For my first post-AT article, I though that perhaps I’d indulge you readers on some fast facts about my hike including all the common questions I received before, during, and after my hike. I plan to expand on many of these topics in separate posts, but for now here are the details.
- Start date: March 25.
- Did you do the approach trail? Sort of – me and my driver got lost and I ended up starting near Nimblewill Gap, about the halfway point, so I did 4 miles of it.
- # of days on the trail: 98 (summited June 30).
- # registered NOBO at Katahdin: 36
- Average miles per day: 25-30.
- Highest mileage day: 32 miles. I wasn’t about the big mile days- I focused on consistency.
- Bodyweight lost: 26 lbs (187lbs to 161lbs).
- Lowest mileage day (other than a zero): 7 miles.
- # Zeros: 5.
- Did you even have fun?: Absolutely! A lot of “Type II” fun, but overall it was a wonderful experience.
- Favorite moment on the trail: Corny, perhaps, but summitting Katahdin with my brother and childhood friend was the best. I had been looking forward to that moment for a very long time.
- # Pairs of shoes gone through: 5. They weren’t all trashed, but I had some feet issues that I tried to resolve with different footwear.
- Base weight: 12.5lbs.
- $ Spent: $2,500 on trail plus ~$500 in food for resupply boxes.
- # of resupply boxes sent: 15.
- Was I sponsored?: Sort of. I’m an ambassador for two companies, ManukaSport and SnapNutrition, and they provided me with free product to use during my hike.
- Injuries sustained: ITBS for ~3 weeks and painful tailor’s bunions that lasted the whole hike.
- # of ibuprofen consumed: A lot – probably around 200 of the 200mg tablets. My bunions were murder.
- Favorite on-trail meal: Dinner at Woods Hole Hostel.
- # of Hostels and Hotels stayed in: 20 (13 hostels, 7 hotels)
- Favorite hostel: Rattle River Lodge. Super clean, awesome crew, fabulous breakfast. Runner up: Boots Off Hostel or Shaw’s.
- Least favorite hostel: Laughing Heart or Uncle Johnny’s. They weren’t awful, but paled in comparison to places in the north.
- Favorite Trail Town: Waynesboro, VA.
- # of Amazon orders: 5.
- Longest hiked with someone else: 15 days through New England with my buddy Logs, but he torched me in the Whites!
- Easiest section for me: New England up until the Whites.
- Hardest section for me: Southern Maine.
- Favorite section: Shenandoah National Park and New England
- Least favorite section: northern Pennsylvania into New Jersey. Not only because of the rocks, but also because it rained for about a week straight.
- Worst weather: 80mph winds on Mt. Washington. Going over those peaks were super sketchy and miserable.
- Favorite piece of gear: my pack – a Superior Wilderness Designs 40L long haul. Totally rocked.
That’s it for now! Comment below if I missed anything or there’s something else you want to know.
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Brandon Chase is a writer, endurance athlete, and guide based in Maine. He is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and spent nearly a decade overseas serving at embassies in Egypt, Cyprus, and Pakistan.
Along with a 98-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the West Highland Way, fastpacked in the Himalayas, and trekked around New Zealand and South Africa. He also regularly competes in ultramarathons at the 50k, 50-mile, and 100-mile distances.