How do you prepare for a 2200 mile hike? Research the trail, familiarize yourself with the terrain and stops along the way, and get your body in shape for the grueling climbs and sharp descents…not to mention hours on your feet carrying your necessities on your back, in your pack.
T&C Member Paul Schlecht is hiking the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, starting out at Springer Mountain, GA and finishing in Maine. He has already been through two of the mountain stretches and has one more left to go.
The conveniences of home are far away on the trail, cell towers are sporadic; first aid comes in the form of your small first aid and snake bite kit.
To break up the trip there are various hostels and outfitters where Paul can receive a “drop package” from home with more food and supplies. Paul meets with his wife about once a month to replenish food and switch out any gear – like trading in the cold weather gear for warm weather, lighter weight sleeping bag etc. When getting to the small towns along the way Paul can shower, do laundry and maybe enjoy a sit-down meal not prepared over a cook stove.
Most nights have been spent sleeping in his one man tent while plotting out the next days hike. Foods are varied; turkey or beef jerky, snack bars, dried fruit and nuts, meals are usually soup, pasta, or a vegetable meat combo that can be heated.
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As of this today, Paul is working his way out of the Shenandoah National Forest and has logged over 920 miles. Paul is on track to finish his journey this fall before the cold and snow sets in.