Joshs Journey

About Josh's Journey

Our employee Josh is hiking the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine this summer. He is armed with a plethora of the best gear from The Backpackers Shop and will be posting daily updates on Facebook (@nthboundtilsundown) and Instagram (@nthboundtilsundown) throughout his trip.

In addition, you can follow his updates here on this blog.

Day 55: Harper's Ferry to Pine Knob Shelter

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

On Day 55, Josh faced some more crummy weather, but his spirits were lightened by some awesome landmarks, an easy trail and the chance to walk through two states -- West Virginia and Maryland -- in one day.


Mark it in the History Books

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

While at Harper's Ferry, Josh got his picture taken and posted in the iconic Appalachian Trail Conservatory. Now he's officially out of the South. A whole new animal awaits him in the Northern half the AT.


Days 49-52: Shenandoah National Park to Harper's Ferry

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

On Day 49, Josh began the journey in the famous Shenandoah National Park. At over 100 miles long, it is one of the larger stretches of national park in the Appalachian Trail. In the five days it took to walk through Shenandoah, Josh met some incredible trail angels, stayed in some entertaining shelters, saw an apple-sized wolf spider, got soaked by rainfall and reached the 1000-mile mark on the Appalachian Trail. Check out his adventures below!

Day 49:

Day 50:

Day 51:

Day 53:


Days 43-45: Day 43: Daleville to Waynesboro

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

After days of beautiful weather, Days 43, 44 and 45 proved to be a bit disappointing as Josh endured rain, fog and a lack of beautiful views. However, he decided to plow through as fast as possible, so he made excellent time.

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Day 41: McAfee Knob to Daleville, VA

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

For Day 41, Josh gives the audience a first-person perspective of the hike for the duration of the video.

Highlights include gorgeous views of what many consider to be the most beautiful stretch of the Appalachian Trail, a pretty, green snake and some live banjo-playing.


Days 36 & 37: A Day in the Life of a Thru-Hiker

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

On days 36 and 37, Josh keeps pushing through to Pearisburg, Virginia. Below is a description of what a day in the life of a hiker is like, in Josh' own words:

6:00am, I wake up to first light. It's not exactly as impressive as it sounds because I went to bed the previous evening at Sundown, also known as "hikers midnight." I made a point this day of deflating my sleeping pad, stuffing my sleeping bag and ground sheet orderly into my bag in quick fashion to try to be out by 7:00 after eating breakfast. My breakfast, happened to be two packets of pop tarts, eaten two at a time, combined with any other snacks I had remaining.

I knew I had a big climb ahead of me right out the gate by looking in my guidebook. The thing is, the guidebook has a funny habit of being completely wrong about the severity of climbs and descents, both to positive and negative results. I pounded out the 1000 ft climb without breaking a sweat.

That was my only big climb of the day. Everything should have been peachy past that. A descent, followed by another climb, then straight into town. Well, remember how the guidebook lies? Well, water, as it turns out, is harder to find in Virginia then you would assume and I had less than a liter of it to travel what ended up being 10 miles.

Finally reaching a sign that read "spring", with an arrow pointed left, I hurry downhill to find this well marked water source was nothing more than a trickle out of the rock. I reach into a hole where I hear water flowing, secretly hoping an animal doesn't bite my hand off, and remove a filled bottle of clear mountain water. I chug a liter, refill then go.

Not to reiterate that your guidebook lies, but it does, the descent into town was less of a smooth and easily graded downhill and was more of a black Diamond ski slope of death. I had many moments my trekking poles saved my balance. I pushed past a first road crossing to the next which emptied me out beside a road that had the smell of paint thinner and noxious fumes. I loved it. It reminded me of Cleveland.

Walking down this road into town (I chose to walk and not hitchhike because I enjoy taking in the aura of these small towns) I came across a small antiques shop. Before I could pass I was summoned inside by a nice older lady. Before I left I was told by the 3 women that ran this shop that I was a nice young man who needs to find a woman and marry her immediately and move to Pearisburg. I guess I made an impression.

I got to my motel next. It's the kind of place that if you're not on a very slim budget you'd definitely pass up, and I was slightly nervous upon seeing it. I go to the office, ring the bell, and the very nice woman at the counter greeted me with traditional Southern charm, and took my laundry from me, washed it, folded it, and brought it to my room. WHAT!?

I then did what any other hungry thru-hiker would do. Headed to the all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant across the street. On a whim, I asked if a fellow hiker I had met the previous day wanted to go with me, as I knew he was staying upstairs. He agreed, so Rebound and Gadget feasted mightily upon many ethnic cuisines. Rebound even picked up my check. I'll have to return this karma somehow.

So now I'm sitting in my hotel room, waiting for the food to digest and writing this. Next stop is Daleville, VA, which is 93 miles away. I think I'm going to try to get there in 4 days.

Every day is full of magic and stories. I can't/won't share them all, but I hope this let's you into my mind just a bit more


Day 35: Chestnut Knob Shelter to Helvey's Mill Shelter

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

More beautiful views and scenery greeted Josh and Scuba on Day 35.

The highlight of the day was a quick break they got to enjoy at a small river, where both guys got to rinse off their feet in the water.


Day 34: Atkins, VA to Chestnut Ridge

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

After a small break, Josh and Scuba pushed on for a 22-mile day.

They ended up reaching the 1/4 marker of the Appalachian Trail on Day 34 and were treated to a fairly nice shelter that included bunks and 4-walls.


Day 32: The Grayson Highlands of Virginia

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

Josh and Scuba have seen mountains. They've seen waterfalls. They've seen gorgeous views, trial magic, cute towns and more. But it wasn't until Day 32 that they ran into some wild ponies.

The ponies are absolutely free, live on their own and are very friendly. Plenty of petting and picture-taking occurred.


Day 31: Damascus, VA to Lost Mountain Shelter

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

After a refreshing stop in Damascus, Josh and Scuba pressed on towards Lost Mountain Shelter.

Day 31 was a much quicker day -- about 15 miles. It was a gorgeous day, and Josh and Scuba teamed up with some other hikers they met in Damascus.


Day 29: Iron Mountain Shelter to Damascus, VA

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

Josh and Scuba finally left Tennessee and entered Virginia on Day 19.

A little trail magic -- some Little Debbie snacks and other supplies in a bear-resistant container -- sparked their attitudes. That night they stopped in Damascus, Virginia, which is widely regarded as the capital city of the Appalachian Trail.


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