Against The Odds

2189.2 miles is a long way to drive much less walk, and here we stand with 32 days until we leave and I can’t help but be scrambling around making sure I have everything I need to walk to Maine and to survive for 6 months. I know I am not the only one right?? All the men and women that plan to thru hike the AT this year are all facing the same odds and those are that only 1 out of every 4 of us will complete this trail in its entirety this year and so of course there are reasons for concern, not enough to not try though! This equation has been hanging over my head for months. I plan on hiking the trail with three of my best friends and our dog Blue, and so of course you see now that I have every reason to be concerned, Right? Yes, yes I do! But its not going to be something that stops me from going out there and giving it my best shot, and to do it with a smile on my face and with my best friends.

So the real thing to think about here is how we are going to fight against those odds the best way we can, and to accomplish this dream the four of us share. Lets get down to it shall we? First things first is how will we be able to handle each other for this long without trying to kill each other? Well I would say we are already on the right track because we live together and have for quite sometime. (Yes, I have talked all my room mates into walking to Maine with me) One of my roommates happens to be my brother (Rory) and the other two well they might as well be my brothers too! James and myself completed our first successful thru hike in June of 2014 of the Benton MacKaye Trail and from that point on knew that we would always adventure together, and Kori has been picking on me since the days of riding my moms school bus when we were kids! Lets not forget Blue the dog who I am more that excited to bring along on this journey.

Now that we have (not killing each other) out of the way lets talk about how we shall keep ourselves together. All of us like to carry our own things to use like cook kits and water purifiers just in case we get separated. A majority of the time we explore wilderness areas and wildlife refugees so it’s a lot easier to accomplish the task of getting lost, but with the AT being a well blazed trail the concern for getting lost has not posed such a large threat. Although we are all individually carrying most of our own gear and not sharing much we did decide to carry one thing that seemed to be a very important piece of gear and that is our water filter. We are carrying a 6L Platypus with a large Sawyer filter and we will just let gravity do the rest. Simple enough right? Well the idea behind this is that in the animal kingdom most creatures share one thing and that is WATER, so by sharing our water filter system together I feel as though it should build a bond between us in a primitive way.

With all of this being said, I know many of you may be saying “Hey Colton, but what about hiking your own hike”? I get it, and you should hike your own hike but at the same time the ability to share a moment with someone who you love and care about….well there just is nothing in this world like it. I feel like if you can manage to battle thru the physical and mental pain of hiking 2,189.2 miles alone then why not do with someone that could act as a support system when your having those bad days. (which we all will have) Although we are the only ones that can pick one foot up and put in front of the other I do feel as though hiking with someone and sharing the experience, and the hard times will benefit us more than just walking alone.

We are all fighting against the odds on this one so lets help each other all become the Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker Class of 2015!!!

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