AT Happiness: Trail Community
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!