Getting Down To It As Trip Start Date Approaches
I admit it. I am a procrastinator.
Two-plus months and counting, and I am finally sitting down and digging into planning and preparation. So what’s shaking on my shakedown street? Sorry, Dead references are a must.
My family is awesome and got me a new tent for Christmas. It’s a Tarptent ProTrail, my first freestanding tent. I can’t resist playing with new gear, so I took it out for a test run on a recent snow day.
Trying to wrestle a silnylon tent/kite while my hands are freezing to my poles is not the most joyous of outdoor experiences. Getting comfortable with the setup is going to require a little practice before I hit the trail. On the plus side, the Pro Trail is a huge weight savings over my trusty old REI Quarter Dome (RIP Quarter Dome, I’m sorry I forgot to dry you), and the inside looks practically palatial. The Pro Trail does not come seam sealed unless you request it. The company gives you ample warning, but I forgot, so add seam sealing to the list.
So far I’m targeting March 23 as my start date, and I am returning home around Labor Day for fall Hookahville (hoooookkkkaaaahhh!). In order to keep organized and to avoid some freak-outs back home, I am in the process of creating two calendars with approximate windows for town stops. One goes to my folks, the other to the boyfriend, and I can update everyone on adjustments and changes to the schedule when I have cell service.
Calendars include the date that bills are due, addresses for good places to send care packages, and timing for the occasional mail drop. Basically it serves as a master schedule for the hike. I am also mapping out the whole hike, just to see what my average daily mileage needs to look like for a late-March start and a late-August finish. It’s going to be tough to complete the trail on that timeline, but I think it’s doable with very few zero days. No beds till Maine!
My trail diet is an area that I want to play around with. I’m a very healthy eater at home, so the idea of subsisting on ramen and squirt butter doesn’t appeal to me all that much. I am pretty stoked for an excuse to eat unlimited amounts of pizza, though. Ultimately, I’ll eat whatever is available when I resupply, but I am looking at dehydrating some veggies and sauerkraut, making a spice kit, and doing up some homemade beef jerky, to be sent to a few locations along the way. Hopefully it’ll be enough to break up the monotony, and help me at least feel like I’m fueling my body in a semi-healthful way.
There is still a lot to be done, including buying new boots to replace the duct-taped Merrells that I’ve been kicking around in for way to long, and a million little things that I haven’t even thought of yet. But it’s coming together, and every day adds to the excitement and anticipation for this adventure!
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