The Trek Writers

The following list of super humans are the Writers of The Trek.  They are former thru-hikers.  They are experienced backpackers.  They are Appalachian Trail / Pacific Crest Trail / Continental Divide Trail / enthusiasts.  Quite simply, they’re the awesome people who make this site the wonderful backpacking party palace that it is.

Apply to Become a Trek Writer!

Perks include: Exposure in front of a large and growing community, writing for USA TODAY’s Top Hiking and Outdoor Blog, being a part of a fun and knowledgable team, opportunities for new gear testing, a monthly Google Hangout video chat, and the opportunity to get direct blogging feedback from Appalachian Trials author and editor-in-chief, Zach Davis.

To read the journeys of our current and future thru-hikers, check out the The Trek Bloggers.


My name is Zach. I am an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. I wrote a book called Appalachian Trials. It helps hikers mentally prepare for a half year backpacking trip. Find me on Facebook or The Google. I also giveaway cool stuff on the Appalachian Trials Newsletter. If you're planning on thru-hiking the Trail in the future, I encourage you to check out my Personal AT Coaching Page.

Maggie Slepian

2015 AT thru-hiker. Managing Editor of this website. Debating between having a real life or giving up and hiking the PCT.

Kenny Howell

My name is Kenny but you can call me Bottle Cap. In 2013 I came down with a bout of Springer Fever and left my job to wander the Appalachian Trail with my fiance (now wife) Fun-Size. Since leaving the trail Fun-Size and I find ourselves trying to make life work in southern California while still maintaining our love for long-distance hiking. So many trails, so little time.

The Editors

We are the word nerds of The Trek who want nothing more than to infuse some hiking and backpacking joy into your day.

Pox & Puss Podcast

The Pox & Puss Podcast is a monthly show focused on Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers, Long Distance Hikers, Adventure Travelers, and Explorers of all types.

Maggie Wallace

My name is Maggie, but I'm known on trail as Chuckles. Against better judgment, I've toured across America on a ramshackle mountain bike, spent six months working as a trail maintainer on the Pacific Crest Trail, and eaten way more granola than any human should. I thru-hiked the AT in 2013 and the PCT in 2016, but I am currently living in New Hampshire, where I eat real breakfast and sleep indoors most nights. You can reach me at maggiethewall [at] gmail [dot] com

Carlie Gentry

After getting a Fine Arts Degree in Photography, I set out and thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Upon my return, I landed a job where I got paid to nerd out about gear all day (Thanks REI). A year later I took it one step further into the outdoor retail world and started working for Mountain Crossings at mile 31.7 on the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia. Now I get to live and breathe the AT every single day!

Colleen Goldhorn

Hello! My name is Colleen, but I'm better known on the trail as NoNa. I currently live in Rocksylvania, and have been in love with climbing the state's rocky peaks since I was a little girl. In 2016, I attempted a thru hike of the AT when illness unfortunately forced me off the trail - however I am currently working towards section hiking my way to Katahdin! You can usually catch me somewhere in the woods most likely hugging a tree, taking a thousand pictures of the same overlook, or eating my 5th Snickers bar of the day. Happy hiking!

Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt is a native New Yorker. A Western Kentucky University dropout, he holds degrees from the University of Louisville and Spalding University. His writing has appeared in print or online in River Styx, The Louisville Review, the Prose Poem Project. After years of weekend hiking in the Ohio and Tennessee valley regions, Joe (aka "Triton") hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 2011. He also hiked a 500 mile section of the AT in 2014.

Madison Dragna

I'm a freelance writer and devoted yogi. I completed my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2013 and have been missing trail life ever since. I might not be the nomad I once was, but my current home in Colorado isn't a bad place to rest. I dream of the day all my belongings can fit in a backpack again. Until then, I am here to lend a hand to all the gear junkies, hiker trash, and outdoor lovers alike. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @madidragna


Hey y’all! Stubbs here! I’m a Marylander who likes beer (maybe a bit too much!), running, reading, traveling the World, and of course hiking! I will be making my second thru-hike attempt with my husband and best friend, after a pelvic fracture forced me off trail in 2016. I made it over halfway to Boiling Springs, PA and have every intention of conquering the trail in its entirety this time if the odds are in my favor! It’s go time!


I was ten years old when my love for the Smoky Mountains first inspired my dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Twelve years later, I made that dream a reality when I completed my NoBo 2014 thru-hike. I am now in grad school for Clinical Psychology at Ole Miss. In addition to hiking, I try to maintain some semblance of sanity through crafts, baking, piano, fantasy/sci-fi books, beer, and bacon.

Brian Lewis

Long distance backpacking is my "thing". I've thru-hiked the big three trails in the U.S. and my sweet spot now is 4 - 6 week trips, "chunk" hiking my way through other trails.

Guest Post

Do you have a story to tell or advice you'd like to share with on this site? Submit your story here.

The Stones

Hello friends! We are Josh and Maranda Stone, a happily married couple from North Georgia who had big dreams of completing the AT in 2016. We dreamed about a thru hike for some time, and we were finally able to make it happen this year! From March to August, we walked our way from Georgia to Maine and had the time of our lives! We hope to continue to share our wisdom and crazy stories with you here, so stay tuned!

Caet Cash

I hiked solo from Maine to Georgia in 2014 and from Denver to Durango in 2015. I continue to log miles and slay summits in Asheville North Carolina. Come take a hike with me at Blue Ridge Hiking Company!

Cole Heathcott

My name is Cole, my friends call me Bear, my trail names (yes, I had two trail names) were Poptart and Balto. In 2013, at 19 years old, I completed a northbound thru-hike and fell in love with life, the outdoors, and adventure. Check out my website -

Ashli Baldwin

My name is Ashli aka "Katniss Neverclean" and in 2014 I completed a NOBO thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. I love being outside and going on adventures!

Paul "BigTex" Bunker

I am a late starter to long-distance hiking (50 years old) and my first introduction was a 5 1/2 month hike of the AT, with my son! Talk about hitting it hard. Trail folks call me "BigTex" which as I am neither big nor Texan confuses me, but I guess they just smoke too much green stuff. I miss the trail, I miss my trail family and I hope to be a part of your hiking success!

Jeff Vreeland

I currently hold titles of a father, husband, geek, aspiring outdoorsman, storyteller, and BBQ Cook. I am a section hiker who is breaking the trail up in chunks as time allows.

Emmi Laakso

Bonafide hiker trash trying to pass as a respectable adult. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015, and now I'm just biding my time until the next adventure.

Mary Beth Skylis

Hi, I'm Mary Beth. I'm better known as Mouse in the hiking world. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015. It was on the AT that I was infected by the Hiker Virus (it's like the Noro Virus only better). I am now destined to life as a trail urchin.

John Edward Harris

I am a thru-hiker want-to-be who has hiked sections of the AT in NH, NJ, PA, VA and NC. I fell in love with hiking and backpacking over forty years ago. Yes, I am that old! Along the way I took a NOLS Outdoor Educator Course, a LNT Master Educator Course., and two Wilderness First Aid Courses. I also enjoy sea kayaking and most recently cycling. In other words, I love the outdoors and adventure.

Ariel Black

Ariel previously served as the associate managing editor and writer for an outdoor sports publication before making a switch to marketing. She still enjoys writing about the outdoors, as well as playing in it. And no, she hasn't yet hiked the AT, but it's on her bucket list. You can find more of her work at and on Twitter, @ArielCBlack.

Bennett Travers

Hey! I'm Bennett, a 23-year-old graduate of the University of Georgia. Despite receiving my degree in Mass Media & New Media (or what my grandfather refers to as “majoring in Twitter”), I left technology behind and thru-hiked the A.T. with my dad from March to August 2014. Now home in Atlanta, I'm looking for my next adventure.

High Five

In 2011, I had 2 months of joblessness and decided to try my hand (foot?) at long distance hiking. After 49 days and 500 miles, I was sold. I met my future husband two weeks before driving to Springer, and we've spent the intervening years hiking, climbing, kayaking and adventuring together as much as possible. We finished the AT in the fall of 2014, hiking from Katahdin to the VA/TN border and, two days later, our wedding. We're gearing up for the Colorado Trail in 2016, closely followed by the PCT. I should also mention our son (the furry kind), Jake, who goes on almost all of our hikes. He's famous for his double high-fives and puppy kisses.

Gary Sizer

I'm Gary Sizer, a.k.a. Green Giant, backpacker, amateur astronomer and writer. I am the author of Where's the Next Shelter?, the story of my 2014 thru hike and all of the incredible people I met along the way.

Kayla Carter

I'm an Appalachian Trail thru hiker from class 2014! The Appalachian Trail lead me on to a new life path and gave me the skills to navigate through it. I serve on the inaugural Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Next Generation Advisory Council. I'm also a volunteer trail maintainer with the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club. I am very thankful for the opportunity to contribute to Appalachian Trials. Feel free to contact me about anything via email — [email protected]

Kate Waite

I thru-hiked the AT in 2013, answering to the name of First Gear. Rarely the first up or down a mountain, it suited me well. As a school-based speech language pathologist, there are no more half year forays in my near future. Still, my work affords ample vacation time compared to your typical 9-5er. I capitalize on summer vacations, spending large chunks of time ticking off the shorter long distance trails while I scheme about one day attempting the PCT.

Jean Taggart

I’m Jean aka Loon or Lady Luck. I got my hiking start in the NH White Mountains hiking the 4k-footers. In 2014 I hiked the lower half of the PCT and since then have been on many a backpacking adventure: Wonderland Trail, Long Trail, Loowit Trail, Goat Rocks, Three Sisters, etc. You might also find me trail running or day hiking. Day jobs may include Geologist, Brewer, Outdoor Gear Sales Specialist, and Gear Production and Gear Designer. Always scheming up the next adventure...

Carla Robertson

I’m Carla (trail name Zipper) and I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2009, almost entirely by myself. It was an incredible, empowering journey. Now, I've created a resource for women to gain support for their hikes through conversations with successful women hikers. I'm a life coach and I live in New Orleans. I love leading silent walks in the local wetlands and I make a pilgrimage to somewhere on the AT every year.

Kori Feener

In 2012 I went on a walk, and so my story began. In the process I made a documentary called Hard Way Home while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and that changed my life forever, for the better. I am a teacher, filmmaker, writer and most importantly a wandering hiker. Find me on twitter, google or facebook to keep up with new projects and adventures.

Kyle O'Grady

My name is Kyle (Nar Nar) O’Grady, and I like to walk around getting sweaty in the woods. I’m a Vermont Long Trail end-to-ender, I’m currently 60% done peak-bagging the Northeast 111, and I make a mean mozzarella stick. I’m going to thru-hike the AT in 2019, and spend most of my time until then working on my undergraduate in Computer Science and Digital Art at Clarkson University. So in addition to repeatedly climbing over steep hills, I can probably do your math homework.

Jessica Porter

I'm a 2014 thru hiker trying to figure out how to navigate the real world from a fresh pair of eyes. I only planned on hiking from Springer Mountain to Harpers Ferry, but was still having a blast and decided to keep hiking. I learned what it meant to be a thru hiker on the fly and it was the best choice I ever made. I live very close to Harpers Ferry and am lucky to have the trail right in my backyard.

Kat Ignatova

Long-distance hiker, short-distance runner, sporadically hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail. Outdoor photography enthusiast and amateur park historian. Follow me on Instagram @katignatova. Colorado Trail '16


Born in raised in Milwaukee, WI, which I wholeheartedly blame for my obsession with Packer football and good beer, I moved to Colorado for school and they haven't kicked me out yet. I spent almost a month of my summer from 10 years old to 15 at an Adventure Camp on the North Carolina / Virginia border, which inspired my love of backpacking. When I returned there last summer to work as a counselor, I was reconnected to the wilderness I had grown to love as kid. In addition to the outdoors, I enjoy writing and photography. I'm also the messiest popcorn eater you'll ever meet, can quote entire Disney movies without much effort, and am part of the 1% of the human population that can lick my elbow. The only other person I've ever met who could execute this feat is my boyfriend. I'm so excited to be working as the marketing intern for App Trials and reconnect to the trail anyway I can!

Nicole and Alex Docta

We are a hiking/ traveling/ blogging team from Milwaukee, WI. We started our A.T. thru-hike in 2013 as a belated honeymoon. Alex succeeded (because he is a crazy ultra-runner) but Nicole lost too much weight and has NH and ME to complete. Nicole now has old-lady knees, and Alex continues to to get better at long-distance running!

James Cape

My name is James - I grew up in Wisconsin, and now I live in Denver, CO working as an engineer. In 2015, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail as Autodraft.


Hey all, my name's Cori, but you can just call me Raven, and I'm a 2014 AT thru-hiker and 2015 Long Trail end-to-ender. I just moved from Connecticut to Oregon via an awesome cross country road trip. I'm on a current hiatus from full-time work, enjoying what adventures life has to offer.


I'm a 15- year volunteer for the A.T. in Mass and a regular section hiker. I'm a bit of an old fart, but working on the Trail and chatting with hikers keeps me solid. You can find out about what we've been up to on the Trail here:

Chuck McKeever

My name's Chuck, but it's "Stoic" to my trail friends. In 2016 I quit my teaching job and thru-hiked the P.C.T., losing 40 pounds, a good deal of fear, and various pieces of equipment along the way. Now I'm back in Seattle and teaching again, and the teenagers in my class tell me I look like "Tom Hanks from that movie with the offense." You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @mckchuck.

Connor Adams

I'm Connor, but you can call me Wiseguy. I grew up in Pawling, NY, a stone's throw away from Appalachian Trail, and finally completed my dream of a NOBO Thru-Hike in 2014, with my brother and his dog. These days you'll find me in the Rocky Mountains working with the Montana Conservation Corps and the US Forest Service, writing, adventuring, cooking, and building and maintaining those hiking trails that we all love and need so much!

Jordan Bowman

If you yelled "Yo Teach!" on the A.T. in 2014, it wasn't long before I showed up to give a lesson. As a writer, teacher, hiker, and general know-it-all, I'm happy to talk your ear off about movies, books, running, Star Wars and, of course, hiking the A.T. I enjoy writing almost as much as a brisk mountainside afternoon and have professional experience writing for websites, magazines, and old-fashioned newspapers.

Amalia Mathewson

I'm Amalia (Toastface, for short). I completed a SOBO thru-hike of the Appalachian trail in 2014. I was moved to hike the AT after a shocking yellow belt test in an adult Tae Kwon Do class, wherein I realized I didn't trust myself. Now, I'm on an unstoppable journey towards self-discovery and/or death.

Silent Bob

Appalachian Trail '15, Pacific Crest Trail '16. Mountain Crossings/Neel Gap staffer, hiker of long trails, eater of food. I love loud guitars and fast rhymes. The CDT is on my short list, as well as the Arizona Trail. I would also thru-hike the PCT every year if I could. I have no idea where my life is going. Hiking ruined me.

Carly Moree

Left-handed. I grew out my sassy bangs, but I'm still sassy. I spent my senior year of high school in India. I lived in Chicago and worked in finance for a few years, before deciding to quit my job and hike the AT from April to September 2013. After having hiked the PCT in 2015, I'm back home in Asheville, N.C., planning a winter cycling trip.

Paul Bronco Fuzinski

My name is Paul "Bronco" Fuzinski, Appalachian Trail 2015 Thru-Hiker turned environmentalist and blogger. Besides having an obvious passion for backpacking, I also enjoy traveling, writing music, making travel videos, cycling, paddle sports, strength training, eating (excessively) and being weird.

Katie Polemis

On the trail I'm known as Lobo. I thru-hiked the AT in 2013, and I'm always up for new adventures!

Hannah Lewis

Things that I love: Jesus (thanks for everything), my husband (thanks for the companionship and all that), my kids (Auttie is a four-year-old fairy-mermaid, and Abe is a one-year-old potato), hiking (obviously), aaaand sugar.


I'm the mother of a 25-year-old 2014 NOBO woman, and I'm trying to contribute meaningfully to her hiking experience via yummy food. I have written award-winning cookbooks but ALL of them require the use of a full kitchen. So this is a new experience for me. Invite your moms (and dads) to join me and let's share recipes and experiences!


2015 Appalachian Trail female flip-flop thru-hiker. Passions are dogs, good beer, my motorcycle, and my trail. Life is a journey full of ups and downs. You hold the map. Live it. - An A.T. site for newbies and oldies!

Jamie Ratchford

Hello, my name is Jamie and my trail name is Glorious Laughter. In 2014 I accomplished a life long aspiration, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. In the years leading up to my hike I spent a lot of time planting trees, flowers and vegetables in my backyard and on the farm where I worked. I guess you could say I just really love playing in the dirt.

Stephen Eren

500 miles by dog sled, 500 miles by kayak, 4000 miles by trail, and dozens of Chinese buffets in between. NoBo (duh) AT thru hiker class of 2014 with a prodigious pack made in my basement. 3 seasons as a Wilderness Ranger from the Sierras to Shining Rock. Founder of Deep South Mountaineering; makin' a little gear and swag on the side. Bojangles chewin', Mate sippin', Hokie. Pride of Durham, NC. My two Huskies call the shots. Most call me Lorax, FlugelHorn, or Ranger Reynolds (if ya nasty).

Aubri Drake

On a whim in September 2013, having never backpacked a day in my life, I decided to hike all of the MA AT... by myself, in 4 days. After painfully managing to survive it, I figured - why not hike the rest? I'm currently 82% done, having solo section hiked (except for southern Maine where I had a lovely NOBO trail family) from Monson, ME to Hot Springs, NC. I anticipate ending my hike on the summit of Katahdin in August 2017. At my day job, I'm a data-crunching research nerd, researching everything from teen pregnancy prevention to social determinants of health, from the unique needs of LGBTQ individuals to positive youth development.

Andy Laub

Andy's birth certificate says he came into this world in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but it’s a damn lie. The truth is, he was born hiking the Appalachian Trail. A true son of the wild, he's spent years living on his wit, intuition, and pack on his back. 5,000-miles later- Andy's created a style of filmmaking that uniquely captures the raw and inspiring stories within challenging journeys. The first chapter of his vision- As it Happens: Pacific Crest Trail. Before launching As it Happens TV Andy worked as a director, music composer & cinematographer for networks like Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel, Animal Planet & Ora.TV. 'Life is the process of becoming something else. My goal is to capture that process, that story, As it Happens'

Shannon Goosebumps Roland

I fell in love with backpacking in the canyons of southern Utah and haven't been able to quit since. After getting my degree in Kinesiology with an option in Outdoor Education, I hit the Pacific Crest trail in 2014. Totally addicted, I decided to try the Appalachian trail in 2015. Now i'm off to New Zealand to see what a thru-hike is like overseas before heading home to finish my triple crown on the Continental Divide trail!


I'm Sprout - an avid hiker/adventurer, farmer, flute player and people person. I grew up in Catawba, VA right near the AT and decided to thru-hike it in 2011. Since then I daydream constantly about which trail to hike next (or maybe bike or kayak!) - some have become a reality including the Colorado Trail, most of the Mountains to Sea Trail and the John Muir Trail this summer. I spend a lot of time getting my hands dirty in the rich earth of western North Carolina where I live nestled up against the blue ridge parkway and am always down to meet a fellow explorer.

Chris Arnott

My name is Chris also known as Cast Away. I am a full time hiker and vagabond who enjoys long walks in the woods, dinners by firelight, sporadic bathing, and an occasional town day. Via the Appalachian Trail I transplanted myself from Alabama to Vermont and spend every day planning next year's adventure.

Jamie Byarlay

Aloha! Jamie here. I'm from the Pacific Northwest but most recently lived in Hawaii. My move back home consisted of walking. On April 28, 2016, my thru-hike began at the Mexican border and the PCT led me back home. Life was as simple as seeing the sunrise to my right and watching it set to my left. Take me back to when eating a Snickers every meal was normal!


Hi, I'm Arnold "Bloodhound" Guzman, an avid trail angel, aka, "The Back Country Trail Angel". My sister, Maria, owns Standing Bear Farms Hiker Hostel. I am a newspaper writer who loves taking my Bloodhounds, Caroline and Beau Diddley, adventuring deep into the backcountry shelters all up and down the A.T, where I serve hikers fresh food and drink while I look for stories. When there's been enough hikers, I have cooked complete hot meals for 10 or more persons at the most remote shelters, far away from resupply. In the off seasons, I sometimes join the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club doing trail maintenance.

Caitlyn Cleary

Hi, my name is Caitlyn. I am a 2013 AT thru hiker, a future triple-crowner (PCT 2015, anyone?), a current middle school teacher, a dog owner, and a sometimes runner. I like to hike in the rain. There, I said it.

Carry-On Outdoors

I am Carey, also known as Carry-On from my 2012 Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I live in southern Utah in an RV with my dog and two cats, work at an outdoor store, and spend my time blogging, taking pictures, obsessing over gear, backpacking locally, and section hiking the Arizona Trail. In the future I'm considering more thru-hikes, with New Zealand, the Grand Enchantment Trail, the PCT, and CDT on the short list.

Patrice La Vigne

My name is Patrice. Some call me Steadee. Writer by trade, adventurer at heart, I live a life less ordinary with my husband, Justin. With an address of Everywhere, we are most often found either on the trail or being professional nomads in the hospitality and outdoor industry. Chips and salsa, chocolate, horror movies, the smells of rain, fresh grass and garlic … these are a few of my favorite non-hiking things. Hit me up on Facebook, Instagram or my blog, all of which can be reached via my website,


Kmeg is both experienced and a beginner in all things hiking and camping. If there's something new to tackle, she's first in line. She fits backpacks for a living and is obsessed with her dog, The Millennium Falcon. The one thing she misses most on the trail is a good slice (or three) of quiche.

Heather Newman

Heather is a barefoot hiker and lover of the outdoors. She lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and works as a professional ghostwriter. She’s a not-so-dirty hippy and a damn vegetarian with strong philosophical beliefs when it comes to umbrellas, romance, and shoes. She loves wine, cheese, and tiny mountain towns where no one knows her name. One day, she'll hike the entire AT. One day. Follow her adventures at


I'm an author, a mother of 3, an Army veteran, a Diet Coke addict and an Appalachian Trail section hiker! I live in Florida and can only get out on the AT typically once a year but my goal is to eventually complete a thru hike! Here at home I enjoy getting out for some camping and hiking on the local trails whenever I can! My motto is: "Georgia to Maine, One Step at a Time!"

Grayson Cobb

I am a long-distance backpacker, triathlete, adventurer, climber, kayaker, and lowly medical student currently living in Norfolk, VA attending Eastern Virginia Medical School and getting out for adventures on weekends. Check out my website at


My name is Sriracha (Sir- ah-cha!), and I took the crazy long walk known as the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Since my successful thru-hike, I've been passionate about sharing as much as I can about my experiences. These gems can sometimes elicit eye-rolls from those who are close to me and are tired of hearing about it. I'm excited to finally be able to reach an audience who genuinely cares as much about hiking as I do!

Bill Powell

My name is Bill. I am a more "seasoned" hiker. I am section hiker and hopeful future thru-hiker. I am also a Master Naturalist in training and lover of the outdoors. Most importantly, I am a Dad of three great young men and husband to a really great woman.

Faren MacDonald

In 2007, when I was 20, I attempted a SOBO thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I made it 1500 miles before running out of time and money. I rehiked the Trail in 2009 and completed my thru-hike on Springer Mountain. In 2010 and 2011 I was a Ridgerunner for the PATC in Maryland--I kept my hiking legs strong while I saved up for my next hikes. I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012 and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013. I returned to the AT in 2014 working as the Ridgerunner Coordinator for the AMC in Connecticut. This is my first summer off trail since 09 and adjusting to an office job is not easy.


Serial is an AT thru-hiker with over 6,200 miles of hiking under his belt. Minutes is an AT section-hiker who's enjoyed over 2,500 miles of hiking and trail running. Together we're raising our 3 year old Weimaraner, Rooney, and working towards our dream of living in the mountains. You can follow our adventures at

Aria Zoner

Hi! I'm Aria Zoner, creator of The Hot Springs Trail - the world's longest therapeutic trail - and The 7 Summits of the Siskiyou Trail, a world-class peak-bagging adventure. I'm also dually certified as a Nutrition Coach & Health Counselor. If you want to truly thrive on-trail, while also having a positive impact on our environment with your hiking-food choices, drop the Snickers bar now and become a Whole Food Hiker. To learn how, follow me!


My name is Rachel, but many know me by Glacier-Swiss. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail NOBO in 2015, and it was the best decision I've ever made. I am still an avid hiker and spend pretty much all of my free time going on new adventures, being creative, or drinking coffee. When I thru-hiked, I spent a lot of my time dreaming about what could be: lifestyle changes I could make, hobbies to try, new adventures to go on. One of my goals was to document my Appalachian adventure properly. I tried to blog while on trail, but different challenges proved that my social media efforts would have to be put on hold. 6 months after my thru-hike completion, I have created a blog series, "Appalachian Trail Retrospective," which aims to provide guidance and insight for YOUR AT adventures! Blogs will be posted weekly on Appalachian Trials. If you want more detail on my thru-hike experience, check out the "Appalachian Trail" section of my personal website:

Chris Kummer

Hey y'all - Cool Dad here. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to thru-hike the AT. It remained a nagging thought for nearly a decade - then it got loud enough to warrant my attention. So I quit my unfulfilling job(s) in Seattle and commenced hiking north from Springer in the spring of 2016. And I'm exceedingly thankful I did. The people I met, the things I saw, the gross foods I ate - not a day goes by without fondly remembering life on the trail. If you've already thru-hiked a long trail, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're thinking about tackling a long-distance hike, do it. Do it now. I'm probably gonna do it again...

Megan Maxwell

My name is Megan (a.k.a. Hashbrown) Maxwell, and I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2012. I graduated from the Ohio State University in 2011 and have been trying to use my English degree ever since. My dearest ambition is to become a writer and editor, but I also like to snowboard, bake cupcakes, and try to blend in with the Coloradoans. You can check out my how-to hiking blog for women at Appalachian Trail Girl.


I have a wide range of experience in the strangest of fields, including extensive work in historic sites and museums. My writing focuses mainly on shorter trails, recurring series on specialized topics, and atypical gear reviews. Having grown up in the back-country of New England, I prefer cold mountains to hot swamps.

Janel Healy

I'm a Communications-specialist-turned-hiker who hails from the California Bay Area. I through-hiked the Appalachian Trail for five and a half months in 2016 to spend time alone in nature, removed from social commitments and my computer. Now, I'm hooked on through-hiking, and my new life goal is to be a triple-crowner. The PCT is next...

Kelly Anderson

My name is Kelly Anderson. I live part time in Boulder, CO, and part time in my Jeep. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in Geography and Psychology, I decided to pursue a live of climbing, hiking, and traveling. I have yet to hike the A.T., but have spent months camping throughout Montana, California, and Colorado. I look forward to new adventures, that will, no doubt, include the A.T.

Jeremy Scroggins

My name is Jeremy, or Timber due to a lost bet--I fell first--and the irrefutable fact that I can make you a fire. I learned about the Appalachian Trail in my third year of military service and decided to start walking in 2013. I have since taken advantage of the get-paid-to-go-to-school military gig they call the Post 9/11 GI-Bill and have learned how to acquire a bachelor's degree. Time to get back to walking.

Kevin Elens

Kevin likes to see new things and has an affinity for red hats. In 2016 for no particular reason he decided to go for a big walk. With eyes on walking clear across the country he set out on the PCT where he was affectionately known as Gump.

Elise Mann

Giggle monster seeking adventure, joy and impact. Love coffee and sunshine. Colorado Native. I grew up spending weekends and summers in the mountains, and just thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015. The experience only confirmed how much mother nature sets my soul on fire. After living in Washington DC for a few years, I'm back in Denver and hoping to climb all of the 14ers in the years to come. Here's to many more adventures and all the stories in between.

Gray Barrett

Political science Ph.D. student, outdoor enthusiast, aspiring AT/PCT thru-hiker. My outdoor interests began in the Smokies and have subsequently been cultivated in Norway, North Carolina, and Vermont. Skål!

Andy Dischekenyan

Hi, I'm Andy to friends and family. On the trail I'm Shuffles. I dreamt of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for 8 years. In 2016 my partner Dribbles and I turned that dream into reality. It was the best decision we've ever made. Follow our adventures on Instagram @yogihiker and at


Hi, I'm Spencer, but my trail friends call me Sass! I had the privilege to call the AT my home for 2 months in 2013 and have been trying to find my way back there ever since. I'm equal parts environmental attorney, mountain enthusiast, and gear nut, and I'll be mashing all three perspectives into articles for you guys to enjoy. Happy Trails :) (All views my own... etc.)

Julianne Roth

Hi there! My birth name is Julianne, but my trail name is Wonderland (this has nothing to do with the song, however I wish it did). I thru-hiked nobo April 2015 - October 2015. I'm technically 24-years-old, residing in Southern California. I plan on hiking a large portion of the PCT in 2017.

Evans Prater

My name is Evans Prater. My trail name is Jukebox, because I can't hike without music. I completed a thru-hike in August 2014. The trail is my happy place. I also founded The DoNation, a non-profit dedicated to helping the modern generation donate to charity quickly and effortlessly (


Moonshine here! 2016 AT Thru-hiker and twenty-something taking on adventures after life on the trail. See where my hiking and fundraising efforts for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention take me! Aspiring dehydrating food connoisseur.

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Nayt Boyt

Life is short, fragile, and absolutely beautiful. I want to live it intentionally, so I jumped at the chance to chase one of the most amazing experiences possible, which is - I presume - the reason you are here. This is now my lifestyle, and I'll gladly share it. When I'm not hiking in life, I try to live equally as intentionally, whether writing, teaching, or simply drinking tea.


Howdy! I'm Dragin (as in walking slowly and usually behind everyone else!) I'm in Virginia and backpack regularly in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I'm able to get out west several times a year and have led backpacking groups to California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona. Always looking for new and beautiful places to hike. Currently integrating fly fishing into my trips! I have hiked and climbed extensively in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, as well as New Hampshire (the hardest backpacking I've ever done), and Alaska. Hiking out west has led me try to get away from the 'tree tunnels' of the east for the 360 degree views of the Rockies and Sierra. My favorite part of backpacking, aside from the views, is meeting new friends and enjoying tall tales (real and imagined) around a good campfire (a LNT campfire of course!).

Comments 6

  • Horace Harvey : Apr 9th

    Hey my name is Horace ” Dance party” Harvey. I am not a thru hiker as of yet. I stopped my hike short at 1000 miles last year due to an injury. I went to the doctor and my hip was inflamed. After a perscription and advice to say off the trail for a few months i flew to Maine to tackle Katahdin only to continue my journey this year.
    After stopping last year and not being physically possible to continue i was sorta relieved. No more pain and inching up mountains while my friends passed me. A strange thing happened though. The trail began to grow in my heart. The amazing times i experienced and the wonderful people i had met. The generosity that poured out of people and the strange feeling that i belonged even though i convinced myself i was faking it from the beginning.
    It never let go and as i worked at my job it kept screaming ” what are you doing! You could be standing on a mountain, or washing in a waterfall.”
    I pushed it down obviously becuase only crazy people would miss the hell i had endured.Walking in storms ,skin pulled off your feet, chafing so bad that you cry when you put on your pack in the morning. Its all insane and normal people do not miss this! Yet i did. I missed not only the good things about the trail but the very worst.
    So here i am again about to pick up on the whole carnival and torture myself again for a reason i could never put into words. I will handle the heat and the climbs. The blisters and cramps. The hunger and rain,the heat and mental fatigue because in the end i only have one question to discern to make my soul complete. Can i get a big ass cheeseburger in the next town?


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