A beginner hikes the CDT
Hi, welcome to my blog. My name is Jon and I am backpacking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) northbound (NOBO) starting the first week of May 2023. This blog is how I’ll share my adventure. First, thanks to The Trek for allowing me the space to share my adventure. Here goes nothing.
Who am I?
- A father of two kids, a husband to a partner of 18 years, and a dog dad to Brittany named Theo and a reluctant dog dad to a Morkie named Harry (he’s my wife’s)
- An Air Force Officer who is retiring after 24 years of service at the end of April.
- A bit of an idealist. I like to think it’s not too late for me to make a difference in the world
- I’m not the world’s most avid backpacker, but I take a trip or two each year.
Why am I hiking the Continental Divide Trail?
- I’m in search of an adventure, retirement capstone, midlife crisis respite and vision quest all rolled into one.
- I’ve heard lots of people say, ‘don’t do the CDT first.’ So yeah, let’s do the CDT
- I like the choose your own adventure part of the CDT. I’m not interested in breaking any records or tattooing the trail onto my leg.
Why are you writing this blog?
- I don’t use social media with any regularity and I was hoping to find a good way to share my experiences with my friends and family.
- I aspire to motivate others in a similar position to find their own vision quest. Life is short. We spend too much of it working.
- I hope to increase awareness of a mental health condition I suffer from called Paruresis, AKA shy bladder syndrome. It’s very common but most who suffer do so in private. Removing the secrecy around my condition improved my mental health exponentially so I’d love to help others who suffer.
- Bears? Yes, there are bears, but dying from a black bear is really unlikely. And I will carry bear spray in grizzly country and hope I don’t get to see one up close. But in general, it’s not something I am too concerned about.
- My family? They’re very supportive. They know that opportunities to do this type of trip are limited and the timing couldn’t be much better. They’re well experienced in not having me around since they’ve all been through multiple deployments and shorter trips over the years. They’ll find some time to link up with me on the trail at least once.
- Money? I have enough leave/PTO/vacation time built up to cover most of the trip. My official last day in the Air Force is 1 August.
- Getting lost in the wilderness? First, this is America. I Bear Grylls has to intentionally get lost in the wilderness here. But I feel pretty confident in my navigation skills.
I hope you enjoyed my first blog and I hope you follow along for the walk.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.