7,800 Miles On a 2,200 Mile Trail - Lessons Learned From an Appalachian Trail Hiker

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Join Andy Niekamp as his takes us on a photo journey from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail (AT).

Since 1994 Andy "Captain Blue" Niekamp has hiked 7,800 miles on the AT, a continuous footpath that runs through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine.  He has been awarded three "2,000 miler" certificates by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy which is conferred on hikers who have completed the entire AT and he is a Life Member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  Andy first became interested in backpacking in Boy Scouts, took his first solo hike on the AT in 1989 and since then has hiked the trail in sections end-to-end over three times.  He labels himself as a chronic section hiker of the AT and finds each successive end-to-end hike gets easier and more enjoyable.  Andy says "the physical and mental demands of long distance hiking are a great way to recharge one's internal batteries and get a fresh look on life."

Program is free and open to all ages.  No reservations are required.

Andy will offer tips and advice about the AT - mail drops, shuttles, hitchhiking and hiker hostels.  At night he sleeps in the shelters along the AT if they are not crowded or in a one-person tent that he carries.  About once a week he hitchhikes into town to resupply his food, take a shower and wash his clothes.

Andy Niekamp is the founder and organizer of Dayton Hikers and is the Lead Adventure for Outdoor Adventure Connection which specializes in backcountry adventures.