The Appalachian Trail Conservancy just released the completion statistics for the Class of 2013 and they make for pretty astounding reading.
As I have started the transition from casual day hiking to long distance hiking over the last year my many hours of research, both online and in the real world, has equipped me to offer these top 10 hiking tips. And, yes, these are tongue-in-cheek, satirical and may even be considered by some to be mildly humorous.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. That is the old phrase or truism. It’s easy to say or nod your head along with, but preparing to hike the AT encompasses many things, from physical to mental to equipment, from the practical to the abstract, and it’s hard to prepare fully. This article attempts to outline some of specific issues that I have identified to affect me as an individual, how I managed to do that, and how I have prepared in advance in order to best tackle those issues head on.
As a resident of the UK I cannot just wander into the US whenever I fancy. But getting a US visa is not a problem most UK visitors to the US have to worry about because our two fine countries have a ‘visa waiver’ system in place whereby tourists (sans criminal records and not carrying the plague obviously) can fill in a simple form while on board their flight to the US for entry up to a maximum of a 3 month stay. For regular clean-living British folks it’s the only way they ever need to travel.
But hiking the AT obviously takes longer than that to complete. What then? The answer is, you need to get a visa to hike the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail or Continental Divide Trail because all three of these National Scenic Trails take more than three months to hike.