Why You Should Definitely NOT Hike the AT

1.  You’ll miss out on a lot of TV.


Sure, Netflix will still be there – But think of all the spoilers you’ll be exposed to when months-old references become fair game.

2.  Bears will eat you.


Plain and simple, if you hike the AT, bears will eat you. It’s a proven fact.

3.  You already have enough friends.

This needs to be made into an album cover. @lscott591 and co loving life on the #appalachiantrail. #appalachiantrials

A photo posted by Appalachian Trials (@appalachiantrials) on

Do you really want a diverse band of multi-national travelers sending you letters referencing some ‘life changing experience’ you shared, or inviting you to visit them in strange new places? That’s going to get old really quickly.

4.  You’ll be forced to grow as a person.


Top photos from the AT (like this one from @thewildoutsiders) on #thetrek.co. Link’s in the profile. A photo posted by Appalachian Trials (@appalachiantrials) on

The only thing worse than building character while you do something challenging is realizing that your parents were right.

5.  You’ve seen enough beautiful things for one lifetime.

Misty mornings in the Smokies? Sunset over Tinker Cliff? Fall foliage in the Hundred Mile Wilderness? Anyone perusing Instagram will tell you that it’s nothing new. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen enough breath-taking vistas that the panoramic White Mountains are basically a Tinder swipe left as far as scenery goes.

6.  Driving is way faster.

Seriously, it takes like three days.

7.  Cell service is unreliable.

What would your twitter followers say if you stopped posting about your travels just because you were on an adventure?

8.  Your mom said no.

Kitty I talked to her for you, and she’s totally against it. She also mentioned that she gave you life.

9.  You don’t know why you want to do it in the first place.

If only there were a book that could help you write a list…

10.  You hate facial hair.

Hiking-Viking-Profile Maybe you’re horrified by the thought of beards. Maybe you’re Sweeny Todd. I don’t know, but whatever it is, Pogonophobia is no laughing matter.

11.  The absence of light pollution makes you feel small and insignificant.


@bryanconley stargazing from the Wesser Bald tower. Brilliant. #appalachiantrials A photo posted by Appalachian Trials (@appalachiantrials) on

Stop bragging, Milky Way!

12.  You’ll feel too guilty being forced to eat a diet of Snickers and cheese.

I mean, your friends back home are living off of quinoa and kale. It just seems wrong to be so hedonistic, doesn’t it?

13.  You’ll be alone with your own thoughts.

What if your headphones break in the wild?  Sure, you’ll start out trying to remember song lyrics or wondering why wallpaper has fallen out of fashion, but eventually you’ll find yourself steeped in introspection, processing past events that you’ve been safely repressing for decades.

14.  The ponies are bullies.


Sure, the wild ponies of the Grayson Highlands will eat out of your hand and adorably nuzzle you, but try to ride them and they turn into total jerks.

15.  Backpacking is for ultra-athletes.

Only the toughest can survive. And last but not least:

16.  Thru-hiking is too hard and no one has any fun doing it.

#backpacking #longtrail #vermont #hikerslife #hikertrash A photo posted by Dave Harrold (@pookie_pie) on

But, if you’re dead set on making a bad decision and hiking the AT, you might as well join the Appalachian Trials Blogging team.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 13

  • rdt400 : Aug 13th

    Ok – this is about as stupid as it gets. Now I have one good reason not to come back to this page.

    • Fellow Chuckler : Jan 12th

      To rdt400….I know it’s embarrassing when someone posts a picture of you with your head in a bear’s mouth. (I must assume that is the “1 good reason” of which you spoke). But in the writer’s defense, one can hardly tell it’s you in the photograph, and….well…..a bear’s gotta eat too.

      • Danielle Allen : May 12th

        @ fellowchuckler
        The best reply ! Classy still but yet informative. Well said! ………. Still laughing and rereading …… Seriously !

  • Alec : Aug 18th

    I liked it, why not a light-hearted piece. Well done !!

  • Melissa : Aug 19th

    Thanks for this piece! I shared it on my Facebook page so all my naysayers will have some guidance! lol They just don’t get why I seem so driven to do this thing. This was a great post!

  • maurice powers : Dec 19th

    Well Maggie you did it again…love your articles…thanks

  • marvin : Dec 19th

    Well good only thing holding me back would be bears.Me and a friend will do this hike for a few days

  • Tim Seeton and Miss Gracie Lou Freedbush Seeton : Jan 13th

    Chuckles, we have passed trail makers at one time. Who knows. as of now I’m still considered a LASHer North Georgia to Vermont 07 and beyond. Haha Great post makes me miss it even more as I swing a hammer and a hot Florida day. Happy Trails, Wahoo and Graice Lou

    • Maggie Wallace : Jan 13th

      Keep it up Wahoo and Gracie Lou! You’ll be 2,000 milers in no time! Thanks for all the comments on this one, guys!

  • Magpie : Jan 5th

    Hey, no badmouthing we moms of AT , PCT, and Te Araroa thru hikers! Give us a break. We are living vicariously thru those children we gave life to!

  • BigTex : Apr 23rd

    You are right! The ponies in Grayson double barrel kicked my son in the shins……

  • Storyseeker : Apr 23rd

    Fabulous post. Daughter and I giggled through the list! Definitely going to pass this one on to others who think we are crazy for going back to the AT over and over for yet another 4-6 week section!

  • Doctari : Jul 6th

    ROTFLMAO! Job well done!!


What Do You Think?