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  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


Al Marriott

Al, also known as Lookout, is a 2022 Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, traveller, and photographer. Currently taking on the Pacific Crest Trail, you can see photos from his hike on Instagram: @adventuretogether.ig and also view his Art Photography on his second instagram: @afrocrow Al regularly releases hiking vlogs on the YouTube channel: Adventure Together. He also co-hosts the weekly "Trail Therapy" podcast, available on all major podcast platforms.

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.


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 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. 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: 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.


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.

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.


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.

Dave Gunther

Dave Gunther is a 45-year-old Canadian backpacker and the founder of, 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.


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.

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.


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.

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!


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!

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.


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 ( 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.

Kaiyah Wilhite

Thru hiking the A.T. in 2024 - lover of coffee, music, and starry nights


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

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 days to our AT thru hike attempt.

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


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.

Morgan Schmidt

Hello and welcome! The name's Morgan (they/them). I don't yet have a trail name since I'm pretty new to the backpacking world. 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!

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.

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


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.


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

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


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


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!

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.


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.


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. I've been doing photography for most of my life as well. You can spot me in the wilderness because I'll be that weirdo with a full-size camera -- it's a really good incentive to keep the rest of my gear as light as possible ;)

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