Appalachian Trail Histories

An advertisement for an early version of the Optimus butane backpacking stove. Lighter weight gear such as this helped make backpacking more accessible for ever larger numbers of hikers.


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In 1953, George F. Miller became the sixth person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one year, and at age 72, was by far the oldest.

A retired college professor living in Washington, D.C., was a seasoned long distance walker--as a young man he walked more than 1,000 miles from Farmington, Missouri to Washington in just 26 days.

Miller was also an innovator when it came to his gear. As the photograph here shows, his pack (which he made himself) consisted of four separate units spread from his chest to his back.

Collection: Hikers
George Miller.jpg