One other small detail I need to work out before my hike is how strict I’m going to be on only the AT and the entire AT. As I understand it there is strict “white blazing” which means you hike all the AT and only the AT to the point of walking back out of a camp site to the same spot you left the AT on for the side trail even if there’s a cut just a few yards further down the trail that is the direction you’re going that morning. These are the absolutists and the purists.

There’s also blue blazing (doing some parts of the trail on rivers in canoes / rafts), yellow blazing (slack packing and using shuttles / hitches to lighter the load for some days and platinum blazing (every night in an airbnb or hostel). There’s lots of ways to blaze on the AT and they are all OK. HYOH and all.

I think I’m going to be a reformed white blazer. I will hike the trail most of the time but not worry about “missed miles” from camp turn outs or routes in and out of town. Much love to all the other forms of blazing out there!






3 responses to “Blazekeeping”

  1. Mary Ann Weiss Avatar
    Mary Ann Weiss

    I understand the purest idea but how about doing the most interesting or most fun option at a particular moment? A philosophical conversation, a beautiful plant …. may distract you for a moment. I’ll forgive you!

    1. Chris Avatar

      True enough. And to be clear, I’ll definitely take side trails that lead to interesting places – a waterfall, a view, etc.

  2. Matthew Swendiman Avatar
    Matthew Swendiman

    Best of luck, my friend! Blaze on!

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