50 Shades of Graying
Or more precisely, 53 and graying.
Let’s start this adventure with an intro and a short, lighthearted post. I’m sure things are gonna get heavy (literally and figuratively) in the months to come.
Your average Midwestern, 50-something empty nester. I somehow miraculously reared and sent two successful children out into the big, bad world. Now is my time. Granted, not the ideal time, given creeping menopause and weight gain, but my time nonetheless. I “came out” to my family with this crazy idea a month ago, and nobody reacted by trying to have me committed. So, I cleared that hurdle. As to what’s being said behind my back, well, I’d rather not know.
My intent is to AT flip-flop NOBO from Harpers Ferry beginning April 2020. The plan is for my sister, Izzy Rat, to get me to the drop-off point, slow to under 20 mph, and then I’ll take a shoulder roll out the door of her RV. I figure the pack will absorb the impact. She will then return to a normal life; I will embark on this adventure.
I follow a lot of forums, FB pages, and other hiker resources. Yeah, yeah, I know the Big Three (pack, shelter, sleep system) are concerns to be heavily researched and field tested. However, there is one item I wanted to get early and test often: a urination system. Enter the P-Style, my first trail prep purchase.
I’ve backpacked before, and really disliked taking my pack off to take care of business. I’m sure there are some women out there with killer quads and exquisite balance who can answer the call with their pack on. I am not one of them. My Prime package arrived less than an hour ago, and I’ve already had an opportunity to give it a whirl. Epic fail, but it’s too early to tell if it was user error or product design fail. I’m going with the former. I’ll keep you posted on the learning curve, ladies.
I have no intention of being constantly “on the grid” during my trek, but the option has to be there for safety and, well, maintaining this blog. Enter a core battery charger, my second trail prep purchase.
Wow, this sucker is heavy. 12.5 ounces. That may not sound like much, but it equates to about 3% of my total pack weight. But I figure more than 3% of my trail enjoyment will derive from periodic connectivity, so I don’t expect it will get ditched in the first shakedown. Henceforth, I will treat this as my primary charging source and track it’s performance.
In the coming weeks and months, I’ll try to share my incoming gear, fear, expectations, and anxieties. For you women of a “certain age,” I’ll try to especially relate the joys and challenges of this sojourn as it pertains to us. I’d love it if you came along for the ride!
Feature image via Maggie Slepian
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