41 Days In: Gear Changes & Facts Thus Far

It is now day 41.  We did about 50 miles in three days, and have rewarded ourselves with one night at the Super 8 in Erwin, TN. It is reflection time. I have compiled a list of my major gear changes and some random facts that I have learned thus far.  I hope this can help anyone who is planning for their hike now.


Gear Changes

Cook Wear-  We sent home the regular sized Jet Boil and MSR Pan, and decided to keep only our Jetboil Summo. The regular sized Jetboil just isn’t big enough for two folks.  As for the pan, don’t get me wrong, I miss it already.  But, it just wasn’t getting enough use.  I will forever remember the quesadillas I made in them on that one rainy and cold day back in Georgia.

Clothing- I sent home my Smartwool sweater and tights after The Smokies.  They are awesomely warm, but I don’t think I’ll need them again until I’m further north. I traded the sweater out for a lighter fleece, and I traded the tights out for shorts. I still have tights that aren’t nearly as warm as the Smartwool ones. Also, I don’t know how the hell I thought not bringing a tank top was a good idea.  I now have one for the warmer days as they are becoming more and more common. I’m looking into getting a hat as well.

Rain Gear- I’m getting rid of my REI Rainwall today. I got mine used off of Ebay, and although it looked to be in perfect condition, it in no way keeps my dry.  Back in Franklin, I treated it with Gear Aid ReviveX in hopes of salvaging it.  This didn’t work.  I found a pair of Frogg Toggs in a hiker box, and after a test in some light but constant rain last night, I am pretty excited about the swap.  It’s about 3x my size, and somehow it is still lighter than the Rainwall.  I look super gangster in it and the zipper is broken, but hey it’s free.


Foot System- My Ahnu Montras are super sweet, although they have lost their water proofness.  After much speculation yesterday, Seamster realized my little toe on both my feet has worn a hole right through the Event Waterproofing liner. I have had these boots for a while, and my feet are absurdly wide so I’m not all that surprised. I may try to patch them up.

As for my socks, I very quickly decided to send home my Injinji liner socks and the Darn Tough socks. I kept my Injini Midweight NuWool Socks as they are rockin’. Day 41 and I haven’t had a single blister. Thanks, awesome boots and awesome socks.

H2O- We sent home our MSR Sweetwater Pump in Hot Springs, NC.  It’s a great pump, but it has seen better days. We got a Sawyer Squeeze, and I also got a Sawyer Mini to run through my water bladder.  Speaking of bladders, I got rid of my Power Aid bottles in Neel’s Gap and lucked into an MSR bladder. I drink a shit ton of water while I’m hiking.  It’s far easier to drink from the bladder hose than to stop and drink from a bottle.

Facts Thus Far

1) Cliff Bars are even better when dipped in peanut butter.

2) Oatmeal must have some peanut butter or Nutella mixed into it.

3) Dehydrated Vegetables make everything better, except that they make Seamster a gassy assy. Solution?  Gas X.

4) Sriracha is a must. Dehydrated and fresh.

5) Hitchhiking > Paying for Shuttles

6) I can always eat more.


7) Snoring in a shelter often creates a domino effect.  Snores are contagious.  Breath Right Strips should be handed out by Trail Angels.

8) Stealth Camping near town > Staying at a motel (usually)

9) We have taken six zeros so far.  Most of them were within the first 100 miles, they were from my Noro Episode.

10) We are under budget. Hell yeah for frugality.

11) My calves are even bigger than when I had a severe Dance Dance Revolution addiction.

12) It took 16 days to go 100 miles.  It took 12 more to make it to the 200 mile mark.  It took 9 days to make it to 300 miles.


Graphs by Seamster™

13) Peanut Butter > PB2.  Taste comes before weight.

14) We still have and use the ukelele.


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Comments 6

  • Scrappy Malloy : Apr 16th

    Thanks for the rundown Button! DDR addiction.. Really happy you made it through that trying time.

  • Kai : Apr 17th

    Thanks for this great post! Very helpful to read everyone’s lists as I plan for my trip next summer. Awesome that you are still carrying your uke!!

  • A J MacDonald Jr : Apr 18th

    Sounds like you’re having a great hike! Thanks for the update! : )

  • imin2w8s : Apr 19th

    Thanks for the helpful post! You are moving along! It was cool too see the numbers at every 100 mile mark and the improvement in pace as your body adjusts to the trail!

    • Bob Rogers : Jun 24th

      Without trying sound discouraging, I’m wondering if these numbers are “normal” or slow. I also realize everyone has to HYOH. 6 2/3 miles a day is almost a year on the trail. That may or may not be nice depending on where/how you hole up for winter. 11 miles a day is on par with a 6 month completion.

  • Laurie Emmer : May 8th

    I love this so much!!! What a service to other hikers you are doing. Watching for your chatter daily and thinking of you guys all the time.


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