Time is flying and I will be heading back to New Orleans in just over a week. There I get to spend a few days with my Chili Cheese Dog, who is being cared for by the best vegan chef in New Orleans, Anne Churchill. Thanks again, Anne!
Then it’s on to Georgia to start my hike. With so many people asking questions about the Appalachian Trail (AT), I’ve decided to post a few facts about the trail and put to rest where I will go to the bathroom!
The AT is just shy of 2200 miles and passes through 14 states. I will be heading northbound (NOBO) from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.
The highest point on the trail is Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokey Mountains at 6643 ft. The lowest elevation is in Bear Mountain State Park in New York at 124ft. A thru hiker will gain over 464,000 ft, which would compare to climbing Mt Everest 16 times. And no, I won’t need an oxygen tank. I don’t think.
Most hikers don’t carry maps because there are white blazes painted every 70 feet.
There are 250, 3 sided shelters that are spaced 8-15 miles apart, with surrounding campsites and you can usually hike or hitchhike into a town every few days for resupply.
Around 2000 hikers begin the trail each year with only 10-15% finishing. Of the 2000, only 20% are female and with that said, I will be wearing earplugs to bed!
I will be carrying 30-35lbs on my back for 6 months. My backpack includes my tent, sleeping bag, tiniest stove and cook pot and enough food for 3-5 days. Water is filtered from streams along the way. I have 2 changes of clothing, so without a doubt, I will stink!
I’m hoping to go through only 4 pairs of boots, which will be shipped to me every 500ish miles.
And last but not least….
If bears, birds and bees can “go” in the woods, then so can I. As long as I dig a 6″ cathole, 200 ft from the trail and any camp or water source.
And there you have it!