The Appalachian Trail spans over 2000 miles. In the Hike for Hope, each one is dedicated to ending the suicide epidemic.
Retired United States Navy Commander
Committed to Service - Walking from the Military into Ministry
Aug 24th Update Sponsored by The Elizabeth Mattera Foundation
An “AT” thru-hike covers roughly 2,190 contiguous miles along the A.T. route in one trip. A thru-hike of the A.T. is a huge and difficult undertaking. On average, only one in four who begin the thru-hike complete it.
A typical thru-hiker takes five to seven months to hike the A.T. This holds true whether hikers go northbound, southbound, or split hike, completing each northern and southern sections. The trail stretches from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt Katahdin, Maine. Hiking the A.T. is a grueling and demanding endeavor, involving resupply at town stops every five to seven days. The hike requires off-trail hiking as well.
The terrain is mountainous, the hike ambitious. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the A.T has an elevation gain and loss equivalent to hiking Mt. Everest from sea level and back 16 times. The trail is rocky in many places and filled with roots or mud. It involves frequent fording of streams, which become hazardous after downpours. The saying, “No rain, no pain, no Maine,” rings true for many hikers.
A northbound thru-hiker like Tim can reasonably undertake this hike without specialized winter gear for about half the year. While no special training is required for these hikes, it is more important to hike at a pace that matches a hiker's fitness level. Those in great physical condition may have an edge in the beginning, but completing a thru-hike of the A.T. is more of a mental challenge. People, from age five to 86, have completed the A.T. thru-hike along with others who have a wide range of disabilities.
Throughout his trek on the A.T., Tim will be pausing to rest and
resupply. These are called Nero Days and Zero Days.
Tim will also be journaling and recording his journey in a "Roses, Buds and Thorns"
Rose: A highlight, success, small win, or something positive that happened.
Bud: New ideas that have blossomed or something he's looking forward to knowing more about or experiencing.
Thorn: A challenge he experienced or something he wishes went better.
Although Tim will have limited communications capability during his hike, he will have connectivity via a two-way GPS transponder. During his Zero days (about every 10 days) Tim and Matthew will conduct a livestream video podcast to check-in with our sponsors and discuss events, thoughts, and updates. Our sponsors can also follow Tim's progress on the trail via a daily GPS update which will be uploaded online.
After a five long months on the Appalachian Trail, Tim will be returning home to his family and friends. But the journey does not end there.
The conclusion of the Hike for Hope is timed to link with National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
In September 2022, The Elizabeth Mattera Foundation, in collaboration with our sponsors and friends, will be hosting a 'Return from the Trail' celebration to both welcome Tim home after his long journey and to usher in National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month - held every September.
During this special event, our generous sponsors and friends will meet Tim and learn more about the Elizabeth Mattera Foundation.