When I’m old, dying in my warm bed, thinking about my life complete so soon, when all that remains is a flash flood of moments and images of people I loved and vignettes of adventures, at least I’ll have this to remember.  

I wrote these words before my Appalachian Trail thru-hike and before I ventured into 2,000-plus miles, camera in hand, trying to make… something.

Completing a thru-hike is hard. Making a quality film is hard. Making a quality film while thru-hiking? Damn near impossible. It’s imperative to remember that near is the operative word here because it is possible.

The miles re-walked back to your camera to get that perfect walk-away footage, your incessant need to keep your equipment dry, falling out of a beautiful moment to try and capture a shot, the fact that your camera gear is one more thing you must remember not to lose, and of course the extra weight… oh, the extra weight.

When all that’s said and done and you look back at those images sealed in time, a gift your past you has given a now old, once-was hiker warm in their bed, you realize that it was all so very worth it.

For research, both on filming the AT and simply hiking it, I watched dozens of thru-hiking documentaries. I flew through them—they were riveting. Each had an inherent personal feel to it, like I was right there with this piece of hiker trash, traipsing through the wilderness alongside them, a fly clinging to their abhorrent, pungent aroma.

It seemed there were two types of documentary. One was a quality piece of art made by either a filmmaker only doing part of the trail or by a filmmaker following a thru-hiker around. The other was a true thru-hike documentary made by a hiker with a cell phone capturing witty and heartfelt selfie footage.

I wondered why I never came across a quality thru-hike documentary made by that rare hiker/filmmaker hybrid. The answer, I’d soon find out, was because it was damn near impossible. And it was exactly what I was setting out to do. I’ll let the audience decide whether or not I was successful in …….

Source: https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/making-a-thru-hiking-documentary-behind-the-scenes/

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