Heyo! My name is Nash Calvin. I am headed south on the Appalachian Trail this year. My spirit animal is probably a jackrabbit or a sea otter. I design things and write things in my free time. Stoked to walk for awhile!
In addition, the anonymity of trail names to is fascinating. One could really know truly nothing about somebody they have been hiking with for weeks. Shit, they could be Tyler Durden. They could be making it all up.
These colonizer ideals of conquest and calling Mt. Washington a, “beast,” are awfully played out. The metaphors are too easy to grasp. So I implore hikers to consider that this is just what we must be doing. Hiking and walking is an animalistic and sacred ritual to be given thanks to. Not a leap to the top, but the tiny steps needed to undoubtedly be the best and nicest capitalist you can be in a capitalistic world. So, ya know, shout-out Mother Nature.
Even the schedule on trail is loose and lackadaisical. It is challenging, but attainable. You start from Point A and eventually end at Point B. It’s so simple, routine, and ritualistic, like breathing in and breathing out. The life a lot of us live pre-trail is muddled with anxieties and confusion. If it were water it would be murky and hard to distinguish. You may ask questions like, “Why can’t I just drink from the stream?” Or better yet, “Why do I have to answer an email past five?” The longing for simplicity is an all too common struggle. Anybody from the weekend-warriors to the fun, definitely smelly, and almost always filthy thru-hikers wonder, “How can I let the trail-life bleed and blend into the day-to-day?” Well, below are some tips on just that.
It sucks. Going southbound sucks. Not all the time obviously, but getting thrown in to around 11 days in the wilderness is never easy. No matter how dialed, how planned, or how strong you think the body and mind is, having to crush mosquitoes inside your head net and swat them away from the private bits as you pee isn’t grand.
The following list is the culmination of years of working for deals at an outdoor retailer, thorough sale hunting, and saving money in a Folgers can in a backyard guarded by alley cats.