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-Animal
02-02-2014, 10:08
For my 2014 Trail Journal I decided to post the things I learned on my 2012 thru-hike. Itís kind of my version of a free book on preparing to hike the trail. I welcome comments, criticisms, and suggested subjects posted here on whiteblaze. Enjoy-
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=439808 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=439808)

Furlough
02-02-2014, 10:20
You should start a mental wager on how often the bucket will come up here in this thread. :)

bamboo bob
02-02-2014, 10:27
I just read the first few pages about food. Man, you make the AT seem way more complicated than it needs to be. Good luck to you.

max patch
02-02-2014, 10:41
I think someone who hikes while carrying a bucket full of food in one hand is someone I wouldn't want to get advice from. Good luck but I've stopped reading.

-Animal
02-02-2014, 11:01
I think someone who hikes while carrying a bucket full of food in one hand is someone I wouldn't want to get advice from. Good luck but I've stopped reading.
Maybe you should read the advice and make criticisms about that, itís more helpful to readers and me then being so judgmental about my hiking style. Ėor attacking my character. Iím not telling anyone to hike like me, just giving good ideas on preparations and the trail. You are not helping others.

max patch
02-02-2014, 11:25
I never attacked your character. I said I would never take hiking advice from someone who hikes carrying a bucket. And my opinion on that isn't gonna change.

aficion
02-02-2014, 11:28
The way people hike today you'd be better off with Nan's bucket.

George
02-02-2014, 11:33
new name ( and answer to the question): "bear hearts"

George
02-02-2014, 11:36
I just read the first few pages about food. Man, you make the AT seem way more complicated than it needs to be. Good luck to you.

next big thing is someone hiking with a tuba and a bucket

bamboo bob
02-02-2014, 11:43
next big thing is someone hiking with a tuba and a bucket

I guess you never met Tubaman.

Tipi Walter
02-02-2014, 11:45
I haven't read any of it yet but thanks for the link as I hope to copy it for my next backpacking trip. I'm always looking for trail journals which are a step beyond the usual and unique and different than the usual "crap" (sorry 'bout that) out there.

imscotty
02-02-2014, 11:57
Animal - I have not finished reading all your journal postings yet, but I appreciate your effort. While I will stick with my conventional equipment choices for myself, I admire the way you made your low low budget choices work for you. You certainly do think outside the pack, errr the box, whatever.

Your food rating system does seem to be more work than necessary, but hey, it works for you and that's great. Me, my stomach lets me know what I should carry, and my legs and back have been willing so far to accommodate my stomach. Luckily my brain and my wallet figured out how to put together a low weight base, so I can afford the extra weight of luxury items like fresh fruit or an adult beverage that my stomach demands. And I agree, having the ability to share is nice and has its own rewards.

Your extremely low budget, the extra weight you carry, and yes, your bucket would seem to give you extra obstacles to overcome on the trail. And yet you persevered and completed your hike! I think your journal should contain more information on the mental aspect of your hike and what it was that allowed you to succeed where many others do not.

Wish you the best in 2014.

-Animal
02-02-2014, 12:05
next big thing is someone hiking with a tuba and a bucket

HmmÖ a tuba and a bucket. ;)
TipiWalter, Much admiration and respect to you.
Imscotty, Thank you, and good luck to you.

Tipi Walter
02-02-2014, 12:22
next big thing is someone hiking with a tuba and a bucket

I've doing it with a Gun Safe . . . . Oh wait, it's a refrigerator balanced on a stick . . . .No! It's a pentagon filing cabinet . . . .

George
02-02-2014, 12:41
I've doing it with a Gun Safe . . . . Oh wait, it's a refrigerator balanced on a stick . . . .No! It's a pentagon filing cabinet . . . .

so many choices, so little time

George
02-02-2014, 12:43
I guess you never met Tubaman.

he did not have a bucket, his stunt is soon to be outdone

George
02-02-2014, 12:46
after that it will be the bucket, tuba, and boat paddle ("Montana skateboarder style" for those who have not been around the boards for a while)

bamboo bob
02-02-2014, 12:53
PCT 2009 there was a girl with a hockey stick and CDT last year in NM a dude with a paddle. Is a paddle a thing us old guys don't "get"?

Tipi Walter
02-02-2014, 12:59
PCT 2009 there was a girl with a hockey stick and CDT last year in NM a dude with a paddle. Is a paddle a thing us old guys don't "get"?

I hear there are even people with just butt packs running along the trail with a support vehicle close by and trying to set some sort of speed record. Talk about weird.

I hiked with a B-flat clarinet once. And a full watermelon. Here's a neat idea---roll an upright piano along the trail for 2,000 miles.

Pedaling Fool
02-02-2014, 13:01
According to your Journal, you carried anywhere between 8-30#'s in a bucket the entire way. That's pretty good; I can really appreciate that because I do a lot of Farmer John workouts and it can really wear you out gripping something at the same time walking and this is just a little bit on flat ground).

Did you have a method to ensure each hand got "equal time" and did you use anything to wrap around the handle? Do you have a naturally strong grip or did you some how prepare for this?

I remember my feet hurting the worse from my hike, but I imagine if I carried a bucket that I would had also have to deal with some serious hand pains for quite some time.

-Animal
02-02-2014, 13:25
According to your Journal, you carried anywhere between 8-30#'s in a bucket the entire way. That's pretty good; I can really appreciate that because I do a lot of Farmer John workouts and it can really wear you out gripping something at the same time walking and this is just a little bit on flat ground).

Did you have a method to ensure each hand got "equal time" and did you use anything to wrap around the handle? Do you have a naturally strong grip or did you some how prepare for this?

I remember my feet hurting the worse from my hike, but I imagine if I carried a bucket that I would had also have to deal with some serious hand pains for quite some time.
Thanks for your question. The hand pains were not bad but my shoulders and back probably hurt like your feet. I got my trail arms after about two weeks carrying the bucket. And I wrapped the handle in duct tape because I shattered the plastic one with my grip. I alternated arms whenever they got tired (that was often in the beginning) and took a lot of breaks.
Iíve always been unusually strong. I can lift two wheels, on a small car, off the ground. I think George got to see me lift some large rocks in place when we did trail work last year. I lifted one rock in Maine over 1200 pounds out of a hole. Iím an ex martial artist/bodybuilder.

George
02-02-2014, 17:16
Here's a neat idea---roll an upright piano along the trail for 2,000 miles.

I thought you already kept a compact piano in that pack of yours

Tipi Walter
02-02-2014, 17:29
I thought you already kept a compact piano in that pack of yours

I USED to carry a Moog synthesizer when they first came out but that's old news.

Scooter2
02-02-2014, 18:03
I enjoy reading your journal for its uniqueness...will be following your hike and wish you the best.

forrest!
02-02-2014, 18:47
Animal, I'm going SOBO - hope to meet you somewhere in the middle - you should be easy to spot!

Forrest

HikerMom58
02-02-2014, 18:51
Hope to meet you too, Animal!

Snowleopard
02-02-2014, 18:54
Animal has some ideas that are useful for any hiker, even light weight hikers.

Put aside (save) a special (delicious) meal to prepare and eat just before you go to the next town to resupply. This can save a lot of money on restaurant meals.

The whole clothing section is good: http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441936


With everything on you should be warm, sitting at zero degrees. -and you should be able to wear all the layers at the same time.
No, I'm not going to start carrying a bucket yet. I like the idea of spending little time in towns and going a couple of weeks between resupplies. Like TipiWalter, Animal spends more time at a stretch in the woods than many hikers do, and I admire that.

Valley Girl
02-02-2014, 19:10
Animal. Good for you! Ya know I felt I could ask you anything and that helped me prepare for my own hike. It saddens me that more people can't just wish you luck without a sarcastic stab here and there. I admire your sense of adventure and that, not only do you hike the trail you help maintain it and make it interesting. Oh and if in 2016 you decide to take two buckets and a tuba on your back filled with you gear...I will cheer you on!

Meriadoc
02-02-2014, 20:02
Nice posts there Animal.

Good emphasis that your reader should be using their own noggin to decide on how to approach hiking and what to bring.

Good luck this year!

Malto
02-02-2014, 22:25
Regardless of whether you agree or not with someone's tactics, there are always interesting things to be learned. I met animal twice on his 2012 hike, once at about mile 70 and the second time in NJ. I will admit I was shocked to see the bucket in GA but it brought a smile to my face seeing him in NJ and knowing he carried that bucket the whole way. I would have never thought someone would have the perserverence to do this. Good luck Animal, maybe I run into again this year.

Gervais
02-02-2014, 22:57
I enjoyed your journal Animal. Best luck on your next hike.

Bagge Pants
02-03-2014, 01:38
hiking with 8 lbs of water in one hand isn't weird to me, the bucket sounds funny though, I'll have to read the entries and see what everyone is talking about

George
02-03-2014, 03:14
carrying large quantities of food would be practical on some sections of the CDT where resupply is such a PITA - but then it would not be as unique - also not sure how that bucket would hold up to a grizz

-Animal
02-03-2014, 09:21
Thank you for all the nice comments!
For those who only may have one concern that they would like to read aboutÖhere is a list-
Introduction
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=439808 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=439808)
What does it take?
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=439839 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=439839)
Temptations!
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=439885 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=439885)
Food
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440265 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440265)
Food part 2
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440349 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440349)
Gear Introduction
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440453 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440453)
Fear and Gear
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440819 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440819)
Footwear and Feet
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440897 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=440897)
Why?
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441040 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441040)
Gear List Description
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441143 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441143)
People and Safety
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441201 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441201)
The Teacher
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441322 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441322)
Pain
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441532 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441532)
Two Worlds
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441731 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441731)
Water
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441733 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441733)
Pests
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441819 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441819)
Bucket Revolution
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441853 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441853)
Food Management
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441893 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441893)
Clothes
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441936 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=441936)
Miles or Smiles
http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=442014 (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=442014)
-otherwise it is a lot to read. I hope it helps or gives ideas to some hikers. And I will be adding a few more posts before I hit the trail. ďThe Mental GameĒ will be the next subject.

Josh Calhoun
02-03-2014, 12:53
Animal! good to see your still out there getting some hiking done. i remember our conversation about foraging. you were right the wild wintergreen was all over the trail. my dog had to be sent home shortly after we met. dont mind the bucket haters on here. they also told me i drunk to much beer while on the trail. Is that even possible?? hope to see you out there on some of my section hikes! happy trails my friend - Rash Class Of 13

rocketsocks
02-03-2014, 13:09
Animal, way to think outside the pack (pun intended). like TW, i'm gonna print and bring on next trip, tired of reading the same ole same ole, and looking for somethin fresh, after perusing, yers seems to fit the bill. have a great hike.

Stroke
02-03-2014, 17:08
I'm enjoying this journal. I met you last year during Hardcore and you demolished me in a game of chess. I hope to see you on the trail again.

-Animal
02-03-2014, 19:36
Boone, Iím carrying a chess set this time so I hope we meet up again. Knight odds?
Rash, A bucket can hold a lot of beerÖcome out and join me sometime!

Josh Calhoun
02-03-2014, 22:42
i sure will buddy, i might be after another AT hike sooner than i thought. missing the **** out of it

George
02-04-2014, 00:25
they also told me i drunk to much beer while on the trail. Is that even possible??

that usually means: there was not enough left for me!

Damn Yankee
02-04-2014, 07:35
I like the way you went about your journal. You take what worked for you and put it out there for everyone's sake. Take from it what they will and discard the rest. I love your humor and being from the north I understand your abruptness and enjoy the sarcasm. I look forward to reading you updates but, that section on your bucket is a little creepy(great writing there)

-Animal
02-04-2014, 08:07
You take what worked for you and put it out there for everyone's sake. Take from it what they will and discard the rest.

This is exactly what my intention was. Thank you for reading.

Damn Yankee
02-04-2014, 08:11
This one's for you Animal. http://www.bayteccontainers.com/gamma-seal-lids.html

squeezebox
02-04-2014, 10:47
Maybe I should bring my squeezebox. If I could find one with bellows made of plastic instead of cardboard.

squeezebox
02-04-2014, 11:19
A few times in the past I've bought laundry detergent in a square bucket with lid. there are other size and shaped buckets other than 5 gal. There is 1 gal, 3-1/2 gal. And some nails come in square buckets I'm guessing maybe 2 gal. It might be worth a little extra wt. to keep the mice etc. out of your food, Not the best bear canister but way better than a bag. Could be tied on top of your pack, very waterproof.
I'll try to find one and let you know what it weighs and volume.

Rocket Jones
02-04-2014, 11:29
When I'm cabin camping, I bring a large cookie tin to keep my food in. A little duct tape and it's sealed nicely against our little rodent buddies. Weighs next to nothing too.

RED-DOG
02-04-2014, 14:40
I think every body especialy first time thru-hikers can learn a lot from your journal you know how to put it in perspective and tell the truth about things thats more than i can say about most here on WB, and you right about Machete Mitch he did get a bad rep for no reason, i spent one night camped with him and he really is a nice guy, he used his Machete to cut some firewood for us he told me that was the only reason he was carring it, but you are right most people jump to conclusions about people from what they hear about them from the AT Grapevine, people need to quit passing JUDGMENTS on people and get to know them first before they assume anything,and you are correct most folks are scared of what is different from reading your journal i think that you are a highly educated person and knows what works for you HYOH, Happy trails and good luck. RED-DOG

Damn Yankee
02-04-2014, 16:01
Unfortunately, it is a human condition to pass judgment on someone before they know them.

Jeff
02-04-2014, 17:17
Animal stayed at our hostel in Manchester, VT during his last thruhike. He was the perfect guest and another example of how most hikers on the AT are so interesting to meet.

George
02-04-2014, 17:18
Unfortunately, it is a human condition to pass judgment on someone before they know them.

actually a genetic trait (or call it instinct) of many life forms that evolved for self preservation - some species have right from birth near instant analysis to determine fight, flight or co exist

putts
02-04-2014, 19:39
I think George got to see me lift some large rocks in place when we did trail work last year. I lifted one rock in Maine over 1200 pounds out of a hole.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for doing trail work.

Blissful
02-04-2014, 20:18
Enjoyed meeting you to MD, Animal. The plant lessons were interesting too.

kimmer
04-07-2014, 05:40
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

sureaboutthis
04-07-2014, 06:39
Fascinating. I'll definitely be following this - going against convention is the right way to go about life. You make an art of it.

I've found little to question except the statement that people need to eat meat. That one puzzled me. Didn't expect to see something so grossly incorrect.

Still, great work on the food section. I see why some would say it's overly complex, but like any method it has a purpose. I'll admit, I had given shockingly little thought to food compared to gear.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

redzombie
04-07-2014, 22:41
Animal, I like the Post. I like how you think outside the box, and do things differently. Thanks friend

Demeter
04-17-2014, 05:42
I enjoy reading about your "outside the box" hiking style. Can't wait to follow your adventures! As a fellow forager, please be sure to include lots of info about the plants you find!

gof
04-19-2014, 00:35
If you have not already, I hope you write more about foraging and wild edibles.

I once had a fellow teach me a little about wild greens but I did not commit the information to memory nor practice it.

I am looking forward to reading your journal and hope to learn from it.

ericmcdaniel
04-27-2014, 10:58
Animal, it was great meeting you on the trail (you gave me your great Chinese tea). Hope things are well. - Wanderbus


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

gof
04-28-2014, 18:54
I just read the last couple posts on your most recent journal. I hope you heal well and look forward to hearing of your other adventures.

I read an older journal that included a story about a model photo shoot. Really enjoyed the story and journal.