When I tell people I’m hiking the AT, I usually get asked the following questions:
- How far will you walk? 2185.9 miles officially but probably a bit more because I will walk into towns, take side trails for scenic views/water/lodging.
- How many steps will you take? Over 5 million. I will wear through 2 – 3 pairs of shoes.
- How many states will you walk through? 14 in total. GA, SC TN, VA, WV, MD, PA, NJ, NY, CT, MA, VT, NH, and ME
- How long will it take? About 5 Months. I start in early March and I should finish by the end of July.
- Do you carry everything you need with you? Yes. I have a large backpack, tent, sleeping bag, clothes, food, first aid and other essentials. Water is available along the trail but must be treated for bacteria/viruses. There are resupply points along the AT where I will replenish food. In total, I will carry about 25 – 30 pounds of gear.
- Will you smell bad? Most certainly. I will have an opportunity to shower and wash clothes every 3 – 4 days. To reduce the amount of weight I’m carrying, I will only have the clothes I hike in and a set of dry clothes to sleep in.
- Are you going to carry a gun? Always asked by guys and the answer is “no.” It’s just extra weight I don’t want to carry. Also, my Virginia concealed carry permit does not have reciprocity with all the states along the trail. Risking a felony for firearms possession is not in the cards. Besides, what would I shoot?