Pre-Departure To-Do List

The day I got the email that I was accepted to blog for this site was nothing short of embarrassing. Had you seen me as I woke up and read my email saying I was accepted, you would’ve felt second hand embarrassment as I went from groggy and half-closed eyes to the full embodiment of the diva hair toss emoji. Pure (ego-boosting) bliss. But I have found myself at a bit of a stand still with what to write because it feels like the internet is cluttered with gear lists, how-to’s, or reasons for hiking. I remember when I first started prepping for the trip and felt paralyzed because I had learned TOO much. I was overwhelmed by opinion, information and lists.

So obviously I’m adding to it. But I’m going to try to maybe do a not-so-common list.

Things to do before you leave:

Car insurance — Call these guys. There’s no need for you to have the same type of plan while your car sits at home. If you’re keeping your car, make sure your company knows if your car will be parked. My plan went to $6 a month.

Automatic bill pay — Most bank sites online will allow you to set up an auto bill pay. I’m not going to pretend that I’ll be responsible enough to remember due dates or to be in a town to make the transfer when they come due.

Cat Trip6

View from campsite in Kenya 

Forwarding mail address — I live in Colorado but have had my mail forwarded to my family back in Georgia. They’re not super hyped about it but I don’t want anything important to get lost just because I’m voluntarily homeless.

Email unsubscribe — Nothing brings me anxiety quite like the unchecked notifications on my phone or computer. I have been unsubscribing from every email list I’ve been a part of that’s not crucial (you could still probably sign up again later). This will save me time when I’m in town so I won’t have to needlessly wade through unimportant emails and I’ll be able to quickly answer crucial emails and ignore the rest to get back to the trail fun.

Cat Trip5

Cozumel, Mexico

Call the relatives — I have been lucky to have 100% support back home. I don’t think they understand it all, but they encourage me. Even if this has not been the case, give the grandparents or relatives or close friends a call before you leave. It may go a long way in gaining their support. If you already have that, it’ll help insure they know you care even though you’re disappearing for 6 months.

Unsubscribe from renewing services — I sometimes forget about the accounts that have automatic withdrawal. If you’re a Pandora premium or Netflix accounts holder and you won’t be utilizing it on the trail, go ahead and unsubscribe.

Cat Trip4

Chautauqua, Boulder, Colorado

Call your credit/debit card company — When I did a cross country road trip two years ago, my card cut off about half way between Atlanta, Georgia and Moab, Utah. I was grateful they had my back because they didn’t figure I was in Kansas but don’t want that to happen again. In may be a good idea to let your card company know you’ll be traveling up (or down) the coast.

Backup your gadgets — Back up your phone and any other gadgets. This will guarantee you will not lose anything important on your phone. It may also allow for more space for photos or music if you are able to delete some things from your phone because you know they are secured elsewhere.

Cat Trip3

Buena Vista, Colombia 

Empty your voicemail box — I’m not good at this one regularly but I’ve gotta clean the voicemail box that way it’ll have all the room for the tons of voicemails I’ll get all the time. (Kidding. Not popular at all. Probably all from my grandfather.)

Cat Trip2

Grand Tetons

What did I miss? What are some important things you have to check off at home first?

**Pictures included are from some of my favorite trips. Some of these trips taught me these lessons along the way. (Please disregard “basic” Instagram filters and Grand Canyon selfie)

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Comments 1

  • Savannah Thaler : Mar 7th

    Even though I’m not planning a thru hike anytime soon, I read a lot of the blog posts from this site and thoroughly enjoyed the uniqueness of yours. Thinking of you often, Cat! (PS met some people from CSU who knew you on base here. LOLZ remind me to tell you that story sometime)


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