What is Working So Far

I’m starting a long five day break from the trail. I feel both good and bad about doing it. Of course, having time to spend with my family will be incredible and my body could use some rest after getting in 660 miles so far. But at the same time, I know it’s gonna be hard to go back out and get started again after the break.

I mentioned earlier I would talk a little bit about what’s worked well for me and what hasn’t so far. Overall, the equipment I brought was pretty spot on. My biggest change was switching out the inflatable pad to a closed cell foam one. Being a side sleeper I didn’t think I would like it as much, but I love how quiet it is and how I don’t slide around. It’s also incredibly easy to set up. It was a good move to switch to it after all.

I also started carrying a wind jacket which is so versatile when paired with a super lightweight fleece. That combination works better than having a heavier fleece jacket by itself. 

Another change of sorts I’ve made is more stays at hostels than I expected. You typically get a lot of support for not a lot of money. Plus the camaraderie at the stays and the good advice is invaluable. It really has made the Appalachian Trail experience so much more positive for me.

It’s about to turn May as I write this and I’m into Virginia by a few few weeks so the weather is really improving. I’m making the move to shorts, a sun hoodie, and a lighter weight quilt. I sure hope I’m not being overly optimistic about the weather and get hit by a cold spell. Fingers crossed.

Not much else to report at the moment. My biggest advice to my fellow through hikers is to listen to your body, rest often, eat lots of good, healthy food, and spend as much time with the community as you can. The time flies by and will be over before you know it.

Let me know if there are any specific questions that I can help with. I’m happy to share my experience. The time off has been good for me and went by so quickly. Back to the trail soon, but I hope to do another such break around the midpoint at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Napping with Alice

Relaxing with Hounds

Getting Ready


Wife, Granddaughter and Soccer

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Comments 6

  • JOE FOGARTY : May 11th

    Rest is an important thing to do. It is not doing nothing. The adventure continues and I am cheering you on Jeff (and the dogs)!

  • Dan Helfrich : May 12th

    Thanks for the tips that will come in handy for a 60ish summit junkie. I’m researching cooking equipment. Which is to ask, basically, how do you feel about your water boiling system and have you found out anything from being on the trail for so long with it? TIA!

    • Jeff McCorkle : May 12th

      I love the MSR Pocket Rocket 2. I ended up switching to the 750 ml titanium pot and that’s worked well for me since I really just bring water to the edge of boiling. My breakfast has been two oatmeal packets with a coronation instant breakfast drink, preceded and succeeded by a cuppa coffee. Dinner typically is something with rice and beans or Ramen and olive oil both of which just required getting the water to the edge of boiling. If you plan on doing cooking, I would probably go aluminum because of the heat distribution, but if you’re just going to heat water and do something quick like I do then my set up is super light and effective.

      • Dan Helfrich : May 16th

        You’re so efficient with your cooking that it makes sense you can cover so much ground most days.

  • Jeffrey McCorkle : May 16th

    Much appreciated Dan! Many are much more efficient than I and drink their breakfast only. I like a cuppa coffee, then my oatmeal and then another cuppa coffee in the morning. Recently, I’ve switched to dehydrated beans from Amazon as my protein source, which has worked well when mixed with Ramen noodles or rice. Happy trails!

  • Kate Flynn : May 17th

    Jeff, I am loving keeping up with journey! Your pictures are beautiful and I am so happy to hear how much you are enjoying this experience. Thank you for bringing us all along with you on the trail!


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