Steph Strickland

Sparky is a writer and outdoor enthusiast from Florida thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2021. As a recent graduate of the University of Florida, Sparky hopes to work in public interest communications and push for environmental and social change. When she isn’t on the trail, you can catch Sparky at your local coffee shop or vegan cafe. Happy trails!

Posts

One Month of Living with Less: What Thru-hiking Has Taught Me about Minimalism

One Month of Living with Less: What Thru-hiking Has Taught Me about Minimalism

I’ve lived out of a backpack for a month. It’s easy to skim over how little we have out here while we actively think of all of the ways to

Apr 20, 2021 : Steph Strickland
When My Body Hit a Breaking Point

When My Body Hit a Breaking Point

I woke up to a chill in the air surrounding my tent. It was a clear, sunny, and beautiful day in the Great Smoky Mountains. I set off on the

Apr 20, 2021 : Steph Strickland
When Your Tent Turns into Heartbreak Hotel

When Your Tent Turns into Heartbreak Hotel

When I write these blog posts, I usually have an intended audience in mind. Balancing between the friends and family following my journey to

Apr 20, 2021 : Steph Strickland
Healing is Hard: Injuries and Setbacks on Trail

Healing is Hard: Injuries and Setbacks on Trail

I sat precariously on a rock adjacent to a perfect foot-soaking pool formed in the river running through Standing Bear Farm. My aching ankle

Apr 20, 2021 : Steph Strickland
The Trail Provides, Always

The Trail Provides, Always

They say it takes a village. A village to support a thru-hiker, that is. No matter how “solo” we’d like to think we are as thru-hikers,

Apr 14, 2021 : Steph Strickland
The Dirty Bubble: The Tale of an Unusual and Exceptional Tramily

The Dirty Bubble: The Tale of an Unusual and Exceptional Tramily

What’s more important: what you do in life, or who you do it with? When I first set off on my solo hike of the Appalachian Trail, I leaned heavily

Apr 10, 2021 : Steph Strickland
The Life of Luxury

The Life of Luxury

When I talk to family and friends about trail life, I’m often greeted with wide eyes or an “I could never do that” mentality. And sure, we

Apr 10, 2021 : Steph Strickland
First State Feels

First State Feels

Okay. This is real now. This thought crossed my mind as I rounded the trail and revealed a small, wooden sign telling me I had reached one

Apr 3, 2021 : Steph Strickland
Recovery Days: Making the Most of your Zero in Town

Recovery Days: Making the Most of your Zero in Town

Weather. Holidays. Scenic towns. These are all common (and valid) reasons that a thru-hiker may choose to take an entire day off trail. But, we

Apr 3, 2021 : Steph Strickland
Combating pre-trail Imposter Syndrome

Combating pre-trail Imposter Syndrome

What the hell am I doing? Am I really going to hike the Appalachian Trail? What makes me so special? As I laid awake in my warm, familiar bed the

Mar 31, 2021 : Steph Strickland