An Appalachian Trail Christmas – ‘Tis Better to Give and Receive

Rocking some Christmas jammies with my youngest granddaughter on Christmas morning.

Rocking some Christmas jammies with my youngest granddaughter on Christmas morning.

With a March NOBO date fast approaching (88 days – YIKES!!!), a lot under the tree had an AT connection this year. I bought maps for the fam to keep track of my journey, and calendars so they could see the beauty of the trail.

Courtesy Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Courtesy Appalachian Trail Conservancy


Many of my gifts were hike related, too.  First, this beautiful necklace from my daughter:

never ever


Then, of course, there is the food. (Somehow with hikers there’s always food. ) One gift came with a tag reading – “To Kate: This is the first of about 60 packages I will be sending you.” Inside: Clif bars, lots of them. Maybe even enough to make it to the Georgia-North Carolina line!

Yummmm..chocolate chip and peanut butter

Yummmm..chocolate chip and peanut butter

I have so many food allergy/sensitivity issues, that I have dehydrated many dinners and snacks. Since my husband needs to send me food drops every few days anyway, we think it makes sense to buy bars at bulk prices to include with my food packs.

So a couple of months ago, while making baby food at my daughter’s, I has an idea. To paraphrase Dr. Seuss in “The Grinch…” it was “a wonderful, awful idea.” What if, I thought, I could fill baby food pouches with peanut butter and jelly and Nutella – especially Nutella? So from my three granddaughters (and two grandkitties) I received these:

infant     infant2

You fill the platic tube on top with your choice of food, then use the plunger to push it into a pouch. How great will it be to use these pouches to fill tortillas for lunch? I won’t have to buy jars and carry more than I need.  Also, with the cap each pouch weighs less than 10 grams (Score!).  My daughter even filled one with Nutella to prove that it works! (Double score!)

Another gift from my husband was a new iPod Nano. It weighs in at 1.1 ounces, holds 16 gigabytes, and can play up to 30 hours on a battery charge. This will let me listen to music, books and podcasts without using up the battery in my phone and weighs less than a backup battery charger.  He also is well aware of my color addiction – the iPod is just about the color of a flamingo.


My daughter and her husband also gave me an incredibly generous gift to make my husband feel a little more secure. Hopefully this will help those following, my journey from home. There has been a lot of discussion on Facebook and other sites on Spots and their reliability. However, I got a lot of info from the mom of a successful 2014 thru hiker.  She really felt it gave her peace of mind and shared the steps they took to make the Spot as effective as possible.


So for me there is motivation, nutrition and entertainment. And for my family, there is security.

As Christmas Day 2014 draws to a close, I wish a very “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Santa on the AT in Damascus.  Photo courtesy of

Santa on the AT in Damascus. Photo courtesy of

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Comments 1

  • gina : Apr 3rd

    Hi. Kate your blogs give me the courage I needed I will be sstarting in damaskus day after easter with my bad dog dalilia,I hope we cross paths please keep writing, I’m following.
    Gina. bearclaw


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