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A.T. Phone Home: Backpacker Wants Your Appalachian Trail Stories

Have a tale from the AT? We want you to give us a call—literally.

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From Grandma Gatewood‘s walk to Bill Bryson‘s misadventures to the Instagram hiking heroes of today, some of backpacking’s most compelling stories have originated on the Appalachian Trail. Whether it’s for 3 months or a weekend, everyone who sets foot on this path has their own tale: a bear encounter, a spectacular sunrise, or an unforgettable night with a shelter full of new friends. Now, Backpacker wants to help you tell yours. All you need to do is leave us a message.

This season, we’re highlighting ordinary AT hikers’ extraordinary stories. Here’s how it works: give us a call at 303-253-6424 and leave us a message with your name and a story from your section hike or thru-hike. Anything is fair game: we’re looking for your best moments, your worst moments, a story about your tramily, your favorite summit, an experience that got your pulse pounding, a tale about the friendly space alien you met along the way, or just how the trail has changed your perspective. We’ll pick our favorites and feature them on our Instagram and Facebook accounts for everyone to enjoy. Our only requirement: that it’s out of this world.

Tell us your Appalachian Trail story at 303-253-6424



Where will you share these stories?

We’ll share our favorite stories from A.T. Phone Home on Instagram and Facebook, and may also feature them on our site, podcasts, and other social media platforms.

Do I have to be a thru-hiker to call? Does my story need to be from this year?

Nope! Thru-hiker, section-hiker, weekend backpacker: It’s all good as long as you have a story from the Appalachian Trail. We’d love to hear stories straight from the trail, but we’re happy to accept older ones too.

How long can my story be?

Our voicemail box accepts stories of up to 3 minutes, but most stories will do better at shorter lengths. Try to keep yours to 30 seconds or so.

Will you edit my voicemail?

We may edit some stories for concision and clarity before we post them. We’ll try our best not to alter your message.

Do I have to use my real name?

You can use your real name, your trail name, or no name.

I’m Deaf or hard of hearing and I don’t talk on the phone. How can I participate?

No problem! Shoot us an email at

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