In less than two weeks, I’ll be placing my first step on the Appalachian Trail. What thoughts are going through my head? Will I have enough or will I have too much? Will I be the one that is sending all my worldly possessions home or will I be wishing I brought just one more roll of TP? Highly doubt I’ll be counting sheets of toilet paper, but maybe using my AT Guide for more than just reading and navigating!
What’s in My Pack
Last month I wrote about the Big Three: Backpack, Tent & Sleeping Bag. As for all the other gear I am bringing is displayed above.
A quick rundown includes:
- Gossamer G4-20 Backpack
- Gossamer “The One” Tent
- Enlightened Equipment Quilt
- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm
- Down Pillow & Fleece Pillowcase
- Jetboil Stash
- Six Moons Umbrella
- 1/2 Zlite Pad
- Anker Battery Pack with Cords
- Mountain Hardwear Headlamp
- Mosquito Net
- Misc Clothes include Patagonia Windshell, Rain Jacket, Rain Skirt
- OR Down Jacket & Down Pants
- Merino wool Top & Bottoms
- Two Pairs Underwear
- Three Pairs Socks
- Silk Scarf (Town Days & Towel)
- OR Gortex Mitten & Fleece Gloves
- Buff & Cap
- Xero Camp Shoes
- First Aid Kit
- Toiletries Bag
- Small Nylon Sea-To-Summit Pack that combines as Food Bag
- Smart Tube & Water Bottle
- Total Base Weight 14.8 (Food and Water not included)
Provisions on the Trail
This I’ve given much thought to. I am a planner and have a full-on spreadsheet with dates, miles, locations, resupplies, and whether I’ll find fuel, showers, or laundry at the destination. Yep, that’s me! I was never an accountant, but I am a neurotic organizer of all things. Down to my underwear drawer, rolled up, sized, type and meticulously placed next to lavender sachets.
I received my final box of freeze-dried meals today. My boxes are stuffed with provisions from food, electrolytes, coffee and tea assortments, facial wipes, small packages of Kleenex just in case the bidet doesn’t clean me 100%, and assorted bags of hard candy. Along with other items that are truly not needed but nice to have like town shampoo and conditioner, laundry pods and dryer sheets, eye gel, lotions, face masks, and an extra special bar of dark chocolate stashed away in each box.
Most of my resupplies are being shipped Priority Mail to the local post office. Some of you are shaking your head and I see you. Post offices have odd hours. Yes they do but so do I. What if my package doesn’t arrive, then what? I shipped close to 25 boxes on the PCT and never had a single one go AWOL! Not one. Priority boxes are one cost depending on the size: small, medium, or large. It doesn’t matter how much I stuff them, cram as much as I possibly can before they burst at the seams. The boxes cost the same whether they are being shipped to Georgia or Maine.
Final Wrap Up
Training. Oh boy, what am I doing? Yoga for the most part. I was hiking around my home, walking up and down hills, but honestly, yoga has offered me more benefit than anything else I’ve tried. As I mature in years, balance is my greatest concern. So I focus on one-legged stands, core, and breathing. And Hot Yoga! I’m not a big fan of humidity and felt that exposing myself to an extremely heated room for an hour is one way to prepare. In my mind, a hot yoga room closely mimics a day on the trail in Virginia when the temperature is nearing the 90s with 100% humidity. Sweat running down my neck, back, ears, forehead, and places I’d rather not disclose. You get the picture.
So am I ready? I am as ready as I can be without being on the trail. Until my foot hits the dirt and starts up the countless steps of the approach trail, only then will I be able to answer the call. Until then, I am almost ready!
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I’ll be following as you head north. I can’t wait to hear about your journey.