I have been planning my thru-hike for a year now. During this past year, I have read blog after blog and watched every video on YouTube that has anything to do with the Appalachian Trail. Most blogs that I have personally read, are full of information. They tell you distances between point A and point B. They tell you that a titanium spork weighs x amount of ounces. Blogs are so full of information that essays or books could be written on the information therein. My blog will not give you that kind of information. My AT guide from Miller gives me some of that information. Blogs have given me the rest. Let’s not forget the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and all the information they have to offer….information is everywhere.
Blogs also tell you something about the writer. When a blogger knows every minute detail about a product and the manufacturer, he/she might be doing gear reviews professionally. When a blogger takes nothing but ultralight gear, we can assume that he/she has loads of cash hidden somewhere because cuben fiber is prohibitively expensive. It also probably means that the hiker is going to hike his trail fast.When a hiker snaps on his headlamp for night-hiking, he isn’t interested in the views. When he is constantly booking a room for a zero day, he isn’t all that interested in the trail. These videos and blogs have intrinsic value. We can learn a lot from them, and I have. I even enjoyed the videos from bloggers whom I felt should probably never started the hike in the first place because of the constant complaining in their work. Still I found value and have watched these videos over and over.
What many hiking blogs don’t tell you is precisely what I want to know about. They don’t tell you what it feels like, looks like, smells like, tastes like. . .They don’t show you how they set up their camps and how they cooked their meals when they ran out of fuel. They don’t tell you if the hair stood up on the back of their necks when they encountered a bear. They don’t let you experience the severe weather with them, and describe in detail what it was like to hunker-down in a small stand of trees with hurricane-like weather coming from Cape Hatteras in the Carolinas….You don’t hear them tell you that at the end of the day, they are so hungry they could eat the leather off their soles, only to discover that they are wearing Vibrams and cannot eat them!! You might see photos that express their delight, but they don’t tell you what it was that delighted them in the first place. You can’t experience what it is like to be in the middle of nowhere, surrounded in fog, and not able to find the blazes on the trees, because they don’t tell you. This is what my blog will do. Serious hikers need not read my blogs. The only thing I am going to take seriously is safety.
I want the experience, not the trophy. Lie #1 I WANT THAT PIECE OF PAPER THAT SAYS I HIKED 2000 + MILES! Okay, so I want the experience, plus the paper, otherwise some of my family will think I’m telling a tall-tale and will not believe me.
If I have to ford a stream, I want you to experience it with me, not only in a video diary, but in words. I will share my secrets, my trials, and triumphs. If you only follow along, we will never be lonely, and like good friends, we will chat along the way, and discover the trail and all it has to offer, together.