Why Would You Thru-Hike?





Why would someone choose to hike 2,700 miles with a pack? Or 1,000 miles? Or 200 miles? Why would you?

Maybe you’re tired of dealing with the less-than-intelligent sector of our human population. Maybe you’re burned out at work and looking for some peace and quiet. Maybe you’ve just finished school and want a break before you start a career. Sometimes it really is that simple.

But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s highly personal, not so black-and-white.

Maybe you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one. Or you’re feeling really lost in life and looking for direction and purpose. Maybe you’re trying to cope with a mental illness or re-connect with God.


Whatever the reason, or reasons, find it (them) and hold onto it (them). Your why doesn’t have to make sense to anybody but you. But it does have to be strong enough to keep you moving forward, step by step, when things get tough. When you have blisters, are tired of hiking in the rain for the third straight day, or only have tortillas and peanut butter in your food bag until your next town stop in two days. That’s when your why will be tested. 

Will it be strong enough to keep you on the trail? Will it be strong enough to keep you moving forward even when you’re cold, hungry, and exhausted? I hope so. I really do. Because I can promise you it will be worth it. When you find yourself standing triumphantly on top of Blood Mountain….then Mount Moosilauke…then Mount Washington, then Katahdin. It will all be worth it!


But the only way you’ll get there is if you know your why and you hold onto it with everything you’ve got.

So I’ll ask you again.

Why would someone hike 2,700 miles? Or 1,000 miles? Or 200 miles?

Why would you?

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