2016 Appalachian Trail Hiker Stories

Snowy dude at Neel Gap, GA. ~ Photo courtesy of Mountain Crossings Outfitters

Snow at Neel Gap, GA. Photo courtesy of Mountain Crossings Outfitters

Appalachian Trail hiker stories teach us that each attempt is a victory unto itself, whether or not the ultimate goal is achieved.

The unwise seem to believe that most obstacles can be overcome with sufficient measures of sheer control. The wise know that obstacles can be avoided or mastered with sufficient measures of preparation and adaptation.

As 2016 began, early attempts at thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail were met with weather that could not be controlled. Ice, snow, sleet and frigid winds will change with the seasons and the miles to oppressive heat, driving rain, bugs, thunderstorms and blisters.

Hikers who can recite gram weights of sporks and stoves will be passed by those with heavier packs and stronger muscles. Feeble looking hikers will pass the strong, and merrily make it all the way.

No one knows in January who will summit Katahdin to the north or Springer to the south in five or seven months.

Perseverance transcends preparation. Adaptation eclipses adherence to a schedule that looked perfectly planned back in your living room.

To thru-hike, you must manage your strength, your money, your psyche, your pace, your diet and your health. Or you won't make it all the way.

Here are the tales of those who will try to thru-hike, stories of ups and downs along the Trail.

Lessons of life and the Trail from those seeking to earn the title of "Appalachian Trail thru-hiker!"

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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