I went to the Northern Ruck last weekend, a hiker get-together held at the Bears Den Trail Center in Virginia. I’ve gone the last two years and it was a great resource for preparing for my AT thru hike, both for initial information gathering when I was thinking about hiking in 2012, and to meet other potential thru hikers when I went in 2013. This time I was one of the people with information, and I helped some current potential thru hikers with pack shakedowns and advice.

Attendance was low this year but it was still a great weekend to catch up with hiker friends and learn about the AT and other trails. There was a presentation on someone’s hike of the Camino de Santiago, and we watched a couple of trail movies: Flip Flop Flippin’ 2, taking place on the AT, and Embrace the Brutality, taking place on the CDT. Other activities available were a boundary work trip and a hike on the AT, although I did not get to participate in them since they were the same time as the pack shakedowns.

We saw presentations by two great organizations, the ATC and ALDHA. I really recommend going to the Ruck or getting involved in these organizations if you are thinking about thru hiking the Appalachian Trail. If you don’t live nearby, there is also a Southern Ruck and a Western Ruck, although I have not been to either.

I did not take any pictures over the weekend but Crooked Sticks was kind enough to let me use his:

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