Solo Thru-Hiking Gear List
Posted on: Wednesday January 27, 2021 Pacific Crest Trail Continental Divide Trail Appalachian Trail Long Trail Gear Lists Hiking
This is my go-to thru-hiking gear. I carried a lot of this gear on the Long Trail, Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail. I did use different gear on the Pacific Crest Trail, but the gear I carry now is definitely an upgrade.
The end. (100 mile Wilderness and Katahdin)
Posted on: Monday June 4, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I hug La Copa goodbye in the morning. He tells me to take care of myself: I tell him to crush Katahdin. Saying goodbye to people on the trail is never easy. You form such intense connections in such a short time. People I hike with for a day know me better than some friends I’ve had for years. And I hiked almost half the trail with La Copa.
How not to listen to your body (Gorham to Monson)
Posted on: Tuesday May 29, 2018 Appalachian Trail
We leave Gorham at 7:30, a late start for us. I have problems straight out of town. The bugs are out and I inhale one, coughing on the side of the trail. And then I can’t stop. We are of course climbing, and I wheeze my way up to trail, unable to breathe. It feels like I’m having as asthma attack: tight chest, wheezing. I stop to try and catch my breath and it gets a little better. I wonder if I should turn around, but slowly my breathing improves.
The Whites: Hanover to Gorum (or how I lost Mount Washington)
Posted on: Wednesday May 16, 2018 Appalachian Trail
We are treated like celebrities in Hanover. We stand outside of the post office, chatting with Foot Print, who is about to head out of town. La Copa and I are zeroing, so it is unlikely that we’ll bump into him again. A man comes up and says we are the first thru hikers he’s seen this year. La Copa tells him that’s because we are the first northbound thru hikers. He chats for a bit, wanders off, then comes back with cookies for us. As always, the generosity of strangers overwhelms me.
Great Barrington to Hanover (Massachusetts and Vermont)
Posted on: Tuesday May 15, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I’m not eloquent enough to explain how much the kindness of others has meant to me on the AT. This thru hike has been more about the people I have met than any other trail. Safety Pin and Leapfrog pick us up, feed us, and let us clean up.
Delaware Water Gap to Great Barrington (New Jersey, New York and Connecticut)
Posted on: Sunday May 6, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I’m walking down the street in Delaware Water Gap, when I feel someone following me. I turn around. “Fun Size?” It’s La Copa, who I met when we bailed back to Damascus. He’s staying in town too, waiting out weather. We have a little hiker party with Sail, a hiker doing the International Appalachian Trail, and a rotating cast of characters including Scratch and Czech Mix.
Pennsylvania is not my favorite: Duncannon to Delaware Water Gap.
Posted on: Tuesday April 24, 2018 Appalachian Trail
It pours in Duncannon. I’m happy to be inside, warm and dry in the Doyle hotel. The Doyle is a historic building, a little on the run down side. I’m the only guest. It kind of feels like I’m squatting in an abandoned mansion.
Front Royal to Duncannon
Posted on: Sunday April 15, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I say goodbye to Shake’nBake at the trailhead. As always, I feel a little lost as I head out alone. I’m not sure how many miles I want to do: I feel slow and sluggish the way I always do leaving town. I pass two section hikers. “Are you Fun Size?” They ask. Scratch is a few miles ahead and told them to expect me. Suddenly I have purpose again. I put my head down and charge.
Fun Size and Shake'nBake, off on another whirlwind adventure: Waynesboro to Front Royal
Posted on: Friday April 6, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I poke my head out of the hotel room long after hiker midnight. A car pulls into the parking lot and a familiar head leans out of the window. “First star!” Shake’nBake shouts.
Pearisburg to Waynesboro
Posted on: Wednesday March 21, 2018 Appalachian Trail
Handy is a fantastic host at Angel’s rest, shuttling us around and feeding us. We can only stay for the night though- we have 24 miles to crush. We get a late start: 9:30 by the time we’re on trail. Scoutmaster and Old Soul got off trail earlier than Overhill and I (who I might have accidentally called Underhill in my last blog, oops), so we have two separate starts. I hike slow with Overhill, talking about life and the PCT. We don’t remember meeting on trail, but we know so many of the same people and we swap stories
The amazing snow slackpacking: Massie Gap to Pearisburg
Posted on: Sunday March 18, 2018 Appalachian Trail
The AT hasn’t had a lot of trail magic yet. At least not the organized kind- I’ve been given Mountain Houses by section hikers and found beers in shelters. But the trail magic I have found is exactly where I need it- a tote of food when I am running out in the Smokeys, and a few days of slackpacking so I can sleep in the warm during more than a week of cold and snow.
Skunks and Snow: Watuaga Lake to Massie Gap
Posted on: Tuesday March 6, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I spend the day at Boots off hostel mostly in bed, trying to feel better. Scoutmaster shows up around dinner time. My zero let him catch back up and I’m so happy to see a friendly face.
Hostel hopping- Erwin to Watuaga Lake
Posted on: Monday March 5, 2018 Appalachian Trail
There’s a quiet beauty to the AT that doesn’t translate well in photographs. It’s the way the light plays on the clouds, beams streaming through the layers. It’s the way the mist caresses the hillside, moving in and out. It’s the pine forest, air so still and heavy that even the light seems trapped, moss growing on everything. And I’m starting to appreciate it just as much as the towering spires of the Wind River Range and the Sierra Nevada.
Hot Springs to Erwin
Posted on: Tuesday February 27, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I’m the only hiker in Hot Springs. There’s no one to hang out with, eat with or joke with. This makes me a novelty- one man asks if I’m SoBo and can barely believe I’m NoBo. Everyone is fresh faced and enthusiastic about hiking season. I can only imagine how burned out everyone will soon be.
The Smokeys (Fontana to Hot Springs)
Posted on: Thursday February 22, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I wake sweating in my sleeping bag. I don’t need to look outside the shelter to know ragged clouds are racing across the stars. I push my bag to my waist and try to sleep. The storm is coming.
Hiawassee to Fontana
Posted on: Thursday February 15, 2018 Appalachian Trail
We leave Haiwassee as the sun comes out. It’s only a few miles to the North Carolina Border, where Bolt and I take photos. It’s too windy to stop for long though, so we climb steeply until we find a spot out of the wind for lunch. Then, it’s up over standing Indian Mountain, to a grove of rhodendrons to camp. I stick my head out from under my tarp and watch the stars, while coyotes yip.
The beginning (Amicalola to Hiawassee)
Posted on: Wednesday February 7, 2018 Appalachian Trail
I stay with Meg, and Corey’s parents, in a house outside Atlanta on Lake Lanier. Corey’s parents are section hikers, and open their home to me.