#1 Thru-Hiking the AT: Preface and Preparation

Posted by Great Miami Outfitters

Chris Ford joined us for a few of our overnight backpacking trips in 2014, and he was hooked. In early 2015, he told us that he was going to attempt to Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail. We asked if he could chronicle it with photos along the way and send us email updates and we would post them on our website. Well, that is exactly what we did.

Now, we have a new blog and thought it would be great to repost and follow Chris’ journey again approximately 3 years to the day. His journey began on April 7, 2015 and (spoiler alert) he reached Mt. Katahdin on September 10, 2015, ending his successful Thru-Hike.

Have fun reliving this journey through Chris’ words.

Your friends at Great Miami Outfitters

Originally Posted April 2, 2015

Chris has been planning and preparing for his 2015 Appalachian Thru-Hike for quite some time. Our team at Great Miami Outfitters had the privilege of helping Chris over the last few months in selecting gear and apparel. Chris joined us recently on our backpacking trip to the Laurel Highlands Trail in western Pennsylvania as part of his shake-down trip, where he discovered that he was carrying too much weight.

As a very organized person, Chris has meticulously planned his trip and will share his adventures, trials and tribulations with us. We will update you on Chris’s progress and share his notes along the way.

His first email update was sent to us on April 2, 2015, as he was preparing to leave for the trail.

#1 – 2015 Pre-trip, AT Thru Hike

Almost ready!  I’m heading to Tennessee tomorrow, and on to Amicalola Falls, Georgia, this weekend for a 7 April start. I’ve gotten a few consistent replies when people find out I’m attempting a thru hike:

1) Something along the lines that I must be crazy–perhaps;
I think a little crazy is required.  2,200 miles, cold, hot, wet, hungry, tired, sore, smelly–doesn’t that sound fun!?!

2) How can I track your progress;
I decided to send email updates, rather than a blog. When I take a zero day every couple weeks, I’ll send out an update.

3) What are you taking?
Attached is a copy of MY GEAR LIST and a couple pictures of my pack load. I have really enjoyed working on the gear load out–I’ve become quite a gear junky.  Speaking of…

If you’re interested in outdoors activities, I strongly support the team at Great Miami Outfitters–great people, great gear. They did a fantastic job outfitting me, and a few of my family members, the past few years–really appreciate it Great Miami Outfitters!

Lastly, many thanks to all of you for your support, and please stay in touch while I’m hiking.

My best,
Chris Ford

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