Hiking the Trail: One Man's Journey to Hike the Appalachian Trail

Adam Nutting seems like an average guy living in the mid-west but he has an extraordinary plan for this coming summer. Adam is planning on hiking the Appalachian Trail in its entirety, starting this spring. As if that wasn't enough, he has also decided to hike the 200+ mile John Muir Trail for an East Coast/West Coast doubleheader for a total of over 2,400 miles. His story is similar to many before him but I've chosen to share his story here in hopes that it inspires you to do something extraordinary this summer too.

Adam's love of the outdoors began as a child. He honed his skills while growing from a Cub Scout to an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts. After about six years working as a graphic designer and web designer in the Kansas City area, Adam watched a documentary on hiking the Appalachian Trail. He was captured by the scenery and decided that this was an adventure he needed to complete.

Hiking The Trail

I'm always inspired by people who chose to go on big adventures so I asked Adam a few questions:

Me: You are Hiking Both the Appalachian Trail and the John Muir Trail (JMT) this summer. What made you want to do those trails and why in the same summer?

Adam: I am indeed hiking both the AT and the JMT this year. I had already planned on hiking the AT and starting talking with a group of Twitter friends and it just happened. I also figured that I was already out for a walk about a few hundred more miles would be quite trivial in the grand scheme of things and the adventure was to great to pass up. You only live once right?

Me: You've been planning for months, do you think you are ready for this or do you have more work to complete?

Adam: I might consider myself to be a little bit of an over planner. When I step out the door of my house and get into the car to head towards Springer Mountain I will feel like I have not spent any time preparing for this adventure. When I hit my stride it will have all come together and I will be a well oiled but stinky hiking machine.

Me: What has been the hardest part of the planning process for you?

Adam: The hardest part is not over thinking or over planning. I have caught myself many times falling into a "what if" black hole. All adventures have unknowns and I think that is what keeps many people from going on true adventures. As long as I can say I have done my best in my preparations and know that it will not go as planned and to be able to think quickly on my feet, I can handle anything.

Me: What are you most looking forward to as you complete this journey?

Adam: I am most excited about the journey and the adventure that lies between the start and finish. There really is no way to know what will happen and that is what makes it an adventure.

Me: You are currently doing a daily video diary working up to the trail and you document the process on your blog. Do you plan on providing updates while you are on the trail? The plan is to keep a daily video diary the entire time.

Adam: I will be posting the videos as often as I am able to. I will also be keeping a written diary that I will be posting on the blog. The ultimate goal is to share as much as I can with the world.

You can follow Adam's quest to hike the Appalachian Trail on his blog: Hiking the Trail
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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