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 14: Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Part 3

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 30, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

Rainy weather makes the third day in the Great Smoky Mountains a struggle for Josh and Scuba.


Day 13: Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Part 2

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 29, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

On their second day in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Josh and crew were determined to avoid some infamous tourist traps, so they pushed on for 20 miles.

However, their endurance was tested as they trekked through remote trails that seemed to never end. For Scuba, the day felt like he and Josh were living in the world of Alice in Wonderland. The fog, the thick woods, the never ending appetite -- it was a lot to bear for 20 miles. Nonetheless, they remained steadfast after meeting with several other hikers who encouraged them and supported them with their personal stories.

How's this for a tear jerker? Kili (left) and Fili. Kili is 3 years off being terminally ill with bone cancer. He wasn't...

Posted by Northbound til Sundown on Monday, March 28, 2016


Day 12: Smokey Mountains National Park

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 28, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

Josh and Scuba push into the spooky fog of Smokey Mountain National Park courageously, and go forth in anticipation of some steep climbs. Due to the fog, visibility was reduced to about 15 meters at first. As the day went on, the sun came out and warmed them up. They tackled about 18 miles and 4,000 feet of climb.


Day 11: Fontana Dam and the Nicest Shelter on the AT

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 25, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

After a nice camping experience with some other thru-hikers (and some tasty marshmallows and summer sausage), Josh and Scuba take a short recovery day to avoid severe weather and stay at a shelter in Fontana Dam.


Essential Gear: The Patagonia R1 Hoodie

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 25, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

Josh reviews one of his favorite pieces of gear: Patagonia's R1 Hoodie. With it's internal grid-pattern fleece, it's good for both alpine and through-hiking, as it keeps you warm while remaining breathable. If it's cold, use it as a layer. If it's warm, rock it solo. In addition, it has long sleeves with thumb loops, which comes in handy when layering in chilly conditions.

Stop by today at The Backpacker's Shop to pick up your R1 Hoodie today!


Day 10: NOC to Cody Gap - Feelin' the burn

Posted in Josh's Journey
by The Backpackers Shop

Scuba and Josh decided to push their bodies to the limit as they put in a 19 mile day despite many thousands of feet in climbs.


Day 9: Nantahala Outdoor Center - The Day of Angels

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 23, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

After the "day from hell," Josh and Scuba woke up to day 9 with positive attitudes. That positivity led them to a couple, described by Josh as "trail angels," who provided them with snacks and much-needed Mountain Dew.

Stacey and "Tins". Our trail angels for the day. Emerging after a freezing cold night, we found them serving donuts,...

Posted by Northbound til Sundown on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The snacks and positivity fueled them till they got to the Nantahala Outdoor Center several hours later, where they stocked up on supplies, ate a restaurant (paid for by some more trail angels), showered, and slept in a trail hostel. Up next: a 3,000-mile climb.


Day 8: Rock Gap Shelter - Cold Spring: The Day From Hell

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 23, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

Day 8 handed Josh his biggest challenge yet, as freezing temperatures and a 20-mile walk tested his resolve. However, he and his new friend Scuba endured the obstacles and enjoyed a beautiful view. He rocked his Arc'teryx Beta LT jacket and pant (available at The Backpackers Shop) throughout the day, which kept him warm and dry.


Day 7: One week update

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 23, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

Day 7 Update: One week on the Appalachian Trail (from Josh's Facebook).


I'm currently tenting by a shelter over the 100 mile mark, that's right, well into North Carolina! The service has been poor at best in NC so far so here is a written update on my first full week on the trail.

Overall: My body aches very little, and my spirits are predominantly bright. At the very moment I write this I'm feeling the slightest bit ill at ease, but that's only because I have a cold night ahead with a good possibility of snow.

Trail: Georgia was, in fact, as they tell it. Many ups and downs, and little respite between them. It is very much an aggressive introduction to everything ahead. The downhill sections which have caused quite a bit of knee pain for my fellow hikers have not affected me as of yet. Expect rocks and steep uneven climbs for all of the state of GA, but just over the border into NC, you'll be getting more scenic and daunting by the minute.

Body: My training has paid off big time as I have already acquired my trail legs. My anaerobic threshold is in an excellent spot and I feel as if I can recover quickly and easily from tough climbs. I have developed a bruise on my right ankle, however, which has made me adopt a slightly braced walking style. I really hope a layover in a couple days allows it to heal.

People: I have met some truly fantastic people on the trail thus far. Sadly, myself and Scuba are hiking at a pace that allows us to see these people only once or twice before the majority fall a bit behind our quickening pace. Scuba, by the way, is my new trail buddy. He is from Louisiana, specifically Baton Rouge, and is a perfect complement to me on the trail. Not only is he a strong hiker, but has the open-minded, friendly personality that is required to enjoy this experience. Our goals and objectives mesh well and we push each other to succeed.

Mental: My mind is awash in so many different emotions during each day that I can't possibly list them all. Scuba and I did have a good conversation on the trail today though, and in it we spoke about how the key to success on the trail is actually enjoying the act of hiking. That sounds redundant, but we both agreed that if we both didn't love challenging ourselves and witnessing the pure beauty of the trail, then we would never have been able to cover the ground we have in a week.

Conclusion: The trail is an adventure. Like any adventure book or movie, there are ups, downs, and lots of danger mixed in with the fun. We've got lots of challenges ahead. I'm just glad to have you all along. On nights like these the very thing keeping my spirits going is that all of you, my friends, are right here with me.


Day 6: Georgia/NC Border to Standing Indian Shelter

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 23, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

Scuba and Josh press forward into the clouds on an intense hike into the start of North Carolina.


Day 5: The Death Crawl to Hiawassee

Posted in Josh's Journey
Last Updated on March 23, 2016 by The Backpackers Shop

On day 5, Garth, Scuba and Josh put in a challenging day when they tackled a brutal 18+ miler over several summits, leading to an end in Hiawassee, GA.


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