On-trail issues & challenges

On the following pages we discuss all the issues and challenges that may arise during a thru-hike. Health issues, related questions about sanitation, and the challenge of blister prevention and treatment are covered has they relate specifically to the AT.


We explain Appalachia's weather patterns, particularly the challenge of persistent rain, and the seasonal changes that take place during the NOBO thru-hiking window of March to October, as well as the SOBO window of May to December.


Since the trail is usually high in the mountains, water sources are isolated from pollutants that accumulate in large waterways. Nevertheless drinking straight from creeks can be dangerous and so we discuss options for water treatment. We review all the dangerous animalsbugs, and plants out there and what to do about them, as well as the dangers from our fellow humankind: hunting, fires, and strangers.  Finally, we discuss what to do in an emergency situation, in case one arises.