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My wife and I are planning to thru hike the AT in 2017

This isn't Cross Training, it's Cross Learning!

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Iím excited to be getting my first backpack at the end of April and really get started on this AT adventure finally. With the backpack I will begin to feel like a hiker.

As far as sports and money go this isnít really bad. The big items are a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag. You can get crazy expensive with the other stuff but you donít have to in order to have a good time.

Versus $1100 to $4000 for a triathlon bike, $90 to $120 for triathlon kits. $130 for running shoes (Iím a Newton snob!) another $100 for cycling shoes, $70 for the GOOD glasses, $30 for a running hat, etc. It all adds up so fast!

So for less than $1000 you can be almost ready for the AT. Well, that is if you buy the right gear the first time. Iím certain that as we do the ďshake down hikesĒ we will need to get some gear changed out. RE: Gear Tweaking! So maybe a little more than a grand for the NEW stuff, Iím looking for the ďgently usedĒ stuff that didnít work for someone else but will work for me. Iím planning on hiking in trail runners so less than $100 for shoes for me! I might need 4-6 pairs but after hearing of all the boot horror stories Iíll stick with sneakers and Vapor Barrier Liners (VBLís) for when itís snowy, wet, and cold.

The wool socks that hikers are using today are really awesome. Not like the wool socks that made my feet itch so much that I thought I was allergic to them as a kid. They are warm to me but NOT hot. Iím thinking of switching into hiking socks full time. They feel really great, donít bunch up like cotton and keep the moisture away from my feet too.

Iím amazed that as I do and learn sporting activities how much the skills and tools of the sport help me in other aspects of life.

As a diabetic I have low blood sugars. The doctors recommend things like glucose tablets to bring blood sugar up and Iíve learned that I need 45g of carbs or more to bring me to the land of normal (for me that is between 90-120). The tablets are very chalky, I need water to choke them down and I need 3 of them. OR I can have 1 GU pack and get by for another 20-30 minutes. I much prefer the GUís. The GUís last a long time in storage (yes they have an expiration date, but so do the tablets.) I attended a diabetes class last year and the educator and dietician hadnít heard of them so I gave them the 2 I keep in my cooler (diabetes kit) and they thought it was a great idea. They liked all the flavor options too.

If I had never started training for a marathon, I never would have learned about GUís and their family of products that I will probably need on the Appalachian Trail.