In 2001, when I was 24 and in physical therapy school, I worked in Boston part-time as a foot messenger delivering packages. When my radio and pager were silent and there was no work, I would walk over to Borders (it used to be a bookstore!) and thumb through the travel section. I wanted an adventure; something to experience before permanently joining the working world. That’s how I found the Appalachian Trail.
When my school obligations ended in June of 2002, I set off from Mt. Katahdin in Maine for Springer Mountain, Georgia with a 55lb pack and no clue. By the time I reached Springer in early November, I was a proud graduate of the hiker school of hard knocks. I had also been bitten by The Bug.
Since the AT I’ve thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Wonderland Trail, and the Montana Section of the Continental Divide Trail. I researched and wrote Long Distance Hiking in the six years following my PCT hike. Aimed at first-time long distance hikers, but with helpful information for hikers of any skill level, Long Distance Hiking is a truly realistic look at what it takes to successfully complete a trail trip of hundreds or even thousands of miles. If you don’t want to take my word for it, LDH contains a first-ever survey of more than two hundred long distance hikers, so there’s a little something for everyone. I’ve also published an investigative piece on Lyme disease as well as a few gear reviews on backpackgeartest.org.
When I’m not hiking or writing, I work full time as a pediatric physical therapist in early intervention and early childhood special education.
Distancehiking.com is a place where I’ve compiled all kinds of information about trail travel. I’ve posted the full journals from my PCT and CDT hikes as well as many other trail trips and opinion pieces. If you’re interested in picking up a copy of Long Distance Hiking, you can do that here as well. If you buy a copy, go ahead and send me a message if you’d like your copy signed or inscribed. If you’d like to be a contributor to Distancehiking.com, I’d also like to hear from you. Follow me on twitter @DanFWrites. Happy reading!