Day in the Life of a Thru-Hiker


This is what my life is like on the AT:


  • Wake up
  • Wish you could go back to sleep
  • Roll out of hammock. Brush teeth. Change into smelly hiking outfit. Splash water on face
  • Pack hammock, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad
  • Eat a healthy breakfast of tortillas smeared with peanut butter and Little Debbie snacks
  • “Camel up” with water at stream
  • Glance at map
  • Hike 5 miles
  • Eat Lunch
  • Hike 10 more miles
  • Take stupid pictures
  • High-five a hiker
  • Carry a conversation with a squirrel
  • Arrive at shelter around 5
  • Collect and sterilize water. Inspect feet. Send SPOT GPS Map update
  • Cook pasta for dinner. Glance at food pack. Consider eating everything in there. Try to control yourself since you still have 3 days before the next town
  • Set up hammock and sleeping bag
  • Sign shelter book. Use cute acorn stamp. Read messages from other hikers who have already been here
  • Chat with smelly hikers. Compare gear. Compare injuries. Discuss weather. Look at the AT guide for upcoming day’s terrain. Ponder how many miles you can hike tomorrow
  • Brush teeth. Try to clean filth off body with a tiny baby wipe. Realize you will always be filthy. Give up
  • Crawl into hammock. Pass out. Dream of walking. Dream of Maine. Dream of finishing. Dream of doing this forever
  • Wake up. Was that a bear????
  • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I hit a major milestone recently. I have hiked 500 miles!! I’m still in a stage of disbelief that I’ve hiked so far without any issues or injuries. To tell you the truth, I spent all winter in a stage of constant worry — Now, I’m beginning to realize that worrying is a huge waste of brain power. Center your power on the present day.
(and before you leave mean comments, I didn’t tag the shelter. And it’s chalk)


I’ve spent the last few days doing a work-for-stay with a few other hikers at a farm/camp in the Virginia mountains. This was exactly what I needed to renew my commitment to this hike. And my love for this amazing miracle called life.

I’ll be enjoying a festival called Trail Days this weekend– I can’t help but feel slightly guilty for not “making miles,” but what is that saying again?

Oh, right…

“Last one to Katahdin wins.”

Categories: Uncategorized | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Day in the Life of a Thru-Hiker

  1. Trail Days is awesome!

  2. jack/snorz

    Have a great time at Trail Days!

  3. Randy (Shady)

    Acorn — I used to live on the road to A.R.E. Camp. Are you staying at the camp? There is a hostel in Rural Retreat if you or any other hikers you know need a place to stay. We’ve had 13 hikers stay there so far this season but it is not listed in any guide books at this time. I’ll be heading to Trail Days Saturday morning if you know anyone needing a ride. You can find my phone number on a flyer at The Barn restaurant in Atkins or send me an E-mail with a contact number and I’ll give you a call. The offer is still there to treat you to a meal at The Barn. Godspeed! Shady

    • What time does the barn close? Hopefully will be there in time for food. (got lost bushwhacking from ARE to the AT today)

  4. James workkman

    Your still going strong girl! but! (no) high fives, nasty hands touch elbows or forearms!! lol!!

  5. You ROCK! Sounds like a dream Day!
    Trail Days will Probably Be the ONLY time I will see you! You are a speedy hiker!
    So See Ya Soon Chickie!!!!

  6. Rob Kemper

    Will be section hiking with my wife and some friends south of pearisburg on the 23rd you gonna be anywhere close would enjoy the opportunity to say hi and meet you. Keep up the pace and enjoy the ride. I would love to do a thru but with my family ill prob have to wait until retirement.

  7. Garry

    Hi! Just found your journal today. Loving it so far. Thanks so much for sharing your trip. Keep plugging!

  8. Loon

    Have enjoyed catching up on your journal. So glad you weren’t hurt at Trail Days. Jealous you found morels. Proud that you continue on with such a spirited and great attitude. Happy Hiking Acorn!

  9. Carol

    Love reading your Blog. We are cheering you on from Florida. PIzza’s on me via paypal. Keep on walkin.

  10. “To tell you the truth, I spent all winter in a stage of constant worry — Now, I’m beginning to realize that worrying is a huge waste of brain power.”
    good girl!

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