Hello Everyone!

I am back home in Florida and reunited with Katana, family, friends, and loved ones. It’s an adjustment being back, but nowhere near as bad as it has been in the past. Mostly because I’m distracted by my obsession/drive to get back out there and finish what I started (properly) as soon as possible. The ridiculously hot weather down here makes it hard to believe there could be feet of snow on the ground only half the country away; which adds to the feeling of “I SHOULD BE HIKING RIGHT NOW!

Katana is doing great. The little rapscallion was nothing but spoiled in my absence, which her rotund appearance is evidence of. It’s obvious she’s had it a little “too easy” since I’ve been gone. Time to dial back the treats and long afternoon naps and get her moving again. When I walked through the door and saw her for the first time in over three months, I think she felt a mixture of disbelief, dubious-ness, and appalled-ness. She wagged her little but, smelled me and let me pet her for a few mintues; then promptly jumped up on the couch and snuggled up next to my dad while giving me a blank stare that clearly read, “Where the F#%K have you been!?” This animal oozes sass and holds grudges. If it wasn’t so adorable, I might be inclined to have my feelings hurt. She warmed back up to me pretty quick and is back to following me around everywhere and sleeping next to my head at night. We’ve got a lot of work and conditioning to do before we make our second run at the CDT.

With all this newfound downtime to write and work on projects, I’m going to be trying to revamp the blog. Rather than making posts only about my current trail exploits, I’m going to start producing  more/different content. I’m also going to make the effort to try and be more interactive on the blog (responding to comments/emails) and social media. When I was hiking, every spare moment went to writing, eating, and resting. I never really took the time to show my appreciation and respond to all of you; I’m going to change that.

I’m going to start making more posts about gear, information and tips on various trail/hiking related subjects, short stories, trail fitness, mental fitness, info about the different trails and sections, frequent Q&A posts, etc.  I may even take a page from Jessica’s playbook and start making some videos on youtube. The idea of speaking into a camera makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but life is about pushing out of your comfort zone.

While I’m at it, I thought I might tap into your minds and get some feedback from ya’ll. What are some things you guys might like to see addressed on the blog/website. I’m looking for suggestions on stuff that really piques your interests; posts relating to specific gear, general questions about the trail, preparing for the trail, trail life, adventures, etc. Anything adventure related, hiking related, fishing, hunting, exercise, motivation, whatever! I want to know what YOU want to know. ANYTHING! I need ideas on what to start focusing on first so I can grow this site and appeal to a larger audience while providing content people are genuinely interested in. Your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions are all greatly appreciated. Hopefully I can start making regular posts every few days.

Thank you all in advance for any and all help/participation!


  1. I just finished reading your wonderful book “Lost on the Appalachian Trial”. Thank you so much for the wonderful adventure. I felt that I was right there with you. I hope you have many more grand adventures. As a side note, I collect some old books and found an old “The Hobbit” book with Tolkien and his wife photograph stuck in between the pages. What a find!
    Sincerely, Your friend and nature lover.

    Christopher A. Redding

  2. Hey Kyle, totally enjoyed your AT book and PCT and CDT blogs. I love hiking but have never done the miles you seem to easily do. Most of my hiking life has been with a dog as I never knew anyone that liked hiking. Now that I’m retired, I’ve found like minded people that enjoy it also. I hike with my Sheltie and now have a second Sheltie. Anyway, I would be interested in a ballpark idea of what it cost for an endeavors such as yours. Besides the gear, what should someone expect for food, zero days in a motel, replacing worn out gear, shuttles to and from towns, restaurants, permits and whatever emergencies might arise.

    1. Hey Ron!
      That’s awesome, nothing beats hiking with a dog! Thanks for your ideas and input. I’m gonna do an in depth post on what it costs very soon. Funny enough I wrote a second book that goes into that subject in detail. I think I’ll be able to use a lot of material from there to fuel a lot of future posts on here.

  3. Anything on prep and planning I think would be great. I’ve never done the big hikes and honestly wouldn’t know where to start the planning . All knowledge from folks who’ve been there would be great.

    1. Kyke, I loved “Lost”. I also have the second bood, “Hear the Challenge ” is fabulous! I’m reading thru the messages and questions folks are asking and wanted to encourage everyone to get that 2nd book. It covers everything logistically. Leaves no stone unturned. Intensive and practical info. It’s a sound guide, go grab it!!! When I was planning my 1st AT section hike, 2017, it was my bible. Paid off on the trail too.

  4. Kyle, do you hike between long trails? How do you stay in shape or even train for a thru hike? When you start a long trail, how long does it take for your body to adjust to the daily demand of the trail?

    1. Hey Debra! I don’t do a ton of hikes between long trails. This is mostly because I live in Florida and the hiking is somewhere limited in the way of mountains. I do try to get out and do some section hikes on the AT whenever I get a chance. The break in period for most people on a thru hike is four to six weeks!

  5. Hey Mayor, you posted this a year or two ago. I find it very relevant to my own life as I went through some metamorphoses back in my early 50s, changes for the better. No 59, I think my 50s have actually been the best years of my life so far as I have lived more in the present, done a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to do, and, for the most part, allowed myself to be happy. One has to stay constantly on top of this to avoid worrying too much about the future. My simple rules have become 1. Live in the present 2. The journey is the destination 3. The future is right now.

    This “Top 5 Regrets of The Dying” is a good thing for me to read every so often to stay focused on my simple rules. Metamorphosis never ends, and is a good thing. It just has spikes and dips. Like looking at a trail profile

  6. Hey Mayor, I would like to hear more stories about trail town experiences. I’ve always found the local cultures to be as interesting as the trail itself. I’ve had hilarious, frightening and really strange experiences in towns, whether they be true “trail towns” or not, just wherever I was staying off trail on a given day. In “Lost” you did share several such tales, and that may be something better for books than blog posts, but I do love to laugh and the cultural stuff is where the comedic antics are often found. Places like the Doyle come to mind. Carry on, amigo!

  7. PHOTOGRAPHS! They are a wonderful addition to my fantasy hikes with you. Maybe a coffee table picture book of your adventures someday ?!??

  8. Hi Kyle, Mayor, Jessica’s prince and Katana’s poppa!

    I like reading about how hard it is and how people get through it anyway. I realized I had this story in my head that thru hikers were pros, and didn’t suffer much because they were younger, in better shape, had trained beforehand, didn’t have obligations back home, etc.

    So I was startled every time I saw pics of someone’s feet or how they took Aleve or cried or got mad! Walking with Wired Erin Saver for examples loses stuff on the trail. So I have compassion for myself to realize if she has all those miles and still forgets her stuff I give myself permission to forget things n have to go back!

    Another example is how tough that 30 mile day was in the snow you wrote about . I guess I was remembering your strong legs n would have thought it was no big deal for you.

    Well maybe more later but I gotta go look for a buck this evening.
    Happy returning home hero, even tho the quest is still calling!

    1. Hey Vanne!

      It’s a good reminder that were all just human 🙂
      We may look like superheros to some, and may even be capable of some super feats, but we all still hurt and suffer all the same. It all boils down to whether you let all of that defeat you, or if you pick yourself up and keep moving!

  9. Personally, I love the blog as-is. I didn’t come across your blog til I discovered your book. What sets your book apart for me is how relatable it is–even to us who are stuck in the boring Midwest and have very dull backpacking mini- adventures in comparison to what you experience. Your humor intermixed with descriptive writing makes me feel like I was there too. I’ve been reading your book for a year or so, literally am about an hours worth of reading from finishing it. But, I can’t bring myself to do it because, although I do want to see you and Katana reach the end, I don’t want the story to be over! If that makes sense.

    I’m a long distance runner, so in turn am a health and nutrition nerd. What you feed your body with and do to train to prepare your body and mind would be a big interest of mine. How to adapt back to normal civilian life would interest me too.

    I feel like you are always mentioning how long it takes you to write. Which, of course, is your job. But is there a way you could streamline it somehow to save yourself time and give you more time to kick back and soak up more of the scenery while you’re there? To lessen the stress? (Maybe you’re not even stressed by it, idk, but I know I would be). Maybe using the voice recorder on your phone to record some of the tidbits? Although writing can be therapeutic, especially if you’re by yourself, so maybe it’s a double edged sword (I’m brainstorming, not sure what best solution would be). Just wondering if the writing aspect takes away from the journey at all for you.

    Personally, I’m busy. I have 2 kids, run an inhome daycare, am always training for something or other…So I don’t have much time to sit and watch YouTube for long updates. Im probably in the minority with our age bracket (I’m 31), but I’d rather read the text. I feel like it activates the imagination and mental imagery, and I love that. Although I do love your random videos you take and post.

    Oh, and, post all the Catfox stories 😃 That ball of sass always makes me smile.

  10. Kyle I am happy to see you will be keeping up your blog. I became a fan of yours after reading your AT book, and I happily followed along as you were posting of your adventures on the CDT. I am a 60 year old woman who has done minimal hiking yet your book spoke to my soul. I am a lover of all things ‘great outdoors’ and dogs! What I enjoy most in your book and blogs are your encounters with other people and your stories of interaction with them and their stories as expressed to you. You run into some unique individuals, whether on the trail, in town, or those who give you a ride. I’m sure you have left a memorable mark on them. I also enjoy your encounters with wildlife. I am not a youtube follower but I have greatly appreciated your pictures and video clips you have included in your blog posts. Keep on! And best of health wishes to Katana.

    1. Thank you for the kind words and for reaching out!

      Knowing what piques people’s interests helps me immensely, and your response helps me to solidify what I need to continue to focus on. You should contemplate a thru hike; 60 is far and away from being too old. Half the people on the long trails are retired. Get out there and let the wilderness speak to your soul now 🙂

  11. Hi Kyle, I have been following your adventures since Maryetta told me about your plans to hike the AT. I appreciate your easy-going, approachable writing style. I found the account of your adventure vicariously relatable as I am a displaced Pennsylvanian currently living in Navarre. Your depiction of the different flora and fauna along your hike was interesting to me. As a photographer, I look forward to the photos you have shared showing us how beautiful our world really is. I am always curious to learn abut the terrain, the identity of the plants and animals you encounter and possibly how they can be utilized to enrich your time spent on the trail, for example, “these berries are good to eat, this type of tree can be used for shelter, this insect should be avoided, etc.” I appreciate the respect you clearly show for all of the natural environment surrounding you, no matter how seemingly insignificant, as you make your way through the trail. I look forward to learning about your next adventure regardless of the method you chose to share it with us.

    1. Thank you for the kind words and reaching out Wendy 🙂 I always love hearing from people in my hometown.

      Those are excellent suggestions for things to focus on in the future. I admit I’ve always been interested in the wild edibles around me, but never took a lot of time to research them. I’ve always learned through word of mouth while out there. I think I may brush up on what’s around me for this next go-around so as to better share the experience and knowledge with you all.

  12. Great news Kyle! Yours is the only blog I follow so I am very glad you are going to continue with it. I am thrilled to see Katana again like so many others here are. She is absolutely precious! I am reading your AT book now and can hardly put it down. As far as continuing your blog,I think it’s a great idea to write specifically about issues pertaining to long distance hikes,everything from training to logistics to what gear you use and food you carry. It is all so interesting. Your stories are always so fascinating,even on an off day. You have a gift for describing every detail. I am sure you have other things going on in your life besides just killing time between hikes,so anything you write about will be a pleasure to read or watch a video of.Thank you for being so willing to share with your followers.

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback Annie 🙂

      I’ll be sure to keep up what I’ve been doing and hopefully be able to put a little more into it now that I’m not exhausted on the trail every day. I’ve never tried to keep up a blog while not hiking, so it’ll be interesting to see the contrast between “trail kyle’s” writing and “home kyle’s” writing haha

  13. While I will miss your posts I am looking forward to your new adventures. I am looking to thru hike the AT in the future I have a diabetic dog that needs me now. I am looking for any advice and knowledge I can receive. As of now I will be solo. I am a 50 year old women in good shape and need to do this. I think of it every day. When I go to bed at night I am researching info. And just started to buy equipment. Your book on The AT is fascinating. I am learning so much just from reading it. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. I have no support at home. So I am keeping it to myself. No one will discourage me. This is my dream and I will make it come true. I will look forward to hearing from you

    1. Thanks for reaching out Sandra!

      The AT truly is a calling. It’s not something you “want” to do, it’s something you “need” to do. I know the feeling of not having support initially, but when the people close to you see how serious you are about it, they’ll hopefully change their tune.

      I’m not sure which of my books you are reading right now, but most people are unaware that I have two of them out. I put a book out earlier this year called “Hear the Challenge.” It’s an AT prep book that might help answer some of those questions we obsess over before attempting such an undertaking.

      Let me know if you have anymore specific questions nagging at you 🙂

  14. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and I’m trying to get out on the trails myself. Since I can’t talk anyone I know into hiking with me, I loved hearing about the people you met out on the trail. Perhaps you could update us on what the other hikers are up to. It would be like catching up with old friends. Also, hiking gear can get expensive. Maybe you could make suggestions on affordable gear. I need a good light weight sleeping bag and don’t want to be out a lot of money. Or maybe you could tell us what not to skimp on. Look forward to future blogs. Crystal

    1. Hey Crystal!

      I’ll certainly make some posts when familiar people I’ve written about and hiked with finish their hikes (or don’t). Just because my adventure ended, doesn’t mean that other’s did. I know everyone became invested in the people around me, so I’ll be sure to share updated about them 🙂 As far as the affordable gear, I do plan to make some posts about “gearing up on a budget.” In the meantime, check out the sleeping bags at Hammockgear.com They are far and away the best priced, light weight, down sleeping bags I have seen/owned. They just switched to vertical baffles on their bags too, so the quality and warmth has gotten better. I don’t know what your budget is, but as far as quality down sleeping bags go, theirs are extremely competitively priced with excellent quality.

      Hope that helps!

  15. I have noticed even if hikers start off on a trail together they don’t stay together. I am guessing it is because your pace is either faster or slower than the other. Do you ever feel obligated to stay with someone or does everyone understand it is a lone experience for the most part?

    1. Good question. The answer varies from person to person. Sometimes hiking styles do not match up and people go their separate ways with no hard feelings. Other times hiking styles don’t match up, but people enjoy each other’s company so much that they make little sacrifices to stay together. There is a saying within the hiking community that sums this up perfectly. It’s called “Hike Your Own Hike (HYOH). This means that you need to hike in the way that makes you happy and that is most conducive to your own goals. If you are hiking someone else’s pace and are not enjoying it, then it’s time to change it up. Some people apply this philosophy flawlessly, while others may allow themselves to suffer. It all really comes down to the individual dynamics of the people hiking together. Most people are very understanding of others needing to follow their own styles.

      I hope this helped!

  16. I’ve always enjoyed your posts as is. I don’t feel like they are lacking in content because they are strong on personal experience.

  17. Seems like you made a great and wise decision. Have loved following your blogs, thank you for working so hard to make them. I miss thru hiking so! AT ‘12. Ladyfish

  18. Hi!! I bought both of your great books and loved them! I would love to hear more on Katana. Im worried about her being out on the trail with one eye! (plus older now) I am ready for the next book on PCT and or CDT, or whatever you want to write about! I love your writing. I am now older and wish I could hike the trail also, so I am living vicariously through your adventures! …I do hike daily in the park close to me, with my dog. Im going to read your AT book a second time while I wait. I love the pictures of Katana.Thanks for this Blog. Vickie

    1. Thank you Vickie!

      That PCT book should be out by March next year, provided I can get all the editing done by then. I worry about Katana now too (where do the years go!?). This last stint with her got me really worried for her hiking future, but hopefully we’ve rectified the root of the problem with medication for the Lyme Disease. I’m gonna do some section hikes with her prior to the CDT and figure out if she will indeed be game for one last big adventure.

  19. Hmmm my dog Chica has that same attitude…lol. so glad your going to continue your blog…very much enjoy it…will be thinking of ideas….I am very much interested in the mental/emotional aspects of long distant hiking…..I am a day hiker but hike usually 4 days a week…hiking here is missoula is pretty much unlimited….you helped me alot…I was able to hike through situations much better….just by your sharing…thanks

    1. Thanks for reaching out Edie!
      Mental and emotional resilience is one of my favorite subjects to discuss and write about. I whole heartedly plan to make some posts about this. In the meantime, I’m not sure if you are aware of a book I wrote called “Hear the Challenge.” It’s a prep book for the Appalachian Trail, but I have a chapter on Mental Preparation that might have more of what you’re interested in. If you’d like, shoot me your email on facebook or on here and I can send you that chapter!

      1. That’s Great! It would be great if you would send the chapter! I will msg you on FB my email. Didn’t know you had another book I will probably get it eventually. Can’t wait for your PCT book! I read AT book…read dozens of thru hiking books…yours was definitely up there on the top of my list …and why I started following you….

    1. I am about halfway through my PCT book right now, and I’ve let a few close friends and family read what I have so far. The standing verdict at the moment is that my writing has developed quite a bit since the AT book (which I was pleased to hear!). I should hopefully have it done by March next year!

  20. HI,

    1. Thank you Judy!

      Katana just has Lyme Disease, and she’s been much, much better since she finished her rounds of Doxycyclin. I’m keeping an eye on her and administering her eye drops for now. I’ll try to keep up regular updates on her!

  21. So, how I originally became interested in your blog was one lonely day I decided I needed a new book to read and went onto Amazon. I found your AT book and truly could not put it down. I really loved your sense of humor, your drive, your descriptions and of course, Katana. I follow no other blogs and I am not huge on media or TV so personally I love your written word best. Although, you might reach a wider, younger audience with You-tube stuff. I think your gift for writing is what drew me in as well and how I felt as though I were part of your adventure as I was reading. I enjoy hiking and dabble in it, as well as the outdoors and fitness so of course that is how your book caught my eye. Some of the most exciting things you talk about are the descriptions of what you are feeling as you hike, your relationships on the trail, the way you hunt and fish, your focus and drive, and the hilarious escapades you have encountered with wildlife or your regal outhouse living. While you are off the trail it would be fun to be updated on Katana’s antics, your life with your family and friends, hiking advice, and fitness tips…all that stuff is awesome. Staying authentic and humble are also great qualities you posses. I’m glad you have decided to keep up on your blog…that is great news 🙂

    1. Thank you for the feedback Annie!

      Your suggestions and comments help to reinforce what I should focus on, so thank you! While I may not always be on the trail, I’m usually pretty active around my hometown and seem to always find myself getting in on misadventures. It would certainly help to keep honing my skills to continue to write out some of the funny things that happen to me outside the trail with fishing, hunting, Katana, and interactions with strangers. To hear you express interest in wanting to hear these solidifies my decision to share them. Thank you 🙂

  22. Happy to hear you are branching oUT on your blog. Here are the first ideas that come to my mind:
    –you are an awesome story teller and I bet there are many stories that didn’t make the cut in your blogging from the trail
    –in the hiking forums I’m part of, there are frequent questions about how to get ready physically for a long hike (with generally useless answers of go walk more or go work out) Give us some specific suggestions. Plus give us a variety of plans for if we are training for a year or scrambling to get a little stronger in the month before we leave
    –I struggle to figure out specific stretches that would be helpful to do daily while in the trail. When I try to look it up online, I find lots about athletes stretching, but very little specifically focused on backpackers
    –Finally, any suggestions for how to not lose all the trail fitness when we get back home to the flatlands and generally despise gym workouts? Walking for errands around town currently sends to help a little but not much….

    1. Great suggestions! Believe it or not, I have loosely outlined a plan to do a trail fitness book. Having an extensive background in fitness myself, I feel that it would be a disservice not to try and share what I know in a more detailed capacity with the community that I love. I’ll certainly make some individual posts on these subjects, but I would also love to compile a book 🙂

      1. A book would be even better than blog posts! But, as you already know, posts are a great way to get started on a book.

  23. Like Cindy had said, I’m fascinated with “The Catfox” but I also enjoy everything you have written so far. I’m sure the blog will be seeing a little monetizing, as most bloggers do, myself included when I used to do blogs. If you go that route, i just hope you don’t make it to distracting with ads. Looking forward to the next attempt.

    1. Thank you Cindy! I couldn’t agree more about the ads, and I certainly don’t plan to fill up this blog site with them anytime soon. There are several other avenues to monetize my work which don’t include advertising that I plan to explore first. I’m so bad at all this technology stuff, so there is a bit of a learning curve for me.

  24. Several thoughts about content, for many of us the time for a long trail hike is hard to come by, find ways to relate your long trail experience to assist someone doing a section hike, a week long hike or a power weekend, your knowledge of how everything interacts is very valuable, how gear, nutrition, conditioning and adaptability all go into any trip. 2nd, trip planning, how to pick a trail, researching the trail, resupplies, transportation, water, overall how to plan a major event. 3rd, trail interaction, for many people they either hike with a known group or are total hermits. Share your experience on how to relate to other, when to get connected, when to offer help, and when to just go it alone. Hope that helps, excited for the next book, the 1st one has helped me refocus priorities, to focus on the adventure and not the stuff that I can have. Thanks!!!

    1. Thank you for your insight Robert! One of the things I did want to do was describe certain sections of the long trails that I really enjoyed or thought others would enjoy. Rather than just point them out, it would be a great idea to create a sort of profile on those sections regarding the terrain, gear, best time of year, water availability, access and bail out points, whether to bring a buddy, etc. I’ll deff be making some posts like what you’ve described!

    1. Hey Rich,
      I use the Guthook App on my smartphone. It utilizes the built in GPS to navigate, and when you download the maps you can navigate even when you don’t have signal.

  25. Dear Kyle, this will probably be of no help whatsoever, but the thing is, whatever you write, we will want to read. Your attention to detail; your outgoing personality; your interest in going full-go in whatever you do; your interactions with strangers; your feats of endurance; your adventures with Katana — these are all interesting. Can’t speak for others but I enjoy your intelligence and curious nature. Couple things you do well are you write about food (and cravings) in a relatable way (people LOVE to read about foods and meals, especially regional fare); and you write about Katana in a way that makes me more interested in her. Hope this helps! Lisa V.

    1. Thanks Lisa!

      I’m really trying to develop my descriptive writing more; its my favorite type of writing. I’ll certainly try to continue to focus on those aspects of my adventures (They’re my favorite too :-))

      1. New reader here. You are a good writer, but can I kindly suggest running spell check or rereading before hitting post, or using a proofreader (be glad to offer my services). It’s not just you–I see all over the web content that is obviously hastily written. As you grow your audience, a polished content will increase your professionalism as well as readership (IMHO). Dixie’s product (videos) are much more polished this year and her audience is growing (also as a result of her infectious spirit). Please take my suggestion not as criticism but encouragement to keep producing great content.

        1. I hear you loud and clear! Dixie pays somebody a lot of money to edit her videos into the finished product you see on youtube every week. I’m not sure how much you have read of my blog posts, but I’ll give you a short rundown of my process. When I’m on trail hiking, I write almost every single night, usually no matter how tired I am. Each blog post takes me anywhere from an hour to two hours to write out on my cell phone, and usually sees me staying up into the wee hours of the evening (for a hiker on trail) while everyone else has been asleep for quite some time. As soon as I finish my journals for the night, I go to sleep. Once I get into town, I edit and upload some of the pictures to the corresponding days. I don’t always reread everything I write before I upload it, but I try to catch some of the more glaring mistakes. I put quite a lot of time and effort into what does get uploaded onto the blog (for being in the middle of a thru hike while I’m doing it), so I don’t mind that some mistakes slip through. It’s a raw and real journal being written in real time from a perpetually exhausted individual. Sharing the blog posts on here is simply a means of holding myself accountable to write every night while I’m on trail. The true purpose of these daily journals is to use them as a reference later on when streamlining them into a book.

          I hope this explained the question!

  26. Homemade Wanderlust knows how to do vids. Have her teach you! Sometimes it is easier to show than to tell, especially all the tips and tricks you’ve mastered on the long trails. I hope you experiment with multimedia. I think there’s a good niche somewhere between BetweenTheBlazes and Homemade Wanderlust on the YouTube side of things, and Adventure Allen and Erik the Black on the written side. You’ve already got the audience, having written a full length travel book.

  27. Katana!! Sorry Kyle I’m all about your one-eyed, 4-legged boss. It makes my heart happy to see her with you again.

Leave a Reply