Love nature and the outdoors, but generally only travel for work? Well, you may be able to sneak in a bit of after-hours hiking on the Appalachian Trail if you’re traveling to any of these 14 states:
From the southern terminus in Springer Mountain, Georgia, the Appalachian Trail goes through these 14 states and covers approximately 2,180 miles before reaching its northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine. So get out your luggage, grab your boarding pass, and let’s get started.
How Travelers can Hike the Trail
If you’re a beginner and you only have a short amount of time, such as an afternoon or a weekend, you can do a section-hike. A section-hike is where you pick and hike a certain section of the trail. Over time you can then piece these sections together end-to-end to complete the trail.
A “flip-flop” is another option where you section-hike the entire trail, but in whatever order you like. This is especially useful to people who travel for business, and don’t know where their next section hike will be. Hiking offers a lot of flexibility as far as time and commitment. It’s a great way for business travelers to de-stress and get in some physical activity.
Luggage and Backpacks
As a frequent traveler, you may have already invested in luggage. If not, you’ll need to look for quality, long-lasting luggage that is convenient and easy to use. Briggs and Riley luggage is unique for its SmartLink system which, according to their website, “effortlessly allows you to carry two or more bags at once.” This is a great benefit for the single traveler.
You’ll also need a strong and light-weight backpack for the hike. Kelty and Teton offer many backpack models popular with hikers. No need to fill your backpack before boarding, you can fill your pack on location the day of the hike.
Clothing, Accessories, and Food to Pack
Obviously you’ll need to pack your luggage with your work ensembles, but you’ll also need to pack clothing that is appropriate for your hike. Wing tips and dress pants aren’t going to cut it on the rocky terrain of the Appalachian Trail!
Any time of the year you should wear “Blaze” orange colored clothing and accessories whenever possible to increase your visibility. Footwear that is comfortable and acceptable for the terrain is of the utmost importance, since you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet.
Weather is an important factor. In cold, wet weather dress in layers of synthetic fabrics. Natural fibers generally take longer to dry and can leave you susceptible to hypothermia, even in temperatures that are above freezing. A hat, sunglasses, and light-weight clothing are pertinent for hot and sunny weather. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to avoid sunburn. Stay hydrated and make sure you’re drinking clean water.
Once you’re ready to start your hike you can fill your pack with whatever foods you eat on a day-to-day basis, including fruits and vegetables. You’ll also want high calorie, low water-weight foods. Popular choices include Snickers candy bars and Ramen Noodles. You’ll need your energy, hikers can expect to burn up to an incredible 6,000 calories per day on the trail!
Safety and First Aid on the Trail
Practice safety on the trail and always pack a first-aid kit in your pack to treat small injuries, such as aches, pains, scrapes, cuts and blisters. Blisters are extremely common on the trail. Make sure you keep all blisters clean, dry and covered to promote quick healing and avoid infection.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail can be an amazing way to fit relaxation and physical activity into your business trip. You don’t have to choose, you can travel for business and pleasure.