The Hikers

After hiking for five months, across 14 states covering over 2,200 miles, John Suhar and Joe Collins completed their Appalachian Trail thru hike on September 12th 2009. Displayed below are their bios, photos and respective starting gear lists.

John Suhar (pictured on the far right)

That's me on the far right

  • Name: John Thomas Suhar (I am pictured on the far right)
  • Birthday: June 6th
  • Former Occupation: Kohl’s – Marketing Intelligence Analyst
  • Favorite Hike Prior to the AT: While I’ve enjoyed countless days hiking, my favorite memories would have to be with my family, relatives, and grandparents at our cabin in the Allegheny mountains of Pennsylvania.
  • Backing Philosophy: Ultra Lite – (exception: full tent & lots of peanut butter)
  • Why hike the AT, Why Now? See Post Linked Here
  • Section Looking Most Forward To: 100 Mile Wilderness, Maine
Gear List – John
Data Book 2009
Follow The White Blazes
Sun Protection
Sun Screen
Lip Balm
Hat with Mosquito Netting
Solar Charged Head Lamp
First Aid
Lightweight Kit
Lighters (2)
Waterproof Matches
No Mail Drops, Carry 10-14 Lbs
Ultralite Stove (Soda Can) & Fuel (Denatured Alcohol)
Titanium Spork
Collapsible Pot Compatible With Stove
Hydration Reservoir, Playtpus (2)
Nalgenes (2)
Water Purifier / Filter / Treatment System
Aqua Iodine and Taste-Neutralizer Tablets
Marmot Bag
Stuff Sack
Ultralite Tent
Therma Rest
Rain Coat
Rain Pants
3 Pairs Socks
2 Pairs Underwear
XT Wicking T-Shirt (1)
Wicking Long Sleeve Top (2)
Insulating Long Sleeve Wind Resistant Soft Shell
Quick Drying Trail Shorts
Wicking Leggings (2)
Insulating Leggings Tights
Insulating Gloves
Waterproof Glove Shell (Overmits)
Wool, Acrylic, Polyester Winter Hat
Hiking Boots
Camp Shoes
Dry Packs “Stuff Sacks” (3 Different Colors)
Osprey Atmos 65 – Pack & Cover
Trekking Poles
Duck Tape (Around Poles)
50 Ft. Cord
Solar Charger
Camera / Charger (?)
Phone / Charger (?)
Handheld Mirror (Sun Signaling, Fire Starter)
Nail Clippers/Tweezers
Baby Wipes
Toilet Paper

Joe Collins

Tying on his next fly

  • Name: Joesph Patrick Collins
  • Birthday: June 24
  • Former Occupation: Purchaser at Natural Built Home
  • Favorite Hike: In Costa Rica, after hiking all day in Cabo Blanco Park, instead of waiting for a bus, I hiked through the mountains to the tiny village Carmen on the other side of the Peninsula, just in time to reach the beach for the sunset on the Pacific
  • Backpacking Philospohy: I’m lugging the cooler out there
  • Why the AT: Why Not?
  • Section Looking Most Forward To: The White Mountains in New Hampshire

Joe’s Pack List

Pack Cover
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Wind Jacket
Wind Pants
Lightweight Long Underwear
Midweight Long Underwear
Lightweight Long Shirt
Midweight Long Shirt
2 shorts
2 short shirts
3 pairs socks
Winter Hat
Baseball Hat
4 Food Stuff Sacks
Aluminum Pot
Two Nalgenes
Waterproof matches
3 bandanas
First Aid Kit
Hand/Dish Soap
Journal and Pen
Deck of cards
Phone Card

9 Responses to The Hikers

  1. Is Joe actually writing any of these, or is John doing all of the leg work? Would it be impossible for me to join you two for a few weeks on the trail?

  2. jtjcontheat says:

    We both contribute to the site. It would be possible for you to join us for a few weeks on the trail =)

  3. Mary Mann-Venema says:

    Hey John – Great to meet you at Laacke & Joys Mequon on Saturday! Good luck to you! Mary

  4. Jeannette says:

    This will now take the place of Democracy Now! as my home page.

  5. Blake says:

    I tried thinking of a useful post you won’t just read and forget about. So here is a list you can refer to when you and Joe are bored or cannot think of a way to pass the time.


    -‘Would you rather’

    -Double letter game (You say pairs of words, like so: Books, but not movies. Baseball, but not hockey. Apples, but not oranges. The idea is that the first word contains a double letter, the second doesn’t, and that the two things are related. It can be fun to come up with matched pairs. Might be fun trail-talk/a good time killer.)

    -Categories (Zak was the worst on road trips to Ohio) could take it to the next level and do alphabetical Categories – Shoe Brands – Asics, Brooks, Crocs, Doc Martens, etc… Car Brands – Alfa Romeo, BMW, Cadillac, Dodge, etc…

    -One person come up with a situation of something (anything), and then go back and forth naming books or movies or songs wherein that occurred. So, for example “a whale.” Then you could say Moby Dick, Whale Rider, or Free Willy, etc. etc. It’s pretty basic and kind of mind-numbing, but it passes the time.

    -Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (or anyone)

    -The opposite game. Example: “whats the opposite of a pufferfish”? …consequently a lot of the answers lead to debates.

    -Rapping is always fun, even more so with two!

    -Card games – Eucker, Sheapshead, War, Egyptians Ratscrew, Speed, Crazy 8’s, Rummy 500 (you could probably make it 5000..or keep a runny tally of victories), Gin, Cribbage (if you have the necessary room to carry the small, light board)…if you don’t know how to play any of theses – Wikipedia would come in handy)

    Hope that helps y’all out on the trails!!!


  6. I intend to save this blog, “Our Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike” on my web-site.
    Would you care if perhaps I reallydo? Thx -Trey

  7. Great information. I love all the posts, I really enjoyed, I would like more information about this, because it is very nice, Thanks for sharing. I like the site best.
    Hiking boots for men

  8. John Sanders says:

    Congratulations. I envy your strength and commitments. Thanks sharing the adventure!

  9. Tony Corazza says:

    John, Would you give more info about your solar rechargeable headlamp, what type, how did it work for you? Been trying to find a good setup for AT. Thanks, Tony

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