Think Iíll go for a walk. Iíve been perusing the archives here at WB for a while and I believe it is time to hit the trail for a Ďthru-hikeí. With all the advice here, how can I go wrong . . .
Iíve been saving money and have accumulated about $1500. I think that should be enough. Iím sure my gear will make it for 2000 miles, so I donít plan to purchase anything new. If something doesnít last, Iíll contact the manufacturer and expect a replacement within hours. Even if Iíve stuffed 45# into my 30# pack and it finally fails in VT. Additionally, I can discipline myself to not stay in too many towns, regardless of what everyone else is doing or how bad the weather is. If I do stay at a hostel, sometimes I might ask for a work-for-stay to conserve funds. Iíve heard about hiker boxes, so I plan to raid those at every opportunity.
Itís looking like a mid-March start. Theapproach trail. I think Iíll skip it, since it is a blue-blazer and I plan to make it to Neels Gap in 2 days. I am a little concerned about my 40F bag, but with my 25F liner I should be OK. If I have to, Iíll wear all my clothes to keep warm. After all, GA is in the South and itís warmer there . . .
As I mentioned, Iíve got about 45# of stuff to haul. I donít think that is too bad. Iíve worn my full pack around the block a few times and it feels ok. Iíd like it to be lower but I just havenít been able to shave any weight, despite the numerous gear lists that have been posted. And, I absolutely wonít part with my frying pan, camp chair, 6 pr of socks, 2 pr long pants (incl blue jeans), machete, 3 books, etc . . . maybe I can do without the laptop . . . Iíll probably do some slack packing when the opportunities arise.
Iím planning about 15 maildrops mostly for food. I think buying food in bulk will help me to stay on budget. Hope I donít get tired of eating Power Bars everyday.
Iím pretty good at staying found, so no maps for me, besides there are blazes to follow. The Companion (or other Handbook) is extra weight also, so if I look over your shoulder from time to time, Please donít get mad at me. Since I am only carrying 1 quart/liter of water I may need to know where the next source is occasionally. Iíll carry Aqua Mira for treating water sources, so I am saving the weight of a filter at least.
Iíve made an itinerary around shelter distances. I understand that shelters are full of mice but Iíll probably spend most nights in one, especially when it is raining. Maybe I can save some weight by not carrying my own shelter?!? Iíve read here that mosquitoes sleep at night, so I donít believe bugs will be a problem. At night Iím not sure what to do with my food bag though. Do bears sleep at night?
There is so much to see on the AT. Iím looking forward to visiting all the States and National Parks the trail meanders through, including the Great Smoky Mountains. Hope I can figure out that shelter reservation system though. And The Whites! Wow! The spectacular scenery and views are highly anticipated. On the other hand, the outrageous price for a stay in a hut is not highly anticipated. Iíll expect all the hut crooís to accommodate me with a work-for-stay promptly upon my arrival.
I hope there is lots of trail magic. Every opportunity to enjoy a cold soda, etc will be welcome. I wonít expect something at every trailhead or road crossing . . . maybe every other one would be sufficient.
What should I do about a trail name? Name myself or wait for something silly to happen and become Feces Foot or something like that?!?
Think Iíll go for a walk . . .
See you on the trail,