logistics & Preparation


Northbound Thru-Hike Basics

mileage roughly 2200 miles - the exact length changes constantly
duration 5-6 months
start time

March to mid-April

end time

September

starting point southern terminus - summit of Springer Mountain, Georgia
end point northern terminus - summit of Mt. Katahdin, Maine
cost $3500 - $5500 for on-trail expenses
permits required? yes - picked up from trailside kiosks during your hike
best guidebook AWOL's The A.T. Guide
maps not needed
maildrops necessary 
physical training needed? recommended for most hikers
biggest challenges

snow and freezing temps at the beginning; rain that lasts for weeks on end;

mental and emotional difficulties


Southbound Thru-Hike Basics

mileage  roughly 2200 miles - the exact length changes constantly
duration  5-6 months
start time

 late May to mid-June if northbound

end time

 November or December

starting point

 northern terminus - summit of Mt. Katahdin, Maine

end point  southern terminus - summit of Springer Mountain, Georgia
cost  $3500 - $5500 for on-trail expenses
permits required?  yes - picked up from trailside kiosks during your hike
best guidebook  AWOL's The A.T. Guide, southbound edition
maps  not needed
maildrops  necessary 
physical training needed?  absolutely essential
biggest challenges

 beginning the trek at Katahdin, the most difficult climb on the AT;

 hiking the 100-Mile Wilderness during the first week;

 swarms of biting flies in Maine; greater social isolation;

 rain that lasts for weeks on end; mental and emotional difficulties