Sam Ducharme: Thru Hiking the Appalachian Trail


On Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 7 pm at the Vineyard Haven Public Library, through-hiker Sam Ducharme will give a talk on his trail trek, as documented in his new book “Sole Searching on the Appalachian Trail.”

Ducharme set out on a 2,189-mile, 14-state backpacking trip from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Mount Katahdin, Maine. During his six-month journey he documented the rugged beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, the wildlife, the hardships encountered on the trail, as well as the

people, culture, and humanity at its finest. Come join him as he takes you through the trail towns, over the mountaintops, and through the backcountry. The images and stories will leave you with a renewed awe of the beauty of our country and its people.

See his gear, how he cooked, and hear what it is like sleeping in a hammock for six months through three seasons. You’ll learn logistics and helpful hiking techniques, as well as how to survive in the woods for up to six months. You will also hear how Ducharme returned to the trail the following year, connecting with aspiring through-hikers, paying it forward, and his return to the summit of Katahdin one year later.

Sam Ducharme is a retired K9 officer, and is a lifelong resident of Connecticut. He has two adult sons, both serving in the U.S. Air Force. As an avid outdoorsman, and finding the empty nest, Ducharme decided to buy a backpack and a plane ticket to Georgia. From there, he started walking north. With no prior backpacking experience, he learned on the trail. Gear, trail nutrition, enduring the elements, and the logistics involved in a long-distance backpacking trip were hard lessons. After 20 years working within Connecticut’s prisons, the search for a positive recharge resulted in a life-changing journey.