AT Thru-Hiker
Chris Gallaway, Horizonline Pictures

The Highs and Lows of an AT Thru-Hiker in Video Series

Did you ever consider becoming an AT Thru-Hiker? In keeping with the adventurous spirit of AOG Boundless, we’ve decided to follow the exploits of Number 2 Pencil through the videos he posts during his quest to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail.

What’s an AT Thru-Hiker?

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, a thru-hiker is one who hikes the complete Appalachian Trail within a 12-month period.

Appalachian Trail Fast Facts

The Appalachian Trail was completed in 1937.

The AT, as it’s called, stretches across 14 states in the U.S., covering 2,193.1 miles from Springer Mountain Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine.

The AT Approach Trail, measures about 8.5 miles and runs between Amicalola Falls State Park ,where many thru-hikers register, to the official start of the AT at the top of Springer Mountain.

About 3,000 people on average attempt to thru-hike each year. Only about 1 in 4 complete the journey.

An AT  thru-hiker can expect to take 5 to 7 months to complete the entire trail.

A 2,000-miler is one who has hiked the entire AT, either as a thru-hiker or by completing the hike in sections over time. More than 20,000 people have completed the trail over the years.

Thru-hikers usually stop at a town every 5 days or so to resupply, do laundry, grab a shower and a good night’s sleep, and most of all to chow down at local restaurants.

Highs and Lows on the AT

There will literally and figuratively be many highs and lows while trying to hike the AT. First, when hiking the trail, it might seem like you’re either walking uphill or downhill. It’s a very strenuous path with lots of climbs that also present some spectacular views.

Also, a thru-hiker will have good days and bad, successes and setbacks while facing uncertain weather, long periods of solitude, and physical limitations.

Cheer on Number 2 Pencil

Most every hiker on the AT has a trail name, either one that’s chosen or one that’s given. We’ll be watching AT Thru-hiker Number 2 Pencil and his “tramily,” his trail family, the fellow hikers who join him on the trail over certain stretches or meet up with him in town.

He’s closing in on the 500-mile mark and has posted 40 videos to date on his YouTube channel, The Heard Hiker. Here’s a look at Episode 1, how it all started for him, so yes, you have some catching up to do. And be sure to check AmericanOutdoor.Guide for more great outdoor adventures and how-to resources.


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