Yes I hiked the Appalachian Trail

2192.4 (more or less) miles from Georgia to Maine. Why did I do this feat of insane distance?


I did this... because I said I would.


If nothing else, I hope people take away from my journey: If you say you are going to do something, DO IT.


I said I was going to Triple Crown and I was going to do it in 3 years. Initially I had planned to start with the Pacific Crest Trail, then do the Appalachian Trail, then finish up on the Continental Divide Trail.


Then life happened.


I switched up and started with the Appalachian Trail. April 27, 2019 I summited Springer Mountain in Amicalola, Georgia. The months leading up to this moment I kept telling everyone that would listen "I am hiking the AT this summer, starting in April." I would modify the last part the sooner I got to the starting point, since I didn't even know when I would actually start other than being in April.


I set out for the Long Walk. Passed through 14 states. Wore out 6 pairs of shoes. Met hundreds of people. Gained and lost followers, subscribers, friends, and family. I said I would finish.


Up until Virginia, I would tell people that I was finishing October 1st. Which was genuinely the plan since I was supposed to be flying to Hawaii to shoot a fan film. This project was shelved for the time being... After my schedule opened up, my goal became October 15th because that was when the camping at Baxter State Park was closing. That's what I was told, no reason to argue and it gave me two more weeks to finish.


I reached the halfway mark. "Baxter doesn't close until the 22nd" Amazing news! More flexible time for hiking through the rougher terrains of Penn(Rock)sylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I was told this by the wonderful people at the ATC in Harper's Ferry.


Then I reached New Hampshire. "We will be open until November 1st, pending the weather" I still wanted to be done by October 22nd.


This picture was taken October 26th, 2019. One day short of 6 months.

I finished. Not when I thought I would, but because I said I would.


Plans change. Some of the best advice I had been given when preparing for my first through hike: "Plan your hike down to the second, every detail, and then throw that plan away."

The point of this, is so you know what is available but not bound yourself to a schedule. The only wrong way to do a through hike is to not hike. If I had a dollar for every person who offered me advice on how to finish "on-time" or how I needed to Flip-Flop... well... I wouldn't be selling merchandise or asking companies for sponsorships...


Anyway... The point of this is: If you say you are going to walk a million miles by the time you are 50, or you are going to run a 5k by next fall, do it. Tell everyone you are going to, then do it. You will be surprised by the outpouring of support you will receive and when you are done you can say "I did a thing."


I did a thing, Now I'm going to finish the Triple Crown. I have 2 more years and almost 6000 miles to go.

I'm going to do it, because I said I will.


-Kiltsman


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Los Angeles, CA, USA

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