top of page

Over the years I've had many people ask me for advice or tips. Since I've done a 5,000-mile and a 2,000-mile hike. Here are some tips and advice. Gear I took, route planning, and what I did to prepare.

How To Walk Across America


Some people like to travel ultra lite, and I wasn't one of those people. On both of my hikes, I had about 45-50 pounds of gear. 


- A Baltoro Gregory Backpack

- REI two-person half dome tent

- crocs

- Headlamp

- Hiking Sticks

- MRS Cooking Stove

- One pan

- Spork

- Rain Poncho

- Mummy Sleeping bag (20 degree)

- Sleeping bag liner

- Small Towel

- Business Cards

- Laminated News Articles (Helps with places to stay)

- First Aid Kit

- 2 or 3 water bladders depending on my location

- Video Camera

- Digital Camera

- Plastic bags to stick items in when it rains

- Water Bottle

- Bear Spray

- Toilet Paper 

- Lightweight camera tripod

- A few sets of clothes. In the beginning, they were clothes that could dry out quickly. In hot humid weather, I changed to more cotton clothing that would stay wet and keep me cool.

















Route Planning

The first thing I had was my finishing location. Florida. Next I picked a day I was going to take off. September 1st. Then I had to pick my route, and I didn't want to walk across the Rockies in the winter. So I decided to walk along the west coast until I was south of Los Angeles and then turn east across the desert and the southern part of the country. That made for a pleasant winter and a more direct route would have put me in the Rockies. I did hit the south and Florida when it was a hundred degrees, but I just slowed down a little, and everything worked out and I made it to Key West in one piece.


Like I said, I didn't really know what I was doing, since I left 30 days after I got the idea. Along the way I realized since I was trying to raise money for cancer research in my mother's memory, it was worth it to reach out to the local media as I went. It wasn't a magical recipe.

Some of it was the further I went, the more serious people took the hike, but I did get some press on the west coast. It felt like once I got to Texas, people were taking the hike more serious.

I just called all the TV stations and newspapers along the way. Sometimes radio stations too. That was one facet I didn't reach out to as much. I found that big town newspapers tend to not care, but a big town TV station will usually pick it up, or at least one of their TV stations will. 


I was in good shape and did a little walking with my pack before I left. I had a job that was very physical and I was on my feet and moving. If that isn't the case for you, then you need to start walking.​


For the most part, I always walked against traffic so I could see what was coming. I only broke that rule if there was no where to walk and it was the inside of a corner. That happened on the west coast quite a bit. I liked to take the outside of the corner because cars would have more visibility of me.

You'll end up camping most of the time. You'll find campgrounds, but a hiker can slip into many locations and camp. You'll need to get comfortable just walking off the road and finding a spot to camp. I usually tried to find a spot to stay in daylight. Every time I found a spot to camp at night, I woke up and it was never as good of a spot as it looked the night before.

You'll also run into kindness of strangers. I stayed with nearly a hundred stranger on my hike to Key West. Just be careful and you'll meet a lot of good people.

The last thing is, if you are serious, just start the hike. Don't have it turn into one of those things that you never do.

bottom of page