The Appalachian Trail: Using military surplus to achieve your travelling dream
March 12, 2018
If you’re an adventurer, lover of nature, history enthusiast, or part time hippie/tree hugger, you should consider all or a portion of the Appalachian Trail as one or more of your summer adventures. Though the trail is roughly 2180 miles long and it encompasses 14 states, it has many numbers of accommodations available for travelers. Many travelers along the Trail have found that used military surplus and tents have come in quite handy while traversing the trails. It stands to reason that military equipment would be quite well suited to travelling the Trail. Military backpacks and clothing, not to mention wool blankets and portable cots were designed to offer the best comfort and greatest mobility.
In the summer months, there are thousands of volunteers who commit thousands of hours of community work to the trail. This includes upkeep on the more than 250 three sided shelters which are available to those who do not want to pack the weight of a tent around. If you are a novice hiker, then Maryland and West Virginia offer the easiest parts of the trail to hike, and if you are a hard core, adventurer with granite thighs and stainless steel sinew you should jump in at Maine or New Hampshire, where the hard parts are. Those who have traversed the Trail from Georgia to Maine are said to have done the equivalent of 16 times, and have at some time or another been in the company of black bears, Moose, porcupines, snakes, woodpeckers, salamanders, foxes, chipmunks, bobcat, and whitetailed deer.
You’ll meet plenty of other hikers too. Two to three million hikers walk a portion of the Trail every year, and there are literally hundreds of access points. Of those that try to hike the entire trail from Georgia to Maine, (usually about a six-month journey), only one in four make it. You could be that one in four, especially if you give yourself the advantage of gearing up with used military equipment and surplus before you start out.