David Smith

My name is David AKA Wazo. I'm a planning 2021 AZT thru-hike starting in late September. This plan materialized after having to undergo some major abdominal surgery in May which forced me to cancel my plans to do a thru-hike of the PCT. I like to bike, hike, backpack, and read. I live in Central Phoenix. Every morning I get up to watch the sun come up with my little 16 pound dog, Louie, from our perch 22 floors above the city.

Posts

Plan B – SOBO on the AZT

Plan B – SOBO on the AZT

Goodbye 2021 PCT Thru-Hike, Hello Operating Room One of the harder phone calls of my life was calling the PCTA to turn in my 2021 PCT thru-hiking

Jul 24, 2021 : David Smith
All Systems Go and How I Became Wazo

All Systems Go and How I Became Wazo

The past few weeks have been horribly stressful.  I was found to have an “unusual” cyst or something in my pancreas that was concerning for

Mar 4, 2021 : David Smith
When Life F*cks with Your Thru-Hiking Plans

When Life F*cks with Your Thru-Hiking Plans

In what now seems like a lifetime ago but actually was just several weeks ago, I gleefully wrote about my bicoastal backpacking plans for 2021.  Five

Feb 18, 2021 : David Smith
Health and Safety – Things Every Backpacker Should Consider

Health and Safety – Things Every Backpacker Should Consider

So I rarely make posts and list my educational and professional credentials even when I see some of the most ridiculous posts about medical issues in

Feb 9, 2021 : David Smith
Flying with Backpacking Gear

Flying with Backpacking Gear

Many thru-hikers fly to a local airport before they start out on the trail.  Some NOBOers on the PCT fly to San Diego.  Many AT thru-hikers fly to

Jan 21, 2021 : David Smith
My Ultimate Year of Backpacking – A Transcontinental Shift

My Ultimate Year of Backpacking – A Transcontinental Shift

Back when life was normal, before COVID was a reality, I entered the PCTA lottery hoping to snag a PCT thru-hiking permit.  My number was something

Jan 20, 2021 : David Smith
Highlights of My 1986 Gear List – Big 3 weight = 12+ pounds

Highlights of My 1986 Gear List – Big 3 weight = 12+ pounds

I never thought I was a hoarder until recently.  I also did not think I was overly sentimental until a few days ago when I was cleaning out a closet

Jan 19, 2021 : David Smith
Complications in Planning a 2021 Thru-Hike – COVID and Now the AT or the PCT Question

Complications in Planning a 2021 Thru-Hike – COVID and Now the AT or the PCT Question

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had dropped plans for 2020 thru-hikes of the AT and AZT due to COVID and then extensive fire damage to the AZT

Jan 11, 2021 : David Smith
We All Have Demons, Get Ready to Face Them or Your Pre-Hike Reading List

We All Have Demons, Get Ready to Face Them or Your Pre-Hike Reading List

Why Are You Hiking the AT? - the question we can't fully answer. The most common question that is asked of anyone before they leave for a thru-hike

Jan 8, 2021 : David Smith
My January 4th Resolution – Minus 10 Pounds Before I Leave for the AT

My January 4th Resolution – Minus 10 Pounds Before I Leave for the AT

I am an admitted gram weenie but not the most extreme type of ultralight backpacker.   These examples can give you some idea of where I fit into the

Jan 4, 2021 : David Smith