Holy $#!¿, I’m Really Doing This!

I’m lying here in my bed at Hiker Hostel after sitting in my car for about a seven hour drive to Georgia. My dog was in the back seat and I had a friend drive down with me. He’s taking the car back to Kentucky and will keep an eye on it for me while I’m gone. 

My thru-hike is finally becoming a reality in the ridiculously near future, tomorrow morning I will set my first ever boot print on the AT. I’ve been intentionally preparing for this for a little over a year now and am ready to do the thing!

So where do I go with my first official thru-hike blog?

I had considered copying so many others and showing the world my gear choices that I will be starting with. Last year I would have started my hike off with that blog. One of the problems with those that I’ve noticed are the critics that compare what you have to what they think you should have because it worked for them.

F that! Hike your own hike your own way right? There are know-it-alls everywhere and I prefer the silent ones. That being said, I do have complete respect for the professionals in this line of adventure and I do welcome their advice, but sometimes you just need to be stubborn like me and learn for yourself what works and doesn’t work for you. Everyone has a different setup based on their personal preferences. If you’re interested in a particular piece of gear ask about it and read reviews. That is how I came to the gear I’m starting with and the gear I will be swapping out as the temperatures increase.

My starting pack, fully loaded the night before departure.

So yeah, I was originally supposed to be a 2016 thru-hiker…

It is pretty amazing what a year delay can teach you. I won’t go into the details of the delay, but during that time I had the opportunity to upgrade gear, replace items and get rid of crap that I realized I didn’t need. I already know that I will get rid of more stuff as my hike goes along, especially since I’m starting in early winter, and as I gain miles I will replace stuff as it wears out, all to be expected, yeah?

Be patient.

One of the biggest lessons I learned over this past year was patience. I was supposed to depart in March 2016 and I was shooting to complete the trail in about 4 months, I was in a rush because I thought I needed to be so I could get back to my lame suburban life back in Kentucky. I honestly don’t care how long it takes now, I’m not trying to set a record, and I no longer have a brick and mortar home to come back to. I’m just going on a very long walk with my dog and I’m going to enjoy it.

Maybe I’ll talk a little about gear.

A little over a year ago I was looking at tents, but now I’m a hanger and I built all my own gear for it – apart from the mummy bag that I use as my winter top quilt. I’ve been expirementing with my tarp, which the ends close on, and I can set it up on the ground with my trekking poles to support the ridge if I need to when there may not be a set of trees around.

Luxury items.

I’m bringing along a sketchbook and graphite so I can sit down and just draw if I feel like it. I might draw pictures of a landscape if it catches my eye or maybe other hikers sitting around a campfire telling the tales of past adventures. All I know is that this will be part of this journey that I have been driven to take.

I will definitely take a lot of pictures, mostly of nature but the occasional selfie will probably happen. I’ve got a set of lenses for my Galaxy S7 (macro, fisheye and wide angle), so there will be some good photos and maybe short videos. I’ve also brought along a battery backup, I figure it will be needed with all the camera use my phone will experience.

Well, I guess that wraps up this first blog, follow me along on this adventure. Hopefully I don’t get a stomach bug and shit my pants, but as with every other obstacle on this journey, if I do, I will keep on walking, after I clean myself up.

Oh yeah! Flat Stanley says hello!!!

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Comments 2

  • Avatar
    Janet Dunlap : Feb 6th

    Tiffany, I hope you and your sidekick have an awesome journey. I’ll be on the trail as well leaving March from Springer.
    Gypsy J

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Karen : Feb 6th

    Hi Tiffany…I am so envious of you and wish you all the best. It’s sure to be an adventure. Stay strong and make the best of it. I wondered if you knew about this…Specifically, on the AT, Baxter State Park, Bear Mountain State Park Trailside Museum, and the Smokies are places that disallow furry friends.

    Reply

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