ABOUT THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL
How long does it take to complete the entire Appalachian Trail?: The average is close to six months to complete the 2,190 mile hike. Most thru-hikers take between five and seven months to finish the hike. Hikers generally average eight miles per day at the beginning then increase mileage covered through the less mountainous areas as the hike continues northbound.
How difficult is the Appalachian Trail? Very. The trail is mountainous throughout, with an elevation gain and loss equal to hiking Mt. Everest from sea level and back 16 times. Along the Trail, hikers can expect to encourage rocky terrain, mud, streams and only the occasional flat section. According to the Appalachian Trial Conservancy, the Appalachian Trail has been hiked by people ranging from age five to 86 and by hikers with a wide range of disabilities.
Thunderstorms are the biggest weather obstacles during the trek, but insects also come into play. Kellerman has had his hiking gear and pack all professionally dipped in an insect repellant to help ward off the bugs. Hikers may also encounter the occasional black bear or snake on the Trail.
Mapping It Out: Kellerman will be relying on traditional trail maps and a compass to navigate his way through the Appalachian Trail. He will also carry a GPS beacon for use in case of emergency.
How Many Hikers Have Completed the Appalachian Trail?: According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), more than 15,000 hike completions have been reported to ATC. One in four thru-hikers actually complete the journey each year. Less than 700 people completed the full northbound thru-hike in 2018, while more than 3 million visitors hike at least a portion of the Appalachian Trail each year. The full Appalachian Trail passes through six National Parks, eight National Forests, and two wildlife refuges.
Everything But The Kitchen Sink: Six months on the trail is hard to fit into a backpack, but that’s exactly what thru-hikers have to do. Throughout the hike, Kellerman will be carrying a backpack that weighs 30-35 pounds and includes all the necessities such as a sleeping bag, head net, compass, GPS emergency beacon, freeze-dried food and much more. He is expected to go through 4-5 pairs of hiking boots during the hike.
Kilroy Was Here: Hikers usually adopt trail names for the Appalachian Trail hike so Kellerman will be known as Kilroy Kellerman on the trails. Kellerman was inspired to use the Kilroy name by the iconic “Kilroy Was Here” expression and graffiti that was used by U.S. troops during World War II