Imagine a walk so long that it takes you almost a lifetime to complete. However, at the end of the walk, you might get back to that trail again. So spectacular has it been. Crossing over 14 states for a staggering 2180 miles, the Appalachian Trail is supposedly the world’s longest hiking trail. It is accessible all round the year, and as a result, almost 3 million hikers participate in the portion hiking, that is a hike at least a portion of this large walk. They say that nothing prepares them for all the challenges that they face while being a part of this endeavor. It is a standard practice for any group of hikers or even solo hikers to plan. The Appalachian Trail is one of those hikes where planning is integral in the scheme of things. You would need to look for the weather, the total journey you would be able to cover, the weight you would need to carry et al. It is not an easy trail and is also quite unpredictable. So be prepared for every eventuality. It is also imperative to understand one’s own endurance while undertaking this task.
Nonetheless, let us look at some of the things you might have to look into if you have decided to hike the wondrous Appalachian Trail:
The Starting Point
Now you might ask me why is this important. The reason being this is 2180 miles path and crosses 14 states. That would mean different weather conditions will be prevalent along the way. In fact, the weather decides which would be your starting point.
If you are starting in late winter or early spring, you will want to begin in Georgia so that you can avoid the cold conditions and heavy snows that are so common at the north end of the trail at that time of year. Now on the other hand, if you are starting during the summer, it may be the best to begin on Katahdin where the temperatures will be colder than down south. This will give the hotter parts of the trail a chance to cool down before you arrive. Should you decide to start during the fall, start in Maine and travel south at a rapid pace, as you’ll want to avoid the early onset of winter and get into the warmer sections before the snow begins to fly.
Travel Light, But Smart
While it is a rage to travel light, but be sure of the gear you would need to carry. The Appalachian Trail is a long journey. You would need a lot of things to counter the weather and the wilderness. So before you embark on the journey plan of all the things you would need.
Tent or no tent
It is possible to complete the entire stretch of the Appalachian Trail without a tent. There are about 250 huts along the way, and they provide you with shelter for the night. Amazing, I know.