How to Prepare for Your Thru-Hike at the Office

As you wait out the dreary winter, staring longingly at the start date marked on your calendar, sitting at a desk might feel like an extreme test of patience.  But don’t despair – these are some tips and tricks to bring your office space and your head space closer together:


1) Exercise

Isometrics are a great way to strengthen your body while at work. You can practice them with a single finger as you scroll through beautiful pictures of the trail on Facebook, with your hands as you grip the desk in frustration, or with your facial muscles as you struggle to conceal the bulging vein in your forehead.


2) Diet

To get used to a thru-hiking diet, try eating all of the food in the company fridge in one sitting. Bonus points if any of it has gone bad.

3) Hygiene 

To get the feel of a hostel shower, start showering in the company locker room using Dr. Bronners and a camp towel. If you don’t have a company locker room, you can huddle naked under a garden hose outside your office, creating an even more authentic vibe.

4) Water

Stay hydrated with a water bottle at your desk and practice filtering by sourcing your water from the toilets in the men’s room. Your coworkers will be impressed by your survival skills.

5) Shakedown hikes

Most office printers are roughly the weight of your gear, plus water and food for five days. Start carrying the office printer inside your pack as you walk around the office, go up stairs, or run away from angry colleagues who want to print something.


6) Test your gear

A great way to test your alcohol stove and your tent at the same time is to set both up underneath an office sprinkler.

7) More exercise

For added daily exercise, be creative and volunteer to do office ‘trail work’ – cleaning up loose papers, making sure the hallways are free of impediments, or knocking down the fourth wall of the conference room to create a three-walled shelter.


8) Lighten the load

You’ll want to hone your ultra-light mindset, so eliminate any unnecessary material from your workspace by throwing out all your pen caps, sawing the legs off your desk, and draining the liquid out of your LCD monitor.

9) LNT

Trail hygiene is difficult to master while still in the office. Make a note of which potted plants are deep enough to sustain a proper cat hole.


10) Trail culture

To get used to trail names, give all of your co-workers ‘office names’ like ‘shy pooper’, ‘obvious spanx’, or ‘pervert Bob’.

11) Sharpen your skills

Practice your knots by tying a clothesline across your cubicle. If this is tolerated, try tying up your hammock and throwing a proper bear bag over the lighting fixtures.


12) Scavenging 

Gather tree nuts outside your office before the morning landscaping crews arrive. Treat them as you would treat a marauding bear trying to get your food.

13) Practice makes perfect

Practice summiting Katahdin by going to the top floor of your building and standing atop your CEO’s desk with your arms raised in a V. Be sure to get the proper permits for this and find out what sort of alcohol regulations exist before spraying champagne in their office.


If you’ve successfully completed several of the items on this list then congratulations! You’ve been fired, which means you’re eligible to hike the Appalachian Trail. Remember to leave no trace by reformatting your hard drive before you leave!


Welcome to your new office, which is anywhere your legs can take you.

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Comments 8

  • Matti : Feb 8th

    Super cute and fun post. Thanks!

  • Donna : Feb 10th

    That was hilarious!!

  • marietta : Feb 11th

    Thank you. TOOOO funny :0) Enjoy your continued journey.

  • Bob Rogers : Feb 11th

    I am going to have to give these a try…

  • Abril : Feb 17th

    I laughed like a three year old laughs at farts. Good job!

  • BunnyHikes : May 5th


    I just now read this from the “comfort” of my cubicle chair. Cracking me up!!

    Thank you!

  • Kent : Aug 25th

    I am living it. 62 years old and going from my desk to a 164 mile hike on the PNWT. Office training better be sufficient.

  • Bunny : Oct 19th

    I was laughing the whole way through, and then the ending! “You’ve been fired” had me spitting water at my keyboard.


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