#JamesOnTheAT Week 5 Update: Settling In To a Routine

Camping & Backpacking / ZZBLOG POSTS

It’s hard to believe that James Willette from our Peterborough, NH store is already a month into his northbound Appalachian Trail experience but that’s exactly how long it’s been and here’s exactly where he was yesterday–at the top of Roan Mountain in North Carolina:

James Roan Mntn


James summed this photo up rather nicely in an email earlier this week: “One thing I’ve learned out here is that the weather changes…OFTEN so I always have to be prepared to adapt.”

I asked James to give me a breakdown of what his days have been like:

“A typical day for me begins with the sunrise which if I am lucky I get the chance to photograph.”

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“After I eat my morning meal and pack up, it is map time. I normally don’t plan a distance for the day. More often I just aim to keep hydrated so I try to camp near a good water source and hike till I’m to tired too go on.”

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“Through out the day I always have one eye on the sky, watching the weather. My diet is some what dependent on what I can find at resupply points. Generally speaking I eat a lot of rice and pasta, oatmeal, bagels, tuna, beef jerky, ramen, those are the consistent staples with all sorts of other variables but like I said it changes when you shop in a gas station vs a supermarket….or anything in between.”

James Sunset

 “It has been an adventure for sure! Lots of animals, bear, deer, birds, snakes etc. This has been such an amazing photographic opportunity so far.  All is well in my camp, hope everything is well in NH!”

I gave James a call before publishing this post but I got his voicemail. In the next update, I hope to provide more details about the conditions, people he’s met and any other details YOU’D like to know about his experiences over the last five weeks. James is a man of few words but many extraordinary photos. If there’s anything you’d like him to capture, please leave a comment and I’ll pass it on to him!

In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying these posts as much as James is enjoying life on the Appalachian Trail. Wherever you’re headed on your next adventure–have fun out there!

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Jim Darroch


  1. May 24, 2014, 11:15 am

    I was referred to you by Laura Ann. My guy and I will be hiking SOBO on the AT, starting in less than a month. I’ll keep my eyes open for you! In the mean time, have a hell of a time!

  2. Bill Appleby
    May 18, 2014, 8:50 am

    Nice blogging! You actually have 3 EMS employees on the trail: James, a girl from Manchester CT store and me from Waterford, CT store. It would be great to get together for a pic. I leave Damascus today (Sun/18) for Hampton, to pick back up the trail. Jim D you can friend me on FB and follow my blog too. If you can’t find me ask James S in Waterford.(so many James!). Tell the other two my trail name is SOG. Later.

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