No Unauthorized Exits

My start date countdown is down to weeks and will soon be days. I’ve turned in my resignation to my job. I’ve paused my gym membership. My chickens are scheduled to go to their temporary home. I’ve sold my car. And…I’ve grown my tramily before stepping foot on the trail. Surprise, my boyfriend is coming too! I’ll now be taking off from Springer Mountain with my boyfriend, dad, and dog.

I have gotten quite a few questions from friends, family, coworkers, and strangers as I’m getting closer to my start date. I’m also giving my boyfriend a crash-course introduction to thru hiking culture as we’re making final preparations. Here are some of my favorite and most-asked questions I’ve had in the lead-up to my hike. I also mixed in some random AT pictures from previous expeditions to the trail, enjoy!

The Questions

How Long Will You Be Gone?

The Appalachian Trail is 2,194 miles this year (it changes slightly every year). If I average walking 12 miles a day, I will finish in about 6 months. Since I’ll need some rest days in there and hope to get up to 20-mile days, I’m planning on the trip taking me about 6 months.

How Much Underwear Are You Taking?

Wearing one, one in reserve. I’ll turn them inside out between laundry days if needed.

Aren’t There Bears?

Yes. I’m taking a special bag to store my food at night. The black bears on the east coast are not aggressive like grizzlies on the west coast. I could encounter a bear that is angry, but getting in a car wreck is much more likely than a black bear attack and we all do that daily.

Do You Have a Plan For How Far You’ll Go Every Day?

Nope, playing it by ear. I would love to plan every last detail, but I am trying to use this trip to stretch myself and go with the flow. So here I go into the unknown.

How Often Will You Shower?

Unknown, but there will be layers of grime. I’ll take a baby wipe bath in the evenings, but I’ll go days between showers. Hopefully no more than a couple of weeks.  Everyone will smell. Part of the charm of the trail.

How Often Will You Resupply Food?

We will get new supplies every 3-5 days. We did not send any mail drops for food and plan to purchase what we want in town.

Will You Have Cell Phone Coverage?

Yes! I will have cell phone coverage for most of the trip. I am carrying a large battery pack for all of my electrical things that I will recharge on resupply days.

It’s A Thing To Have Unauthorized Exits!?

Some hikers say you’re not a thru hiker until you’ve pooped your pants. When my boyfriend heard this, he was appalled and quickly told me he would be having ‘no unauthorized exits’. Time to take bets on who in our group will have an unauthorized exit first!

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Comments 2

  • Jimmy Lewis : Mar 24th

    Sounds like a lot of fun. When I was younger, my brother and I would spend several days hiking and camping in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern Kentucky. Hope you have a good safe trip. Nothing like the great outdoors.

  • T : Mar 26th

    I’d love to join you! A big hike has been my dream! I’m glad I found your post.


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