Being situated 3 days into the Appalachian Trail, we at Mountain Crossings see a lot of folks from all walks of life coming through the shop. Some are so prepared and do so well that they don’t even need us. Others skip parts of the trail to come seek help before that have even hiked the first 30 miles. As thru hikers ourselves, we know very well that the prepared man is no safer than the unprepared man when it comes to the treats of a failed thru hike. Something could still happen at home that pulls either of them off trail and both are still susceptible to injury or sickness. What we do know, is that the prepared man is having a WAY more enjoyable time than his unprepared counter part! Doing everything possible to be ready mentally, physically, and with your gear won’t put you on Katahdin, but it will make your experience way more incredible and give you every leg up possible!
That is why Mountain Crossings is excited to host a weekend long Appalachian Trail preparedness class taught by Scott and Ariane of TheBackpacker.TV. When Scott and Ariane came to us with this idea, we were instantly behind it. They have years of experience leading backpacking trips in the Southern Appalachian mountains and they equally understand the benefits of seeking first hand experience from fellow hikers who can help you tune into your ideal hiking and gear style before you hit the trail. Most importantly, Scott and Ariane know the importance of getting out on trail with your own gear and giving it a go BEFORE you take your first step on your thru hike or section hike. This class will offer you all of that! Information on lightweight gear, the ability to talk with former thru hikers and a chance to get out on trail and test your gear for a night, if you so wish.
The class starts on Friday afternoon at 3pm and includes a meal and a stay in the hostel at Mountain Crossings. A class will be taught that night by Scott and Ariane inside the outfitter at Mountain Crossings so that you can see first hand what lightweight gear looks like as your learn about it. The next morning, a light breakfast will be served and the class will continue, along with a gear fitting session with outfitter employees. Enjoy personalized expertise as you select gear that works for you, whether you are starting at zero or just filling in a few little items into your gear setup. Later in the afternoon, individuals in the group have the choice to head out onto trail to test out their gear if they choose. Scott and Ariane will lead the group and teach a segment on Leave No Trace practices.
On Sunday morning, the group will return to Mountain Crossings to make any gear adjustments that may be needed. Often times, by getting out and using your gear, you learn a lot about what you like and don’t like about particular types of gear. This last session in the outfitter help you dial into your exact preferences while on trail! The class will terminate at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.