Shakedown – why am I being a weenie?

No Fear?

It is without fear or hesitation that I began planning my 2016 thru hike over a year ago. Questions of “You are going into the woods, unarmed, ALONE for 6 months- are you NUTS?!?!?” have been met with a shrug and a reply of “Yup…I’m doing this.” I have read every book I can get my hands on (Currently reading “The Barefoot Sisters- Southbound”) and have stalked Facebook pages and blogs of those like Nacho Libre (Aka Chris Boss), Appalachian Trials, AWOL, and as many forums as I can find online and in print. I have been testing and trading my current camping set up with lighter, more wet-weather resistant gear (my current BFF’s are REI and Amazon Prime). I have also been making the people in my life a little crazy with the AT being the most top of mind topic on my brain (just ask my summer roommate who I drug out on a 2 hour detour so that we could see a blaze)… At one point I considered selling my condo if I had to in order to make the hike a reality… I am ready for this-I am doing this- I think…

Now, with my highly anticipated attempt at a thru hike less than 6 months away, it is time for my 1st shakedown. Actually, I have been trying to get a shakedown in since July, but every time I go to pull the trigger “something” comes up. It has been excuse after excuse. I just cant seem to get out there to shake it down. In speaking with an acquaintance with far greater hiking experience than me, he asked the question as to why I think I am stuck with this part of my planning… my top of mind response “I’m just being a pussy”. Why is it that I have no qualms about entering an unfamiliar wilderness for 6 months but I can’t seem to get past a 3 day hike in wilderness close to home? Maybe it is the knowledge that I will be largely “in the bubble” for at least the 1st part of my hike so I won’t really be “alone”? Maybe I’m getting cold feet about the hike in general? Maybe I AM just being a big weenie and need to get out there and do this…

I have a shakedown planned for this weekend and could probably find 100 reasons to back out- the weather is probably going to be in the 40’s and rainy where I am planning to hike; I do not have ALL of my gear traded out (I want to test what I have to see if I can make due or if I will have to change more things out); I have a party I’m invited to Saturday night and may be too tired on Sunday; etc, etc, etc… it is time to see if my determination outweighs the “weenie” factor… Time to woman up…

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Comments 3

  • Scrappy Malloy : Oct 19th

    Go simple. Go solo. Go now.

  • Amy McLain : Oct 20th

    I’m having the same problem. All of a sudden I start getting the jitters just thinking about it. I’d love to hear how it goes.

  • Stephen Disney : Oct 20th

    It will be great out there.


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