Interlude: All your questions answered

Some of y’all are asking questions so I thought I’d put them all in one spot.


Short answer, because it’s there.

How long will it take?

Usually about six months. I have to get to Mt Katahdin before they close the state park in mid October.

Where do you sleep?

In my tent or a shelter, whichever one is easiest at the time. In town, hotels and hostels.

My tent

A shelter

What do you eat?

Thru hiker nutrition is interesting in that you have to balance calories an weight. Also you can eat like a campground raccoon and not suffer the usual consequences. Most thru hikers burn about 4000 calories a day so you look for food that is easy to carry and high in calories.

I usually carry hard cheese, summer sausage, peanut butter crackers…just a whole bunch of snacks basically. I try to eat every two hours or so and have a larger meal when I stop. In the morning I like to make my “Go Juice” which consists of:

1 packet Carnation Instant Breakfast

1 packet instant coffee

Handful of Chia seeds

All mixed up and washing down my vitamin pill. This isn’t a new invention, I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere. But it really does get me going.

I noticed a difference in my hiking day when I go for the sugary junk food option over something a little more healthy.

Where do you get food?

At the store like everyone else. I’m not foraging for nuts and berries or anything like that. I usually carry 3-5 days worth of food and then resupply at the next town.

How do you cook your food?

I have a little stove that attaches to a bottle of fuel. I can boil a cup of water in about 2 minutes.

Where do you get water?

At the water store.

No, there are creeks and a springs all along the trail. Some enterprising individuals even piped some of the springs for easy fill up. Most people filter or chemically treat the water. I use Aqua Mira (Chlorine Dioxide) which kills everything bad, but I still end up with little bits of moss in my water. Good fiber?

Best tasting water

When do you shower?

In town, and it is glorious. You just start to own your stink, because it just doesn’t go away. And everyone else stinks too.

Where do you pee and poop?

In the woods.

How far do you walk in a day?

From start I was only doing 7 or 8 miles because I didn’t want to injure myself. Now I try to do at least 10 to 15 depending on the terrain and weather. In Virginia when it gets easier you can start doing 20 mile days.

How did you train?

I went on a few shake down hikes, but otherwise I didnt really. I was working too much to really get free time to do a bunch of long backpacking hikes. Essentially the trail gets you in shape. Now that’s not to say that fit people don’t habe a it better, it’s just not really something you can specifically train for.

Who do you hike with?

I hike by myself during the day (everyone does) and meet up with people at shelters and campsites. I had a trail family but everyone split up. Two had to quit and two moved on up the trail. That leaves old Tiger as my hiking companion, with whom I make plans to share stopping points.

I think those are the most common ones. Any questions you dearly need answered, just let me know!

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