There are a lot of different types of people out here hiking the Appalachian Trail. There are those out for just the day and those hiking for multiple days, doing sections of the trail. I met a hiker, Gizmo, who considers himself a LASHER (long-ass section hiker), has done nearly half of the trail and was hiking from Springer through the Smokies this spring. During this time of the year though, the majority of the people out here are thru-hikers, attempting to make it all the way to Katahdin in Maine. I'm a NOBO, or northbounder, but I'll run into SOBOs as well later on. There are also pretty legitimate HOBOs out here, too - people who were homeless before and will be homeless after hiking. This one guy out here is nearly 30 and he said he's never paid rent in his adult life. He hiked the PCT last year, is hiking the AT this year, and crashes on friends couches and cooks them meals in between. There are a lot of these nomadic type people out here.
There are people who trained ridiculously hard before coming out here with p90x, shakedown section hikes, cross-country skiing, eating all of the right foods. And there are also people who put on loads of weight and were complete couch potatoes, claiming they would lose weight out here anyways. Some were in Boy Scouts and some have never set up a tent in their life. There is a guy who weighed in at way over 300 lbs and already has lost 50 lbs and there is a guy who started out weighing 127 lbs and is afraid he won't exist by the end of this. There are those who like to talk gear all night and those who like to smoke weed. There is an 80-something year old named Cimarron and teenage kids hiking the trail. Some people hike from shelter to shelter, usually about 5 to 7 miles, and some have already done 30-mile days. There are a lot of different types of people.
Standing Bear Hostel