The Trek Bloggers

The following awesome people are the official bloggers of the The Trek.   In other words, they’re the renegade trail-folk who will be blogging their thru-hikes right here on theTrek.co.  Their job is to be adventurous and share their experiences in vivid detail.  Our job is to live vicariously and envy their existence.

Want to be a Trek Blogger?  You can: apply here

Want to write for this site, but aren’t thru-hiking?  We’re always looking for more backpackers with a passion for writing. Find out more about the The Trek Writers.

2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

2024

Abby Evans

I'm Abby Evans (they/them) and I go by “Shitwater Fireball: Queen of the Salamanders” on trail, but usually just the first part. I'm trying hard not to light all of my gear on fire and I enjoy helping salamanders cross the trail. I finished thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2023 and I'm headed out on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2024. Huzzah!

Aidan

Just when you thought it was safe to go back outside...Showstopper is back to break hearts and maybe his hips as he and his husband hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Showstopper and the former 'Orange Blaze' met whilst thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2019 (and even involved a little Trek Blog stalking before we came face to face at Trail Days. The hiker formally known as 'Orange Blaze' got pink blazed by Showstopper, and soon followed a long distance relationship through a global pandemic, 90 day fiancé (without the TV show), and a tiny beach wedding in Maine. Now we set our sites on once again hiking across the USA, with no idea what to expect!

Al Marriott

Al, also known as Lookout, is a 2022 Appalachian Trail and 2023 Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker, and Travel Photographer. - Currently taking on the Continental Divide Trail, you can follow his journey on YouTube via his channel: Adventure Together. - Photos from his hike are on Instagram: @adventuretogether.ig - He also co-hosts the bi-weekly "Trail Therapy" podcast, available on all major podcast platforms.

Alexa Carpenter

Hey everyone! My name is Alexa (or Happy Camper), and I'm about to set out on my second thru-hike, and this time, I'm trading the AT's rocks and roots for some PCT desert sun and High Sierra snow. When I'm not frolicking through NH's wilderness with my pals, you can find me writing, snuggling with my English Bulldog, or crying on the stair master at planet fitness (my chosen trail-prep method). Can't wait to stay connected as I prepare for this next grand adventure.

Allen Evans

DISCLAIMERS : All the events described herein actually occurred -- tho' probably not as claimed. None of the conversations described actually occurred -- 'specially those involving my wife. I reserve the right to white lie, fib, or otherwise misrepresent the truth as a means to telling a taller tale.

Andrea Stilwell

I recently retired from the USPS after a 30 year career. I am looking forward to spending what time I have left traveling, making memories and living my best life.

Angela Bufano

I am an older hiker, 60 later this year, who started hiking in 2016 with my thru hiker husband. He has hiked the AT 2009 and PCT 2019 and he's the reason I'm hooking on hiking. I am deathly afraid of open heights and snakes, I'll be the one screaming loudly! My trail name is No Shit for all the reasons! If there is a record for not shitting I'm sure to earn it. No shit, I really don't shit like a normal person. Two weeks is nothing to me! Yes, I've been to the doctor and yes, I've tried all your home remedies. I completed a LASH (long-ass section hike) in 2021, which is another way to say an attempted thru hike. I'm hell bent on completing my flip flop hike this year and cannot wait to start!

Angie

Hiya! I'm an aspiring 2024 PCT NOBO through-hiker. When I'm not hiking, you can find me running along the East Side Highway in New York, taking dance classes, putting yet another book on my (too long) TBR, and cavorting around town with friends ( probably at a cocktail bar ). I also write over at https://angiewritesthings.substack.com/ and post my trail adventures via IG @readysetPAUSE

Annie

Hello Trek Fam, My name is Annie, my trail name is Pistol. I live in a school bus with my partner (who I met on the AT during my 2021 Thru hike) and my miniature dachshund named Isabella. The bus is currently parked in Massachusetts as we prep for our second thru hike and first attempt of the PCT in 2024. I am excited to be on trail again and to share my stories with this community. Thanks for following along. Happy Trails!

Annika Ananias

I'm Annika, a German adventurer, mountain lover, and world traveler. I discovered my love for hiking during a semester abroad in New Zealand, a turning point that changed my life. To fulfill my strong desire for hiking and the mountains I moved to the German Alps and have traveled all around the world to experience the beautiful diversity of the great outdoors. On my thru-hikes on the Te Araroa in New Zealand and the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA, I found my calling in long-distance hiking. By now, I have covered over 6,000 miles on trails around the world and visited all seven continents. The next big journey will be thru-hiking the Continental Divide Trail SOBO, starting in mid-June. Come join me on my adventures! If you are German speaking you can also check out my blog at www.weltwanderin.de and read about my other adventures.

Becky Wandell

Hi, I’m Becky, a teacher, writer and curious explorer of the world. From the earliest age I was always happiest when I was camping, but it wasn’t until my 20’s, when I started backpacking in the Pacific Northwest, that I found my soul. For thirty years since then, I have dreamed of seeing the PCT from end to end. After a side jaunt into the Peace Corps serving in Ecuador and the past five years living, working and tramping around South America, I’ve gained my confidence, my ability to sleep anywhere and deal with anything that comes my way. I’m ready. But during my trek, I want to acknowledge the enormous privilege, resources and support I have to start at the US Mexican border and be willingly homeless for six months while I wander the desert and mountains of my country. In an attempt to acknowledge my fortune and do good in the world, I’d like to dedicate this journey to the migrants who struggle to cross the Mexican border every day. While I have a fancy backpack filled with resources, they depend upon the kindness of others. If you would like to help provide resources to their plight, consider donating to Border Angels, a non-profit organization helping care for migrants along the California/ Mexican border. My “tip” button will take you directly to their website. Thank you for your consideration! Now, 2024 is my year on the PCT. Won’t you join me on this grand adventure?

Ben Carpenter

Writer, hiker, gardener, and puzzle enthusiast, kicking it in Kansas City with plans to NOBO thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2024. Follow me on the Trek, and find more of my writing over on Medium: medium.com/@bencarpenter_29194 and on Instagram, @fostercarpenter346

Bill Fent

Hi I’m Bill and this will be my first thru hike. I’m a former Marine and became obsessed with being out “in the field” there. Since then I’ve done some smaller backpacking trips over the years, like section hiking (not done) the North Country Trail MI, but never more than five days.. so this should be pretty similar right? lol.

Bryan Niebanck

Hello! My trail name is Stick the Eagle ("Stick" for short) and I am currently attempting a 2024 thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. I am traveling NOBO from Georgia to Maine. I am a previous parish pastor who has always loved hiking and being in the outdoors. I am thrilled to blog my experience on The Trek as a blogger, and also as a vlogger over on my YouTube channel @sticktheeagle. I am in the outdoors for fellowship with the outdoors and with the people that I am sure to meet along the way. If you are reading this, I encourage you to go outside, go on a day hike, or go call up that friend that you have not seen for awhile and make it a date. Life does not come find us; it is the actions that we take now that allow us to be able to embrace the journey that we call life and all the positive sides of it that we are often blind to. Let's fall in love with the world again, one step at a time.

Caroline

Hello, I'm Caroline, a 38-year-old nature enthusiast with a strong love for hiking and the outdoors. Despite working in the fast-paced tech industry, hiking has always been my solace. Whenever I have had the opportunity, I would escape to the mountains or nearby trails to seek refuge in the simplicity and tranquility of nature. The more time I spend outdoors, the more alive I feel. Unfortunately, life took an unexpected turn when I was laid off at the end of 2023. Initially, I felt a sense of panic and uncertainty about my next steps. However, I realized that this setback could be transformed into an opportunity. With my newfound free time, I have decided to fully embrace my passion for hiking. So, in 2024, I will embark on a long-distance hike, immersing myself in nature's beauty and pushing myself physically and mentally. This journey will serve as a reset and a chance to reconnect with the things that truly bring me joy, while also paving a new path in life. I am eager to share my experiences and connect with fellow outdoor enthusiasts along the way. My hope is to inspire others to pursue their passions and live life to the fullest.

Cary Hannon

Hi! I am a 61 year old recently retired Civil Engineer who is attempting a NOBO AT thru hike this April. I am from Lawrenceville, GA and love all things outdoors, camping, fishing, snowboarding, mountain biking, but am new to thru hiking. Life has taught me that it can be fleeting and short and to not take it for granted. So, time to get on with it! You can follow my hike on The Trek or Instagram @Billybobhikes

Charles Gutierrez

Trail Name “Boomerang” Retired Military Officer, World Traveler, Chef, and aspiring Thru Hiker. Taking the all-of-the-above approach to not growing old gracefully. Currently seeking The Fountain of Middle Age and living the quiet life in Montana. My wife and I have a small ranch and 18 horses and mules. Leaving this paradise for a January, 2024 start on the Appalachian Trail.

Chris Wagner

Environmental scientist and two-time open-heart surgery patient who eventually realized that life is not for sitting around, so decided to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2024 after turning 50. Some of us are late bloomers.

Craigen

I'm Craigen, which is just Scottish for Craig. My granddad told me that if I ever do any thing important in life I should do it in a Kilt, so I can be found hiking in my Kilt. I work as a Pagan Prison Chaplain in the UK, which is different, and they have given me 6 months off to go take a walk in the woods. I'm mostly interested in History, Politics, good food and beer, F1 and Rugby! I've hiked the Camino Frances and Portuguese, The Ridge Way and most recently Wainwrights Coast to Coast. PS. I'm rather dyslexic, my SPG might not be on point, but I do try.

Dan Fitzgerald

Your average dude trying his best to live a life of intention, fun, and fulfillment. Life offers so many great opportunities. If we only get one shot at life, then I'm gonna do my best to enjoy every second of it, while learning and growing as much as I can along the way. My NoBo hike of the AT is the next step in that journey. I'm looking forward to all the experiences along the way. The good, the bad, and the ugly, along with all the lessons they can teach me and the memories they can give me. When I'm not on a backpacking trip, you can find me exploring many different hobbies from playing chess and disc golf, to hunting and photography.

Dave Gunther

Dave Gunther is a 45-year-old Canadian backpacker and the founder of www.dehors.store, a website that offers outdoor stories and accessories for adventurous travelers. On his blog, he shares his stories, tips and insights about his travels around the world. Whether you are a backpacker yourself, or just curious about his experiences, you will find his posts engaging and informative. He writes with honesty, humor and passion, and he hopes to inspire you to follow your dreams and live your best life. Check out his website to find the best deals on quality products that will make your travel more comfortable and enjoyable.

Dave Lenio

Hey all, my name is Dave and after a couple decades sitting at a desk, it's time to get up and get moving! I'll be attempting a 2024 Appalachian Trail thru that has been in the works for many years. I'm so excited that I almost don't notice the occasional bouts of panic :) I'll be heading down to Georgia from Wisconsin come March and look forward to posting progress along the way!

Deb James

Hello! I'm Oz. As a proud Gen-Xer I'm enjoying my encore career as a backpacker. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2022 and the Arizona Trail in 2023. I start my SOBO hike of the Continental Divide Trail in 2024. In the off season I enjoy playing video games, and dispensing unsolicited advice to my husband and adult children.

Declan Robison

My name is Declan, but on the trail I go by 'Bagel' I hiked the Long Trail in 2022, and am now setting off on a thru-hike around the Scottish Highlands before heading off to the Peace Corps. Expect good views, good whisky, and good vibes.

Delta

What the hell did I agree to? Seriously, who gets a random text from their father a few days before Christmas and decides to change their life completely to go do something they are incredibly ill-prepared for? “Thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail.” That was the text from my dad, Pauley, exactly 12 seconds before I responded “I’m in.” I’m Joshua Saunders, or Delta, to you hiker trash, and I know nothing. Twenty-nine days ago, I decided to press pause on this so-called life and to start preparing for the massive beast they call the Appalachian Trail. I’m not an avid anything. Not an avid hiker, biker, runner, juggler, or yogi. I haven’t done great things, been on great quests, or changed the world in any way. I’m just an average Josh who wants to tell you a story about a long walk where he tries not to shit his pants. Walk with me, but not too close.

Dema T

Hi, my name is Dema - rhymes with… FEMA? Eh, that may still be ambiguous, let’s try it again phonetically. Hi, my name is “Dee-muh”, and I instantly forget everything interesting and unique about myself when asked to write a bio or introduction of any kind. I am 29 years old, and I am attempting a 2024 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, northbound from Georgia to Maine. Much to my family’s discomfort, I decided an excellent way to celebrate the end of my 20s and start of my 30s was by sleeping on a pad of air in a fabric box in the woods for 6 months. So here we are... sleeping on a pad of air... in a fabric box... in the woods... FOR 6 MONTHS. I am excited to share this adventure with you. Thanks for reading!

Diego Acuna

Hello everyone! I'm Diego, my friends affectionately call me Dieguito. I'm from Uruguay, that "little country" surrounded by the giants Argentina and Brazil, I take pride in being part of this land and being one more "Celeste" in the world :). At 35, I'm an electrical engineer and, above all, passionate about trekking and mountaineering. It was in late 2019 that the spark to experience the Pacific Crest Trail ignited within me. Today, I'm excited to share my journey with all of you. I hope you enjoy my small contribution about this thrilling life experience.

Doc

Father first, patriot and combat veteran from the Natural State. Join me on journeys in the pursuit of peace, healing and self-reflection. Representing all those who carried our flag into dark places, lost ourselves and were given the chance to live a life worthy of the respect of our fallen. Follow me here and at Doc on the Trail on Instagram and YouTube. Your Doc, on the trail. See you there. Cheers.

Elizabeth Brentano

Hey all my name is Elizabeth, friends call me Liz or Lizard but I'm most excited to earn a trail name in my first thru hike on the PCT this year! I'm a 25 year old tree farmer from St Paul, Oregon. My goal is to make friends, drink beer, tag plants, learn Spanish, and document it all as I hike. I'm excited to share my adventure here, thanks for following along! You can also find me on Instagram @elizbrentano

Emilia Grunden

What's up! I'm Emilia, a nature-loving foodie from Indiana that cannot sit still. I'm grateful to live in a beautiful world! I've always dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail, and I look forward to meeting new people and challenging myself with this thru-hike. See ya when I see ya!

Erik Collins

Hello! My name is Erik! I will be attempting a thru hike of the PCT in 2024. I am no stranger to backpacking and camping so I excited for my first thru hike. I found my love for the outdoors while living in Arizona for 10 years. I am proud to say I have been a vegan for 6 years. I look forward to sharing my journey with you all and hope to see you on the trail!

George Smith

Good morning! I’m George Smith (trail name tbd). I’m 19 years old and from Shady Dale, GA. I spent three semesters at The University of Georgia in Athens studying Entertainment & Media Studies, Poetry & Poetics, and Entrepreneurship, before deciding there were better things to do and hitting the Appalachian Trail. My relationship with Christ drives my life always and now my feet on this journey. Join me in using the dirt to drive out the weakness.

Griff

I'm a sixty-eight year old semi-retired software architect/engineer and systems analyst. I live with my wife in north-central New Jersey within 1 hour of several trailheads on the Appalachian Trail. I enjoy day-hiking the AT with my wife, rails to trails biking with my college buddies, reading about technology (especially space) and reading/listening to science fiction novels. I'm currently planning an out and back on the AT from the Delaware Water Gap in New Jersey to Springer Mountain Georgia. I am planning to start this 2,600 mile round-trip hike in late March and to finish sometime in September. This will be a real challenge for me and I am looking forward to it!

Jake Arens

My name is Jake Arens, but you can call me Sidetrack. I’m a disables hiker, and an advocate for Cerebral Palsy research. My ability to walk is a miracle. I honor that privilege by walking as much as I can. AT class of 2022 and TEAR 2024 (currently attempting). I also love writing, deep conversations, long hugs from old friends, and the watching the dust float away when rubbing dried mud off my furry legs.

James and Marie-Soleil

We are James "Sparrow" Therien and Marie-Soleil Cordeau, thru-hiking enthusiasts on a quest for the Calendar Year Triple Crown, embracing van life and our love for food along the way.

Jeff McCorkle

Hello All. I'm a pretty average middle of the road kind of person in most ways though my spouse of 39 years would certainly add her take to that. I live in Columbus Ohio along with two Beagles and a Coonhound and am beginning the early stages of transitioning from working full time to semi-retirement. I enjoy travelling, most frequently to the US Southwest, car and tent camping, and backpacking. I have loved the week long treks I've done in places like the Grand Canyon, Smoky Mountains, Maroon Bells, Virginia Highlands, Yosemite and especially the Inca Trail in Peru to Machu Picchu. I have wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail for a long time and the universe seems to be telling me the time is March 2024.

Jen Brown

I’m Jen! This year I’ll be hiking the Appalachian trail along with my fiancé. I am leaving my position as a software engineer to pursue my Triple Crown over the next two years. I completed the Continental Divide Trail SOBO and partly solo in 2021, and hiked the John Muir Trail plus Mt. Whitney in 2022. After living in the “real world” for a while, I am itching to return to trail. There’s nothing like being smelly, sweaty, and hungry in the backcountry! I plan on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and earning my Triple Crown in 2025. Join me on my journey here and on Instagram and Youtube --> @jenbrownhikes

Jil Z

As a sustainability and nutrition professional well into my second half-century, and as someone who's most alive and attuned outside, attempting to through-hike the PCT in 2024 feels both wildly gutsy and deeply nourishing. I'm thrilled to be hiking NOBO with my beloved, adventuresome daughter and will be writing about our journey here and @nourishedgutsylife.

John Rutkowski III

AKA Tercius. I started camping at age 6 doing a coast to coast camping trip. This was BEFORE Interstates and seatbelts. My AT Section and Horsehoe Trail hiking started when I was 14. And AT section hike from NJ to Leigh river to celebrate graduating from high school. College job was at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports and UVaOC sent me on many adventures and introduced me to lifelong outdoor friends. And introduced me to the Whites in winter and the AMC. I was a guide after college, Holubar Kit Specialist (the first male to hold that role), then store Manager. Fast forward to the creation of Mountain Mend which cleaned, repaired and made custom outdoor gear. Which led me to The Wilderness Group in Ventura as a Production Manager (The first days of the Ultralight trend). LOTS of 100+ road bike rides. An ex-Holubar manager offered me a job in Minden Nevada, a startup making orthopedic knee braces. It was a bike trip to Yosemite where I was filling in as Sag Wagon driver, where I met Karen, I was awestruck by her scent. She asked me to warm her feet at the bluegrass concert that night, I proposed in six weeks. Then life happened, started an IT company, BOLDER Designs selling AutoCAD. Eight years later we had a son, who was introduced to the outdoors with many car camping and he did the Whites Presidential Traverse to celebrate graduating from 1st grade. More life, at 63 started a series of cancer surgeries and treatments. Getting back on the trail was my method of recovery. I'd be sweating bullets just walk the gentle valley loop in the White Clay Creek park behind my house. In 2019 I recover to be able to walk Hadrian's Wall from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. With my son, climbing buddy from Utah days, and a college outdoor buddy that I had not seen since 1975, and the father of my son's friend who did the Presidential Traverse 3 times. I sold my business in 2022 and retiring on 2024-04-01. Now at age 70 we are off to Spain (4 of us) to Walk the Camino Portugues, and if we are feeling good, on to Fisterra. Nothing like a good walk with friends.

Jon

Three years ago an abrupt life incident forced me back into the woods for some shinrin-yoku where I ran into a NOBO tramily at Shuckstack Fire Tower. That started an idea of a longer term forest bath on the AT. Knockerz and I plan to leave close to the summer solstice. Our plan is for a FipFllop, purposefully misspelled because we plan to start at mile 1450 taking a train from NYC, head to Katahdin and Fllop back to Pawling SOBO. Please check out my youtube and IG as I build them (genxdarkside). If you send tips we plan to use those to send out love to others including Natureland Trust (https://www.naturalandtrust.org/) protecting our precious Southeast Wilderness.

Jonah Rigdon

I’m Jonah, I’ll be thru hiking the AT northbound starting late February 2024. I’m an adventure junkie, and something is calling me to the wild ride that is the Appalachian Trail. I spent many nights on the AT as a kid hearing hushed conversations from the adults about the folks either dumb or insane enough to hike the whole thing. Every time we would leave, I would always wonder what other fantastical scenes, stories, and people you would find around each turn. Turns out I became one of the crazies.

Joy Morrison

Hi all! I am Joy and I was born and raised in sunny San Diego, California. I moved to Oregon a couple times in my childhood but still call SD home. I am really excited to share my 2024 PCT thru hiking experience here through the Trek blog. I am currently certified as a USA weightlifting coach and hold certifications in different Yoga disciplines as well. I have backpacked and summitted Mt. Whitney four times, two of those, I am proud to say, as a solo female back packer. My last solo summit was August 11, 2023. A record breaking snow year. This was done 8 months after having a spinal fusion from the abdomen (ALIF) with bone graft from my left hip. I like to think that’s pretty cool. I have 5 kids, three over the age of 21 and two under the age of 18. I am hoping that my journey is not only inspiring to them but also to others out there that find the trail to be “Their peace”.

Kaiyah Wilhite

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker 2024 ⛰️ Lover of lots - mainly my wonderful S/O, our two dogs, Taylor Swift, stars, and you guessed it… backpacking!

Kate Riley

I'm Kate "Big Catt", a backpacker, runner, and writer. If the trail keeps going, I want to see what's next. That's what led me to hike southbound on the AT in 2022. For 2024, I'll be hiking northbound on the CDT. I currently enjoy working for a local running store in Western New York and writing about outdoor recreation. Other adventures include the Foothills Trail, sections of the Fingerlakes Trail, and the Northville-Placid Trail.

Katie Jackson

Howdy! I'm Katie, a thru-hiker and ultrarunner based in Colorado, who loves long walks, tall mountains, and steaming hot chai lattes. After hiking the Colorado Trail in 2022 and the John Muir Trail in 2023, I leave soon on a 2024 thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail. Follow along on my journey with the articles below, or through my photography on Instagram (@k80.trail).

Kay Allan

Hey there! My name is Kay (aka Kath, Katherine, or KK depending on who you ask) and I'm a hiker, outdoor enthusiast, travel nurse, beer lover, soup connoisseur, and now Trek blogger. I'll be taking the long way from Georgia to Maine and sharing my experience here as I go. Please bear with me as I crack dad jokes and turn everything I think into a song.

Keith Owens

What's up! I'm Keith, recently retired from the Army and hitting the reset button on the AT, while trying to figure out what's next in life. Pretty much had someone telling me what to do, where to be, and what to wear for the last 40 years. Looking forward to a change in pace, doing what and when I want. If you want to see how fast a clean cut military dude can go straight hippie, follow along. Should be a fun ride!

Kirby

I am a thirty-something musician, soldier, gender bender, backpacker, and avid hobbyist. I’m taking a two-year “mini-retirement” from my career as French horn player for the U.S. Army Bands to thru-hike. In 2023 I accomplished my lifelong dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, and in 2024 I plan to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail. You can read more of my adventures at www.mini-retirement.com

Leif Olson

American Discovery Trail candidate here [enter “deep breath” emoji here]! I guess I’m a WEBO, though at times I’ll also be an EABO and then back to a WEBO (with a touch and dab of NOBO and SOBO now and again). Cool, love the vernacular! Appropriate, the tongue twisting, as I think I may have lost my mind. No worries, that’s what AI is for these days! So here we are…I was born in a place and a time some too many years ago. Some crazy stuff happened (some good, a little great, a fair bit terrible…the emoji that does that “eeehh” thing, plus the head tilted, laughing/crying one). And [one more deep breath] here we are…again! I’m a good many things (writer, artist, educator, ill-planner…and some other stuff I can sometimes remember). I write as a praxis of living and live as a praxis of writing…I’m a dreamer, the kind that equates magic and science and then goes to grad school (more than once!) to prove it. I’m grounded, I’m aware…I’ve been there. As for the rest, I’ll have time to share. I’m gonna be out here awhile (re-enter the aforementioned emojis). And before I get tired and forget…I appreciate ya’ll for being here! Cool, let’s do it!!

Liz

Hi! I'm Liz, but for the next several months I'll be going by my trail name, Overkill. I grew up in Texas and moved to Maryland a few years ago. I fell in love with hiking a couple years ago, so you could say I'm still a rookie. I'm starting my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail from Springer in later March. My hope is that these little articles will share the beauty and challenges of the AT with my family and friends both new and old. Follow along and take bets on how many times I'll fall!

Lucia Elder

I’m Lucia (she/they). I started backpacking as a preschooler with my mom. Now I am a 24 years old Eating disorder recovery Counselor. When I’m not scaring my grandma with my solo hikes, I am crocheting, creating music, baking, and doing all the other art stuff you could think of. Follow me for psychology tips, eating disorders and backpacking, and thru hiking while fat (and loving my body all the while). I will be attempting the PCT in 2024.

Mack McGhee

Avid backpacker, trail runner, lover of the outdoors. Married with two adult children. Engineer developing software during the week. Always looking forward to the weekend outdoors. Counting down the hours to our AT thru hike attempt.

Madelyn Dukart

Hey there! My name is Madelyn (Wrong Way on the trails). Although I live in Colorado now, I am a proud Midwesterner and a Buckeye through and through! I found hiking and backpacking as an adult; the first time I ever camped was on my first backpacking trip a few months after graduating from college. My fifth ever backpacking trip was the Appalachian Trail in 2021, and it made my feet itchy for more thru-hikes! I section-hiked the Colorado Trail in 2022/23, and I'm doing the Continental Divide Trail in 2024.

MaPa Wampus

We are empty nesters trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up. This hike is part of our transition from steel, concrete, and constant sirens to sandstone cliffs, the salty breeze, and the laughing call of the kookaburra.

Michael Beecher

Hi, my name is Michael. Trail name: Quick on the Draw. I am not good at sitting down. When my football (soccer) days ended, I turned to running and have done many marathons, ultras, fell races, and several iron distance triathlons. Most years have included hiking trips with good friends. Much of my work life has been active, including as a potter, carpenter, stagehand, and a 10,000 mile stint as a cycle messenger. But lately I have been deskbound and I’m now giving up a civil service job to hike the Appalachian Trail. However, you may pass me sitting down if you are hiking the AT in 2024, as I will be stopping to draw as I make my way from Georgia to Maine.

Michael McInally

Hi my name is Michael McInally. I am a husband, father and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. I started hiking/backpacking in 2020 when the world shut down. I was hooked immediately, but I also realized - I SUCK AT HIKING. Join me and Leo as we tackle the Appalachian Trail in 2024. Follow me here on the Trek and watch me on YouTube www.youtube.com/@ISuckatHiking

Mika Byar

My name is Mika! I'm a guy in my mid-20s living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and setting out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail on March 20, 2024. UX designer, stay at home cat dad, and amateur ultra runner & Nordic skier are some of the roles I'm putting on pause as I live out my dream of being a smelly guy walking in the woods for several months. For my fellow data fiends, daily GPS data will be uploaded on my Strava account: https://www.strava.com/athletes/855457

Mike

Trail name: Heavy. I am an Army veteran and just recently retired from a government career. The best advice I received as a young professional was to strive to make my workday merely an 8-hour interruption to the important things in my life. Embracing that advice, I was able to pursue my passions coaching high school basketball and cross-country. I also am a struggling trail and distance runner. I’ve always sought out challenges and adventures throughout my life and look forward to the adventures in retirement. With the support of my family and friends, I will begin my adventure on the Appalachian Trail in early March 2024.

Mo Wynne

Hi, I'm Mo! I'm a curious gal with too many hobbies just trying to make the most of my (hopefully) 4,000 weeks on Earth and experience them with strangers and loved ones along the way.

Morgan Schmidt

Hello and welcome! The name's Morgan (they/them). My trail name's Captain Blogger. I'm 25 and I have spent most of my time since graduating high school doing outdoor seasonal work to get me out of the Midwest. What can I say? I love the mountains. I'll be attempting a NOBO thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail starting March 2024. Those who enjoy a sense of humor, deep thoughts, and discussion of the taboo, follow along my journey as I stumble and slide my butt to Mt. Katahdin (or the next burger joint). I'll see ya there!

None Given

Well hello! I have worn many differant “hats” in my 49 years. Right now I am putting my hiker hat on. Many events happened during 2023 that have me wanting to go on a walk-about. I have a desire to log this quest and would love for you to tag along with me! I’m not sure how adventurous or exciting this walk-about is going to be but your are more than welcome! Please subscribe and enjoy!

Pat Wilver

"Rearview" on the trail. Former U.S. Army officer, engineer by training but entrepreneur in practice. Hiking the PCT NOBO in 2024. I like to talk about people and ideas, and sometimes hiking.

Paw Patrol

Kevin, aka Paw Patrol, is an outdoor enthusiast with a rich history of exploring Colorado's Rocky Mountains and Utah's deserts. Currently based near Philadelphia, he's drawn to the wilderness regions of the East, from Delmarva's barrier islands to the expansive forests of Appalachia. In March 2024, he will embark on a 12-week section-hike of the AT, starting from Springer Mountain and aiming to complete the trail in another 12-week LASH in 2025. Kevin is dedicated to fundraising for Hike for Mental Health, a recognized nonprofit committed to supporting those with mental illness and promoting responsible trail use. Support his cause at Paw Patrol’s Hike for Mental Health.

Peter Randrup

Hello there, hiking world, and welcome to my blog! I am Peter, from Baltimore, and I will be attempting a kinda frankenflop NOBO AT thruhike starting in March 2024. Joining me on this epic journey will be a college friend, Dave aka Straggles or, short-form, Strags. I am in the market for a new trail name, stay tuned to hear of the event(s) or antic(s) that will earn the bestowal of one. Like many hikers starting this in ‘24, this is a life-long dream and I am giddy – yes, giddy! – with anticipation. I will be providing my thoughts and experiences prior to, and on the trail. Be prepared for the occasional blog Take Over from Strags, who will offer his unfiltered thoughts and commentary to provide you with “Here’s What Really Happened”. Come on along for the ride!

Pixie

French nanny, traveller, hiker, explorer... After a first attempt in March 2020, I'm heading once again to Springer Mountain in March 2024 to thru hike the AT.

Rachel Kimmerle

On Monday through Friday, from August through May, you can find me teaching English Language Arts to middle schoolers. On weekends and during the summer, you can find me on the trail. For years, I have aspired to complete a months-long thru hike, but life logistics have not allowed for that (yet). In June of 2024, however, I will attempt a thru hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Richard Murray

Hello and welcome! I am Richard, a 41 year old father of two beautiful daughters (ages 14 and 6), just making my way through the world. I will be doing something different than a normal thru hike this year, participating in the Hiker Challenge and section hiking the Sheltowee Trace in Kentucky one weekend a month. I will also be attempting a thru hike of the Foothills Trail in South Carolina around late April, and possibly joining my nephew on some backpacking adventures in Europe in the late summer.

Robb Jubin

My name is Robb at home and Movin' On on the trail. I am currently an AT Thru hiker attempter NOBO starting February 12, 2024. I live in SW Pennsylvania about an hour south of Pittsburgh and I do most of my outdoor activities in The Laurel Highlands region such as hiking (duh), fly fishing, hunting, golf and photography. I started in March 2023, but I had to bail in Pearisburg, VA. I won't bore you with why here. For reasons I cannot explain, I'm starting over and not doing a LASH. See you Movin' On Down the Trail! -Movin' On

Saida Garcia

Hello hello! My name is Saida - like.. "hey! can I get a 𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒂 chips!. I have started my northbound PCT journey from Campo and am on my way to Canada! Originally from Los Angeles, CA, I have been in Sacramento for the past 8 years where I was able to really dive into the outdoors and backpacking solo. Looking forward to what this trail will throw my way and the memories that are waiting for me.... to Canada!

Sakari McGregor

My name is Sakari, an adventure seeker from Finland. I will be attempting to thru-hike the PCT in 2024. Looking forward to sharing my photos and stories with you.

Scorpion Queen

34 y/o Jewish gal from England, living nomadically since 2017. Michelin trained chef, professional beer pourer, wanderer, dreamer, world traveller. Walked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2022 in search of adventure, mountains and to fall in love with myself. Attempting the Appalachian Trail in 2024 because life simply hasn’t made sense since that last thru hike.

Sheehan Twomey

Hi, my name is Sheehan and I love pizza, sunrises, and exploring the wild corners of this crazy planet! From photography and backpacking, to trail running and climbing, my love for the outdoors shows no bounds. Being from New Jersey, I've spent accumulative months driving to and from my favorite places on the East Coast, but I plan on recouping some of those miles on foot this summer (2024) thru-hiking the CDT! A lofty goal for a Jersey Boy, I know, but if there is one thing I learned from the past years of adventuring it's that "If your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough"~EJ

Sifre van Teeffelen

Hi! I'm Sifre, a recent graduate of Molecular Life Sciences from the Netherlands. I love to hike because it is a connection to the fascinating natural world, because reaching destinations solely by the power of your feet just has something special, and because my life is inspired by the adventurous spirit of Pippi Longstocking. While I've explored multiple trails in Europe, none took longer than two weeks. However, in April, I will attempt to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Through my experiences before and along the way, I hope to share insights and inspiration.

Slow & Steady

Howdy, my name is Sage (pronoun indifferent) and I walk to the beat of my own drum. I found nature through healing and healing through nature, and I shared those discoveries with others through overnight wilderness trips across Northern New England for 5 years. As I continue on with my growth and experiences, it's time to enjoy nature the way I prefer to, slowly and intentionally; with and for my best friend. A seasoned hiker of a pure bred mutt.

Sly the Navigator

After 25 years in the Canadian Airforce, I have been struggling with major chronic pain for the last 10 years which at one point confined me to a couch 20 hours a day unable to do anything nor sleep. Refusing to accept the fact that i could not hike anymore i embarked on a very long and difficult journey to fight against pain while also trying to live with it. Major changes in treatment and pure stubbornness enabled me to start walking from a few hundred yards a day to miles in a matter of years. I now can combine my amateur radio hobby with hiking for a sideline activity called “Summits on the air”, where i bring a portable radio set on a summit and contact “chasers” for points. I will attempt thru hiking the Long Trail and document my hike, trying to hack a way trough the daily pains which are still very much present.

Smiley

Greetings! My name is Christopher Smiley. I am a twenty-year, retired veteran of the United States Air Force, MBA graduate from the University of Arizona, and survivor of stage IV head and neck cancer. I currently reside in beautiful Bend, Oregon, although I could be considered a nomad - having lived in a dozen states and multiple countries as both a military brat and service member. I spend my time cooking for family and friends, while daydreaming of my next big outdoor adventure. I will be living out my dream of hiking the PCT on the 8th of March, 2024. I have dreamt of hiking this trail since falling in love with backpacking as a young teen in Southern California. Some 30 plus years later... my time has come. I hope to see you on trail, or hear from you soon. One step at a time! - Smiley

Somewhere

Hello! I’m Somewhere on trail and Gwen everywhere else. Following blogs on The Trek played a big role in my return to backpacking after a long hiatus, so I’m trying to pay it forward by posting about my own hike. I’ll be sharing weekly updates as I embark on an extended thru-hiking adventure in 2024. I’m happiest when walking and can’t imagine anything better than a year out on the trail!

Spark

A dungeon master on a quest of their own, gaining XP and leveling up through the challenges the trail provides. AT NOBO 2024 @difficulterrain on instagram

Stretch

They say you don’t choose to hike the AT, it becomes a calling ✨ I fell in love with this trail during the pandemic. It felt accidental that I was led to it. I was heading to Mt. Tammany in PA but the parking lot was full so a park ranger diverted me further south to a trailhead on the AT at Mt. Minsi. I stepped onto the trail and instantly felt its magic 💖 During the pandemic, I would head to the AT on Sundays and spend hours hiking alone. It was blissful until one day…. I was listening to music on my headphones and I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake! 🐍 First of all, who knew PA had rattlers?!? The snake lunged at me because I was so taken aback by its presence that I didn’t back away. After that encounter I swore to never hike alone lol! I reached out to some friends and we did our first overnight backpacking trip which was an aggressive 30 miler! After that, the rest was history and I was hooked 💯 I grew up learning to be fearful and I took that with me into adulthood. “Be careful”, “Safety First”, etc etc. I make a conscious effort to not let other people’s fears dictate my choices. I am filled with so many emotions which change hourly but I’m also ready and excited to get on trail. When I ran the NYC marathon 20+ years ago, my nerves were calmed when I was given the advice to think of it as “just a walk around the city”. When I step foot on the AT, I will be “just taking a walk in the woods” 💗

Tara Graham

My name is Tara. I'm a yoga teacher, MindBody practitioner, spinning instructor, hiker/backpacker, education junkie, tree hugger, meditator, foodie, health nut, tomboy. I'm passionate about our relationship to the natural world and find pleasure in living a minimalist lifestyle. I thrive on adventure and have insatiable curiosity. I’m hiking to have myself a little “Alice in Wonderland” adventure by jumping into the rabbit hole. I have very few expectations and I am doing my best to let the hike unfold naturally as it happens. I do hope to meet interesting people to hear their stories, and also embrace the opportunity to immerse myself in the thru-hiking culture. Although I am sure I will get to know myself a little better, I am not attempting to “discover myself” on trail. I do aim to inspire others by persevering through the many challenges I will overcome.  As a widow and single mom, it’s imperative that I be a role model for my two young adult children as they look to me for guidance. I want to show them how to connect with nature and immerse oneself in a journey with strong intentions and a big dose of self-acceptance and love. And finally, as a long time student and teacher of yoga, I want to share my passion and knowledge to others on trail. Perhaps the wisdom of the tradition can help “lighten their load” a bit or at the very least free up some tight muscles and relieve some tension. I want to share my story. I don’t know what that story will be, but I do know that it’s through our stories that we evolve and grow as a community. It’s exciting to think I could inspire and entertain people I will never have the opportunity to meet. And maybe I’ll be of service in ways that would be impossible otherwise.

Tara Lange

Vermonter living and enjoying the outdoors in Colorado. Former travel RN, currently SAHM of 2. Powerlifter. SCUBA diver. Writer of microfiction. Pineapple belongs on pizza. Chronically unable to pick my favorite dinosaur.

Teagan

Teacher, freedive/ SCUBA instructor, ultra runner, vegan, and a man of leisure. Trying to Speak for the Trees and enjoy life. Been living in Asia and the ME the last 15 years and back for who knows how long, see where the world takes me.

Tired

I'm a 40-something, post-work, pre-retired, semi-ambitious, enthusiasm-focused, semi-WASP, hetero cis-male with a thesaurus and temporal anxiety. I don't know where I'm coming from or where I'm going but I'm excited to be here and to figure out what my next label is going to be!

Toby

The Appalachian Trail may last forever, but I won't. The clock is ticking and this is the year for me to make the trip from England to try those five million steps from Georgia to Maine, because if I never try I'll never succeed. So it's now or never. Good luck to the Class of 2024. We'll need it.

Traci 'Purple Lotus' Withani

Hey there! I'm Traci Withani (trail name: Purple Lotus) and for years I've been obsessed with the Appalachian Trail. After some devastating pivots in my life, I decided to reclaim my narrative by thru hiking the AT in 2024. In addition to being an ardent backpacker, I'm a life-long Midwesterner, neurodivergent, Catholic, mother of 2, fangirl of several franchises, student of Scottish Gaelic, maker of bad puns, passionate listener of podcasts, and unapologetic lover of pizza and ice cold Coca-Cola. When I'm on trail, you'll usually find me stopping to take pictures of everything, out of breath from any slight incline, and employing my signature move...which is tripping over absolutely nothing. In additions to my posts here on The Trek, consider following me on my social media (@emplowered on FB, IG, and YT)

Vienna Harvey

My parents indoctrinated me to hiking and backpacking when I was a baby, and I've been at it ever since! I spent my childhood in the Pacific Northwest and I'm currently based on the east coast, recently relocated after almost a decade in California. This summer, my dad and I are returning to California to hike the High Sierra Trail!

Will Skipworth

My name is Will. I'm hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2024. I've long been a hiking and outdoors enthusiast, but until this year, I've never taken on such a long trip. However, I couldn't be more excited. Outside of hiking, I grew up in Texas, but now call the Midwest my home. I'm a Chicago-based journalist (on haitus while I hike) who has written for Forbes, PolitiFact and a string of local newspapers including The Times of Northwest Indiana, The Washington Missourian and more.

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