AT Visualized

Publish date: Nov 5, 2019

In 2019, I hiked northbound on the Appalachian Trail, 2,192 from Georgia to Maine. It took 170 days. After I finished, I went through my journal and guidebook to create a spreadsheet with each day’s mileage, location, sleep site, and other notes.

Below, I visualize my mileage and attempt to find trends. I also breakdown my sleep sites by type.

Clearly, my mileage was all over the place. I started out relatively strong. I began to really push my mileage in VA. My pace slowed a bit in PA, probably due to the rocks and heat. Between NJ and VT, I changed my hiking style, hiking fewer miles but more consistently. I slowed significantly in NH and southern ME because of the difficult terrain, and picked back up in the Hundred Mile Wilderness.

My average mileage was 12.89 if I include zero days and 14.52 if I exclude them.

My biggest day was 31 miles.

I took a total of 19 zero days: 8 were on-trail (this includes days spent in trail towns), 8 were off-trail, and 3 were for Trail Days.

The average number of days that I hiked before taking a zero day was 7.58.

My longest stretch without taking a zero day was 24 days, between NJ and VT.

The plurality win goes to shelters. I slept in or tented near shelters due to their amenities: large tenting space, a roof, privy, bear box.

I slept outdoors for only 67% of the nights. In retrospect, I didn’t realize I had slept indoors so often, but it didn’t feel more than other hikers…

In terms of paid lodging, I spent 38 nights in either a hotel, hostel, Airbnb, or paid campsite. 7 of those hostels were donation-based barns or churchs. 3 of the paid campsites were for Trail Days.