Introductions – Socked In Speaks!
Hi everyone, my name is Socked In and I’m a hiker. This summer, I am setting out on my VERY FIRST thru hike on the Long Trail in Vermont and I couldn’t be more SCARED and EXCITED. It doesn’t quite feel real yet – that I may actually do it – that I may actually leave behind my husband, my cat, and my home to live in the woods for a month. It probably won’t feel real until I’m being dropped off on the AT in Massachusetts with nothing but a 25lb pack strapped to my back; but between now and then I hope to share with all of you my pre-hike planning along with my thoughts and feelings leading up to my hike.
So who am I?
I am a (gasp) FEMALE SOLO HIKER (oh no, not that!). I started getting into hiking in earnest two summers ago when I summitted eight mountains solo over the course of three months. I was hooked and the next summer I set a goal for myself that I would summit ten mountains over my summer break. Ten months later, I have summitted fifty-five peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and hope to reach seventy-five by the twelve month mark (April 24, 2017). I’m currently working on completing the New England 67 highest peaks list, most of the New England Hundred Highest list, and am hiking Mount. Washington on July 22nd to raise money for the Mount Washington weather observatory.
Why am I choosing to live in the woods?
I think I was always meant to be a thru hiker. There are many reasons why I am choosing to live in the woods and why I love hiking but there are a few things about me that just scream HIKER TRASH. These unique qualities make some of the not-so-niceties of hiking for days in the woods a little less of an issue for me.
Hiker Trash Quality #1: I don’t mind being dirty, and I don’t mind smelling “ripe”. In fact, when I come home from day hikes, my husband will often direct me straight to the shower. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking everyone smells when they spend 7 hours in the woods in 80 degree temperatures, but I can assure you, I emit odors equal to those of thru hikers who have spent weeks in the woods, in only a matter of hours.
Hiker Trash Quality #2: I live on junk food and have very simple taste. In fact, I spent the majority of my youth living on PB & J sandwiches and potato chips. I’m used to living on pre-packaged, eat-on-the-go foods in my current profession, and quite honestly, I prefer granola bars and gummy bears to steak and potatoes.
Hiker Trash Quality #3: I am used to being in pain. I like to say that everything from the waist down is defective and there have been times in the past where I’ve seriously considered whether amputation of one of my feet would be less painful and less of a nuisance than living with an injury that just won’t heal. HOWEVER, I’ve opted to keep both my feet for the time being as they have begun to ache a little less since I started hiking (I know, it’s weird, right?) and give them one more chance to redeem themselves.
Why am I blogging about all of this “living in the woods” nonsense?
Inspiration and accountability.
I want to inspire. I want other women to know that they CAN hike on their OWN and it will be OK. You don’t have to wait for your significant other to agree to go with you on an adventure, you can do it alone, and you may even enjoy it! I’ve always been a little different, I’ve always enjoyed being by myself, but hiking alone has taught me so much and I want to share that with other people – especially other women.
I need to hold myself accountable and what better way to do that than to share my lofty goal with hundreds of thousands of people! I typically meet the goals I set for myself, but this particular goal scares the crap out of me and I figured if I share it with others I will be more likely to push myself further than I’ve ever pushed before and actually become an End-To-Ender!
So, please follow along, feel free to share advice with me, and I hope that I can not only inspire you, but make you laugh a little as I stumble along on a path I’ve never traveled before, leading to a title I’ve coveted – THRU-HIKER.
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