Progress? We’ll See.


Preparation seems to be in slow motion, we’ve now shifted to getting prepared mentally to hike the Appalachian Trail.  Packages have slowed their appearances at our doorsteps. Excitement is still with us but has turned to serious planning.  Looking back at past posts I can see how we’ve grown in knowledge for the better.  The first “Will We Flip or Flop” was just insight for everyone including (especially) myself of why I became interested in actually hiking The Appalachian Trail rather than dreaming about it.  It’s all about taking that first step.  Just saying our intent was the first step in making it real.  “We’re Ready For Our Hike Now”, the second post was basically coming to grips with the reality of the journey. Things like personal hygiene, practices of leave no trace and deciding what type of hike would be the best for us.  I’m pretty positive that reality is not by any means finished with me.  I think highly of the comforts of home.  I’m betting that my desire for the adventure is going to win out.  The third post “The Difficulties of Water” shows me now just how naive I was.  Too much worrying about the problem all together.  Thus, the last post “BAMA BLUE BLAZE”,  that adventure was the best training we could have done for ourselves.  For one thing, it was proof that finding and filtering enough water is NOT difficult.  Mostly though, it made us realize that our journey is doable.

Ahhhh changes…

 I took the advice of Jeanne Church concerning water AND have now figured out and made a cozy to “cook” our food in Ziploc bags the way she explained she and Mel did. Easy-peezy and less weight.


Cozy for cooking / Ziploc inside

Speaking of weight, we have a duelist cook set but now with modifications it is leaner and meaner.  Larry still wants coffee so I kept the pot, 2 cups with lids and one bowl to set the zip bag in.  From the cookset I’m leaving one bowl, the lid to the pot and the wash basin container it’s packed in at home.  Minus more weight every ounce counts.

I got rid of the top “brain” of my backpack. There is still plenty of room in it for what I need.  The trowel, swapping it for a tent stake. All kinds of changes er shake down lessons learned.

Technology weighed 2lbs 6 oz. changed that for an updated iPhone that will do it all and weighs 13ozs.

Tec stuff before change

Tec stuff before change

Tec stuff after

Tec stuff after

Our sleeping bags were not bad but a little on the heavy side.  They were not very expensive so we went for newer ultra light quilts. Love the new quilts

much more adaptable and weighs 22ozs. My pack weighed 29 to 30 pounds at the start of our shake down.  I have my load down to 23 pounds and that includes 4 days of food and 2 liters of water.

We’ve continued to section hike the Pinhoti Trail with only day packs.  So far we’ve been able to hike up to a 12.6 mile day getting a late start and making it out of the woods with rest stops in 6 hours.
The next section of the trail that we’ve planned to hike is classified as difficult and is 11.3 miles in length.  Seems like this maybe an opportunity to do another shake down.

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Comments 3

  • Jeanne : Nov 22nd

    Sounds like you are making great progress towards lighter packs! It will make a huge difference.

    • Brenda Whaley : Nov 22nd

      We are Jeanne, but I’ll probably have something I’ve forgotten to add. It really helps that Larry is carring the tent.

    • Brenda Whaley : Nov 22nd

      We are Jeanne, but I’ll probably have something I’ve forgotten to add. It really helps that Larry is carrying the tent.


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