On this page, I answer some of the questions that I get a lot. It's not comprehensive, so leave a comment at the bottom of the page if you're curious about something I didn't address here. I'll answer your question on this page.

How long is the trail?

It's not an exact measurement, but most estimates have it around 2180 miles. It starts at Springer Mountain, Georgia and ends on Mount Katahdin, Maine.

When do you start?

I have a tentative start date of June 15th, which gives me plenty of time after my friend's wedding in early June.  I haven't finalized the details yet, but that will come soon.

Which direction are you going to hike?

Departing as late as I am, I have almost no choice but to walk south from Maine. If I were to start walking north, I would be facing a deadline of October 15th (or earlier), when Mount Katahdin will be closed for the winter. Most people walk northbound, finishing on Katahdin. I'm not upset though, because this means I'll be able to get the most rugged part of the trail out of the way in the beginning, and I'll be walking towards my home in South Carolina.

How long will this take you?

Again, I can't give an exact answer, but it should take 4 or 5 months. For example, if I average 15 miles per day, I would finish in 145 days, a little short of 5 months. Keep in mind that my average hiking pace will include a few "zeros", or days where I don't hike.

How are you going to carry all that food?

There are tons of places where the A.T. crosses roads and passes through towns. This means I will only have to carry about 4 days of food at a time. The exception are a few more remote places like the 100 mile wilderness in Maine, which is (for the most part) what the name implies. Then I'll be carrying 9 or 10 days worth of food to be safe.

Are you afraid of murderers in the woods?

No. The crime rate on the trail is much lower than in the rest of America, and there's a great amount of comradery between hikers. People tend to look out for one another, so I'm less afraid than I would be spending a typical day in a town.

Is there a place I can meet up with you on the trail?

This question mostly applies to friends and family. Yes! We can absolutely arrange a meetup, assuming you don't mind my stench. We just need to coordinate where and when, which I can update as I make my way south. There is a tentative schedule sheet on my gear list spreadsheet (you have to click over to the "Projected Schedule" tab on the bottom of it), which shows when I expect to reach a few milestone cities along the way.

If you're another thru-hiker, I'm happy to hike with you if we happen to be at the same place at the same time, but as a general rule I'd like to play this by ear and not schedule every moment of my hike.

How are you gonna update this dang journal, ya dingus?

In general, I'll keep my phone in airplane mode to save battery, composing my posts while I'm offline. When I reach an area that looks like it has service, I'll turn the network back on to upload my post. In theory, I want to update every day. Whether or not I am able to get service, I will keep an account of each day and upload a batch when I can.


  1. I think this is such a kewl trip, are you carrying any weapons for personal safety?

  2. Aaron,
    Lots of love and prayers from Grandma Louise. Hope you get this message. I will try to keep up with your adventure. Post a few photos of you if you can. Don't feed the bears! =:)
    Gma Louise

  3. Great story so far Aaron. Wish I would could do a portion of the trail. Godspeed Aaron


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