There is no such thing as a 'typical' hiker. They come from all walks of life, every age, and every fitness level. Some like more luxuries than others, carrying big loads while others go ‘ultra-light’. Some go fast and others slow. Some climb mountains or love to swim. Despite the mass diversity of people on the trail there is a common bond that every walker shares and understands instinctively. Be it a universal love of nature, of adventure, of the personal challenge, or even just an obsession with gear, it brings people together in a way rarely experienced in the city. Not everyone wants to have a chat and be your friend, but everyone tends to respect each other, and every hiker you meet will be friendly on the trail. The bond between long-distance hikers is even stronger, and strangers who walk together on long trails often form lifelong friendships.
Every year more and more people are discovering the joys of the outdoors and the challenge of completing an epic long
distance adventure. Books written by hikers inspire other people just like them who never believed it was possible to do anything so vast and daunting, until they try.
Those who get to the end almost always have the same reaction; they need to do it again, infused with permanent wanderlust. Some do the same trail right away, while others seek out the next one. A few even make it their life, dedicating themselves to helping other thru-hikers by providing essential services, or by writing guide books and journals that has made them into hiking celebrities. Without exaggeration, thru-hiking changes lives. It changes people’s outlook on their priorities, on their possessions, on their use of time. Few people finish a long distance hike without the immense, soul consuming need to do it again. Normal life never seems the same. It even has a name ...the Hiker Blues.