The Appalachian Trail Passport is becoming a more exciting item to carry on the trail. It acts like a real passport in that you can get stamps each place you stop. It is a fun souvenir to carry with you on the trail and look back on all the places you have been after the trail.
The idea originated in Spain on the Camino de Santiago. On the Camino, hikers carry a “passport” that would be stamped at each hostel to show where they stayed and to prove their pilgrimage of the trail. On the Appalachian Trail, most places you can stop along the trail have acquired their own stamp to stamp the AT Passports. Hostels, outfitters, hotels, shuttle drivers, and other points of interest carry their own stamps. The passport only weighs one ounce so it hardly takes up any weight! But of course, ounces make pounds. A benefit to purchasing a passport is all the proceeds are donated to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to help further protect the trail. Check out the passports here to buy yours today! We also sell them in the store if you want to stop by the shop on your way through.
Here is the official list of locations to get your passport stamped. The Southernmost place to get a stamp is at Amicalola Falls State Park, and the Northernmost spot is at Baxter State Park, right before you climb Katahdin. There are hundreds of spots in between the start and finish where you can stop and get your passport stamped. It would be hard to visit every single place but I’m sure someone out there has done it!
It is personal preference whether or not you want to carry a passport. I didn’t carry one because I knew I would forget about it and just be carrying dead weight around. I also enjoy looking back through my journals and pictures and figured that would be enough for memories. I definitely considered it though! It would be fun to carry around a passport of all the places you’ve been and be able to show others.
I hope you decide to carry this AT Passport but if you don’t, that’s ok too. Hike your own hike and have fun out there!