If you are thinking of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail next year, you should begin your preparations now.
What’s the rush? Perhaps if you’re very young you can wing it, but if you want to finish the A.T. in one go, now is the time to start your physical training, study the literature, and lay down some plans.
Meet Mike, a fellow hiker in the southeastern Massachusetts chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club. He plans to hike from Georgia to Maine next March and is now in training. He’s overcoming a medical problem and had to first check in with his doctors to get the okay.
Mike, in his sixties, works out at the gym at least twice a week, primarily on the treadmill. He hikes with the AMC every Thursday from 6-8 p.m., and selects other hikes to supplement his training. He just signed up for AMC monthly conditioning hikes which begin next weekend; these hikes increase in mileage and difficulty, culminating with strenuous climbs in the White mountains.
Mike follows current A.T. hikers at www.Trailjournals.com and reads from past journals those hikers in his age group who finished the trek. He’s also studying published books about the A.T. so he can decide on equipment needs, food, how to get supplied while on the trail, etc. He’s doing everything he can to make himself ready for a challenging thru-hike. We’ll check in with Mike from time-to-time as he continues his preparations.
The picture of the blaze was taken on the A.T. in Connecticut.