The Road Less Traveled; Three Reasons to Go SOBO

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” -John Muir

Choosing a SOBO for the AT hike was the easiest way for us to attempt a thru-hike, logistically speaking. For others, there are many reasons that hiking SOBO on the AT is the way to go. So, here are my three reasons to hike SOBO.

Trail Conservation

First, as more and more people attempt thru-hikes on the Appalachian Trail, trail conservation becomes increasingly important. Protecting outdoor areas in America should be first on any outdoor enthusiasts’ or thru-hikers’ list. If you are unsure how, refer to the thru-hikers’ code of conduct and Leave No Trace. Much of the Appalachian Trail lies within 60-100 miles of the most densely populated areas in the contiguous US. When hikers walk the AT, their presence brings consequences to the landscape. Choosing the road less traveled can help to preserve this trail for the next generations.

A Summer Start

Walking in the woods in June or July seems like a bad idea for some people. By and large, it means walking in the heat/humidity and with a lot of bugs. The heat and bugs that come with summer weather I can handle. Growing up and living in Mississippi I experience heat/humidity and bugs dang near every day. Nevertheless, hiking in the summer can be grueling. However, a summer start date can be great for those who are students, teachers, or lovers of summer. The bright side is that a summer start date allows hikers to hike through fall. For me, fall is the best season for hiking.

Fall Colors

So, hiking SOBO means that you will be hiking through the summer and fall. Lucky for me, my favorite change in the seasons is when summer gives way to fall. Now, anyone who has been around woods knows that this time of year is one of the most beautiful. Moreover, seeing the leaves change colors is enough to make anyone want to hike SOBO by itself. Seeing the orange, brown, and red colors in the forest trees and the forest floor seems magical. Walking through the woods this time of year is one of the things I am looking forward to most.

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