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Examining the Thru-Hiker Dropout Rate: Survey Results

Examining the Thru-Hiker Dropout Rate: Survey Results

Ever since Zach Davis wrote Appalachian Trials and started the blog that became The Trek, our purpose has been to help long-distance backpackers reach their goals. In the past, our surveys have

Aug 23, 2017 : Mariposa
The Top Sleeping Pads on the Appalachian Trail: 2016 Thru-Hiker Survey

The Top Sleeping Pads on the Appalachian Trail: 2016 Thru-Hiker Survey

For the third year in a row, we asked Appalachian Trail thru-hikers and long-distance section hikers about the sleeping pads they used. Many of the trends continued from last year, but we...

Jan 31, 2017 : Mariposa
The Top Backpacks on the Appalachian Trail: 2016 AT Thru-Hiker Survey

The Top Backpacks on the Appalachian Trail: 2016 AT Thru-Hiker Survey

Unless you're making the rest of us jealous by slackpacking the whole way, your backpack is one of the most important pieces of gear you take on a long-distance hike. Whether you...

Nov 10, 2016 : Mariposa
By the Numbers: Sleeping Pads on the Appalachian Trail

By the Numbers: Sleeping Pads on the Appalachian Trail

Also, check out the previous post covering breakdown of sleeping pads). Almost one third of hikers (30.7%) changed sleeping pad models at some point during their trek, but generally types of pads

Jan 22, 2016 : Mariposa
The Top Sleeping Bags on the Appalachian Trail

The Top Sleeping Bags on the Appalachian Trail

When I bought a sleeping bag for my thru-hike, I was incredibly overwhelmed. Synthetic fill is more water resistant, but natural down is more lightweight and compresses to a smaller...

Jan 6, 2016 : Mariposa
By the Numbers: The Top Shelter Systems on the Appalachian Trail in 2015

By the Numbers: The Top Shelter Systems on the Appalachian Trail in 2015

"Hammocks are cool ... you can stealth camp just about anywhere."  - Enthusiastic hammocker "I started out with a hammock ... then met a girl and we switched to a...

Dec 27, 2015 : Mariposa
By the Numbers: What Footwear 2015 Thru-Hikers Wore on the Appalachian Trail

By the Numbers: What Footwear 2015 Thru-Hikers Wore on the Appalachian Trail

“You just get good at hiking, after so many miles. You become the toughness factor the boot had.” - An eloquent and badass 2015 AT thru-hiker, on switching from sturdy...

Nov 23, 2015 : Mariposa
By the Numbers: Backpacks on the Appalachian Trail

By the Numbers: Backpacks on the Appalachian Trail

As one of my pack was dear to me from the start. But after I crammed it through the crevices of Mahoosuc Notch, catapulted it over the Lemon Squeeze, and...

Nov 12, 2015 : Mariposa
2015 Thru-Hikers: Sneak Peek Into Another Record Year

2015 Thru-Hikers: Sneak Peek Into Another Record Year

In recent years, conservationists encouraged thru-hikers to stray from the traditional north bound hike in order to alleviate environmental impacts on trail. These efforts have paid off, considering

Nov 6, 2015 : Mary Beth Skylis
By the Numbers: The Top Shelters on the Appalachian Trail

By the Numbers: The Top Shelters on the Appalachian Trail

Although tents are the traditional means of shelter in the backcountry, a variety of alternative shelter systems are used by long-distance hikers on the Appalachian Trail, including hammocks, tarps,

Jun 22, 2015 : Mariposa