So Much Shopping: A Journal Entry

February 15th, 2015

My friend L and I visited REI today to get her fitted for a pack and check out some gear for a volunteer program she recently got into. In my head I had to keep repeating to myself “I love my gear, I have everything I need,” while looking at all the shiny new gear for sale. I did buy some dry milk and freeze dried veggies which were on sale, as well as some velcro straps to attach my sleeping pad to my bag.

I thought it was funny how L was looking at packs 65L and over while my own pack is only 40L, of course L’s going to have to carry all her gear plus tools she’ll need for the trail maintenance she’ll be doing and her priority for gear is more cheap than compressible. We did get a bag for her that day, a Columbia 35 degree bag that uses a synthetic/space blanket hybrid that she loved. We ended up spending 4 hours in REI but spent at least and hour just sitting around admiring the camp chairs. They had a really cool one called the Alite Monarch Butterfly Chair which cuts weight and adds cool factor by being a chair you have to have good balance to get in. L thinks I should get it for my trip but at this point I can’t waste the money or the weight on it despite how much I like it. Maybe if I see it at the next gear sale I’ll get it…




February 17th, 2015

My 2015 NOBO AT Guide arrived today! I sat around for 3 hours, waiting for the mail to arrive and worrying that it wouldn’t come today because of the weather but thanks to the dedicated mail people I am now comparing last years book to this years. I’m very excited to plan out all my mail drops with accuracy now! I thought doing gear research was a headache but planning mail drops and meal plans is a migraine. I’ve narrowed down my dinner options and drawn up a few meal plans where I get at least 3,000 calories a day but picking my snacks is harder than I thought! The options are endless, I’m definitely going to include some type of trail mix, a Little Debbie Cake option and sunflower seeds (yum) but I’m not sure what else. My friend D and I have been discussing some trips we could do over a couple days during spring break, we are considering a few places and I’m excited to do another gear shakedown!

February 24th, 2015

I went out and bought a dehydrator tonight! Currently sitting at home, watching movies and testing out the dehydrator on the persimmons I bought yesterday. I bought this dehydrator from Walmart for only 40 dollars! While I was there I also picked up 5 boxes of Little Debbie Zebra Cakes, 4 boxes of the Swiss Rolls, Pumpkin Spice Poptarts, and Instant Grits. Upon seeing my basket of junk food, my sister promptly made her disgust known and told me that if I didn’t eat healthier on this trip she might never be able to call me a sister again. Then she asked me if she could borrow 5 bucks. Lovely things sisters, right? While junk food will be a big part of my diet on the trail, I also plan on incorporating lots of nuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruits and veggies, and dinners that are more than just Ramen. Hopefully she’ll find it in her heart not to disown me.

Febru- March (!) 2nd, 2015

It’s officially March but it seems no one has deigned to tell the weather! Over the weekend I picked up more food (Ramen, Couscous, almonds, peanut butter, etc.) and went to another gear sale with L. We woke up at 4 am to be sure we were the first in line this time, but of course we were not. We ended up being 11th and 12th in line but at least we were in the first group to go in! Apparently the first people in line had arrived at 10:30 the previous night, I told L that I thought eventually all this early bird stuff would escalate so far that people would be camping out in front of REI for weeks before the gear sale! After waiting 3 hours we finally got our golden tickets to warmth and discount gear! The sale was a little anti-climatic to be honest, not much gear as there was last time, but L and I still managed to get some good finds! L got a great deal on a tent, one small rip in the rain fly and it was marked down from 219 dollars to 32! She also found herself some hiking boots and a rain coat. I made out with a mummy liner, a poncho and (wait for it) the butterfly chair! The color is ugly as sin but L figures if I’m sitting in it I won’t have to look at it so the color doesn’t matter. L also came over today and started helping me to prepare my resupply boxes. I’ve decided to make my own trail mix out of roasted almonds (238 cal/quarter cup), sweetened coconut flakes (140 cal/quarter cup) and dark chocolate covered coffee beans (220 cal/quarter cup), yum yum! After about 3 hours of work we only had about 3 boxes sorted out but hey its better than nothing.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?