Trailspace.com has a pretty good four-part series on their website about planning for a thru-hike. Written by Barbara Egbert, a thru-hike veteran herself, The Lure of a Long Trail: Planning a Thru-Hike offers basic information for would-be long distance thru-hikers to help them tackle the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail or the Continental Divide Trail. Obviously, much of the advice provided would also benefit backpackers attempting much shorter distances as well.
This is probably a good starting point for someone in the consideration phase of planning a thru-hike to see if they really want to get serious about it:
Part 1: In the first of four articles, Pacific Crest Trail veteran Barbara Egbert talks to other thru-hikers about gear decisions, training, and preparation.
Part 2: Sorting through a deluge of advice and wondering which to pay attention to? Successful backpackers can tell you what really matters, including reasons to thru-hike a long trail, what to eat, and finding water.
Part 3: Triple Crowners — hikers who have completed the AT, PCT, and CDT (that’s nearly 8,000 miles of trail) — offer advice to first-timers on how to stay safe and have fun.
Part 4: Two trail angels offer advice based on the hundreds of thru-hikers they've befriended and assisted along the Pacific Crest Trail.
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