Georgia (part 2 of 2): Love homemade shepherds pie? Try this! It’s not as good.

It’s not bad though honestly. I remember by the end of Georgia really getting stubborn about not needing to do dishes, well dish, but still. So combining knorrs or instant mashed potatoes to an entree that had its own envelope has been working for me. You can also cook them in their own packets if you need to. Carefully cooking oatmeal in their own packets has kept the pot clean too.

Some other habits that made my life easier in Georgia were more unique to me. To be clear these worked for me with the exact conditions I had, but I am always advocating safety first. That being said, I didn’t carry water in Georgia at all and I didn’t bring pants for a mid February start. Hear me out.. I happened to arrive after days and days of downpour and there was water flowing from everywhere. I also looked ahead every morning of FarOut. Not carrying the 2.2lbs per liter was nice in this particular scenario. Carrying one liter just in case would have been a solid strategy as well.

So I didn’t bring pants because I’m guaranteed not to chafe in my shorts and didn’t want the pack weight knowing I wouldn’t hike in them. I will say that back in Georgia there were more hikers and on two different nights at camp I went to bed for warmth while others sat around and smoked and joked. So I wasn’t considering the camping aspect, only the backpacking aspect. It’s worth considering that we spend more time at camp than we do hiking over the course of a thru hike. I’m a “purist” in that I’m not going to skip any small piece of the trail because I want to experience every step of the AT. Not missing out on anything at camp is also something I’m learning in real time.

Hands down the most fun I had in Georgia was socializing with other hikers at Around the Bend Hiker Hostel. It was only 0.5 mile off trail and has a resupply/gear store too.

You might have seen this place on YouTube if you’ve been researching for your upcoming adventure. Can’t say enough good things about them, so hospitable and so prepared for what we need. Phenomenal breakfast in the morning and I had a great group of hikers there that night, including the last three south bounders from ‘23. Congrats Hungry Bird!

Here’s what Georgia looked like day by day from where I left off in part one:

night 6: a nice 6 mile day to Around the Bend Hostel right off trail at mile 69

night 7: crossed into NC and made camp at Standing Indian mile 86

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