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.

Gear Tests

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.

Trip Planning

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!

Food Planning

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!

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 2

  • Ruth morley : Jan 17th

    Hi, fellow Ohioan, from down here in Cincinnati! I’m sure that you’ve got plenty of snow, too, since it seems to hit so much of the U.S.

    If you’re wanting to dehydrate some food, I suggest checking out the website His cookbook is awesome too. I dehydrate all my food, due to gluten and dairy issues. It has been a lot of work but well worth the effort.

    If you care to, check out my blog at I talk quite a bit about my love affair with my dehydrator on one of my posts. And I’m hard at work now for my oncoming months on the trail, as I finish it up.

    Good luck!

    • Jaime : Jan 21st

      Hi Ruth!
      I’m in Dayton, we’re practically neighbors. Thanks for the heads up on the backpackers pantry site, and I’ll check out your blog page as well.


What Do You Think?