What if? My Response to Your Silly Questions.
In March my boyfriend Bryan Conley (who also writes for www. thetrek.co) and I will be making our way down to Georgia to start hiking the Appalachian Trail this year. When I first decided to hike the Appalachian Trail I couldn’t wait to tell everyone around me. I have been backpacking all over. However, this is not only my biggest adventure yet, but it’s the first time I will be keeping a blog going during my journey.Throughout the past couple months I found myself being asked a lot of “What if…?” questions when talking about my upcoming hike. As an experienced backpacker there is not a whole lot that can throw me for a loop when I’m out in the backcountry. Here are some of my favorite “What if…?” questions I have answered.
Question 1: What if it rains?
When you are in the backcountry and it starts to rain, believe it or not, you get wet. If you are outside then you better prepare to adapt to the weather. Layers are always important and it is always nice to have waterproof gear. My shoes, a cover for my backpack, rain suit, phone case and even dry sacks for my belongings are all waterproofed. Even when I’m fully prepared, I still get wet. You just learn to live with it.
Question 2: What if you run out of food?
If I ran out of food I would try to get primitive with it and stone a small animal to death so I can make it into a meal. If that doesn’t work I’ll just eat my arm off. Or, I could just make sure I have enough food packed into my bag between hitting towns every couple days. If something happens to that food I will probably just steal my boyfriends food from his bag. He likes to share. Worse case scenario, we don’t eat for a couple days before we hit a town again.
Question 3: What if you get hurt?
Are you threatening me? Oh, you mean on the trail? I will probably have cell service so I could either call my family to say my goodbyes while I still had the chance, or call a hospital to come pick my clumsy ass up. If I don’t have service I could always make my boyfriend Bryan carry me to safety. There is no doubt in my mind I will get hurt. I’m a klutz, getting hurt is something I’ve already adapted to. I plan ahead for my mishaps by getting insurance and a first aid kit. It also never hurts to make sure someone always knows where you’re at along your hike.
Question 4: What if you run into a bear?
I was adopted by two gay men, they’ve taught me plenty about bears. You’re suppose to wave your sticks at them. Yell at the top of your lungs. Even pull some hair if you need to. I believe the same applies for the animal too. The pulling the hair part might be a personal preference, so make sure to get a good reading of your bear before proceeding.
Question 5: What if you get tired?
The Appalachian Trail is from Georgia to Maine. Or vise versa depending on whether you’re a north-bounder or a south-bounder. The whole trail is roughly 2,200 miles. No shit, I’m obviously going to get tired. I’m not super woman. I know what I’m signing up for. I roughly have five months to complete the trail. If I get tired I will just stop, catch my breath, and continue walking when I am ready. I’m in no hurry.
Backpacking is my passion. Sure things will get a little rough along the way, but it comes with being outdoors. The weather is never perfect and the terrain can be relentless. Every inch of you will ache, and don’t even get me started on how uncomfortable it is to pee out in nature as a girl. All the pain and rough elements aside, the things I have seen, words will never explain the beauty of it all. Even at natures worst, she is absolutely breath taking. The view is always worth the storm you weathered through to get there.
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You’re hilarious, I look forward to reading more!
Thanks so much Liz! I see you’re hiking this year also! Hopefully we will meet along the way.
I hope so, too! I’ve been seeing some awesome pictures on your instagram lately! Are you NOBO?
Thanks. I have really gotten into photography lately and I am excited to start documenting my trip on Instagram. I am a north boundar. Hoping to hit the trail around March 20th. What about you Liz? What day are you thinking you are going start?
I’m very excited as well! I’m going to be flip-flopping, leaving from Harper’s Ferry on May 2nd. That’s the plan anyway lol. You should be able to catch up to me with no problem 🙂