Tips For Long Distance Hikers

thru hike, which has always been an excellent resource for backpackers and hikers everywhere, has begun a great new series of articles designed to help long distance thru-hikers to tackle any of the long distance hikes in the U.S., such as the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide trails. But even if you don’t intend to tackle one of those 1000+ mile long monsters, the information is helpful for shorter treks too.

The planned four part series begins with this article which focuses on planning your hike. Author Barbara Egbert starts with some details on the Triple Crown of thru-hiking, laying out what you can expect on the three major trails linked to above, and how they all differ from one another.

The article then goes on to examine the gear that you’ll need, with an emphasis on lightweight but durable equipment. Tents, sleeping bags, and packs are all important considerations on any trip, but especially on one that will go for hundreds of miles. Choosing the right clothing and shoes are also very important as well of course.

From there, it’s on to some suggested training methods to get in shape for the miles ahead. Several thru-hikers give tips on their approaches to preparing for the trails, with strong recommendations of being in great shape before you go. The story also recommends that if you’re going to hike alone you should train alone in order to get use to the conditions you’ll experience while traveling miles on end by yourself.

Finally, the article concludes with a list of great books that cover each of the major trails, offering up resources that will be invaluable for long distance thru-hikers as they prepare for one of these major hikes. The suggestion being that if you’re considering one of these hikes, you’ll want to pick up the guide now, read it in the winter months, and begin collecting your gear and training for a 2010 epic hike.

This look like it’s going to be a great series, and a must read for anyone wanting to backpack anything longer than a weekend escape. Good stuff so far.

Kraig Becker