People who go hiking without checking trail conditions can either get along just peachy on average days or threaten their lives when weather turns bad. Even day-hikers should check water conditions, especially when areas of the Trail are in a drought, to avoid trouble.
That's what's happening on southern sections of the Appalachian Trail. Water sources have evaporated. You can study up and memorize where the all water should be, but it might not be there when you need it.
Sometimes called "Trail Angels," semi-angelic folks take to the hills hauling jugs of water when the plans of men and women hikers go astray. Not a bad deal, really. How else can a person achieve angeldom for a buck a gallon? How else can you make such an impact on a thirsty person's life?
The best source for the latest information on where water can or cannot be found is from a true Trail Angel, Ron Brown. His frequent Facebook posts let hikers and water bearers know where the water has run dry and where to hide a gallon or two for travelers of the Trail.
Yes. There are people who firmly believe that leaving a jug of water that might be left as trash (temporarily) is only a bit nicer than setting forest fires. I get it. Leave No Trace. Great idea. I'm all for it.
I'm also for bringing water to Trail junctions and leaving it for those in need. We can pick up the empties on return trips.
Or you can snag some Trail trash (not the two-legged variety) too.
All things in moderation. Anything to help hikers in need.
Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Conservation, Safety, Hikers, Information, appalachian trail hikers, appalachian trail water conditions, and water conditions drought appalachian trail