Going on a roughly 2,200 mile hike is a pretty daunting goal when you look at it. A thru hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT) on average will take roughly six months. That's a half of a year away from my family and friends, and the comforts of home. Walking typically 10 to 20 miles a day, sleeping eating and everything else outside, in all types of weather and all type of terrain. Six months pretty much alone with nothing more than you can carry with you. A challenge to say the least.
A challenge, but far from impossible. "Eight to eighty, blind, crippled and crazy" as the saying goes, applies in a way to thru hiking the AT. Children have thru hiked the AT with their families. People in their 80's have thru hiked the AT. A blind gentlemen by the name of Bill Irwin thru hiked the trail in 1990.* And of course, if you're considering a 2,200 mile hike, you have to be a bit crazy. But it is a achievable goal that most of us can accomplish, if you are fully prepared.
That is the key. To be fully prepared. One doesn't have to be in the best physical shape, or have the most honed hiking and outdoors skills. They will improve on the trail as you go. But of course the better shape and skilled you are at the start the better off you'll be. Frustration and discomfort will plant the seeds that ends most attempts; doubt. Your will is almost certain to give out before your body really does. When you start thinking "I'm not sure I can do this" often that doubt grows into it's own reality. Having the right mindset will help us all prevail over the physical obstacles. Most of the time.
The two other main culprits that squash many people's goals and dreams of completing a thru hike is time & money. Those go hand in hand. Both are precious resources on the trail that can't be replenished with a resupply trip to a nearby town. Not many have the funds and free time to take their time on the trail. Time and money are joined at the hip too. The more time you take, the more money you burn through. The longer you are on the trail, the longer you are away from earning more money. Lack of time or money will send someone home regardless of their mindset or how will they are doing physically.
As of now, the money part is the biggest hurdle I have. If I am going to attempt thru hiking the AT, I have to do it debt free. I am not willing to put six months of my life on a credit card. Therefore I need to pile as much cash as possible in the next year and a half to cover all my expenses both on the trail and on the home front for the duration of the adventure.
Besides my 9 to 5, I'm working on opening up as many revenue streams as I can. I've started a YouTube channel called Sioux Scout that is focused on hiking, camping, related gear and my upcoming AT thru hike attempt. I hope to generate a modest income from YouTube advertising and affiliate earnings from Amazon from adding links to the products I show on the videos.
I have also created a Patreon page to go along with the YouTube channel, where I will post more related content such as more videos and blog posts.
Please consider becoming a Patron to the Sioux Scout project and shopping at Amazon by following the links I share. That is the best way to help support this channel and my 2019 AT Thru Hike.
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