Not to often do you hear about AT Thru-Hikers going missing. But in 2013 Geraldine Largay, the hiker who vanished from the Appalachian Trail in western Maine in July 2013 has finally been found. We are so sorry for Largay’s loss, but are relieved that they now have closure.
Largay was found in Redington Township, approximately 3,000 feet off the trail in an area within the boundaries of a US Navy survival school.
It’s hard to believe that you can get lost on the Appalachian Trail, but you can. So many variables of nature that Thru-Hikers don’t count on sometimes. Weather, can sometimes play a trick on you when you least expect it. I’m talking about FOG. Fog in the mountains is to be taken very seriously. Yet, we rarely hear anything about it when I talk to people planning a Thru-Hike or just an overnight in the Mountains.
Not to say I think this played a role. Have no idea really. But as a experienced backpacker, I can only share my experience, and one of them is being caught off guard on the AT in the Smokies. I went off trail for a minute and was immediately in trouble. The fog was so dense I could NOT see anything in front of me, and could barely see my feet, let alone the trail. My headlamp actually made things worse. I was only 5 feet off the AT, and had a very hard time finding it again.
The point here is to make sure you are prepared for EVERYTHING the Appalachian Trail will bring.
Watch your step when the weather rolls in.
If it’s really foggy, do NOT leave your gear.
Make sure you are always aware of your surroundings.
Always, Always carry a whistle with you. If you have to hunker down because of an injury, you can still communicate with passers by with 3 short blows on your whistle to indicate emergency.
Our deepest condolences go to the Largay’s and the entire Appalachian Thur-Hiker family.