Three Weeks Out, AKA Keeping It Together

Woof. The last month or so has been a blur, and this weekend is really the first opportunity I’ve had to sit down, collect my thoughts and put together some semblance of a coherent update. Here goes!

What’ve I been up to?

Finalizing the last of my gear and getting comfortable with it all.

Nothing says "cold weather gear" quite like hot pink shorts.

Nothing says winter preparedness quite like hot pink shorts.

I had some fun day hikes in the Catskills in January, which was a great opportunity to test out my hiking layers in -15F temps. Unrealistic for the AT? Yep. Totally worth it? Yep again.
My valiant Nemo tent pitched on top of a few feet of snow.

My valiant Nemo tent pitched on top of a few feet of snow.

I also owe a big thank you to the brands behind the Thru-hike Syndicate for some really pretty awesome gear. When I got my tent I had a hard time believing it was a double wall tent, it was so compact and light. I did pitch said tent last night in two feet of snow (yay New York), and rigged some interesting snow anchors to keep the lines taut. I also rediscovered just how much being cold at night sucks (the original discovery of said fact is a story for another time), so I’m supplementing my early-spring sleeping bag with my summer bag, which fits quite nicely inside it, and keeps me toasty warm at night. I’ll spare you the details, but if you’re curious, here’s my Lighter Pack. 


Who wouldn't want to ride off on one of these? Image from Wookiepedia.

Who wouldn’t want to ride off on one of these? Image from Wookiepedia.

Suffice to say there were at least a couple times in the last month where I had an overwhelming urge to just say fuck it, throw my worldly possessions into a bonfire, and ride off into the sunset on the back of a Bantha. Logistics are something I usually actually enjoy, but after a few months of coordinating possessions, dealing with a NYC landlord (yeah you try it sometime) to try to pass off my lease, and the great health care crisis of 2015, suffice to say I was ready to flip modern existence a double bird. Guess they call it the “trappings” of civilization for a reason. Glad to say I’ve (mostly) made it through that gauntlet at this point, and am now happily moved into my childhood bedroom, thanks to my parents and especially my mother who braved NYC traffic and lawless Bushwick to come get me and my stuff. Also a shout out to my wonderful roommates/friends for  putting up with my nonsense. Case and point: last week I told them how a co-worker had said I was being remarkably calm for being three weeks out from Springer, and they started laughing,  because they know “calm” is the last word they’d use.

Setting up my fundraising page.

You may remember my post late last year about hiking for charity. Well, the Crowdrise is finally up, and appropriately so, since today is International Women’ Day, and I’m hiking for global women’s rights. Please check it out here: Crowdrise: Hike for Women’s Rights. You can also check out the fb page and “like” it here: 2,200 Miles for Women’s Rights.


I love my job, and back in the summer I made the decision to work pretty much up until my flight to Georgia (up until two days before, in fact). Thaaat was probably not the best decision I’ve ever made, but I do think having to actively focus on my job has forced me to have a 9 hour time-period during which I have to not think about the trail, which is probably healthier. I’m taking a leave of absence for the 6 months that I’ll be hiking, so if anything, I’m really grateful that I have co-workers and an employer that understand my particular brand of crazy.

Planning food.

First week's food is a lovable mess.

First week’s food is a lovable mess.

I know what I like to eat when I backpack, but the calories just aren’t adding up to the 3,000-3,500 or so that everyone tells me I should have, and in my previous excursions I’ve definitely done my fair share of “burger hikes,” i.e. purposefully ending a backpacking trip somewhere I can eat a burger. I’m currently looking at 2,500 a day, but will be adding olive oil and cheese to the mix to see how far that takes me. Luckily food is something that’s easy to adjust over time, so I’m not sweating over it too much.

My very own custom trail mix. Needless to say there are a LOT of M&Ms.

I did have a really  cool company called, owned by a lovely couple in Texas, contact me out of the blue about trying out their service, and I was more than excited to oblige! is a site that lets you make a custom trail mix out of nuts, seeds, fruit, crunchies, and sweets (my favorite). They differentiate organic and non-organic ingredients, and you can even choose the percentages of each ingredient in the mix. This is perfect for me, because my previous experiences hiking have put me off store-bought trail mix, mostly because I’m sick of peanuts (and peanut butter, and oatmeal, but we won’t get into it). Through TrailMyx I made a mix of various types of chocolate, dried fruit, and almonds, and have been happily munching away at it this weekend while getting my act together.They have dried blueberries and chocolate covered espresso beans. What more could you possibly want?? Definitely check them out!

That’s all for now folks, thanks for reading! Three weeks left and counting…Yeep!



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