AT or PCT Thru Hikers Wanted — 30 Comments

  1. I am interested in Hiking the trail this year, A good friend of mine just returned from his hike and has so many inspirating stories to share. I would love the opputunity to be a part. If someone can maybe help me to get the ball rolling or maybe share some insight I would greatly appreciate it!

  2. Hi Donald,
    Thru-hiking that A.T. is a great adventure. It is also physically and mentally gruelling, so should not be undertaken lightly. There are many books and websites with good information about thru-hiking the A.T. You can check out some of the books on “Tom’s Reading List“. Websites such as are also good. And you can talk with other prospective at the Facebook page for “Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Class of 2013“. I hope these resources are helpful.

  3. did thru-hike of AT in 2010 as a journey of self-inventory an soul searching…was the most rewarding exsperiance of my life….Am now 3 years sober , got in touch with nature …The trail an hike changed my life in so many ways… battles with depression is still there ,but not near as much as before the hike….i can relate to all who battle mental illness….Will be headed to GA to begin my 2nd thru-hike ,only this time for all those that suffer from mental illness…then will continue to Hike for Mental Health on the PCT in 2014…God Bless

  4. I probably know the answer to this question, but I will ask it anyway…

    I am overweight. Would it be foolish of me to try to hike the AT in 2013 being overweight, even if I have all the equipment and time?

    Thanks for thoughtful responses.

    • You can do it! I am overweight, I have Bipolar Disorder and I am hiking the Pacific Crest trail this year. It would be good if you have already been hiking, but if you haven’t, just go very, very slow and let your trail legs catch up with you. Check out some sites to make your gear lighter and pay special attention to your feet and possibly splurge a little on a sleeping pad.If you are patient, willing to go slow and not give up, you WILL make it. Don’t let your weight make this decision for you. Your hike will be a harder hike, but it may also be a more rewarding hike. It may put you in touch with your body in a way you haven’t been in a while, and the mental fortitude you earn on the trail will be a great benefit for any other difficult goals you would like to achieve. Also, I have not done the AT but I am on a forum with a lot of women who do the AT and they are very supportive women of all different body types and sizes- all out there hiking and enjoying life. You can, too. You are allowed to. Good luck!

      • I am very encouraged by Amy’s response. I am overweight/have been most of my life but I have also been active. As I get older…nearing the 60 mark, I am realizing that time to do my bucket list is getting more finite. I do have knee and hip problems…maybe I’m just fantasizing at this point, but I’d really love to do the PCT and/or the AT.

  5. Hi Theresa,
    Hiking can be a great way to get into better shape, mentally, spiritually, and physically. If you are not sure about your readiness for a thru-hike, try some shorter hikes or walks first to see how you do. You can also touch base with your doctor, who is more able to give you a good assessment of your readiness for such an extended undertaking. Thanks for your question!

  6. I will do this at some point in my life. Maybe sooner than i think. About how much does it cost to thru the at if you have gear already??

  7. This sounds like a very worthwhile cause. I am planning a thru hike of the PCT and have been considering giving it a little more meaning. I am still very early in the planning phases but will give it some serious consideration.

  8. I hiked a big part of the PCT this year and the only way to get in shape for it is on the trail itself and thats not only my thoughts but just about everyone else says the same thing. So bottom line don’t worry about being in shape for it because after a couple weeks you will be there and getting closer everyday to your goal.

    Red Don

  9. Just remember ‘Grandma Gatewood’ 67 yr. old who hiked it back in the day when it was’nt marked as well as it is now, and she did it, wearing what people . . . that’s right, a pair of KEDS sneakers! I’ll see ya on the trail.

  10. Im a veteran of the 1990-91 gulf war. I have had issues with clinical depression since that time. I also have had issues with anxiety and self esteem throughout my life. I think a thru hike would give me a needed boost in mental health. I have a good amount of gear and did an 8 and a 10 mile hike from springer last (2013) year. Camping overnight both times. Id be interested in a SOBO hike from Ketinden < (spelling?) or a hike SOBO from Harpers Ferry Va. to end at Springer Mtn. I would like advise on how to get this ball rolling. Thank you.

  11. Ernest, first, thank you for your service. In terms of your thru-hike, if you are looking for support and structured program to help with your hike, you might check out WarriorHike. They organize long-distance hikes to help vets “walk off the war”. You can google them, or I can send you a link if you can’t find it. Sean who runs it is a great guy.

  12. I’m interested in joining the Hike for mental health. I really want to dedicate my hike to raising money. I just don’t think I will have enough time to complete the whole PCT next summer. I’m planning to go as far as I can in 3 months. Would I still be able to join the fundraiser or are you just looking for hikers that are doing the entire trail?

    • Hi Melanie,
      We would be thrilled for you to include HIKE for Mental Health as a part of your journey. Whether you are hiking 3 miles or 3,000 miles, you can register your hike and make it do some good for others. If you need the link to sign up, let me know.

    • Female looking to put together a group of people to hike the PCT next spring (2015)from Central Oregon. My goal is to get a group started on an exercise, support, and meeting program so next spring we are ready to go hiking! I have set the goal for myself to lose 40 pounds and beginning my program already. I would like to find like minded people, men or women, who will reward their efforts with a hike on the PCT. Trail length, day length, group size, plans, equipment etc. all to be determined by the group. Who wants to join me?? I am not looking for athletic types rather those who are on the whole journey with me to get fit enough to do this! Athletic types are welcome as well and perhaps we could team up athletes with non for support and advice. Everyone will have something to give on this trip. I am currently in Search and Rescue, I have First Aid and CPR skills to contribute as well as survival skills. I am also in the process of dehydrating food for the journey. What would you contribute? Let’s hike for Mental Wellness!!

  13. I’m planning on hiking the PCT all the way through with my cousin in a few years.
    The only reason we haven’t yet, he is an active marine and will be for 2 more years.
    I’ve done some research on my own about this trail, but it would be nice to talk to someone
    That has personal undergone this hike and can have some wisdom for my cousin and I.
    We are both in good shape. I hike at least 4 miles everyday with a heavy pack on and my work
    requires me to be fit. I know we have the mindset to do accomplish this and we WILL prevail.
    Again, anyone that could give us some pointers, would be greatly appreciated

    • PCT stands for “Pacific Crest Trail.” It is a trail that runs from Mexico to Canada along the spine of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in western part of the USA.

  14. Any groups like Warrior Hike for non veterans. My Husband desperately needs a life changing hike, no hiking experience, id say possibly with a group. Any suggestions?

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