Trail Tips

AT sign-in book + Ron

Amicalola State Park's Ron Brown holding The Book that northbound thru-hikers sign to begin their journey to Mt. Katahdin. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Dreamers dream. Sometimes, dreamers live out their dreams.

For many, hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) is a life-long dream.

All dreamers are welcome to peruse our Trail Tips -- whether you virtually hike the Appalachian Trail on your laptop or you trek along the mountaintops.

Trail Tips won't answer every common question:

  1. How many days will it take me to thru-hike the AT?
  2. Are there any snakes/bears/crazoids/bugs/Starbucks on the trail?
  3. "Hi. I want to hike the AT. Where do I start? Where do I sleep? Where do I stop to get stuff? Please reply. I'm leaving next Thursday. Thanks."
  4. Which boots/backpack/poles are the best?
  5. How much does it cost to thru-hike?

Everybody respects zeal, but thru-hiking the AT is a big deal.

You might as well find out now. When you hit the trail, you are on your own. (Unless you can hire someone to carry your jewelry, favorite books, cases of cold beer, a portable outhouse and/or a 2,181 mile-long extension cord to plug your gizmos into.)

Your plans, your parents, your preparations and your [insert another really cool "P" word here] won't enable you to climb another mountain, slog through miles of mud or help you not strangle your formerly best friend after a few dozen days on the trail.

Sooner or later, it's you and the trail. You'll have to Hike Your Own Hike.

Trail Tips might ... just might ... help you avoid some of the common mistakes that separate dreamers from thru-hikers.

Carrying Firearms on the Appalachian Trail

Don't Feed the Bears on Blood Mountain

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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The best trail mix is healthy, tasty and beneficial. So is this Appalachian Trail advice that will inspire you and empower you to thrive the Trail.

Our friends at REI have excellent backpacking tips for beginners. Or, take a live course in how to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail at some REI locations.