The Beauty and Wonder of the Appalachian Trail

Travel the Appalachian Trail

For the truly dedicated hiker, there are few destinations more appealing than the Appalachian Trail. Stretching over a distance of 2,200 miles through 14 states, winding through forests and mountains, this unforgettable trail can truly be described as "epic." Every year, over 2 million people visit various parts of the trail for day hikes, and some go even farther, even to the point of attempting a thru-hike, in which they hike the entire length of the trail in one season. The most ambitious hikers do a "yo-yo" which involves hiking the whole trail from beginning to end and then back again. Obviously, this takes lots of time and stamina!

The full length of the Appalachian Trail begins in northern Georgia and terminates at Mount Katahdin in central Maine. It travels through several biomes, offering plenty of opportunity to see tons of different plants and animals, including over 2,000 rare or threatened species.  Even if you only hike part of the trail, the experience will stay with you forever. While some areas of the trail are too tough for new hikers, there are just as many places to go for a much easier trek, and the trail is clearly marked and maintained.

Naturally, just like any other wilderness area, the Appalachian Trail has its hazards. Wildlife encounters are usually peaceful, but when dealing with bears and wild boars, anything can go wrong. Venomous snakes and poison ivy are also common, but easily avoided if you know what to watch out for. Still, even the most careful wilderness explorer can encounter unforeseen danger, and people do go missing on the Appalachian Trail or even lose their lives. Before you go, make sure you educate yourself about the dangers of the trail, just as much as you learn about the beautiful sights you're bound to see.

At the core of most trail-related tragedies is the fact that people simply don't realize that during most of their hike, they're not going to be in range of cellular phone service. We are simply so used to the ubiquity of cell phones that sometimes it escapes our minds that we won't have access to them. Unfortunately for people who find themselves injured or lost in the wilderness, that realization can come far too late. While the Appalachian Trail itself is well-marked, people underestimate how easily they can get turned around if they should step off the trail for any reason. With the sound-dampening effect of the deep woods, you can become completely lost mere minutes from the trail, and only end up moving farther away from it as you try to find your way back.

We can't stress this enough: when hiking the Appalachian Trail, a satellite phone can mean the difference between life and death. There are too many sad stories to count of lost hikers who tried to contact loved ones with text messages that never got through. The right satellite phone will allow you not only text messaging and calls, but also provide you with the capability to leave a GPS breadcrumb trail and even a one-button SOS function to make you easy to find. An Iridium satellite phone would be ideal, as they're the best in mountainous terrain and offer these functions.

When traveling far from civilization, you should consider a means to communicate to be just as essential as food and water. Outfitter Satellite can help you choose the right satellite phone to rent or purchase for your wilderness treks or any other application. Please feel free to contact us while planning your trip!