Appalachian Trail – ’04

Still riding high from my first thru hike the summer before, I traveled east to Springer Mountain in beautiful Georgia.

My pack weight had been slashed, I wore running shoes instead of boots, and I had a better understanding of what it takes to have a successful and enjoyable thru hike. While my backpack was much smaller than the majority of other hikers, I met a few with unbelievably tiny packs. Some didn’t even use hip belts! This was my first introduction to ultralight hiking, and I quickly learned how to streamline my gear and carry only essential items.

When I reached the summit of Mt. Katahdin, I knew thru hiking was something I would do as long as my body let me.

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