Our Gear-ly Departed: AT Update #2
Hi friends, it’s me, your favorite thru-hiker and personal idol, Katie aka Voodoo Princess!! I officially hit 50 miles on trail yesterday! 8 days of hiking (7 actually on the AT + 1 day of the approach trail). This taking it slow thing has been very tedious and annoying, but at the end of the day if it’s going to help prevent injuries in the long term (and I came out here with a foot issue, so I need all the help I can get in that regard) then I’m sure it’ll be worth it. I am itching to get my miles up and GTFO of Georgia though.
I started out the trail with too much food, so my pack was sitting between 40-45 lbs last week. I sent home a few items at the last town we went into, including an extra pair of socks, extra pair of thermal pants, 2 extra sports bras, an extra charger, under armor jacket, hiking pants that were too big anyway (going with shorts with either thermal leggings or compression shorts underneath), and a pair of compression shorts. So now my complete wardrobe consists of the following:
1 Merino Wool long sleeve (debating on keeping this with me or not)
2 pairs of thermal pants (one for camp, one for hiking)
1 thermal shirt (for camp)
1 puffy jacket
1 rain jacket
1 bucket hat (frog hat)
1 pair of sunglasses
1 head/neck gaiter
1 pair of athletic shorts
1 columbia hiking shirt
1 very old under armor sports bra
1 pair of injinji sock liners
2 pairs of Bombas hiking socks
1 pair of camp socks
1 lightweight dry fit t-shirt
I also sent home my lotion and deodorant, which I’m still wondering why I thought to bring in the first place. The lotion was nice when I got sunburnt on day 4, but totally unnecessary. I never even bothered to put the deodorant on even once, so I just sent it home. It wasn’t going to cover up how bad I smell after days of hiking and sleeping outside in the same clothes with no shower anyway.
I had my first major mishap at our first campsite without a bear box a few days ago. In Yellowstone, I’ve either had a bear can or hung up my food on a bear pole. I didn’t want to bring my bear can because it limits the food I can pack and adds nearly 2 lbs of weight. When it comes to hanging a bear bag, I was taught to tie the cord around a tree, so I was just taught the PCT hang that they recommend out here literally a few days ago back at Amicalola Falls State Park by a ridgerunner. Well, I had it down perfectly then, but then my first time trying to do it in practice over a week later didn’t go well and I ended up losing my favorite carabiner (it was actually brand new so I hadn’t had a chance to really get to know it yet, but it was a pretty color) in a tree while stealth camping at Hogpen Gap. I also had to cut my cord to get it out of the tree, so I sent that home too (it was too long and too heavy anyway, but it’s what I already had so I was hoping to make it work and not spend extra money). They say “the trail provides” and they really mean it, as at our next shelter a hiker had quit and left a bunch of stuff behind (which I’m on the fence about because that was not very “leave no trace” of him, but I also got replacement bear hang stuff, a free can of gas, and a yeti cup (that I mailed home because it was heavy) so I can’t be too upset with him. So, basically, next time I need to do a bear hang the PCT way, I’m gonna have Spin or someone else show me how it’s done again before I lose another carabiner.
Hmm…What else is up? I’ve been hiking with a pool noodle on my pack for a few days now for a classified reason (not really, I cut part of it off and used it as padding on my pack) and it’s generated many conversations. We had a really fun time at Neels Gap, and I liked the climb over Blood Mountain. I still have that one little blister, all wrapped up in Leukotape. I’m feeling a lot stronger than I did last week, and my pack is feeling lighter (it was between 35-45 lbs every opportunity to got to weigh it last week), and I’m definitely ready to do some bigger mileage days – not sure what the group is wanting to do, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be with them :(. In other news, I currently being asked to pierce a guy’s ears in a motel room in Hiawassee, GA, despite the fact that I specifically said I wasn’t going to be the one to do it. I hate blood and stabbing people (you know, on principle); there is reason I’m a dietitian and not a nurse, so wish me luck I can get out of doing this!!!
Until next time – happy trails!
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