Less Than a Month to Go

Less Than a Month to Go

This is my first post from my kindle. I’ll be typing my posts on this and using my phone to add pictures. Hopefully, it works out well. I suspect there will be typos all over the place. This is a pretty short post.

The Dream Taking Shape

It’s finally getting close to trail time. With under 30 days until I start on the AT, everything is coming together. My fitness is increasing thanks to the fieldwork in AZ. Brendan has gotten over into his new apartment in the bay area. I get to visit him for a week before flying to Denver to drive to Jacksonville. I passed my PE exam and will be working to get the license once I complete the AT. It is all coming together.


As expected, working in the field is really pushing my fitness and helping me prepare. I had to get new work boots. Breaking them in has already helped me work out the best blister treatment: Leukotape and sock liners. That was exactly what I expected to use too!! I’ve done some hiking in Arizona now (pics related) and can tell I’ll be ready come April 17.

My mental health has never been higher. I have been doing phenomenally since I started meditating. My work offers the Calm app which has been great.

Unfortunately, I have recently sustained an injury. I mention it at the bottom of the post. This injury occurred after I wrote this draft and added it last minute.

Starting the AT

As it stands now, on 4/16, my dad will drive me to Augusta, GA and drop me off at Cody and Kim’s house. Later that day we will drive to ATL to pick up Shannahan from the airport and perhaps see Alex and Sydney for dinner. Then we start the trek up to the approach trail and stay at the lodge or hotel. Then the next day we start the hike. Right now it looks like I’ll have a good party of close friends join me for the start.

Shannahan is set to join me for the first two weeks which will be fun. His brother thru-hiked the PCT a few years ago. His family is good people.

Food on the AT

Right now I’ve been looking at ideal food choices for the trail.


  • Oatmeal. I’m not sure if I’d want to cook first thing, but I would just need to boil water and add it to an instant oatmeal pack so shouldn’t be too hard.
  • Tea
  • Poptarts


  • One that looked really promising is peanut butter and honey with some dried fruit wrapped in a tortilla.
  • General granola bars or jerky.
  • Tuna packets
  • Anything else that can be eaten fast without cooking.


This will likely depend on where I’ve been able to resupply. If possible, I’ll be getting salads in for the fiber and fresh food whenever I can. Other times it’ll likely be noodles and tuna and the like. I suspect I’ll be eating a lot of the same old same old as I’m hiking.


Getting water on the AT isn’t terribly difficult compared to its contemporaries. The PCT and CDT both have long dessert sections. That being said, collecting safe water is critical. I will be using a Sawer Water filter as well as iodine tablets.

To ensure I always have enough water, I will be carrying a 2-liter water bladder as well as a 1-liter bottle. Most of the time I will not be filling these containers full depending on how the upcoming miles ‘ water sources are.

Gear Change

I’ll now be using the Nemo Disco 15 sleeping bag. It’s so freaking comfy. I’ve used it for a few nights in my apartment and love it.

My First Setback

I’ve also had my first setback. While working I have suffered a lower back strain that is keeping me from work for a couple of days at least. This injury is really making me worry about the potential for it to linger into my hike or even force me to make changes to my plans. As it stands, my back is recovering well. It’s painful but it’s healing. Ideally, this will heal by the end of this week.

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Comments 2

  • Lance A Goehring : Mar 22nd

    If I didn’t know better, David, those are pictures from South Mountain in Phoenix? That’s my ‘hood. Good luck on the AT! I’m starting the PCT almost exactly a month from now.

    • David : Mar 22nd

      Well you’d be correct. Those pictures are indeed from there.


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