i am a landlord, so i can give you some advice, although it's pretty common sense.
If you can find one who will take on a 6 to 8 month lease, you simply must hire a local management company. Hopefully you can do this and break even on the monthly costs. Or look at a monthly loss as another expense of the thru-hike - there are tax benefits to taking a loss on a rental property, provided you can handle the expense in the short term. The trick will be finding a tenant who wants such a short lease. You may have to offer it for a year and then rent yourself a place month-to-month when you get back, until your tenant has vacated your property. A competent property manager (ask around, get referrals, interview long-term clients) can offer you even more insight than i can.