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.walking to school in the north easttrying to find myselftrying to hidbecause it’s hardbecause it’s thereand 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 summerclean watersimple food high in caloriesbasic shelterI 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.