What I Changed Halfway
The halfway point was a good opportunity to reassess what I was wearing and carrying in my pack.
The Altra Lone Peak trail runners served Me very well for 948 miles but it was time to put them to rest. I opted to stick with ultra but change to the Olympus for the thicker soul knowing the notoriously rocky Pennsylvania section was coming up. Having just completed PA I can say it was a wise choice.
Comfort Hiking vs. Comfort at Camp
Given the choice between weight in my pack, which correlates to pain in the back, and comfort sleeping, I chose lighter pack. So I sent home my wonderfully comfortable Big Agnes sleeping pad (it was also hella noisy to sleep on) and the accompanying puff bag. I switched to the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol foam pad. It has been an adjustment to say the least but I am generally so tired at night it has not been a hardship. Added benefit of easy set up and break down…just unfold.
Cold soaking breakfast oatmeal, granola, and dried fruit; instant coffee with Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks; cold soak noodles or rice dinners…who needs a stove? After a test period and some very hot days I made the and move of sending my Jetboil stove home. Less weight and more room in my pack plus no more worrying if my gas canister has enough fuel until the next re-supply.
I am careful not to focus too much on the weight loss that has happened on the trail. I understand that it is important to feed my body the needed calories and nutrition for strength and endurance. The change in my body has been significant resulting in the need for new smaller clothes. if I was not wearing it at least twice a week it got sent home including my rain pants. I sent home my puffy jacket in exchange for my fleece. Base layers sent home for lightweight sleep wear.
All the changes have resulted in a lighter pack base weight- best guess is 15 lbs! However, I started carrying more food and real food like apples, peanut butter, tortillas as I supplemented my resupply boxes from home with grocery store runs. I added a bug net and spray, luckily have not used it yet.
So it is that I am heading into New Jersey packed light, tight and feeling out of sight!😀
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