The flip-flop is another way to complete a thru-hike.
Say you are behind because you can’t keep up your planned pace, or you had to take time off to rest through an injury, or you had to make an unplanned trip home. You are troubled that all your preparation and plans to complete your thru-hike will come to naught. This is because you realize, at your current pace, you can’t finish the A.T. before Baxter State Park closes on October 15th, or if you are on the PCT, you can’t reach Canada before snows in the Cascade Mountains. On the CDT, snow and weather in Glacier National park will stop you.
Flip-flop. Do what you can and then book it north well before expected
snows or closings, and hike back down to the place where you left. Thru-hikers do this all the time, especially when they have only that year to accomplish their dream. Because of work or school, they may be unable to finish the following spring.
For those of you heading north on the A.T. now, and facing the problem, this is a great time to flip-flop. Most sobos (south-bounders) are starting their thru-hike now; you won’t be alone.
If a flip-flop still can’t work for you, don’t beat yourself up. You deserve better, and you have the rest of your life to accomplish a dream.