I have the majority of my gear together and only have a few small odds 'n ends to pick up then I'll be all set to start. I'm planning on beginning the adventure on the 26th of March, so two weeks from today I should be in the woods.
Check out this Wikipedia page to get some good, basic info on it and what it is.
I seem to be getting a lot of the same questions from everyone when I tell them about it, so here are a few of my responses:
Yeah, I'm planning on walking the entire thing...from Georgia to Maine (roughly 2,175 miles, or about 5 million footsteps)
Should take 4-6 months to do it.
I'll be eating mostly dried, just-add-water kind of foods (oatmeal, pasta, etc).
It passes through, or close to, enough towns that I'll only need to carry 3-5 days worth of food at a time. I'll restock food, do laundry, check my mail-drops (friends are mailing me some supplies via post offices) when I get to those towns.
Yup, that means 3-5 days or more between showers too.
There are about 200 shelters that were made for hikers to stay in, but I'll be taking my own setup (hammock, tarp, warm cozy sleeping bag) so I can avoid them for the most part.
When it rains, I'll just get wet. I'm carrying rain-gear, but there's not much that will keep you dry when you're walking in the rain for 4-6 hours at a time.
Nope, not afraid of getting lost at all. There are around 165,000 trail markers (called blazes) along the way to keep you on track. Plus it's extremely well-traveled so the trail is easy to follow.
Apart from a pocket knife and a spork I will not be carrying a weapon. The majority of the AT is on National Park land, where guns aren't allowed anyway.
I actually want to see a bear (hopefully lots of them), and I'm not really too concerned about it. Keep your head and stay calm and everything will be ok.
Same goes for snakes, moose, and other wildlife (including the serial killers and "crazy people just waiting to attack you" that my mother seems to think inhabit the woods).
Yup, had to quit my job. Moving out of the apartment too.
And yeah, it's the craziest thing I've ever done. The scariest too. But that just makes the adventure that much more exciting!
I'll be keeping a journal online so people can keep up with what's going on. I can email my entries using the new toy (the Blackberry) and keep everything updated. There will be places where I won't have a cell signal but overall I'll be able to post pretty regularly. I'll be putting up a link here to the journal and a few other cool things once I get started on the hike.