Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers October 2017

Congratulations to those that have finished their journey!!!  I am seeing about 30% completion rate from the list below.  We saw a little bit of everything this year.  A newer trend has been emerging from the vloggers, videos devoted solely to talking about the hike while not hiking.  Look for the end of the year update.

2017 AT Oct map

Completed Thru Hikes

Spencer King – Completed his thru hike.  Started February 20th.

Early_Riser_71 – Completed his thru hike.  Started February 16th.

Bill McGovern – Completed his thru hike.  Started March 4th.

Bethany Varner – Completed her thru hike.  Started early March.

Steve Pekarskiy – Completed his thru hike.  Started mid/late February.

BrianSal93 – Completed his thru hike.  Started mid February.

Saratoga on the AT 2017 – Completed his thru hike July 15.  Started late February.

reddmage – Completed his thru hike mid August.  Started early February.

Matt Radford – Completed his thru hike mid August.  Started March 5th.

Larry McCoy – Completed his thru hike mid August.  Started mid April.

Hop Along Johnny – Completed his thru hike late August.  Started early March.

Yay Adventures – Completed their thru hike late August?  Started late March.

Greeter’s 2017 Thru-Hike –  Flip Flop hiker.  Started late March.

Appalachian Trail Tales – Completed their thru hike mid September.  Started March 22nd.

Jay’s on the Trail – Completed their thru hike mid September.  Started mid March.

BR Up The Trail – Made it to Katahdin after taking time off to deal with Lyme Disease.  Started March 24th.

Carissa Murillo – Completed her thru hike late September.  Last video was from Trail Days but Instagram shows her standing on the sign at Katahdin.  Started mid/late April.

Also check out these channels:

Sarah Williams

Wonderwoman Shelley

Currently on the Trail

ChrisGoesOutdoors – Made it past Chairback Mountain.  Started early April.

Crazy Tree – Made it to Monson, ME.  Started February 4th.

Walking with Mountain Goat (Joshua Lindsey) – Made it through the White Mountains.  Started early March.

The Blackalachian – Flipped up near Glencliff, NH.  Started mid April.

11Series Hiking – Made it to Wildcat Mountains.  Started mid March.

Meg Greenlee – Near Boiling Springs, PA prior to taking some time off.  SOBO.  Started late June.

Gin·Gin Amelia Klos – Made it to the Washington Monument in Maryland.  Started April 4th.

 

Hikers that are no longer on the trail

MTMike – Made it to Franklin, NC.  Started early March.

Big Red On The Road – Made it to Winding Stair Gap.  Started February 20th.  Has not posted in 2 months.

Broken Arrow – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid/late February.  Has not posted in 2 months.

Gary Hikes – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid March.

Moose on the Trail – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid March.

Kiwi Wandering USA – Made it to Jennings Creek in VA.  Started January 29th.

Hiker Feet – Made it to Hot Springs.  Started February 25th.

2floridasoles – Made it past Tri-corner Knob Shelter.  Started March 8th.

The Wild Wild Walkz Inc. – Made it on the roller coaster at the VA-WVA border.  Started mid January.

Steve Walker – Made it past Wildcat Shelter.  Flip-flop hiker.  Started April 1st from Shenandoah National Park.

Weather Girl Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker 2017 – Made it to Burkes Garden, VA.  Started early/mid March.

Lawrence Wild – Made it to Harper Ferry.  Started March 6th.

Kenji Takes a Hike – Made it to Buchanan, VA.  Started late February.

Jennifer Giddens – Crossed the 556 mile mark.  Started late March.

tim t – Made it to Marion, VA.  Started February 26th.

Goin’ Walkabout – Made it to Marion, VA.  Started February 20th.

Michael Thorpe Hugs – Made it to McAfee Knob.  Started mid/late February.

Tylers ATHike – Made it to Grayson Highlands.  Started early March.

Coys gonewalkabout – Made it to Grassy Bald.  Started early/mid March.

Th3 Amat3urs – Made it to Pearisburg.  Started February 19th.

Nerdhiker – Made it past Grayson Highlands.  Started March 25th.

White Blazed – Made it to Erwin.  Started late March.

Jim McNelis – Made it to mile 620.  Started early March.

Dirtbag Adventures – Made it into the Smokies. Started late February.

Trail Chasing Tales – Made it into the Smokies.  Started early/mid March.

Taylor Carter – Made it to Standing Bear Farm.  Started March 5th.

Eddie Cerrone – Made it to Fontana Dam.  Started March 15th.

Tom Willard – Made it to Fontana Dam.  Started early April.

Mid-Life Hikers – Made it to Dick’s Creek.  Started mid March.

marymk94 – Plans to get back on the trail and flip flop.  Started early March.

Roaming Gnome – Made it to southern Virginia before breaking his leg.  Started March 13th.

Graham’s GA•ME – Made it through Shenandoah National Park.  Started March 17th.

Tin Cup Outdoors – Made it through Shenandoah National Park.  Started early March.

adventure frog – Made it past Duncannon, PA.  Started mid March.

Jaybelle and M – Last checked in around Harpers Ferry. Started March 1st.

ChrisHikesTheAT – Made it to Great Barrington, MA.  Started late February.

scottman187 – Made it to Fort Montgomery, NY.  Started February 26th.

Growler on the AT / Walking Toward Paradise – Made it to Lee, MA.  Started mid March.

JourneyBerg – Tearfully made it around Pine Grove Furnace.  Started late March.

Joel Wanders – Made it to Katahdin mid August.  Flip Flop hiker.  Started March 16th from Hot Springs, NC.

twotentsdown – Made it to Hanover prior to leaving for medical issues.  Started late March.

 

Special thank you to Loner2012AT for supplying the thumbnail image for the YouTube video.

Happy hiking until the end of the year update!

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Last AT Update of 2017 Coming Soon

A quick note.  I plan on releasing my final AT hiker update in a couple weeks.  I also plan on posting a year end update for other hiking trails like I did last year.  Be looking for that in your stocking around Christmas time.

Were you able to view the eclipse that made its way across the US?  We drove to the wilderness area of the Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest.  It is quite an event when you are immersed in nature.  As you can see below we had a Transformer for company.

IMG_2186

Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers July 2017

In this update we move hikers up to the completed thru hikes list and a lot of hikers down to the off trail list.  As the summer heats up we see a lot of snakes, wildlife and cameos from old friends.  Congratulations to those that have finished their journey!!!

2017 AT July map12017 AT July map22017 AT July map32017 AT July map42017 AT July map5

 

Completed Thru Hikes

Spencer King – Completed his thru hike.  Started February 20th.

Early_Riser_71 – Completed his thru hike.  Started February 16th.

Bill McGovern – Completed his thru hike.  Started March 4th.

Bethany Varner – Completed her thru hike.  Started early March.

Steve Pekarskiy – Completed his thru hike.  Started mid/late February.

BrianSal93 – Completed his thru hike.  Started mid February.

 

Currently on the Trail

Greeter’s 2017 Thru-Hike – Made it to Katahdin.  Flip Flop hiker.  Started late March.

Saratoga on the AT 2017 – Made it to Monson, ME.  Started late February.

Meg Greenlee – Made it to Bald Pate Mountain, ME.  SOBO.  Started late June.

reddmage – Made it to Crawford Notch.  Started early February.

Hop Along Johnny – Past Great Barrington, MA.  Started early March.

ChrisHikesTheAT – Made it to Great Barrington, MA.  Started late February.

Larry McCoy – Made it past the Dover Oak and into MA.  Not sure when he started.

Joel Wanders – Made it to West Mountain Shelter.  Flip Flop hiker.  Started March 16th from Hot Springs, NC.

scottman187 – Comment on his last video puts him in Fort Montgomery, NY.  Started February 26th.

Matt Radford – Made it past Bear Mountain (on bridge).  Started March 5th.

Appalachian Trail Tales – Made it to Warwick, NY.  Started March 22nd.

twotentsdown – Made it to Knife Edge near Palmerton, PA.  Started late March.

Crazy Tree – Made it to 501 shelter.  Started February 4th.

ChrisGoesOutdoors – Made it to Peters Mountain shelter.  Started early April.

Walking with Mountain Goat (Joshua Lindsey) – Made it to Duncannon, PA.  Started early March.

Jay’s on the Trail – Made it to the Halfway Point.  Started mid March.

Yay Adventures – Made it to Carlisle, VA.  Started late March.

adventure frog – Made it to the Mason Dixon line.  Started mid March.

Growler on the AT / Walking Toward Paradise – Made it to Harpers Ferry.  Started mid March.

JourneyBerg – Made it to Bears Den Hostel.  Started late March.

Jaybelle and M – Made it to Luray, VA. Started March 1st.

The Blackalachian – Jumping snakes on the trail close to Pinefield Gap shelter.  Started mid April.

11Series Hiking – Made it to Waynesboro, VA.  Started mid March.

Roaming Gnome – Made it to the 1/4 way sign.  Started March 13th.

Graham’s GA•ME – Made it to Daleville, VA.  Started March 17th.

Tin Cup Outdoors – Made it past Pearisburg, VA.  Started early March.

Gin·Gin Amelia Klos – Chestnut Ridge, VA.  Started April 4th.

Carissa Murillo – Made it to Laurel Fork Falls.  Started mid/late April.

 

Hikers that are no longer on the trail

MTMike – Made it to Franklin, NC.  Started early March.

Big Red On The Road – Made it to Winding Stair Gap.  Started February 20th.  Has not posted in 2 months.

Broken Arrow – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid/late February.  Has not posted in 2 months.

Gary Hikes – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid March.

Moose on the Trail – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid March.

Kiwi Wandering USA – Made it to Jennings Creek in VA.  Started January 29th.

Hiker Feet – Made it to Hot Springs.  Started February 25th.

2floridasoles – Made it past Tri-corner Knob Shelter.  Started March 8th.

The Wild Wild Walkz Inc. – Made it on the roller coaster at the VA-WVA border.  Started mid January.

Steve Walker – Made it past Wildcat Shelter.  Flip-flop hiker.  Started April 1st from Shenandoah National Park.

Weather Girl Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker 2017 – Made it to Burkes Garden, VA.  Started early/mid March.

Lawrence Wild – Made it to Harper Ferry.  Started March 6th.

Kenji Takes a Hike – Made it to Buchanan, VA.  Started late February.

Jennifer Giddens – Crossed the 556 mile mark.  Started late March.

tim t – Made it to Marion, VA.  Started February 26th.

Goin’ Walkabout – Made it to Marion, VA.  Started February 20th.

Michael Thorpe Hugs – Made it to McAfee Knob.  Started mid/late February.

Tylers ATHike – Made it to Grayson Highlands.  Started early March.

Coys gonewalkabout – Made it to Grassy Bald.  Started early/mid March.

Th3 Amat3urs – Made it to Pearisburg.  Started February 19th.

Nerdhiker – Made it past Grayson Highlands.  Started March 25th.

White Blazed – Made it to Erwin.  Started late March.

Jim McNelis – Made it to mile 620.  Started early March.

Dirtbag Adventures – Made it into the Smokies. Started late February.

Trail Chasing Tales – Made it into the Smokies.  Started early/mid March.

Taylor Carter – Made it to Standing Bear Farm.  Started March 5th.

Eddie Cerrone – Made it to Fontana Dam.  Started March 15th.

Tom Willard – Made it to Fontana Dam.  Started early April.

Mid-Life Hikers – Made it to Dick’s Creek.  Started mid March.

marymk94 – Plans to get back on the trail and flip flop.  Started early March.

BR Up The Trail – Made it to Salisbury, CT.  Started March 24th.

 

Special thank you to Loner2012AT for supplying the thumbnail image for the YouTube video.

Happy hiking until the next update!

Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers May 2017

In this update there are hikers leaving the trail, leaving the country and battling sickness.  We also see old friends reappear, like magic.  This update is brought to you by the state with the most AT miles, Virginia.

We have 56 hikers on the trail in this update!  See where your favorite hiker is, find a new hiker to follow and check out the maps!

2017 AT May overview2017 AT May map12017 AT May map22017 AT May map32017 AT May map42017 AT May map5

 

Currently on the Trail

Spencer King – Made it to Minerva Hinchey Shelter.  Started February 20th.

Early_Riser_71 – Made it to Rutland, VT.  Started February 16th.

Greeter’s 2017 Thru-Hike – Made it to Lee, MA.  Flip Flop hiker.  Started late March.

Steve Walker – Nearing Palmerton, PA.  Flip-flop hiker.  Started April 1st from Shenandoah National Park.

Weather Girl Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker 2017 – Made it to the Pulpit in PA.  Started early/mid March.

Bill McGovern – Made it to the Rausch Gap Shelter.  Started March 4th.

Bethany Varner – Made it to Maryland/Pennsylvania border.  Started early March.

reddmage – Made it just past Harpers Ferry.  Started early February.

ChrisHikesTheAT – Made it to Harpers Ferry.  Started late February.

Saratoga on the AT 2017 – Made it near Harpers Ferry.  Started late February.

The Wild Wild Walkz Inc. – Made it on the roller coaster at the VA-WVA border.  Started mid January.

BR Up The Trail – Made it past Waynesboro, VA.  Started March 24th.

Matt Radford – Made it to Waynesboro, VA.  Started March 5th.

BrianSal93 – Made it near Rock Fish Gap, VA.  Started mid February.

Steve Pekarskiy – Made it to Glasgow, VA.  Started mid/late February.

Crazy Tree – Made it to Laurel Creek Shelter.  Started February 4th.

Hop Along Johnny – Close to Pearisburg, VA.  Started early March.

Lawrence Wild – Made it to Pearisburg, VA.  Started March 6th.

Kenji Takes a Hike – Made it to Buchanan, VA.  Started late February.

Joel Wanders – Made it to Angels Rest Hostel.  Flip Flop hiker.  Started March 16th from Hot Springs, NC.

Walking with Mountain Goat – Made it to Woods Hole Hostel.  Started early March

Growler on the AT / Walking Toward Paradise – Made it to Atkins, VA.  Started mid March.

Jennifer Giddens – Crossed the 500 mark.  Started late March.

tim t – Made it to Marion, VA.  Started February 26th.

Goin’ Walkabout – Made it to Marion, VA.  Started February 20th.

Michael Thorpe Hugs – Made it to Grayson Highlands.  Started mid/late February.

Tylers ATHike – Made it to Grayson Highlands.  Started early March.

Coys gonewalkabout – Made it to past Damascus.  Started early/mid March.

JourneyBerg – Made it past Damascus.  Started late March.

Th3 Amat3urs – Made it to Damascus.  Started February 19th.

Jay’s on the Trail – Made it to Damascus.  Started mid March.

Tin Cup Outdoors – Made it to Damascus.  Started early March.

Appalachian Trail Tales – Nearing the TN/VA state line.  Started March 22nd.

adventure frog – Made it to Watauga Dam.  Started mid March.

Nerdhiker – Made it past Overmountain Shelter.  Started March 25th.

scottman187 – Made it to Erwin.  Started February 26th.

Graham’s GA•ME – Made it to Erwin, TN.  Started March 17th.

Yay Adventures – Made it to Erwin, TN.  Started late March.

White Blazed – Made it to Erwin.  Started late March.

Jim McNelis – Made it to Erwin.  Started early March.

ChrisGoesOutdoors – Made it to Erwin.  Started early April.

twotentsdown – Closing in on 300 miles.  Started late March.

marymk94 – Made it to Hot Springs.  Started early March.

The Blackalachian – Made it to Hot Springs.  Started mid April.

Dirtbag Adventures – Made it into the Smokies. Started late February.

Trail Chasing Tales – Made it into the Smokies.  Started early/mid March.  Not posted in a month.

Roaming Gnome – Made it into the Smokies.  Started March 13th.

Taylor Carter – Made it to Gatlinburg.  Started March 5th.

Eddie Cerrone – Made it to Fontana Dam.  Started March 15th.

Tom Willard – Made it to Fontana Dam.  Started early April.

Carissa Murillo – Made it to Stecoah Gap.  Started mid/late April.

Jaybelle and M – Made it past Derrick Knob Shelter. Started March 1st.

11Series Hiking – Made it to Franklin.  Started mid March.

Mid-Life Hikers – Made it to Dick’s Creek.  Started mid March.

Gary Hikes – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid March.  Has not posted in a month.

Moose on the Trail – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid March.  Has not posted in a month.

 

Hikers that are no longer on the trail

MTMike – Made it to Franklin, NC.  Started early March.

Big Red On The Road – Made it to Winding Stair Gap.  Started February 20th.  Has not posted in 2 months.

Broken Arrow – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid/late February.  Has not posted in 2 months.

Kiwi Wandering USA – Made it to Jennings Creek in VA.  Started January 29th.

Hiker Feet – Made it to Hot Springs.  Started February 25th.

2floridasoles – Made it past Tri-corner Knob Shelter.  Started March 8th.

 

Special thank you to Loner2012AT for supplying the thumbnail image for the YouTube video.

Happy hiking until the next update!

Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers March 2017

I am back for another year!  The updates from those on the trail are coming in hot and heavy right now.  Check out where your favorite hiker is, find a new hiker to follow and check out the maps!

2017 AT March map42017 AT March map32017 AT March map22017 AT March map1

 

Currently on the Trail

Greeter’s 2017 Thru-Hike – Made it to Thornton Gap.  Flip Flop hiker.  Started late March.

The Wild Wild Walkz Inc. – Made it to Pinefield Hut in the Shenandoahs.  Started mid January.

Early_Riser_71 – Made it to Hog Camp Gap.  Started February 16th.

reddmage – Made it to Pearisburg.  Started early February.

Bethany Varner – Made it to Atkins, VA.  Started early March.

BrianSal93 – Made it to Atkins, VA.  Started mid February.

Kiwi Wandering USA – Made it to Marion, VA.  Started January 29th.

Spencer King – Made it to Damascus, VA.  Started February 20th.

Steve Pekarskiy – Made it to Damascus, VA.  Started mid/late February.

Saratoga on the AT 2017 – Made it into VA.  Started late February.

Michael Thorpe Hugs – Made it to Erwin, TN.  Started mid/late February.

ChrisHikesTheAT – Made it to Hampton.  Started late February.

Joel Wanders – Made it just past Laurel Fork .  Flip Flop hiker.  Started March 16th from Hot Springs, NC.

Crazy Tree – Made it to Hughes Gap.  Started February 4th.

Bill McGovern – Made it to Hogback Ridge Shelter.  Started March 4th.

Th3 Amat3urs – Made it to the end of the Smokies.  Started February 19th.

Hiker Feet – Made it to Gatlinburg.  Started February 25th.

Tylers ATHike – Made it to Fontana Dam.  Started early March.

2floridasoles – Made it to Fontana Village.  Started March 8th.

Jaybelle and M – Made it to the Smokies. Started March 1st.

scottman187 – Made it to Cody Gap.  Started February 26th.

Weather Girl Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker 2017 – Made it to Locust Cove Gap.  Started early/mid March.

Dirtbag Adventures – Made it to the NOC. Started late February.

Tin Cup Outdoors – Made it to the NOC.  Started early March.

Hop Along Johnny – Made it to the NOC.  Started early March.

Jay’s on the Trail – Made it close to Franklin, NC.  Started mid March.

Big Red On The Road – Made it to Winding Stair Gap.  Started February 20th.

Growler on the AT / Walking Toward Paradise – Made it to Winding Stair Gap.  Started mid March.

Taylor Carter – Made it to Rock Gap, NC.  Started March 5th.

11Series Hiking – Made it to Carter Gap.  Started mid March.

Trail Chasing Tales – Made it into NC.  Started early/mid March.

Roaming Gnome – Made it to GA/NC line.  Started March 13th.

Graham’s GA•ME – Made it to Dick’s Creek Gap.  Started March 17th.

Broken Arrow – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid/late February.

marymk94 – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started early March.

Gary Hikes – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid March.

Moose on the Trail – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started mid March.

Yay Adventures – Made it to Neels Gap.  Started late March.

Check out a video from flatbrokeoutside of the 2017 thru hiker channels he found.

 

Hikers that are no longer on the trail

MTMike – Made it to Franklin, NC.  Started early March.

 

Special thank you to Loner2012AT for supplying the thumbnail image for the YouTube video.

Happy hiking until the next update!

Trails and the Hikers that Love Them v2016

This post is intended to give you a taste of each trail.  I tried to mix in videos from this year and years past when possible.  You will probably find channels with better video quality, content and give a better viewer experience of the trail.  But if you do that means I have at least peaked your interest.  My hope is that you see new trails and get outside to experience them.  Enjoy!

Thank you infinite scroll ! ! !

Continental Divide Trail

Sam Acko – Started mid April.

 

Joe Brewer – 2015 thru hike.  Follow along on the last leg of a journey to the triple crown.

 

John Zahorian – 2015 thru hike.  John’s videos are the intersection of vlog and art.

 

Pacific Crest Trail

Steve Cossin – Started April 22nd.  Finished September 19th.

 

Neemor’s World – SOBO.  Started mid July.  Finished mid November.

 

Joe Brewer – 2014 thru hike.

 

Desert Trail

Buck Nelson – 2012 hike from March 1 to July 11th.

 

Appalachian Trail

Alpenglow – Started March 17th. Finished July 5th.

 

Yamaneko Hikes –   Started early April.  Finished August 16th.  Watch this if you want a different take on a hiking blog.

 

Craig M – Started early March.  Finished mid August.

 

Gator Miller – 2015 thru hike.  A vlog with personality as big as the trail . . . see ya later, bye.

 

Will Wood – 2014 thru hike.  Redbird took vlogging the AT to another level.

 

Loner2012AT – 2012 thru hike.  Loner is the patron saint of encouragement for AT hikers.

 

FM Hikes – 2012 thru hike.  FM brings those around him into our living rooms like no one else can.

 

Florida Trail

Chris Berry  – Hiked from early January to April.  He hiked the Appalachian Trail this year     as well.

 

Abigail Chambers – 2016 thru hike video compilation.

 

Pacific Northwest Trail

SeattleSirHikesALot – 2014 thru hike.

Hayduke Trail

Predictably Lost

 

Brian Dickson – 2014 thru hike.

Arizona Trail

Karrie Kressler – honeymoon thru hike.

 

Kywalker – 2016 thru hike.

 

Zach Mullennix – 2015 thru hike.

 

Mike Henrick – March 16 – May 12, 2015 thru hike with his daughter.

 

 

Grand Enchantment Trail

SeattleSirHikesALot – 2015 thru hike.

 

Colorado Trail

Robbie Manta

 

David Halterman

 

Benton MacKaye Trail

Evan’s Backpacking Videos – 2016 thru hike

 

AO2143 – 2015 section hike.

 

Superior Hiking Trail

Will Wood – 2016 thru hike with TeamZpacks.  When Redbeard releases a video on a trail you know it is going to be good.

 

352hillbilly – 2016 thru hike.

 

Fronkey Outdoors – 2012 thru hike with some pizzaz.

 

Sheltowee Trace Trail

FinalMyle – multi part video series

 

redriverunderground

 

Long Trail

Tall Joe – 2016 thru hike.

 

Lawless – 2014 thru hike.  2 hours of the Long Trail!

Michigan Shore-to-Shore Trail

Eric Moll – A compilation of scenes from the trail.

 

Ozark Highlands Trail

Somewhereonthetrail – 2015 thru hike

 

TheXCcrow – 2014 thru hike

Sierra High Route

Ehsan Ganji – 2016 thru hike.

 

Austin Lillywhite – 2015 thru hike.

 

Andrew Skurka – here is one from way back.

 

Mason-Dixon Trail

SurvivorDan – short compilation video.

 

Cumberland Trail

Don Deakins – take a tour of the trail.

 

River to River Trail

Chad Wesselman – (noticeably awkward cough) . . . check this guy out.  The River to River Trail is my “home” turf and where I started a love for hiking.

 

Scott Hayden – Spiffyguy did a lot of research on the R2R trail.  I watched his videos during my research of the trail.  He has since focused on to the Ozark Trail.

 

Wonderland Trail

Robert Mason – 2016 thru hike.

 

Dennis Lee – 2016 family thru hike.

 

 

Hiking Headwear for Beginners (I’ve lost that sweaty feeling)

***Disclaimer***

***The point of this article is to help reduce the likelihood you pick something too heavy to wear on your head during your next cold weather hike.  This article gives some general questions to ask yourself when planning a hike. While there are many variations I do not attempt to cover every possible scenario.  As someone once sang, “I am only human . . .”1***

Whether to Question the Weather

Here is a good question to start with when selecting headwear for your next cold weather hike.

What will the weather be like?

The answer to this question can lead you down the path of configuring the right headwear for the conditions you encounter.  Selecting headwear should not be done in isolation.  The decision of what you wear on your head should flow from other clothing and gear choices you make based on the conditions.  Think of it as a flexible system that adapts to the situation.  Let’s start with an example of what not to do.

You Have to Start Somewhere

When I was preparing for my first cold weather day hike, I spent time thinking about the clothing layers I would need to stay warm.  I didn’t want to be freezing cold, shivering my way down the trail.  Without an additional purchase I had two options.  The first option was a baseball hat.  While this would help retain heat from my head, it did not provide any wind protection for my ears.

The second option was a medium weight acrylic beanie (or sock cap if you are from rural Indiana).  This option solved the draw back of the hat by providing wind protection.  I had used it before when shoveling snow off the driveway.  In practice I would remove it after about 10 minutes because I would start to get too hot.  But I was preparing to walk around.  I would not be getting that hot . . . or would I?

img_1623

The result was I sweated like a pig.  I misjudged my body’s heat production.  The beanie was too heavy and I wore too heavy of a coat to go along with it.  I took those layers off once sweat developed.  The rest of the hike was spent cycling through various combinations of those layers to fight either the chill from sweating or the sweat from overheating.  Lesson learned.

Decisions, Decisions

Back to decision making.  So what will the weather be like?   Here are more specific questions that dig a little deeper on that theme.

  • What will the temperature be?
  • Will it be sunny or cloudy?
  • Is there a chance of rain/snow/sleet/hail?
  • Will it be windy?

Temperature

As the temperature decreases the need for options increase.  Based solely on the temperature you may be able to wear a baseball hat down to 50°F, a light beanie down to 32°F and an ear band for temperatures below that.  Well that is easy, isn’t it?  Not so fast.  That is just based on the temp.  Look at the rest of the questions.

Sunshine

Sunshine makes us feel warmer.  Hiking in direct sunlight will allow you to get by with less layers. Direct sunlight can have the effect of making a 30°F day feel more like a 40-50°F day.  That affects the layers you choose.  Consider if there are open meadows with minimal leaf cover.  Are leaves even still on the trees?  If not, you will get more opportunity to soak up the sun.  On the flip side, hiking a trail with a leaf canopy overhead or cloud cover negates that warmer feeling.  No direct sunlight reaching you could mean a chillier day.  Research the trail online for what to expect.

Precipitation

The various forms of precipitation can make the goal of not sweating a challenge.  If you don the standard rain jacket, your likelihood of sweating just increased exponentially.  Let me say here that a hood is an option.  The main drawback with a hood is a lot of heat retention.  Let’s save the hood discussion for another post.  Yet depending on the temperature, not putting something on to keep the rain out might mean flirting with a chill.

Another option would be an umbrella.  There are lightweight options for the weight conscious.  Umbrellas are just not widely used.  In the end the option you choose will have an affect on what you put on your head.

Wind

If it is windy your decision may be altered as well.  A 40°F day with no wind is quite different than a 40°F day with a 10 mph breeze.  With no wind you may be able to get by with no headwear.  With a 10 mph breeze you may need a light beanie to keep you warm.  That is especially true at the start of the hike when your body is not warmed up.

The Next Level of Factors

What other factors affect our headwear choice?  Let’s list some more out.

  • How hard will my body be working physically?
  • Will I be carrying a backpack?
  • What other clothing choices (pants, shorts, shirt sleeve length, thickness of socks) have I made?

If you have a climb to start the hike, the headwear you choose may be different than if you end your day with a climb.  Also, carrying a full pack with 30 pounds or a day pack with 5 pounds will result in different sweat points during a hike.  Carrying a pack period will probably make your back more apt to sweat before other parts of your body.  Finally, compensating for the cold weather by choosing heavier pants, a fleece pullover and/or thicker socks may allow you to go with a lighter option to cover the old brain box.

Back to the Drawing Board

My response to the sweaty experience mentioned earlier involved purchasing lighter options.  I found an Outdoor Research Windstopper Alpine ear band at a somewhat local outdoor store.  It is 100% polyester with more of a felt feel to it.  It comes in different sizes and has velcro in the back for extra adjustment.

img_1627

Pros

  • It stops the wind from whipping in your ears.
  • Band adjustment is capable of covering a wide range of sizes.

Cons

  • You are not able to hear much of anything.
  • Covers your forehead where sweat likes to start accumulating while exercising.

 

I also came across a Hind running beanie at a discount clothing store.  This product/company are not unique as there are a multitude of companies that make the same product.  There is a thin fleece layer inside.  The outside material is made of stretchy spandex.

hind-beanie

 

Pros

  • It stops the wind from whipping in your ears.
  • Still allows you to hear most sounds.

Cons

  • Potential to retain heat that would lead to sweating.

 

Wrap Up

In the end, you have some decisions to make.  Stay flexible with your options and be adaptable to the situation.  First and foremost, don’t underestimate the amount of heat your body will produce by walking.  It takes time and experience to get it right.  So get out there and enjoy yourself!

 

1 “Human” by Human League.  It was the 80s, what can I say?

Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers September 2016

August/September has brought more summits of Katahdin.  Time is running out for the remaining NOBOs to make it before officials shut down the climb to Katahdin.  Will they make it?  Will the SOBOs make it to Springer before the end of the year?  Will our Flip Flopper complete her northbound track back to Shenandoah National Park to finish her thru hike?

This will be the last monthly update I do until the end of the year.  Don’t worry, I will be back in full force for a year end blow out update that includes other hiking trails.  If only I can transfer the idea in my head to this blog.

Without further ado, I present September on the AT!

at-2016-september-blog-map1at-2016-september-blog-map2at-2016-september-blog-map3

 

Completed Thru Hikes

The Real Hiking Viking –  SOBO winter hike.

Ryan Johnson –  Started February 27th.  Finished July 1st.

Alpenglow –  Started March 17th.  Finished July 5th.

Follow Bigfoot – Started late April and finished in 100 days as planned.

Jacob Downing – Started February 27th.  Finished August 3rd.

Mitch Lenington – Started February 27th.  Finished August 7th.

Josh –  Started mid March.  Finished mid August?

Yamaneko Hikes –   Started early April.  Finished August 16th.

 

Currently on the Trail

 

Michael Bard – SOBO.  West Carry Pond.  Started early July.

Alan Craig –   Trail location:  Rangeley, ME.  Started early April.

Harper’s Tarry – Trail location:  Made it to Maine.  Started mid April.

Craig M – Trail location: Crawford Notch. Started early March.

UnderWanderingStars – SOBO.  Trail location:  Mount Washington.  Started early June.  It’s been a month since his last update.

Simon and Sarah Hewitt – Trail location:  Hiked over Bald Plate Mountain.  Started mid April.

coleregulates – SOBO.  Trail location:  Pawling, NY.  Started early July.

Chris Berry – Trail location:  NY/NJ border.  Started late April.

Not From Around Here – Trail location:  Hot Springs.  Started late April.

Janel Healy – Trail location:  She summited Katahdin and flopped down to Georgia.  Posted from Clingmans Dome.  Started May 7th.  Flip flopper that started in Shenandoah National Park.

Hikers that are no longer on the trail

Jeb 11BWanderer – Made it to Cheoah Bald.

Roy Kline – Made it to Plumorchard Gap Shelter.

New2theWild – Made it to Dicks Creek Gap.

Casey Cazeaux – Made it to the NOC.

Riley’s Retirement-Road – Made it into NC.

Cindy Jane – Made it to Tesnatee Gap.

Fred Beck – Made it to Erwin, TN.

David Smith – Made it to mile 635.

Phollowing Phil –  Made it around 600 miles.  Left to pursue a job and missionary opportunities.

Rooster AT Hike –  Made it to Damascus, VA.

Walking North – Made it to Stecoah Gap.

Leland Kolson – Made it to the GA\NC state line.

ccvanoor4542 – Made it to the GA/NC state line.

Joey and Meg – Made it to Neels Gap.

John Dolores – Made it to McAfees Knob.  A link to his blog is HERE

Highlander58 – Made it to Kent, CT.  Posted a video about why his thru hike is over.

Steve Walker – Made it into Shenandoah National Park.  Left us with his backstory and an emotional farewell from the trail, for now.

Hike & Tell – Made it to Punchbowl Shelter.

SamBunnell – Made it to Boiling Springs, PA.

Steven Lesage –  Made it to the 1,000 mile mark.

Robbie Watts – Made it to Marion, VA.  Just posted a video of the Connecticut section.

Carl Graves – Made it near Mount Rogers.

Paul Wetzel – Made it to Hot Springs.

Kala Jennings – Made it just past Beauty Spot.

gone 2b wild – Made it past Standing Bear Hostel.

Michael Scibelli – Made it through the Smokies.

TheChippyskut – Made it near the VA line.

Madelyn Ferguson – Made it just past Damascus, VA.

Daniel Schooley – Made it into VA.

Sean Alexander – Made it past McAfee Knob.

Shutterbug ontheAT – Made it to Tinker Cliffs.

Smilin’ Don’s AT Thru-Hike 2016 – Knee issues forced him off the trail.  Made it to Reeds Gap.

wolvraid37np – Made it to Buena Vista, VA.

Eric Lutz – He is posting video from earlier.  Made it to the Shenandoahs.

Benjamin Moster – Made it to Front Royal, VA.

Josiah Gummeson – Made it to Pen Mar County Park.

Tom Willard – Made it to the Pochuck Boardwalk.  After starting at Springer and hiking to Franklin, NC he flip flopped to Harpers Ferry.

Greg Gardner – Made it into Connecticut after starting in Harpers Ferry.

Tonic of Life – SOBO.  Decided to go home due to family matters.  Made it over the Kennebec River.

Glenn and Virginia Mencer – Made it to Crawford Notch from Waynesboro, VA. Flip Flop Hikers.

 

Special thank you to Loner2012AT for supplying the thumbnail image for the YouTube video.

Happy hiking until the end of the year update!

Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers August 2016

AT 2016 August blog map1AT 2016 August blog map2AT 2016 August blog map3

Check out the August update below!

We have more NOBOs completing the trail this month.  SOBOs are touring the New England states.  Some hikers we have not heard from in a while have posted videos.  I moved a lot of hikers who had not posted in a while to the no longer on the trail section.

Completed Thru Hikes

The Real Hiking Viking –  SOBO winter hike.

Ryan Johnson –  Started February 27th.  Finished July 1st.

Alpenglow –  Started March 17th.  Finished July 5th.

Follow Bigfoot – Started late April and finished in 100 days as planned.

Jacob Downing – Started February 27th.  Finished August 3rd.

Josh –  Started mid March.  Finished mid August?

 

Currently on the Trail

Janel Healy – Trail location:  Crossed the Kennebec River.  Started early May.  Flip flopper that started in Shenandoah National Park.

Michael Bard – SOBO.  Trail location:  Stratton, ME.  Started early July.

Mitch Lenington – Trail location: Stratton, ME.  Started late February.

UnderWanderingStars – SOBO.  Trail location:  Mount Washington.  Started early June.

Glenn and Virginia Mencer – Trail location:  Franconia Ridge.  Started mid April.  Flip Flop Hikers.

Craig M – Trail location: Entering the White Mountains. Started early March.

coleregulates – SOBO.  Trail location:  Hanover, NH.  Started early July.

Simon and Sarah Hewitt – Trail location:  Manchester, VT.  Started mid April.

Alan Craig –   Trail location:  Hiked into Williamstown, MA.  Started early April.

Yamaneko Hikes –   Trail location:  Mount Everett, MA.  Started early April.

Harper’s Tarry – Trail location:  Mount Easter, CT.  Started mid April.

Chris Berry – Trail location:  Pennsylvania and the Mason-Dixon Line.  Started late April.

Not From Around Here – Trail location:  Cosby Knob Shelter in the Smokies.  Started late April.

Hikers that are no longer on the trail

Jeb 11BWanderer – Made it to Cheoah Bald.

Roy Kline – Made it to Plumorchard Gap Shelter.

New2theWild – Made it to Dicks Creek Gap.

Casey Cazeaux – Made it to the NOC.

Riley’s Retirement-Road – Made it into NC.

Cindy Jane – Made it to Tesnatee Gap.

Fred Beck – Made it to Erwin, TN.

David Smith – Made it to mile 635.

Phollowing Phil –  Made it around 600 miles.  Left to pursue a job and missionary opportunities.

Rooster AT Hike –  Made it to Damascus, VA.

Walking North – Made it to Stecoah Gap.

Leland Kolson – Made it to the GA\NC state line.

ccvanoor4542 – Made it to the GA/NC state line.

Joey and Meg – Made it to Neels Gap.

John Dolores – Made it to McAfees Knob.  A link to his blog is HERE

Highlander58 – Made it to Kent, CT.  Posted a video about why his thru hike is over.

Steve Walker – Made it into Shenandoah National Park.  Left us with his backstory and an emotional farewell from the trail, for now.

Hike & Tell – Made it to Punchbowl Shelter.

SamBunnell – Made it to Boiling Springs, PA.

Steven Lesage –  Made it to the 1,000 mile mark.

Robbie Watts – Made it to Marion, VA.  Just posted a video of the Connecticut section.

Carl Graves – Made it near Mount Rogers.

Paul Wetzel – Made it to Hot Springs.

Kala Jennings – Made it just past Beauty Spot.

gone 2b wild – Made it past Standing Bear Hostel.

Michael Scibelli – Made it through the Smokies.

TheChippyskut – Made it near the VA line.

Madelyn Ferguson – Made it just past Damascus, VA.

Daniel Schooley – Made it into VA.

Sean Alexander – Made it past McAfee Knob.

Shutterbug ontheAT – Made it to Tinker Cliffs.

Smilin’ Don’s AT Thru-Hike 2016 – Knee issues forced him off the trail.  Made it to Reeds Gap.

wolvraid37np – Made it to Buena Vista, VA.

Eric Lutz – He is posting video from earlier.  Made it to the Shenandoahs.

Benjamin Moster – Made it to Front Royal, VA.

Josiah Gummeson – Made it to Pen Mar County Park.

Tom Willard – Made it to the Pochuck Boardwalk.  After starting at Springer and hiking to Franklin, NC he flip flopped to Harpers Ferry.

Greg Gardner – Made it into Connecticut after starting in Harpers Ferry.

Tonic of Life – SOBO.  Decided to go home due to family matters.  Made it over the Kennebec River.

 

Special thank you to Loner2012AT for supplying the thumbnail image for the YouTube video.

Happy hiking until the September update!