Everyone knows that thru hiking the Appalachian Trail is about much more than just numbers. Luckily, I decided to have some fun with my thru hike statistics. I tried my best to accurately document everything so you can get a better insight into how I thru hiked. Everyone has a unique style, and this was mine. If you are interested in reading about the finances of the Appalachian Trail check out my costs here.
Overview of my thru hike statistics
For reference I am a 20’s something male in decent shape before starting the trail. The Appalachian Trail was my first thru hike. Here’s what my thru hike looks like … on paper!
- Started March 26th and finished August 11th.
- 138 days for completion
- 15.9 mile per day average
The attached histogram shows a better representation of my daily miles. It almost looks like a normal distribution. It favored zeroes as I ended up taking 17 which is probably more than most people who didn’t take extended time off for injury. As for the rest of my mileage, it was likely pretty average. The ten to twenty mile category is pretty broad since there is a huge different between a 12 mile and 19 mile day but it was kept for consistency.
Now that we are talking mileage, I have some bonus stats for you. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what goes on throughout a normal thru hike and what you can expect for yours!
- Biggest day: 37.6 miles near Damascus, VA.
- Shortest day: 4.4 miles out of Erwin, TN.
- Longest time without a zero: 15 days or 307 miles from Deleware Water Gap, PA to Bennington, VT
- Biggest week: 158 miles, the week before zeroing in Bennington, VT
- Shortest week: 76 miles, during my 4 zero week in Pennsylvania
- Average without zeroes: 18.2 miles per day
That’s it for my mileage throughout my hike. Another aspect I took the time to go through is where was I sleeping throughout all of this? The histogram below should give you a good idea of where I was sleeping while I was out on the trail.
My thru hike statistics on sleeping are pretty straightforward. I slept a majority of my nights in my tent and shelters. I probably spent more nights in shelters than most because I enjoyed being able to setup and pack up quickly. Sometimes I regretted that though, mice, bugs, and snoring. Here are some quick notes on the sleeping
- A majority of the cowboy camping was done in the White Mountains.
- I stayed with friends and family in only Virginia and Pennsylvania.
- Staying in hotels was better than hostels but hostels often still cheaper.
- The Greasy Creek hostel is a must stop.
- 1 out of 3 nights on the trail I slept in civilization. This doesn’t include times that I was tented in or near town.
So that’s what my thru hike looks like when you break it down! A thru hike is a lot more than just a few numbers thrown on some graphs, but its the easiest way to show you what you’ll be in for. I did this purely for analysis and would love to do more with the data I have so if you have anything else you would like to see let me know and I’ll try my best to provide!