Voluntary Thru-Hiker Registration (or How to Herd Hiking Cats)

ATC 2016 Thru-Hiker Registration Chart

ATC 2016 Thru-Hiker Registration Chart

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's 2016 thru-hiker registration charts, Leap Day and March 15th are popular days for starting northbound Appalachian Trail thru-hikes from Georgia.

At the mention of voluntary thru-hiker registration, AT purists and other grumpy hikers snarl and mutter, "Registration? Thru-Hiker Registration? We don't need no stinking registration," faster than Alphonso Bedoya drew his gun.

Yes, today the thought of organizing Appalachian Trail hikers (or cats) seems absurd.

Boot Tree at Mountain Crossings Outfitters on Blood Mountain ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

Tossing old hiking boots into the trees at Mountain Crossings Outfitters on Blood Mountain is voluntary. So is Thru-Hiker Registration. ~ Photo by Robert Sutherland

Someday, however, thru-hiker registration will be as natural as gun control and mandated healthcare. Maybe even more popular.

When spring rolls around and hordes of hikers hit the Trail "to get away from it all" -- only to find it all came with them -- you might regret not planning ahead to miss the crowds.

Camping spots will have so many bear canisters hung overhead it will look like the boot tree at Mountain Crossings Outfitters at Neel Gap.

Avoid trying to resupply your water ... with people bathing, peeing and washing gear upstream ... by checking the registers before you go.

Register your thru-hike to be far from the madding crowd.

Or for others to be far from you.

ATC Voluntary Thru-Hiker Registration

Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Conservation, Hikers, Hiking Safety, Information, appalachian trail hikers, thru-hiker registration, appalachian trail thru-hike, and appalachian trail thru-hiker registration

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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