Thru hiking is the outdoors ultimate in testing your ability and getting in touch with the natural world around you. They may be those individuals who have recently retired from long careers and want time to relax and smell the coffee for a while or they can be young men and women who have just completed their education and want to take some time off to decompress before embarking on their careers. These individuals are usually well educated and are in good physical health. Anyone who has visited small towns along various scenic trails in this country, (the outdoorsguy.com is a frequent visitor to the Florida trail and the Appalachian trail), will have noticed hikers passing them carry quality camping equipment yet looking like they need to spend some serious time with soap and water. The thru hiker will look much disheveled as the rigors of a great outdoors adventure seldom leave us looking like we are ready for a night on the town! Their camping and hiking equipment must be of superior quality to endure hundreds of miles on the trail and protect them from the constantly changing elements. The must have enough faith in what they bring along as they are forced to be completely self sufficient when far from any cities or towns.
Even when on their own for several days at a time thru hikers will spend time in those towns that border that particular section of a trail that they are traveling through. These sojourns into such towns allow the Thru hiker to re supply and take a much needed rest from the harshness of the trail. Most campers who embark on such journeys will need to take on needed items such as Coleman fuel for lanterns or stoves, and other such items including food, as the weight of a trekker’s pack will have much to do with how far and how long he or she can go without the need to resupply. The hiker can use the layover in town to call loved ones in order to inform them of their condition and location and quite possibly to sleep in a comfortable bed with a shower for the night.
Hikers can enjoy the opportunity to explore and experience the natural world and the diversity of nature. In certain regions of the country you can also be taken back in time and realize the historical significance of various areas. By hiking through various types of environments, and with changes in water flowage and elevation the changes in various ecosystems becomes more pronounced. Although you don’t need to be a thru hiker to experience this, the day to day encounters on the trail will display the transition and diversity more sharply.
Whether you are considering a thousand mile trek or a series of short day hikes, you’ll find experiences to suit each and every person’s physical and emotional abilities and needs. The best way to prepare for either is to just pack up some water and grab your gear and hit the trail. Remember, any day above ground is a great day!