Richard Bucker

Why do you want to walk the AT?

Posted at — Aug 9, 2016

There are several interview vlogs where the interviewer asks hikers why they are hiking the AT. The answers vary.

and so on.

In the meantime I have been thinking about my own reasons for want to hike the AT. At first it was to completely disconnect but then I started to watch gear reviews and everyone seems to have an iPhone. So I gave up on that idea… even with a few dead spots I imagine it’s not complete. Carry a big enough battery and making it between cities or towns is a snap.

And then I was thinking about my gear. I’ve been flopping between a tent and a hammock. Without having been on the AT I have no idea which is better for the task. I imagine that there are pluses and minuses depending on the exact time of year and the type of weather I might encounter. As I emerged from that part of my internal conflict I realized I was only going to be on the trail for 3 to 4 days and so anything goes. I need only the barest of essentials and after that it’s luxury.

The essentials for 3 - 4 days in Georgia in the summer
  • clean water
  • simple food high in calories
  • basic shelter
I think we can live in the same underwear for 4 days.

While I was no closer to deciding on tent vs hammock I kept searching and just today I made the final tip toward a hammock. I had decided to buy an ENO but had not puled the trigger. The price was OK but then as I started to add the accessories the price started to climb again. I started to learn about whoopie slings and hand made webbing and I was back on track.

One ENO vs Hobo video and I was ready. One blog about the Bindle and I was sold. I don’t know what my AT mission is anymore. I thought it was unplugging. Maybe it wpuld be nice to be ALONE for a short time to collect my thoughts. It could be that I’m looking for a way to recharge my reserves. And it could be that I just need to wipe the turd from my shoes.

But the metaphor that bindle represents for Jake is also the physical manifestation that I need to survive for 4 days. And when I finish I hope to see what he sees.