SO you want to be a Thru Hiker?

There are approximately 70 Hikers Leaving to begin their journey today, it is the busiest start day of this hiking season.

The #1 Rule for a thru Hike

Make sure that everything at home is well taken care of, and planned for prior to the hike. I have seen way too many hikers called back home due to bad planning! This is of course Just MY opinion. One cannot experience the trail if one’s mind is stuck in the city!

How much will it cost me?

The cost of hiking the Appalachian Trail can vary greatly depending on your gear, food, and transportation expenses. On average, a through-hiker can expect to spend anywhere between $4,000 to $7,000 or more for a five to six-month hike. This estimate includes expenses such as gear, food, transportation, camping fees, and any unexpected expenses that may arise.

However, it is possible to minimize costs by choosing budget-friendly gear options, practicing frugal backcountry cooking, and utilizing services such as hiker hostels, which offer affordable lodging and resupply options.

Keep in mind that hiking the AT is a significant investment, both in terms of time and money, but it can also be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is well worth the cost.

How Long will it take?

The length of time it takes to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (AT) can vary greatly depending on several factors such as an individual’s hiking pace, trail conditions, and weather. Most through-hikers take five to seven months to complete the 2,192-mile trail. However, some faster hikers may be able to complete the trail in as little as four months, while others may take up to eight months or longer.

The average daily mileage for a through-hiker is 10 to 15 miles, but this can also vary depending on factors such as terrain, elevation, and physical condition. It is also common for hikers to take zero days or nero days (near zero days) to rest and resupply, which can add time to the overall hike.

Ultimately, the length of time it takes to hike the AT is a highly personal and individual experience and will depend on the hiker’s individual pace and preferences.

What resources are available along the Appalachian trail?

Along the Appalachian Trail (AT), hikers can access a variety of resources to support their journey, including:

  1. Shelter: The AT is dotted with backcountry shelters, which are three-walled structures that provide basic protection from the elements and often include a privy. Some shelters have sleeping platforms and/or a water source nearby.
  2. Water Sources: Streams, rivers, and springs are abundant along the AT, and hikers can collect and treat water for drinking. Some shelters and campsites also have a water source.
  3. Resupply Points: Towns and communities located near the AT offer resupply opportunities, where hikers can purchase food, supplies, and gear. Some towns, such as Damascus, Virginia, and Hanover, New Hampshire, are known as hiker-friendly and offer services specifically for AT hikers.
  4. Emergency Services: The AT passes through several small towns and rural areas where emergency services are available, such as hospitals and police departments. Additionally, most of the AT is within a day’s hike of a road, allowing for quick access to emergency services if needed.
  5. Information Centers: Many communities along the AT have visitor centers or park offices that provide information and resources for hikers, including trail conditions, weather updates, and local information.

These resources can help make a through hike of the AT a safe and enjoyable experience, but it is important for hikers to be prepared and self-sufficient, as services and resources can be limited in some areas.

How can I prepare for my Hike?

To prepare for a through hike of the Appalachian Trail, consider the following steps:

  1. Physical Preparation: Hiking the AT requires a good level of physical fitness, so start training at least 6 months in advance by doing regular exercises, such as hiking and backpacking, to build up strength and endurance.
  2. Gear: Invest in high-quality, lightweight gear including a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and clothing appropriate for the expected weather conditions.
  3. Planning: Research and plan your hike, including securing permits, determining resupply points, and understanding trail conditions. Make a detailed itinerary and consider factors such as your daily mileage, food and water needs, and emergency contingencies.
  4. Mentally Prepare: The AT can be a challenging mental and emotional journey, so it is important to be mentally prepared for the ups and downs. Try to maintain a positive attitude and be flexible with your plans.
  5. Practice Leave No Trace Principles: It is important to follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the trail and protect the environment.
  6. Get in touch with other hikers: Consider connecting with other hikers through forums, social media, and hiking groups to exchange information and advice, and potentially find hiking partners.
  7. Learn to use a map and carry one with you as well as a compass, GPS reception is very spotty in many areas and cell phone service is extremely limited.
  8. Practice running faster than the Bear. Just kidding wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Remember, preparation and planning are key to a successful and safe through hike of the Appalachian Trail.


Farout is a Hiking App that provides updated information along the trail to assist with rides, shelter and resupply areas. It also provides maps and such.

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