Keep a Hiking Journal



Thru-hikers — those aiming to complete a long-distance trail in one season — are already gearing up for the major trails next year. Make sure to journal your hike.

One great advantage of keeping a daily journal is that you will be able to relive your hike the rest of your life. I began my first thru-hike, the Appalachian Trail, on March 14th, twelve years ago. Each year, on March 14th, I can start to read my journal daily and relive that hike day-by-day.

This year, I followed my Pacific Crest Trail hike of eight years ago, day-by-day. Although I was wise to include daily mileage, start and end times, weather, and terrain, I wish I had included more descriptions of my surroundings.

All the pictures here are of my PCT hike, but as I read my journal I note the lack of setting and the missing details from campsites.  You can fix that when you journal.

It’s your journal. Put some soul into it. What else do you see? What are you learning? Look, examine, show, tell.

why hike

Published by Ray Anderson

Hiker and writer. Have hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, The Long Trail (Vermont), and some of the Continental Divide Trail. My trail name is "HAMLET." Have written three hiking novels (thrillers). The first one, "THE TRAIL," was traditionally published in 2015. My second hiking thriller, "SIERRA," released Oct 2016. Book three in my AWOL hiking-thriller series, "THE DIVIDE" releases from Turner Publishing 8/18/2020.

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