I hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2021 and 2022
Special Announcement! Corona Virus Update
Because of the Corona Virus, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) recommended that no one hike the AT in 2020. I decided to delay my hike until late March 2021. I continue to post new videos with thoughts and gear information. Thank you for following me.
Will I Stay or Will I Go? My decision is HERE!
The ATC gives out hang tags to thru hikers. This is my 2020 hang tag, front and back. On the back, they print a Leave No Trace (LNT) item and in 2020, it was Respect Wildlife.
it is over 2,193 miles long stretching through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to the top of Mt. Katahdin in Maine. It will take 5,000,000 steps and I’ll go through 6 pairs of trail runner shoes.
I will be VLOGGING the hike on YouTube. Please subscribe to my channel and view various gear and hiking videos. If you click the little bell on a video page and then select All Videos, you will be notified when I post new videos. My channel is JLDRDOTCOM and is located here: https://www.youtube.com/user/jldrdotcom
In May of 2022, I drove to PA and stayed at a hotel near the AT. I actually went to the AT there and hiked for a day and then returned to the hotel. The next day, I was dropped off in Harpers Ferry, WV at the ATC headquarters. I had my picture taken in front of the building and registered my hike. I then left to hike NOBO on the AT. My videos of this hike are on my YouTube channel. My channel is JLDRDOTCOM and is located here: https://www.youtube.com/user/jldrdotcom
I hiked for several days in WV, MD and PA but ran into an issue with heat, humidity and not much water on trail. Most of the time, the only water I found was by the shelters. I ended up calling the hike because it has only been a year since I had a quadruple bypass and the heat and humidity was getting to me.
I’m not sure what the future holds for me as far as backpacking on the AT goes but I will be continuing overnight backpacking trips near home. Thank you for following me. I will be adding videos on my channel on a regular basis.
My 2021 Appalachian Trail Experience
After getting on trail at Amicalola Falls State Park, I proceeded to hike several days. During that time, I did some serious soul searching and decided that at this time in my life, my priority had to be taking care of things at home vs. being gone for up to six months away from friends and family. Of course I would make tons of new friends on trail but I felt a calling home. The videos I made on trail turned out great and show a lot of the trail. I would have liked to have done many more.
As it turned out, it’s a good thing I went home because on the way home, my I felt my chest tighten up. It went away and then came back two months later. I went to the doctor and after testing, they told me I was having emergency open heart surgery the next day to correct several blockages. The surgery was successful I’m sure in part because I was in such good shape from preparing for the AT hike. The recovery took several months and I did cardiac rehab from August 2021 to December 2021. During that time, my cardio improved 134%. The average improvement for people is 40%.
The AT is drawing me back. I plan on doing a section hike in 2022. Unfortunately, a full on thru hike in one year is not going to work for me. I’m also planning on doing some shorter backpacking trips closer to home with friends and family and I’ll be vlogging those trails when it happens. In the meantime, here is a stat you can think about: Of all the people who begin a thru hike, only about 19% actually complete their hike (2020 data). That percentage has been going down during the last 15 years.
The Appalachian Trail is HARD!!! Most of the time, it seems like you are going up and a lot of the time, it is a steep up. I found that I enjoyed going down much more simply because I could get my breath. Yes, the knees would hurt but at least I could breath normally. The trail also tears up shoes. In the few days I hiked, the toe flap in the front of both shoes was coming unglued and other areas of the shoes were showing signs of wear. You are constantly getting your shoes caught on rocks and roots. So for anyone out there who is contemplating hiking the Appalachian Trail, be aware that it will probably be harder than anything you have ever done before right out of the gate. I hope you enjoy my Vlog of my AT hike.
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What do you carry in your backpack to survive on a backpacking hike?
Click on the picture below to watch my 2020 video showing all the gear I was taking in 2020.
I also created a Gear page of gear i will be taking on the AT. You can find the Backpacking Gear page.
Guess what? There are tons of Privy’s / Outhouses so you know I’ll be featuring some of them in my VLogs.