View Full Version : Why I hike the AT

Former Admin
10-30-2002, 19:22
Hammock Hanger asked me to bring this post and topic over from the old forum, below are her words.


Why, did I want to hike the AT. If I had a dime for eveerytime I was asked that question...

I hiked for years as a section hiker on the AT, FL, ADK and else where. I loved the feeling of sitting out at night and looking up at the stars, sitting by a waterfall, watching a deer-bear-rabbit-newt-butterfly-etc. Just being out in the out-of-doors, feeling like a part of nature, forgetting about the real world for a little while. The rush I would get after accomplishing a climb I just didn't think I could do. The views that can only be seen from that particular summit. The ones that cars can't reach were especially enjoyable. Knowing that I can live and take care of myself with minimal equipment (like all those wonderful material things I use and like when home). It is good to take a reality check once in a while and see that it's all just stuff. I taught backpacking for years every summer. I had always thought some day I'll give a thru-hike a try. Six months, 2000 miles of me and the woods, other hikers, small towns, nature, the elements... Mmmmm sounds like an adventure. One Spring I decided it was time for the dream of that adventure to become a reality. Even though I was unable to finish the trail in one season due to injury and illness, I've enjoyed every wonderful/miserable mile of the 1800+ and can't wait to grt back out there. I doubt I will ever try another 2000 miler, but find that anything less then 600 miles doesn't quite give me the accomplished feeling of LIVING n the woods. But ANYTIME spent out there is great fun and enjoyment. I'm rambling and getting misty... WHat can I say it is just a feeling that is hard to put in words. I LOVE BEING OUT THERE!!! HH

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, however, in the end it is the journey that matters." -- UK Leguin

11-06-2002, 10:18
You said it all. Being one who has experienced what you have, I know what you mean.
Happy trails. Grampie-N->2001

Trail Dog
11-12-2002, 16:10
you said it all really.

i was just wondering if that 'getting misty' is a common feeling AT hikers get?
i find myself getting that way while i plan and prepare for my trip that is still over a year away and has been in the works for the last few months.

well just thinking about it makes me want to cut my classes and hit the trail.


11-12-2002, 17:40
You want to cut class to hit the trail, eh? I want to stop teaching and hit the trail.

11-12-2002, 18:01
Originally posted by Trail Dog
i was just wondering if that 'getting misty' is a common feeling AT hikers get?

Trail Dog. I too am a New Yorker. I wax nostalgic about the trail quite a bit. A long distance hike, and in particular, the experience of a thru hike is very unique. Just remember though, that a long distance hike involves a varying degree of pain & discomfort. It's not all roses. I tend to gloss over the hard times, like hiking in 40 degree rain for 4-5 days in a row, blisters, sore feet, chafing, mosquitoes, kamikazi gnats, horseflies, etc... Look outside right now. Imagine hiking in a cold cloud with no views and soggy boots. I gotta tell ya, sittin on the couch inside feels pretty good.

Sorry to throw a little water on your parade.

And to answer your question, yes, I think its normal.

My question is, are AT hikers normal? Aha!

Little Bear
GA-ME 2000

Trail Dog
11-12-2002, 19:18
no, no water on the parade.

i had good drill sergeants and CO's who knew where and when the worst weather and terrain was. then they sliped a sand bag or two in my ruck sack when i was off pissing. had lost of fun and the most fun was in the foggy 40 degree rainy day when i havnt slept for two days and i had 65 pounds on my back and an extra 20 pounds of wet clothing.

i say it now when i am safe in front of a computer but hope for rain and snow and wind and fog. makes it interesting. but i am sure i dont have to hope for any of that, now do i?


11-13-2002, 00:42
There are as many reasons for hiking as there are hikers. All the previous reasons are valid but don't forget therapy. Some of us hike to forget.

SGT Rock
11-13-2002, 12:46
Trail Dog,

If it ain't raining, we ain't training!

Trail Dog
11-13-2002, 23:14

11 bravo by any chance first sarg?

well i love the rain and the cold just not both together.

MRE's anyone?


SGT Rock
11-14-2002, 00:35
19D Cavalry Scout

And the newest MREs have milkshaks in them. But they are nasty of course.

Thanks Natick!

Trail Dog
11-14-2002, 11:56
Hey thats cool i just (a year ago) transfered into a Mech infantry Unit as a 19Delta. Just waiting for MOSQ, figure i could make E-5 a bit sooner with a second MOS.

just so you know i am USANG in New York's HHC 1/69th Mech. Thinking of an active MI position but not too sure yet. I may find my self looking for some good trails in Iraq and holding off on the AT plans at the rate its going.

we have yet to see the milkshakes any good?
and what do you think of using MRE's on the trail? is it worth it?


SGT Rock
11-14-2002, 12:21
1. Scouts Out!

2. Milkshakes = suck.

3. MREs = bad trail food.


12-07-2002, 03:09
I don't know what the hell it is...but sometimes I just don't want to stop walking. I never truly planned a 25-30 mile day, but I've had plenty of them just cause I wanted to see more, see what's around the next bend ya know? I couldn't even begin to explain how I feel when walking...all I know is that I am happier and feel better about myself when I hike. That's all the reason I need and I am very thankful for all my experiences.