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Planning Routines for the Appalachian Trail

Thru hiking the Appalachian Trail in 100 days is going to be a challenge.

I’ve shared more about my physical and mental preparation as well as the costs involved in getting me to the start of the trail. I have been meticulous with regards to what I’m taking with me and what it’s going to weigh.

You can read these blog posts here:


​As well has having specific tactics for all aspects of the walk. The other area I’ve spent time on is developing my routines. So when I start I know exactly what I need to be doing.

Over time, I will get more efficient in the morning and the evening, but I don’t have a month or two months to get everything efficient. From the start I need to be making sure I’m quick at the little things, so I won’t be flaffing in the morning, when I should be out of the trail and so I won’t be flaffing in the evening, when I should be resting and recovering.

In terms of time, the little things do add up, so if I can be more efficient with my time, it means I can be out on the trail walking for longer, which over the 100 days will be so important to keep me on track.



  • Wake up when it gets light in the morning

  • Stretch my full body, with emphasis on my feet

  • Deep breathes and morning gratitude

  • Drink water as soon as I wake up - to flush out the toxins and to reduce the amount of water I’ll need to carry

  • Put sleeping bag away - stuff into dry sack

  • Empty the air out of the air mattress and roll away

  • Pack sleeping clothes into dry bag (clothes at the bottom, sleeping bag, then air mattress)

  • Get changed into hiking clothes

  • Put on sunscreen

  • Socks & Shoes on

  • Leave tent

  • Toilet & brush teeth

  • Collect food bag on the way back

  • Pack up tent ( Brush out the inside of any dirt, go around and collect tent pegs (count as I collect them), shack of any excess dew water, wipe down with bandana, (water is extra weight, I want the tent to be as dry as possible before it goes into my bag - this may not always be possible)

  • Snacks for the day into side pockets

  • Take supplements

  • Pack rucksack

  • Check area for anything left behind - follow Leave No Trace principles

  • Continue to drink water in the morning while packing (aim for 1 litre)

  • Know how far I need to walk to get to next water stop - estimate time and plan to drink all my water by the time I get there



  • Have a clear plan for the day with regards to millage

  • Try to be brave and start with less layers on

  • Backpack on - tighten straps

  • Start walking - eat and walk on the go

  • Consider filming plan for the day

  • No iPhone, no iPod until after 12pm

  • Snack and walk - check in every hour with my body - am I hungry, thirsty, what is my mood light?

  • Sip water, have electrolytes

  • Consistent and steady walking pace

  • Have iPhone handy to take pictures

  • Use my walking poles to get into a rhythm

  • Set mini challenges on the way

  • Break the day down into sections e.g morning and afternoon, breaks between water sources

  • Know next water source and how far away - aim to finish water before getting to water source

  • Only rest at the top of hills

  • Use the downhill sections for recovery

  • Stop drinking water at 6/7pm (So I won’t need to leave the tent in the middle of the night)

  • Eat consistently during the day - so no need to have evening meal



  • Arrive at shelter aim 5/6pm

  • Backpack off - Stretch!

  • Locate flat ground for tent

  • Sweep the ground to make sure there are no rocks or twigs, that could damage the tent

  • Tent up (Aim 4 mins )

  • Blow up air mattress

  • Take out sleeping bag and get bed ready

  • Have head torch handy

  • Backpack inside tent

  • Filter 2 litres of water (one for the morning and one to start walking with)

  • Toilet & brush teeth

  • Hang up food bag (after brushing teeth)

  • Take 1 litre of water into the tent

  • Get changed into dry clothes

  • Check for ticks

  • Brush hair, tie hair back

  • Massage feet

  • Plan route for tomorrow - know how far to go & when next water source is

  • Journal

  • Charge electronics

  • Elevate feet in the air

  • What have been the highlights from the day

  • Sleep (Bed by 9pm - when it goes dark)


Routine. Consistency. Habits.



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