Post-AT Thoughts, Reflections, Gear Comments, and Random Stats

Now I am just over three weeks post-trail, I thought I would share some thoughts and reflections, as well as some random statistics that I kept along the way.

As mentioned in my last post, the end was somewhat anticlimactic. After hiking for five months, I had finally reached Springer Mountain and then Amicalola Falls. These are both nice locations, but there isn’t really anything that stands out about them other than their special place on the AT. This really just goes to show that so much of the AT is about the journey, not the destination. It was still, however, a bit strange to finish the trail, take some photos and buy some souvenirs, and then leave. Being from Australia, it is possible (even likely) that after five months of following the white blazes of the AT every day, I will never see a white blaze again. My body was definitely ready for a break. However, I had not “out hiked” my love of hiking, which I’m very happy about.

Back to Australia

After the trail, I had a quick stop off in Atlanta, and then it was straight back to Australia. I had planned to surprise my family for Christmas, and I only just snuck it in, arriving on Christmas Eve. I had started delaying my social media posts and being vague about my exact location so my family wouldn’t expect me to have finished in time, and it worked as planned. I arrived at my mum’s front door without notice and managed to surprise them all. This was definitely worth some days of hiking in the rain and cold towards the end, as I knew on those days that I needed to keep pushing if I was to make it home in time.

Settling back to normal life

I am now settling back in at home in Melbourne, to the life I left almost two years ago to move to Canada. I have moved back into my old apartment and start back at my old job on Monday. The adjustment back to my normal life seems to be going well so far, although I guess I’m still in the honeymoon period of catching up with all my friends and family. Everyone has not yet gotten bored of my many AT stories, and it’s been fun getting back into running and all the other activities I didn’t do when I was a full-time hiker. I guess the real test of my re-adjustment will be when I am properly settled back into work and life. I am, however, planning weekends away in the bush already and hopefully a longer hike towards the end of the year. Having never done a multi-day hike in Australia or New Zealand,  I’m definitely excited to get out there and check it out, now I have the confidence to do so from my AT hike. No massive hikes on the horizon for the near future, though.

Gear Stuff

For the gear nerds out there, I thought I would include some comments on some of the gear that got me through the AT. Through careful planning and a bit of luck, I did not have to replace any of my gear while on trail. There were, however, a couple of items that were ready for some repair towards the end.

  • Pack: Gregory Jade 53 – this pack was great. The size was perfect for all my stuff – usually pretty full but never too full. When going through the Mahoosuc Notch in Maine, I tore the mesh pockets on the sides in a number of different places, but the holes stayed mainly as they were for the rest of the trail and did not stretch and make the pockets unusable.
  • Tent: Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 – happy with my tent. Always easy to put up and take down. One of the poles developed a tiny crack at an intersection about 2/3 of the way through the trail, but this did not cause any issues with use and the crack did not spread. In the Smokies, I noticed a small chewed hole in my tent bag and didn’t think much of it, but it now turns out I have the same chewed hole in the door of my tent. That will require a patch, but otherwise, the tent developed no other holes.
  • Sleeping mat: Big Agnes Q Core SLX in petite – this took a bit longer to inflate than the mats of my fellow through hikers but was very comfortable. I used the provided stuff sack to inflate it (the stuff sack, which was also a dry bag, was used to store my sleeping bag in my pack. Quite noisy though. It developed a tiny hole around Roan Mountain, which I couldn’t find. The hole got bigger over the last few weeks, which meant I had to blow it up once overnight so I didn’t wake up on the floor. Now I’m home and can properly check for the hole, I intend on using the provided patch kit to keep using this mat.
  • Sleeping bag: Big Agnes Sidewinder 20F in petite – loved this bag. The model I had was designed for women under 5”5 who are side sleepers, which describes me to a tee. I slept with it with the zip open in the warmer temperatures at the start, and then it was fine without a liner until we hit sub-zero (C) temperatures in Virginia and then again in North Carolina/Georgia.

Other than the gear I started with (including my winter gear, which I got sent to Harpers Ferry), the only things I bought were two Kula cloths/pee rags (the second one after I lost the first one), a Sea to Summit fleece liner and an Enlightened Equipment jacket (second two to bulk up my cold weather gear).


While on trail, I kept some stats, so some random trail stats are provided below.

The Trail

  • 156 days to complete the AT, made up of 143 hiking days and 13 non-hiking (zero) days
  • of the 13 zeros, six were pre-planned, three were due to injury, and four were due to weather
  • The average distance I hiked on my hiking days was 24.14km/15m per day. If I include all days, including zeros the distance was 22.40km/13.9km
  • There were 27 days where I hiked over 30km (18.64m), including two days where I hiked over 40km (24.85m)
  • There were 10 days where I slack-packed (hiked with a day pack rather than my full pack)
  • I camped or stayed in shelters 62 percent of the time and stayed in a bed (hostels/hotels/with trail angels) 38 percent of the time. This statistic was slightly skewed by my last month, where I stayed in a bed 62 percent of the time


  • I ate 126 Clif bars (my most common bar type). This does not include all the other bars I ate on my hike
  • I ate 27 snickers and had ice cream 26 times
  • I has pizza 36 times (including when I packed out leftovers to eat the next day, which was common)
  • For on-trail dinners, I had rice/noodle/pasta sides 17 times, mac and cheese 10 times, ramen 13 times, instant mash 11 times, and dehydrated meals 20 times

That’s it from me for the foreseeable future so thank you for following along with me on my journey of the Appalachian Trail.

– Metric

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Comments 8

  • Pinball : Jan 12th

    Enjoyed following along. Hope your acclimation into normal life continues smoothly!

  • Russ1663 : Jan 12th

    Well done Bec, well done. Your timing for Christmas was well planned. Take care of yourself, best of trail luck to you

  • Ky : Jan 12th

    An amazing journey. Thanks for sharing it with us. Nice wrapup. Hoping your transition into hiking the long trail through urban legal trails is smooth and has enough zero days to continue to enjoy the outdoors.

  • Denis Thibodeau : Jan 13th

    I loved to read about your journey. I’m glad you made it and are safe at home. Congratulations.

  • Cecilia : Jan 13th

    I’ve enjoyed vicariously hiking along with you on this adventure: thank you so much for sharing your hike.

  • Rhody : Jan 16th

    For the record, always here for a good Charles Darwin pun.

  • Jersey Mike : Jan 22nd

    Congratulations on hike well done! I very much enjoyed following your journey, so thanks for your time and effort with all the detailed posts!

    Good luck on your transition to the grind.

    Happy trails!

  • Jenny Reed : Feb 1st

    Congratulations on your finish!! Love reading your stats!


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