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Preparing for any outdoor excursion requires careful planning and equipment checks. For the average day hike it might be as simple as deciding which jacket to wear and how much water to take. But when you are prepping for the Appalachian Trail you are staring at 2,180 miles and terrain variables that would make your head spin. When you total up the elevation gains over that distance it is equal to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times! Now imagine taking on that challenge without any legs. For Nathan Hunt that is a reality!
Nathan lost both legs in 2008 when a roadside bomb tore through his vehicle during a route clearance mission. Like other honorable wounded soldiers before him, Army SGT Nathan Hunt has not let his disabilities interfere with his life. In just a few weeks Nathan and his good friend Danny Kennedy will set out to complete the entire Appalachian Trail. Nathan is taking on this challenge hand over fist in a very literal manner. He will cover each mile of difficult terrain using just his arms to propel himself.
Preparing equipment for the months long excursion has been no simple feat. Nathan has spent a lot of time adapting his gear to give him every advantage possible. He will have to protect his hands and arms just like another hiker would with their feet and ankles. Just to take care of his hands he uses knuckle reinforced combat gloves, neoprene wrist braces, and a set of hand sanding tools which will act like the rubber soles on a pair of boots.
But the innovation doesn't stop there. Using rope and a modified off road skate board Nate will help his hiking partner Danny literally pull a pack of gear across sections of the trail when possible. All of Nate's pants and thermals are modified to eliminate drag and to fit properly. None of these modifications slow down or inhibit his ability to cover ground and survive in the wild. Nate is capable of setting up and climbing into his hammock in less than two minutes!
With way points designated on average every five days, the two man team will cover between 40-60 miles between each resupply spot. Waiting for them at these way points will be food, batteries, water and other essentials to keep them going. Several sponsors have stepped forward to donate critical supplies. Outersports has contributed a solar charger, rope, carabiners, 2 body harnesses, clothing, Merino Wool thermal underwear as well as cameras and important camera equipment to record their journey.
Throughout their travels we hope to bring you regular updates regarding their progress as they set out on the Appalachian Trail. To show your support, Nate & Danny would like all contributions to benefit other wounded soldiers through Ride 2 Recovery.
This post was posted in Hiking, Merino Wool, Thermal Underwear, Uncategorized, Wounded Soldiers and was tagged with appalachian trail, Danny Kennedy, hiking, merino wool, Nathan Hunt, thermal underwear, wounded soldier