This wiki page is about the extreme sport of thru-hiking. Questions related to the sport are listed on this page. We are looking for information that answers one or more of these ideas. Please feel free to use any of the information collected here, or participate in our wiki by uploading information about thru-hiking, the technology used in the sport, notable trails, health concerns, or its effects on the environment. This page is used as part of a course on Outdoor Culture and Technology, taught by Mr. Cooper at The Walker School in Marietta, GA. If you have any comments, please feel free to contact the author of this site.

Video - Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Discovery Questions:
Where are some of the most famous hiking trails in the World?
Who were some famous explorers who traveled long distances on foot?
What are the major types of hiking?
How are trails classified?
What types of fungi, plants and animals can be found in habitats neighboring trails?
What are some common types of accidents experienced by hiker?
What are some the climate conditions experiences by hikers?
What gear is commonly taken while hiking?
From what materials are the gear made?
From what chemical compounds are these materials made?
What schools are available to teach the sport?
What records are held in the sport and by whom?
What are some personality characteristics of hikers?
What culture has developed around thru-hikers?
What slang or idiom is used in the sport?
What effects does hiking have on the environments in which it is practiced?

Major Categories of Hikers
Alpine Hikers, Day Hikers, Section Hikers, Thru-Hikers

Major Trails in US:

Major Trails around the World
  • Inca Trail
  • Jacobs Trail

Environmental Issues:
Biomes, Biodegradable, Biogeochemical Cycles, Conservation Biology, Ecological Footprint, Environmental Ethics, Habitats and Niches, Species (native, keystone, invasive), National Parks, No-Trace Exploration, and Solid Waste Disposal on Trails, Sustainable Development, Watersheds, Weather and Climate

Technology Issues:
GPS Units on the Trail, Backpack materials, Gear on the trail

Typical Equipment Lists:
Day Hikers: day pack, camel pack, rain gear, food, waterproof matches, first aid kit, toilet paper, trowl, map or guide book, digital camera, binoculars, gloves and knit cap, extra shirt, bandanna

Section and Thru- Hikers: hiking boots, frame pack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, water proof matches, stove and fuel, cooking pot and eating utensils, pocket knife, water purifiers, food, spices, camel pack drinking cup, rain gear, gaiters, shorts, long pants, short-sleeve shirt, knit cap, sock liners, socks, bandanna, long johns, parka and/or fleece, underwear, toilet paper and trowel, biodegradable soap and washcloth, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving kit, nylon chord (at least 10ft), maps, guidebooks and data book, compass or GPS, flashlight or headlamp, watch or clock, sunglasses, first aid kit, swimsuit and towel, extra shoes, repair equipment for pack, tent and stove, digital camera, radio with headphones, insect repellent, sunscreen, hiking stick or poles, journal, reading material

Health Concerns:
Hypothermia, Snake Bite, Foot Injuries, Bear Attacks