I Hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2021

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) gives out hang tags to hang on your backpack 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. Why do I have a 2020 hang tag? Because I was going to thru hike the AT in 2020 but because of the Covid pandemic, I decided to delay to 2021.

2020 AT Thru-Hiker Tag
Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker Hang Tag

The AT is over 2,193 miles long stretching through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to the top of Mt. Katahdin in Maine. It takes 5,000,000 steps and a thru hiker goes through 6 pairs of trail runner shoes but carries only 2 pairs of underwear, one pair of hiking pants, 2 pairs of socks, 1 t-shirt and 1 hiking shirt. I also carry one set of sleep clothes. Doing laundry when you can is paramount to the “smell” comfort of anyone around you because most hikers do NOT carry deodorant!

I VLOG my hikes on YouTube. Please subscribe to my channel and view my 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

Update! I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2022!

The AT is drawing me back. In 2022, I’m heading back to Harpers Ferry, WV to begin a long Section Hike NOBO. I would like to get to CT (that means completing the following states: WV, MD, PA, NJ, NY, CT) so we’ll see how my heart does. You can follow my AT hike on my YouTube Channel JLDRDOTCOM. HERE is a direct link to my 2022 Appalachian Trail videos.

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.

I hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2021 

2021 was “My Year” to hike the AT. I put my 2020 ATC reservation number on my 2020 tag AND added my 2021 ATC reservation number on my tag as well.  Hike on!

Here is a link to my 2021 AT Hike Playlist on YouTube. You can follow the days I hiked on the AT there. 

After getting on trail at Amicalola Falls State Park, I proceeded to hike several days. At some point, something told me to go home.  It’s a good thing I did. Two months later, I had to have a quadruple bypass with open heart surgery. I went through three months of recovery and then four months of cardiac rehab. At the end of rehab, I had improved 134%!!! The average improvement is 40% so I think my heart was in great shape because of all the hiking and backpacking I had done in the last two years.

Backpacking Gear

What kind of backpacking gear do you need to make a long distance hike? HERE is a link to my 2021 backpacking gear video that I took on my 2021 Appalachian Trail “Thru hike”.  Here is a link to my Backpacking Gear  with links to the actual equipment. In 2022, I’ve made a few minor gear changes but did not make a new gear video.

Monetary Contributions – Gear and thru hiking costs money and Vlogging takes a lot of time and effort. If you enjoy my videos, consider donating. Every dollar helps. I will keep track of all donations and plan to do something special for each person who donates after my hike is complete.

PayPal Donations: https://paypal.me/JLDRDOTCOM

Venmo Donations: www.venmo.com/JLDRDOTCOM

Guess what? There are tons of Privy’s / Outhouses so you know I’ll be featuring lots of them in my VLogs.

Church Outhouse, Communication Tower Outhouse, Fish Dam Outhouses revisited in 2020 and compared to photos taken around 1997

I took a drive across the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan in 1997 and took lots of pictures of Outhouses. In September of 2020, I took the same drive across the UP and discovered that most of the Outhouses that I took pictures of in 1997 were no longer there. I did find three that were remaining where I stopped and took updated pictures.  Here is the page showing them.

George Borum Outhouse Sketches

George Borum (1913-2012) from Centralia, Illinois, was a man of many talents. He was a sign painter, calligrapher, auctioneer, carver, and a tramp art artist to name a few. To Mickie H., he was a priviologist, an outhouse expert. Mickie and George got acquainted through outhouses. George wrote and illustrated “Our Vanishing Americana… The Little House Out Back”. Mickie was an outhouse collector, bought George’s book, and became penpals for years.

Outhouse Shed

Mickie sent me many of the original sketches that George Borum sent to him. They are all pages out of his sketch book and signed.  I think you will enjoy these pictures. You can read more about them and see all of them on the page dedicated to George Borum. They are under the Drawings and Sketches category in the tour.

Victor Hayes Outhouse Art

Comment from a visitor about the shirt his pictures are on…

I met Victor Hayes probably about the time he drew the outhouses that were on the t-shirt. I was a high school kid from Grand Rapids, MI. My parents were teachers and we lived in Elk Rapids during the summer.I don’t remember where he lived in the Fall, Winter, and Spring, but he rented a tiny white cabin, across from the Elk Rapids Golf Club, for the Summer. He would sit outside his tiny cabin and paint. He had his art displayed, for sale. I think he rented that same little cabin for multiple years.

He was known to be kind of a jerk. If a golfer hit a ball across the street, and near into the little cabin resort, Victor would grab it and wouldn’t give it back.

I somehow got hold of him and made an appointment to meet him. I was hoping to get some advice and encouragement. I wanted to be an artist (I ended up not a painter, but a graphic designer). I don’t remember what he told me (or didn’t tell me), but I remember going back to our cottage and telling my mom that he wasn’t encouraging and that he was kind of a grump. He wasn’t very nice.

A few years later I heard that he died in a car accident. He used to drive an old Chevy Impala. I think it was a ’64. It was copper color or medium brown metallic.

That’s my memory of Victor Hayes. I liked his art, he did a lot of fall-color landscapes in watercolor. He was a good artist, but not such a nice guy.

Regards, Brek R.

Many talented people visit The Outhouses of America Tour web site. Missy has an incredible talent for creating images. Above is an example of her work. Her twitter is @MLSterling11 if you need any work done.

Have you ever wondered what someone would do with an Outhouse Seat? How about a 3-Holer seat used as a bed headboard?

Read the article 

Sweden’s Ureddplassen Rest Stop Outhouse

Swedens Ureddplassen Rest Stop Outhouse
Swedens Ureddplassen Rest Stop Outhouse

My friends and relatives are always thinking of me. These POOP MINTS are a gift from a caring friend!

Idaho Moose Poop Mints
Idaho Moose Poop Mints






The featured outhouse shown on the home page was found by the Outhouses of America curator while in the Alaska bush in 2016. He was flown into the bush by a local pilot in an old Cessna 170 tail dragger that had huge bush tires.

This particular outhouse was build by a real bush person who lives by himself. He has a cabin, sauna and this outhouse. Saunas are commonly used to bathe and are heated with wood. We opened the door of the outhouse and inside was a hornets nest right above the seat. It might be best to remove the nest before sitting!

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