AT Happiness: Trail Community

AT Happiness: Trail Community

The AARP gang, me, Backtrack, Kingfisher and Awesome

The AARP gang, me, Backtrack, Kingfisher and Awesome

One of the first questions I was always asked before starting the trail was, who are you hiking with on the AT?  Whenever I would answer I was solo hiking people would become concerned.

Two utterly amazing and interesting folks, Patches and Airborne.

Two utterly amazing and interesting folks, Patches and Airborne.

I would try to explain trail culture and the moving community that exists on the AT.  In reality I didn’t even fully understand how close hundreds of solo hikers could become.

Damn Yankee (grew up 20 minutes from me in NY) and Backtrack

Damn Yankee (grew up 20 minutes from me in NY) and Backtrack

First off, pace becomes a sorting mechanism and those who are on a similar pace see each other again and again at camping areas, shelters and resupply towns.

Michael Kane and John Stewart head for the AT

Michael Kane and John Stewart head for the AT

Second, only if you have done this can you really understand how hard it is and what people are going through and this creates compassion and solidarity.

Me and Tough Cookie (she's back on the trail after appendicitis surgery 6 weeks ago)

Me and Tough Cookie (she’s back on the trail after appendicitis surgery 6 weeks ago)

Finally we come to depend on each other, this community, to stay safe and informed. There is an incredible grapevine on the trail that passes on weather information, resupply info, news about friends, trail magic info as well as safety concerns.   We look out for each other, although of course this grapevine includes its share of trail gossip as well.

Backtrack and Shaggy Hobo

Backtrack and Shaggy Hobo

Here’s a recent example, Lucky Strike lost his phone.  Another hiker, Jedi picked it up. These two have never met, but Jedi took the phone, called the last number and found a way to intercept a resupply package and get the phone to Lucky Strike.

Me and the Mad Hatter

Me and the Mad Hatter

It is common for someone to leave something behind on the trail and turn around to retrieve it only to find someone carrying it up the trail to them.  That may not sound like much until you consider that we actually actively try to reduce our pack weight by ounces and we’re often heading uphill over mountains.   We lookout for each other.

Me and Cliffhanger

Me and Cliffhanger

All of this has led to trail friends quickly becoming selected family, in three weeks I’ve already made what I expect will be lifelong friends, many are in the pictures in this piece and have provided many happy days my friends – Rev Kane

Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Readers’ Favorite Posts

Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments

Favorite AT Trail Photos for 2015

 

About revmichaelkane

Michael Kane is an educator, change agent, adventurer and general sampler of life.
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34 Responses to AT Happiness: Trail Community

  1. Pingback: Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: One Week, My Knees, VT & MA – Part 2 | The Ministry of Happiness

  2. Pingback: Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: My Favorite Post So Far | The Ministry of Happiness

  3. Pingback: Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: Buggy, Muggy & Happy | The Ministry of Happiness

  4. Pingback: Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: How the trail is changing | The Ministry of Happiness

  5. Pingback: Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: Prettiest Place on the Trail | The Ministry of Happiness

  6. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Brassie Brook Shelter | The Ministry of Happiness

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  9. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments – Part 1 | The Ministry of Happiness

  10. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments – Part 2 | The Ministry of Happiness

  11. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Precious Moments – Part 3 | The Ministry of Happiness

  12. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Let’s Help Reunite Some Hikers | The Ministry of Happiness

  13. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Change can be a good thing | The Ministry of Happiness

  14. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Gear Lists | The Ministry of Happiness

  15. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Thru-hike FAQs – Part 1 | The Ministry of Happiness

  16. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: My Best & Reader’s Favorite Posts | The Ministry of Happiness

  17. Pingback: Our Best Posts of the Year – 2015 | The Ministry of Happiness

  18. Pingback: Thank You Dear Readers! | The Ministry of Happiness

  19. Pingback: A New Year and Some Questions for You | The Ministry of Happiness

  20. Pingback: Random Happiness: Nature Sounds | The Ministry of Happiness

  21. Pingback: Why I’m Happy Right Now | The Ministry of Happiness

  22. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: Thru-hike Food Recommendations & Recipes | The Ministry of Happiness

  23. Pingback: Adventure & Happiness | The Ministry of Happiness

  24. Pingback: Happiness Resources: Travel Makes You Happier | The Ministry of Happiness

  25. Pingback: My Favorite Appalachian Trail Photos of 2015 | The Ministry of Happiness

  26. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: The Book | The Ministry of Happiness

  27. Pingback: My Best AT Posts from the Last Year | The Ministry of Happiness

  28. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: What A Difference A Year Makes | The Ministry of Happiness

  29. Pingback: Awesome on the Appalachian Trail | The Ministry of Happiness

  30. Pingback: Appalachian Trail Happiness: A Walk in the Woods | The Ministry of Happiness

  31. Pingback: AT Happiness: Ponies!!! The Grayson Highlands | The Ministry of Happiness

  32. Pingback: AT Happiness: The Shenandoah | The Ministry of Happiness

  33. Pingback: Happiness is a Little Adventure | The Ministry of Happiness

  34. Pingback: AT Happiness – Galleries: Hikers | The Ministry of Happiness

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