Reasons hikers and backpackers leave the Appalachian Trail


Photo courtesy asafantman at Flickr

Photo courtesy asafantman at Flickr

The initial magnetic draw and appeal of an Appalachian Trail thru-hike can dissolve into a decision to leave the trail altogether for some backpackers.  Here’s a few reasons why:

The money runs out.

Some realize that they simply don’t enjoy walking long distances with a heavy pack.

Physical injury (stress fractures, tendonitis, falls, etc.).

An emergency on the home front necessitates ending the trip.

Boredom.

Getting homesick.

Conflicts with a hiking partner.

Hiking in cold, wet weather.

Hiking in hot, humid conditions.

Simply getting tired of walking.

Time constraints.

Emotional stress: depression, loneliness, anxiety.

The romance of hiking the trail wears off.

Hope for an epiphany or spiritual awakening has not materialized.

Expecting a hike along the A.T. would be a “cure” bad relationships, job loss, aimlessness in life, etc.

Poor planning.

Inadequate gear.

Carrying too much weight in the pack.

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1 Comment

Filed under Appalachian Trail, Decision making, Long distance backpacking, Timothy J. Hodges

One response to “Reasons hikers and backpackers leave the Appalachian Trail

  1. Pingback: Walking Home by Lucy and Susan Letcher | Imperfect Happiness

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