Ounces is a section of the distancehiking.com blog devoted entirely to presenting results and analysis from the 2013-2014 long distance hiker survey.

Covering a vast number of topics ranging from budgeting to pack weight to gear, and with over 1,000 long distance hikers responding, this is the largest, most comprehensive published survey of long distance hikers in existence.

Analysis will be published over time and will be varied.  Some posts will deal with basic descriptive data, such as age and sex distributions or favorite food cravings.  Other posts will dig a little deeper and use statistics to explore potential cause-and-effect relationships.

The Survey

The 2013-14 long distance hiker survey took place over two hiking seasons and survey respondents were recruited from several locations.  For the Pacific Crest Trail, distancehiking.com received permission to use the email distribution list gathered by the now-closed Hiker Heaven hostel at mile 454.  For the Appalachian Trail, distancehiking.com worked in collaboration with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, who distributed the survey link to hikers reporting a successful Appalachian Trail thru-hike.

All totaled, the 2013-14 hiker survey gathered responses from 1,038 long distance hikers on both trails; 557 from the PCT and 481 from the AT.

Due to the data source, the vast majority of AT hikers were thru hikers.  The PCT data source was a bit more heterogeneous.  Here’s the numbers breakdown for both trails:


Thru Hikers: 466

Section Hikers: 13

Missing Data: 2


Thru Hikers: 316

Section Hikers: 238

Missing Data: 3

Section hikers from the 2014 survey were asked how far they hiked:

  • Less than 500 miles = 14 PCT, 0 AT
  • 500 – 999 miles = 33 PCT, 0 AT
  • 1,000 – 1,499 miles = 38 PCT, 1 AT
  • More than 1,500 miles = 41 PCT, 3 AT

The 112 PCT and 9 AT section hikers from 2013 were not asked about the number of miles they hiked.  Other stats like age, sex, and geographic distribution will be described in upcoming posts.


Distancehiking.com welcomes inquiries!  If you’ve got a particular question about long distance hiking, contact us and we will gladly query the survey database for you and possibly add a new post if your question is unique.

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