A few days hiking with overnight camping thrown in is a good way to push fitness and endurance levels up a notch or two but what if you want to go all out and try something monstrous?. Sure you could work out a long route by repeating smaller trials over and over or you could truly push the boat out and sample some of the best long distance hiking in the world.

Catawba Valley

The Appalachian Trail

Cutting an almost straight line through 14 states in eastern USA the Appalachian trail is a 2,000 mile route covering some remote (and beautiful) areas with more than enough elevation along the way to satisfy mountain climbers (Highest point 6,643 ft).

Appalachian Trail Rough MapThe current speed record for dragging herself over the entire 2,181 mile Appalachian route is held by Jennifer Pharr Davis, who completed it in just under 47 days. A quick calculation show that as an average of roughly 46 miles coverage every day!.

Not everybody has to speed through the trail though and the video below is one of the best we’ve seen detailing Michael Craig and companions on a more leisurely 167 day hike across the trials full length.

Deciding what footage to put in the video must have been a hard choice from the amount they could have taken over the 5 month duration of the hike.

With plenty of shots of the trail and surrounding scenery along with a dose of trail humor the 13 minute long video goes by pretty fast.

Courtesy of Michael Craigs

Australia’s Many Hiking Trials

Whether you want to head off inland, tackle some peaks or enjoy a look at some amazing coastline Australia has a hiking trail to suit not only your preference in scenery but with so many trails to choose from its also easy to pick one that suits your fitness level.

From week long easy going coastal walks to the utterly ridiculous 5,300 mile long Bicentennial national trail, Australia provides the space to roam that puts in among the 10 least densely populated countries in the world.

Building Up to the Big Hike

Having gone through a few hundred mile walks sometime ago trying a trial length of 1000+ miles does have its attraction but some serious preparation would be in order in the fitness and equipment department.

In most places losing a piece of vital equipment like a tent breaking down could mean at worse a cold miserable night before walking back to civilization in the morning but with the areas these trail pass through being so remote it will probably take us a whole year just to choose kit 🙂

Catawba Valley Courtesy of Wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License)
Appalachian Trail Map Courtesy of Wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

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