL check em’ out! and mad props to Intracoastal and Weatherford’s for being so helpful and versatile, for if they weren’t around I would have no idea what I was getting myself into, and I wouldn’t have my lovely Osprey!
If you haven’t discovered Whitblaze yet, go now! Imagine millions of hikers conjugated into one area and you can ask and receive an answer to anything, with the occasional smart ass. I have learned so much from people on there, although I still can’t make a decision on a good quality yet lightweight sleeping bag (so if anyone has an input, comment!). Back to the topic! So, if you are a new-hiker old-hiker or kid- hiker. It doesn’t matter, go check it out and ask all the questions your heart desires!
5) Appalachian Trials
I would explain why I am so in love with Appalachian Trials, but you are already here and probably share my love for it as well! A website where you can get advice, personal stories, humor, AND gear reviews? If that’s not the best combo I don’t know what is!
So there you have it my lovely people who read the entire article! So, if anyone has any questions, or thoughts they’d like to share let me know and I will put it in my figurative suggestion box! Hiking straight out of high school is a bit tough even during preparation, but stick around with me and maybe it”l get easier.. Or maybe not, but all the more reason to stay for the stories!
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Man, do I know how you are feeling right now! I discovered long distance hiking awhile back and backpacking has always been a passion of mine so once I discovered the AT, I knew I needed to do it as well (I plan to complete a Triple Crown eventually). Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do my thru-hike until 2017! So I have a year and a half to think about it! I think I might go crazy in that time!
Katelyn or in the trailverse, Mustang.
Check out Z packs & hammock gear. Salty Dog 2015 thru
Another +1 for z packs. Its about the lightest sleeping you can get and very customizable.