View Full Version : I'm a 2015 AT Thru Hiker!!

War Eagle
10-18-2015, 18:25
I started March 18th and finished August, 22nd. I met so many awesome people. What an unbelievable adventure. So glad I was afforded the opportunity for something that I know I will never forget. Not a day has gone by without thoughts of the trail. I started peeking at both Whiteblazes and Trailjournals two years before I started to gain insight. I had no hiking experience prior. These two sources were invaluable in helping me to gain helpful information. To those of you who post here, thank you! In an attempt to pay it forward, if anyone who might be thinking about a similar journey has any questions, please feel free to ask me. I am not an expert, but I'd be more than happy to relate my experiences.

10-18-2015, 18:31
Congrats on completing your thru-hike Doc!

10-18-2015, 18:39

kayak karl
10-18-2015, 18:49
Congratulations :)

Rocket Jones
10-18-2015, 19:05

10-18-2015, 19:17
Four years later and I can also say not a day goes by without thinking about the Trail. Congrats on your finish. is there another trail in your future?

10-18-2015, 20:57
That's awesome, congrats!

War Eagle
10-18-2015, 22:43
Thanks, all. No future hiking plans as of now. Have been back in the water, shooting fish. Who knows:) The fall colors have got me honking though.

War Eagle
10-18-2015, 22:48
Thanks, all. No future hiking plans as of now. Have been back in the water, shooting fish. Who knows:) The fall colors have got me thinking though.

map man
10-19-2015, 08:07
That is a great accomplishment, War Eagle.

Many this year have been concerned about overcrowding on the trail, especially for NOBO thru-hikers starting in March or early April. How did you find things? Any privies that were overflowing, especially down south? Any times when you wanted space in a shelter or hostel, and found them full to capacity? Any places where litter was excessive? Just in general, were you ever feeling like there were just too many people on the part of the trail where you were and it detracted from your experience?

I think it would be useful to hear a report from someone like you with first-hand experience.

10-19-2015, 08:49
I started March 7 and finished August 14. Overcrowding was definitely an issue up to about 1/3 of the way through Virginia. Everyone always talked about the huge bubble that was right behind us, but eventually it became another one of those trail myths as I never saw much of it. There were definitely days that the shelters and hostels were full which sucked when it was raining and snowing. Quite a few full to the brim privies along the trail, which I believe strongly aided in the massive amount of stomach bugs that went around this year. Never saw much litter on the trail, but definitely at the shelters and road crossings. at least 50 people my first night at Hawk Mountain, 50 people at Partnership shelter in VA.
That being said, The amount of people never ruined the experience for me, but in fact aided it. The solitude is still there if you want it. The bubble is always sporadic, one week you might see lots of people every day and the next you won't see any other thru hikers at all, especially as you move north. The AT was a very special experience for me that I feel no other trail could ever replicate due to the social scene that exists. It does take a toll on the trail and land in general for sure though.

10-19-2015, 12:13
Way to go!!! What's next? ;)

War Eagle
10-19-2015, 14:04
I agree. The trail was obviously busier early on, but since I was new to hiking, it was nice to have plenty of folks to choose from to socialize with, so the amount of hikers didn't detract from the experience for me. I met a guy at Hawk's (Forward) who I ended up hiking 80% of the trail with. Heard the same about the bubble, but never saw it. The only privy problem was in Vermont when we merged with the Long Trail hikers and the SOBO's. The shelters were full early on, but most everyone had a tent if they needed it. Not a problem from TN on to speak of. If it wasn't raining, I usually preferred tenting. When I got to the Whites, there were a few places, huts, where it was a bit of an issue. As far as litter, the only consistent issues were in the fire pits. For some reason, not everyone gets the "hike it in, hike it out" idea. It was usually blamed on weekenders, but who knows.

10-19-2015, 15:07
Congrats!! Great accomplishment!!

10-19-2015, 15:34
... The only privy problem was in Vermont when we merged with the Long Trail hikers and the SOBO's...Most of the privies on the AT in VT are in terrible condition all the time. Even in spring before any of the thru-hikers come through in either direction.

10-19-2015, 18:38
Way cool. Congrats!

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