The Gear Junkie has posted an excellent article today about Mike Hanson, a blind hiker who has set his ambitions on conquering the Appalachian Trail. While that sounds amazing enough as it is, believe or not, he intends to hike the entire 2,174 miles from Georgia to Maine, solo and unsupported.
Hanson, who is an avid outdoorsman despite his lack of vision, enjoys hiking, camping, biking, fishing, and even hunting, which he does, thankfully, with the assistance of someone else. He’ll be using a combination of impressive technologies to help him along the on his journey, including a voice-enabled GPS device, that will be preprogrammed to alert him when he draws close to a number of waypoints, including trail shelters, huts, road crossings, streams, mountain peaks, and more. The GPS will have also include a tracking system so that Hanson’s progress can be monitored by friends and family back home.
Wow! This sounds like quite the trek. I’m sure the GPS will be extremely helpful for him to stay on the trail and successfully navigate is way, but going solo without the ability to see sounds very scary to me. Of course, when I take my glasses off, I can barely walk from the living room to the bathroom, so what do I know. 😉 Hopefully we’ll be able to follow his progress online. He’s expecting the journey to take roughly eight months with an average pace of 10 miles per day. He’ll begin the trip in the Spring.