My AT Trek is Over for Now
My Thru Hiking Lesson After 777 Miles on the AT
Nothing could have ever prepared me for what lie ahead when I embarked to thru hike the Appalachian Trail. My major dehydration/heat exhaustion in Unionville, NY, the dental problems in Monroe, NY and finally the severely sprained wrist in Lincoln, NH.
One never budgets the expenses that go along with such pitfalls mentioned above. It’s expensive when you’re not on the trail! Those motels/hotels and town meals do major damage to the wallet and can send the 3$ a mile budget into a free fall.
After that mean fall coming down Moosilauke and severely spraining my wrist, I made the tough decision to return home to recover. And that ended up costing me almost triple after trusting an irresponsible person that had committed to get me to Logan on time, then failed to follow through.
Be that as it may, I will not be returning to the trail for a while. After reevaluating my funds available and another unexpected expense after arriving home, there just isn’t enough left in savings to hike the remaining 1400+ miles without going totally broke. And the wrist is not healing as fast as I hoped it would either. It’s a very depressing world right now.
Over the last 10 weeks I have learned some lessons the hard way. These were things that I had read about ahead of time, but they just happened to appear differently for me. I think that impulsiveness was my primary enemy as it has always been. It’s okay to say no when others are taking a zero that wouldn’t be a healing experience for me. Having a plan to get in and out of trail towns without an overnight stay would have done wonders for me early on. Because when you’re not on the trail, it’s expensive. I would always tell myself: ‘I need to stay on the trail more’, but didn’t follow my own advice too well. Going that extra 30 miles or so will cover a resupply and a nice meal in town every time.
I had not been very good to my body the first 300 miles of the hike. Hydration and diet are the backbone of a successful thru hike and certain diuretics rob the body of essentials needed to fuel a 15 to 20 mile a day hike. My 55 year old body needs a liter of water every 3 or 4 hours enriched with electrolytes and B vitamins. My consumption of foods to properly fuel my body was also taken for granted early on. I did a lot better job at this over the last 200 miles.
My hike would still be thriving had I adhered to the advice above. And hopefully, it will help someone from putting their hike into the same predicament after reading this. Had I followed what I fundamentally already knew, I could have better absorbed and prevented the expenses that came with those unexpected setbacks that occurred during my hike.
Had I hiked my own hike and listened more closely to my body and better judgement, I would probably be in Maine today.
So, as the saying goes:, “I’ll be back”.
As ironic as it is, the AT did not give me a Discount! And for those that don’t know, Discount is my trail name and I was doing a flip flop thru hike NOBO from Harper’s Ferry. Hopefully, I’ll be ready for a full NOBO next Spring.
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.