Thru-Hike Preparation

How do you prepare for a thru-hike?

This is a question I have been asked nearly every day since I decided to tell people about my plan of thru hiking.

I’ve only done one other thru hike before (The Long Trail in 2011) and it was literally my first overnight backpacking trip.  So jumping right in is one way to do it!

That was 6 years ago though, when I was younger and less prone to injury. Now that I’m old and decrepit I feel like I should take some precautions before hitting the trail.

Practice hikes

Duh dude! How do you get better at hiking? Go hike!!! Seems simple enough…

I’ve always enjoyed hiking and usually fill my weekends with day hikes in the Catskill mountains.  There are a bunch of short hikes near my home town that are great to get a few miles in after work.

 Rock gym

I like going to the rock gym as a full body workout as well as keeping my brain sharp.  Its not only physically challenging but mentally too, its like a giant puzzle! And its a lot of fun!

Gear testing

On my last thru hike I was a total newbie and learned to use all of my gear on the trail.  I do not recommend doing this! Luckily I was hiking with someone more experienced who helped me out but either way it was a foolish move.  Test your gear BEFORE your thru hike. Multiple times. Even test your outfits out. Socks. Underwear. Everything!

Knowledge is power

I am constantly reading other peoples blogs, watching thru hiker you tube channels, and reading gear reviews.  Just keeping informed and learning from other peoples mistakes and successes is helpful.

I’m working in the food service industry right now which is a huge test of patience.  I hope this will help me on my hike.  If anything it will be a huge relief to be on the trail and away from snotty customers!

Hopefully this prep will pay off on my 2018 AT thru hike! Looking forward to meeting my fellow hikers!


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Comments 1

  • David Mizer : Nov 17th

    I’m trying to prepare for the PCT the best I know how – jogging, practice hikes, standing out in the freezing rain 🙂 I live in Colorado so there are plenty of mountains to kind of simulate the Sierras; unfortunately, there is no real desert to prepare for the Mojave! I’ll have to add the rock gym thing to my prep list.


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