When you’re hot you’re HOT!

It feeks like I’m pushing a noodle uphill right now!

With all of the excitement of everyone besides me “on trail” I find myself most envious of all of the posted photos blogs.  The views and trail looks great. 

After almost a year of planning, purchasing gear and mentally preparing for a late March start date, I find myself wishing I was on trail right now.  If, and that’s a Big IF, I had started on time, I’d be some 50+ miles in.  I’m ready and wanting to get out their with the other Thru Hikers.

However, the current upside is that I haven’t had to deal with the cold weather conditions.  After a warm February, Puxatony Phil was right again this year with 6 more weeks of winter.  That cold has hit the hiker community pretty hard, but I’m sure the towns along the AT are probably enjoying the windfall of business with Hikers taking several zero days in a row to hole up for the weather.

Puxatony Phil – right again

The cold was one of those things I stressed about as I prepared for my hike.  Did I have the right combination of base layer, mid layer and outer layers to keep from freezing?  Everyone is a little different in their clothing needs, but it was a real concern and from the sounds of it, many other hikers under packed for the cold weather that hit the south.

However, now with a later start date the cold doesn’t have me AS worried. Now the idea of HEAT keeps creeping into my thoughts. With the cold, you can always dress warmer or add a layer, but with the heat you can only take off until you’re naked and afraid!  

While hike naked day is June 21st, I’m not too sure how well received I will be doing it all the other days…especially as I enter town!  I guess I could just do many “shorts only days” but heat is heat.  There is no getting away from it while hiking.

When the Temps don’t drop at night, you don’t get the necessary rest needed to keep humping those long miles on trail.  Some choose to night hike and rest during the day…that could work?

Like find a tree, catch some shade during the heat of the day and rest up  (if you can). Then take off at dark to hike in the cooler Temps. 

However, the plus side of hiking in warm Temps is that you can drop some pack weight getting rid of those heavy, bulky winter items.  But…you’ll need to carry a few more pounds of H2O to combat dehydration.  

With this impending heat challenge, it reminds me of some old sayings like “it’s a dry heat” or ” the humidity is whst will get you” or “the altitude makes it difficult”. But no matter what, I’ve experienced dry and wet heat at the same time around the Persian Gulf. Temps reaching dry 120F quickly followed by 99% humidity.  It that didn’t get me, there is No Way the AT will take me out.

You haven’t  lived if you haven’t lived through a dust storm like this…

It’s all different…hot or cold, you have to trudge on through the difficult times.

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