The Triple Crown consists of hiking the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. According to my research, only 400 people or so have ever done all three. I did the AT in 2015, the PCT in 2016 and the CDT I just finished Sept 29th this year

Here's a picture of all 3 to put it into perspective

My IG where I posted some photos

I'm currently uploading videos from the CDT hike to my YouTube channel if you want to see what it's like to do a long thru hike

Gear List:


Comments: 100 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

2lucki14 karma

Congratulations! What trail food did you consume the most?

sohikes12 karma

Any and every kind of bar. Clif bars, snickers, protein bars, etc

Allan0n11 karma

What was your favorite aspect of each trail?

And, considering the CDT is not as well-traveled as the AT/PCT, did you experience any navigational challenges?

sohikes10 karma

AT: It was my first trail so I have the most memories from it. Finishing atop Katahdin is pretty dramatic

PCT: Amazing wide open views. You'll take a picture, walk 30ft and then take another picture from another angle.

CDT: Pretty much the same as the PCT but you have to work a little harder for the views. A lot of people like how empty the trail is but hiking 2600 miles alone is pretty boring

The CDT wasn't that hard to navigate. I defiantly got lost more times on that trail than I did on the other two combined. I had a GPS app on my phone along with paper maps and a compass that I never had to use

antique_land11 karma

What inspired you to do this?

sohikes12 karma

I've always liked the outdoors and hiking. I grew up in Maine. Also, school wasn't working out

Flannel_Condom1 karma

Where in Maine? I lived in Readfield.

sohikes3 karma


TacoSpacePirate10 karma

But did you finish the Oregon Trail?!?!?!

sohikes2 karma


imb4u7 karma

What piece(s) of gear was the most helpful in all three hikes? Did you carry a tent or use a tarp (or hammock?)?

sohikes8 karma

My CDT gear list

I used different gear for all the hikes. I always used a tent, never hammocked before.

noshore4me6 karma

What do you do for a living to afford the time for these hikes?

sohikes15 karma

I saved a lot when I was in the Marines. The hikes don't cost as much as you think. It's around 1000/month. I just worked shitty odd jobs to save up

jdubs3334 karma

I had never heard of the CDT but looking at the map i see it goes through new mexico. Isn't that like mostly desert? How did you carry enough water?

sohikes4 karma

Most water I carried was 4 liters. Wasn't bad. You defiantly have to pay attention to water sources though. You'll be drinking out of the same tubs that the cows do

jdubs3332 karma

New Mexico is mainly desert right?

sohikes2 karma

Pretty much. Lots of road walking though

freeeloader3 karma

-Did you ever come close to giving up, if so, why? -What life lessons have you learned after your experience? -What gear did you wish you had just splurged on from the beginning?

sohikes1 karma

Never thought about quitting

Not sure about life lessons, I just enjoy hiking and traveling.

On the AT I wish I would have known more about ultralight gear.

cobaltcollapse3 karma

Where did you feel least safe throughout all these hikes?

Also, do you get anything for completing all three? A hiking plaque or trophy or whatever?

sohikes8 karma

Probably the CDT because that's a VERY lonely trail compared to the other two. There were many days where I didn't even see another human being. If you got injured you'd be in a crappy situation

You can apply for medals and plaques but I don't care for that stuff

cobaltcollapse3 karma

So the danger didn't come from you feeling unsafe due to predators or other vagrants, but the lack of care if you got injured?

sohikes3 karma

In the beginning I felt a bit uneasy in grizzly country but I got used to it. Didn't really have any bad animal encounters. I wasn't worried about getting injured, just the fact that if I did get injured there's a good chance you wouldnt see anyone for days

RandomHero10181 karma

Did you carry any protection from the different bears or other wild animals? Are weapons prohibited on any trails?

sohikes1 karma

Guns are illegal in national parks, probably state parks too. I carried bear spray from Montana to Wyoming

terra-squirma3 karma

What is the strangest/scariest thing you encountered while hiking these routes?

sohikes8 karma

Ran into a couple weird people in VA, I think they were mentally ill or off their meds.

I had a scary encounter with a bear in New Mexico, but I'm pretty sure it was actually a cow

rgkavodkar3 karma

How long did each of the hikes take?

sohikes4 karma

AT: 129 days (8 Feb to 17 Jun)

PCT: 93 days (15 May to 15 Aug)

CDT: 93 days (29 Jun to 29 Sept)

mrgreenfur2 karma

An average of about 30 miles per day! Super fast, how did you manage to go so fast?

sohikes3 karma

Wake up at 5:30, get moving by NLT 6, take minimal breaks (no longer than 30m) and stop around 9

mrgreenfur1 karma

Pretty impressive to keep that up for so long. How did you manage at night?

sohikes3 karma

In the beginning I had daylight from 4:30AM to 10:30PM. I never needed to hike with a headlamp until New Mexico. Night hiking defiantly sucks, especially by yourself. I didn't do it that often, if I did it wasn't for very long

maryfamilyresearch3 karma

Any trails that you'd like to hike that you haven't touched yet? Especially international trails?

Like the old European Pilgrim routes or the European long distance hiking trails (E-routes)?

Or trails in Canada or Mexico? South America? Asia?

sohikes1 karma

Haven't looked into any international trails. I'm pretty broke right now so it'll be awhile before I can afford that.

Sephzilla2 karma

Well done thats an amazing job! My wife and I are about to undertake the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand. Any great tips you can pass on from your experience?

sohikes1 karma

Don't know anything about that trail. But just go as light as possible, it's worth the money. Keep your base weight (everything minus food, water and fuel) to no more than 15lbs

stingrayrita2 karma

Go as light as possible. What a great tip lol

sohikes1 karma

I wish someone would have told me that when I did my first thru

Sephzilla1 karma

Had you not had much hiking experience prior to that or?

sohikes1 karma

Pretty much zero

c-student2 karma

Did you carry a gun on any of your hikes?

sohikes7 karma

I did on the AT. Guns defiantly aren't needed

NeilThePoodle2 karma

How much did it cost to do this?

How did you prepare your body before each hike?

sohikes4 karma

Spent around 4000 on the CDT, this was money spent on trail. Doesn't include, gear or traveling

Fitness is a huge thing for me. I always exercise 6-7x a week and eat healthy 6x a week. I mainly weight lift with cardio on the side. I don't see specific training for hiking

FitToFatty1 karma

If you are still answering, Do you have another hike that is next on your list?

sohikes1 karma

My main focus now is getting a job and saving money

TheRationalDove1 karma

Congrats! Since those trail cut through some state and national parks, which were your favorite to pass through?

sohikes1 karma

I dont really remember which parks I went into. Baxter and Glacier were nice though

B-D-E-D1 karma

This is amazing! Can you run us through your gear list?


That page isn't showing any weights. Any idea how much weight you were carrying?

sohikes1 karma

There's a link to my gear list in the OP. On the CDT I carried about 35/40 max

chrysamere1 karma

Got any before/after pics of your body composition?

sohikes1 karma

Nah, never took any before/after pics. I lost over 30lbs on the AT/PCT and I think around 25 for the CDT.

Sandokhanu1 karma

What is the most memorable day dream you had whilst hiking?

sohikes10 karma

100% of thru hikers will have pretty intense day dreams about what they'll eat when they get into town.

forava71 karma

what were specific challenges you faced for each of your hikes?

sohikes1 karma

Appalachian Trail

  • It was my first long hike

  • Stream crossings in ME

  • Super cold weather (Started early Feb)

  • The worst blow downs I've ever seen up north

Pacific Crest Trail

  • The desert

  • Long water carries

  • Snow in the Sierra

  • Stream crossings in the Sierra

  • Dark clouds of mosquitoes in OR

Continental Divide Trail

  • Grizzly bears

  • Bushwhacking/trail finding

  • Being alone

midflinx1 karma

Did you adjust your food intake to limit defecation to something like once a day, or every two, three, or four days?

sohikes8 karma

Never heard of that before. No I didn't do it. Usually crapped once a day. It town it was usually more

chrome-spokes1 karma

In your link, saw a topo about looking out for land mines. What & where is that about?

sohikes1 karma

No idea what it was about but it was around 5 miles north of Leadville, CO

chrome-spokes1 karma

Time to google up Leadville, ha!

Well, couple more then...

1) Which trail had the most wildlife. Yeah, broad spectrum, so say a) mammals; b) birds; c) reptiles?

2) Townies. In general, along which trail were they the friendliest?

3) Your highest altitude & where?

sohikes3 karma

1.) Probably the CDT. Black bears, grizzly bears, deer, elk, snakes, spiders, birds, etc. It's a very remote trail so wildlife is everywhere

2.) Probably the ones on the AT/PCT because they're so used to thru hikers. CDT is still pretty new so town folks have no idea who you are.

3.) Mount Whitney on the PCT. It's a side trip that 99% of thru hikers take. Very easy climb though

EverybodyLovesMormon1 karma

Where do you poop? Are there dedicated structures on the trails or did you just go in the woods?

sohikes2 karma

On the AT there are privies (outhouses) along the trail. On the other two you poop in the woods

mysterious_racer_x1 karma

Late to the party but... How much do you think you had to save up to do all this. I know one comment was around $1000 a month but what do you think your entire experditure was?

sohikes2 karma

Probably around 6K for the CDT

SirDuckson1 karma

Whats the appeal in hiking? -Low life gamer

sohikes1 karma

I've always liked the outdoors. Love traveling, seeing things, meeting people, etc

Reinoud-1 karma

How did you cut your nails on the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trail?

sohikes1 karma

Nail clipper

Reinoud-1 karma

But according to your packing list you only brought it on the CDT?

sohikes3 karma

The section of the LT that I hiked was only 165 miles. No need for nail clippers since I wasn't out there for long. Save weight where you can

_STEVEO1 karma

How hard was it to hitch rides on the PCT?

sohikes6 karma

Not as hard as the CDT. I hiked with a girl on the PCT so every time we needed a ride I would stand around the corner and she would hitch by herself and cars would pull over in minutes. And then she'd say I was with her

idontknowduude1 karma

did your legs hurt after the first trail? did it hurt less the next two?

sohikes2 karma

Legs never really hurt, they would get sore in the beginning but that's it

FrottageIndustry1 karma

Were the trails well marked? I heard the CDT is a bit vague at points.

sohikes2 karma

AT is very well marked with white blazes. The PCT is as well marked but the trail is so well maintained there's almost no need for it. The trail itself is like a marker

The CDT is getting better marked each year. I saw many new markers in 2017. But you really do need to pay attention to twists and turns on the CDT. Many times the trail will be on a well defined path and then I'd check my GPS and I was off trail. I'd go back to where I was and the CDT splits off into some overgrown trail

The_Indifferent1 karma

What was your trail name?

sohikes5 karma

Didn't use one. Not really a fan of the trail name thing

forava71 karma

when did you decide you were going to do all three of them?

sohikes1 karma

I was originally only going to do the AT. But after the AT I ended up working some stupid job that I hated and I decided to do the PCT the following year

forava71 karma

your favorite view from the trails? like if you could right there, right now - where would it be?

sohikes2 karma

Not sure if I have one favorite view. They were all great, especially on the PCT/CDT. Anything in the Sierra Nevada or the Wind River Range is incredible