Gear, Check. Flight, Check. I’m Ready to Go

The last few months have flown by. All my training plans, blog plans, and general taking care of things have gone by the wayside, something which I just have to accept this final day home.

I did just take the obligatory gear picture:

And yes, I am missing a few items that I ordered in the U.S. (bear bag, trowel, bandana, sunglasses, Dirty Girl Gaiters) and no, I am not taking the gas canister (just for the picture impression).

This last day does feel filled with a little unease about having everything together, though: should I still make a pot cozy? Am I taking too many pills and first aid? Should I double-check my insurance? What papers should I print for the U.S. customs? Is everything organized enough in the house for my boyfriend?

Mostly I am getting a little scared about my body being prepared enough: my knee felt a little off while hiking in the city the other day. My lower back uncomfortableness is playing up again. My shoulder still feels tender. I did not do my “hiking a few times a week” training, but I did go to the gym, even though I know nothing prepares you enough for hiking as to go hiking.

Leaving my home, boyfriend, family, and friends behind does not feel real yet, since my mind is so singularly occupied with gear, leaving, and preparation. I did say goodbye to most people, but I know it will only hit me once I am there, that I am really planning to stay there for six months.

But you know what? In one hour I will shave off all my hair, all my gear is ready to get packed, and my plane is leaving in less than 24 hours. I am strong and ready to go! (I keep repeating to myself .)

P.S. I don’t know if it is going to be something I will be able to continue on the trail, but I did (or rather my bf) put together a little vlog of my last hiking trip in Holland. So if you are interested:

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Comments 10

  • "Creekside" : Feb 26th

    Hi Esther!

    I’m from the U.S. but of Dutch heritage.

    Welcome to the U.S. and I hope you enjoy your hike! ❤

    Best Regards,

    • Esther Burghouwt : Mar 5th

      Thank you! Enjoying it so far 🙂

  • Change : Feb 26th

    I successfully through-hiked the AT in ‘96. I think you’ll find after a few months that you’re not actually “conquering” (the word you use in your bio) the little mountains of the AT, you’re just kind of “riding them with your feet.”

    • Esther Burghouwt : Mar 5th

      Haha, that would be awesome if I’m going feel that way! Like riding waves 🙂

  • Cubana : Mar 2nd

    Hi Esther,

    I am from Lower Saxony, Germany, which is also very flat. But I achieved thru hiking the AT last year.
    Hiking up Springer, I was like :” Oh well, the hills I have back home are flat an nothing in comparison to that”.
    But you go girl! You got this, it is worth it.
    All the best!

    • Esther Burghouwt : Mar 5th

      So nice to hear from a fellow European that already finished the trail! I have to say, so far the mountains have not been that bad, so I’m pretty hopeful 🙂

  • Sara Unswirtb : Mar 2nd

    Good luck!! Will be following your progress, hopefully you’ll be able to blog at certain points- this is something I really want to do in the next few years so I’ll be watching your progress!

    • Esther Burghouwt : Mar 5th

      Knowing myself, I do need to make an effort, but will try to blog a few times on the trail! My Instagram will problaby be most active

  • Grey Eagle. (Tom Young) : Mar 2nd

    I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail as a 75 year old NOBO last year 2017; I am confident with your will power and experience, you’ll have no problem. Joined the 100’s of “Amazons” who were “hiking machines” out there last year. Good luck and enjoy the best of America.

    • Esther Burghouwt : Mar 5th

      Amazed at your achievement and I definitely hope I will join you and the other amazones 🙂


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