Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike: What to Pack
So you've decided to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Well, congratulations to you! Now what?
Here's a little back story about how my thru-hike dreams came to fruition. You can also find this on Appalachian Trials, USA Today's Top Outdoor and Hiking Blog.
I concocted the crazy idea of hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2014, sometime between hiking the Pacaya Volcano, in Guatemala and hiking Volcano Conception, in Nicaragua. At the time I was living in New York, constantly traveling and chasing adventures on my spare time. Earlier that year, I made a goal to find adventures in my own backyard and that's what brought me to the Appalachian Trail.
After making the commitment to live in the woods for six months, I began to replace my older and heavier gear. For me this was a year-long endeavor.
*Side note: I will be the first person to tell you that the gear does not make the the thru-hiker, and that I wholeheartedly believe that your mindset is what determines your success--whatever your definition of success is. That being said, I only speak for myself and will not paint the hiking community with broad strokes (HYOH).*
I'm pretty petite, standing at 5'2, and I wanted the ability to hike comfortably without completely abandoning some luxuries--so I made it a priority to acquire lightweight gear that fell within my budget. Below, you will find my gear list on LighterPack, a tool I used to keep track of my pack weight.
I will end this post by stating that these opinions and choices are only my own. This is the approach I took when preparing for my hike, and chances are that yours will look completely different and that's okay! Part of the beauty of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is that despite our different reasons and approaches, we are all bonded by the choice to live deliberately.
If you have any questions/comments regarding gear or the Appalachian Trail, shoot me and email!
Photo feat. @drewjbartlett