Appalachian Trail Interview with Brightside

Did you have a trail name? If yes, which one and why this particular name?
Brightside – I was always smiling and looking on the bright side .

Kristen Geary ultrahiker
Could you give us a rough estimate when you started and ended hiking the AT?
February 25, 2017 to July 11, 2017

Did you go NOBO or SOBO, and why did you choose that option?
NOBO. I wanted to finish on Mt. Katahdin.

Why did you choose to hike the Appalachian Trail over another trail?
I am from the East Coast

Preparing for the Trail

Did you do any kind of training before embarking on the AT?
I ran two marathons, and had a lot of hiking experience.

Did you pack a lot of clothes?
No. I hiked in the same clothes everyday, and I also carried a set of warm clothes to wear at night.

Did you mentally prepare yourself for the trail? If yes, what did you do?
I mentally prepared for there to be very hard days, but knew it would be worth all the struggles to make it to Maine.

On the Trail

How would your average day look like on the trail? (morning, hiking, evening)
I usually woke up around 7am, quickly packed up, and started hiking. I usually stopped hiking about every 2 hours for a small break. I liked to take a longer break around lunch.

Typically I would hike until about 5pm. I spent most nights in shelters so rarely had to set up my tent. After eating dinner, I would socialize with other hikers.

Shortly after it got dark, I went to sleep. I hiked around 20 miles per day.

What did you mostly eat and what was your favorite food on the trail?

  • Poptarts
  • Granola bars
  • Tortillas
  • Candy
  • Ramen noodles
  • Mac & cheese

My favorite dinner food was Annie’s White Cheddar Mac & Cheese.

What was the most beautiful section(s) of the trail ?
The Roan Highlands in Tennessee, and the White Mountains in New Hampshire

Did you see a bear or moose?
No

Challenges

Did you have any injuries during your hike? If yes, how did you handle it?
No

What was the hardest part of the hike?
The first 100 miles of Maine.

new hampshire and vermont border at by Kristen Geary

Gear

Did you use a tent or a hammock? Why did you choose this option?
I used a tent because I liked the privacy and having more space.

Was there anything you wish you had while hiking the AT?
No, I had everything I needed.

Where there any items you ditched during your first days/weeks?
Soap

How did you filter your water?
Sawyer Squeeze filter

After the Trail

What did you appreciate the most when you were back home?
The ability to be inside when it was raining, and air conditioning.

Do you have a rough estimate on how much money you spend on the trail?
$4,000

What would you change if you would do it all over again?
I would go slower.

Did you loose any weight? If so, how much?
About 8 pounds.

What’s Next?

Do you have plans for future hikes?
Hopefully. I would like to hike the Colorado Trial, and the Pacific Crest Trail.

Anything else that you want to tell people who are preparing to hike the Appalachian trail?
There is no need to plan too much, because most of your plans will probably change. While hiking, enjoy every moment because it will be over before you know it.

Do you have any online presence (blog or social media) where we can follow you?
KGontheAT.wordpress.com and @kris_geary on instragram

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