My Thru-Hike Plan

Backpacking

I will be thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail going NOBO (North Bound) starting April 8th, 2019 and should finish sometime around September 22nd, 2019, plus or minus a week or two…that is, if I make it all the way. Here is my plan:

Getting to the Trail

I’ll be flying into Atlanta Georgia on April 7th and have arranged to have Ron’s Appalachian Trail Shuttle Service pick me up at the airport, supply me with a canister of cooking fuel, and drive me to Amicalola Falls State Park. At the Visitor Center on Monday April 8th, I will sign in on the NOBO thru-hike registry, get my thru-hiker tag, weigh my gear on the famous pack scale, maybe get a picture taken at the famous archway, and then hike the 8.8 mile Approach Trail to the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian trail. That’s right, I’m hiking 8.8 miles before I even get to the start of the Appalachian trail and at the beginning of this Approach Trail are 604 steps to the top of the falls. Some people skip this hike, but for some crazy reason, I am not.

My Itinerary

Around the beginning of the 2018 year, I picked up a copy of 2018 Northbound AT Guide. This guide shows the trail and elevations, marks off the miles, shows all the shelter and water source locations, and gives all kinds of other information crucial to thru-hiking the Appalachian trail. With this guide and some additional research, I determined that I wanted to send myself 18 mailed boxes from home with food and other resupplies. These mail drops would be for areas that look like they do not have a grocery store or very good resupply options. While working through this exercise I also determined my estimated pace, what shelters and hostels/hotels I would stay at, and when my approximate finish date would be. According to my resupply plan, I should summit Mount Katahdin and finish my thru-hike on September 22nd. Of course, this plan is most likely to change. If I’m lucky, I’ll be within one or two weeks of it. Fortunately, I don’t have a set date that I have to finish by, other than Baxter State Park’s October 15th cutoff date for summiting Mt. Katahdin. I also will have my resupplies set up to be flexible so that I can choose not to send some items and choose alternative mailing locations. It would be remiss of me not to mention my dear friend Nancy Gamon who will be sending me my resupply packages. Thru hikers depend on those friends and family members giving their support through social media, helping with mail drops, or lending support in other ways, and I am tremendously grateful for mine. Thank you Everyone!

Next time, I’ll talk about the dangers of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail

So, until then, Happy Trails!

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