What is a thru-hike?

I just read an article about a woman who is trying to get rid of clutter, and she said that on her “thru-hike” she enjoyed the freedom of carrying everything she needed on her back. What is a thru-hike? Is a “thru-hike” an extended backpacking trip?


what is a thru-hike

ANSWER: Thanks for your question, Robert.

A thru-hike a hike that is done continuously, typically one of a great length. For example, people thru-hike the John Muir Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Appalachian Trail (and are out on the trail for multiple weeks at a time). The Appalachian Trail is over 2,175 miles long, so obviously takes months to complete.

Others do “section hikes” where they tackle a small portion at a time, then come back and continue where they left off. People who section hike don’t necessarily do each section in sequence, and often take many years to finish the trail.

One of my favorite hiking stories is Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods about hiking the Appalachian Trail. In it he discusses his section hiking the AT

Happy trails!
Hiking Lady

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