Welcome to My 2021 AT Hike
Welcome to the obligatory “Who am I” and “Why am I” post that proceeds all other posts. Now on to the nitty-gritty everyone (or maybe just me) has been waiting for.
Who am I:
My name is Christopher Armstrong, and I am a 41-year-old New Jersey native currently living in Rhode Island. I am finishing up a 24-year career in the Coast Guard in the spring of 2021. This will allow me time between careers to knock off this bucket list item. I am by no means an advanced or even experienced hiker. From 2005-2009, I did some day hiking on the AT when I was stationed in Washington, DC. In 2011, I even completed a week-long overnight hiking trip to Machu Picchu (glamping). However, outside of that, the woods and I do not get along. I prefer the creature comforts of home (TV, Xbox, refrigerator, indoor plumbing). This trail is going to test my limits on the way I live. Tantamount to say I live the lifestyle of an indoor cat.
Why am I Hiking:
This will be covered in a future post.
Goals for hiking:
It’s always a good thing to set some goals when starting anything new. It helps me focus on what is important and what needs to be accomplished to complete the task at hand.
- Don’t Die – This should be an automatic win for anyone. This is normally my first goal in anything I set out to do. It was the first goal during my first 1/2 marathon a few years back. With all the things in the woods trying to kill you (Bears, Ticks, Snakes, Giardi, Falling Trees, Bees, Steep Cliffs) this is a goal that needs to be my list.
- Try and forget about work – This is going to be one of the harder goals. Upon graduation from High School, I had only 1 week before I entered the Coast Guard. I am fortunate that I have had a steady job for 24 years straight. However, coming from a job that requires 24/7 availability for 24 years means that work follows you home every night. It will be a long transition before I can wake up and not have work be the first thing that pops into my head.
- Try and have fun – It’s tough for me to enjoy the moment a situation. I am constantly planning, evaluating the plan, and then re-planning when something doesn’t work out. Being able to let go in the moment and “smell the roses” is not something I do. I hope that blogging, uploading pictures to Instagram, etc., will help force me to focus on the “smelling the roses” factor instead of getting from point A to point B daily for six months straight.
- Finish – Again, it should be an automatic win for anyone. But the stats don’t lie. Only a certain percentage actually complete the AT in any given year.
Prep to Date:
I recommend checking out my gear list on this page and my Instagram page ( @chrisuscga01) with all the photos of my pre-hike preps. Most of the preps have focused more on gear acquisition vice training. I am hoping the latter doesn’t come back to bite me. I have spent a lot of time researching gear to help give me the best chance of completing the trail. There is a mix of lite gear as well as some creature comforts.
I am looking forward to blogging and getting on the trail.
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