What Is Thru-Hiking?
I’m going to be honest… before I started working here at FarOut, I had no idea what thru-hiking was. I love to hike, but for some reason (probably having to do with me being in a college bubble in this small town of Flagstaff for the past five years), I had never heard of thru-hiking. So I googled it… and this is what I found:
Good ol’ Wikipedia: Thru-hiking, or through-hiking, is hiking a long-distance trail end-to-end within one hiking season. In the United States, the term is most commonly associated with the Appalachian Trail (AT), the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), but also refers to other end-to-end hikes.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy defines a thru-hike as: “a hike of the entire A.T. in 12 months or less.”
Working at Atlas Guides for almost a year and a half now, I have been completely immersed in the thru-hiking culture and the community that surrounds it. Yet, I still can’t explain what thru-hiking means to me because I have never done one. Yes, it’s possible that I may do one sometime in the future, but right now I’ve just developed my ideas off of the countless articles I’ve read and all of the stories I’ve followed from hikers on Instagram.
I wanted to capture the perspective of people who have actually been out on the trail and experienced thru-hiking themselves. So that’s what I did and this is what they had to say: