The Trek Writers

The following list of super humans are the Writers of The Trek.  They are former thru-hikers.  They are experienced backpackers.  They are Appalachian Trail / Pacific Crest Trail / Continental Divide Trail / enthusiasts.  Quite simply, they’re the awesome people who make this site the wonderful backpacking party palace that it is.

Apply to Become a Trek Writer!

Perks include: Exposure in front of a large and growing community, writing for USA TODAY’s Top Hiking and Outdoor Blog, being a part of a fun and knowledgable team, opportunities for new gear testing, a monthly Google Hangout video chat, and the opportunity to get direct blogging feedback from Appalachian Trials author and editor-in-chief, Zach Davis.

To read the journeys of our current and future thru-hikers, check out the The Trek Bloggers.


Owner / Editor-in-Chief at AT (2011) + PCT (2017) thru-hiker. Author of Appalachian Trials and Pacific Crest Trials, resources focused on mentally preparing people for a thru-hike. Named The Top Hiking and Outdoor Blogger by USA TODAY. AKA Badger or the Good Badger. Will dance if provoked. If you're planning on thru-hiking in the future, I encourage you to check out my Personal AT Coaching Page.

The Editors

We are the word nerds of The Trek who want nothing more than to infuse some hiking and backpacking joy into your day.

Kenny Howell

My name is Kenny but you can call me Bottle Cap. In 2013 I came down with a bout of Springer Fever and left my job to wander the Appalachian Trail with my fiance (now wife) Fun-Size. Since leaving the trail Fun-Size and I find ourselves trying to make life work in southern California while still maintaining our love for long-distance hiking. So many trails, so little time.

Becky Booroojian

Hi, I'm Becky. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2017. These days I work with children who are completely unimpressed by my past exploits. I offer a lot of advice about thru-hiking you can probably ignore.

Alexandria Cremer

Hi. My name is Alexandria, trail name Soulshine. I hiked over 1,750 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017. I'm the one on trail who brings far too much first aide gear, eats produce almost every day yet ALWAYS has bags of sugar-y candy. Being out in the wilderness for over five months changed my life in the most positive ways, and I'm yearning to find ways to bring that positivity into society. Let's connect!

Pox & Puss Podcast

The Pox & Puss Podcast is a monthly show focused on Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers, Long Distance Hikers, Adventure Travelers, and Explorers of all types.

Maggie Wallace

My name is Maggie, but I'm known on trail as Chuckles. Against better judgment, I've toured across America on a ramshackle mountain bike, spent six months working as a trail maintainer on the Pacific Crest Trail, and eaten way more granola than any human should. I thru-hiked the AT in 2013 and the PCT in 2016, but I am currently living in New Hampshire, where I eat real breakfast and sleep indoors most nights. You can reach me at maggiethewall [at] gmail [dot] com

Colleen Goldhorn

Hello! My name is Colleen, but I'm better known on the trail as either Spot or NoNa. I currently live in Rocksylvania, and have been in love with climbing the state's rocky peaks since I was a little girl. In 2016, I attempted a thru hike of the AT when illness unfortunately forced me off the trail - however I am currently working towards section hiking my way to Katahdin! You can usually catch me somewhere in the woods most likely hugging a tree, taking a thousand pictures of the same overlook, or eating my 5th Snickers bar of the day. Happy hiking!


Hey y’all! Stubbs here! I’m a Marylander who likes beer (maybe a bit too much!), running, reading, traveling the World, and of course hiking! I will be making my second thru-hike attempt with my husband and best friend, after a pelvic fracture forced me off trail in 2016. I made it over halfway to Boiling Springs, PA and have every intention of conquering the trail in its entirety this time if the odds are in my favor! It’s go time!

Carlie Gentry

After getting a Fine Arts Degree in Photography, I set out and thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Upon my return, I landed a job where I got paid to nerd out about gear all day (Thanks REI). A year later I took it one step further into the outdoor retail world and started working for Mountain Crossings at mile 31.7 on the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia. Now I get to live and breathe the AT every single day!

Guest Post

Do you have a story to tell or advice you'd like to share with on this site? Submit your story here.

Andrea Davis

Hi there! I am an avid hiker, blogger, and adventurer from a small town in Massachusetts. Last Fall, I fell in love with hiking – particularly in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And, I have set a goal to crush all of the 48 4,000 footers in under a year. I may be new to the hiking community, but since October of 2017, I have summited over 200 peaks, spent countless hours in the darkness of the wilderness, trekked hundreds of miles in unfavorable terrain, and found myself in the process.

Alexa "Bonsai" Shapiro

Alexa here, better known on trail as Bonsai. I'm a Minnesota transplant living in the beautiful driftless region of Winona. It was there that I first fell in love with backpacking after attempting a thru hike of Missouri's Ozark Trail. Since then, I've completed the Pacific Crest Trail (17') and have plans to attempt a solo hike of the Superior Hiking Trail in the fall of 2018. When not backpacking, I'm trying my best to overcome my fear of heights by rock climbing, practicing yoga, and searching for the best burrito in the Midwest.. so far with no luck. You can follow my adventures here on The Trek or on Instagram @alexamshapiro. And... seriously... if you know of a good burrito place... hit me up.

Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt is a native New Yorker. A Western Kentucky University dropout, he holds degrees from the University of Louisville and Spalding University. His writing has appeared in print or online in River Styx, The Louisville Review, the Prose Poem Project. After years of weekend hiking in the Ohio and Tennessee valley regions, Joe (aka "Triton") hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 2011. He also hiked a 500 mile section of the AT in 2014.


I was ten years old when my love for the Smoky Mountains first inspired my dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Twelve years later, I made that dream a reality when I completed my NoBo 2014 thru-hike. I am now in grad school for Clinical Psychology at Ole Miss. In addition to hiking, I try to maintain some semblance of sanity through crafts, baking, piano, fantasy/sci-fi books, beer, and bacon.

Madison Dragna

I'm a freelance writer and devoted yogi. I completed my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2013 and have been missing trail life ever since. I might not be the nomad I once was, but my current home in Colorado isn't a bad place to rest. I dream of the day all my belongings can fit in a backpack again. Until then, I am here to lend a hand to all the gear junkies, hiker trash, and outdoor lovers alike. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @madidragna

Gary Sizer

I'm Gary Sizer, a.k.a. Green Giant, backpacker, amateur astronomer and writer. I am the author of Where's the Next Shelter?, the story of my 2014 thru hike and all of the incredible people I met along the way.

Brian Lewis

Long distance backpacking is my "thing". I've thru-hiked the big three trails in the U.S. and my sweet spot now is 4 - 6 week trips, "chunk" hiking my way through other trails.

John Edward Harris

I am a thru-hiker wannabe who has hiked sections of the AT in NH, NJ, PA, VA and NC. I fell in love with hiking and backpacking over forty years ago. Yes, I am that old! Along the way I took a NOLS Outdoor Educator Course, a LNT Master Educator Course, and two Wilderness First Aid Courses. I also enjoy sea kayaking and most recently cycling. I work part time as a Customer Service Specialist with REI. In other words, I love the outdoors and adventure.

The Stones

Hello friends! We are Josh and Maranda Stone, a happily married couple from North Georgia who had big dreams of completing the AT in 2016. We dreamed about a thru hike for some time, and we were finally able to make it happen this year! From March to August, we walked our way from Georgia to Maine and had the time of our lives! We hope to continue to share our wisdom and crazy stories with you here, so stay tuned!

Caet Cash

I hiked solo from Maine to Georgia in 2014 and from Denver to Durango in 2015. I continue to log miles and slay summits in Asheville North Carolina. Come take a hike with me at Blue Ridge Hiking Company!

Cole Heathcott

My name is Cole, my friends call me Bear, my trail names (yes, I had two trail names) were Poptart and Balto. In 2013, at 19 years old, I completed a northbound thru-hike and fell in love with life, the outdoors, and adventure. Check out my website -

Janel Gazelle

I'm a Communications specialist and long distance hiker who hails from the California Bay Area. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail for five and a half months in 2016 and the experience brought me more strength and confidence than I knew were possible. Now, in 2018, I am walking from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail to fundraise for girl empowerment nonprofits. Over the course of 2,560 miles, I will raise $10,000 for three amazing women-run organizations that are teaching girls self-respect, bravery and camaraderie in the outdoors. Learn more at

Ashli Baldwin

My name is Ashli aka "Katniss Neverclean" and in 2014 I completed a NOBO thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. I love being outside and going on adventures! Check out my website .

Paul "BigTex" Bunker

I am a late starter to long-distance hiking (50 years old) and my first introduction was a 5 1/2 month hike of the AT, with my son! Talk about hitting it hard. Trail folks call me "BigTex" which as I am neither big nor Texan confuses me, but I guess they just smoke too much green stuff. I miss the trail, I miss my trail family and I hope to be a part of your hiking success!

Jeff Vreeland

I currently hold titles of a father, husband, geek, aspiring outdoorsman, storyteller, and BBQ Cook. I am a section hiker who is breaking the trail up in chunks as time allows.

Emmi Laakso

Bonafide hiker trash trying to pass as a respectable adult. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015, and now I'm just biding my time until the next adventure.

Jessica Tinios

Known on the trail as Ruby Cosmo. New Hampshire native, cheese addict, and 2017 AT (almost) thru-hiker. When I'm not slinging cocktails at my family's restaurant, I'm either bagging peaks in the White Mountains or dreaming of hiking the PCT.

Ariel Black

Ariel previously served as the associate managing editor and writer for an outdoor sports publication before making a switch to marketing. She still enjoys writing about the outdoors, as well as playing in it. And no, she hasn't yet hiked the AT, but it's on her bucket list. You can find more of her work at and on Twitter, @ArielCBlack.

Bennett Travers

Hi! I'm Bennett "Tandem" Travers, a 25-year-old University of Georgia alumni. Despite working in Digital Innovation now, in 2014 I left technology behind and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail with my dad.

High Five

In 2011, I had 2 months of joblessness and decided to try my hand (foot?) at long distance hiking. After 49 days and 500 miles, I was sold. I met my future husband two weeks before driving to Springer, and we've spent the intervening years hiking, climbing, kayaking and adventuring together as much as possible. We finished the AT in the fall of 2014, hiking from Katahdin to the VA/TN border and, two days later, our wedding. We're gearing up for the Colorado Trail in 2016, closely followed by the PCT. I should also mention our son (the furry kind), Jake, who goes on almost all of our hikes. He's famous for his double high-fives and puppy kisses.

Kayla Carter

I'm an Appalachian Trail thru hiker from class 2014! The Appalachian Trail lead me on to a new life path and gave me the skills to navigate through it. I serve on the inaugural Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Next Generation Advisory Council. I'm also a volunteer trail maintainer with the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club. I am very thankful for the opportunity to contribute to Appalachian Trials. Feel free to contact me about anything via email — [email protected]

Jim Rahtz

My name is Jim, though on the trail I'm occasionally known as Simba. When I retired a few years ago I returned to backpacking and found, for me, the sweet spot is long trails, but not that long. In the past few years I've thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, Long Trail, JMT, Tahoe Rim Trail and Sheltowee Trace. To me, these 200-500 mile trails can be life changing, without taking so long that I have to change my life to accomplish them. I think they're a great alternative for those that don't have the time, ability, circumstances, or need to hike one of the Triple Crown. I hope to share that point of view on these pages. I'm a member of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and through the years have written other articles and a few books about backpacking. Much of my hiking is covered at

Kate Waite

I thru-hiked the AT in 2013, answering to the name of First Gear. Rarely the first up or down a mountain, it suited me well. As a school-based speech language pathologist, there are no more half year forays in my near future. Still, my work affords ample vacation time compared to your typical 9-5er. I capitalize on summer vacations, spending large chunks of time ticking off the shorter long distance trails while I scheme about one day attempting the PCT.

James Cape

My name is James - I grew up in Wisconsin, and now I live in Denver, CO working as an engineer. In 2015, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail as Autodraft.

Jean Taggart

I’m Jean aka Loon or Lady Luck. I got my hiking start in the NH White Mountains hiking the 4k-footers. In 2014 I hiked the lower half of the PCT and since then have been on many a backpacking adventure: Wonderland Trail, Long Trail, Loowit Trail, Goat Rocks, Three Sisters, etc. You might also find me trail running or day hiking. Day jobs may include Geologist, Brewer, Outdoor Gear Sales Specialist, and Gear Production and Gear Designer. Always scheming up the next adventure...

Kyle O'Grady

My name is Kyle (Nar Nar) O’Grady, and I like to walk around getting sweaty in the woods. I’m a Vermont Long Trail end-to-ender, I’m currently 60% done peak-bagging the Northeast 111, and I make a mean mozzarella stick. I’m going to thru-hike the AT in 2019, and spend most of my time until then working on my undergraduate in Computer Science and Digital Art at Clarkson University. So in addition to repeatedly climbing over steep hills, I can probably do your math homework.

Kori Feener

In 2012 I went on a walk, and so my story began. In the process I made a documentary called Hard Way Home while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and that changed my life forever, for the better. I am a teacher, filmmaker, writer and most importantly a wandering hiker. Find me on twitter, google or facebook to keep up with new projects and adventures.

Silent Bob

In 2015, I completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. From that point on, I have fallen hopelessly in love with long trails, building on my long-time adoration for the wilderness. The following year (and after delivering many pizzas) I undertook and completed a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Since then, I have volunteered on the Pacific Crest Trail, performing over 900 hours of trail maintenance, in an effort to give back to the trail and the community. I have hopes of more hikes in the future. Hiking has ruined me.

Jessica Porter

I'm a 2014 thru hiker trying to figure out how to navigate the real world from a fresh pair of eyes. I only planned on hiking from Springer Mountain to Harpers Ferry, but was still having a blast and decided to keep hiking. I learned what it meant to be a thru hiker on the fly and it was the best choice I ever made. I live very close to Harpers Ferry and am lucky to have the trail right in my backyard.

Carla Robertson

I’m Carla (trail name Zipper) and I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2009, almost entirely by myself. It was an incredible, empowering journey. Now, I've created a resource for women to gain support for their hikes through conversations with successful women hikers. I'm a life coach and I live in New Orleans. I love leading silent walks in the local wetlands and I make a pilgrimage to somewhere on the AT every year.

Kat Ignatova

Sporadic section-hiker of the Appalachian Trail (1,500 miles done!). Outdoor photography enthusiast and amateur park historian. Still can't settle on a trail name. Follow me on Instagram @katignatova. Colorado Trail '16

Chuck McKeever

My name's Chuck, but it's "Stoic" to my trail friends. In 2016 I quit my teaching job and thru-hiked the P.C.T., losing 40 pounds, a good deal of fear, and various pieces of equipment along the way. Now I'm back in Seattle and teaching again, and the teenagers in my class tell me I look like "Tom Hanks from that movie with the offense." You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @mckchuck.


Born in raised in Milwaukee, WI, which I wholeheartedly blame for my obsession with Packer football and good beer, I moved to Colorado for school and they haven't kicked me out yet. I spent almost a month of my summer from 10 years old to 15 at an Adventure Camp on the North Carolina / Virginia border, which inspired my love of backpacking. When I returned there last summer to work as a counselor, I was reconnected to the wilderness I had grown to love as kid. In addition to the outdoors, I enjoy writing and photography. I'm also the messiest popcorn eater you'll ever meet, can quote entire Disney movies without much effort, and am part of the 1% of the human population that can lick my elbow. The only other person I've ever met who could execute this feat is my boyfriend. I'm so excited to be working as the marketing intern for App Trials and reconnect to the trail anyway I can!

Nicole and Alex Docta

We are a hiking/ traveling/ blogging team from Milwaukee, WI. We started our A.T. thru-hike in 2013 as a belated honeymoon. Alex succeeded (because he is a crazy ultra-runner) but Nicole lost too much weight and has NH and ME to complete. Nicole now has old-lady knees, and Alex continues to to get better at long-distance running!

Jordan Bowman

If you yelled "Yo Teach!" on the A.T. in 2014, it wasn't long before I showed up to give a lesson. As a writer, teacher, hiker, and general know-it-all, I'm happy to talk your ear off about movies, books, running, Star Wars and, of course, hiking the A.T. I enjoy writing almost as much as a brisk mountainside afternoon and have professional experience writing for websites, magazines, and old-fashioned newspapers.

Ben Barrett

Intern for the Trek. New Englander in Arkansas. I hike, run, paddle, bike, and do things - sometimes with a beer, usually with a beard, always with my bride.

Connor Adams

I'm Connor, but you can call me Wiseguy. I grew up in Pawling, NY, a stone's throw away from Appalachian Trail, and finally completed my dream of a NOBO Thru-Hike in 2014, with my brother and his dog. These days you'll find me in the Rocky Mountains working with the Montana Conservation Corps and the US Forest Service, writing, adventuring, cooking, and building and maintaining those hiking trails that we all love and need so much!


I'm a 15- year volunteer for the A.T. in Mass and a regular section hiker. I'm a bit of an old fart, but working on the Trail and chatting with hikers keeps me solid. You can find out about what we've been up to on the Trail here:


Hey all, my name's Cori, but you can just call me Raven, and I'm a 2014 AT thru-hiker and 2015 Long Trail end-to-ender. I just moved from Connecticut to Oregon via an awesome cross country road trip. I'm on a current hiatus from full-time work, enjoying what adventures life has to offer.

Amber Redfield

Hello, folks, and welcome to my little basecamp here at The Trek. My name is Amber and I'm just a crazy Adventurer, Photographer, and Naturalist always looking to experience and document my explorations around the world as I go. When I'm not backpacking, I clean dinosaur fossils and teach Earth Sciences at a Natural History Museum. Get ready for some beautiful scenery and Steve Irwin-esque wildlife videos! And please feel free to ask questions and connect with my during my hike. Cheers!

Ruth Nasrullah

I wear a few hats. I'm a journalist, an activist, and my day job is Administrator of a mosque here in Houston. I love the feeling of carrying just what I need on my back and sleeping in a tent. My two favorite sounds are cicadas in August and the wind blowing through the tops of tall pine trees. I also love the Real Housewives shows and online solitaire. As I said, I wear a few hats.

Aubri Drake

On a whim in September 2013, having never backpacked a day in my life, I decided to hike all of the Massachusetts Appalachian Trail... by myself, in 4 days. After painfully managing to survive it, I figured - why not hike the rest? I finished solo hiking the AT (except for southern Maine where I had a lovely NOBO trail family) on Katahdin in August 2017. At my day job, I'm a data-crunching research nerd, researching everything from teen pregnancy prevention to social determinants of health, from the unique needs of LGBTQ individuals to positive youth development. I've thru-hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc, and my next adventure will be finishing up the Vermont Long Trail in August '18. On the weekends, I'm working on completing the New England 100 Highest and New Hampshire 48 4,000' Grid.

Paul Bronco Fuzinski

My name is Paul "Bronco" Fuzinski, Appalachian Trail 2015 Thru-Hiker turned environmentalist and blogger. Besides having an obvious passion for backpacking, I also enjoy traveling, writing music, making travel videos, cycling, paddle sports, strength training, eating (excessively) and being weird.

Carly Moree

Left-handed. I grew out my sassy bangs, but I'm still sassy. I spent my senior year of high school in India. I lived in Chicago and worked in finance for a few years, before deciding to quit my job and hike the AT from April to September 2013. After having hiked the PCT in 2015, I'm back home in Asheville, N.C., planning a winter cycling trip.

Jamie Ratchford

Hello, my name is Jamie and my trail name is Glorious Laughter. In 2014 I accomplished a life long aspiration, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. In the years leading up to my hike I spent a lot of time planting trees, flowers and vegetables in my backyard and on the farm where I worked. I guess you could say I just really love playing in the dirt.

Hannah Lewis

Things that I love: Jesus (thanks for everything), my husband (thanks for the companionship and all that), my kids (Auttie is a four-year-old fairy-mermaid, and Abe is a one-year-old potato), hiking (obviously), aaaand sugar.


I'm Sprout - an avid hiker/adventurer, farmer, flute player and people person. I grew up in Catawba, VA right near the AT and decided to thru-hike it in 2011. Since then I daydream constantly about which trail to hike next (or maybe bike or kayak!) - some have become a reality including the Colorado Trail, most of the Mountains to Sea Trail and the John Muir Trail this summer. I spend a lot of time getting my hands dirty in the rich earth of western North Carolina where I live nestled up against the blue ridge parkway and am always down to meet a fellow explorer.


2015 Appalachian Trail female flip-flop thru-hiker. Passions are dogs, good beer, my motorcycle, and my trail. Life is a journey full of ups and downs. You hold the map. Live it. - An A.T. site for newbies and oldies!


I have a wide range of experience in the strangest of fields, including extensive work in historic sites and museums. My writing focuses mainly on shorter trails, recurring series on specialized topics, and atypical gear reviews. Having grown up in the back-country of New England, I prefer cold mountains to hot swamps.

Katie Polemis

On the trail I'm known as Lobo. I thru-hiked the AT in 2013, and I'm always up for new adventures!


I'm the mother of a 25-year-old 2014 NOBO woman, and I'm trying to contribute meaningfully to her hiking experience via yummy food. I have written award-winning cookbooks but ALL of them require the use of a full kitchen. So this is a new experience for me. Invite your moms (and dads) to join me and let's share recipes and experiences!

Shannon Goosebumps Roland

I fell in love with backpacking in the canyons of southern Utah and haven't been able to quit since. After getting my degree in Kinesiology with an option in Outdoor Education, I hit the Pacific Crest trail in 2014. Totally addicted, I decided to try the Appalachian trail in 2015. Now i'm off to New Zealand to see what a thru-hike is like overseas before heading home to finish my triple crown on the Continental Divide trail!

Stephen Eren

500 miles by dog sled, 500 miles by kayak, 4000 miles by trail, and dozens of Chinese buffets in between. NoBo (duh) AT thru hiker class of 2014 with a prodigious pack made in my basement. 3 seasons as a Wilderness Ranger from the Sierras to Shining Rock. Founder of Deep South Mountaineering; makin' a little gear and swag on the side. Bojangles chewin', Mate sippin', Hokie. Pride of Durham, NC. My two Huskies call the shots. Most call me Lorax, FlugelHorn, or Ranger Reynolds (if ya nasty).

Chris Arnott

My name is Chris also known as Cast Away. I am a full time hiker and vagabond who enjoys long walks in the woods, dinners by firelight, sporadic bathing, and an occasional town day. Via the Appalachian Trail I transplanted myself from Alabama to Vermont and spend every day planning next year's adventure.

Jamie Byarlay

Aloha! Jamie here. I'm from the Pacific Northwest but most recently lived in Hawaii. My move back home consisted of walking. On April 28, 2016, my thru-hike began at the Mexican border and the PCT led me back home. Life was as simple as seeing the sunrise to my right and watching it set to my left. Take me back to when eating a Snickers every meal was normal!


I'm an author, a mother of 3, an Army veteran, a Diet Coke addict and an Appalachian Trail section hiker! I live in Florida and can only get out on the AT typically once a year but my goal is to eventually complete a thru hike! Here at home I enjoy getting out for some camping and hiking on the local trails whenever I can! My motto is: "Georgia to Maine, One Step at a Time!"

Grayson Cobb

I am a long-distance backpacker, triathlete, adventurer, climber, kayaker, and lowly medical student currently living in Norfolk, VA attending Eastern Virginia Medical School and getting out for adventures on weekends. Check out my website at

Krista Diamond

Krista Diamond lived and worked in Death Valley National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and Big Bend National Park before relocating to the wilderness of Las Vegas. She has created content for Osprey, Marmot, Superfeet, KOA and also contributes to Desert Companion and Eater Vegas.


Kmeg is both experienced and a beginner in all things hiking and camping. If there's something new to tackle, she's first in line. She fits backpacks for a living and is obsessed with her dog, The Millennium Falcon. The one thing she misses most on the trail is a good slice (or three) of quiche.

Carry-On Outdoors

I am Carey, also known as Carry-On from my 2012 Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I live in southern Utah in an RV with my dog and two cats, work at an outdoor store, and spend my time blogging, taking pictures, obsessing over gear, backpacking locally, and section hiking the Arizona Trail. In the future I'm considering more thru-hikes, with New Zealand, the Grand Enchantment Trail, the PCT, and CDT on the short list.

Caitlyn Cleary

Hi, my name is Caitlyn. I am a 2013 AT thru hiker, a future triple-crowner (PCT 2015, anyone?), a current middle school teacher, a dog owner, and a sometimes runner. I like to hike in the rain. There, I said it.

Heather Newman

Heather is a barefoot hiker and lover of the outdoors. She lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and works as a professional ghostwriter. She’s a not-so-dirty hippy and a damn vegetarian with strong philosophical beliefs when it comes to umbrellas, romance, and shoes. She loves wine, cheese, and tiny mountain towns where no one knows her name. One day, she'll hike the entire AT. One day. Follow her adventures at

Patrice La Vigne

My name is Patrice. Some call me Steadee. Writer by trade, adventurer at heart, I live a life less ordinary with my husband, Justin. With an address of Everywhere, we are most often found either on the trail or being professional nomads in the hospitality and outdoor industry. Chips and salsa, chocolate, horror movies, the smells of rain, fresh grass and garlic … these are a few of my favorite non-hiking things. Hit me up on Facebook, Instagram or my blog, all of which can be reached via my website,


My name is Sriracha (Sir- ah-cha!), and I took the crazy long walk known as the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Since my successful thru-hike, I've been passionate about sharing as much as I can about my experiences. These gems can sometimes elicit eye-rolls from those who are close to me and are tired of hearing about it. I'm excited to finally be able to reach an audience who genuinely cares as much about hiking as I do!

Megan Maxwell

My name is Megan (a.k.a. Hashbrown) Maxwell, and I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2012. I graduated from the Ohio State University in 2011 and have been trying to use my English degree ever since. My dearest ambition is to become a writer and editor, but I also like to snowboard, bake cupcakes, and try to blend in with the Coloradoans. You can check out my how-to hiking blog for women at Appalachian Trail Girl.

Kevin Elens

Kevin likes to see new things and has an affinity for red hats. In 2016 for no particular reason he decided to go for a big walk. With eyes on walking clear across the country he set out on the PCT where he was affectionately known as Gump.

Andy Dischekenyan

Hi, I'm Andy to friends and family. On the trail I'm Shuffles. I dreamt of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for 8 years. In 2016 my partner Dribbles and I turned that dream into reality. It was the best decision we've ever made. Follow our adventures on Instagram @yogihiker and at

Faren MacDonald

In 2007, when I was 20, I attempted a SOBO thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I made it 1500 miles before running out of time and money. I rehiked the Trail in 2009 and completed my thru-hike on Springer Mountain. In 2010 and 2011 I was a Ridgerunner for the PATC in Maryland--I kept my hiking legs strong while I saved up for my next hikes. I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012 and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013. I returned to the AT in 2014 working as the Ridgerunner Coordinator for the AMC in Connecticut. This is my first summer off trail since 09 and adjusting to an office job is not easy.


My name is Rachel, but many know me by Glacier-Swiss. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail NOBO in 2015, and it was the best decision I've ever made. I am still an avid hiker and spend pretty much all of my free time going on new adventures, being creative, or drinking coffee. When I thru-hiked, I spent a lot of my time dreaming about what could be: lifestyle changes I could make, hobbies to try, new adventures to go on. One of my goals was to document my Appalachian adventure properly. I tried to blog while on trail, but different challenges proved that my social media efforts would have to be put on hold. 6 months after my thru-hike completion, I have created a blog series, "Appalachian Trail Retrospective," which aims to provide guidance and insight for YOUR AT adventures! Blogs will be posted weekly on Appalachian Trials. If you want more detail on my thru-hike experience, check out the "Appalachian Trail" section of my personal website:

Chris Kummer

Hey y'all - Cool Dad here. Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to thru-hike the AT. It remained a nagging thought for nearly a decade - then it got loud enough to warrant my attention. So I quit my unfulfilling job(s) in Seattle and commenced hiking north from Springer in the spring of 2016. And I'm exceedingly thankful I did. The people I met, the things I saw, the gross foods I ate - not a day goes by without fondly remembering life on the trail. If you've already thru-hiked a long trail, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're thinking about tackling a long-distance hike, do it. Do it now. I'm probably gonna do it again...

Laura Johnston

My name is Laura Johnston. I'm an east coast native from the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. I'm a conservation, outdoor and creative professional, a people person, and a trail correspondent for the "Sounds of the Trail" podcast. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2016 and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2017. My trail name, "Hey Girl!," was given to me by fellow hikers on the AT because of how I say "hi," to women on (and off) trail. Visit me online on Instagram @ljfromvt or my website


PNW Hiker, Oregonian, PCT 2016, JMT 2014 & 2015.

Anne K. Baker

I'm Anne--aka Scrappy. Gear geek and long distance trek enthusiast, currently section hiking the PCT; occasional climber and paddler, aspiring mountaineer, avid runner and yogi. When I'm not adventuring, I'm a scientist and a therapist based in Salt Lake City, UT (the ultimate outdoor playground!), where I'm working on my PhD at the University of Utah.

Jeremy Scroggins

My name is Jeremy, or Timber due to a lost bet--I fell first--and the irrefutable fact that I can make you a fire. I learned about the Appalachian Trail in my third year of military service and decided to start walking in 2013. I have since taken advantage of the get-paid-to-go-to-school military gig they call the Post 9/11 GI-Bill and have learned how to acquire a bachelor's degree. Time to get back to walking.

Kelly Anderson

My name is Kelly Anderson. I live part time in Boulder, CO, and part time in my Jeep. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in Geography and Psychology, I decided to pursue a live of climbing, hiking, and traveling. I have yet to hike the A.T., but have spent months camping throughout Montana, California, and Colorado. I look forward to new adventures, that will, no doubt, include the A.T.


Hi, I'm Spencer, but my trail friends call me Sass! I had the privilege to call the AT my home for 2 months in 2013 and have been trying to find my way back there ever since. I'm equal parts environmental attorney, mountain enthusiast, and gear nut, and I'll be mashing all three perspectives into articles for you guys to enjoy. Happy Trails :) (All views my own... etc.)

Julianne Roth

Hi there! My birth name is Julianne, but my trail name is Wonderland (this has nothing to do with the song, however I wish it did). I thru-hiked nobo April 2015 - October 2015. I'm technically 24-years-old, residing in Southern California. I plan on hiking a large portion of the PCT in 2017.

Gray Barrett

Political science Ph.D. student, outdoor enthusiast, aspiring AT/PCT thru-hiker. My outdoor interests began in the Smokies and have subsequently been cultivated in Norway, North Carolina, and Vermont. Skål!

Elise Mann

Giggle monster seeking adventure, joy and impact. Love coffee and sunshine. Colorado Native. I grew up spending weekends and summers in the mountains, and just thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015. The experience only confirmed how much mother nature sets my soul on fire. After living in Washington DC for a few years, I'm back in Denver and hoping to climb all of the 14ers in the years to come. Here's to many more adventures and all the stories in between.

Brandon Chase

My name is Brandon, and I'm from Maine. I currently live overseas where I represent the United States as a Foreign Service Officer (diplomat) at our embassies abroad. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018 as a way to escape the hamster wheel and spend some good quality time in the US of A after being away for several years. I've also had the privilege of summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, hiking the West Highland Way in Scotland, and fast-packing in the Himalayas. When not planning a hike, I'm training for ultramarathons or traveling to new places. Follow my experiences here on TheTrek and on my personal blog,

Mary Beth Skylis

Hi, I'm Mary Beth (Mouse). I'm a Freelance Writer who specializes in personal narratives, gear reviews and adventure stories. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015, part of the Annapurna Circuit in 2016, and the Colorado Trail in 2017. I am now destined to life as a trail urchin.

Rachael (Outlaw)

Setting out on a hike I promised myself I'd do 10 years ago, I'm a neophyte backpacker with grand dreams of making it to Katahdin in one piece and in one go. Biological anthropologist, (visiting assistant) professor, marathon runner, and avid reader, I'm looking forward to leaving the Ivory Tower behind to explore the trail and meet some great people.


Moonshine here! 2016 AT Thru-hiker and twenty-something taking on adventures after life on the trail. See where my hiking and fundraising efforts for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention take me! Aspiring dehydrating food connoisseur.

Evans Prater

My name is Evans Prater. My trail name is Jukebox, because I can't hike without music. I completed a thru-hike in August 2014. The trail is my happy place. I also founded The DoNation, a non-profit dedicated to helping the modern generation donate to charity quickly and effortlessly (

Jennifer Pharr Davis

Jennifer Pharr Davis has amassed 14,000 trail miles, held the Appalachian Trail supported FKT, the Long Trail unsupported FKT, and has subsequently made a career out of her passion for the outdoors. She is the author of multiple hiking books, most recently The Pursuit of Endurance. She's here to answer your most pressing questions about life on and off the trail.


Hi, I'm Arnold "Bloodhound" Guzman, an avid trail angel. I became connected to the A.T. through my sister, Maria, who owns Standing Bear Farms Hiker Hostel. I like taking my Bloodhounds, Caroline and Beau Diddley, adventuring deep into the backcountry shelters all up and down the A.T, where I surprise hikers with fresh food and drink while looking for stories. When I'm not doing this, I sometimes join my local Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and do trail maintenance.

Kayla Carter

I'm an Appalachian Trail thru hiker from class 2014! The Appalachian Trail lead me on to a new life path and gave me the skills to navigate through it. I serve on the inaugural Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Next Generation Advisory Council. I'm also a volunteer trail maintainer with the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club. I am very thankful for the opportunity to contribute to Appalachian Trials. Feel free to contact me about anything via email — [email protected]

Aria Zoner

Hi! I'm Aria Zoner, creator of The Hot Springs Trail - a multi-sport adventure to 100 hot spring areas - and The Siskiyou Peaks Trail, a world-class peak-bagging adventure. I'm also a certified Raw Food Coach and Health & Nutrition Counselor. If your goal is to thrive on-trail while also having a positive impact on our environment with your hiking-food dollar$, then I'd recommend dropping the sugar-for-calories diet and becoming a Whole Food Hiker. To learn how, follow me!

Sponsored Post

We're here to help spread your message with the backpacking world. Reach out to [email protected] to learn more.

Amalia Mathewson

I'm Amalia (Toastface, for short). I completed a SOBO thru-hike of the Appalachian trail in 2014. I was moved to hike the AT after a shocking yellow belt test in an adult Tae Kwon Do class, wherein I realized I didn't trust myself. Now, I'm on an unstoppable journey towards self-discovery and/or death.


Aka "Cinderella"- I'm an Adirondack 46er and an Appalachian Trail thruhiker. Currently considering getting rid of my apartment and just pitching my tent in the city's park, but then where would I get my Amazon Prime packages delivered?

Marina Clementi

Hey all – I’m Marina, aka Librarian. Native Rocksylvanian, 2017 NOBO AT thru-hiker, 2018 TRT thru-hiker. In college, I studied creative writing and archaeology and ended up on some amazing projects in Tanzania, Mongolia, and Peru. (The nomad gene is a very real thing.) These days I'm an MFA candidate at Pitt, getting outside as much as urban life allows!

Tide Walker

I've been ruined for normal existence ever since thru-hiking the AT in 2011. I find that I am never fully satisfied with life so I am always looking for a new challenge, adventure, or goal to work towards. Add my tendency for self-suffering and you've got the makes of a long distance hiker, cyclist, and rower. I've lived and worked all across the country, thru-hiked the Long Trail, Camino, and Annapurna Circuit, biked the Natchez Trace and sections of the Arizona Trail, and am currently rowing the Mississippi River from source to sea. Recently I was privileged to work as an AT ridge runner for the '16 season. My name is Tide Walker and I hope to see you out on the trail. To follow my adventures you can check out my website,

Samantha Olthof

You can call me Samwise (or Sam). I attempted to thru-hike the PCT in 2017, but it turned into more of a LASH (long-ass section hike). I've done the desert and Oregon, and am planning to get back as soon as possible to wrap up the rest of the trail. I am a proud Canadian, and I revel in living in the woods with my partner and puppy. You can check out more of my writing and gratuitous puppy pics at

Ken Nail

I've done an Ironman, run the Boston Marathon, and lost on Jeopardy! Currently, I'm an ultrarunner, AT section hiker, and nearly 60-year-old survivor of Adult Onset Athletic Syndrome. “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” Henry David Thoreau

Hannah Storrs

Hey there! Thanks for checking out my blog and articles! I loved to write out on the trail with my partner and now during my post-hike depression I can be all nostalgic with writing about the trail! I first discovered long distance hiking on my 2015 thru-hike of the South West Coast Path. This instilled such a passion for this activity and the community surrounding it. I worked and saved up until my partner and I could start the Appalachian Trail in 2017. We finished after 165 days and a lifetime of memories. We hiked the trail r for CHaD Kids - an amazing children's hospital located right along the trail that I fully encourage everyone to support. I am now back in Montreal working as a freelance writer and dreaming of getting back on a trail as soon as I can.


The question that goes through my mind at least once a day is,"What is your purpose in life?" My answer - to inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and dark places in life to achieve their goals. Getting outdoors, getting lost, and finding myself is the key attribute to who I am today. I'm an average dude doing epic stuff and I want to share these experiences with the world through words and photos. #catchmeatthesummit

Dami Roelse

Dami is a 50plus blogger and writer, who uses her travel and hiking experiences to inspire others to make life the best it can be no matter what your age. Dami chooses to see every day as an adventure in discovering the extraordinary in the world around her. Dami's book, "Walking Gone Wild, How to Lose Your Age on the Trail," explores and explains walking, hiking, and backpacking as a means to re-invigorating life for women as they age. Interlaced with stories of real women who have built confidence through walking, it presents a new model of aging with vitality, grace, and a deepened connection to life. You can read more of Dami's blogs at

Andy Laub

Andy's birth certificate says he came into this world in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but it’s a damn lie. The truth is, he was born hiking the Appalachian Trail. A true son of the wild, he's spent years living on his wit, intuition, and pack on his back. 5,000-miles later- Andy's created a style of filmmaking that uniquely captures the raw and inspiring stories within challenging journeys. The first chapter of his vision- As it Happens: Pacific Crest Trail. Before launching As it Happens TV Andy worked as a director, music composer & cinematographer for networks like Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel, Animal Planet & Ora.TV. 'Life is the process of becoming something else. My goal is to capture that process, that story, As it Happens'

Katie Gerber

I'm Katie aka Salty. My love of long trails began on the AT in 2009, and grew deeper while thru-hiking the PCT in 2014 and the CT in 2016. I grew up in Ohio and recently relocated from Asheville, NC to the front range of Colorado. As a nutrition and health coach, I have the satisfying job of helping outdoor enthusiasts create strength, resilience, and endurance for the long haul. When I'm not out playing in the mountains, I can be found digging in the garden, making a mess in the kitchen, or with my nose in a book. Connect with me at and get a free copy of my Eat for Endurance Stoveless Cookbook.

Bill Powell

My name is Bill. I am a more "seasoned" hiker. I am section hiker and hopeful future thru-hiker. I am also a Master Naturalist in training and lover of the outdoors. Most importantly, I am a Dad of three great young men and husband to a really great woman.

Tess Mullaney

Also known as Lotus. In 2017 I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. I'm currently hiking around the Arizona desert, trying to figure out my next adventure. PCT 2019?


Serial is an AT thru-hiker with over 6,200 miles of hiking under his belt. Minutes is an AT section-hiker who's enjoyed over 2,500 miles of hiking and trail running. Together we're raising our 3 year old Weimaraner, Rooney, and working towards our dream of living in the mountains. You can follow our adventures at

Sarah Karner

Novice backpacker turned AT thru-hiker, 2017. Registered Nurse, recreational writer, ultra-runner. Pushin' 30 and thinking about a PCT thru, like, errr day.

Clayton Barker

A.T. SOBO '16 PCT SOBO '17 Hello, just another thru hiker here. I walk fast and take the chance to eat unhealthy when I'm on trail. I recently graduated highschool. I'm attempting a triple crown before college.

Nayt Boyt

Life is short, fragile, and absolutely beautiful. I want to live it intentionally, so I jumped at the chance to chase one of the most amazing experiences possible, which is - I presume - the reason you are here. This is now my lifestyle, and I'll gladly share it. When I'm not hiking in life, I try to live equally as intentionally, whether writing, teaching, or simply drinking tea.


Howdy! I'm Dragin (as in walking slowly and usually behind everyone else!) I'm in Virginia and backpack regularly in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I'm able to get out west several times a year and have led backpacking groups to California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona. Always looking for new and beautiful places to hike. Currently integrating fly fishing into my trips! I have hiked and climbed extensively in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, as well as New Hampshire (the hardest backpacking I've ever done), and Alaska. Hiking out west has led me try to get away from the 'tree tunnels' of the east for the 360 degree views of the Rockies and Sierra. My favorite part of backpacking, aside from the views, is meeting new friends and enjoying tall tales (real and imagined) around a good campfire (a LNT campfire of course!).

Pierre-Yves St-Onge

In 2017, while thru-hiking the AT, I decided to also hike at home and ended up hiking the IAT (International Appalachian Trail) in the province of Québec. I fell in love with this trail, and since almost nobody thru-hike it, I decided to be a voice for this little known stretch of dirt.

Clay Bonnyman Evans

To paraphrase Steve Miller, I'm a writer, I'm a runner, I'm a long-distance hiker, sure don't want to hurt no one.... I got my trail name, Pony, in 2015 when I hiked the Colorado Trail. In 2016, I hiked the AT and I have literally thought about it every day since. In May 2017 and 2018 I gave back to the trail by working on the ATC's storied Konnarock Trail Crew. I've got a new book coming out in July 2018, 'Bones of My Grandfather: Reclaiming a Lost Hero of World War II' — which means no long hikes this summer (though I hope to climb some Colorado 14ers ... I've got just eight to go). But come 2019, who knows ...?

Danielle Newton

"Little Momma" learning the ropes of the trail, with a newborn, one step at a time! AT section hiker and inspiring tru-hiker. My husband and I are currently mapping out our AT hike with our newborn, Patrick, to make him the youngest thru-hiker ever. Aiming to educate families looking to keep the sense of adventure alive one baby at a time.

Domonick Zanarini

My name is Domonick, but some may know me as Safety Officer. I'm a triple crowner with several other interesting adventures to my name, including riding my bike across the United States and canoeing the length of the Mississippi River. I enjoy sharing my experiences with others and can be found on my website:, Instagram: into_the_wide_open, and on my Youtube channel:

Michael Dax

My name is Michael but since my 2011 Appalachian thru-hike, some people still call me Stretch. I grew-up in the East, but have since lived up and down the Rocky Mountains, including in Yellowstone National Park. I currently live where the Rockies begin in Santa Fe, New Mexico and can't wait for my next big trip. I've also completed hikes on the John Muir Trail (2009) and Annapurna Circuit (2014).


Scott is a life-long hiker, who last year completed his first Appalachian Trail Thru-hike with his 14 year-old son. He is always happy to talk hiking, or anything for that matter, with anyone who'll spare the time.

Comments 6

  • Horace Harvey : Apr 9th

    Hey my name is Horace ” Dance party” Harvey. I am not a thru hiker as of yet. I stopped my hike short at 1000 miles last year due to an injury. I went to the doctor and my hip was inflamed. After a perscription and advice to say off the trail for a few months i flew to Maine to tackle Katahdin only to continue my journey this year.
    After stopping last year and not being physically possible to continue i was sorta relieved. No more pain and inching up mountains while my friends passed me. A strange thing happened though. The trail began to grow in my heart. The amazing times i experienced and the wonderful people i had met. The generosity that poured out of people and the strange feeling that i belonged even though i convinced myself i was faking it from the beginning.
    It never let go and as i worked at my job it kept screaming ” what are you doing! You could be standing on a mountain, or washing in a waterfall.”
    I pushed it down obviously becuase only crazy people would miss the hell i had endured.Walking in storms ,skin pulled off your feet, chafing so bad that you cry when you put on your pack in the morning. Its all insane and normal people do not miss this! Yet i did. I missed not only the good things about the trail but the very worst.
    So here i am again about to pick up on the whole carnival and torture myself again for a reason i could never put into words. I will handle the heat and the climbs. The blisters and cramps. The hunger and rain,the heat and mental fatigue because in the end i only have one question to discern to make my soul complete. Can i get a big ass cheeseburger in the next town?


What Do You Think?