Sorting Through 2017’s Thru-Hiker Hashtags

Trying to sort through the sea of incredible online photos is nearly impossible. In order to help us with that the millennials, or at least those marketing to them, have given birth to the hashtag. Let’s just call it the rebranding of the pound sign for those of us familiar with touch tone phones. It’s a form of online brand association.  It’s all about brand these days, after all. Everyone and everything on social media is a brand.

What are hashtags and how do we use them?

Hashtags are essentially hyperlinks for posts to groups of similar posts.  You can click on the hashtag and it will pull up other photos or posts containing that same hashtag.  Each post or image can cover a ton of different hashtags.  From specific keywords(eg #love) to companies(eg #zpacks) or even person specific (I use #NiknotOutdoors).

Jimmy Fallen and J Timbs have even gotten in on the curious world of hashtagging.


What hashtags are thru-hikers using?

Examples of this years popular AT-specific hashtags include #TrekTheAT(11k Instagram posts) and #AppalachianTrail(411k IG posts) #AT2017(22k Instagram posts) and of course #appalachiantrials(48k IG posts).  Another favorite is always #trailmagic(9k posts) and #rocksylvania(2k posts).  Each photo will commonly have other more generic hiking hashtags such as #thruhike #hikertrash #hiking.  Companies have gotten in on the action too. REI has dominated the hashtag game for a few years now. Their #REI1440Project (3 million posts) and their #OptOutside(4.5 million posts). These are all commonly found on the class of 2017 thru-hiker posts.

Never a bad day. @ryanshamy taking in a New England sunset. #thetrek #trektheat

A post shared by The Trek ( on

It’s pretty simple to figure out once you know your way around.  It helps people like us find other people, well, like us! So for those of you currently thru-hiking, please keep up the good work. We are following you and want to see you succeed. Let’s get #summitphoto trending!

Don’t forget to use #TrekTheAT and #AppalachianTrail to have the chance to be included in our always amazing Top Instagram Photos from the AT or PCT posts.

Snap a good shot, use #TrekTheAT, #TheTrek, or #TrekThePCT, and you could be featured on The Trek’s Instagram pages!

NOBO thru-hike: Complete. Congrats @beevarner !!! #thetrek #trektheat

A post shared by The Trek: Appalachian Trail (@appalachian.trail) on

What hashtags are you using?  How can we follow you on your adventures?  Comment below with your favorite hashtags so we can find and follow you too!

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