Steph Strickland

Sparky is a writer and outdoor enthusiast from Florida thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2021. As a recent graduate of the University of Florida, Sparky hopes to work in public interest communications and push for environmental and social change. When she isn’t on the trail, you can catch Sparky at your local coffee shop or vegan cafe. Happy trails!

Posts

22 Things I Learned On Trail (for my 22nd birthday)

22 Things I Learned On Trail (for my 22nd birthday)

It’s easy to come to the Appalachian Trail and feel like time is standing still. The only sign that time is moving at all is the change in foliage

Jul 9, 2021 : Steph Strickland
My Experience with Mental Health on the Appalachian Trail

My Experience with Mental Health on the Appalachian Trail

I was riding shotgun in a pickup truck through the winding roads of North Carolina. My new friend, Sherry, was driving me into a town to resupply

Jun 26, 2021 : Steph Strickland
The Importance of Changing Up Your Gear During Your Thru-hike

The Importance of Changing Up Your Gear During Your Thru-hike

When preparing for a thru-hike, it’s easy to get lost in the wormhole of sleep systems, shelters, what to wear and more. It’s overwhelming, and

Jun 23, 2021 : Steph Strickland
The Truth About On-Trail “Miles Guilt”

The Truth About On-Trail “Miles Guilt”

It’s in every book. It’s mentioned in videos and in conversation. “Hike your own hike” — but what does that phrase even entail? When it comes to

Jun 20, 2021 : Steph Strickland
Five Delicious Backcountry Recipes I Found While Long-Distance Hiking

Five Delicious Backcountry Recipes I Found While Long-Distance Hiking

When it comes to eating on-trail, there can be quite a range of dedication to the craft. Some hikers carry top-of-the-line stove systems with

Jun 20, 2021 : Steph Strickland
Weird Thru-Hiker Traditions on the Appalachian Trail

Weird Thru-Hiker Traditions on the Appalachian Trail

Every day, I meet new hikers that astound me with their stories, humor, and charisma. And for a bunch of people craving adventure, we sure do spend

Jun 7, 2021 : Steph Strickland
Transforming my Thru-hiking Pack for Summer

Transforming my Thru-hiking Pack for Summer

It took me approximately two hours from the start of the Approach Trail to find the first items to swap from my pack. Figures. It seemed like no

May 24, 2021 : Steph Strickland
Finding My Stride: Serendipity When I Needed It Most

Finding My Stride: Serendipity When I Needed It Most

Serendipity. To Merriam Webster, it’s “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” To a thru-hiker,

May 24, 2021 : Steph Strickland
Why I Hike in a Dress

Why I Hike in a Dress

I found my first hiking dress at a Dollar General in Hot Springs, North Carolina, and I originally thought it would make for a perfect outfit while

May 17, 2021 : Steph Strickland
The Trail isn’t Working Against You — You Are

The Trail isn’t Working Against You — You Are

It’s cold. It’s rainy. Your joints ache. Maybe you have a brace from injuries past or scars from missteps taken. In these moments, it can

May 3, 2021 : Steph Strickland