My background in hiking can be traced back to just a few years ago, but my desire to hike the Appalachian Trail has been growing since I was a late teenager. I attended an eco-friendly boarding school in New Hampshire, and it required students, during orientation, to complete a five-day hike with fellow students in the White Mountains of the A.T. At that time, I was a bit turned off and intimidated by the Appalachian Trail.
Years later, I saw an older student with whom I was friendly after he had completed the trail, and he had become was a completely different person. The look in his eyes was really inspiring. Since then my infatuation with the Trail has only grown stronger. It wasn’t until I was older and in college that I decided I should take some time off of school, reprioritize my life and focus on hiking. I had a friend recommend a great organization that he spent time with, and I ended up signing myself up for a hiking program that teaches an endless amount of knowledge needed to survive in the wild. I hiked for around nine weeks through the Utah desert into Nevada. I spent that time hiking with other men and women my age, and we all had to cope with living with no tents, only tarps, very minimal clothing, heavy packs, and no lighters or flashlights. We were forced to learn how to make fire to cook our food, which is an extremely old and valuable skill that is what separates man from animal and is honestly a very fun skill to possess.
Over time, I learned that the simplicities within life in nature are naturally very therapeutic and can benefit people mentally and physically. Since that time in the southwest, I have dedicated a significant part of my time to hiking, and I have completed a large part of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, along with smaller trails in New York and Connecticut. I plan to thru hike the A.T. from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine starting in March 2015.