Appalachian Trail Research Paper

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Every year, roughly 2,000 people attempt to thru-hike the entire 1,280 miles of the famous Appalachian Trail. Only one in four succeeds.

Stretching from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) winds through snowy mountains and extensive farmland, attracting visitors from across the world to test their mettle. More than just a physical challenge, A.T. vets regularly preach that the trail is a test of mental endurance. When you’re fighting off hordes of bugs in an old shelter or nursing a swollen ankle, you will undoubtedly question why you thought it was a good idea to attempt the hike in the first place. But the camaraderie, self-discovery, and beautiful landscapes make it worth every step.

Are you ready …show more content…

Some ticks carry Lyme disease, an infection that has the potential to affect joints, the heart, and the nervous system if left untreated. Wear light clothing that will allow you to see even the tiniest ticks, and do a daily check. Any ticks that make it to your skin should be removed with tweezers.

Pay attention to other hikers
The trail is known for its friendly community, but it’s not insulated from crime. Keep your wits about you when interacting with other hikers and don’t tell strangers your plans. If someone makes you feel uneasy, quickly put distance between him or her and yourself. If you are travelling solo or in a small group, try to find another group that you can tag along with for a while.

Dress for the weather
The Appalachian Trail crosses 14 states, which means you will face a satisfying variety of weather patterns. Your clothes must be able to transition. Avoid cotton, which will hold water against your body. Instead, synthetics and wool are the way to go, even for socks and undergarments. You’ll also want some solid rain pants from those chill, misty mornings.

Appalachian Trail Gear Guide
MEN The North Face Impervious Jacket Dynafit Traverse GORE-TEX® Jacket Outdoor …show more content…

Many hikers also mail a “bounce box” from town to town as they travel that holds their seasonal clothing and keeps their packs light.

Leave no trace
Finally, never forget the golden rule of hiking: Pack in, pack out. Whatever goods you bring onto the trail should be brought back to town, and any waste should be buried far from the trail. The Appalachian Trail is an unforgettable experience, but only because its hikers and volunteers are committed to keeping the trail beautiful. Happy trails.

Further Reading
The Trail crosses many state lines, and the rules for camping, hunting, and campfires will be different in each area. Here are some resources to get you started:

Appalachian Trail Data Book 2015: The top selling A.T. guide.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy: The conservancy is a nonprofit that maintains the trial, and their website offers lots of first-hand information about the trail and what to expect.

Appalachian Trail ‘Thru-Hiker’s’ Companion 2015: A guide that includes town maps, water sources, shelter locations, and more. If you’re doing sections of the hike at a time, it’s a great way to keep track of what you’ve

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