The Appalachian Trail 2014

Data Recap of Hiking the Entire Appalachian Trail

Start Time: 10:50 AM 5 June 2014
End Time: 11:18 AM 22 September 2014
Elapsed Time: 2616.47 Hours (109 Days 28 Minutes / 3 Months 17 Days 28 Minutes)

Daily progress shown as percentage of the trail completed to date:

2014 AT Daily Percentage Completion

Note in the above graph in July there are two completely flat segments, which represent the 3 zero days taken, and there is a distinct change in slope on 9/1/2014, which was the date began hiking in the White Mountains and the more challenging terrain of southern Maine.

Trail Distance: 2185.3 Miles
Bonus Miles Recorded: 57.9 Miles
Total Distance Walked: 2242.9 Miles

Average 1 Day Trail Distance: 20.0 Miles

Despite the daily average distance covered coming to 20.0 miles, there was great variability in the distance covered on each individual day. The graphs below gives some insight into the daily variation of distance. “Trail miles” are forward progress on the Appalachian Trail, and “Bonus miles” are miles walked into town, on side trails to points of interest, etc.

2014 AT Daily Mileage

Min 1 Day Distance: 0 Miles (4 July, 5 July, & 19 July / Days 30, 31, & 45)
Max 1 Day Distance: 40.4 Miles (15 August / Day 71)

2014 AT Histogram Daily Mileage

In addition to mileage details, I recorded daily the times I woke, began walking, stopped walking for the night, the time I lay down fully ready for sleep, and all time intervals during each day that I left the Appalachian Trail (went into town to resupply, went to a deli, etc). With this data, I completed several time based calculations:

Total Trip Time: 2616.47 Hours (109 Days 28 Minutes)
Trail Walking Time: 1305.7 Hours (54 Days 9 Hours 39 Minutes
Time In Bed: 888.8 Hours (37 Days 46 Minutes)

Average Trail Walking Speed: 1.67 MPH

Average Walking Time Per Day: 11 Hours 59 Minutes
Average Time In Bed Per Day: 8 Hours 9 Minutes

Note the average time in bed is merely the maximum available time for sleep, which approximates but overstates average amount of nightly sleep. The remaining 3 hours 52 minutes of each “average day” represents time breaking camp in the morning, making camp in the evening, and all time off the trail for resupply, visiting family, and zero days.

As with mileage calculations, the figure of average hours walked daily has limitations in expressing variability. The daily time spent waking fluctuated a great deal, as seen below.

2014 AT Histogram of Daily Hours Walked

I also made a daily estimate of my average pack weight. This was somewhat speculative as the amount of food and water constantly changes. Most figures were based off current base gear weight plus food weight known at resupplies (less an estimated amount consumed per day since the resupply)and water weight based on the day’s carrying habits and the weight of water per liter. The downward stepping in weight between resupplies can be seen in the graph below.

2014 AT Daily Weight

The days showing zero pounds are days without an average weight entry because no trail miles were hiked. The 4.5 pound pack weight day on 8/2/2014 was a 10 mile hike with only 4 hours on the trail. Not including the four dates above, my average pack weight across the entire trail, including gear, food and water, was 16.8 pounds.

Among the numerous other items I tracked while hiking, I took note of the style of sleep accommodations for each night on the trail. Bivying (sleeping under the stars) was the most frequently used style of accommodation. “Tenting” in my Gatewood Cape tarp-tent was the next most frequent.

Sleep Style Nights
Bivy 36
Tent 31
Shelter 21
Hostel 6
Home 5
Indoors on Floor 4
Hotel 4
Cabin 2
Total 109


Marking the sleep style of each night allows me to return to data about the time making or breaking camp and compare the average duration on nights where I bivied or tented.

Bivy Tent
Average minutes spent making camp 29.4 47.7
Average minutes spent breaking camp 26.9 39.6

Bivying shows a clear time savings over tenting, not to mention the added benefit of peacefully drifting off while watching the night sky.

Lastly, each day on trail, I’m took a 1 minute video for my own record. View videos from the entire trip directly on Vimeo by clicking here.

Timeline of Daily Videos:

Links to select days’ videos:

Day 104 – Pleasant Pond Mountain, Me – Mile 2041.1

Day 93 – Great Gulf Wilderness, Nh – Mile 1852.8

Day 81 – Glastenbury Mountain, Vt – Mile 1617.5

Day 71 – Fahnestock State Park, Ny – Mile 1418.6

Day 61 – Swatara Gap, Pa – Mile 1178.2

Day 50 – Franklin Cliffs, Va – Mile 922.1

Day 39 – McAfee’s Knob, Va – Mile 707.9

Day 25 – Va-Tn Border – Mile 463.2

Day 15 – Hot Springs, Nc – Mile 273.9

Day 1 – Springer Mountain, Ga – Mile 0

Other info:

I enjoyed using Matt Kirk’s 8.1 oz pack for the last 1645.8 miles of the trip. Lots of people have asked about it so click here for the info on it!