Welcome to the AppalachianTrailCafe.net!
Take a moment and register and then join the conversation

Question about hiking plans

    • Question about hiking plans

      Hi, I'm Luck a Polish man currently based in London UK.
      For many years now I've dreamt to do the throughike on the AT. Yet, I'm afraid that with my slow pace the whole thing may take me more than 6 months and this is a maximum length of US visa. Hence the question, Does anyone here knows a non American who did the entire AT ? If so, how did they do it ?
      I will be grateful for any answers. Thank you ; ).
    • Hello Luck, welcome to the Cafe.

      I would like to reference a study on Thru-hike speeds done by 'Map Man.'...


      You can see that the medium number of days taken was 171 days. If you can maintain a typical pace, then you should have plenty of time to get to/from the the trailheads and complete your hike.

      I would like to suggest that the most important factor may not be speed, but persistence. You can see that the above rate included a number of 'zero' days. If you cut back on the zeros, that should improve your overall time. I am also a slow hiker, but I do like to walk and I typically keep hiking as long as the sun is shining. I often leapfrog the speedsters who past me during the day by hiking just a few hours longer than they do. You can do the same if you are persistent.

      Worst case is you have a great six month hike with perhaps a short portion left to finish another year. But, if you do not get distracted by the lure of the partiers and towns, I am pretty sure you can complete this trail in your timeframe.

      Good luck and happy trails.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”

      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • there are a lot of foreign hikers who come here and complete a thru. in recent years, becasuse of a television special that created interest, there have been many hikers from germany.

      you can complete a thru hike in 6 months if you choose to do so. i'm just an average hiker and i took 5 months and a week -- and that was back in the good ole days when we carried 45 pounds when leaving town. or you may choose to hike short days and spend extra time in town and end up hiking "most" of the trail. choice is yours.

      there are no international hikers on this site that i am aware of. i would suggest you join the facebook groups "appalachian trail thru-hikers class of 2018" and "appalachian trail section hikers" and start asking questions. i'm sure you'll find the info you need.

      good luck.


      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • Welcome to the Cafe Luck!

      I am a very slow hiker and in the past seven years of section hiking the AT I have completed 1792 miles in just 142 days. And that includes many short days when I spent part of the day on transportation to or from the trail.

      I still have 398 miles to go, which will probably take me another 45-48 days. So despite loosing all of my momentum between sections I still should finish within a week of 6 months. If doing a thru hike I believe I could have probably done it in five months. Once again I am slow, but like IMScotty I try to make the most of the daylight.

      I think you should be able to finish in 6 months. The key I believe is just staying on the trail (not in towns) as much as possible and enjoying the walk. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      (Looks as if I replied to the wrong thread on the first try!)

      Dzien dobry, Luk67!

      You don't actually need to be a speed demon to hike the AT in six months, if you don't spend all your time goofing off with the thru-hiker party crowd.

      Six months is roughly 180 days. Assume you take a weekly zero, that's 154 days hiking. Even if you spend a couple of weeks doing 8-10 mile days until you find your trail legs, and slow down through the Whites, that still means needing to average only 15 mpd on the rest of the trail.

      I'm the slowest of slowpokes, and it astonishes me that at the end of a two-week section hike, I'm doing 15's comfortably. Then again, I always have trouble forecasting my mileage on good trail. My personal style runs to shorter days in more challenging terrain.
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.