Readers ask: What To Pack To Hike The Appalachian Trail?


  1. Backpack (big enough for a bear canister, where mandated)
  2. Pack raincover.
  3. Small daypack (optional)
  4. Tent suited to terrain, with guylines and repair sleeve.
  5. Tent footprint (optional)
  6. Sleeping bag suitable for wet weather and anticipated temperatures.
  7. Sleeping pad.
  8. Whistle (plus signaling mirror)

What should I pack to hike the Appalachian Trail?


  • Backpack.
  • Shelter.
  • Sleeping Bag or Quilt.
  • Sleeping Pad.
  • Appalachian Trail Apparel and Accessories.
  • Light Puffy Jacket or Vest.
  • Raingear.
  • Undergarments.

What can you not take on the Appalachian Trail?

Top 10 Mishaps to Avoid When Hiking the Appalachian Trail

  • Bringing too much food.
  • Carrying too much water.
  • Carrying too many (or too few) clothes.
  • Not practicing with gear before starting.
  • Carrying a pack weighing 50 pounds or more.
  • Making someone’s day turn to crap.
  • Sleeping with food in tents and shelters.
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How big of a backpack do I need to hike the Appalachian Trail?

The best size backpack for the Appalachian Trail is around 50 liters. Some people think it is a great idea to take a 70 liter rucksack but there are ample places to resupply with food and water on the trail and a large backpack will encourage thru hikers to take too much gear.

How much money should you bring on the Appalachian Trail?

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recommends $1,000 per month for the average hiker thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Given the average completion time of five to seven months, total on-trail spending can be from $5-7,000 per person.

Can you sleep anywhere on the Appalachian Trail?

The Appalachian Trail is free for all to enjoy. However, the A.T. passes through numerous state and national parks, forests and public lands, a few of which charge fees or require permits or reservations to park or to stay overnight in shelters or campsites.

Can you use a hammock on the Appalachian Trail?

#3 – Ideal For Environment. Finally, my last reason has more to do with the Appalachian Trail itself than a hammock. Because the AT is so forested, a hammock set-up is almost an ideal shelter for it. As long as they are set up well with the right gear, a hammock set-up will leave little to no impact on the land.

How much water should I carry on the Appalachian Trail?

A general estimate is that hikers will have to carry anywhere between 1-2 liters of water. It’s unlikely most hikers need to carry more than 2 liters at a time, except in special circumstances. Hikers new to the trail will likely need more water than seasoned backpackers until their bodies adapt to the trail.

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Can I smoke on the Appalachian Trail?

While it is common to participate in drug and alcohol it is still illegal on federal land which, is what most of the Appalachian Trail is considered.

How much food should I bring on the Appalachian Trail?

1.5 to 2 pounds per day to start can be adequate in most circumstances if your food is high in calories, but if you are doing big miles or rugged terrain with a lot of elevation gain you will probably need more. On a long-distance hike you will develop a bigger appetite and may also need to carry more.

What should I eat while hiking the Appalachian Trail?


  • Beef Jerky and Dried Meat. Beef jerky, salami, and tuna are my favorite non-cook meats for the trail.
  • Tuna and Salmon. Tuna is probably the most popular meat of choice for thru-hikers.
  • Cheese.
  • Tortillas. Bread can be too bulky and fluffy for backpacking.
  • Greenbelly Meals.
  • Bagels.
  • Crackers.

How much does it cost to hike the Appalachian Trail?

REI Co-op employees say on-trail costs can range from $3,500 to $6,000—and that doesn’t include gear, which can cost between $700 and $5,000. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), most hikers spend about $1,000 a month, and the majority take nearly six months to complete their hike.

Do you need a tent on the Appalachian Trail?

All overnight hikers should carry a tent or other lightweight portable shelter. Backcountry camping is available at about 125 designated camp sites and is also allowed in the immediate vicinity of most of the 260 shelters along the Trail.

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When should I start the Appalachian Trail?

To avoid crowds and winter conditions, the optimal time to start a northbound thru-hike is the window between April 15 and the first week of May.

How do I get paid through hike?


  1. Start a Hiking/Travel Blog.
  2. Become a Park Ranger.
  3. Write a Book About Your Adventure.
  4. Lead Guided Hiking Trips.
  5. Become a Wildland Firefighter.
  6. Get Sponsored by a Gear Company.
  7. Start a YouTube Channel.
  8. Write for a Hiking Publication.

Can a beginner hike the Appalachian Trail?

Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is certainly not a leisurely walk in the park. Despite how intimidating that may sound, beginners can scale the Appalachian Trail’s numerous mountains and treat themselves to some of the most gorgeous views on earth.

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