The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.
Known as the “A.T.,” it has been estimated that 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year and about 1,800–2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the Trail. People from across the globe are drawn to the A.T. for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people or deepen old friendships, or to experience a simpler life. Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Osprey Packs has proudly attended AT Trail Days for more consecutive years (12 in total!) than any other Osprey-sponsored event. Mid-May is a gorgeous time of year on the Appalachian Trail and the city of Damascus, VA is full of some of our favorite people: thru-hikers! Thru-hikers typically hike a long-distance trail end-to-end (like the Appalachian Trail) and are a special group of outdoor enthusiasts whose commitment to backpacking parallels our own. Backpacking is an activity deeply ingrained in our company heritage — our founder and Head Designer Mike Pfotenhauer’s passion for backpacking was one of the reasons he founded Osprey Packs 41 years ago in 1974.
Thru-hikers continually inspire us with their commitment, tenacity and gumption, which is one of the reasons we support backpacking and community-oriented events like Trail Days and initiatives like the Thru-Hike Syndicate. We look forward to the opportunity to give back and support the hikers’ efforts by providing the them (and larger community of Damascus) with free gear repairs and much more during the fun Trail Days celebration May 15-17, 2015.
Trail Days gets better every year — here are just a few reasons you should stop by the Osprey booth:
“Long Start to the Journey” Premiere:
Date: Friday, May 15th, 2015
Time: 9:00 PM
Location: Rock School
Free onsite gear repairs: We’re offering gear repairs for all AT Thru-hikers at Osprey’s Tent City location for the duration of the event, Thursday through Saturday, 9AM-6PM. Come out and see the work of Master Repair Tech Jason “Jimi” Boblitt (he also shreds on Air Guitar!) and PackMaster Otis, who after years of practice has perfected his amazing “Kung-Fu” Pack repair techniques. Stop by, get your gear trail-ready and see the masters at work!
“Guess Your Own Pack Weight” Contest: How much do you think you’re luggin’ around in that pack of yours? Well, we can tell you! Guess within a pound of your pack weight and win some Osprey goodies! Giveaways happening Thursday through Friday – so bring by the pack!
Osprey’s “Repair Your Own Pack” Clinic:
Date: Friday, May 16th, 2015
Time: 4:00 PM-5:00 PM
Location: Osprey Booth
Our Team will go over everything in our BC Repair kit along and how to use it while out on the trail:
- Removing Buckles
- Installing Quick Attached buckles
- How to repair a tent pole with our tent pole section (something that McNett sells)
- How to repair and stitch a hole in both mesh and fabric
- We will go over the whip stitch
- How to repair a zipper in the field
- How to repair a zipper slider in the field
- When to use duct tape (and when NOT to)
Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative. And maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other. Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™ sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in what it feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG for yourself at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.
For more information over Trail Days, check out their site and Facebook:
2015 Thru-Hike Syndicate
The 2015 Thru-Hike Syndicate is out on both the Appalachian & Pacific Crest Trails!
Follow the Thru-Hike Syndicate on Instagram for updates from the hikers along their journeys to complete two of North America’s most epic hikes.
Facts About The Appalachian Trail
Information via Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The A.T. was completed in 1937 and is a unit of the National Park System. The A.T. is managed under a unique partnership between the public and private sectors that includes, among others, the National Park Service (NPS), the USDA Forest Service (USFS), an array of state agencies, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and 31 local Trail-maintaining clubs.
- About 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.
- The A.T. has hundreds of access points and is within a few hours drive of millions of Americans, making it a popular destination for day-hikers
- “Thru-hikers” walk the entire Trail in a continuous journey. “Section-hikers” piece the entire Trail together over years. “Flip-floppers” thru-hike the entire Trail in discontinuous sections to avoid crowds, extremes in weather, or start on easier terrain
- 1 in 4 who attempt a thru-hike successfully completes the journe
- Most thru-hikers walk north, starting in Georgia in spring and finishing in Maine in fall, taking an average of 6 months
- Foods high in calories and low in water weight, such as Snickers bars and Ramen Noodles, are popular with backpackers, who can burn up to 6,000 calories a day
- Hikers usually adopt “trail names” while hiking the Trail. They are often descriptive or humorous. Examples are “Eternal Optimist,” “Thunder Chicken,” and “Crumb-snatcher”.