I’m posted up in a hotel room waiting out a storm. I put up with Mother Natures wrath for a few hours yesterday… hiking in a downpour that produced 2-3″ of rain in a short amount of time. Combined with 40 mph wind gust that made the rain feel like hail on my bare legs, hands and face, it wasn’t my favorite day hiking. I pulled off trail to a hostel .6 Miles. It was dry but I was in a bunk house with no heat and temps dropping below 30. When I woke up, I saw snow on the ground and couldn’t see the mountain through the snow I was about to climb….. off to a hotel! I needed a warm bed and some food. I’m getting tired of these zero hike days. They cost money and take me off trail where I’d rather be hiking. If Mother Nature happens to see this post, please be kind. I’m on a long walk and you’re not making it any easier.

-Backwards Hat-

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve seen the daily updates. If not, what are you waiting for? Anyway, I wanted to shoot out a fun easy read to update y’all on some of my AT journey. If you have any questions, please contact me. Thanks for following.

I reached 100 miles in 7 days and 15 minutes. In those 7 days, 6 of them had rain with the average sleeping temp about 30 degrees.

Since night one, I’ve been without a headlamp. Something I NEVER DO!! I always carry one with me even on day hikes, in the event something goes wrong. Somewhere on the trip down, my headlamp switched on and drained the batteries. The back up set of batteries I bought were AA and not AAA. I keep forgetting to get them at my resupply spots. It’s now sharpied on my hand. I received advice one time…. instead of just carrying extra batteries, carry an extra headlamp. That way if something goes wrong you have a back up. Maybe I should finally listen and get a second headlamp. They are cheap and only 2oz. Not being able to see at night, especially off in the distance is a bad idea!

With all the rain, I hike with less than 10oz of water on me. I chug a liter or 2 before leaving camp and do the sale upon entering. I will drink water at Crossings but I don’t crave water while hiking. At least when it’s not hot anyway. Summer will change this.

Of the first 7 days, 100 Miles, I’ve only used my trekking poles on 2 days. Day 4 and 5. They were big climbs and my legs had felt it from 42 miles in 3 days. I’m trying to focus on building my leg strength and core and save the poles for the climbs or descents as needed or when pain arises. I don’t want to rely on my poles and arms this early on. I’m feeling good so far with this method.

I wear the same exact clothes all day everyday. I sleep in the same thing I hike in. I don’t change anything when I get into camp except into my cleanish camp socks. The next morning, I put the same sock liners and socks on from the previous day. Yes I stink but every layer was designed for a purpose to which away moisture and control body heat.

Come warmer weather, after the smokies, I will send my stove home. No more hot meals or coffee. I will send home at least a layer of shirts. I already mailed home my rain pants and weather proof matches.

My greatest fear right now is leaving something behind. Every morning I fear I’m forgetting something. Every single piece of gear matters and could force me to come out of the trail to fix it. Second biggest fear, wet sleeping bag.

I asked my Facebook followers for any questions they had about me doing the AT. Here are some of the top questions…

Why do so many people Hike the AT? Over 2 million people hike some portion of the AT every year. Whether that’s the entire thru hike or a day trip, it’s a great trail to enjoy. So many people hike it because of its proximity to so many east coast cities. It’s only an hour or so from DC, Baltimore, Atlanta, and New York. The trail is well maintained through all 14 states through volunteers and the ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservatory). For many people it’s a great day out in the mountains. For the thru hikers, well everyone has their own reasons.

What type of training is required? None. You can go at your own pace. A 87 year old dude (from Indiana) is attempting his third thru hike. He will be the oldest if completed (previous record is 82 year old completed this year).

For me, I’ve been trying to hike 20 mile day hikes once a week. I’ve started lifting legs and major muscles and core in the gym. I’ve trained with 40lb packs while doing bleacher climbs or hill runs. Preparing physically was a daily aspect. I also prepared mentally by reading books by previous hikers. I have hundreds of hours spend researching the trail and learning what I can. I meditate and have worked on listening to my body and pushing it to do great.

What’s the most difficult part of the AT? In a 2200 mile hike, there is no real answer for this. Everyone has a different struggle. The entire trail is like climbing Mt Everest 17 times! Only 1 in 8 complete the trail who set out to do it in its entirety. There are definitely more physically grueling spots but it’s the mental struggle that keeps most from doing it. Lack of sleep, lack of good meals, days of rain and bad weather, injuries, and unpreparedness are some of the major reasons people quit.

What’s the most intimidating segment of the trail? Personally, I’m not looking forward to Virginia. 1/4 of the trail goes through that state and it will be around spring time when the weather is wild. There are some serious climbs and elevation changes. There are great views you hike up to but if weather is bad, you climbed for nothing.

I’m most looking forward to PA. Most people hate that section because it’s boring and bolder fields but I will be close to friends, family and my dogs that will hopefully join for dinner or hikes!

What’s your plan post hike? Thats a huge question mark. I will need to find some type of work to start earning money after almost a year of no real job. I plan to spend the remaining of summer with my girlfriend at the beach as we try to figure out the next moves. And Tons of dog cuddles!!!

Do you have any questions for me? Shoot me a message and be sure to follow on Social Media (Follow Me Tab)