Pack Your Pack
Do your homework
Whether you’re just starting to read these blogs or you’ve already put in a Jedi-level of researching long distance hiking, you’ve probably come across the term “hike your hike”. This term basically means listen to your gut and follow your wants and needs, not anyone else’s. Good general life advice, right?
I have found this philosophy starts with packing your pack. There are volumes of information and opinions out there on gear, techniques, and overall what you should or should not bring on your hike. All (mostly) are excellent resources and yes, do your homework to best prepare yourself. Maybe this was just me, but I began to suffer terribly from analysis paralysis. These can be costly decisions that, in your mind, can make or break your success. But after 40 hours considering the merits of packing just a spork versus a fork & spoon, I knew I needed help.
The question is the answer.
My hubby reminded me that I was hiking the AT to clear my head not stress myself out before mile one. So I made a pact with myself that:
1) I would spend 2x as much time outdoors recreating than on the computer researching
2) If I was really stuck on a decision I would trust my gut and be flexible to change or tough it out if need be. Channel Grandma Gatewood!
You are the Buddha
One of the best books my college psychology professor had us read was titled, If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him. Harsh title I know and I encourage you to look it up; my ultralight explanation is simply that only you know what’s best for you.
So start packing, and start hiking, and listen to your inner Buddha.
post script: apologies if you were expecting a detailed list of all my gear, but I will leave you with the tidbit that I weighed in at 29.5 pounds -fully loaded.
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