Appalachian National Scenic Trail
One of the Triple Crown hiking trails
The Triple Crown hiking trails are among the most challenging hikes to be found in America. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is one of the three trails that make up the full Triple Crown. Although the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail take hikers through a few states, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail takes hikers through a full 14 states ranging from Georgia to Maine and encompasses approximately 2,200 miles depending on how the trail is routed through the states. The route changes from time to time to account for any natural disasters such as forest fires that happen in this part of the country.
A Few Appalachian National Scenic Trail Facts
It can take months to travel the thousands of miles that you have to travel to take on one of the Triple Crown trails. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is the most popular of all three trails and for that reason the record for completing the trail in record time exists. The record holder is a woman who completed the entire trail in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. Jennifer Pharr Davis set the record in 2011 and during her excursion she hiked through 5 pairs of shoes That means that Jennifer had to have an average of a new pair of shoes every 9 days she traveled. Even the best shoes wear our fast on such a rigorous hike. Always make sure to plan you hiking and camping gear.
Hiking is a fun way to get the exercise and although there may be faster ways to burn calories, it is estimated that a man weighing 190 pounds can burn 517 calories for a one hour hike. The estimation for a woman is similar at a 163 pound woman burning 440 calories in an hour long hike. The hike through the Appalachian National Scenic Trail may be among the most popular hikes in the country, but only 150 people in the world have managed to hike the entire Triple Crown.
The Weather Report
There are some areas within America that it is easy to predict what the weather may be like. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is in an area of the country that the weather is not always predictable. Summer is particularly unpredictable with rain storms coming from out of nowhere and these torrential rains can make a normally easily passable area of the trail slick and dangerous. Traveling in winter can bring about snow storms in higher elevations of the trail and therefore it is recommended that you study the weather patterns of the areas you will be traveling in.
Certain Safety Measures
Safety on any hike should be your number one priority. Your life is important and having someone along for the trip with will be a great help to you should one of you become injured. The Mountaineers are an organization that has fashioned a list of the 10 essential items that you will need on your hike. These items include extra clothing, satellite phone, plenty of high protein food items, sunscreen, sunglasses, a light of some sort, map of the area a Firestarter, and a compass. Many of these items are useful in multiple situations and do not take up a lot of room or weight within your pack. The Mountaineers update the list as new technologies come about to help hikers, so make sure that you keep an updated list handy while you are preparing for your hike through the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
To Prepare – Planning a trip and Gear List
A person does not simply wake up one day and decide to take on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and just start walking. It takes weeks or even months of preparation. You have to prepare your body through intense physical training to withstand the extreme pressure you will endure while traveling through varying differences in heights. Mountains and areas of high altitude can be quite taxing on the body including an extreme difference in air quality when compared to lower elevations. Hiking in such conditions can make a hiker feel lightheaded and that can lead to a fall and possible death. Taking smaller hikes up mountains to prepare for the long journey through the Appalachian National Scenic Trail will give you a better understanding of what the hike will be like.
A journey through the Triple Crown hiking trails may seem like a pipe dream, but you never know what your body can do until you try. Our bodies are designed to handle a lot and pushing yourself to and even beyond your personal limits can give you a sense of accomplishment that cannot be felt by any other means. Hiking is an enjoyable experience that the whole family can get into. Some very determined young children as young as 11 have mastered the Triple Crown hiking trails and it all begins with a single step. Happy Hiking and enjoy the natural beauty of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.