Must Have Tips for AT Thru-hikers.

Here are some quick tips for planning a long distance backpacking trip.katahdin

  • There are no right ways. There are many ways to things so do them the way you prefer and don’t worry about the how as much as the result.
  • Be self-sufficient don’t depend on someone mailing stuff (food) to you. Get your food as you go if at all possible. I found that being adaptable in this regard really makes the trip more enjoyable because you can change things like not having to eat oatmeal for breakfast for 6 months ( I don’t know what I was thinking…duh!)
  • Go light! this means going without some of the creature comforts, but your feet will thank you. Just be sure you use every single thing you carry everyday and/ make things do double duty when possible. Example: hiking pole used also as the main pole in your tent.
  • Don’t over do it too soon. You will need to break in you body to the stress of backpacking so don’t plan to hike too many miles early on in the trip. Work up to the larger mile days.  Take time to enjoy your hike.
  • Take care of hot spots. Stop and deal with it before it gets worse. It could be a blister on your feet, blister on your hands from hiking stick, hot spot on your shoulder or hips from your backpack. It is that simple, stop and deal with it. It will not get better without some well. Even if you just stop and rest for a day this could let your body recoup enough and build a callus or muscles to help you grow into the miles.
  • Duct Tape, wind pants and jacket, and mid weight fleece jacket. These are musts. (More about these later)
  • Set short mileage goals for a long days hike. Work in goals like mountain tops and breaks to read or listen to music or some other luxury.

O.K. I will stop here. If you are getting ready to hike a long trail feel free to email me. I love to answer questions about this subject.

 

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