Sweating the small stuff

I’ve struggled with what to write since my last post. There’s so many things I could write about, but they either seem like things that others have already written about better than I ever could, or things that just aren’t that interesting or relevant to the Appalachian Trial community. That’s a bit how I’m feeling about my thru-hike at the moment…a little disorganized and overwhelmed.

I’m a major fan of lists. I will definitely forget things if I don’t have a list. So I’ve made lots of lists for the trail – why I want to hike, gear, budget, pre-hike life stuff I need to take care of, such as figuring out where we’re going to store our stuff for 6+ months, etc, etc. The problem I am having is that none of my lists are compete. I don’t love loose ends, and it feels like there’s so many! Most of them are simple, like what kind of socks I am going to make a final decision on, but others are bigger – what are we going to do about health insurance?

A sampling of items on the "to-do" list

A sampling of items on the “to-do” list

I have read and found “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” a very useful book, but sometimes hard to implement. I’ve been preparing for thru-hiking for a long time, and REALLY don’t want to fail, and for some reason not being organized makes me a little afraid that I will fail. A lot of people are asking about the detail of my hike – what are we going to eat? How often are we going to resupply? What are we doing with our car? How are we getting to the trailhead? I have answers to some of those questions, but every question I don’t have the answer to makes me feel a little panicked.

I’m so grateful to be a part of the Appalachian Trials community so I can see what other hikers are doing about all the details of planning and executing a thru-hike, and put all this “small stuff” into perspective when I start to spiral into a minor panic about something. Everyone figures out what works for them, and sometimes you figure it out along the way. I just have to remember, that’s part of the adventure!

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Comments 6

  • Nichole Young : Jan 15th

    Hang in there – it seems like you won’t get everything done but a little bit at a time goes a long way! Maybe tackle the biggest things first to get some momentum going? Good luck!

    • Mischa Egolf : Jan 20th

      Thanks Nichole! You’re so right, I just need to remember to tackle one task at a time 🙂

  • Terry Gandy : Jan 16th

    Hey, Mischa, sometimes you just have to throw the list away and hit the trail. Luckily, there will be plenty of places to pick up anything you might have left behind. However, if you’re like me, it’s more likely you’ll be sending stuff home, lol!

    Good luck and I hope I see you guys on the Trail.

    BTW, I know a Michi who pronounces her name the same as you.

    • Mischa Egolf : Jan 20th

      Terryy, that’s so interesting about your friend! I love hearing how people pronounce their name that’s similar to mine. I hear a lot of “Meee-sha”‘s…

      Great point about picking stuff up and leaving it behind. It’s easy to start thinking we’re going to be isolated in the wilderness, when the reality is that there will be plenty of places to switch things up. Hope to see you on the Trail as well! When are you starting?

  • Ashley : Jan 21st

    Hey! My husband and I are thru-hiking the AT this year as well. I totally understand where you are coming from, as a lover of lists and organization myself! I’m getting pretty overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done in the next month and a half before we leave! We’re starting March 14. When are you and Caleb starting? Good luck with the to-do list! Hope to see you on the trail 🙂

    • Mischa Egolf : Jan 26th

      Hey Ashley! I’m glad I’m not alone in my freaking-out ness! Our start date is March 8, so we could definitely cross paths. We are probably going to be pretty slow, at least in the beginning! Hope to see you out there ?


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